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Backyard Planet Gazing - The Transit of Venus

On June 5 at 6:03 p.m., Venus will appear as a small black dot floating across the surface of the sun. We explore the history and science of the Transit of Venus.

NPR

How To Grow The Tastiest Tomato? One Secret's In The Soil

Scientists still don't know exactly what growing conditions are responsible for the most flavorful tomatoes. But they have a few ideas that are worth keeping in mind as you try to coax sweetness and tartness from your garden seedlings.
NPR

Why Ignorance Trumps Knowledge In Scientific Pursuit

In Ignorance: How It Drives Science, neuroscientist Stuart Firestein writes that science is often like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room. Firestein discusses why the hit-or-miss process, the "not knowing" is the true engine of science.
NPR

Paralyzed Rats Walk, Even Sprint After Rehab

Reporting in Science, researchers write that a combination of therapies, willpower and chocolate helped rats with severe spinal cord injuries learn to walk and even run again. Neurobiologist Moses Chao, not affiliated with the study, discusses the rehab method and whether it could work in humans.
NPR

Lightning Bug Of A Different Color

Forget the fireflies, some millipedes glow in the dark too, we found out from SciFri listener Chris Lavin. Chris stumbled upon a millipede glowing blue during an evening stroll in Canyon, Calif. Entomologist Paul Marek digs into the science of why and how these insects luminesce.
NPR

The Many Lifestyles Of Muck-Dwelling Microbes

Scientists at the University of Leeds are exploring ways to use magnetic bacteria to build biocomputers of the future. Meanwhile, another group of researchers, reporting in Science, write that they have unearthed deep-sea microbe that live off nutrients from the dinosaur age.

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