Science Notes 2009 Podcasts

Recorded and produced by each author.

Engineering Vision
Stephanie Pappas spends a day with Dean Lloyd, a Palo Alto lawyer who "sees" the world through an electronic chip implanted in his retina. Lloyd describes the origin of his blindness—and what he now sees with the device.
Listen (1.85 mb)

Food for Thought?
Michael Torrice explores which foods may have sparked the growth of early human brains. Potato-like tubers played a major role in Africa, says anthropologist Nate Dominy, but others think eating meat was the key.
Listen (2.76 mb)

Reply Cloudy, Try Again
Lizzie Buchen wonders whether atmospheric models of clouds are the Magic 8-Balls of climate science. She interviews Patrick Chuang, whose airplane-based studies have led to a surprise about how pollution may affect clouds.
Listen (4.52 mb)

Taking the Fight to Parasites
Mike Wall investigates a "crazy idea" to combat malaria: using engineered bacteria to seek and destroy the malarial parasite inside living red blood cells. Researcher Jane Koehler discusses the project's promise and peril.
Listen (5.53 mb)

Delivering Ecstasy
Cassandra Brooks asks whether some women can feel intense pleasure, rather than pain, during childbirth. She meets with Debra Pascali-Bonaro, whose film "Orgasmic Birth" has set off controversy, and an expectant mother.
Listen (6.87 mb)

In Wiki We Trust
Hadley Leggett says we shouldn't believe everything we read on Wikipedia. Help has arrived from computer scientist Luca de Alfaro in the form of a tool called "WikiTrust," which rates recent changes by the site's authors.
Listen (6.06 mb)

I Am My Avatar
Kayvon Sharghi enters the virtual reality realm of Second Life to interview two "online therapists." These specialists discuss how to treat traumas or psychological problems by working with their clients' avatars—their online characters.
Listen (3.10 mb)

What's On My Baby's Mind?
Emmanuel Romero spends time with the parents of a baby who participates in tests at a developmental psychology lab. Researchers there have shown that babies learn physical concepts about the world at rather young ages.
Listen (4.48 mb)

Of Geeks and Girls
Lisa Grossman talks with Sepna Cheryan, who thinks the geeky stereotype of computer science drives women away from the field. Neutrally decorated labs and classrooms can help reduce that trend, her research suggests.
Listen (4.33 mb)