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This week's show

Quantum: Why We Want 'Em
Feb 19, 2018

Quantum: Why We Want 'Em The promise of weird physics

ENCORE  Einstein thought that quantum mechanics might be the end of physics, and most scientists felt sure it would never be useful.  Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting is completely dependent on the weird behavior described by quantum mechanics.

But the story continues.  Quantum computers may be millions of times faster than your laptop, and applying them to big data could be transformational for biology and health.  Quantum entanglement – “spooky” action at a distance – may not allow faster-than-light communication, but could be important in other ways.  And there’s even the suggestion that quantum mechanics defines the difference between life and death.

Quantum physics.  It’s weird and exotic.  But it’s how the universe works.

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Descripción en español

originally aired February 6, 2017

Bacteria to the Future
Feb 12, 2018
Bacteria to the Future
Combating resistance.

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Why did the chicken take antibiotics?  To fatten it up and prevent bacterial infection. As a result, industrial farms have become superbug factories, threatening our life-saving antibiotics.

Creative Brains
Feb 05, 2018
Creative Brains
Uniquely human.

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Your cat is smart, but its ability to choreograph a ballet or write computer code isn’t great.  A lot of animals are industrious and clever, but humans are the only animal that is uniquely ingenious and creative. 

Skeptic Check: New UFO Evidence
Jan 29, 2018
Skeptic Check: New UFO Evidence
Assessing the possibility of visitation

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It was a shocker of a story, splashed across the New York Times front page: The existence of a five-year long, hidden Pentagon investigation of UFOs.  With one-third of the American public convinced that aliens are visiting Earth, could this study finally provide the proof?

DIY Spaceflight
Jan 22, 2018
DIY Spaceflight
The democratization of space

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ENCORE  For a half-century, space has been the playground of large, government agencies.  While everyone could dream of becoming an astronaut, few could actually do so.