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Preview: Natural Selections Podcast

Natural Selections



Conversations about the natural world with Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley, from member-supported North Country Public Radio



Copyright: ? & ? 2015, North Country Public Radio
 



Shrews: living in the fast lane

Thu, 11 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400

Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley revisit this feisty predator, whose fierce reputation comes from a high metabolism and the need to consume 80-90 percent of their body weight in food each day to survive. The small insectivore is active throughout the winter and shrinks in size until spring.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/413634691/NCPR_413634691.mp3?orgId=625&d=285&p=510041&story=413634691&t=podcast&e=413634691&ft=pod&f=510041




Is it OK to create a glow-in-the-dark bunny?

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400

Gene sculpting has gained cautious acceptance for medical research and treatment, but a bioluminescent rabbit created by a "transgenic artist" for aesthetic purposes pushes the limits of the debate. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the implications of Alba, the glowing bunny.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/412116971/NCPR_412116971.mp3?orgId=625&d=311&p=510041&story=412116971&t=podcast&e=412116971&ft=pod&f=510041




Is it OK to create a glow-in-the-dark bunny?

Thu, 04 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400

Gene sculpting has gained cautious acceptance for medical research and treatment, but a bioluminescent rabbit created by a "transgenic artist" for aesthetic purposes pushes the limits of the debate. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the implications of Alba, the glowing bunny.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/411954770/NCPR_411954770.mp3?orgId=625&d=300&p=510041&story=411954770&t=podcast&e=411954770&ft=pod&f=510041




How are pencil leads and diamonds made from the same stuff?

Thu, 28 May 2015 00:00:00 -0400

Pencil leads and diamonds are chemically identical; the difference is in the crystal structure. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about carbon crystals, and what it take to form a natural diamond.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/410225584/NCPR_410225584.mp3?orgId=625&d=302&p=510041&story=410225584&t=podcast&e=410225584&ft=pod&f=510041




Daddy Long Legs: not quite a spider

Thu, 21 May 2015 00:00:00 -0400

This familiar household "spider" is not a spider, but an ancient near relative in the arachnid family. Martha Foley and Curt stager discuss its characteristics, and how it differs from other creepy crawlies.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/408414464/NCPR_408414464.mp3?orgId=625&d=362&p=510041&story=408414464&t=podcast&e=408414464&ft=pod&f=510041




What makes a new species?

Thu, 14 May 2015 00:00:00 -0400

What draws the line between one species and another? Scientists believe new species diverge when mutations occur that make it impossible to interbreed. Sometimes the mutation is very small. A case in point is humans and chimpanzees. Curt Stager told Martha Foley the key difference came when two short chromosomes in the chimp joined to form one long chromosome in humans.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/407765428/NCPR_407765428.mp3?orgId=625&d=320&p=510041&story=407765428&t=podcast&e=407765428&ft=pod&f=510041




Can Adirondack lake trout survive climate change?

Thu, 12 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0400

Lake trout require a lot of cold oxygenated water to survive. Lakes in the Adirondacks are at the southern edge of their natural range. While about 100 lakes and ponds there are still home to lake trout, even a small increase in temperature could sharply cut that number. Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the long-term prospects of a signature Adirondack aquatic species.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/392478921/NCPR_392478921.mp3?orgId=625&d=297&p=510041&story=392478921&t=podcast&e=392478921&ft=pod&f=510041




Are your tonsils as useless as they seem?

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0500

Your tonsils, when infected, may be useful to doctors in keeping up their bottom line, and to popsicle vendors in providing the means to soothe recovering children. But it seems they do also have a use, when healthy, as part of the front line of the human immune system. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss an oft-removed portion of the human anatomy.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/390900912/NCPR_390900912.mp3?orgId=625&d=299&p=510041&story=390900912&t=podcast&e=390900912&ft=pod&f=510041




Nature journals put the history in natural history

Thu, 26 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500

Martha Foley has never succeeded in keeping a nature journal long-term, but Curt Stager finds them invaluable in his work. He records his observations on paper, but also finds great data through researching the journals of past observers, from Samuel de Champlain to Thomas Jefferson, to ordinary little-known North Country folk.His hint—always put it on paper. Whatever became of all that stuff on your floppy diskettes?


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/389301702/NCPR_389301702.mp3?orgId=625&d=343&p=510041&story=389301702&t=podcast&e=389301702&ft=pod&f=510041




Fun and games when it's way too cold

Thu, 19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0500

In some places, winter is just too long to ignore. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley explore some ways to have fun in extreme cold, everything from throwing hot water up into the air to guessing the temperature by the facial-hair scale.


Media Files:
https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/625/510041/7282933/NCPR_7282933.mp3?orgId=625&d=348&p=510041&story=7282933&t=podcast&e=7282933&ft=pod&f=510041