A Mexican federal policeman guards the area where dozens of bodies, some of them mutilated, were found on a highway outside the northern Mexican city of Monterrey on May 13. The murders were one of the latest episodes in Mexico's brutal and unrelenting drug war.
Mexicans wearing masks of skulls protest against violence in the country, in Mexico City, Nov. 27, 2011. More than 50,000 people have been killed in rising drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006.
Mexicans select a new president on July 1, and they want a leader who can reduce the rampant violence in their country. Warring drug cartels have killed more than 50,000 people in the past 5 1/2 years, while thousands have disappeared and some cities have been turned into lawless zones.
Alan Alda challenged scientists to explain what a flame is to an 11-year-old. Three months and more than 800 entries later he is back with the winner of the contest. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the winning entry and why the contest was an effective exercise in science communication.
Reporting in the journal Nature Communications,researchers write that they were able to track down the cells causing clogged arteries. Dr. Jill Helms, co-author on the study, discusses why stem cells are to blame and how the study could lead to more effective treatments.
Russian antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab has discovered a piece of malware infecting computers mostly in the Middle East. Flame eavesdrops on conversations, takes screenshots and steals data from infected computers without being detected. Wired's Kim Zetter discusses how the malicious code works.
SpaceX's Dragon capsule has travelled safely to the International Space Station and back. The next step, says Space.com writer Clara Moskowitz, is to outfit the capsule for crew, which SpaceX hopes to complete by 2015. Until then US astronauts will hitch rides on Russia's Soyuz, at about $60 million a pop.
You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Our next story is about one person's garbage being another person's treasure. You know how that works. Well, this one is a very interesting story. Last year, the National Reconnaissance Office, they operate America's spy satellites, well, the National Reconnaissance Office called up NASA with an offer: Would NASA like a couple of old spy telescopes? We don't need them. Could you do anything useful with them? We'll give them to you.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you look up in the sky at night, especially later this year, you can spot the Andromeda Galaxy, it's a small cloudy smudge in space. It's our galaxy, the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbor, about two and a half million light years away.