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Is It Possible To Create A Mind?

Siri can make an appointment for you. IBM's Watson beat a human contestant on Jeopardy. But will they ever really think? Futurist Ray Kurzweil shares his thoughts on the nature of the brain and describes how biological and technological advances might augment the human mind.
NPR

Ask A Quantum Mechanic

Did you know plants use quantum mechanics every day? That quantum computers can hack the encryption used in online commerce? Or that a 'quantum internet' could someday teleport your emails? MIT's Seth Lloyd discusses those and other quantum mysteries in this episode of "Ask a quantum mechanic."
NPR

Sowing The Seeds For A Great American Chestnut Comeback

At the turn of the 20th century, a deadly fungus wiped out billions of American chestnut trees from the forests of eastern North America. But, growers are now trying to rebuild a U.S. market with Chinese and European chestnut species and re-introduce Americans to chestnut cuisine.
NPR

Counting Bugs In Panama? Get Out Your Tree Raft

Researchers wanted to take a census of all of the insects living in a small section of rainforest in Panama. To do this, they went up in a balloon, hung from a crane and walked atop the canopy in a huge tree raft. All told, they collected almost 130,000 specimens from more than 6,000 species.
NPR

How To Decide If Space Tourists Are Fit To Fly

Commercial space travel is becoming a reality. Now people who have longed to go into space can buy a ticket, if they've got the cash. But are they healthy enough to make the voyage?
NPR

Gravity Never Sleeps, And Other Lessons Nations Learn From Space Programs

Given the history of first orbital space shots, North Korea's apparent struggle with its mission is fairly typical, experts say.
NPR

Ah, Wilderness! Nature Hike Could Unlock Your Imagination

Communing with nature has long helped artists get their creative juices flowing. A neuroscientist wondered how backpacking trips without any electronic devices might change the way people solved problems.
NPR

The Boom And Bust Of Fracking

Some places have banned fracking, a controversial type of natural gas drilling. Critics say the process contaminates groundwater. But proponents say it creates jobs and energy independence. Host Michel Martin is joined by NPR's Jeff Brady and reporter Scott Detrow from NPR's StateImpact project in Pennsylvania. They discuss the boom and bust of fracking.

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