Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an illness caused by a newly discovered virus in the same family as SARS. Most of the documented cases have come from Saudi Arabia, which has seen a 54 percent mortality rate in those patients. Martin Cetron, director of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discusses the emerging virus.
Think moths are nothing more than drab, little brown fliers stalking your wool sweaters? The folks behind National Moth Week, happening now, want to change that perception. Rutgers University moth expert Elena Tartaglia describes the diversity of moths and the role that they play in nature, and gives some tips on how to become a "moth-er."
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. This next segment is specially dedicated to people for whom midsummer means lush greens, maybe a little sand and hopefully a lot of birdies. We're in the thick of golf season. The U.S. Open wrapped up last month, the British Open last weekend. And in just a few weeks, the PGA Championship begins. Up next, a look at the science of this sport. What sets the pros apart? Stroke mechanics, swing thoughts, physics, psychology?
Reporting in Science, researchers write of linking a mouse's innocuous memory of a room with a more fearful memory of getting an electric shock — causing the mouse to freeze in fear upon seeing the safe room. Study author Steve Ramirez of M.I.T. and memory researcher Mark Mayford of The Scripps Research Institute discuss the implications for modifying human memories.
Best-selling novelist Jonathan Franzen has fallen in love...with birds. Writing for the July issue of National Geographic magazine, Franzen describes how migrating songbirds are being hunted in high numbers in Egypt, Albania, and other places along the Mediterranean. Franzen tells SciFri about the songbirds' plight and how his passion for birds has evolved.
One of the biggest mysteries of the new detective novel The Cuckoo's Calling was the identity of the author. It was written by Robert Galbraith, which was revealed to be the pseudonym of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. Patrick Juola, professor of computer science at Duquesne University, discusses how he used computerized text analysis to uncover the mystery.
It's high summer, yes, but blink and soon it will be fall, and trees will turn red, brown, beige, yellow, pale green and gold. But not cars. Cars may be making the Earth warmer, but their colors, I notice, have turned wintry.
Doping in sports is back in the news and you don't need to be a sports fan to have heard about it. The PBS Newshour devoted a segment to the recent disclosure that Tyson Gay, America's top sprinter and self-declared Mr. Clean, had failed a drug test.