WBEZ's Clever Apes
Summary: “Clever Apes” is a nano-sized show with a cosmic scope. It tells the stories of the Chicago-area’s rich scientific community, its quirky characters and the fascinating, often mind-bending questions they’re out to answer.
Exact statistics are hard to come by, but it is generally accepted that a majority of the world’s population speaks more than one language. So if we want to better understand how the brain works, how it processes sound and language, it might be a good idea to study the brains of bilingual people.
Today, motion capture is used in movies and video games to create realistic movement in animated characters. In the Motion Analysis Lab at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Kharma Foucher uses motion capture to study hip osteoarthritis.
Clever Apes is dead. Long live Clever Apes.It's a sad day here at WBEZ. Our clever host, Gabriel Spitzer, has left the station and is heading to Seattle.
As kids, we usually learn about nature from a decidedly human point of view: The world exists in relation to us. But an eclectic group of researchers are challenging that. They've started looking at the way Native and non-Native children come to learn about nature, and they've found some distinctive differences.
We’ve seen and heard some pretty sweet stuff while producing Clever Apes, but in our latest excursion, we got to taste something very sweet.
It seems like economics is a purely human invention, far removed from the jungle. But scientists say our ancestors were spending and investing for millions of years.
As we mark the one-year anniversary this week of the natural and nuclear disasters in Japan, it seems like a good time to reflect on Chicago’s deep and complicated nuclear history.
Dinosaurs loom large in our imaginations not just because they were in fact enormous, but also they are so ridiculously old. There has always been a big, impenetrable curtain separating us from prehistoric life. Sure, we have some ancient bones, but those had long since turned to stone.
Just the other day, I was feeling lucky because I haven't gotten a cold or flu this winter. Maybe all that hand washing and hand sanitizing was paying off. Maybe, maybe not? It turns out that this year's flu season is just off to a late start.
Microbes are by far the most abundant life form on the planet. The numbers are so big, they’re almost comical: maybe five million trillion trillion bacteria on earth, and that’s conservative. And yet we know shockingly little about who’s living where, and what they do.So, big deal, right?
The human brain is full of wonder, mystery, perhaps even spirit. But it’s also a machine.
Often in science, a new insight doesn’t fit in with the old patterns. That means something, of course, is wrong – either the fresh idea, or everything we thought we knew leading up to it. In the latest installment of Clever Apes, we consider two of these curveballs.
So we just finished explaining how the gut is our second brain. How to top that? How about this: Your gut is its own planet.The human intestine hosts an entire civilization of microorganisms – about 100 trillion by most estimates. That’s many times more than there are cells in your body.
In researching the human gut over the last few weeks, I’ve learned at least 10 things that have blown my mind. Here is one: Your intestines are your second brain.The gut has its own nervous system – called the enteric nervous system – that is highly sophisticated and can basically think for itself.
Memory can be a tricky thing. As we learned in yesterday's episode of Clever Apes, our earliest recollections are re-written in our brains every time we think of them.