Dog Origins, DNA & Identity, Medical Isotope Shortage
This week: New ideas about when, where, and why humans domesticated wolves, the ancestors of modern dogs. A trove of unusual creatures turns up in Papua New Guinea. We mark the 25th anniversary of genetic fingerprinting. And hospitals cope with a worldwide shortage of medical isotopes.
Man’s Best Meal?: A new study suggests that people first began domesticating wolves — the ancestors of today’s dogs — more for lunch than for loyalty. Scientists in Sweden and China have traced the genetic origins of canines to a region where dog meat has long been on the menu.
Guest: Peter Savolainen, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
DNA Fingerprinting: A quarter century ago, a professor at Leicester University in the UK stumbled on a way to distinguish individuals based on markers in their DNA. On this anniversary, we talk to a philosopher about genetics and the nature of human identity.
Guest: Julian Baggini, author and philosopher.
Medical Isotope Shortage: The shutdown of nuclear reactors in Canada and Holland has created a severe shortage in medical isotopes used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other ailments. We look at what the shortage means for patients, and how two of the biggest users of the isotopes — Britain and the U.S. — found themselves dependent on other countries for their supply.
Report: By The World’s Laura Lynch in London.
Papua New Guinea’s New Creatures: You could be forgiven if you’re skeptical about the claims of an expedition team that just got back from Papua New Guinea. The scientists say they’ve discovered a camouflaged gecko, a fanged frog, and a fish that makes grunting noises. But leave your skepticism at the door. (See pictures here.)
Guest: George McGavin, Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Music: Candied Pecans, by AxlemanThis entry was posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 3:41 PM and is filed under Science Podcast. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.