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 .
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.