Imagine walking into Jamba Juice for your favorite smoothie fix, and when it's time to pay, instead of pulling out cash or a credit card, you just tap your phone on a reader, and you're ready to go. Better yet, when you tapped your phone to pay it, it also redeems an electronic coupon stored in your phone, so you end up paying even less. Yeah. Well, people in fact can already do this at Jamba Juice using Google Wallet on certain Android phones. You can use it at Macy's, Bloomingdales, Duane Reade.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Stem cell therapy, it seems, is always promising, promising to cure diseases or illnesses. And this week, a study using embryonic stem cells has increased the hope of fulfilling some of those promises.
Time now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman, our multimedia editor is here. Hi, Flora.
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.
FLATOW: Good video as always.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
LICHTMAN: Yeah. This one is about something that I encounter every day, and I think of it as little more than a beverage cooler or maybe a nuisance on my commute to work. I'm talking about ice. But it turns out that ice was way more interesting than I knew before (unintelligible)...
This week solar flares sent a huge blast of X-rays and charged particles screaming towards the Earth. Solar astronomer David Hathaway and physicist Doug Biesecker discuss the sun's explosive behavior, and how that 'space weather' affects satellites, airplanes and the electric grid.
A 33,000-year-old skull of a "wolf on the way to becoming a dog" was found in a Siberian cave. Evolutionary Biologist Susan Crockford, co-author of a study about the skull in PLoS ONE, discusses why the discovery challenges common beliefs about dog domestication.
In his book, Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science, Physicist Michael Nielsen discusses why scientists jealously guard their data and are slow to adopt online tools for collaboration. Nielsen talks about why attempts to create science wikipedias have failed.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. After the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP poured nearly two million gallons of dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico. The goal, of course, is breaking up oil slicks, making them dissolve into ocean waters, sort of like how you squirt dish soap on a greasy frying pan to get the oil to wash away with the water.
Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 10:48 am
The Defense Department has spent close to $3 billion since 2007 to treat and study traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder — the leading injuries suffered by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. But a federal investigation finds that the department's programs are so disorganized that it's difficult to figure out how the money has been spent.