Disease Takes Flight on Leathery Wings

Bats have been demonized through history. Our folklore and horror stories tell us they’re something to be afraid of because they’re 'creatures of the night' with weird abilities like echolocation. And recent events tell us they carry diseases that could kill us. But bats could also have super immune systems that allow them to live long lives, avoid cancer and fight off viruses. What can we learn from them? Robert and Christian explore...

Rise of the Vampire Bat

Rise of the Vampire Bat: It's a hard-knock life for an exclusive blood drinker, yet somehow three species of vampire bat take full honors as the only obligate sanguivores. How did they evolve? How does vampire physiology work? Tune into this bloodthirsty episode of Stuff to Blow your Mind to find out.

Monster of the Week: The Humanoid Vampire

Monster of the Week: Jason Voorhees

You probably dismiss Jason Voorhees as just another rampaging psychopath, one with an intense desire to murder nymphomaniac teens. And indeed, the subject's propensity for pro-abstinence bludgeoning knows no bounds -- but did you know the evolutionary advantage to his Modus operandi? Like other North American Slashers of his species, Jason preys on copulating teens because the act of mating provides an irresistible target. But it's not because the teens in question are naked, intertwined and preoccupied. Nope, it all comes down to the sound of their enthusiastic love making.

Blow Your Mind: 'The Wild World of Bats' and 'Song of the Bat'

You love bats. You requested it. So Julie and I give you TWO action-packed bat episodes. You'll get to know the world of sound they thrive in. You'll get to know their cavern homes and the long evolutionary journey they took to get there.

If you've never experienced the wonders of Jim Trainor's animation, then you're in for a treat. I love a great convergence of art and science and that's just what you get in thees short films. Trainor anthropomorphizes his subjects just enough to engage our human minds, but retains the basic instincts that define the actual animals -- be it the urge to eat, the urge to mate or... well that's mostly it for animals, isn't it? You'll find no cartoon mice piloting steam boats here.

Stuff from the Science Lab Podcast Roundup: Too Many Jellyfish, Too Few Bats

Some days a job is just a job. Other days you get to talk about 18th century French nobility guillotining garden snails just to watch them grow a new head, and you realize this may be a pretty sweet gig. On this week's podcast, Robert and I discuss regeneration, prompted by the story of the tiny but immortal hydrozoa Turritopsis nutricula, which possesses the truly remarkable biological ability to go from old to young and back again -- endlessly.

Save the Bats!

As the only flying mammals, bats play unique roles in our world's ecology. Yet in caves across North America more than a million bats have fallen prey to a mysterious affliction known as white nose syndrome. Tune in and learn more in this podcast.

Vampire Bats Will Bite You -- In the Amazon

One of my favorite tabloid headlines from the now-defunct Weekly World News was this: "Vegan Vampires Attack Trees." I can just see it -- a particularly menacing vegan vampire, perhaps draped in an organic cotton cloak (wool would be inappropriate, right?), lurching toward a helpless tree, preferably maple. But I'm here to discuss something nonvegan and decidedly bloody: the vampire bat.