Big Picture Science – DIY Diagnosis

by Gary Niederhoff on August 29, 2016

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Big Picture Science – DIY Diagnosis

Got aches and pains? Critters in the Cretaceous would have been sympathetic. A new study reveals that painful arthritis plagued a duck-billed dinosaur. Scientists impressively diagnosed the animal’s condition without a house call by examining its 70 million-year old bones.

The technology we use for health diagnoses are becoming so sophisticated, some people are prompted to bypass doctors and do it themselves. Meet a man who had his genome sequenced and then had all 70 gigabytes delivered directly to him so that he could gauge his genetic health.

Also, practitioners who are trying to improve cognitive function using a battery and a few wires. Find out the possible risks and benefits of DIY brain stimulation.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Jennifer Anne / Dinosaur Doctor
Part 2: Carl Zimmer / Genome Sequenced
Part 3: Peter Simpson-Young / Brain Stimulation
Part 4: Anna Wexler / TDCS Risks

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Big Picture Science – They Know Who You Are

by Gary Niederhoff on August 22, 2016


Big Picture Science – They Know Who You Are

You’re a private person. But as long as you’re on-line and have skin and hair, you’re shedding little bits of data and DNA everywhere you go. Find out how that personal information – whether or not it’s used against you – is no longer solely your own. Are your private thoughts next?

A security expert shares stories of ingenious computer hacking … a forensic scientist develops tools to create a mug shot based on a snippet of DNA … and from the frontiers of neuroscience: mind reading may no longer be the stuff of sketchy psychics.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Marc Goodman / Cybersecurity
Part 2: Burglers and Spies
Part 3: Susan Walsh / DNA profiling
Part 4: Marvin Chun / Neuroimaging

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Big Picture Science – Are We Over the Moon?

August 15, 2016

Big Picture Science – Are We Over the Moon? When astronaut Gene Cernan stepped off the moon in 1972, he didn’t think he’d be the last human ever to touch its surface. But no one’s been back. Hear astronaut Cernan’s reaction to being the last man on the moon, the reasons why President Kennedy launched […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: After the Hereafter

August 8, 2016

Big Picture Science – After the Hereafter There are few enduring truths, but one is that no one gets out of life alive. What’s less certain is what comes next. Does everything stop with death, or are we transported to another plane of existence? First-hand accounts of people who claim to have visited heaven are […]

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Big Picture Science – On Defense

August 1, 2016

Big Picture Science – On Defense The military is a dangerous calling. But technology can help out, so researchers are constantly trying to make soldiers safer. Writer Mary Roach investigates how scientists studying so-called human factors are protecting troops from such aggressive foes as heat, noise, and fatigue. She also learns how bad odors were […]

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Big Picture Science – Musical Universe

July 25, 2016

Big Picture Science – Musical Universe In space, no one can hear you scream, but, using the right instruments, scientists can pick up all types of cosmic vibrations – the sort we can turn into sound. After a decade of listening, LIGO, a billion-dollar physics experiment, has detected gravitational waves caused by the collision of […]

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Big Picture Science – Raising the Minimum Age

July 18, 2016

Big Picture Science – Raising the Minimum Age We all try to fight it: the inexorable march of time. The fountain of youth doesn’t exist, and all those wrinkle creams can’t help. But modern science is giving us new weapons in the fight against aging. So how far are we willing to go? Hear when […]

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Big Picture Science – Microbes: Resistance is Futile

July 10, 2016

Big Picture Science – Microbes: Resistance is Futile You are what you eat. Whether you dine on kimchi, carnitas, or corn dogs determines which microbes live in your stomach. And gut microbes make up only part of your total microbiome. Find out how your microbes are the brains-without-brains that affect your health and even your […]

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Big Picture Science – Science Fiction True

July 4, 2016

Big Picture Science – Science Fiction True Don’t believe everything you see on TV or the movies. Science fiction is just a guide to how our future might unfold. It can be misleading, as anyone who yearns for a flying car can tell you. And yet, sometimes fantasy becomes fact. Think of the prototype cellphones […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: The Me in Measles

June 27, 2016

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: The Me in Measles Wondering whether to vaccinate your children? The decision can feel like a shot in the dark if you don’t know how to evaluate risk. Find out why all of us succumb to the reasoning pitfalls of cognitive and omission bias, whether we’re saying no to […]

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