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Double dipping in an NIH loan repayment program, and using undersea cables as seismic sensors

Science Podcast
Monterey Bay, California
Adam Reeder/Flickr

The National Institutes of Health’s largest loan repayment program was conceived to help scientists pay off school debts without relying on industry funding. But a close examination of the program by investigative correspondent Charles Piller has revealed that many participants are taking money from the government to repay their loans, while at the same time taking payments from pharmaceutical companies. Piller joins Host Sarah Crespi to talk about the steps he took to uncover this double dipping and why ethicists say this a conflict of interest.  

Sarah also talks with Nate Lindsey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, about turning a 50-kilometer undersea fiber optic cable designed to move data into a sensor for activity in the ocean and the land underneath. During a 4-day test in Monterey Bay, California, the cable detected earthquakes, faults, waves, and even ocean-going storms.

For this month’s books segment, Kiki Sandford talks with Dan Hooper about his book At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds.  

You can find more books segments on the Books et al. blog.  

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.  

Ads on this week’s show: McDonalds; Salk’s Where Cures Begin podcast  

Download the transcript (PDF).

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[Image: Adam Reeder/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]