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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama wants to do for the human brain what the Human Genome Project did for Genetics. But even scientists backing the idea concede that "mapping the brain" is orders of magnitude more complex. How should it be funded? Is it possible?  Would it give scientists powers nobody wants them to have? Also, a new report reveals widespread "fish fraud" across the country, and more than a month of rising prices for gasoline.

Banner image: neurollero's photostream

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg
Katie Cooper
Sonya Geis
Anna Scott

Reporter's Notebook Is $4 Gas the New Normal? 8 MIN, 17 SEC

A month ago, a gallon of regular gasoline cost an average of $3.30. Now it's $3.75 nationwide — and well over $4 in California. In the winter, gas prices generally go down. But for the past 34 days, the AAA Auto Club reports they've been going up -- faster than at any time since 2005. What's the answer, and why is the oil industry suggesting we ought to pay more? Chris Nelder is an independent energy analyst and columnist for SmartPlanet.com.

Guests:
Chris Nelder, SmartPlanet.com (@nelderini)

Profit from the Peak

Chris Nelder and Brian Hicks

Making News Report Reveals Widespread 'Fish Fraud' across the Country 7 MIN, 34 SEC

Academics, consumer groups and media outlets have had their suspicions for a long time, but the advocacy group Oceana has conducted the largest investigation to date. The finding: when you order seafood in restaurants and grocery stores across the United States, one third of the time you're not getting what you asked for. Juliet Eilperin is national environmental reporter for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post (@eilperin)

Demon Fish

Juliet Eilperin

Main Topic Can We Map the Brain? 35 MIN, 4 SEC

John F. Kennedy's Race to the Moon led to a multi-billion-dollar industry. Mapping the Human Genome returned $140 for every $1 invested. Now President Obama wants to jump-start a "map" of the human brain, to find how each of 100 billion neurons relates to all of the others. It's a task so complex new tools would be needed with consequences nobody can predict. Would it mean understanding Alzheimer's or Parkinson's? Would it be the key to human consciousness — and the alarming ability to control how people think?

Guests:
John Markoff, New York Times (@markoff)
Terrence Sejnowski, Salk Institute (@sejnowski)
Steven Pelech, Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation
Simon Tripp, Battelle Technology Partnership Practice (@battelle )

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