Predicting Gun Deaths, Bat Flight, New Organ. March 30, 2018, Part 2 | WBEZ
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Science Friday

Predicting Gun Deaths, Bat Flight, New Organ. March 30, 2018, Part 2

According to CDC data, more than 13,000 people die from gun homicides every year—and most of them are people of color who live in urban areas. Many of them are children. But as scientists seek to understand the causes and solutions for gun deaths, can we also learn to predict them…and even intervene before they happen? One researcher may have the answer: social media analysis. 

Friendly neighbors. Olympic divers. Little horses with wings. No matter what you call the commonly misunderstood bat, they’re far more than simple nocturnal blood-drinkers. Bats have an impressive repertoire of noteworthy abilities—from super echolocation to agile, muscular wings. It’s a subject that has both inspired and lured scientists, like Sharon Swartz, a biologist who researches bat flight at Brown University. In this segment, she discusses how she takes a close look at the aerodynamics and wing morphology of these creatures to pin down the evolutionary origins of bat flight.

Scientists have discovered a new piece of human anatomy we never knew we had—a layer of connective tissue that exists all over the body. It sits below the skin’s surface, lining the digestive tract, the lungs, and even our blood vessels. Researchers say it could be the missing link the medical community needs to move forward in a number of areas of research, including cancer and autoimmune disease.



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