science podcast #158

Origins of the Turkey, Restoring India’s Riverbanks, Clever Dog Lab

An ancient bowl features a turkey. (Photo: Amerind Foundation)

An ancient bowl features a turkey. (Photo: Amerind Foundation)

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This Week: We’ll hear about the surprising origins of the domesticated turkey. A remarkable, almost miraculous story about how scientists in England reversed paralysis in dogs using nose cells. We visit Austria’s Clever Dog Lab, where scientists are studying the roots of canine personalities. Some scientists in Delhi are trying to restore the lost ecosystems on the banks of river Yamuna.

The Circuitous Journey of the Domesticated Turkey: The turkey, or at least the commercial breeds available in the US, did not originate here. Credit goes instead to the Aztecs of Mesoamerica who first domesticated the bird 2500 years ago, and the Spanish conquistadors who escorted it along a circuitous journey to the US.
The Complicated History of the Domesticated Turkey.
Lost Turkeys of the New World.

Clever Dog Lab-Exploring the Roots of Canine Personality: What makes a dog bold or shy, eager or sullen? The Veterinary University of Vienna’s Clever Dog Lab aims to find out with the help of some 600 Austrian dogs that owners volunteer for experiments. The results could improve the training and selection of dogs that serve society, from helping the disabled to assisting the police. Ari Daniel Shapiro of our partner program NOVA reports.
Watch “What Are Animals Thinking?” on NOVA ScienceNOW

Paralyzed Dogs Walk Again After Cell Therapy: Scientists at the University of Cambridge in England say they have found a way to use a dog’s nose cells to regenerate canine nerve cells, and help reverse paralysis in our four-legged friends.

Restoring a Riverbank in Urban India:A new biodiversity park along a stretch of the river is starting to restore some of the natural services the landscape used to provide.

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