Science Friday

Science, technology, environment and health news and discussion with host Ira Flatow.

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Friday, May 9, 2014 Permalink

Science Friday: Young Blood, Movie Science, And Humor

viviandnguyen / Flickr
 

viviandnguyen / Flickr

Reporting in the journals Nature Medicine and Science, researchers write that the blood of young mice seems to rejuvenate older mice, both strengthening their muscles and improving their ability to learn and remember. Saul Villeda, a faculty fellow at the University of California, San Francisco and author on one of the papers, talks about whether the results might translate to humans—and if they do, what risks might accompany this youthful infusion.
 
In Wally Pfister’s new thriller Transcendence, Johnny Depp plays an A.I. researcher whose consciousness is uploaded to the Internet…with disastrous consequences. This week in “Science Goes to the Movies,” our scientist-film critics Stuart Russell and Christof Koch explain what it would take to “upload” a mind, and what really worries them about strong A.I.
Earthquakes have increased by 50 percent in Oklahoma since 2013 and may be linked to drilling disposal wells. Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran discusses how waste water might induce earthquakes and what this might mean for future seismic and drilling activity.
The White House released its latest climate report this week, with much the same message as recent IPCC findings—climate change is real, and it's happening fast. But are Americans listening? Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, and Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of the Energy Poll at the University of Texas, talk about Americans' attitudes toward climate change—and how green energy is making friends of environmentalists and climate deniers.
You might know why the chicken crossed the road, but do you know the answer to why it makes you chuckle? Scott Weems, author of Ha!: The Science of When We Laugh and Why, tells us how our brain reacts to humor and let's us in on the scientifically proven funniest joke in the world. (Read an excerpt from the book here.)