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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 9 August 2006 Edition: Sex: What is it Good For?

Status Report From: SETI Institute
Posted: Thursday, August 3, 2006

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio

Hosted by Dr. Seth Shostak

August 9, 2006 (available for download August 10, 2006) Sex: What is it Good For?

Sex may be fun, but - admit it - the prep work is pretty onerous. If you're not preening to improve your appearance or trolling the local watering hole for a likely mate, then you're busy extracting clever remarks from your brain while forking over big bucks for wilted arugula and fancy umbrella drinks.

So maybe our microbial brethren have the right idea; reproduce asexually. In fact, we could be a step closer to this amoeba-like way of producing progeny. Scientists have managed to create sperm in the laboratory, which hints that sex may go the way of hula-hoops and the Homburg. Could it be that men will be handed the reproductive pink slip?

Also: find out whether mitochondria might have jump-started the sexual reproduction, and why Darwin's theory of sexual selection doesn't account for homosexual sheep. Plus, stop and thank the roses: it turns out that the most visibly sexual of organisms - the flower - is responsible for human intelligence.

Guests:

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