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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Neil Harbisson, Cyborg

Friday, November 04, 2011

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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They’re Made Out of Meat

Friday, November 04, 2011

We humans are pretty hot stuff — the most highly evolved species on the planet, or so we like to think. This parable by science-fiction writer Terry Bisson suggests otherwise. To some space aliens who think they’ve seen it all, we’re not just primitive. We’re gross. Terry Bisson’s “They’re Made Out of Meat” was first published in ...

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The Posthuman Future

Friday, November 04, 2011

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 people, that doesn’t go far enough. They think we shouldn’t be stuck with the factory-installed settings in our DNA. And they're not satisfied with a lifespan ...

Slideshow: Transhumanist Art

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Greg Stock: Humans 2.0

Friday, November 04, 2011

Biotech entrepreneur 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 ...

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Becoming the Bionic Man

Friday, November 04, 2011

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 mechanical ...

Video: iWalk PowerFoot Gait Animation

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Making Memories with a Microchip

Friday, November 04, 2011

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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Science Tattoos

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tattoos are the defining fashion statement of the present generation. A few years ago, the writer Carl Zimmer was at a pool party and found that a young scientist friend of his, a neurobiologist, had a double helix printed on his back — a little strand of DNA. Zimmer blogged about it, and before he knew it, dozens of scientists ...

Slideshow: Tats from Science Ink

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Understanding Creative Savants

Friday, October 14, 2011

We all know the Thomas Edison line: genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. But there are those who don't seem to perspire at all. Their extraordinary gifts seem to come from no where. We often call those people savants. And some neuroscientists are trying to understand where their talents come from ...

Slideshow: Art by Joel Gilb, Age 12

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Imagine Science Film Festival

Friday, October 07, 2011

The fourth Imagine Science Film Festival (ISFF) will be held in New York City October 14-21. Venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens will host 80 films from 15 countries. They are diverse in style and subject, but the selection committee clearly placed a high value on striking visuals. The films may not have been created for wide commercial distribution, but ...

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2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics Teaches About Music

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Saul Perlmutter, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Physics, teaches "Physics and Music" at UC Berkeley. From his course description: "The mysteries of music have long inspired scientists to invent new tools of thought, and some of the earliest scientific concepts were invented to understand music. ... Questions as simple as "Why do different instruments ...

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Seeing Stats: The Art of Data Visualization

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Many scientists have no trouble conjuring rich images in their heads just from scanning columns of data. For the rest of us, it's essential to turn that data into something we can relate to more easily. This is where the designers of scientific visualizations come in. Using models enriched with colors and contours ...

Video: Earthquake simulation

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Online Gamers Make Discovery in HIV Battle

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last weekend, the journal Nature Structure & Molecular Biology published a key discovery in the study of HIV — and it was made with the help of online gamers. They were playing Foldit, a game which challenges players to figure out the structures of real enzymes and proteins.  One of those puzzles was a protein ...

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Poetry and Taxonomy

Thursday, September 01, 2011

When Studio 360 contributor and science reporter Ari Daniel Shapiro visited at the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology last winter, he met Dhugal Lindsay.  The Australian researcher explores the deep seas using robotic submersibles carrying video cameras and sampling equipment.  And he's given names to some of the species he's found.

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DJ Spooky Remixes Antarctica

Monday, August 22, 2011

DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller) has just released The Book of Ice, a new interactive graphic design project that weaves together the history and future of the human relationship to the wild, inhospitable continent of Antarctica.

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Microbial Videogames

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ingmar Riedel-Kruse runs a biophysics lab at Stanford University, but he spends about half his time tinkering with videogames. He’s not playing World of Warcraft. Reidel-Kruse creates his own videogames using living microbes. The most playable is Pacmecium, inspired by classic Pac-Man, in which the player guides a host of paramecia around obstacles and...

Video: Playing the microbial videogame Pacmecium

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Maggie Gyllenhaal Channels Madame Curie

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Marie Curie is the sexiest story in science history and has charmed authors, filmmakers, and playwrights.  Add Alan Alda to the list, who makes his playwrighting debut with Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie.  At the opening gala for the World Science Festival last night, a terrific cast (including Maggie Gyllenhaal and Liev Shreiber) performed a reading.

Listen to an excerpt

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The Blind Astrophysicist

Friday, May 06, 2011

Astronomers used to believe in something called “the music of the spheres” — they thought that planets and stars created harmonies as they traveled through the skies. These days, astronomy is mostly a matter of visual data expressed in charts and graphs. That won’t work for Wanda Diaz, ...

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More Adventures in 3D Sound!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Last week we aired an exclusive first 3D radio broadcast. Our segment featured a breakthrough technology developed by Princeton astrophysicist Edgar Choueiri that allows stereo playback to sound much more real and lifelike. The response was overwhelming and listeners flooded our website with suggestions...

Bonus Track: Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) in 3D

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Adventures in 3D Sound: Bach and Binaural Recording

Friday, April 29, 2011

Edgar Choueiri's digital audio filter can take almost any recording and turn it into 3D — stereo tracks take on new depth and sound amazingly realistic after a quick pass through his algorithm. 

Listen to a demonstration and watch Kurt Andersen make a binaural recording

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Adventures in 3D Sound!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Edgar Chouieri knows how things work; he’s a rocket scientist — officially, the Director of Princeton University's Electric Propulsion and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory. If NASA ever sends a person to Mars, Chouieri’s research probably will have played a role. But Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen visited his lab recently to get a taste of the future right now. Chouieri’s hobby is acoustics...

Bonus Track: Listen to Sound in 3D

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