Exploradio Origins

Exploradio Origins ponders the biggest questions in the universe in 90 seconds.

Each episode highlights the work of one of the more than 200 fellows at the Institute for the Science of Origins at Case Western Reserve University. Their research examines the origins of life, the universe, and the strands that connect all of science. Host Kellen McGee delivers a distillation of discoveries that touch on the mysteries of dark matter, language, gender, and evolution. 

Exploradio Origins is a collaboration between WKSU and the Institute for the Science of Origins.  Tune-in Thursday afternoons during WKSU’s All Things Considered.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Gold’s gleam has fascinated humans for millennia. Giuseppe Strangi, professor of physics at Case Western Reserve University, wants to use gold’s special relationship with light in the fight against cancer. It started centuries ago, when people melted gold into stained glass. Strangi describes the unexpected discovery.  

"If you go in France and look at the cathedrals, you see that this color is not coming from any pigment, but is coming from gold, coming from the fact that gold is absorbing light in a way which is extraordinary and very selective." 

CALTECH/MIT/LIGO LAB

In 1916, Einstein made a bold prediction-- that gravity actually travels in waves. These “gravitational waves” would be ripples in the fabric of space a bit like ripples on a pond, and would slightly stretch and squash the distances between things as they passed. 

CYNTHIA BEALL / CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

"For a long time, all the work on how people adapt to high altitude involved Europeans going to high altitude," said Cynthia Beall, a professor of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University.

"In the 70s, anthropologists started asking 'does everyone in the world adapt in the same way?' Early work showed, no, they don’t."

Exploradio Origins: We Came from Clay

Oct 11, 2018
A. DOMBROWSKI / FLICKR CC

"We started out with a planet that was just rocks and water and gasses," says Professor Nita Sahai. "How do you go from that to something that is basically covered with life in every possible environmental niche that you look?"

Bill Dunford / NASA

"Meteorites are delivered to us free of charge," says Ralph Harvey, a professor in the department of Earth, environmental, and planetary science at Case Western Reserve University.

"Yes, they’re delivered randomly. Yes we have to go pick them up in weird places, but the value of them as specimens is not diminished," says Harvey.

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