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Don’t Stay in Contact

A “blueish mass” of 17 contact lenses has been discovered in the eye of a patient who was scheduled for cataract surgery.  The 67-year-old patient was unaware that the contact lenses were missing, and later told surgeons that she thought her discomfort was due to dry eye and old age.  Anthony and Jeff marvel at the ability to even get to that point, and wonder about the circumstances that led to the discovery.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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All You Breed is Love

People with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic condition, can’t stop hugging people, have no fear of strangers, and love everyone equally.  And it may be that this same syndrome is the reason your dog loves you, too. Jeff and Anthony discuss the condition, and the moral ramifications of breeding it into man’s best friend.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Second Strife

According to an MIT study published in The Journal of Human Resources, second-born children are more likely to grow up to become criminals.  Anthony and Jeff discuss birth order and whether they believe it leads to a life of crime.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Neither Here Nor There

Researchers from China successfully teleported a photon from Earth to a satellite 500 km away. The work is an essential step towards establishing a global-scale quantum internet. Anthony and Jeff discuss how this “teleportation” works, and decide whether it is really something worth getting excited over.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Higher, Higher, Ants of Fire

After a flood, thousands of homeless fire ants pile on top of one another to build bizarro towers with their own bodies — probably as temporary shelters. All the complex construction project needs is for each individual ant to follow a few simple rules, new research says. And, if wriggling ant towers weren’t nightmarish enough, this discovery could help engineer robot swarms that are even better at cooperating.  Jeff and Anthony marvel at how this works, and imagine the robots it will spawn.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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The Old Guard

A new study may shed light on why teenagers sleep late while grandparents are often up at the crack of dawn. Fifty years ago, psychologist Frederick Snyder proposed that animals who live in groups stay vigilant during sleep, by having some stay awake while others rest. However, no one had tested this sentinel hypothesis in humans until now.  Jeff and Anthony discuss the findings and test the theory in their own lives.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Stringing Up Baby

Built in 1937 and distributed in London to members of the Chelsea Baby Club,  the baby cage was meant for big-city apartments without yards, and would allow small children to receive fresh air and sunlight. It would be suspended from the side of the building, several stories up, and would still have sufficient room to play with toys. Jeff and Anthony discuss this insane invention, and wonder why it didn’t catch on.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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How to Kill a Gram

Scientists are about to change what a kilogram is.  The weights and measures committee will establish a global value for Planck’s constant and then will draft a resolution to redefine kilogram based on this constant.  Why?  Anthony and Jeff investigate, and the answer might surprise you.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Paternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (w/Vernon Shaw)

Scientists have taken another step toward being able to edit out bad memories while leaving good ones intact — something that could one day be used to treat people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety disorders linked to painful memories. Anthony, Jeff, and special guest Vernon Shaw discuss what they would use this technology for, and whether it would be a good thing or not.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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The Face That Feeds You

Would your dog eat you if you died?  Such in the question posed by The National Geographic in a new article.  Anthony, as a dog owner himself, has to face the question as he and Jeff get the facts on when and how this might happen.  More Details/Download MP3 →