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.
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.
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.
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.
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.