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A remarkable discovery has emerged in astrophysics: key properties of the universe have just the right values to make life possible. Most scientists prefer to explain away this uniqueness, insisting that a number of unseen universes must therefore exist, each randomly different. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch joined George Knapp in the first half of the show to propose the alternative—that the special properties of our universe reflect an underlying intelligent consciousness.

In the second half of the program, veteran journalist Chris Taylor talked about how the Star Wars franchise has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics, and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike.

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Growing Your Own

Growing Your Own

Tonight's guest Steve Quayle believes science may be headed down a thorny path with recent genetic breakthroughs. One of the first examples of tissue engineering(1), was performed at the University of Boston, whereby a "human" ear was grafted onto a mouse. The ear shape was molded out of biodegradable plastic and scattered with human cartilage cells before being implanted onto the mouse's back. Surprisingly, the ear can be removed without hurting the mouse.

But extra ears aren't just for mice, the UK-based artist Stelarc is embracing the idea for himself and is planning to have a third ear grafted onto his arm. "While it can't hear, with an implanted sound chip and a proximity sensor, the ear will be able to speak to anyone who gets close to it," BBC News(2) reports.

In 2002, miniature human kidneys were grown inside a mouse, and there is hope that this technique may eventually help those in the long wait for kidney transplants. But can these techniques go too far? In the article Playing God?(3), Keya Kamat writes of an experiment at Nimbalkar Institute in India, where through artificial insemination "an animal with the head of a goat and the body of cow," has been created, that is said to yield a higher volume of meat.

--L.L.

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1949073.stm
2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3096623.stm
3. http://www.jivdaya.org/genetic_engineering.htm

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