Science Notes 2010 Podcasts

Recorded and produced by each author.

Cultivating Autism
Jane Palmer talks with Stanford neurobiologist Ricardo Dolmetsch, whose team has developed a startling way to study the roots of autism: turning the skin cells of autistic children into brain cells growing in a lab dish.
Listen (3.5 mb)

Rediscovering the Fingerprint
Tia Ghose delves into the scientific and legal questions surrounding the accuracy of fingerprint forensic IDs in court. Noted San Francisco examiner Kenneth Moses reviews the rare, but disturbing, problems that have arisen.
Listen (5.2 mb)

Diving to Extremes
Gwyneth Dickey asks: What does it take to wrangle 800-pound Weddell seals on the Antarctic ice in the darkness of winter? Trainer Beau Richter tells tales from an August 2009 expedition to study their hunting behaviors.
Listen (4.3 mb)

The Moth Wars
Daniel Strain revisits a clash between scientists and citizens in central California over a campaign to spray an agricultural pest, the light brown apple moth. Activist Paulina Borsook recalls the uprising—and says it's not over.
Listen (5.3 mb)

Mercury Rising
Sandra Chung visits southern San Francisco Bay, site of the country's second-largest wetlands restoration. U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Mark Marvin-DiPasquale says toxic methylmercury may sully the revitalized marshes.
Listen (5 mb)

A Zoo Without Bars
Marissa Cevallos unravels Genome 10K, a new plan to decode the genetic instructions for 10,000 animals. UCSC bioinformaticist David Haussler, a project leader, describes Genome 10K's promise—and its technical challenges.
Listen (6.4 mb)

The Data Democracy
Olga Kuchment wonders how we can make more sense of the data deluge that swamps us daily. Computer scientist Jeffrey Heer and consultant Stephen Few tell Olga how data visualization can either help or go horribly wrong.
Listen (4.6 mb)

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Cell
Adam Mann connects astronomy to biology via the imaging technique called adaptive optics. UCSC student Oscar Azucena discusses a project to clarify microscopic views of fruit-fly embryos using tiny spots of cellular light.
Listen (4.8 mb)

Better Living Through Hydrogel
Janelle Weaver investigates what it may take for stem cells to heal damaged organs. The answer, according to bioengineer Kevin Healy, may be hydrogels: polymers that can guide stem cells to transform into the right tissues.
Listen (4.3 mb)

Prepare for (Vertical) Takeoff
Jennifer Welsh wants to know whether flying cars—or, at least, vehicles that can take off vertically without dangerous whirring blades—are in our future. Engineer Garth Hobson thinks so, thanks to his research on cross-flow fans.
Listen (5.4 mb)


autism story
fingerprint story
diving story
moth story
mercury story
zoo story

data story
cell story
hydrogel story
takeoff story

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