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Idaho National Laboratory on Flickr Creative Commons

Regaining Balance

Mar 28, 2013
Ethan Sherbondy/flickr creative commons

Everybody gets knocked off course. How do you rebalance in an unpredictable world? Bruce Clements joins Faith to talk about the art of restoring balance. Are there go-to tactics that work for most people? Or is the answer different depending on what happens to you? What can we learn from others? How do you get perspective when the clear mind you need is clouded and confused?

Harriet Jones

Drug giant Pfizer says it’s going to tear down 750,000 square feet of unused laboratory space on its Groton campus. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, the move comes after frantic efforts in recent months to find a reuse for the facility.

 

Tambako the Jaguar, Creative Commons

We all know the story. Monkeys in a science lab, top secret research, something goes terribly wrong. It’s no surprise that most cinematic attempts to depict research like this ends up focusing on what happens to the humans.

But what about the ethics of this research, and what it means for the test subjects? In many cases, chimpanzees have been seen as viable in research because of their close relationship to humans.

From Your Freezer To Antarctica: All About Ice

Mar 8, 2013
Timothy Englert

Today, we’re talking about ice --- and no, not because of today’s weather.

But the icy regions of our planet are telling us important information about our climate. Ice locks in historical data that researchers are just starting to unlock. They’re finding greenhouse gases trapped during the industrial revolution and even the results of nuclear arms testing.

Salt Could Be Behind Rise In Autoimmune Diseases

Mar 7, 2013

Dr. David Hafler is chairman of Yale's Department of Neurology. He's been studying multiple sclerosis for several decades. His lab looks at T-cells known as "helper cells," which are meant to assist the immune system, but do the opposite in diseases like Type 1 diabetes. He says the cells went wild when they removed them from blood and added salt: "The surprise of the study was the degree to which salt could induce as much inflammation both in the mouse and in vitro."

Is Science Broken?

Feb 27, 2013

Is scientific research unbiased and objective, or have money and politics gotten in the way? We've seen a steady stream of books charging scientists with the inability to deliver unbiased information. Today we'll explore this question with science journalist and host of NPR's Science Friday Ira Flatow.

Hundreds Drawn To Solar Energy In Connecticut

Feb 26, 2013

Insuring Interplanetary Acts of God

Feb 25, 2013
navicore, creative commons

When a meteor exploded in the sky above Russia’s Ural mountains, damaging cities and injuring thousands, at first it seemed like an event out of a movie, about alien invasion or a nuclear attack - or the end of the world.

Ultimately - we learned that it was simply a natural phenomenon that occurs from time to time - if very rarely. But just how rare is this type of celestial visitor? And are we prepared for the risk?

Flickr Creative Commons, midwestnerd

It seemed this week that we were living in a Jonathan Franzen novel -- or maybe a collaboration between Franzen and his long-departed buddy David Foster Wallace. A cruise ship so impaired that passengers spent days pooping in bags. A flurry of accusations back and forth between a great newspaper and the inventor of an electric car.

Wieritz on Flickr Creative Commons

The case for meditation is the state of the modern mind.

Attention deficit disorder. Post traumatic stress. Anxiety. Addiction. Hopelessness. Depression. Suicide. I could keep going. We're loading up on meds, many of which will not work for us.

 And then there's this other thing,  And it costs almost no money. A simple experiment will show you its benefits.

Bunch of Amateurs

Dec 16, 2012
Chion Wolf file photo

From a tattooed young woman in the Bay Area trying to splice a fish’s glow-in-the-dark gene into common yogurt (all done in her kitchen using salad spinners) to a space fanatic on the brink of developing the next generation of telescopes from his mobile home, Jack Hitt's Bunch of Amateurs not only tells the stories of people in the grip of a passion but argues that America’s history is bound up in a cycle of amateur surges. Hitt is our guest.

A group of Yale University engineers say they have made a major breakthrough in the mass production of micro fuel cells.

Micro fuel cells work much like their bigger counterparts that power buildings and buses. André Taylor is an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale, and lead investigator of the research.

A fuel cell takes a fuel source, it could be an alcohol, it could be a hydrogen gas, it could be methane and it converts that fuel using an electric chemical process into electricity.

Ralph and Jenny, Flickr Creative Commons

How much of the Christmas story is true?

Most scholars will tell you the December 25th date has much more to do with pagan festivals of the early Christian era. If you want people to celebrate something, pick a date when they're already celebrating.

It's been about three years since the the Connecticut Science Center sued some of the contractors who built it, looking to recoup some of the money it lost from a faulty roof. Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the science center has resolved some -- but not all -- of those claims.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/flickr creative commons

The world’s most popular astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, joins us in advance of his appearance at the Connecticut Forum on Saturday. Plus a look at Secret Sex Lives, Suzy Spencer’s year on the fringes of American sexuality.

The Grinch of dreaming is J. Allan Hobson.

What Is Now?

Nov 15, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, Robert S. Donovan

OK, this is potentially one of our weirder shows. 

A Prescription For Healthier Eating

Oct 16, 2012
Jan Ellen Spiegel

The obesity epidemic in the U.S. has left the medical community perplexed about how to get people to change their eating habits. Government is opting for public policy alterations like healthier school lunches. New York City has a new ban on selling large sodas or sugary beverages at restaurants and sports events.

But a Connecticut-based group is trying another way – literally giving people prescriptions for fruits and vegetables. And it seems to be working.

YG: "3, 4, 5 ,6, 7 ,8 ,9. Thank you very much. Have a great day."

Turning to Native Bees as Pollinators Amid Honeybee Die-Off

Sep 12, 2012
Roo72 (Wikimedia Commons)

Since 2006, much of the West has experienced unusually sharp declines in honeybee numbers, so much so that the unprecedented decline was given a name: Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where worker bees seem to simply vanish. While scientists ponder the reasons for the collapse of honeybees, fruit farmers face extra pressure to pollinate their crops. Now, a handful of researchers in the Northeast are proposing that fruit growers in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut might look to the lesser-known members of the bee family to take up the slack. 

The Science Behind How Furry Animals Shake To Get Dry

Sep 4, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, Soggydan

Using high-speed video cameras, hoses, and a healthy dose of bravery, David Hu’s lab is studying the science behind how wet animals get dry.

Sling On: Scientist Sees Future In Space Tethers

Aug 22, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

Robert Hoyt dreams that one day the International Space Station (ISS) won’t need fuel to stay in orbit.

“When you consider that launching one kilogram into orbit costs about $20,000 and that the [International Space] Station needs something on the order of ten tons of propellant per year, that can add up to hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars over the lifetime of the station,” Mr. Hoyt said.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut wants to create a new bioscience hub in the state, attracting world-class scientists. But the state’s pharmaceutical industry has been cut back over the last decade and key parts of that workforce are leaving the state. As our series on education in science, technology, engineering and math continues, WNPR’s Aroosa Masroor looks at the difficulties of creating and retaining a scientific workforce in Connecticut.

Harriet Jones

State estimates say there may be as many as a thousand unfilled jobs in advanced manufacturing currently available in Connecticut. As our series continues on education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, we look at how the state is preparing the workers who will take this industry forward. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

This is the precision manufacturing program at Asnuntuck Community College.

Connecticut’s Governor has staked a lot on reforming the state’s educational system. And a large part of the motivation is to provide a workforce literate in science, technology, engineering and math – the STEM skills. But the pace of technological change is getting quicker every year, and figuring out how to train workers for the high value industries of the 21st century is ever more challenging. This week on the business report we begin a series of reports on three industries vital to Connecticut’s future, and ask whether the state is living up to its reputation for a superior workforce.

Chion Wolf

After years of speculation, rumors, and whispers, we finally heard this week what we had long expected. The only problem is I can't tell whether I'm talking about the Higgs boson or Anderson Cooper.

prilfish, Flickr Creative Commons

The problem with invasive species is, of course, that they compete for resources with local species, and sometime they're a lot better at it. and sometimes they just incidentally wipe something out. 

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.

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