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Science Matters

Science Wednesdays: Decoding Neanderthals

Mon, 05/13/2013 - 11:16am -- WCVE

What happened when the first modern humans encountered Neanderthals 60,000 years ago? In 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo announced that they had reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome and the analysis showed that modern humans and Neanderthals had interbred, leaving a small signature of Neanderthal genes in everyone outside Africa today.

For the Love of Science: UVA Chemistry Students Engage Children with Strawberry DNA

Did you know that all living cells contain DNA? That’s right, every cell in your body, animals, and plants contains DNA. DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid, known as the “molecule of life.” This molecule contains instructions on how to make a living thing; DNA tells you to be you and a strawberry to be a strawberry. Normally, you cannot see DNA with the naked eye. However, if you collect it from thousands of cells, there is enough to be visible.

Question Your World: How Do You Feel About Robots?

Would you be happy if a robot gave you flowers? Would you be sad if you saw someone hurt a robot? Those are the types of questions that were on a recent German scientific survey, but why? Why do we need to understand how we feel about robotsListen to the latest Question Your World Radio Report from the Science Museum of Virginia to learn more.

Science Wednesdays: The Private Life of Deer

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 9:21am -- WCVE

From coast to coast, some 30 million white-tailed deer make their home in the United States. Deer are the most highly studied mammals in the world, but does the typical homeowner with deer in the yard know how long deer can live? When they sleep? How many babies a doe can have each year?

Enter the hidden world of white-tailed deer outfitted with night-vision cameras and GPS tracking equipment to see them not as common backyard creatures, but as intelligent, affectionate family members.

Question Your World: How Far Does Our Solar System Stretch?

Our lovely and comfortable home here on Earth is a long way away from the end of our solar system. Here on Earth concepts of boundaries involve rivers, lakes, mountains, human imposed borders, and so on. However, this is not how the limits of our solar system are established. There is not one point that defines the end, but there is definitely an end and it’s really far from here.

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