Science

7:37am

Thu June 28, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Phantom Finger Points To Secrets In The Human Brain

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 8:07 am

hand 1
Robert Krulwich NPR

When she was born, her right hand wasn't right. Instead of looking like this ...

... her thumb was stunted, she had no index finger. Her middle finger and her ring finger were rigid. Only her pinkie was normal.

Her name doesn't matter. In their science paper describing her case, her doctors call her "RN" to protect her privacy. It's her hand that has them thinking.

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7:03am

Mon June 25, 2012

5:43am

Sat June 23, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Weekend Special: This Blog Now Has An Anthem

Getty Images

It's sung, of course, by Fred Rogers, or as we all call him, "Mister." He is our diva (divo?), and his theme is Wonder, like ours.

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6:58am

Fri June 22, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

How Do Plants Know Which Way Is Up And Which Way Is Down?

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 2:32 pm

Robert Krulwich NPR

Think of a seed buried in a pot. Like this one:

It's dark down there in the potting soil. There's no light, no sunshine. So how does it know which way is up and which way is down? It does know. Seeds routinely send shoots up toward the sky, and roots the other way. Darkness doesn't confuse them. Somehow, they get it right...

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9:45am

Tue June 19, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Med Student Rescues Body Part From Airport Security

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 12:55 pm

The section of trachea with two days of cell growth, immediately before Castillo's implant surgery.
Harvard Bioscience

No, said airline security, you can't take this bottle onboard. It exceeds the 100 milliliter limit; it's forbidden.

But wait, said professor Martin Birchall of Bristol University. This is a medical container. Inside is a trachea, a carefully constructed human windpipe, seeded with 60 million stem cells from a very sick woman in Barcelona. We have just 16 hours to get it into her body. We pre-arranged this.

We have no record of your request, said the airline.

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