FROM Nicholas Wade
Should New Violins Really Play Second Fiddle to the Old Masters? Violins made centuries ago by Stradivari or Guarneri del Gesu can bring millions of dollars but do they really sound all that much better than instruments being made today? Claudia Fritz, a French expert on the acoustics of violins, persuaded musicians at an international competition in Indianapolis to play six classic and modern instruments while wearing goggles, so they couldn't see which was which. Then she asked them which they'd most like to take home. We hear more from Fritz, and from Nicholas Wade, author of The Faith Instinct , about the evolution of religious behavior, is a science reporter for the New York Times .
Scientists Extend Life in Mice, Are Humans Next? For all those who experience life as quiet desperation, there are many others who dream of slowing the aging process. The latest hope is SRT-1720, a drug that allows mice to survive obesity longer than they do without it. By reducing fat in the liver and increasing sensitivity to insulin, it's allowed obese mice to live 44 percent longer than those which don't get it. Nicholas Wade reports on science for the New York Times . He's also the author of The Faith Instinct .
The Faith Instinct Religion and science are often at odds, especially when it comes to evolution. A new book argues that religion itself evolved, having gotten its start at least 50,000 years ago in response to two main threats, one from inside the other from outside early human societies. That's according to The Faith Instinct by New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade.
Scientists Discover the 'Speech Gene' Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to human kind. They can even speak a crude kind of language. Now researchers have discovered genetic clues that explain how humans can do what no other animal can. It's all about a gene called FOXP2. Nicholas Wade reports the story in today's New York Times .
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.