Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 4:37 pm
Credit Tokamachi City Museum
Roasted fish on a stick is OK, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to cook up some fish soup?
That's what might have crossed the minds of hunter-gatherers who made the world's first cooking pots. A new analysis of pottery made 15,000 years ago in what's now Japan reveals that it was used to cook seafood, probably salmon.
A few months ago on Radiolab, we did an hour on color, which included a segment on rainbow watching. We imagined a man, a dog, a sparrow and a butterfly all gazing at the same rainbow and we asked: How many colors does each see?
The man whose research led to the world's first test-tube baby more than three decades ago, has died at age 87.
Robert Edwards, who later won the Nobel Prize, began experimenting with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in the late 1960s. His work, controversial at the time, eventually led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978.
Since then, IVF has resulted in about 5 million babies worldwide, according to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:04 am
Credit Courtesy of Mark Benvenuto
The patent medicines sold in days gone by may, contrary to the name, not have had real government patents. But that didn't stop their makers from claiming the concoctions could cure ailments ranging from indigestion to jaundice and fever.
Now, researchers have put some of these old elixirs and pills in the Henry Ford Museum's large collection of patent medicines to a modern test. They found a mix of potentially harmful metals like lead and mercury along with benign ingredients, including calcium and iron.
The history of science is filled with obscure and bizarre substances. Despite all that we have learned in the past 400 years, the trend continues. Perhaps it's unavoidable, being the way we figure things out. We need to find some apparently weird stuff — playing a game of cat and mouse with Nature — in order to make sense of what's out there.
With time, most strange substances disappear as we understand what is going on. But, hard as we try, we always seem to be surrounded by some unknown material. It is a fog that doesn't ever seem to fully dissipate.
This is not the sound of the ALL THINGS CONSIDERED staff morning meeting.
(SOUNDBITE OF WOBBLE)
BLOCK: It's not Justin Timberlake doing his vocal warm-up. And it's not a celebration of hedge fund managers.
(SOUNDBITE OF WOBBLE)
BLOCK: It is the sound of the wild gelada monkey. And why are we bringing you the sound of the wild gelada monkey? Well, because a new study finds the vocalization of these monkeys could tell us something about the beginning of human speech.
A U.S. Senate committee held a confirmation hearing for Ernest Moniz on Tuesday, who has been nominated to be the U.S. Energy Secretary. Moniz says he will retire from MIT, where he's a professor of physics and energy systems. He would advocate for the Obama administration's "all of the above" energy strategy, which calls for continued fossil fuels development and supports nuclear energy, wind and solar.