Transistor

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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Website
https://transistor.prx.org
Description
<p>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. </p>
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2018-04-30 16:44
last episode published
2017-11-13 05:00
publication frequency
16.63 days
Contributors
PRX author  
The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX owner  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
62
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Science & Medicine Natural Sciences

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
13.11.2017

No Inoculation without Representation!

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 thre...
PRX author
30.10.2017

Cosmic Ray Catchers

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 h...
PRX author
16.10.2017

Three Letters on Broom Bridge

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 mat...
PRX author
2.10.2017

After A Flood

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 tim...
PRX author
18.09.2017

Bowl Tastes Delicious

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...
PRX author
4.09.2017

Hurry Up and Listen

Underneath our vrooms, beeps, and rumbles, natural sound may be more important than we think.
PRX author
21.08.2017

A Job for the Bee Team

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 ...
PRX author
8.08.2017

An Ovarian Transplant Between Twins

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.
PRX author
17.05.2017

Tick Tock Biological Clock

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.
PRX author
28.04.2017

Owning the Clouds

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 surpri...
PRX author
3.04.2017

Spotting Fake Art -- with Math

Visual stylometry is a branch of mathematics that can determine the style of a particular artist’s body of work.
PRX author
9.03.2017

Engineering NYC from Below

Head underground to hear how some of the first subways were built, and how they are built today.This story was originally produced by Bishop Sand in 2013. It was hosted for Transistor by Genevieve Sponsler and mixed for Transistor by Josh Swartz.Image:...
PRX author
7.02.2017

700 Fathoms Under the Sea

This 1948 graphic shows sound traveling on an axis 700 fathoms down in the Atlantic.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...
PRX author
20.01.2017

Sidedoor from the Smithsonian: Shake it Up

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 has turned the night sky into a symphony...
PRX author
9.12.2016

Sidedoor from the Smithsonian: Butting Heads

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: two besties turn into lifelong enemies over a dining r...
PRX author
1.12.2016

Sidedoor from the Smithsonian: Masters of Disguise

For the next few episodes, we’re featuring select episodes from the Smithsonian’s new series, Sidedoor, about where science, art, history, humanity and where they unexpectedly overlap — just like their museums. Up first: tales of scientific deception a...
PRX author
11.11.2016

Dance: It’s Only Human

Bronwyn Tarr with CarimbĂł dancers.Oxford evolutionary neuroscientist Bronwyn Tarr was in a remote area of Brazil to begin an experiment. On her first night there, she heard distant drumbeats, went looking for them, and experienced firsthand what she w...
PRX author
20.10.2016

The Words are a Jumble

Vissarion Shebalin was not a great composer. But his music could unlock an important truth about how the brain processes music and language.This story was produced by Tobin Low in 2015 and edited by Andrea Mustain. It was hosted for Transistor by Genev...
PRX author
21.09.2016

The Art and Science of Polynesian Wayfinding

Ancient navigators traveled across the Pacific without the aid of maps or instruments. We’ll hear from modern-day navigators in New Zealand, Hawai’i and North America about the techniques used to do so. This is the art and science of Polynesian wayfind...
PRX author
2.09.2016

Remaking the Science Fair

This episode is brought to you by… science fair memories. I (your host Genevieve) remember being inspired to create my sixth grade science fair project by a visit to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (more on that below).I found this piece from Ad...
PRX author
6.08.2016

Peeing in Your Pants… In Your 30s

Some studies suggest that one out of 10 women in her 30s is peeing herself. Others say the numbers could be much much higher. But it’s tough to talk about. Producer Lauren Whaley shares her story and the scientific approaches to hopefully one day solvi...
PRX author
21.07.2016

The Ghost in the MP3

What’s lost when a song is compressed into an MP3? To the untrained ear, perhaps nothing. But to one composer, these “lost sounds” are a source for his stunning and ghostly musical compositions.This episode was produced by Emily Richardson-Lorente with...
PRX author
21.06.2016

Outside Podcast: Devil’s Highway, Part 2

Transistor’s mothership PRX has partnered with Outside Magazine to produce four special podcast episodes on the Science of Survival. You’ll receive them in Transistor’s podcast feed, and for even more, subscribe to the Outside Podcast.Here’s episode 4....
PRX author
2.06.2016

Outside Podcast: Devil’s Highway, Part 1

Transistor’s mothership PRX has partnered with Outside magazine to produce four special podcast episodes on the Science of Survival. You’ll receive them in Transistor’s podcast feed, and for even more, subscribe to the Outside Podcast.Here’s episode 3....
PRX author
19.05.2016

Outside Podcast: Struck by Lightning

Transistor’s mothership PRX has partnered with Outside magazine to produce four special podcast episodes on the Science of Survival. You’ll receive them in Transistor’s podcast feed, and for even more, subscribe to the Outside Podcast.Here’s episode 2....
PRX author
5.05.2016

Trace Elements: The Musical

Ta-da! Our fifth special episode with Cristina Quinn and Alison Bruzek of Trace Elements is here. Let us know what you enjoyed about their series and what surprised you in the comment section below. In just five episodes they’ve covered the science of ...
PRX author
21.04.2016

Trace Elements: Mystery at the Lake

Lake Oneida on April 24, 2016. Photo by Carl HagmannSpecial episode #4 featuring Trace Elements with Cristina Quinn and Alison Bruzek. In the 1970s, a geochemist and a biologist banded together to solve a mystery at Lake Oneida in upstate New York. Wh...
PRX author
7.04.2016

Trace Elements: Upgrade

It’s here! Episode three of our special five-part series called Trace Elements with hosts Cristina Quinn and Alison Bruzek.Hacking your hearing aid to implanting NFC tags into your hands — we are now in the age of DIY Bio. Dive into the growing underwo...
PRX author
30.03.2016

Outside Podcast: Frozen Alive

We are interrupting your regularly scheduled podcast feed with a special new episode on the science of survival from Outside Magazine and PRX. Here’s the first episode on the cold, hard facts about what happens when you get lost in the snow.To get futu...
PRX author
24.03.2016

Trace Elements: Fooled Ya

Cristina &amp; Marco hanging out with EDIEpisode two of our special five-part series called Trace Elements — with hosts Cristina Quinn and Alison Bruzek — is here. This time: the how and why of illusion. Maybe you’ll get some April Fools ideas.Marco T...
PRX author
10.03.2016

Trace Elements: The Reset

Two hosts, one adventure: This episode marks the beginning of five special Transistor episodes featuring Trace Elements. Hosts and producers Cristina Quinn and Alison Bruzek take listeners on an off-road trip into the science that connects us. Learn mo...
PRX author
29.02.2016

The Invention of the Home Pregnancy Test

We love a good backstory to a scientific invention that is ubiquitous today. Meet the women who got pregnancy tests out of labs and into homes.In the episode:Audrey PeattieMargaret Crane Gloria AllenSpecial thanks to Dr. Jesse Olszynko-Gryn (University...
PRX author
12.02.2016

Rodney Learns to Fly

Rodney Stotts and Mr. Hoots, a Eurasian eagle owl.“Biophilia” refers to the instinctive affection humans have for nature. It’s a term that was coined in the mid-’80s by renowned biologist E.O. Wilson. This story is about just such a connection: Rodney...
PRX author
26.01.2016

Imagine All the People

Casey draws his imaginary grandson, Georgie. Photo by Pien Huang.Casey is just four, but he already has an imaginary grandson. What does science say about what imaginary friends do for kids and the adults they become?Hey listeners, do you remember your...
PRX author
7.01.2016

Disease Detectives On the Case

Ebola, salmonella, even measles. All of these have a source, and disease detectives trained at the CDC know how to find the culprits. Join two rookies as as they solve “the case of the nutty dish”.This episode was originally produced by Philip Graitcer...
PRX author
17.12.2015

Orbital Path: Must Be Aliens

Loyal Transistor listeners will remember astronomer Michelle Thaller, who hosted three episodes for us early in 2015. She’s back, now with her own monthly podcast from PRX called Orbital Path. It’s all about stars, the universe, and us — for space love...
PRX author
7.12.2015

Bluegrass…for Wolves?

What kind of music do animals like? A woman who studies how non-human creatures go mad throws concerts for captive animals to try and enrich their lives, and researchers weigh in on how we can understand animal tastes for music with science. Plus, a bl...
PRX author
20.11.2015

All By Myself…Maybe

“52 Hz” is the name given to a mysterious whale that vocalizes at a different frequency than other whales. Some refer to him as “The World’s Loneliest Whale,” but other scientists aren’t convinced that its unique call has left the whale isolated at all...
PRX author
5.11.2015

Nautilus special: “To Save California, Read Dune”

The sci-fi epic of Dune takes place on a desert planet. There, the water in even a single tear is precious. Can Dune offer lessons for drought-stricken California of 2015?This is a special episode featuring science magazine Nautilus.This episode was pr...
PRX author
5.10.2015

The Indiana Jones of Math

Ken Golden isn’t your typical mathematician. He’s the Indiana Jones of Mathematics. He gets up from behind his desk, armed with mathematical theory and gets out into the world, having adventures and finding unifying math behind seemingly unconnected s...
PRX author
18.08.2015

Forensics in Flames

Over the past 20 years, there’s been a revolution in the science of arson investigations. Many of the clues that had been used for decades to determine that a fire was not accidental, especially the analysis of burn patterns on walls and floors, have b...
PRX author
16.07.2015

That Crime of the Month

What does it mean when a woman commits a crime and attributes her actions to PMS? We revisit the court case for — and the science behind — the first use of the “PMS defense” in this country, back in 1981. Featuring the true crime show, Criminal.This ep...
PRX author
6.07.2015

The Last of the Iron Lungs

As storms raged through Oklahoma in 2013, Martha Lillard waited them out from inside her iron lung. She is one of just dozens of polio survivors who still rely on their decades-old machines.The Last of the Iron Lungs is a portrait of Martha, who contra...
PRX author
29.06.2015

Where Math and Mime Meet

Tim and Tanya Chartier present a classic mime stanceSome things can be better left unsaid. Who would have thought that math could be one of them?Tim Chartier has found a way to fuse his two great loves: math and mime. He and his wife strive to have t...
PRX author
11.06.2015

This is Crohn’s Disease

Producer/reporter Jack Rodolico and his wife, Christina.Told by the couple who lived it, this is a story of how Crohn’s disease can change lives when you least expect it. And it’s a story of how science can present multiple paths to — hopefully — relie...
PRX author
29.05.2015

Finding the Elusive Digital Stradivarius

A hammer tap to the bridge — light as a dried pea — helps Curtin capture an acoustic instrument’s sound signature.In music, everything seems to have another digital life. Pianists can play with different voicings on an electric keyboard. Guitarists...
PRX author
22.05.2015

Totally Cerebral: Exercise and Your Brain

A story of movement, memory, and mentors. Dr. Wendy Suzuki introduces us to Dr. Marian Diamond, whose lively classes ushered Wendy into a career in neuroscience. And Wendy shares how she came to study how exercise profoundly affects the brain, not just...
PRX author
14.05.2015

Science’s Blind Spots

One of the things we assign to science is that there are true, absolute facts. But scientists are human and, it turns out, as prone to blind spots in their thinking as the rest of us, especially when cultural assumptions and biases get in the way. Emil...
PRX author
7.05.2015

Early Bloom

When University of Washington researcher David Rhoades discovered that plants could communicate with each other, he was laughed out of science. But now, three decades later, science is reconsidering.His discovery came on the heels of the book The Secre...
PRX author
23.04.2015

The Next Generation of Galapagos Scientists

What motivates young people to become scientists? Meet Maricruz Jaramillo and Samoa Asigau, two young women scientists from opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean, whose professional aspirations have taken them to the Galapagos Islands. Science reporter V...
PRX author