science

Central Standard
11:42 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Balloon Launch Combines Space Exploration And A Treasure Hunt

Volunteers keep the balloon steady as Paul Verhage prepares for launch.
Credit Christina Lieffring

For Bill Brown, the “father” of high altitude ballooning, it all started when he saw a documentary of a man who parachuted from 100,000 feet above ground.

“The description he gave of being able to see for hundreds of miles in all directions and see the blackness of space and the curve of the earth … I wanted to see that for myself,” he said. “Some people strapped a bunch of balloons to a lawn chair, but that seemed a little risky, so I decided to come up with a camera and a small video camera to put up in a small weather balloon.”

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Central Standard
4:39 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Photographer Captures Landscapes From Near Space

This weekend, 'near space explorers' will be gathering  in Hutchinson, Kan. for the annual Great Plains Super Launch.  They are hobbyists who launch weather balloons and track their progress using GPS or HAM radio.

On Thursday's Central Standard, we talk with participant John Flaig who uses these balloons to take dramatic photographs from the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

Guest:

John Flaig, near space photographer

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

How Human Sex Life Compares To The Birds And The Bees

Credit Penguin Group (Canada)

The publisher of Nature's Nether Regions begins the book summary this way: "What’s the easiest way to tell species apart? Check their genitals."

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Central Standard
7:52 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Sleep And Dreams

We’re supposed to spend a third of our day sleeping, but often we fall short. And at times when we are lucky enough to sleep, it can be filled with thrilling or tormenting dreams. On today's Central Standard we look at sleep and dreams. We explore how to get to sleep, stay asleep and what your dreams can be saying about your emotional state.

Guest:

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Up to Date
1:44 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Using Science To Stop Violence

Dr. Gary Slutkin is the founder of Cure Violence.
Credit cureviolence.org

An expert on the epidemic of gun violence that has gripped Kansas City and cities across the country for decades, says the issue has been "completely misunderstood."

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about his method of viewing violence as an epidemic, a condition that can be reversed using "science-based methods."

Guest:

  • Dr. Gary Slutkin, epidemiologist and founder/executive director of Cure Violence
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KC Currents
12:36 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

St. Louis Students Forge Their Futures In The Galapagos

Maricruz Jaramillo (standing) and Samoa Asigau wait for their ride back to the Charles Darwin Research Station after an early morning of catching birds in an agricultural area on Santa Cruz Island.
Credit Véronique La Capra / St. Louis Public Radio

Charles Darwin revolutionized science. His theory of evolution was based on careful observations of birds and other wildlife in places like the Galapagos Islands.

One thing that has been really slow to evolve is the gender mix in science. Men still dominate many scientific fields, just like they did in Darwin’s day, more than 150 years ago.

But gradually, more women are breaking in. I met up with two young women scientists in ― where else? ― the Galapagos. Here are their stories.

Maricruz Jaramillo fulfills a dream

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Up to Date
10:49 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Getting The Particle-ulars Of The Higgs-Boson

An example of simulated data modeled for the CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN.
wikimedia commons

The Higgs-Boson is said to be the key to understanding why mass exists and how atoms are possible. Some call it "The God Particle."

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

When Artificial Intelligence Meets Biology

How To Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil

Nanobots swimming in your bloodstream may not be the stuff of science fiction for too much longer.

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Up To Date
1:34 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Remember When Pluto Was A Planet?: The Half-Life Of Facts

"The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date" by Samuel Arbesman
Penguin Group (USA)

A fact is something that actually exists; reality; truth.  Until it isn't anymore.  How does that happen?

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Central Standard
11:23 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Fossil Facebook: Digitization of Fossils Going Public

Una Farrell

If some people are worried about pictures from freshman year surfacing on the internet, imagine this: a 290 million year old organism gets put on a publicly accessible database, from its specific location all the way to a picture from its deathbed.

Coming soon to your newsfeed:  Fossil Facebook.

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Central Standard
12:45 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Early Man And Mammoths: Linda Hall Exhibit Shows Human History

Neanderthal skull discovered in Gibraltar in 1848.
Charlie Upchurch KCUR

In the early 19th century, it was commonly believed that humans were a relatively new species, existing for only about 6,000 years. 

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Central Standard
7:25 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Bobbing Continents Believed To Cause Changes In Biodiversity

flightsaber Flickr

According to a KU professor, we have evidence that periodic changes in marine biodiversity are tied to uplifting continents.

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Central Standard
3:18 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Real Hobbits: Discovery of New Hominid Shows Diversity of Evolution

Skull of homo floresiensis
Wikimedia Commons

Matt Tocheri knows hobbits pretty well: he’s been studying their wristbones for years.

Well, not quite hobbits, per se, but homo floresiensis, a hominid fossil discovered on the island of Flores in Indonesia, which at first glance appeared to be a small version of a modern human. However, researchers argue that these ‘hobbits’ are in fact h. floresiensis, and make up a new branch of the human evolutionary tree.

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Central Standard
2:39 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

The Traveling Trunk Of African American & Latino Inventors

Students from the Youth Leadership Summit from the Urban League's national conference in Boston last year
tibit.biz

If you're a young black or latino student plotting your future, do you look up to athletes or entrepreneurs? Entertainers or innovators?

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Health
11:37 am
Tue April 17, 2012

The Race To Create The Best Antiviral Drugs

The HIV-1 virus cultivated with human lymphocytes.
C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 2:42 pm

If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for illnesses like the flu, doctors prescribe antiviral drugs, which target the mechanisms that viruses use to reproduce.

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Around the Nation
11:12 am
Tue April 17, 2012

War Of The Worlds: When Science, Politics Collide

In 1925, people lined up to buy anti-evolution books in Dayton, Tenn., where the "monkey trial" of teacher John T. Scopes took place. Tennessee recently enacted a law encouraging teachers to question accepted science on evolution and other issues.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:36 pm

Roger Cone is a microbiologist, not a politician. He struggles with a basic truth: For all the scientific acceptance of evolution, many Americans simply don't believe it is factually accurate.

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