Science and Creativity from Studio 360: the art of innovation. A sculpture unlocks a secret of cell structure, a tornado forms in a can, and a child's toy gets sent into orbit. Exploring science as a creative act since 2005. Produced by PRI and WNYC, and supported in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Recently in Science and Creativity

The Flame Alphabet

Friday, March 08, 2013

William S. Burroughs famously said that “language is a virus.” Novelist Ben Marcus took Burrough's line as inspiration for The Flame Alphabet. In the book, the language of children has become literally poisonous to adults, and a married couple with a teenage daughter is faced ...

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Playing Against The Virus

Friday, March 08, 2013

In recent years, epidemics have become a hot topic in gaming. In the online video game Pandemic 2, you play the virus, aiming to wipe out humanity. In The Great Flu, you control a world health organization and make decisions about face masks and airport closures. Games like ... 

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Our Computers, Our Viruses, Our Selves

Friday, March 08, 2013

Computer viruses have evolved from an annoyance to a national security threat. Recently the Department of Homeland Security told Americans to disable Java on our home computers (a thing that few of us knew how to do) because of flaws that left it vulnerable to viruses ...

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Viruses At The Movies

Friday, March 08, 2013

What radiation was to the 1950s — a real but poorly understood menace that served as an all-purpose plot device — viruses have become for our era. Viruses explain vampires in Blade, and zombies in I Am Legend and 28 Days Later. But viruses aren’t quarantined to genre flicks ...

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Does Your Zombie Have Rabies?

Friday, March 08, 2013

Long before science explained rabies, the virus showed up in folklore and literature. "The vampire myth, the werewolf myth, and the zombie myth," Bill Wasik tells Kurt Andersen, "are all saliva-born infections that manifest as a contagious animal essence. Rabies is the only thing ...

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What Going Viral Means

Friday, March 08, 2013

Computer viruses emerged in the 1980s. But in the internet era, we decided not to beat viruses, but to join them. “Going viral” became the goal of any piece of content, from a movie to a Facebook post. Bill Wasik is the author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture ...

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Going Viral

Friday, March 08, 2013

An epidemiologist explains how life is like World of Warcraft when a deadly plague breaks out online. Rabies experts connect the dots between The Illiad, Twilight, and Louis Pasteur; plus, an apocalyptic world where children should be seen and not heard — the sound they make can be deadly.

Reconstructing Viruses

Friday, March 08, 2013

Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University did groundbreaking research on reconstructing the DNA of viruses (sort of like microbial Jurassic Park). The method was used to re-create the spectacularly lethal influenza behind the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed between ...

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The (Viral) Glass Menagerie

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Working with virologists and glassblowers, Luke Jerram creates striking and delicate representations of some of the most deadly pathogens known to man: HIV, swine flu, SARS.
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Listener Challenge: Remixing Spring

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its entire collection of 150,000 animal sounds — including its especially vast collection of bird songs. We want you to use some of those bird songs to create your own composition on the theme of Spring. We’ll choose a winner and ...

Enter: Spring Remix Challenge

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Why Is Pop Music So Sad?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pop music's not what it used to be. A study published in the Journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts tracked the mood of pop songs over five decades of Billboard charts, and it confirms that pop has changed in substantial ways. Far more of today’s hits are now in minor ...

Graphic: How pop has become sadder since the 1960s

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Caught in Tomas Saraceno's Web

Friday, February 15, 2013

Last year, MIT established a Center for Art, Science & Technology to integrate arts into its engineering-centered curriculum. As the first artist in residence at the center, MIT picked Tomas Saraceno, whose works resemble strange, epically large science fair projects. Saraceno was born ...

Slideshow: The Work of Tomas Saraceno

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Winners: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Friday, February 15, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we asked you a question: Are we alone in the universe? We challenged you to answer in the form of an illustration, and we received more than 200 entries, includingcartoons, scientific illustrations, and abstract paintings. Julia Rothman, one of the editors ...

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Synergy: Artists Take on Ocean Science

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Each summer, the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, swells with scientists. They come from all over the world to study the ocean and its marine life. One of those scientists, Whitney Bernstein, a PhD candidate in chemical oceanography at MIT, wanted to find new ways to help her colleagues reach ...

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Staff Picks: Are We Alone in the Universe?

Monday, February 11, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we asked you a question: Are we alone in the universe? We challenged you to send us the answer in the form of an illustration. We'll reveal the winner next week. Meantime, the Studio 360 staff couldn't help choosing our own, unofficial favorites. ...

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Making Portraits Out of DNA

Friday, February 08, 2013

Everywhere we go, we leave a trail of personal information — in the stray hairs that land on park benches, or saliva on the edges of coffee cups. And artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg may be collecting that information, whether you like it or not. Using equipment and procedures ...

Video: Kurt Andersen's DNA Mask Revealed

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Down and Dirty at the Museum of Math?

Friday, January 25, 2013

For a long time, just about the only serious math museum in America was in New Hyde Park, New York — a Long Island suburban town you’ve probably never heard of. Then it closed in 2006, leaving no serious math museum. Did we need one to begin with? Glen Whitney thought so ...

Slideshow: Inside the Museum of Mathematics

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True Story: Remembering My Mother Forgetting

Friday, January 18, 2013

Meehan Crist is the Writer in Residence in Biological Sciences at Columbia University, and she’s working on a book about traumatic brain injury. Her obsession with the topic started close to home, when her mother suffered a concussion and began forgetting things — all kinds of things: where ...

Video: Meehan Crist on Memory

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The Where, the Why, and the How

Friday, January 18, 2013

Science has had a pretty good run these last few centuries: immunology, space travel, the Higgs Boson. But there are still plenty of phenomena at the edge of our understanding. The Where, the Why, and the How is a sort of text book for grown-ups that addresses science’s enduring mysteries ...

Slideshow: Inside The Where, the Why, and the How

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Studio 360 Live: Stories of Neuroscience & Memory

Friday, January 18, 2013

This week, we talk about telling stories in science through words and pictures. The new book The Where, the Why, and the How pairs explanations of scientific mysteries with playful, intriguing illustrations by 75 artists. Kurt Andersen speaks with one of the book’s editors, and gives our listeners a new ...

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