August 15, 2001

The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers

Guest: Daniel L. Schacter.

Absentmindedness, transience, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence. These are The Seven Sins of Memory according to Daniel Schacter. He joins Focus today to explore these instances of memory failure, suggesting that "failure" is actually a misnomer—and that these miscues are signs that memory is working as it should.


August 07, 2001

Public Perceptions and the Safety of Biotechnology

Guest: Bruce Chassy.

Some people continue to worry about both the environmental impact and potential health effects of biotech foods. But are these crops really so different from those we've grown in the past? Will they help us meet the growing demand for food? Today on Focus, we're joined by Professor of Food Science Bruce Chassy to discuss the dafety of bioengineered crops.


July 26, 2001

Heavenly Errors: Misconceptions About the Real Nature of the Universe

Guest: Neil Comins.

One of the biggest paradoxes of modern science is that the more we discover about the natural world, the more we come to understand that our everyday perceptions of it are incorrect. Physicist Neil Comins joins Focus today to talk about his new book Heavenly Errors, in which he identifies numerous misconceptions about the universe and addresses the errors in these lines of thought.


July 19, 2001

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science that Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

Guest: Bryan Sykes.

What if we could trace our genetic makeup all the way back to fewer than ten primeval individuals? In fact, says geneticist Bryan Sykes, we can. He joins us today on Focus to explain how the study of a 5,000-year-old man's frozen remains in Italy led to the discovery of a particular strand of DNA that can be traced back to seven prehistoric women: The Seven Daughters of Eve.


July 17, 2001

Powering the Future

Guest: Scott Barnett.

Many researchers believe that fuel cells will be the power sources of the future. They are more efficient than the internal combustion engine, have no moving parts, and produce almost no pollution. One day they may power our vehicles, our offices, and even our homes. This morning on Focus we're joined by Scott Barnett from Northwestern University to explore the basics of the fuel cell: how it works and some of its potential applications.


June 27, 2001

Dr. Folkman’s War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer

Guest: Robert Cooke.

Today on Focus, we'll chronicle the life and discoveries of one of the most significant medical figures of our time. Dr. Judah Folkman was the first to hypothesize treatment of cancerous tumors with angiogenesis inhibitors—medicine that would prevent new blood vessels from forming to "feed" the tumor. Today on the show, we're joined by science writer Robert Cooke, the doctor and scientist's biographer and the author of Dr. Folkman's War.


June 13, 2001

The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead

Guest: Heather Pringle.

We most often associate mummies with ancient Egypt, but they can be found in a surprising number of places. They have much to tell us, says science journalist Heather Pringle, about medicine, religion, beauty, and even politics. The author of The Mummy Congress joins us today on Focus to talk about her worldwide travels to talk with a number of scientists who have devoted their lives to the study of mummies.


June 05, 2001

The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Environmental Change

Guest: Stephen Palumbi.

Evolution is generally thought of as a slow process, one that takes millions of years. In fact, evolution can occur very quickly, and our own has been dramatically influenced by our efforts to improve our quality of life. Today on Focus we'll talk with biologist Stephen Palumbi about his book The Evolution Explosion. He says that humans have accelerated the evolutionary game, especially with the species closest to us: the food we eat, the pests that share the food, and the diseases that plague us. All of this raising the question: can we survive our own power to reshape the Earth?


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