This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Consider the shrew, a small harmless, nearly blind animal. If you were to find one scrambling across your kitchen floor, you might shriek or stomp on it. Shrews look a lot like mice. Or you could catch it and release it outside. But what if you ate the shrew, whole, instead? No, you don't debone it. You don't even chew it. You just hack the tail off and swallow it whole. Why? Well, for science, of course.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Football season is getting into full swing this week: tailgating parties, point spreads, Tim Tebow. But amid all the excitement of a new season comes an old and disturbing ghost. This week, a new study finds that pro football players may be more likely to die from various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's or ALS, more likely than the rest of us.
I'm Ira Flatow. This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. We're going to talk now about West Nile virus, it showed up in 48 states, reports in viruses in either people or birds or mosquitoes, and it's not exactly clear just why the virus is so widespread this year or why the state of Texas has been particularly hard-hit.
A rare moment of dissention at the Democratic National Convention. After a routine adoption of the party platform on Tuesday, critics pointed out that the document omitted any mention of the word God and did not identify Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Then yesterday the chair of the platform committee, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, proposed amendments.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last week, the Obama administration just about doubled fuel efficiency standards. By 2025, cars and light trucks will have to average better than 54 miles a gallon. That's a goal that pleases environmental groups and carmakers.