This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Up next, discovering the universe inside your skull, and it is a universe. According to my next guest, a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue contains as many nerve connections as there are stars in the Milky Way - billions and billions just in a tiny bit of your brain. Never mind the other three pounds of brain matter. It's a vast world inside our skulls, and much of it operates without us really knowing or thinking much about it or even understanding it.
When you hear somebody speaking Polish, another person speaking Persian, they sound like totally different languages, don't they? But listen more closely and you'll hear similarities, like how one of the Persian words for mother is mada, and in Polish, it's matka. That's because both languages belong to a large family known as the Indo-European languages. A group that contains over 400 languages and dialects: Polish, Persian, English, French, German, Russian, Icelandic. The list goes on.
FLATOW: Yup, they were cheering again this week at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Mars Rover Curiosity made its first moves on the Red Planet. It wiggled its wheels, and it's rolling away from the landing site, toward a spot called Glenelg, actually you can spell it backwards and forwards the same way because it's going to return there.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Last week, I was in southern Idaho, and it was snowing in August, or at least it looked like it. Actually, it was raining ash, closing down airports, forcing people to remain inside, many miles away from the forest fire flames.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 2012's outbreak of West Nile virus is on track to be the worst in U.S. history. The mayor of Dallas recently authorized an aerial spraying program to kill the mosquitoes that carry the virus, which provoked protest from area residents.