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.

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Greg Stock: Humans 2.0

Friday, August 31, 2012

Greg Stock tells Kurt Andersen he thinks technology may allow humans to break free of their natural life span. “We are like a dying animal,” he says, “we are stuck to our bodies and yet our minds can soar.” Stock believes therapeutic interventions to treat diseases like cancer ...

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The Posthuman Future

Friday, August 31, 2012

Everything we’re able to do today to enhance humans — from genetic engineering to artificial limbs — simply improves on the base model we were born with. But for some, that doesn’t go far enough. They think we shouldn’t be stuck with the factory-installed settings in our DNA ...

Slideshow: Transhumanist Art

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Becoming the Bionic Man

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hugh Herr is a leading bionics developer at MIT and a double amputee following a mountain-climbing accident. Herr has developed legs that allow him to climb better than he could previously. With a generation of young injured veterans needing prostheses, the need to build ...

Video: iWalk PowerFoot Gait Animation

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Making Memories with a Microchip

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ted Berger is trying to build a microchip that can remember things for us. He teaches biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, and his goal is to create a device that can take over for the hippocampus of the brain, translating thoughts into long-term memories ...

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Greg Stock: Redesigning Humans

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nearly a decade after the human genome was decoded, scientists are only now beginning to understand its implications. One of the leading thinkers in this field is the biotech entrepreneur Gregory Stock. His 2002 book Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future ...

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Neil Harbisson, Cyborg

Friday, August 31, 2012

Neil Harbisson is a painter, a musician, and a cyborg. Born with a rare form of colorblindness, Harbisson can only see the world in grays. In 2004, he collaborated with a scientist to create a device called the Eyeborg, which he wears everywhere — even in his passport picture ...

Video: Neil Harbisson's Sonochromatic Portrait #1

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Object Breast Cancer

Friday, August 03, 2012

The pink ribbon has been an incredibly successful piece of marketing for breast cancer research. For cancer survivor Leonor Caraballo, though, it's supremely annoying. Caraballo is a sculptor who collaborates with her husband, Abou Farman. The couple came up with a new ...

Slideshow: Tumor as Sculpture

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Can Art Spark a Discovery in the Lab?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Andre Fenton didn’t want his new neurobiology lab at New York University to look like the traditional research space: a mishmash of drab office furniture and cluttered lab benches harshly lit by rows of fluorescent lights. That’s why its core holds a 15-foot-long, one-inch-thick slab of glass. The ...

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Artists and Scientists Riff on Water

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Drink local. The artist Colin Hart has created a public art piece that lets the bravest New Yorkers sample water from the Hudson River (transformed from mucky brown to crystal clear). It's part of an exhibit called Surface Tension that focuses on water: its movement, its growing scarcity ...

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Robopainter

Friday, July 06, 2012

AARON is the world’s first cybernetic artist: an artificially intelligent system that composes its own paintings. Incredibly, the system is the work of one man, Harold Cohen, who had no background in computing when he began the effort. Cohen was a prominent painter; he represented ...

Quiz: Was this art made by a human or a computer?

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Smart Programs Read Shakespeare

Friday, July 06, 2012

Patrick Winston is Principal Investigator at MIT's Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab. He believes that creating better artificial intelligence is not a matter of more powerful processing: we have to teach computers how to think more like humans. “We are a symbolic species,” he ...

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Eve Sussman's Algorithmic Noir

Friday, July 06, 2012

A new film premiered last year that is truly one of a kind. whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir was made by Eve Sussman and her collaborators, known as the Rufus Corporation. They shot most of the footage in Kazakhstan, improvising the script and taking advantage of the Soviet Union’s ...

Video: Watch the trailer

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Lisa Randall: Knocking on Heaven's Door

Friday, July 06, 2012

Harvard physicist Lisa Randall is at the forefront of the search for new theories about how the universe works.  She’s especially interested in dark matter and is involved in work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  And although her work requires complex math and work on the theoretical ...

Bonus Track: Kurt's extended conversation with Lisa Randall

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DARCI: A Computer With Great Taste

Friday, July 06, 2012

To make art, a computer first needs to understand what art is. A group of computer scientists at Brigham Young University is attempting this by feeding their program images by the thousands and describing those images. Digital Artist Communicating Intent (she goes by DARCI) recognizes ...

Slideshow: DARCI evaluates art

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Hacking Into the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Monday, June 11, 2012

For centuries, artists have come to art museums, set up camp in the corner of a gallery, and sketched the artwork on the walls. Earlier this month, 23 artists used cutting-edge technologies (including 3-D printers and modeling software) to put their own spin on some of the masterworks at the ...

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The Man Who Invented the Dinosaurs

Friday, June 08, 2012

Each of us can call to mind a clear image of many dinosaurs. That’s surprising, since no human ever set eyes on one. The images that we have derive largely from the work of one man, Charles R. Knight. A gifted wildlife painter at the end of the 19th century, Knight was ...

Slideshow: Charles R. Knight's dinosaurs

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Design for the Real World: Dialysis Machine

Friday, May 18, 2012

Before the invention of the dialysis machine, kidney failure was basically a death sentence. Registered nurse Janice Breen explains how the design of dialysis machines has evolved since she started working with them back in 1973 ...

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Art Therapy in Action

Friday, May 18, 2012

Can the arts actually improve health care? Kurt gets some answers from Jill Sonke, director of the Center for the Arts in Healthcare at the University of Florida. She explains how the arts have been carving out a place in the healing process ...

Slideshow: Art therapy in action

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More With Jill Sonke

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jill Sonke tells Kurt about the benefits and challenges that come with bringing art and artists into health care environments.

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Narrative Medicine

Friday, May 18, 2012

Medical students spend hours studying information on charts and graphs, but when was the last time they studied the meaning behind a good story? We visited a group of OB/GYN residents taking a narrative medicine class to see how embracing fiction can improve patient care ...

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