1:00pm

Fri November 4, 2011
NPR Story

Peering Into The Brain, But At What?

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 1:26 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, host: This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Your thoughts, your memories, as you know, all come from your brain cells, billions of them packed together in your head. My next guest would like to make a map of how all those cells connect to one another, talk to each other, learn new things, make new memories.

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1:00pm

Fri November 4, 2011
History

In Scott's Race To The Pole, Science Beat Speed

A hundred years ago, two teams were racing to the South Pole. The Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen made it first, beating British explorer Robert Scott. But only Scott did pioneering science--and photography--along the way. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the achievements of the first Antarctic expeditions.

1:00pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Health

Mosquitoes Engineered To Kill Their Own Kind

Reporting in Nature Biotechnology, researchers write of genetically engineering mosquitoes to pass lethal genes to their offspring, in hopes of crashing populations of one dengue-transmitting species. Science writer Bijal Trivedi talks about recent tests of the bugs, and the concerns of critics.

1:00pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Animals

How An Elegant Moth Stays Aloft

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 1:37 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, host: Joining us now is Flora Lichtman, one of the, with...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: How are you, Flora?

FLORA LICHTMAN: I'm pretty good. How are you?

FLATOW: I'm getting the mouth to work better. What do we got this week?

LICHTMAN: This week is pretty neat. We have footage, really beautiful, high-speed footage of a moth. And believe me, this is a moth like you have never seen it before. When I think of moths, I think of them bumping into lights and bumping into my screen door - clumsy.

FLATOW: Right, right.

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1:00pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Space

Pondering the Possibility of Non-constant 'Constants'

What if the laws of physics aren't the same all over the universe, but vary from place to place? Michael Murphy of the Swinburne University of Technology discusses research published in the journal Physical Review Letters indicating that the value of one basic physical property, the fine structure constant, may vary with location in interstellar space.

1:00pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Animals

A Researcher Asks: Are Dolphins Self-Aware?

Like chimpanzees, dolphins are large-brained and highly social animals, but can they recognize themselves in a mirror? Psychologist and dolphin researcher Diana Reiss discusses her work with dolphin communication and cognition.

12:54pm

Fri November 4, 2011
The Two-Way

Groupon: The Biggest Tech IPO Since Google

In its initial public offering, Groupon is selling about $700 million in stock. As The Wall Street Journal puts it that's "the biggest tech IPO of its kind since Google's stock-market debut."

If you're not familiar, Groupon is an Internet deals company. It for example, sells $50 worth of food at a restaurant for $25. It splits the profits with the restaurant on coupons redeemed and keeps the ones that customers don't use.

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12:37pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Europe

The Euro Crisis Puts Political Leaders At Risk

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, shown speaking at the parliament in Athens on Friday, is facing a no-confidence vote.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

George Papandreou is not the only European politician who is nervous about his job. Greek's prime minister wouldn't be the first leader to lose his position as a result of the ongoing euro crisis, and more are likely to follow.

Papandreou faces a vote of confidence on Friday, which could bring down his government. Even if he survives this test, he may not remain in power for long.

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12:33pm

Fri November 4, 2011
The Salt

From Nebraska Lab To McDonald's Tray: The McRib's Strange Journey

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 4:40 pm

Fast food giant McDonald's has brought back the McRib until Nov. 14. The sandwich has gained cult acclaim over the past three decades because of its limited availability.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Since McDonald's announced the seasonal revival of its popular McRib sandwich last month, there's been a round of reports about what's in the sandwich that have ranged from glib (on its 70 ingredients) to McFib (on the alleged inhumane treatment of the pigs that

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12:31pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Asia

In Bangkok, Residents' Anger Rises With Floodwaters

In Bangkok, floodwaters are rising in some parts of the city, leading to charges that the government is sacrificing the homes and businesses of the poor while protecting the rich . On the west side of Bangkok (shown here Nov. 1), areas are mostly submerged, while the opposite side of the Chao Phraya river is dry.
Alexander Widding Landov

Heavy monsoon rains that began two months ago in Thailand have killed more than 400 people and show no sign of abating as the floodwaters make their way south into the crowded capital, Bangkok.

Anxious residents have stripped store shelves bare of water, rice and other essentials as they wait. And tempers are flaring as some poorer residents complain that their homes and businesses are being sacrificed to protect more affluent and industrial areas closer to the city center.

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