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Lighting Up The Investigative Path With Polonium-210

Conspiracy theories continue over the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and polonium is suspected as the weapon of the alleged assassin. Whatever happened to Arafat, there is a case from 2006 that shows just how destructive the radioactive element can be. It all started with a sip of green tea.

Billions Of Planets Could Support Life

A study released this week found there could be as many as 40 billion habitable planets in the galaxy. Host Rachel Martin talks to Mike Brown, a professor of astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, to help digest the enormity of the finding.

'Ferrari Of Space' Crashing Back To Earth — Maybe Tomorrow

Sometime Sunday or early Monday, a 2,425-pound satellite that ran out of fuel last month and began falling from its already low orbit will plunge back to Earth. About a quarter of the European Space Agency's satellite is expected to survive re-entry and strike somewhere on the planet.

Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It's Complicated

It may be possible to cultivate a healthier community of bacteria on and inside us by modifying our diet. For starters, eating more vegetables probably won't hurt.

Which Is It? Hurricane, Typhoon Or Tropical Cyclone?

When it comes to what you call a particular tropical cyclone, it's really a matter of location, location, location.

How Tall Is The Washington Monument? Surveyors Take To The Top

The last time the monument's height was measured was in 1999. And with scaffolding in place for earthquake repairs, engineers have a rare opportunity to take official measurements of the iconic obelisk.

India and NASA Home In on Mars

This week, India launched Mangalyaan, its first robotic mission to orbit Mars and probe its atmosphere. Only Russia, Europe, and the U.S. have successfully orbited the planet. Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor in national security affairs, and planetary scientist Bruce Jakosky discuss the Indian space program, as well as NASA's upcoming mission to the Martian atmosphere.

Surgeons Discover Quirky Knee Ligament All Over Again

Doctors have long overlooked a tiny band that connects two bones in the knee. Now Belgium surgeons say that's a mistake. The obscure structure is a full-fledged ligament. When it malfunctions, people recovering from anterior cruciate ligament injuries may run into trouble.

Why Doctors Are Testing An Epilepsy Drug For Alcoholism

Gabapentin, a generic drug, appears to reduce alcohol cravings and ease sleeplessness and anxiety associated with withdrawal. But the drug hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat alcohol dependence, and there's no sign it will be anytime soon.
WAMU 88.5

National Aquarium

We talk with John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium.