science

"European society is very advanced, very civilized. Between holocausts."

The painter Barnett Newman is said to have replied along these lines to a friend who was bemoaning the sorry state of American political life and praising European social democracy.

It's a good joke. It casts light on the whole religion versus science controversy as well.

Simple questions can lead to very complicated answers. For instance: What if everyone actually had just one soul mate — one random person somewhere in the world? Could they ever meet?

"You know, there are a lot more people who have been alive than who are alive right now. So if your soul mate is randomly assigned from all humans, it's probably somebody who is already dead or who has not yet been born."

Photo courtesy of AquaBounty.

A controversial genetically engineered salmon, known to its detractors as the “Frankenfish,” has moved a step closer to being sold on the U.S. market.

That’s because AquaBounty Technologies, Inc., recently got the green light from Canada’s environmental regulatory agency to commercially produce eggs for its genetically engineered salmon at a hatchery on Prince Edward Island. Previously the hatchery, which produces sterile female eggs, had only been allowed to operate as a research facility.

jeremy.wilburn / Flickr

According to an article in the journal Science, 60 percent of teachers are “cautious” when teaching science. But the National Science Foundation has recently approved a grant that will help Missouri teachers build confidence on teaching the subject.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Eleven miles northeast of Centralia, Mo., five U.S. Geological Survey scientists don waders and bright reflective life jackets to wade into Goodwater Creek. Plenty of fish live in the stream’s murky slow-moving waters, along with snakes, crayfish, mussels and snapping turtles. On this overcast morning, the team collects water samples and checks submerged cages of fathead minnows for eggs.

It has been just over three months since the federal spending cuts known as sequestration first took effect.

A handful of programs were spared — but not scientific research, which amounts to about $140 billion in annual government spending.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra found out, at universities here in St. Louis, some scientists are worried about what the budget cuts will mean for their research — and for their students.

Mansoor Khan for Harvest Public Media

Can a watermelon be grown in the shape of a square? What do Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps eat for breakfast? Which island nation produces the most lamb in the world? Consumers interested in pulling back the curtain on our food system will get these and many other questions answered at “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture.” The exhibition, on view now at the American Museum of Natural History, explores how our food is produced, distributed and eaten.

Bulldog Pottery / Flickr

New research out of Rolla finds that larger ant colonies have an edge over smaller ones.

Telling stories about science

Dec 7, 2012
Lee Jian Chung / KBIA

The University of Missouri has awarded $25,000 to a group of scientists, journalists and other communicators on campus who want to make their research more accessible to the wider public. To do this, some graduate student researchers are looking to the art of storytelling to help describe their work.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

On Friday, I left the rolling hills of Columbia, Mo., and headed northwest, to the flat farmland of Saline County. The purpose of the drive was to get a look at the priciest cropland in Missouri for a story I'm doing on how investors with no connection to farmland are increasingly interested in buying acreage in the Midwest. I had heard from farmers and real estate brokers that cropland values were at all-time highs in the Corn Belt, and incredibly many of the tracts of land are being paid for in cash.

MU welcomes new clinical research center

Sep 27, 2012
Nicole Neidenberg / KBIA

The hallway on the fifth floor merging together MU School of Medicine and University Hospital is not your average hallway. It’s the new clinical research center, a five million dollar multi-stage renovation project, giving scientists, doctors and patients a place to discover new treatment. 

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.