Reporting in Science, researchers write that a combination of therapies, willpower and chocolate helped rats with severe spinal cord injuries learn to walk and even run again. Neurobiologist Moses Chao, not affiliated with the study, discusses the rehab method and whether it could work in humans.
People looking at the scientific world from the outside often see it as one dominated by facts, where scientists use a stepwise, systematic process that begins - you know, you learned all this stuff in grade school, a hypothesis, the collection of data, of observations, blah, blah, blah, you go through all these steps.
Scientists at the University of Leeds are exploring ways to use magnetic bacteria to build biocomputers of the future. Meanwhile, another group of researchers, reporting in Science, write that they have unearthed deep-sea microbe that live off nutrients from the dinosaur age.
And now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora's still here and positioned perfectly to take us on a safari.
FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: We're still on safari.
FLATOW: We're still on safari.
LICHTMAN: The safari continues, this time to slightly larger organisms. See if you can see with your naked eye, and maybe in your own backyard. These guys are glow-in-the-dark - I have you already, don't I?
LICHTMAN: Millipedes - which, I didn't know - let me - can I tell you the story of how this came about?
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you have trouble sleeping, your doctor might send you to a sleep lab and spend $3,000 a night to chart your sleep cycle, or you could do the same thing at home with a commercially available headband, which wirelessly transmits your sleep data to your smartphone for under 100 bucks.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. For the rest of the hour, a look at an extraordinary life and a heartbreaking loss. In his new memoir "Immortal Bird," Doron Weber takes us to the inner circle of his family, where we meet his son Damon, a smart, likeable, aspiring actor born with a congenital heart defect. At 16, Damon undergoes a heart transplant, and his short life ends not long after in the ICU of a hospital that, according to Doron, seemed to botch his care in multiple and unimaginable ways.
Diamond Rugs is one those bands that wants you to think it prizes spontaneity and sloppy good fun more than careful song construction and technical polish. And the album, also titled Diamond Rugs, almost succeeds in convincing you of its sloppy aesthetic, dispensing songs about drinking and carousing only to be left morose, in one's cups.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we will talk about the painful new questions being raised by a long-ago crime. A man was recently arrested for murdering a little boy nearly 30 years ago but now it's been reported that the suspect may have confessed to a church group years before, but no one went to the authorities.