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Turning Girl Scout Cookies Into Graphene

Researchers at Rice University in Houston have discovered a cheap source of the wonder material graphene: baked goods. Marc Abrahams, editor and co-founder of The Annals of Improbable Research, talks about how to transform a box of Girl Scout cookies into $15 billion worth of graphene--in theory, at least.
NPR

Months After Sandy, Mucking And Gutting

On a recent day in the Rockaways, a neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., hazmat-suited volunteers far outnumber anyone else on the streets. They are "mucking and gutting" — stripping homes to the studs to remove mold. Many residents are concerned about the health effects of mold exposure, according to community organizer Peter Corless. Mycologist Joan Bennett has been sampling fungi in homes damaged by Sandy to determine which species are present.
NPR

The Book Club Catches 'The Andromeda Strain'

This month, the book club discusses Michael Crichton's 1969 best-selling science fiction thriller The Andromeda Strain. Writer Richard Preston joins the club to talk about Crichton's writing style, and what it was like to work on Crichton's unfinished final manuscript, Micro.
NPR

Cold Snap Shakes Up Winter Weather Outlook

Unusual activity in the atmosphere over the Arctic Circle is triggering snow and frigid temperatures across Canada, the U.S. and parts of Europe. Climatologist Jeff Weber, of the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research, explains why this winter could pack a punch.
NPR

Canine Mystery: How Dogs Became Man's Best Friend

Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated, but scientists have long debated precisely how--and when--it happened. With archaeological records and genetic research leading to different hypotheses, are we any closer to understanding how dogs became man's best friend?
NPR

Shakespeare's Sonnets, Encoded In DNA

Reporting in Nature, researchers write of encoding a variety of files--jpg, mp3, txt and pdf--in strands of DNA. Lead author Nick Goldman says DNA is extraordinarily long-lasting, compared to today's hard drives and magnetic tapes. And if all the world's information were written in DNA, he says, it would fit in the back of a station wagon.
NPR

Falling Off The Moon

In the story The Little Prince, a boy from a tiny planet lands on Earth. The boy is tall, the planet small, and you worry he might fall off. In real life, real Earthlings once had a hint of this experience. It was 1972, and you can go there with them.
NPR

Shoring Up The Nation's Crumbling Coastlines

Hurricane Sandy pummeled the beaches of the Northeast, stripping away sand and dunes, and ploughing through seawalls. Can beaches be rebuilt to face fiercer storms and rising seas? And is there even enough sand to do it? Ira Flatow and guests discuss engineering the nation's coasts for "the new normal."

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