Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:03 pm
Zack Kopplin has been fighting to have the "Louisiana Science Education Act" overturned since it was first passed in 2008, and he was in high school. Critics of the SLEA say it's used to introduce creationism and other non-scientific theories into public school science class. Kopplin, now at Rice University discusses his continuing campaign against the act.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira today. You know the phrase you are what you eat? Well, new research suggests a slight modification: Your gut bacteria are what you eat. And if you eat more red meat, for example, you'll nurture populations of microbes that like to eat red meat, too, which might not seem like a bad thing except that researchers have pinpointed a compound in red meat called L-carnitine that when broken down by gut bacteria might contribute to heart disease.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. Later in the hour, a teenage science activist and the plight of the monarch butterfly. But first, researchers have developed a new way to fight antibiotic-resistant microbes by borrowing a trick from a longtime foe of the bacteria, the bacteria phage.
Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given events in Darfur and Syria, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.
Leslie Morgan Steiner was in "crazy love" — that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the harrowing story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence.
Psychopathic killers are the basis for some must-watch TV, but what really makes them tick? Neuroscientist Jim Fallon talks about brain scans and genetic analysis that may uncover the rotten wiring in the nature (and nurture) of murderers. In a too-strange-for-fiction twist, he shares a fascinating family history that makes his work chillingly personal.
Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:10 pm
Violence and brutality are grim realities of life. Are some of us born that way, or can anyone be pushed into committing acts of cruelty? In this hour, TED speakers explore the sinister side of human nature, and whether we're all capable of violence.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
When President Obama released his 2014 budget for the federal government on Wednesday, much of it was spreadsheets and tables. But one corner of NASA's budget looked like something out of a movie script.
Bring on the air sickness bags and light up the fasten seatbelt sign. A new study finds that flights are going to become more turbulent due to climate change. Paul Williams led the study. It's been published in the journal Nature Climate Change and he joins me now from Vienna. Welcome to the program.
PAUL WILLIAMS: Hi, Melissa, it's a pleasure to be here.
A strange green rock discovered in Morocco last year was hailed by the press as the first meteorite from Mercury. But scientists who've been puzzling over the stone ever since say the accumulating evidence may point in a different direction. Maybe, just maybe, they say, the 4.56-billion-year-old rock fell to Earth from the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 8:02 am
Cary Grant's chin may appeal to you and Ingrid Bergman. But that might not be the case among the indigenous people of Australia.
And the idea that a guy's jutting jawline might not cause women the world over to swoon calls into question the notion that some characteristics are pretty much automatic signals of desirability for prospective mates, researchers say.
Scientists reported Wednesday that they had developed a way to measure how much pain people are experiencing by scanning their brains.
The researchers hope the technique will help doctors treat pain better, but the work is also raising concerns about whether the technique might interfere with doctors simply listening to their patients.
Now, when someone is in pain, a doctor has no way to judge its severity except to ask questions, a method that often is inadequate.