Ever since she was a small child, Samantha Grimaldo has had to carry her voice with her.
Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, which means that though she's physically capable in many ways, she's never been able to speak. Instead, she's used a device to speak. She types in what she wants to say, and the device says those words out loud. Her mother, Ruane Grimaldo, says that when Samantha was very young, the voice she used came in a heavy gray box.
Our country needs more people with science, math and engineering degrees — at least, that's the common refrain among politicians and educators.
American students lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to math and science test scores, and the president and others have called for a change in immigration laws that would make it easier for people who come to the U.S. to get technical degrees to stay in the country permanently.
Aatish, a guy I follow on Twitter, tosses this stuff off like it's no biggie, but that's because he's a physics grad student. He knows things I don't know. And because I don't know them, what he finds mildly amusing makes me gasp. Really.
Like many humans, most young animals approaching adulthood tend to leave their parents and siblings and strike out on their own. They want to avoid competing with relatives. They want to avoid incest. In certain species, they want to avoid nagging.
But a new paper published in Thursday's Science shows there's at least one species that bucks this trend. Prairie dogs, especially female prairie dogs, stay home. They tend to only leave their native territories when all of their relatives are gone.
My next guest really needs almost no introduction. He's former vice president of the United States. He's one of the most well-known communicators of the risks of climate change. He shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for those efforts. I'm guessing a lot of you have read his book, "An Inconvenient Truth," or you've seen the movie.
Now for nightmare bacteria. They defy all our antibiotics, even our latest drugs. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that strains of these completely drug-resistant bacteria have quadrupled in the last decade or so, and the bugs have been lurking around in hospitals, hundreds of hospitals around the nation.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. By now I'm sure you've heard about the real-life nightmare of a Florida man named Jeff Bush. As he lay sleeping last week, a gaping hole opened beneath his home, swallowing him alive. His body was never found. The search has now been called off, and the sinkhole that devoured him is now his grave.
Water bears, a.k.a. tardigrades, can withstand boiling, freezing and the vacuum of space. Biologist Bob Goldstein, of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, studies these millimeter-long creatures to try to understand how organisms develop.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Here's some news to raise a glass to: the idea that red wine may help us live longer and healthier lives. Well, it got a new boost this week. According to a team of researchers, a compound found in the skin of grapes could be an antidote to aging by slowing down the process and even fending off disease and inflammation associated with getting old. It's the topic of a new study published this week in the journal Science.
You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. You may not tell by looking outside your window if you're in the Midwest, or snow has been dumped on you in the last week or so, but spring is really just around the corner, and with that comes blooming plants and buzzing bees. And what can we expect this spring from nature's great pollinators?