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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.  

Uma Ramiah

Connecticut’s unemployment rate is still over eight percent. And yet there are industries in the state that cannot find people to fill vacant jobs.

In his State of the State address last week, Governor Malloy told legislators that in many places, Conneticut’s schools are failing to teach students the kinds of skills and knowledge they need.  

A Yale University professor is among the members of a task force advising President Obama on how to produce college graduates with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on the recommendations of the task force, which were released Tuesday.

Diane Orson

Qualified students in a New Haven engineering and science magnet school will be able to attend the University of New Haven for half price or free, under a program announced on Monday. The goal is to encourage students to pursue serious study in the “STEM” areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

Speaking at Monday’s announcement, UNH President Steven Kaplan said America is lagging behind other developed nations in math and science.  

Chion Wolf

Pregnancy brings a rollercoaster of emotions for women and their partners.

Those 9 months bring parents anxiety, excitement, a sense of wonder, and joy. It's during the first trimester when mothers are first asked about whether they want to have genetic tests done to check on the baby's development.

How do parents decide if they want to undergo tests and what happens when results come back with news they weren't expecting?

Chion Wolf

From The Time Machine to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, many movies either focus on scientists or are rooted in science. As part of a national program, Hartford's Real Art Ways is trying to bring film and science even closer together.

monado, Flickr Creative Commons

If you're anything like me, your knowledge of neutrinos goes something like this:

  • They are extremely small. Smaller than other really small things.
     
  • John Updike wrote a poem about them.

There's something inherently funny about them. It might be their name. It might be something more than that. And then maybe you saw the coverage of the experiment in which neutrinos appeared to move faster than light.

CIMMYT/Flickr Creative Commons

Starting January 1, local police departments will be following a new protocol for sending evidence to the state crime lab. It's an attempt to reduce a massive backlog in the system. Mike Lawlor says it's a result of "The CSI Effect." "People have come to expect that forensic scientists can solve any crime based on evidence gathered from a crime scene. So the natural tendency is just to send up as much as you can find, and let them sort through it," Lawlor says. 

Gardener41, creative commons

Mark Demers is a Fairfield University Professor who just got a grant to study “chaos theory.” Could the gentle flap of a butterfly wing in China set off a tornado in Texas? He’ll study the evolution of systems that change over time and attempt to understand their stability and predictability.

Measuring The World

Nov 14, 2011
Chion Wolf

“A pint’s a pound, the world around.” Except...what’s a pint? And, for that matter, what’s a pound?

Here in America, we take for granted our feet, our inches, our Fahrenheit temperatures...we even watch our pounds.

But, leave this country, and it’s pretty clear we’re on an island - an island the rest of the world would measure in meters...an “international standard” that we’re still resistant to.

Technical High School Builds Lab For Green Trades

Sep 21, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Connecticut’s Technical High School System is building energy-efficient buildings that will serve as laboratories for students to learn about green technology. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the first one opened this week

hweiling, creative commons

The numbers don’t do justice to the scope of Alzheimers Disease.

Flickr Creative Commons, elbragon

In Petersberg KY, there's a Creation Museum where the exhibits at the museum teach that the Earth is 6,000 years old and was created in six 24-hour days. The founders say more than a million people have visited — 80 percent of which are from out of state. It's such a good economic development tool that the governor of Kentucky is supporting financial aid to a companion museum about Noah's Ark, with an ark built to biblical scale, to show people that the whole concept really could have worked. 

Earthquake In Virginia Rocks Connecticut... And North

Aug 23, 2011
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

An earthquake that originated in Virginia this afternoon shook buildings in Connecticut forcing people to evacuate. The quake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale.

Just before 2:00 PM buildings rocked sending state workers out of the Capitol, the Department of Transportation and other state office buildings. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection staff went to the state’s Emergency Operations Center, as a precaution.

stevendepolo, flickr

Last weeky we did a whole show about sugar.  We talked to author Gary Taubes who wrote an article for New York Times titled “Is Sugar Toxic?” After talking with him awhile, it seems as though he and the scientists he quoted had made a conclusion.  Their answer is “yes.”  

But we had a few listeners who weren't happy with Taubes’ claims. Today we get a response from The Sugar Association.

Four Failing Lungs

Jul 27, 2011
spec-ta-cles

In 2010, there were 1,770 lung transplants performed in the United States -- the most ever in a single year.

For a person with Cystic Fibrosis, the transplant may extend life by years – or it could lead to continued suffering and rejection of the new organ.

Later in the program, we'll hear about the latest research into lung transplants and even artificial lungs.  But first we hear a documentary about two young people struggling with end-stage Cystic Fibrosis, and struggling with a decision about transplant.

vizzzual

Thirty years ago, food allergy was extremely rare. Today, about 5.9 million U.S. children under 18 suffer from this potentially life-threatening condition.

That’s 1 in every 13 children. Or, to look at it another way, one student per classroom has a food allergy. What’s more, nearly 2 out of every 5 affected children suffer from a severe food-allergy.

Army of Weevils Attack Invasives

Jun 15, 2011
Donna Ellis

The state is releasing thousands of weevils this week that feed on one of the most highly-invasive plants. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.                 

Flickr Creative Commons, Randy Son Of Robert

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