Piggy and the Brain

US-based researchers have successfully kept alive the brain cells of decapitated pigs for 36 hours, sparking concerns over the ethics involved in such frontline research. The researchers said they had succeeded in delivering oxygen to the cells via a system of pumps and blood maintained at body temperature. The key question being that if a brain is revived in this way, would a human being involved have any memories, an identity and rights? Jeff and Anthony request that you please just let them die.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Deja View

Most of us know it – that weird, sudden feeling of experiencing something not for the first time. It’s called déjà vu – French for “already seen” – and it’s an uncanny feeling. But according to new research, that’s all it is. Just a feeling. The most accepted explanation is that it has to do with memory. Much like a word can be on the tip of your tongue, a memory could be on the tip of your mind – there, but not quite accessible. Jeff and Anthony think they might have done this story before.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Smell Wishers

What are the ingredients of a good relationship? Trust? Communication? Compromise? How about a sense of smell? When researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed almost 500 people with anosmia (the loss of sense of smell), more than 50 percent of them reported feeling isolated, and blamed their relationship troubles on their affliction. Smell is important in social bonding, says psychologist Pamela Dalton, at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia. When a mom smells her newborn baby, the scent activates brain regions associated with nurturing behavior. Smells might also trigger brain activity linked with affection, compassion, or romantic love. Jeff and Anthony give this story the sniff test.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Retro Virus

Inside the brain, proteins don’t stick around longer than a few minutes. And yet, our memories can hang on for our entire lifetime. Recently, an international collaboration of researchers discovered something strange about a protein called Arc. This is essential to long-term memory formation. What they found was that it has very similar properties to how a virus infects its host. Jeff and Anthony consider what life could have been like without the ability to remember.  More Details/Download MP3 →