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Science

Flickr Creative Commons, Horia Varlan

Jack Hitt will speak at R.J. Julia Booksellers Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m.

Today I got into a Twitter debate with a guy who thinks the press spends too much time covering candidates who aren't really legitimate contenders.

I'm on the other side of that these days. I told him I think anybody running should be invited to the debates.

Fringe Physicists

May 8, 2012
Caption & photo used with permission - Jim Carter

Somewhere in the United States today, an envelope will arrive at a university math or science department, and in it will be some person's paradigm-shattering idea -- a novel theory that drastically violates or disrupts settled science.

The world is full of outsider physicists and rouge mathematicians. And, of course, one or two of them are basically correct about something. Einstein worked in a patent office. Michael Faraday did not have a university degree.

Catie Talarski

We know that music, pets, and exercise make us feel good - but did you know they can also make our aging brains stronger? 

It used to be that getting older meant forgetting more, slowing down, and acting more and more like our grandparents. But no more. We can add years to our lives and boost our brain power by learning to play an instrument, jog around the block, or even bond with our dog.

Rusty Clark/flickr creative commons

Does what we eat control our thoughts and feelings? After many studies, a neuroscientist says it's true.

AJ Cann/flickr creative commons

While we're obsessed with keeping germs away, our go-to science guy, Carl Zimmer, says we and the planet are covered in viruses. Which ones are harmless and which can do us in?

North Charleston (Flickr Creative Commons)

Some 2400 high school students on 64 robot building teams gather at the Connecticut Convention Center today and tomorrow for the FIRST Regional robotics competition. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Joining us by phone this morning is one of the participants Dave Givens, he is a junior at Wolcott High School and a member of Team MAX.

Flickr Creative Commons, EssjayNZ

If I tell you that today's show looks into the near future and sees a wave of new drugs and other therapies that can enhance moral behavior, maybe you'll tell me: enough with the science fiction. But in some ways, the drugs are already here.

Oxytocin, sometimes known as the love hormone, increases empathy and social bonding.  And oxytocin can already be taken -- for other reasons -- in nasal spray form.

Awards Celebrate Women In STEM Careers

Mar 8, 2012
Connecticut Technology Council

  Women are severely under-represented in science and technology professions in Connecticut and across the nation. Each year, the Connecticut Technology Council aims to highlight the work of women who ARE making it in those fields, with its Women of Innovation Awards. WNPR’s Sarah Miner went along.

Deirdre Arcand is sophomore at Mercy High School in Middletown. She says even in her generation she still sometimes finds she’s a gender pioneer.

Chris Devers (Flickr Creative Commons)

Yale paleontologists say two Dinosaurs previously thought to be the same species are actually two different creatures.

There is no denying that the Torosaurus and the Triceratops look a lot alike.

Can Human Genes Be Patented?

Feb 22, 2012

Doctors, researchers, and patent lawyers are waiting to see whether the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a case about patenting a human gene. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, a Yale Cancer Center employee is among the plaintiffs.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s students are falling behind in science, technology, engineering and math. All this week WNPR is examining this problem, and its implications for our 21st century workforce. Today, Harriet Jones reports on efforts by employers to address the lack of STEM skills. 

Amy Loves Yah, Creative Commons

The idea of personalized medicine was a driving force behind the Human Genome Project. Now Connecticut might be in the driver’s seat.

Governor Malloy recently sealed the deal that will give Jackson Laboratories $291 million to build their new genomic research facility on the University of Connecticut campus in Farmington.

The Science Of Dust

Feb 13, 2012
Gilles San Martin/flickr creative commons

There was a time when nobody studied dust. In fact, two kinds of nobody studied two kinds of dust. Astronomers were annoyed by interstellar dust because it got in the way of what they were looking at. It took a long time for them to realize the dust itself was worth looking at.

Same goes for earthbound particulate dust. Dust might creep into a sample on a slide if somebody got sloppy. And that was a problem. Only recently did scientists start looking at the dust itself and even cataloging it in, off all things, a dust library.

Chion Wolf

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): Connecticut's strengths? Many of the state's employers don't think so anymore.

Listen for WNPR's week-long special investigation of STEM education:

Chion Wolf

The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest paid jobs require training in science, technology, engineering and math, also known as the STEM fields. But in Connecticut,  an estimated 1,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled because applicants lack the skills they need. 

Many middle and high school students seem to lose interest in studying STEM subjects. For our second report in a week-long series, we explore why.

16-year old Charlotte Harrison says she’s always liked math.  

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