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Plan of a Hack

From Big Picture Science - Long before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Their motivation was not monetary, but the thrill of defeating a complex, invisible network. Today "hacking" can apply to cyberwarfare, biological tinkering, or even geoengineering.  Often it has negative connotations, but the original definition of "hacking" was something else. In this first of two episodes on hacking, we look at the original practitioners - the teenagers and mavericks who hacked Ma Bell for thrills - and the difference between hacking for fun and for profit.  Guests: Phil Lapsley- Author of "Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell" 


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Plan of a Hack
2017-09-11 07:37:45
Long before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Their motivation was not monetary, but the thrill of defeating a complex, invisible network. Today "hacking" can apply to cyberwarfare, biological tinkering, or even geoengineering.  Often it has negative connotations, but the original definition of "hacking" was something else. In this first of two episodes on hacking, we look at the original practitioners - the teenagers and mavericks who hacked Ma Bell for thrills - and the difference between hacking for fun and for profit.  Guests: Phil Lapsley- Author of "Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell" 
51 minutes, 48 seconds


Angles of a Hack
2017-09-18 07:23:12
Changed your computer password recently?  We all try to stay one step ahead of the hackers, but the fear factor is increasing.  The risks can range from stolen social security numbers to sabotaging a national power grid.  Sixty years ago, when hacking meant nosing around the telephone network, it seemed innocent enough.  And not all modern hacking has criminal intent.  Today, there are biohackers who experiment with implanted electronic devices to improve themselves, and geoengineers who propose to hack the climate.  But in our efforts to cool an overheated planet, might we be going down a dangerous path? In this second of two episodes on hacking, the modern variations of "hacking," and their consequences. Plus: when does hacking a system improve it?  


Plan of a Hack
2017-09-11 07:37:45
Long before cyber criminals were stealing ATM passwords, phone phreaks were tapping into the telephone system. Their motivation was not monetary, but the thrill of defeating a complex, invisible network. Today "hacking" can apply to cyberwarfare, biological tinkering, or even geoengineering.  Often it has negative connotations, but the original definition of "hacking" was something else. In this first of two episodes on hacking, we look at the original practitioners - the teenagers and mavericks who hacked Ma Bell for thrills - and the difference between hacking for fun and for profit.  Guests: Phil Lapsley- Author of "Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell" 


On Thin Ice
2017-08-14 07:33:42
Water is essential for life - that we know.  But the honeycomb lattice that forms when you chill it to zero degrees Celsius is also inexorably intertwined with life. Ice is more than a repository for water that would otherwise raise sea levels.  It's part of Earth's cooling system, a barrier preventing decaying organic matter from releasing methane gas, and a vault entombing ancient bacteria and other microbes.  From the Arctic to the Antarctic, global ice is disappearing.  Find out what's at stake as atmospheric CO2 threatens frozen H2O.  Guests: Peter Wadhams- Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University in the U.K. and the author of A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic Eric Rignot- Earth systems scientist, University of California, Irvine, senior research scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Åsmund Asdal- Biologist, Nordic Genetic Resource Center, coordinator for operations and management of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Svalbard, Norway John Priscu- Polar biologist, Montana State University


What Goes Around
2017-07-24 07:47:45
It's not just tin cans and newspapers.  One man says that, from a technical standpoint, everything can be recycled - cigarette butts, yoga mats, dirty diapers.  Even radioactive waste.  You name it, we can recycle it.  But we choose not to.  Find out why we don't, and how we could do more.  Plus, a solar-powered device that pulls water from the air - even desert air.  And, something upon which life depends that seems dirt cheap, but can't be replenished: soil.  What happens when we pave over this living resource? 


Eclipsing All Other Shows
2017-07-17 08:35:14
They say that the experience of watching a total eclipse is so profound, you're not the same afterward.  If life-changing events are your thing and you're in the lower 48 states on August 21st, let us help you make the most of viewing the Great American Solar Eclipse. Learn the basics of where to be and what to bring, even on short notice. No eclipse glasses?  Find out why a kitchen colander is an excellent Plan B. Also, the strange behavior of animals and private jet pilots during an eclipse.  The latter is making the FAA sweat. Plus, how 1878 eclipse fever inspired Thomas Edison and astronomer Maria Mitchell, and what was at stake for them scientifically.  And today, with astronauts able to view the Sun from space, what new science can we still learn by eclipse expeditions on Earth? And, NASA turns up the heat on solar studies with a probe to within a hair's breadth of the Sun.  Guests: David Baron - Author of "American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World."   Andrew Fraknoi - Chair of the Astronomy Department, Foothill College.  His latest book, for children:  "When the Sun Goes Dark."  Jay Pasachoff - Professor of Astronomy, Williams College, chair of the International Astronomical Union Working Group on Solar Eclipses.  Madhulika Guhathakurta - Astrophysicist, NASA Heliophysics Science Division and Program Scientist for the Solar Probe Plus mission.


Frogs' Pants
2017-07-10 08:26:21
It's one of the most bizarre biological experiments ever. In the 18th century, a scientist fitted a pair of tailor-made briefs on a male frog to determine the animal's contribution to reproduction.  The process of gestation was a mystery and scientists had some odd-ball theories.   Today, a 5th grader can tell you how babies are made, but we still don't know exactly what life is.  In our quest to understand, we're still at the frogs' pants stage. Find out why conception took centuries to figure out.  Also, why the 1970s Viking experiments, specifically designed to detect life on Mars, couldn't give us a definitive answer.  Plus, can knowing where life isn't help define what it is?  Take a tour of the world's barren places.  Guests: Jay Gallentine - Author of books about space and space history. Edward Dolnick - Author and former science writer at the Boston Globe.  His book is The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to Da Vinci, from Shark's Teeth to Frogs' Pants. Chris McKay - Planetary scientist, NASA Ames Research Center. 


Skeptic Check: Rational Lampoon
2017-07-03 09:04:43
Two heads may be better than one.  But what about three or more?  A new study shows that chimpanzees excel at complex tasks when they work in groups, and their accumulated knowledge can even be passed from one generation to the next.  But group-think also can be maladaptive.  When humans rely on knowledge that they assume other people possess, they can become less than rational. Find out why one cognitive scientist says that individual thinking is a myth.  Most of your decisions are made in groups, and most derive from emotion, not rationality. Also, why we know far less than we think we do.  For example, most people will say they understand how an everyday object like a zipper works, but draw a blank when asked to explain it.  Plus, why we have a biological drive to categorize people as "us" or "them," and how we can override it.    Guests:  Steven Sloman - Professor of cognitive linguistics and psychological sciences at Brown University and editor-in-chief of the journal, Cognition Robert Sapolsky - Professor of neuroscience at Stanford University and author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst Laurance Doyle - Scientist at the SETI Institute


Skeptic Check: How Low Can You Go?
2017-06-26 08:48:54
ENCORE  Baby, it's cold outside... but you still might want to be there.  Some people claim that chilly temperatures are good for your health, and proponents of cryotherapy suggest you have a blast - of sub-zero air - to stave off wrinkles and perhaps halt aging altogether.  Meanwhile the field of cryonics offers the ultimate benefit by suggesting that you put future plans - and your body - on ice when you die.  That way you might be revived when the technology to do so is developed. So, will a chill wind blow you some good?  Possibly, as scientists are discovering that the body can endure colder temperatures than previously thought.  We examine the science of extreme cold and claims of its salubrious benefits. It's our monthly look at critical thinking, Skeptic Check ... but don't take our word for it!  Guests:  Seth Abramovitch - Senior writer at the Hollywood Reporter Gordon Giesbrecht - Professor of thermal physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada Grant Shoffstall - Sociologist, Williams College


PEM4_Picard2
2017-06-19 10:26:12



Perpetual Emotion Machine
2017-06-19 08:47:37
Get ready for compassionate computers that feel your pain, share your joy, and generally get where you're coming from.  Computers that can tell by your voice whether you're pumped up or feeling down, or sense changes in heart rate, skin, or muscle tension to determine your mood.  Empathetic electronics that you can relate to. But wait a minute - we don't always relate to other humans.  Our behavior can be impulsive and even self-sabotaging - our emotions are often conflicted and irrational.   We cry when we're happy.  Frown when we're pensive.  A suite of factors, much of them out of our control, govern how we behave, from genes to hormones to childhood experience.  One study says that all it takes for a defendant to receive a harsher sentence is a reduction in the presiding judge's blood sugar. So grab a cookie, and find out how the heck we can build computers that understand us anyway.  Guests: Rosalind Picard - Professor at the MIT Media Lab and co-founder of the companies Affectiva and Empatica.  Robert Sapolsky - Professor of neuroscience at Stanford University, and author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. 


Science Fiction
2017-06-12 07:48:42
ENCORE  No one knows what the future will bring, but science fiction authors are willing to take a stab at imagining it.  We take our own stab at imagining them imagining it.  Find out why the genre of science fiction is more than a trippy ride through a bizarre, hi-tech world, but a way to assess and vote on our possible shared future.  Also, an astronomer learns how many rejection slips it takes before becoming a published science fiction author .... what author Bruce Sterling wants to get off his chest ... and what the joke about the neutron walking into a bar to ask the price of beer has in common with H.G. Wells, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Ridley Scott. Oh, and the price of beer?  Bartender: "For you, no charge." Guests: Ed Finn - Director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University Andrew Fraknoi - Chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College.  His story, "The Cave in Arsia Mons", is in "Building Red", here.  His list of astronomically correct science fiction is here. Bruce Sterling - Science fiction author, journalist, and editor
 Brian Malow - Science comedian, science communication officer, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh


Gene-y in a Bottle
2017-06-05 07:35:16
ENCORE  You can't pick your parents.  But soon you may be able to change the DNA they gave you.  CRISPR technology is poised to take DNA editing to new levels of precision and speed.  Imagine deleting genes from your body that you don't like and inserting the ones you want.  The swap might not even require a fancy lab.  Biohackers are already tinkering with genes in their homes.   Find out how CRISPR technology might change everything when the genetic lottery is no longer destiny.  Plus, a cardiologist identifies the troublesome genes that once gave us evolutionary advantages but today are fueling obesity, depression and other modern illness. Guests: Lee Goldman - Cardiologist, dean of Columbia University Medical Center, author of "Too Much of a Good Thing; How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us"  Jacob Corn - Scientific director, Innovative Genomics Initiative, University of California, Berkeley Katelynn Kazane - Research assistant, Innovative Genomics Initiative,  University of California, Berkeley Josiah Zayner - Biohacker, former NASA synthetic biologist.  His biohacking store.


The Crater Good
2017-05-29 08:38:33
ENCORE  It was "one giant leap for mankind," but the next step forward may require going back.  Yes, back to the moon.  Only this time the hardware may come from China.  Or perhaps Europe.  In fact, it seems that the only developed nation not going lunar is the U.S. Find out why our pockmarked satellite is such hot real estate, and whether it has the raw materials we'd need to colonize it.  A new theory of how the moon formed may tell us what's below its dusty surface. But - before packing your bags - you'll want to skim Article IX of the U.N. treaty on planetary protection.  We can't go contaminating any old planetary body, can we?   Guests: James Oberg - Former Space Shuttle Mission Control engineer and space policy expert Clive Neal - Geologist, University of Notre Dame Edward Young - Cosmochemist, geochemist, UCLA Margaret Race - Biologist and research scientist at the SETI Institute


Skeptic Check: Science Breaking Bad
2017-05-22 07:52:46
The scientific method is tried and true. It has led us to a reliable understanding of things from basic physics to biomedicine.  So yes, we can rely on the scientific method.  The fallible humans behind the research, not so much.  And politicians?  Don't get us started.  Remember when one brought a snowball to the Senate floor to "prove" that global warming was a hoax?  Oy vey. We talk to authors about new books that seem to cast a skeptical eye on the scientific method... but that are really throwing shade on the ambitious labcoat-draped humans who heat the beakers and publish the papers ... as well as the pinstriped politicians who twist science to win votes. Find out why the hyper-competitive pursuit of results that are "amazing" and "incredible" is undermining medical science ... how a scientific breakthrough can turn into a societal scourge (heroin as miracle cure) ... and what happens when civil servants play the role of citizen scientists on CSPAN. Guests: Richard Harris - NPR science correspondent, author of Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions.  Paul Offit - Professor of pediatrics, attending physician, Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, author of Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong. Dave Levitan - Science journalist, author of Not a Scientist; How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent and Utterly Mangle Science.  


100% Invisible
2017-05-15 08:23:40
ENCORE  In astronomy, the rule of thumb was simple: If you can't see it with a telescope, it's not real.  Seeing is believing.  Well, tell that to the astronomers who discovered dark energy, or dark matter ... or, more recently, Planet 9.   And yet we have evidence that all these things exist (although skepticism about the ninth - or is it tenth? - planet still lingers). Find out how we know what we know about the latest cosmic discoveries - even if we can't see them directly.  The astronomer who found Planet 9 - and killed Pluto - offers his evidence.  And, a speculative scenario suggests that dark matter helped do away with the dinosaurs.  Plus, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics explains why neutrinos that are zipping through your body right now may hold clues to the origin of the universe.  Guests: Michael Brown - Astronomer, California Institute of Technology Michael Lemonick - science writer and an editor at Scientific American magazine Lisa Randall - Theoretical physicist, Harvard University, author of Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe Arthur McDonald - Astrophysicist emeritus, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics


Time on Your Side
2017-05-09 10:08:20
Time passes like an arrow, but what if it flew like a boomerang?  Scientists are learning how to reverse time's most relentless march: aging.  But before we rewind time, let's try to define it, because there's plenty of debate about just what time is - a fundamental component of the universe or a construct of our consciousness? Find out why, even though pondering the future may cause heartburn, mental time travel has an evolutionary survival advantage. Plus, your brain as a clock; why "brain age" may be more accurate than chronological age in determining lifespan. And while a million-dollar monetary prize hopes to inspire researchers to crack the aging code, one group claims they already have.  By reprogramming special genes, they've reversed the biological clocks in mice.  Find out when human trials begin.  Guests: Dean Buonomano- Neurobiologist and psychologist at UCLA and author of "Your Brain is a Time Machine" James Cole- Postdoc studying neuroanatomy, Imperial College London  Joon Yun- Radiologist, head of Palo Alto Investors and creator and sponsor of the Palo Alto Longevity prize Pradeep Reddy- Research Scientist at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California


Eve of Disruption
2017-05-01 07:52:13
ENCORE  Only two of the following three creations have had lasting scientific or cultural impact:  The telescope ... the Sistine Chapel ceiling ... the electric banana.  Find out why one didn't make the cut as a game-changer, and why certain eras and places produce a remarkable flowering of creativity (we're looking at you, Athens).  Plus, Yogi Berra found it difficult to make predictions, especially about the future, but we try anyway.  A technology expert says he's identified the next Silicon Valley.  Hint: its focus is on genetic - not computer - code and its language in the lab is Mandarin. We got the past and the future covered.  Where's innovation now?  We leave that to the biohackers who are remaking the human body one sensory organ at a time.  Are you ready for eye-socket cameras and mind readers? Guests: Eric Weiner - Author of "The Geography of Genius; A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley" Alec Ross - Technology policy expert, former Senior Advisor for Innovation for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and author of "The Industries of the Future"  Kara Platoni - Science reporter, author of "We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time"


Spacecraft Elegy
2017-04-24 06:14:50
Exploration: It's exciting, it's novel, and you can't always count on a round-trip ticket.  You can boldly go, but you might not come back.  That's no showstopper for robotic explorers, though.  Spacecraft go everywhere. While humans have traveled no farther than the moon, our mechanical proxies are climbing a mountain on Mars, visiting an ice ball far beyond Pluto, plunging through the rings of Saturn, and landing on a comet.  Oh, and did we mention they're also bringing rock and roll to the denizens of deep space, in case they wish to listen. We consider some of the most daring explorers since the 16th century - made of metal and plastic - venturing to places where no one else could go.  What have they done, what are they doing, and at what point do they declare "mission accomplished" and head for that great spacecraft graveyard in the sky? Guests: Matt Tiscareno- Planetary Scientist at the SETI Institute Mark Showalter- Senior Research Scientist, SETI Institute Jonathan Amos- BBC Senior Writer and Science Correspondent Ashwin Vasavada- Curiosity Project Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Skeptic Check: Glutenous Maximus
2017-04-17 09:45:07
ENCORE  Eat dark chocolate.  Don't drink coffee.  Go gluten-free.  If you ask people for diet advice, you'll get a dozen different stories.  Ideas about what's good for us sprout up faster than alfalfa plants (which are still healthy ... we think).  How can you tell if the latest is fact or fad? We'll help you decide, and show you how to think skeptically about popular trends.  One example: a study showing that gluten-free diets didn't ease digestive problems in athletes.  Also, medical researchers test whether wearable devices succeed in getting us off the couch and a nutritionist explains how things got so confusing.  Plus, why part of our confusion may be language.  Find out why one cook says that no foods are "healthy," not even kale. It's Skeptic Check ... but don't take our word for it! Guests: Dana Lis - Sports dietician, PhD student, University of Tasmania Michael Ruhlman - Cook, author of many books about cooking as well as the recent trio of novellas, In Short Measures Beth Skwarecki - Freelance health and science writer, nutrition teacher Mitesh Patel - Assistant professor of medicine, Perlman School of Medicine, Assistant Professor of Health Care Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania


Your Brain's Reins
2017-04-10 08:36:31
You are your brain.  But what happens when your brain changes for the worse - either by physical injury or experience?  Are you still responsible for your actions? We hear how the case of a New York man charged with murder was one of the first to introduce neuroscience as evidence in court.  Plus, how technology hooks us - a young man so addicted to video games, he lacked social skills, or even a desire to eat.  Find out how technology designers conspire against his digital detox. Also, even if your brain is intact and your only task is choosing a sock color, are you really in control?  How your unconscious directs even mundane behavior ... and how you can outwit it.  Guests: Kevin Davis - Author of The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms Hilarie Cash - Co-founder and chief clinical officer of reSTART, an internet addiction recovery program Adam Alter - Assistant professor of marketing and psychology at New York University, Stern School of Business, and author of Irresistible: the Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked Peter Vishton - Psychologist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia


Winging It
2017-04-03 07:30:59
ENCORE Ask anyone what extraordinary powers they'd love to have, and you're sure to hear "be able to fly."  We've kind of scratched that itch with airplanes.  But have we gone as far as we can go, or are better flying machines in our future?  And whatever happened to our collective dream of flying cars?   We look at the evolution - and the future - of flight. Animals and insects have taught us a lot about the mechanics of becoming airborne.  But surprises remain.  For example, bats may flit around eccentrically, but they are actually more efficient fliers than birds.    Meanwhile, new technology may change aviation when self-healing material repairs structural cracks in mid-flight.   And a scientist who worked on flying cars for DARPA says he's now working on the next best thing.  Guests:                                                      Merlin Tuttle - Ecologist and founder of Bat Conservation International. Executive director of Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation and author of The Secret Life of Bats: My Adventures with the World's Most Misunderstood Animals. Join his effort and browse his stunning photography at http://www.merlintuttle.com/ David Alexander - Ecologist, evolutionary biologist, the University of Kansas, author of On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight  Duncan Wass - Professor of chemistry, University of Bristol, U.K.  Sanjiv Singh - Research professor, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University


Shell on Earth
2017-03-27 08:37:08
We all may retreat to our protective shells, but evolution has perfected the calcite variety to give some critters permanent defense against predators.  So why did squids and octopuses lose their shells?  Find out what these cephalopods gained by giving up the shell game. Plus why Chesapeake Bay oyster shells are shells of their former selves.  What explains the absence of the dinner-plate sized oysters of 500,000 years ago, and how conservation paleobiology is probing deep time for strategies to bring back these monster mollusks. Also, was the Earth once encased in a giant, continental shell?  A new theory of plate tectonics.  Land ho! Guests: Rowan Lockwood - Conservation paleobiologist at the College of William and Mary.  Al Tanner - Ph.D. student in paleobiology at the University of Bristol, U.K. Mike Brown - Professor of Geology, University of Maryland


Born Legacy
2017-03-20 08:36:46
We know how the stars shine, but how do you make a star?  We take an all-night ride on a high-flying jet - an airborne observatory called SOFIA - to watch astronomers investigate how a star is born. As for how the universe was born, we know about the Big Bang but modern physics suggests that similar cosmic explosions may be happening all the time, and even hint that we could - in principle - create a new universe in a laboratory.  What does this mean, and how could we do it? From stars to universes, how it all came to be. Guests: Zeeya Merali- Journalist and editor for the Foundational Questions Institute, author of A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes Nick Veronico- Manager of SOFIA Communications for NASA Ames Research Center and Universities Space Research Association Felix Reimann- Freelance photographer Huub Rottgering- Director of Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands Dietmar Lilienthal- Manager, DLR SOFIA Institute, Germany Cornelia Pabst- Astronomer, Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands Charlie Kaminski- Engineering and Maintenance Manager, SOFIA David McAllister- Deputy Program Manager for Operations, SOFIA, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center


What Have You Got To Move
2017-03-13 08:31:04
Whether they swim, slither, jump, or fly, animal locomotion is more than just an urge to roam: it's necessary for survival.  Evolution has come up with ingenious schemes to get from here to there.  Hear how backbones evolved as a consequence of fish needing to wag their fins, and why no animals have wheels.  Motion is more than locomotion. Test the physics of movement in your kitchen and find out what popping corn has in common with the first steam engine. And while physics insists that atoms are always moving, find how what happens to these basic building blocks when placed in the coldest spot in the universe.  The Cold Atom Laboratory chills material to nearly absolute zero, creating some weird superfluid effects as atoms slow down.   Guests: Matt Wilkinson- Zoologist, science writer, University of Cambridge, author of Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements. Technology. Helen Czerski-physicist, University College London, author of Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life.  Anita Sengupta- Aerospace Engineer and project manager of the Cold Atom Laboratory at NASA'S Jet Propulsion Lab.


Cosmic Conundra
2017-03-06 08:42:41
ENCORE  Admit it - the universe is cool, but weird.  Just when you think you've tallied up all the peculiar phenomena that the cosmos has to offer - it throws more at you. We examine some of the recent perplexing finds. Could massive asteroid impacts be as predictable as phases of the moon?  Speaking of moons - why are some of Pluto's spinning like turbine-powered pinwheels?  Plus, we examine a scientist's claim of evidence for parallel universes. And, could the light patterns from a distant star be caused by alien mega-structures?  Guests: Mike Rampino - Professor of biology and environmental studies at New York University Mark Showalter - Senior research scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California Ranga-Ram Chary - Astronomer, U.S. Planck Data Center, California Institute of Technology


Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Radiolab Presents: Anna in Somalia
This week, we are presenting a story from NPR foreign correspondent Gregory Warner and his new globe-trotting podcast Rough Translation. Mohammed was having the best six months of his life - working a job he loved, making mixtapes for his sweetheart - when the communist Somali regime perp-walked him out of his own home, and sentenced him to a lifetime of solitary confinement.  With only concrete walls and cockroaches to keep him company, Mohammed felt miserable, alone, despondent.  But then one day, eight months into his sentence, he heard a whisper, a whisper that would open up a portal to - of all places and times - 19th century Russia, and that would teach him how to live and love again. 
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Future Consequences
From data collection to gene editing to AI, what we once considered science fiction is now becoming reality. This hour, TED speakers explore the future consequences of our present actions. Guests include designer Anab Jain, futurist Juan Enriquez, biologist Paul Knoepfler, and neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris.