Perpetual Notion Machine

Names in Science – June 6

06/18/13 6:47 PM | Science

This week’s show occurred during the “Can’t Live Without My WORT” summer pledge drive, so in this broadcast Dennis Shaffer and Jim Carrier drum up support for the station. In between, reporter Matthew Zmudka presents three vignettes on science names – fun in fruit fly genetics, using chemical nomenclature to scare consumers, and the actual source of the gaggle of collective nouns for animals we have.

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Promises and Perils – the brave new world of genetic sequencing

05/30/13 10:31 AM | Science

Genetic sequencing may someday lead to miracle cures. But it is also the ultimate invasion of privacy. What can your genes tell you, who can see them, and do you really want to know? Tonight, May 30, 2013, on the Perpetual Notion Machine we explore “Promises and Perils – the brave new world of genetic sequencing.” Sixty years ago James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled the structure of DNA – the double helix. The first full genetic sequence, or genome, of a little bacteria was done in 1977. In 2000, a “rough draft” of the human genome – with its 25,000 genes – was published. Ten years ago, in 2003 the job was done. Today we can look at DNA ….

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Late Spring Bloom – May 16

05/16/13 12:11 PM | Science

Last year’s extremely warm early spring now seems like an anomaly. You know, when we set 11 record high temperatures in March. Plants didn’t know what to do and started sprouting over a month earlier than normal. This year, however, the trend seems to be in the opposite direction, where some plants are sprouting, budding, and blooming later than usual. PNM reporter Hayden Marx wanted to look into this to see if this was really happening. So, he visited the one place in Madison that studies a large number of diverse plant life, the UW Arboretum. There he talks with Wisconsin native plant gardener Susan Carpenter and Assistant Ranger Laura while walking through the arboretum.   ….

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Cyberwarfare – May 2

05/2/13 9:56 PM | Science

Steven Yenzer talks cyberwarfare with reporters from Wired and Mother Jones. Learn how the U.S. and Israel damaged an Iranian nuclear facility with the world’s first “true” cyberweapon, and how Chinese hackers are infiltrating U.S. private companies and infrastructure.

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Earth Day: Thoughts and Ideas on Sustaining our Planet – April 18th

05/2/13 7:21 PM | Science

PNM’s Earth Day special. This week PNM reporter Arthur Aiken had the pleasure to speak with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies director, Paul Robbins. Who founded Earth Day and the Nelson Institute? Who makes up the Institute? What can we do to help sustain a healthy planet for all living creatures? Listen in to hear these questions answered and also for our geek of the week quiz!

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Bats! And the latest on white-nose syndrome – April 4

04/1/13 5:21 PM | Science

What’s the latest research on white-nose syndrome in bats? Has it reached Wisconsin yet? David Blehert with the USGS National Wildlife Health Center tells where this fungal disease may have come from, how it’s spreading, and what scientists are studying to try to understand and perhaps slow it’s deadly progress. Then Carol Meteyer, also with USGS, connects the immune response in infected bats to that of AIDS patients treated with anti-retroviral drugs. Finally, Paul White with the Wisconsin DNR shares what our state is doing to prevent the spread of this deadly disease and how you can get involved.

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Autonomous vehicles and more – March 21

03/21/13 3:40 PM | Science

Tonight, PNM reporter Hayden Marx brings you 3 eclectic stories from the past, present, and future. We start in the future where State Senator Fred Risser talks about a bill he has written authorizing the use of autonomous (driver-less) vehicles in Wisconsin. These cars are not commercially available yet, but are currently being tested and modified. Risser says that putting rules and regulations in place now would help ease the transition when they do become available in the near future and provide the next level of safety on the roads. Next, we head to the past with a short edited clip that aired in 2010 about CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. Joining us is Joe Incandela, deputy head of ….

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Psychology and Technology – March 7

03/4/13 8:57 PM | Science

Updated with podcast! See bottom of post. How do people interact with and understand new technology, from computers to robots? This week’s episode features Matthew Zmudka talking to two scientists working at the intersection of psychology and technology. First, he’ll talk to Dominique Brossard, professor in Life Sciences Communication at University of Wisconsin-Madison, about her work on perceptions of new technology as influenced by Internet comments. Then, we’ll hear from Bilge Mutlu, an assistant professor of Computer Science, Psychology, and Industrial Engineering at UW-Madison, about his work on human-computer interaction and development of new robotic technologies. As always, listen in on Thursday at 7pm CST on 89.9 FM or online anywhere here on the WORT website.

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Pledge Drive: From Pole to Pole – February 21

02/21/13 7:30 AM | Science

This week we spoke to three different guests about the arctic, equator, and antarctic, and asked for your pledge for listener-supported, community-powered radio. Kaitlin talked with Andrew Stuhl, a PHD candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison History of Science department and a Nelson Institute CHANGE Fellow. He studies a mix of history of science, environmental history and environmental studies. His dissertation is entitled “Empires on Ice: Science, Nature, and the Making of the Modern Arctic.” Matthew spoke to Stefan Hastenrath, emeritus professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison, to learn about some of the characteristics of equatorial glaciers. Steven interviewed Nathan Whitehorn of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory about living and working in Antarctica ….

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African-American Inventors – February 7th

02/3/13 5:14 PM | Science

George Crum invented potato chips in the 1850′s. Granville T. Woods invented the induction telegraph in 1887, and was known as the “Black Edison.” And Dr. Mark Dean worked for IBM and developed the hardware engineering for computers to “talk” to peripheral equipment like printers. Tune in to the Perpetual Notion Machine this Thursday, February 7th to learn more about these resourceful inventors. Our guest is Raymond Obstfeld, co-author of the children’s book What Color is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors. He co-wrote the book with basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And on February 1, the book was named the Best Literary Work for Children at the 44th NAACP Image Awards. And if you tune ….

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Perpetual Notion Machine
Perpetual Notion Machine
News & Culture
Thursdays @ 7:00 pm
Various Hosts
1st, 3rd, and 5th Thursday evenings of each month. A look at contemporary scientific issues and discoveries in a way that is accessible, understandable and entertaining to the non-scientists of the listening community.
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