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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 5 July Edition: Monsters and Mutations

Status Report From: SETI Institute
Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2006

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio

Hosted by Dr. Seth Shostak

July 5, 2006 (available for download July 6, 2006) "Monsters and Mutations"

The X-Men may be the mutants of the silver screen, but, minus wings and retractable claws, we're all mutants genetically. An accumulation of beneficial mutations gave Homo erectus a leg up on survival, after all.

We'll look at the role of mutations in evolution from what wooly mammoth DNA reveals about the elephant family tree to the few tweaks in viral DNA that could turn avian flu into a human pandemic.

Also, what a chimp-human hybrid ancestor suggests about the fuzzy definition of species, and whether a blip in simian DNA could produce a giant Kong.

And a dramatic monkeying with mutations: Ping Pong by the SETI Institute Players.

Guests:

  • Ian Wilson, Molecular Biologist, Scripps Research Institute
  • James Mallet, Biologist, University College of London
  • Lori Marino, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Emory University
  • Phil Plait, astronomer and author of the book and website www.badastronomy.com
  • Blair Hedges, Professor of Biology, Pennsylvania State University

Are We Alone? is broadcast on Discovery Channel Radio Sirius 119 Wednesdays at 2:00 and 9:00 a.m., and 9:00 p.m. EDT, with a third repeat airing Sundays at 11:00 p.m. EDT.

The show is also available as a download on this site and is podcast as SETI:Science & Skepticism. Podcast information

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