The Two-Way
10:47 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Justice Dept Drops Non-Disclosure Proposal For FOIA Requests

The United States Justice Department announced, yesterday, that it was dropping a proposed controversial rule that would allow it to deny the existence of sensitive documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, sent a letter to the Justice Department about the rule and in a press release said the department had told him it was dropping plans to implement it. Grassley said:

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Space
10:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Pondering the Possibility of Non-constant 'Constants'

What if the laws of physics aren't the same all over the universe, but vary from place to place? Michael Murphy of the Swinburne University of Technology discusses research published in the journal Physical Review Letters indicating that the value of one basic physical property, the fine structure constant, may vary with location in interstellar space.

Animals
10:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

A Researcher Asks: Are Dolphins Self-Aware?

Like chimpanzees, dolphins are large-brained and highly social animals, but can they recognize themselves in a mirror? Psychologist and dolphin researcher Diana Reiss discusses her work with dolphin communication and cognition.

Animals
10:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

How An Elegant Moth Stays Aloft

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 10:37 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, host: Joining us now is Flora Lichtman, one of the, with...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: How are you, Flora?

FLORA LICHTMAN: I'm pretty good. How are you?

FLATOW: I'm getting the mouth to work better. What do we got this week?

LICHTMAN: This week is pretty neat. We have footage, really beautiful, high-speed footage of a moth. And believe me, this is a moth like you have never seen it before. When I think of moths, I think of them bumping into lights and bumping into my screen door - clumsy.

FLATOW: Right, right.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Peering Into The Brain, But At What?

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 10:26 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, host: This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Your thoughts, your memories, as you know, all come from your brain cells, billions of them packed together in your head. My next guest would like to make a map of how all those cells connect to one another, talk to each other, learn new things, make new memories.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

In Scott's Race To The Pole, Science Beat Speed

A hundred years ago, two teams were racing to the South Pole. The Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen made it first, beating British explorer Robert Scott. But only Scott did pioneering science--and photography--along the way. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the achievements of the first Antarctic expeditions.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Mosquitoes Engineered To Kill Their Own Kind

Reporting in Nature Biotechnology, researchers write of genetically engineering mosquitoes to pass lethal genes to their offspring, in hopes of crashing populations of one dengue-transmitting species. Science writer Bijal Trivedi talks about recent tests of the bugs, and the concerns of critics.

The Two-Way
9:54 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Groupon: The Biggest Tech IPO Since Google

In its initial public offering, Groupon is selling about $700 million in stock. As The Wall Street Journal puts it that's "the biggest tech IPO of its kind since Google's stock-market debut."

If you're not familiar, Groupon is an Internet deals company. It for example, sells $50 worth of food at a restaurant for $25. It splits the profits with the restaurant on coupons redeemed and keeps the ones that customers don't use.

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Europe
9:37 am
Fri November 4, 2011

The Euro Crisis Puts Political Leaders At Risk

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, shown speaking at the parliament in Athens on Friday, is facing a no-confidence vote.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

George Papandreou is not the only European politician who is nervous about his job. Greek's prime minister wouldn't be the first leader to lose his position as a result of the ongoing euro crisis, and more are likely to follow.

Papandreou faces a vote of confidence on Friday, which could bring down his government. Even if he survives this test, he may not remain in power for long.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Fri November 4, 2011

From Nebraska Lab To McDonald's Tray: The McRib's Strange Journey

Fast food giant McDonald's has brought back the McRib until Nov. 14. The sandwich has gained cult acclaim over the past three decades because of its limited availability.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 1:40 pm

Since McDonald's announced the seasonal revival of its popular McRib sandwich last month, there's been a round of reports about what's in the sandwich that have ranged from glib (on its 70 ingredients) to McFib (on the alleged inhumane treatment of the pigs that

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