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Lab notes: gecko sex, gambling pigeons and how looking forward to future experiences makes us happy




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Photo by Stephen Pollard via Flickr Creative Commons

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Scientists are often up to something odd. As the headline suggests, this week there's news about geckos in space having sex and pigeons learning to gamble.

KPCC science correspondent Sanden Totten joins Take Two to tell us more about why scientists care about these things:

  1. Four geckos - three male and one female - were put aboard a spacecraft with the hopes that Russian scientists could study the impact that zero gravity has on reproduction. Well, in the end all of the geckos died.
  2. If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk. If you teach pigeons and humans to gamble at the same game, both parties will make similarly bad gambling decisions. 
  3. As it turns out, experiences make us happier than objects, but that same thing holds true even before we experience them.