Science Notes 2008 Podcasts

Recorded and produced by each author.

Oil on the Rocks
Rachel Tompa takes listeners to the shoreline to reveal the impacts of oil on intertidal creatures. Ecologist Pete Raimondi describes the messy coastal surveys his team conducted after a 2007 oil spill in San Francisco Bay. Listen (opens in new window) | Story

Cracking the Earthquake Code
Roberta Kwok interviews two of her key sources: engineers Tom Bleier and Antony Fraser-Smith. The researchers discuss their controversial vision for an earthquake early-warning system based on magnetic signals. Listen (opens in new window) | Story

My Cell Phone Rings in A Minor
Alissa Poh explores the curious origins of absolute pitch with two researchers at UC San Francisco. Is perfect pitch a blessing or a curse? Learn how one subject uses the skill in her market's produce section.
Listen (opens in new window) | Story

Physicists Shine Some Light on the Brain
Amber Dance reports from the innards of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center about high-energy x-rays that expose metals in the brain. A Canadian biologist reveals how she sends slices of human brain across the border. Listen (opens in new window) | Story

Dry Fields with Great Yields
Hayley Rutger speaks with plant biologist Eduardo Blumwald about his team's efforts to produce drought-resistant crops. Blumwald offers his frank opinions about the fears surrounding genetically modified plants.
Listen (opens in new window) | Story

Are Living Foods Getting a Raw Deal?
Jane Liaw reports from the kitchen and dining room of La Vie, a popular raw-foods restaurant in Santa Cruz. The chef explains how he prepares some of La Vie's signature creations and reveals his own tastes in food. Listen (opens in new window) | Story

Fossils of Our Genetic Past
John Cannon explains the bizarre genetic warfare that has allowed alien bits of DNA endogenous retroviruses to take up residence in our cells. Biologist Ting Wang takes listeners through the evolutionary implications. Listen (opens in new window) | Story

The Forest Laboratory
Madolyn Rogers walks into the woods, literally, for this report from an ecological plot in a remote part of the UC Santa Cruz campus. The researchers map trees and plants down to the centimeter to trace the spread of fungi. Listen (opens in new window) | Story

Small Things Considered
Massie Santos Ballon introduces a UC Berkeley engineering team working on new and improved microscanners. The devices, which allow laser beams to scan barcodes, could form the heart of a new handheld projector. Listen (opens in new window) | Story

The Empathetic Internet
Erin Digitale examines how well the Internet knows us. A UC Santa Cruz computer engineer is developing better ways for computers to help us find products and information; should we worry about our privacy?
Listen (opens in new window) | Story

Special report: Science Notes Update

Condors: A Modern Phoenix
Maria Jos Vias follows up her 2007 story on the California condor recovery program with a report on the state's ban on lead bullets within the condor's range. Will the ban motivated by the findings of a UC Santa Cruz team help the birds endure?
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