This Week

April 19: The Goldilocks Planet

April 19: The Goldilocks Planet
For more than a decade, we've been detecting planets orbiting around other stars - and we've found hundreds of them. But compared to Earth, they've all been too hot, or too cold, or too big or too heavy - and all unlikely to host life. But this week, astronomers announced the discovery of the first planet that's just right - the same size and temperature as Earth - and they say there are likely more to come.

Plus - why male black widow spiders like their females chaste and well fed; and how the first herbivores learned to love their vegetables.

Click here for links to each individual item and audio segment, along with related material

Quirks & Quarks for April 19, 2014

Quirks & Quarks for April 19, 2014
download_blue.jpg This week, we discover the most Earthlike planet; how male black widow spiders choose females least likely to eat them; how vertebrates went green and became herbivores; how a NASA probe sniffed air on the Moon; how ancient farmers became couch potatoes; and how a GMO tree might produce greener fuel.

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Goldilocks Planet

Goldilocks Planet
download_blue.jpgNASA scientists have discovered the first truly Earthlike planet - just the right size and temperature.

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Male Black Widow Spiders Like Mates Fat and Chaste

Male Black Widow Spiders Like Mates Fat and Chaste
download_blue.jpgMale black widows try to find females who are well fed and unmated as they are then less likely to be cannibalized.

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Vertebrates and Plant Power

Vertebrates and Plant Power
download_blue.jpgA tiny carnivore, more than 300 million years old, helps reveal the origins of giant plant eaters.

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LADEE's a Hit on the Moon

LADEE's a Hit on the Moon
download_blue.jpgNASA's probe designed for studying the Moon's tenuous atmosphere of gas and dust is ending its mission.

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Farmers' Strong Bones

Farmers' Strong Bones
download_blue.jpgFarmers in Central Europe went from fit to a little flabby thousands of years ago.

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GMO Poplar Tree Helps The Environment

GMO Poplar Tree Helps The Environment
download_blue.jpgGenetically modified trees may help produce more efficient biofuels.

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Quirks & Quarks for April 12, 2014

Quirks & Quarks for April 12, 2014
download_blue.jpg This week, we find out about Saturn's watery moon; how geese fly higher than Everest; how poverty damages DNA; how stress superpowers a beetle; why bone bends before it breaks; and how deep a whale can go

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Saturn's Watery Moon

Saturn's Watery Moon
download_blue.jpgSaturn's tiny moon Enceladus has an ocean of liquid water, the size of Lake Superior.

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Geese Put Their Heart Into Flying

Geese Put Their Heart Into Flying
download_blue.jpgUnderstanding how bar-headed geese can manage to fly as high as Mount Everest in oxygen-depleted thin air.

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