Science Friday for Friday, August 30, 2013

New Clues to Memory Glitch Behind 'Senior Moments'

Reporting in Science Translational Medicine, Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Eric Kandel and colleagues write of a memory gene that appears to retire as the brain ages — leading to those "Where'd I put my keys?" moments. Kandel says such memory glitches may be reversible with the right intervention.

Space Telescope Reawakened for an Asteroid Hunt

After the WISE telescope used up the coolant needed to operate its detectors, its primary mission as an infrared survey telescope ended. NASA's Amy Mainzer describes how the agency is repurposing the dormant craft for a new three-year mission looking for near-Earth asteroids. Astronomer Brett Gladman also discusses a newly spotted asteroid-like object trailing Uranus.

Diagnosing Self-Destruction

Suicide kills twice as many people as murder each year in the United States, and rates in the military recently surpassed those among civilians. But while scientists have identified some risk factors for suicide being white, being male, substance abuse, mental illness — they still have little idea what spurs people to take their own lives.

Ancient Beads with an Otherworldly Origin

Researchers analyzed ancient Egyptian iron beads fashioned out of meteoric iron and crafted 2,000 years before the Iron Age. Archaeometallurgist Thilo Rehren discusses how the beads were made before the prevalence of iron mining and smelting.

Food Failures: Beer Home Brew

Is your wort too hot? Have wild yeast taken over your brew? Are you experiencing bottle bomb? Home brewing beer is a combination of art and science. Chris Cuzme from 508 GastroBrewery discusses common pitfalls of home brewing and tips to perfect your process.
Find an archived Episode: