Science Nation - If These Teeth Could Talk

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With funding from the National Science Foundation, Peter Ungar is revealing more details about the lives of our human ancestors, and he's doing it through dentistry - sort of! The University of Arkansas anthropologist uses high tech dental scans to find out more about the diets of hominids, a technique that sometimes leads to new and very different conclusions. While anthropologists traditionally determine the diets of our ancestors by examining the size and shape of teeth and jaws, Ungar's...

Science Nation - Silver Saver

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Conservation scientist Glen Gates at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is working on new ways to protect museum-quality silver from the ravages of time. Fine silverware and silver pieces on display at museums are exposed to air and tarnish just like our silver at home. Every time someone polishes the silver, even under the careful supervision of conservation experts, a little bit of the silver wears away. Gates and colleague, Physics professor Ray Phaneuf at the University of Maryland, are...

Science Nation - Lord of the Tree Rings

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David Stahle travels to ancient forests around the world, collecting tree rings to learn more about major climate and historical events dating back hundreds and thousands of years. With help from the National Science Foundation, he uses Dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, to get a snapshot of climate change over time. Stahle can also determine things like the socioeconomic impact of droughts. In fact, in 1998, he made the front page of the New York Times with his discovery that drought...

Science Nation - Babies and Learning

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Are we pre-wired to know right from wrong or are we blank slates who learn solely by our exposure to the environment? The question isn't new, but by studying the behavior of newborns, psychologist Karen Wynn of Yale University believes she can get us closer to the answer. With support from the National Science Foundation, she is investigating the role an infant's social preferences play in how they learn from other people. Wynn and her team put on puppet shows for infants, with characters...

Science Nation - Ticket to Ride

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has featured Professor Andrew Sweeting in a new video story in its online magazine Science Nation. Sweeting specializes in industrial organization and one line of his research focuses on perishable good markets. In the story "Ticket to Ride," Sweeting's work on price dynamics for sporting tickets is explained, using the example of Duke basketball tickets. Visit NSF's Science Nation web page:...

Science Nation - Robotic Arms

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Who do you call if you need a little help with some of life's more complicated tasks...like building a car, performing surgery, or even diffusing a bomb? The people at Barrett Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts are always glad to lend a hand, or an arm, or both, as long as they're robotic. Barrett Technologies is on the cutting edge of developing and implementing robotic technology. We'll head to Cambridge to rub elbows with some of the company's creations, and see how support from the...

Science Nation - Bonobos and Chimpanzees

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With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), anthropologist Brian Hare and his wife and colleague Vanessa Woods study bonobo behavior, investigating how bonobos differ from chimpanzees, and how bonobos might provide insight on the origins of cooperation in human society. For more Science Nation, visit: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Glowing Squid

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The Hawaiian bobtail squid is a master of camouflage, even using luminous bacteria as part of its nighttime disguise. For more cool squid science, visit the Glowing Squid page on Science Nation: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/glowingsquid.jsp For more Science Nation episodes, visit: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/

Science Nation - Sleep Deprived Kids

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Getting enough shut-eye really matters for children, and those who are poor need it the most - We all know kids, especially, need a good night's sleep in order to thrive. After studying thousands of children, psychologist Mona El-Sheikh, a professor of child development, says children who don't get enough shut-eye suffer serious consequences. For more on this topic and more Science Nation reports, visit http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Leaf Cutter Ants

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Farmers, pharmacists and energy experts! Leaf-cutter ants put on quite a show. In established colonies, millions of "workers" cut and carry sections of leaves larger than their own bodies as part of a well choreographed, highly functioning society. For more Science Nation visit http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp