• Spacecraft Elegy
    Exploration: It’s exciting, it’s novel, and you can’t always count on a round-trip ticket.  You can boldly go, but you might not come back.  That’s no showstopper for robotic explorers, though.  Spacecraft go everywhere. While humans have traveled no farther than the moon, our mechanical
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  • Skeptic Check: Glutenous Maximus
    ENCORE  Eat dark chocolate.  Don’t drink coffee.  Go gluten-free.  If you ask people for diet advice, you’ll get a dozen different stories.  Ideas about what’s good for us sprout up faster than alfalfa plants (which are still healthy … we think).  How can you tell
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  • Your Brain's Reins
    You are your brain.  But what happens when your brain changes for the worse – either by physical injury or experience?  Are you still responsible for your actions? We hear how the case of a New York man charged with murder was one of the
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  • Winging It
    ENCORE Ask anyone what extraordinary powers they’d love to have, and you’re sure to hear “be able to fly.”  We’ve kind of scratched that itch with airplanes.  But have we gone as far as we can go, or are better flying machines in our future? 
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  • Shell on Earth
    We all may retreat to our protective shells, but evolution has perfected the calcite variety to give some critters permanent defense against predators.  So why did squids and octopuses lose their shells?  Find out what these cephalopods gained by giving up the shell game. Plus
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  • Born Legacy
    We know how the stars shine, but how do you make a star?  We take an all-night ride on a high-flying jet – an airborne observatory called SOFIA – to watch astronomers investigate how a star is born. As for how the universe was born, we know
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  • What Have You Got To Move
    Whether they swim, slither, jump, or fly, animal locomotion is more than just an urge to roam: it’s necessary for survival.  Evolution has come up with ingenious schemes to get from here to there.  Hear how backbones evolved as a consequence of fish needing to
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  • Cosmic Conundra
    ENCORE  Admit it – the universe is cool, but weird.  Just when you think you’ve tallied up all the peculiar phenomena that the cosmos has to offer – it throws more at you. We examine some of the recent perplexing finds. Could massive asteroid impacts
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  • Skeptic Check: Not So Sweet
    Obesity, diabetes, heart disease … maybe even Alzheimer’s.  Could these modern scourges have a common denominator?  Some people believe they do: sugar. But is this accusation warranted?  We talk with a journalist who has spent two decades reporting on nutrition science, and while he says
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  • Thinking About Thinking
    ENCORE  Congratulations, you have a big brain.  Evolution was good to Homo sapiens.  But make some room on the dais.  Research shows that other animals, such as crows, may not look smart, but can solve complex problems.  Meanwhile human engineers are busily developing cogitating machines.  
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