News & Information

Vampire Bats, Hunting Feral Pigs, Government Cheese

Constant Wonder
  • Jul 25, 2019 8:00 pm
  • 1:42:05

Rabid Vampire Bats that Glow in the Dark Guest: Daniel Streicker, Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow, University of Glasgow As outbreaks of rabies spread across Latin America, Daniel Streicker and his team went to Peru to find a way to stop the growing infection. But how would they track the effectiveness of the antibiotic they used? Steicker invented an unusual way to find out: a paste that could make a vampire bat glow-in-the-dark. Monarch Butterflies Shield their Young from Infectious Disease Guest: Jaap De Roode, Professor of Biology, Emory University As humans, we may assume we’re the only species with medical knowledge. Turns out, monarch butterflies are pretty good doctors themselves. To learn more about the De Roode lab, click here. Word Story: Hector, Cassandra and Pollyanna Guest: Eric Schulzke  Hector used to be the name for a flawless hero. Cassandra worries too much, and Pollyanna doesn't worry enough. Where these words came from and how their meanings morphed over time.  The Great American Hog War Guest:  John J. ("Jack") Mayer, research scientist and manager, Savannah River National Laboratory A combination of feral pigs and wild Eurasian Boars is destroying crops and ecosystems across America despite culling attempts. Hunters bring in the big guns, and a few helicopters. The stakes are high for the pork industry.  The Right Whale Breaks into Song Guest: Jessica Crance, Marine Mammal Scientist, Marine Mammal Laboratory of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center The Eastern North Pacific Right Whale is critically endangered, with only approximately 30 individuals alive. But it has just been recorded singing for the first time. What’s more, the researchers documented a whale calf, meaning that there is, at least, a single reproductive female, and some hope for the species. Where Did All That Government Cheese Come From? Guest: Joann Weiner, Professor of Economics, George Washington University In the 1970s, the government began buying up to a quarter of all the cheese produced in the country because of a campaign promise Jimmy Carter made while he was running for president.