• Going All to Species
    ENCORE Meet your new relatives.   The fossilized bones of Homo naledi are unique for their sheer number, but they may also be fill a special slot in our ancestry: the first of our genus Homo.   Sporting modern hands and feet but only a tiny brain,
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  • Quantum: Why We Want 'Em
    Einstein thought that quantum mechanics might be the end of physics, and most scientists felt sure it would never be useful.  Today, everything from cell phones to LED lighting is completely dependent on the weird behavior described by quantum mechanics. But the story continues.  Quantum
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  • DIY Spaceflight
    For a half-century, space has been the playground of large, government agencies.  While everyone could dream of becoming an astronaut, few could actually do so. Things have changed.  We hear how a geeky son of immigrant parents incentivized the ground-breaking launch of SpaceShipOne, and spawned
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  • Skeptic Check: Amelia Earhart
    She’s among the most famous missing persons in history.  On the eightieth anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, mystery still shrouds her fate.  What happened during the last leg of her round-the-world trek? Theories abound.  Perhaps she ran out of fuel, and plunged into the ocean
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  • Geology is Destiny
    The record of the rocks is not just the history of Earth; it’s your history too.  Geologists can learn about events going back billions of years that influenced – and even made possible – our present-day existence and shaped our society. If the last Ice
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  • No Face to Hide
    ENCORE  Face it – your mug is not entirely yours.  It’s routinely uploaded to social media pages and captured on CCTV cameras with – and without – your consent.  Sophisticated facial recognition technology can identify you and even make links to your personal data.  There
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  • The Light Stuff
    ENCORE The light bulb needs changing.  Edison’s incandescent bulb, virtually unaltered for more than a century, is now being eclipsed by the LED.  The creative applications for these small and efficient devices are endless: on tape, on wallpaper, even in contact lenses.  They will set
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  • The Fix is In
    ENCORE  The moon jellyfish has remarkable approach to self-repair.  If it loses a limb, it rearranges its remaining body parts to once again become radially symmetric.  Humans can’t do that, but a new approach that combines biology with nanotechnology could give our immune systems a
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  • Skeptic Check: Fear Itself
    ENCORE  Shhh.  Is someone coming? Okay, we’ll make this quick.  There are a lot of scary things going on in the world.  Naturally you’re fearful.  But sometimes fear has a sister emotion: suspicion.  A nagging worry about what’s really going on. You know, the stuff
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  • Are Animals Really That Smart?
    You own a cat, or is it vice versa? Family friendly felines have trained their owners to do their bidding. Thanks to a successful evolutionary adaptation, they rule your house. Find out how your cat has you wrapped around its paw. And it’s not the
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