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Ervins Strauhmanis / Creative Commons

Three Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts neighborhoods were marred by natural gas explosions Thursday, in an incident that left one dead and several others injured. This hour, we take an in-depth look at what happened and consider the likelihood that a similar situation could unfold here in Connecticut.

Later, we learn why some local residents and advocates are airing their grievances against Veyo, the company contracted to provide non-emergency transportation to adults and children on Medicaid. How did the California-based enterprise come to operate in Connecticut in the first place? We find out.

And finally, we wade through the known and unknown effects of e-cigarette use, and find out why the electronic tobacco devices are so fashionable among youths today. Have you owned or smoked an e-cigarette? What about your child or children? We want to hear from you. 

David Siu / Creative Commons

Nobody likes the termite. They get into the wood in our homes that can lead to infuriating and expensive repairs. What's to like.

It turns out, there's a lot to like about the termite; scientists study how termites build their "mounds" for clues to solving some of the world's most pressing problems, like mitigating the effects of drought, building colonies on Mars, and the creation of biofuels. 

Adam Metallo / Smithsonian Institution

They can weigh over a hundred tons, live their entire lives underwater, and some even hunt using sound through a method known as echolocation. Yet, whales are also complex social creatures who share much in common with humans.

This hour we talk with paleontologist Nick Pyenson about why he has dedicated his life to studying whales, or as he puts it, “Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures.” Pyenson’s new book, Spying on Whales, takes readers on a scientific quest to understand the evolutionary journey of whales from dog-sized land mammals to the ocean giants of today.

Vanessa de la Torre / WNPR

Students from Parkland, Florida travelled to Newtown Connecticut—the site of the Sandy Hook massacre—to rally against gun violence this weekend.  But the problem of gun violence is not just confined to mass shootings.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

It’s usually historians and scholars who get excited when a university acquires an ancient document. But in the 1960s, a map acquired by Yale University caused such a stir it divided the country.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Inside our genomes, we carry information about our recent ancestors as well as ancient human history. This hour, we sit down with science writer Carl Zimmer to talk about his new book, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. We ask him what our DNA can—and can’t—tell us about where we’re from and who we are.

Ingrid Henlon has been working in Hartford as an early childhood teacher for 27 years, but she said she hasn't gotten a raise in a decade.

"I'm a single person, and every year, you know, everything goes up," she said. "The light goes up, the gas goes up, the rent keep going up, but for the past couple of years my paycheck has been the consistent amount."

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

It’s usually historians and scholars who get excited when a university acquires an ancient document. But in the 1960s, a map acquired by Yale University caused such a stir it divided the country.

Michele Lamberti / Creative Commons

Guilt. Ah, yes, that awful, anxiety-ridden five-letter word. Most of us have experienced it. All of us have learned to dread it. But is a little guilt really such a bad thing?

This hour, we consider that question and more with a series of guilt (note we did not say “guilty”) experts. We check in with a researcher at the University of Virginia and with a psychologist based in New York. And we want to hear from you, too. 

Asian tiger mosquito
coniferconifer (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s Council on Environmental Quality reported a rise in the population of a mosquito that may carry tropical diseases. The number of Asian tiger mosquitoes collected in 2017 in the state more than doubled from the previous year.

Andreas Bolzer et al. / Wikimedia Commons

Inside our genomes, we carry information about our recent ancestors as well as ancient human history. This hour, we sit down with science writer Carl Zimmer to talk about his new book, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. We ask him what our DNA can—and can’t—tell us about where we’re from and who we are.

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.

Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.

Ed Uthman / Creative Commons

In the U.S., an estimated 100,000 Americans live with sickle cell disease, or SCD.

Yet, despite its impact, the disease and its patients remain largely out of the public eye.

This hour, C-HIT reporter Peggy McCarthy helps us understand why. We discuss the realities of SCD awareness and hear from a New Haven resident living with the disease.

Plus: inside U.S. drug courts.

What approach do these programs take in addressing the nation’s opioid crisis? And are they accessible here in Connecticut? We find out. 

Mr.checker / Creative Commons

Fruit flies. You may have seen one or two dancing above your fruit bowl. But what about under a microscope?

Believe it or not these seemingly insignificant insects have had a long and (dare we say) fruitful history in advancing scientific research.

This hour, First in Fly author Dr. Stephanie Mohr joins us to explain why.

Later, we also take a deeper look into the realm of so-called “true flies” with London-based "fly girl" Dr. Erica McAlister

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr

If there's one thing that unites us all (literally, ALL of us) it's gravity. Gravity attracts every bit of matter in the universe to every other bit of matter in the universe, no exceptions! But for something (a warping of space-time, to be precise) so universally present, it remains one of the least understood forces in physics.

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