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Radiolab podcast

Radiolab

Radiolab is one of the most beloved podcasts and public radio shows in the world. The show is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, the program began as an exploration of scientific inquiry. Over the years it has evolved to become a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling. Radiolab is co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

Radiolab is one of the most beloved podcasts and public radio shows in the world. The show is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, the program began as an exploration of scientific inquiry. Over the years it has evolved to become a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling. Radiolab is co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

 

#150

In the Running

Diane Van Deren is one of the best ultra-runners in the world, and it all started with a seizure. In this short, Diane tells us how her disability gave rise to an extraordinary ability. For Diane Van Deren, a charming mother of three, daily life is a struggle. But as soon as she steps outdoors, she's capable of amazing feats. She can run for days on end with no sleep, covering hundreds of miles in extreme conditions. Reporter Mark Phillips heads to Colorado to get to know Diane, and to try to figure out what makes her so unstoppable. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) .      ... Read more

17 Sep 2021

19 MINS

19:33

17 Sep 2021


#149

60 Words, 20 Years

It has now been 20 years since September 11th, 2001. So we’re bringing you a Peabody Award-winning story from our archives about one sentence, written in the hours after the attacks, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace. In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law - called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) -  has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the "war on terror." In this collaboration with BuzzFeed, reporter Gregory Johnsen tells us the story of how this has come to be one of the most important, confusing, troubling sentences of the last two decades. We go into the meetings that took place in the chaotic days just after 9/11, speak with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Congressman Ron Dellums about the vote on the AUMF. We hear from former White House and State Department lawyers John Bellinger & Harold Koh. We learn how this legal language unleashed Guantanamo, Navy Seal raids and drone strikes. And we speak with journalist Daniel Klaidman, legal expert Benjamin Wittes and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine about how these words came to be interpreted, and what they mean for the future of war and peace. Finally, we check back in with Congresswoman Lee, and talk to Yale law professor and national security expert Oona Hathaway, about how to move on from the original sixty words. Original episode produced by Matt Kielty and Kelsey Padgett with original music by Dylan Keefe. Update reported and produced by Sarah Qari and Soren Wheeler. Special thanks to Brian Finucane. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) .  ... Read more

10 Sep 2021

1 HR 09 MINS

1:09:27

10 Sep 2021


#148

The Unsilencing

Multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, even psoriasis — these are diseases in which the body begins to attack itself, and they all have one thing in common: they affect women more than men. Most autoimmune disorders do. And not just by a little bit, often by a lot; in some cases, as much as sixteen times more. But why? On today’s episode, we talk to scientists trying to answer that question. We go back 100 million years, to when our placenta first evolved and consider how it might have shaped our immune system. We dive deep into the genome, to stare at one of the most famous chromosomes: the X. And we also try to unravel a mystery — why is it that for some females, autoimmune disorders seemingly disappear during pregnancy? This episode was reported by Molly Webster, and produced by Sindhu Gnanasambandan and Molly Webster. The Gonads theme song was written, performed, and produced by Majel Connery and Alex Overington.  Looking for something else to listen to? We suggest pairing “The Unsilencing” with “ [Everybody’s Got One] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/everybodys-got-one) ,” an episode about an unknown super-organ that nobody on the planet would be here without: the placenta. Want to learn more? You can … ...check out a [Montserrat Anguera XX study,] (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4833277/) ...read [Melissa Wilson’s placental, pregnancy hypothesis,] (https://www.cell.com/trends/genetics/pdf/S0168-9525(19)30079-4.pdf) [ ] (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4833277/) …and get a primer on [Rhonda Voskuhl’s estriol & Multiple Sclerosis work.] (https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/preliminary-clinical-trial-shows-great-promise-for-new-multiple-sclerosis-treatment)   Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) . ... Read more

26 Aug 2021

28 MINS

28:56

26 Aug 2021


#147

Everybody’s Got One

We all think we know the story of pregnancy. Sperm meets egg, followed by nine months of nurturing, nesting, and quiet incubation. But this story isn’t the nursery rhyme we think it is. In a way, it’s a struggle, almost like a tiny war. And right on the front lines of that battle is another major player on the stage of pregnancy that not a single person on the planet would be here without. An entirely new organ: the placenta. In this episode we take you on a journey through the 270-day life of this weird, squishy, gelatinous orb, and discover that it is so much more than an organ. It’s a foreign invader. A piece of meat. A friend and parent. And it’s perhaps the most essential piece in the survival of our kind. This episode was reported by Heather Radke and Becca Bressler, and produced by Becca Bressler and Pat Walters, with help from Matt Kielty and Maria Paz Gutierrez. Additional reporting by Molly Webster. Special thanks to Diana Bianchi, Julia Katz, Sam Behjati, Celia Bardwell-Jones, Mathilde Cohen, Hannah Ingraham, Pip Lipkin, and Molly Fassler.   Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) .     For cool new research on the placenta: Check out Harvey’s latest  [paper] (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0143400421001284)  published with Julia Katz. Sam Behjati's latest [ paper] (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210310122521.htm)  on the placenta as a "genetic dumping ground".  ... Read more

20 Aug 2021

29 MINS

29:21

20 Aug 2021


#146

Gonads: Dutee

In 2014, India’s Dutee Chand was a rising female track and field star, crushing national records. But then, that summer, something unexpected happened: she failed a gender test. And was banned from the sport. Before she knew it, Dutee was thrown into the middle of a controversy that started long before her, and continues on today: how to separate males and females in sport. First aired in 2018, Dutee and the story of female athletes in sport are back in the spotlight this week, at the Tokyo Olympics. Join us for an update on Dutee’s second Olympic games, and the continued role testosterone has in shaping who is on the track, and who is off.  This story was originally released as part of [Gonads] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/projects/radiolab-presents-gonads) , a six-part series on the parts of us that make more of us. It is a companion piece to Gonads, episode 5: [Dana] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/dana/?token=5d6b8203d6e51b8ef6483829f58431f1&content_type_id=26&object_id=870129&_=c963e28f) . This update was reported by Molly Webster, with reporting and producing by Sarah Qari. "Dutee" was reported by Molly Webster, with co-reporting and translation by Sarah Qari. It was produced by Pat Walters, with production help from Jad Abumrad and Rachael Cusick. The Gonads theme was written, performed, and produced by Majel Connery and Alex Overington. Special thanks to Geertje Mak, Maayan Sudai, Andrea Dunaif, Bhrikuti Rai, Joe Osmundson, and Payoshni Mitra. Plus, former Olympic runner Madeleine Pape, who is currently studying regulations around female, transgender, and intersex individuals in sport. Radiolab is supported in part by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science. And the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, enhancing public understanding of science and technology in the modern world. More information about Sloan at www.sloan.org. Support Radiolab today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=notes&utm_campaign=membership&utm_content=radiolab) .  ... Read more

06 Aug 2021

46 MINS

46:13

06 Aug 2021


#145

The Queen of Dying

If you’ve ever lost someone, or watched a medical drama in the last 15 years, you’ve probably heard of The Five Stages of Grief. They’re sort of the world’s worst consolation prize for loss. But last year, we began wondering… Where did these stages come from in the first place? Turns out, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. But the story is much, much more complicated than that. Those stages of grieving? They actually started as stages of dying. After learning that, producer Rachael Cusick tumbled into a year-long journey through the life and work of the incredibly complicated and misunderstood woman who single-handedly changed the way all of us face dying, and the way we deal with being left behind. Special Note: Our friends over at Death Sex and Money have put together a very special companion to this story, featuring Rachael talking about this story with her grandmother.  Check it out [here.] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/deathsexmoney/episodes/rachael-cusick-grief-radiolab-death-sex-money) <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/deathsexmoney/episodes/rachael-cusick-grief-radiolab-death-sex-money"></a>This episode was reported and produced by Rachael Cusick, with production help from Carin Leong. This story wouldn’t have been possible without the folks you heard from in the episode, and the many, many people who touched this story, including: Anne Adams, Andrew Aronson, Audrey Gordon, Barbara Hogenson, Basit Qari, Bill Weese, Bob McGan, Carey Gauzens, Clifford Edwards, Cristina McGinniss, Dorothy Holinger, Frank Ostaseski, Ira Byock, Jamie Munson, Jessica Weisberg, Jillian Tullis, Joanna Treichler, Jonathan Green, Ken Bridbord, Ladybird Morgan, Laurel Braitman, Lawrence Lincoln, Leah Siegel, Liese Groot, Linda Mount, Lyn Frumkin, Mark Kuczewski, Martha Twaddle, Peter Nevraumont, Rosalie Roder, Sala Hilaire, Stefan Haupt, Stephanie Riley, Stephen Connor, and Tracie Hunte. Special thanks to all the folks who shared music for this episode, including: Lisa Stoll, who shared her Alpine horn music with us for this episode. You can hear more of her music [here] (https://www.lisastoll.ch/) . Cliff Edwards, who shared original music from [Deanna Edwards.] (https://www.deannaedwards.com/) [The Martin Hayes Quartet] (http://www.martinhayes.com/martin-hayes-quartet) , who shared the last bit of music you hear in the piece that somehow puts a world of emotion into one beautiful tune. <a href="http://www.martinhayes.com/martin-hayes-quartet"></a>And an extra special thank you to the folks over at Stanford University - Ben Stone, David Magnus, Karl Lorenz, Maren Monsen -  the caretakers of Elisabeth’s archival collection who made it possible to rummage through their library from halfway across the country. You can read more about the collection [here] (https://news.stanford.edu/thedish/2019/03/03/the-elisabeth-kubler-ross-archive-has-found-a-home-at-stanford/) . To learn more about Elisabeth and the folks who are furthering her work, you can visit the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation website [here] (https://www.ekrfoundation.org/) . Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .   ... Read more

23 Jul 2021

1 HR 00 MINS

1:00:48

23 Jul 2021


#144

Breaking News about The Other Latif

A major development in the case of Guantanamo detainee Abdul Latif Nasser. To listen to our series about him, go to [theotherlatif.org] (http://theotherlatif.org) . ... Read more

19 Jul 2021

02 MINS

02:01

19 Jul 2021


#143

G: Unfit

In the past few weeks, most people have probably seen Britney Spears' name or face everywhere. When she stood in front of a judge (virtually) and protested the conservatorship she's been living under for the past 13 years, one harrowing detail in particular stood out. She told the judge, "I was told right now in the conservatorship, I'm not able to get married or have a baby." Today, we look back at an old episode where we explore why it is that hundreds of thousands of people can have their reproductive rights denied...and spoiler: it goes back to Darwin. When a law student named Mark Bold came across a Supreme Court decision from the 1920s that allowed for the forced sterilization of people deemed “unfit,” he was shocked to discover that it had never been overturned. His law professors told him the case, Buck v Bell, was nothing to worry about, that the ruling was in a kind of legal limbo and could never be used against people. But he didn’t buy it. In this episode we follow Mark on a journey to one of the darkest consequences of humanity’s attempts to measure the human mind and put people in boxes, following him through history, science fiction and a version of eugenics that’s still very much alive today, and watch as he crusades to restore a dash of moral order to the universe. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty, Lulu Miller and Pat Walters.  Special thanks to Sara Luterman, Lynn Rainville, Alex Minna Stern, Steve Silberman and Lydia X.Z. Brown. Radiolab’s “G” is supported in part by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science. Support Radiolab today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=podcast&amp;amp;utm_medium=notes&amp;amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;amp;utm_content=radiolab) .  ... Read more

15 Jul 2021

53 MINS

53:35

15 Jul 2021


#142

The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 6

Lift Every Voice.  Black Swan Records was first to record the anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing. From a family's Thanksgiving dinner, we portal through to the song's past, present, and future. The Vanishing of Harry Pace was created and produced by Shima Oliaee and Jad Abumrad.  This series was produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, writer Cord Jefferson, WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, and WNYC's Jami Floyd. Based on the book  [Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label] (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Blues-Americas-black-owned-ebook/dp/B00NJ2BS4S)  by Paul Slade. Featuring interviews with Pace's descendants and over forty musicians, historians, writers, and musicologists, all of whom grapple with Pace’s enduring legacy. Thank you to young Miles Francis and his family for bringing our Thanksgiving scene to life.  This episode features the book  [May We Forever Stand] (https://www.amazon.com/May-We-Forever-Stand-National/dp/1469638606)  written by Imani Perry, all about the Black National Anthem. ... Read more

09 Jul 2021

27 MINS

27:09

09 Jul 2021


#141

The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 5

Roland Hayes and the Lost Generation.  Here’s the extraordinary story of Roland Hayes, another great (and largely forgotten) creator of new cosmologies. The Vanishing of Harry Pace was created and produced by Shima Oliaee and Jad Abumrad.  This series was produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, writer Cord Jefferson, WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, and WNYC's Jami Floyd. Based on the book  [Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label] (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Blues-Americas-black-owned-ebook/dp/B00NJ2BS4S)  by Paul Slade. Featuring interviews with Pace's descendants and over forty musicians, historians, writers, and musicologists, all of whom grapple with Pace’s enduring legacy. This episode featured scenes from Christopher Brooks' and Robert Sims' biography,  [Roland Hayes: The Legacy of an American Tenor] (https://www.amazon.com/Roland-Hayes-Legacy-American-Tenor/dp/0253023815) . Thank you to actor William Jackson Harper for helping us bring Berlin to life.  This episode featured the following music: [Robert Sims Sings the Spirituals of Roland Hayes] (https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Sings-Spirituals-Roland-Hayes/dp/B00T0MO39S) [Bill Doggett's collection of Black Swan records] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC__v1VlZU14V_tFL-bdVtHQ)   [Black Swans: The First Recordings of Black Classical Music Performers] (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swans-Recordings-Classical-Performers/dp/B07YN7VB14) <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC__v1VlZU14V_tFL-bdVtHQ"></a>  [Du Bist Die Ruh by Roland Hayes ] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sibe38cQPQ) [Were You There by Roland Hayes ] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFOsVxQ_SmY) [Vesti La Giubba by Roland Hayes] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHQ4EparUgc) ... Read more

02 Jul 2021

42 MINS

42:23

02 Jul 2021


#140

The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 4

Our Harlem Moon.  In this spin-off tale, Ethel Waters hijacks a degrading song and makes the music her own. The Vanishing of Harry Pace was created and produced by Shima Oliaee and Jad Abumrad.  This series was produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, writer Cord Jefferson, WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, and WNYC's Jami Floyd. Based on the book  [Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label] (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Blues-Americas-black-owned-ebook/dp/B00NJ2BS4S)  by Paul Slade. Featuring interviews with Pace's descendants and over forty musicians, historians, writers, and musicologists, all of whom grapple with Pace’s enduring legacy. Thank you to our podcast friends at [Throughline] (https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510333/throughline)  for featuring our series on their show. Check out their feed for an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview about the series with Rund, Ramtin, Jad and Shima. ... Read more

29 Jun 2021

12 MINS

12:34

29 Jun 2021


#139

The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 3

Black No More, White No More.  We follow Harry's grandkids and great grandkids as they grapple with his legacy in their own lives.  The Vanishing of Harry Pace was created and produced by Shima Oliaee and Jad Abumrad.  This series was produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, writer Cord Jefferson, WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, and WNYC's Jami Floyd. Based on the book  [Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label] (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Blues-Americas-black-owned-ebook/dp/B00NJ2BS4S)  by Paul Slade. Featuring interviews with Pace's descendants and over forty musicians, historians, writers, and musicologists, all of whom grapple with Pace’s enduring legacy. ... Read more

26 Jun 2021

41 MINS

41:30

26 Jun 2021


#138

The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 2

Dreams Deferred.  The story of the post Black Swan years. We follow Harry’s Supreme Court battle to desegregate the South Side of Chicago, and then the mysterious decision which forces him into seclusion, before his untimely death. The Vanishing of Harry Pace was created and produced by Shima Oliaee and Jad Abumrad.  This series was produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, writer Cord Jefferson, WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, and WNYC's Jami Floyd. Based on the book  [Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label] (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Blues-Americas-black-owned-ebook/dp/B00NJ2BS4S)  by Paul Slade. Featuring interviews with Pace's descendants and over forty musicians, historians, writers, and musicologists, all of whom grapple with Pace’s enduring legacy. ... Read more

19 Jun 2021

43 MINS

43:01

19 Jun 2021


#137

The Vanishing of Harry Pace: Episode 1

The Rise and Fall of Black Swan.  It was Motown before Motown, FUBU before FUBU: Black Swan Records, the record company founded by Harry Pace. The Vanishing of Harry Pace was created and produced by Shima Oliaee and Jad Abumrad.  Harry Pace founded Black Swan Records exactly 100 years ago. Pace launched the career of Ethel Waters, inadvertently invented the term rock n roll, played an important role in W.C. Handy becoming "Father of the Blues," inspired Ebony and Jet magazines, and helped desegregate the South Side of Chicago in an epic Supreme Court battle. Then, he disappeared.  The Vanishing of Harry Pace is a series about the phenomenal but forgotten man who changed the American music scene. It's a story about betrayal, family, hidden identities, and a time like no other. This series was produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, screenwriter Cord Jefferson, and WQXR’s Terrance McKnight. Jami Floyd is our consulting producer; our fact checker is Natalie Meade. Peter Pace lent his voice for our readings. Based on the book  [Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label] (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Blues-Americas-black-owned-ebook/dp/B00NJ2BS4S)  by Paul Slade. The series features interviews with Pace's descendants and over forty musicians, historians, writers, and musicologists, all of whom grapple with Pace’s enduring legacy. This series is also a partnership with [Radio Diaries] (https://www.radiodiaries.org/) .   ... Read more

18 Jun 2021

1 HR 06 MINS

1:06:04

18 Jun 2021


#136

Breath

We’ve just barely made it to the other side of a year that took our collective breaths away. So more than ever we felt that this was the time to go deep on life’s rhythmic dance partner. Today we huff and we puff through a whole stack of stories about breath. We talk to scientists, musicians, activists, and breath mint experts, and try to climb into the very center of this thing we all do, are all doing right now, and now, and now.  This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Molly Webster. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .   Further reading:  Alice Wong’s book [Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the 21st Century] (https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/book/) Here’s a [speech] (https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2020/08/14/message-from-the-future-disabled-oracle-society/) Alice gave when first referring to her body as an oracle.  And for more on ventilator allocation in NY State, check out this article by the [Gothamist] (https://gothamist.com/news/pandemic-threatened-their-ventilators-will-ny-officials-change-course-next-crisis) .     ... Read more

11 Jun 2021

1 HR 31 MINS

1:31:03

11 Jun 2021


#135

The Rhino Hunter

Back in 2014, Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for a hunting trip to Namibia to shoot and kill an endangered species.  He’s a professional hunter, who guides hunts all around the world, so going to Africa would be nothing new.  The target on the other hand would be. And so too, he quickly found, would be the attention.  This episode, producer Simon Adler follows Corey as he dodges death threats and prepares to pull the trigger.  Along the way we stop to talk with Namibian hunters and government officials, American activists, and someone who's been here before - Kenya’s former Director of Wildlife, Richard Leakey.   All the while, we try to uncover what conservation really means in the 21st century. Reported &amp;amp; produced by Simon Adler with production help from Matthew Kielty. Special thanks to Chris Weaver, Ian Wallace, Mark Barrow, the Lindstrom family, and everyone at the Aru Game Lodge in Namibia. Thanks also to Sarah Fogel, Ray Crow, Barbara Clucus, and Diogo Veríssimo. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .    ... Read more

27 May 2021

52 MINS

52:10

27 May 2021


#134

The Dirty Drug and the Ice Cream Tub

This episode, a tale of a wonder drug that will make you wonder about way more than just drugs.   Doctor-reporter Avir Mitra follows the epic and fantastical journey of a molecule dug out of a distant patch of dirt that would go on to make billions of dollars, prolong millions of lives, and teach us something fundamental we didn’t know about ourselves. Along the way, he meets a geriatric mouse named Ike, an immigrant dad who’s a little bit cool sometimes, a prophetic dream that prompts a thousand-mile journey, an ice cream container that may or may not be an accessory to international drug smuggling, and - most important of all - an obscure protein that’s calling the shots in every one of your cells RIGHT NOW. This episode was reported by Avir Mitra and was produced by Sarah Qari, Pat Walters, Suzie Lechtenberg, with help from Carin Leong and Rachael Cusick. Special thanks to Richard Miller, Stuart Schreiber, Joanne Van Tilburg, and Bethany Halford. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .   **This episode was taped prior to the news that David Sabatini was fired from The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and prior to his resignation from the Whitehead Institute. More information about Sabatini’s alleged misconduct and the investigation into his behavior can be found  [here] (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/hhmi-fires-prominent-biologist-sexual-harassment) . ... Read more

21 May 2021

46 MINS

46:23

21 May 2021


#133

Brown Box

You order some stuff on the Internet and it shows up three hours later. How could all the things that need to happen to make that happen happen so fast?   It used to be, when you ordered something on the Internet, you waited a week for it to show up. That was the deal: you didn’t have to get off the couch, but you had to wait. But in the last few years, that’s changed. Now, increasingly, the stuff we buy on the Internet shows up the next day or the same day, sometimes within hours. Free shipping included. Which got us wondering: How is this Internet voodoo possible? A fleet of robots? Vacuum tubes? Teleportation? Hardly. In this short, reporter [Gabriel Mac] (http://gabrielmac.com/)  travels into the belly of the beast that is the Internet retail system, and what he finds takes his breath away and makes him weak in the knees (in the worst way). Producer Pat Walters and [Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store] (http://www.businessweek.com/authors/411-brad-stone) , a book about Amazon.com, assist. *****This podcast contains some language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for young listeners******   ... Read more

13 May 2021

28 MINS

28:34

13 May 2021


#132

Kleptotherms

In this episode, we break the thermometer watch the mercury spill out as we discover temperature is far stranger than it seems. Five stories that run the gamut from snakes to stars. We start out underwater, with a snake that has evolved a devious trick for keeping warm. Then we hear the tale of a young man whose seemingly simple method of warming up might be the very thing making him cold. And Senior Correspondent Molly Webster blows the lid off the idea that 98.6 degrees Farenheight is a sound marker of health.  This episode was reported by Lulu Miller and Molly Webster and was produced by Lulu Miller, Molly Webster, and Becca Bressler. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) . ... Read more

05 May 2021

44 MINS

44:06

05 May 2021


#131

Deep Cuts

Today, Lulu and Latif talk about some of their favorite episodes from Radiolab’s past that hold new power today.   Lulu points to an episode from 2008:  Imagine that you're a composer. Imagine getting the commission to write a song that will allow family members to face the death of a loved one. Well, composer [David Lang] (http://www.bangonacan.org/about_us/david_lang) had to do just that when a hospital in Garches, France, asked him to write music for their morgue, or ['Salle Des Departs.'] (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/lastgoodbye.shtml) What do you do? This piece was produced by [Jocelyn Gonzales] (http://www.strangemusic.com/JGonzales.htm) . And Latif talks about an episode Jad made in 2009. Here’s how we described it back then: Jad--a brand new father--wonders what's going on inside the head of his baby Amil. (And don't worry, you don't need kids to enjoy this podcast.) The questions here are big: what is it like to be so brand new to the world? None of us have memories from this time, so how could we possibly ever know? Is it just chaos? Or, is there something more, some understanding from the very beginning? Jad found a development psychologist named [Charles Fernyhough] (http://www.charlesfernyhough.com/) to explore some of his questions. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .     ... Read more

22 Apr 2021

24 MINS

24:10

22 Apr 2021


#130

The Septendecennial Sing-Along

Every 17 years, a deafening sex orchestra hits the East Coast -- billions and billions of cicadas crawl out of the ground, sing their hearts out, then mate and die. In this short, Jad and Robert talk to a man who gets inside that noise to dissect its meaning and musical components. While most of us hear a wall of white noise, squeaks, and squawks....David Rothenberg hears a symphony. He's trained his ear to listen for the music of animals, and he's always looking for chances to join in, with everything from lonely birds to giant whales to swarming cicadas. In this podcast, David explains his urge to connect and sing along, and helps break down the mysterious life cycle and mating rituals of the periodical cicadas into something we can all relate to. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .       ![image] (https://www.wnyc.org/i/raw/1/david_rothenberg_playing_cicadas_bug_music.jpg) David Rothenberg making music with the cicadas.  [Courtesy of David Rothenberg/Bug Music] (http://www.bugmusicbook.com/) A visual breakdown of the cicada mating calls: ![image] (https://www.wnyc.org/i/raw/1/cooley_marshall_cicada_calls.jpg)<a href="http://www.bugmusicbook.com/" target="_blank"></a> Courtesy of John Cooley and David Marshall at UConn. For more on cicada mating calls, take a look at this [paper from Cooley and Marshall] (http://www.magicicada.org/cooley/reprints/Cooley_Marshall_2001.pdf) . A close-up of cicadas getting down: ![image] (https://www.wnyc.org/i/raw/1/cicada_sex_bug_music.jpg) [Courtesy of David Rothenberg/Bug Music] (http://www.bugmusicbook.com/) Enjoy a free download of our favorite track from David's CD [Bug Music] (http://www.bugmusicbook.com/#!music/czas) -- here's the description from the liner notes: Katydid Prehistory: Named in honor of Archaboilus musicus, the 165 million year old prehistoric katydid, whose fossil remains reveal an ability to sing distinct pitches. Katydid Prehistory ... Read more

15 Apr 2021

19 MINS

19:36

15 Apr 2021


#129

What Up Holmes?

Love it or hate it, the freedom to say obnoxious and subversive things is the quintessence of what makes America America. But our say-almost-anything approach to free speech is actually relatively recent, and you can trace it back to one guy: a Supreme Court justice named Oliver Wendell Holmes. Even weirder, you can trace it back to one seemingly ordinary 8-month period in Holmes’s life when he seems to have done a logical U-turn on what should be say-able.  Why he changed his mind during those 8 months is one of the greatest mysteries in the history of the Supreme Court.  (Spoiler: the answer involves anarchists, a house of truth, and a cry for help from a dear friend.)  Join us as we investigate why he changed his mind, how that made the country change its mind, and whether it’s now time to change our minds again. This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and was produced by Sarah Qari. Special thanks to Jenny Lawton, Soren Shade, Kelsey Padgett, Mahyad Tousi and Soroush Vosughi. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .      further reading: Thomas Healy’s book [The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes CHanged His Mind - And Changed the History of Free Speech In America] (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250058690) (the inspiration for this episode) plus his latest book [Soul City: Race, Equality and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia] (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781627798624) . The Science article that Sinan Aral wrote in 2018, along with Soroush Vosughi and Deb Roy: [“The Spread of True and False News Online”] (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146) Sinan Aral’s recent book [The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy and our Health - And How We Must Adapt] (https://www.sinanaral.io/books) Zeynep Tufekci’s newsletter “ [The Insight] (https://zeynep.substack.com/) ” plus her book [Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest] (https://www.twitterandteargas.org/) Nabiha Syed’s news website [The Markup] (https://themarkup.org/) [Trailer] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EADzGGjuqI) for “The Magnificent Yankee,” a 1950 biopic of Oliver Wendell Holmes Anthony Lewis, [Freedom for the Thought that We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment] (https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/anthony-lewis/freedom-for-the-thought-that-we-hate/9780465012930/) ... Read more

02 Apr 2021

48 MINS

48:14

02 Apr 2021


#128

Elements

Scientists took about 300 years to lay out the Periodic Table into neat rows and columns. In one hour, we’re going to mess it all up.  This episode, we enlist journalists, poets, musicians, and even a physicist to help us tell stories of matter that matters. You’ll never look at that chart the same way again. Special thanks to [Emotive Fruition] (http://emotivefruition.org/)  for organizing poetry performances and to the mighty [Sylvan Esso] (http://www.sylvanesso.com/)  for composing 'Jaime's Song', both inspired by this episode. Thanks also to Sam Kean, Chris Howk, Brian Fields and to Paul Dresher and Ned Rothenberg for the use of their song " [Untold Story:The Edge of Sleep"] (http://www.amazon.com/Untold-Story-The-Edge-Sleep/dp/B0045EDG6M) .  Check out Jaime Lowe's book  [Mental: Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind] (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/538318/mental-by-jaime-lowe/9780399574498/) Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .    ... Read more

25 Mar 2021

1 HR 13 MINS

1:13:36

25 Mar 2021


#127

Escapescape

As we hit the one year mark since the first U.S. state (California) issued a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we put out a call to see if any of you would take us to your secret escape spot and record audio there. And you astounded us with what you brought in.  In this soundrich, kaleidoscopic episode, we journey around the planet and then, quite literally, beyond it. Listen only if you want a boatload of fresh air, fields of wildflowers, stars, birds, frogs, and a [riveting tale] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/segments/187718-edge-heavens) involving Isaac Newton and a calm beyond any calm you knew could exist. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty and Lulu Miller, with production support from Jonny Moens and Suzie Lechtenberg.  Special thanks to: Lynn Levy, who went on to host the space-a-licious series, [The Habitat] (https://gimletmedia.com/shows/the-habitat) , and edit (among other things) the powerful and beautiful new podcast [Resistance] (https://gimletmedia.com/shows/resistance) . Merav Opher, an astronomy professor at BU, who now directs the [SHIELD DRIVE Science Center] (http://sites.bu.edu/shield-drive/) which is studying the data collected by the Voyagers at the edge of the heavens, or--err, the “heliosphere” as the scientists call it. Edward Dolnick, [ The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World] (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006171951X%20/radiolabbooks-20/) Ann Druyan, one of the creators of the 1977 Golden Album traveling on the Voyager probe, has recently released a new series on National Geographic,  “ [Cosmos: Possible Worlds] (https://www.geekwire.com/2020/qa-cosmos-author-ann-druyan-muses-possible-worlds-carl-sagan/) ” A.J. Dungo, who submitted a postcard while surfing, is author of the mesmerizing graphic novel, [In Waves] (https://nobrow.net/shop/in-waves/) , a memoir about surfing and grief. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .    ... Read more

19 Mar 2021

32 MINS

32:19

19 Mar 2021


#126

Dispatch 14: Covid Crystal Ball

Last summer, at a hospital in England, a man in his 70s being treated for complications with cancer tested positive for covid-19. He had lymphoma, and the disease plus his drugs weakened his immune system, making him particularly susceptible to the virus. He wasn’t too bad off, considering, and was sent home. That was Day 1. This is the story of what the doctors witnessed, over the course of his illness: the evolution of covid-19 inside his body. Before their eyes, they get a hint of what might be to come in the pandemic.  This episode was reported by Molly Webster.  Special thanks to Ravindra Gupta, Jonathan Li. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .      Want to learn more about some of the covid case studies? Here are a couple papers to get you started: The “U.K. Paper”, co-authored by Ravi Gupta, one of our sources for the episode: [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03291-y] (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03291-y) A case study out of Boston, co-authored by Dr. Jonathan Li, one of our sources for the episode: [https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2031364] (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2031364) For more on immune suppression and covid-19, check out this amazing Scientific American article:  [https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/covid-variants-may-arise-in-people-with-compromised-immune-systems/] (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/covid-variants-may-arise-in-people-with-compromised-immune-systems/) ... Read more

12 Mar 2021

27 MINS

27:14

12 Mar 2021


#125

The Ceremony

In November of 2016, journalist Morgen Peck showed up at her friend Molly Webster's apartment in Brooklyn, told her to take her battery out of her phone, and began to tell her about The Ceremony, a moment last fall when a group of, well, let's just call them wizards, came together in an undisclosed location to launch a new currency. It's an undertaking that involves some of the most elaborate security and cryptography ever done (so we've been told). And math. Lots of math. It was all going great until, in the middle of it, something started to behave a little...strangely. Reported by Molly Webster. Produced by Matt Kielty and Molly Webster. Denver Ceremony station recordings were created by media maker Nathaniel Kramer, with help from Daniel Cooper.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) . ... Read more

25 Feb 2021

47 MINS

47:13

25 Feb 2021


#124

Red Herring

It was the early 80s, the height of the Cold War, when something strange began happening off the coast of Sweden. The navy reported a mysterious sound deep below the surface of the ocean. Again, and again, and again they would hear it near their secret military bases, in their harbors, and up and down the Swedish coastline.  After thorough analysis the navy was certain. The sound was an invasion into their waters, an act of war, the opening salvos of a possible nuclear annihilation.  Or was it?  Today, Annie McEwen pulls us down into a deep-sea mystery, one of international intrigue that asks you to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, your deepest beliefs could be as solid as...air. This episode was reported by Annie McEwen and produced by Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Sarah Qari, with sound design by Jeremy Bloom.  Special thanks to Bosse Lindquist. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .    ... Read more

19 Feb 2021

35 MINS

35:18

19 Feb 2021


#123

Facebook's Supreme Court

Since its inception, the perennial thorn in Facebook’s side has been content moderation. That is, deciding what you and I are allowed to post on the site and what we’re not. Missteps by Facebook in this area have fueled everything from a genocide in Myanmar to viral disinformation surrounding politics and the coronavirus. However, just this past year, conceding their failings, Facebook shifted its approach. They erected an independent body of twenty jurors that will make the final call on many of Facebook’s thorniest decisions. This body has been called: Facebook’s Supreme Court. So today, in collaboration with the New Yorker magazine and the New Yorker Radio Hour, we explore how this body came to be, what power it really has and how the consequences of its decisions will be nothing short of life or death. This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler. To hear more about the court's origin, their rulings so far, and their upcoming docket, check out David Remnick and reporter Kate Klonick’s conversation in the New Yorker Radio Hour podcast [feed] (https://smarturl.it/newyorkerradiohour/spotify) . Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .       ... Read more

12 Feb 2021

44 MINS

44:08

12 Feb 2021


#122

Smile My Ass

Candid Camera is one of the most original – and one of the most mischievous – TV shows of all time.  Admirers hailed its creator Allen Funt as a poet of the everyday. Critics denounced him as a Peeping Tom.  Funt sought to capture people at their most unguarded, their most spontaneous, their most natural.  And he did. But as the show succeeded, it started to change the way we thought not only of reality television, but also of reality itself.  Looking back at the show now, a half century later, it’s hard NOT to see so many of our preoccupations – privacy, propriety, publicity, authenticity – through a funhouse mirror, darkly. This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and produced by Matt Kielty.  Special Thanks to: Bertram van Munster, Fred Nadis, Alexa Conway, the Eastern Airlines Employee Association and Eastern Airlines Radio, Rebecca Lemov, Anna McCarthy, Jill Lepore, Cullie Bogacki Willis III, Barbara Titus and the Funt family.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab-it/onestep/?utm_source=wnyc&amp;amp;utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;amp;utm_content=show-notes) .     ... Read more

29 Jan 2021

34 MINS

34:56

29 Jan 2021


#121

Post Reports: Four Hours of Insurrection

We’re all still processing what happened on January 6th. Despite the hours and hours of video circulating online, we still didn’t feel like we had a visceral, on-the-ground sense of what happened that day. Until we heard the piece we’re featuring today. The Washington Post’s daily podcast Post Reports built a minute-by-minute replay of that day, from the rally, to the invasion, to the aftermath, told through the voices of people who were in the building that day -- reporters, photojournalists, Congresspeople, police officers and more. It’s some of the most visceral reporting we’ve heard anywhere on this historic moment. [Listen to their full episode here.] (https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/post-reports/four-hours-of-insurrection/)   ... Read more

16 Jan 2021

39 MINS

39:20

16 Jan 2021