Transistor show


Summary: Transistor is podcast of scientific curiosities and current events, featuring guest hosts, scientists, and story-driven reporters. Presented by radio and podcast powerhouse PRX, with support from the Sloan Foundation.

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 No Inoculation without Representation! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 09:44

Vaccinations, in one form or another, have been around longer than the United States. In fact, during the Revolutionary War in 1776, future first lady Abigail Adams pursued the controversial scientific technique to protect her 5 children against a threat more dangerous than an army of Redcoats. Here’s Luke Quinton with the story.

 Cosmic Ray Catchers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:48

Cosmic rays from outer space sound like science fiction. They’re not—invisible particles flung from outer space pass through our bodies every minute. But not all cosmic rays are equal; Some are immensely powerful and very rare. For decades scientists have wondered where they're coming from – and what could possibly be hurling them at Earth. Now, they're getting closer to finding out.  Ross Chambless has the story.

 Three Letters on Broom Bridge | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:53

Every October 16th hundreds of people gather in Dublin to celebrate Ireland's greatest mathematician, William Rowan Hamilton. And get this – It was his act of vandalism on Broom Bridge in 1843 that put him in the history books – it actually changed mathematics forever. Samuel Hanson brings us the story.

 After A Flood | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 09:42

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left devastation in their wake all across the southern United States as unimaginable quantities of water swallowed up small towns and cities alike. But what happens to that water and how can cities better prepare ahead of time? Two years ago, reporter Jenny Chen followed two so-called flood hydrologists to learn more about the preparation.

 Bowl Tastes Delicious | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:58

What if the size of our dinner plate, its color, the material of our cutlery - even background sounds - all affect how our food tastes? In other words, what if it’s not just about what we cooked for dinner, but the context of the meal itself? Reporter Quentin Cooper brings us this story.

 Hurry Up and Listen | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:50

Underneath our vrooms, beeps, and rumbles, natural sound may be more important than we think.

 A Job for the Bee Team | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:38

On May 2, 2015, beekeepers Pam Arnold and Kristy Allen got hit with a pesticide. They couldn't see it or smell it, but when they saw their bees writhing on the ground and dying they knew something was seriously wrong. They called a panel of scientists at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

 An Ovarian Transplant Between Twins | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 11:18

Thirty-six-year-old twins Carol and Katy are physically identical in every way but one: Katy was born without ovaries, and wanted to start a family. The science and ethics behind ovarian transplants as a treatment for infertility.

 Tick Tock Biological Clock | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 11:01

The headlines are often full of advice for women about when they should have children. Marnie Chesterton goes digging into the fertility stats and myths for modern women. Prepare to be surprised.

 Owning the Clouds | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:31

Humans have always been interested in controlling the weather. In the past we used raindances and sacrifices; today we turn to science. Cloud seeding is practiced all over the world, but there's still a lot we don't know about it. Delve into the surprising history, the controversial present, and the uncertain future of cloud seeding.

 Spotting Fake Art -- with Math | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 07:37

Visual stylometry is a branch of mathematics that can determine the style of a particular artist’s body of work.

 Engineering NYC from Below | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 10:11

Head underground to hear how the first subways were built and how they are built today.

 700 Fathoms Under the Sea | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 08:11

Something unusual happens about a half mile under the sea. Ocean physics create a special zone where sound travels for hundreds, even thousands of miles. Whales use it, and cold warriors plumbed its secrets. Listen in.

 Sidedoor from the Smithsonian: Shake it Up | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:45

For the next few episodes, we’re featuring the Smithsonian’s new series, Sidedoor, about where science, art, history, and humanity unexpectedly overlap — just like in their museums. In this episode: an astronomer who has turned the night sky into a symphony.

 Sidedoor from the Smithsonian: Butting Heads | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:19

For the next few episodes, we're featuring the Smithsonian's new series, Sidedoor. This time, two besties turn into lifelong enemies over a dining room; a researcher embraces the panda craze; and why some dinosaur skulls were built to take a beating.


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