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June 12th, 2013
07:36 AM ET

Is hands-free just as dangerous? – Chris Lawrence reports

New apps may be posing a safety crisis on the road.

A new warning this morning that the very thing that was supposed to safely keep us connected, making hands-free calls while driving, may also be dangerous.

Chris Lawrence is in Washington with that story. He got a first hand look when researchers tracked his brain activity while he was on the road, driving and using new voice-to-text technology simultaneously. "You could be just as distracted with your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel," Lawrence reports.

"The more I tried to multitask, the less my brain could do," he says, deteriorating driving performance.

Filed under: Apps • Driving • Innovation • Research • Safety • Science • Tech
February 5th, 2013
07:23 AM ET

'Stuff You Should Know' podcast hosts: The age of being dumb...is over

"Stuff You Should Know," the Science Channel's new primetime show, sounds like a show we should all be watching. It's based on the hugely popular podcast, downloaded by 5 million monthly.

It features two regular guys trying to explain the secrets of the universe, and the emphasis is on "trying to."

The show premiered on Jan. 19th, and this Saturday the Science Channel will run a marathon of the show.

This morning on "Early Start," hosts Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant explain the allure of their podcast, and explain why it's now cool to be smart.

Filed under: Science • Smart is cool
January 22nd, 2013
08:08 AM ET

Great white shark "Mary Lee" enters NC's outer banks – OCEARCH Founder Chris Fischer on the shark's travels

“Early Start” first told you the story of great white shark when she got dangerously close to Florida’s Jacksonville Beach just a few weeks ago. In September, a group called OCEARCH pulled her out of the water near Cape Cod. They tagged her with a tracker and let her go, nicknaming her "Mary Lee."

"Mary Lee" has since traveled hundreds of miles north and now the massive shark is right off the coast of North Carolina’s outer banks, near Cape Hatteras. You can follow her travels anytime you want on OCEARCH's website. Chris Fischer, founder of OCEARCH who has been alerting authorities when Mary Lee gets too close for comfort, joins us on "Starting Point" this morning with more.

Fischer says OCEARCH’s primary purpose is conducting research regarding where sharks are breeding and where they are giving birth in order to protect those areas, but his duty also extends to sounding the alarm to the authorities when necessary.

“When you have the kind of data, when a 16-foot mature white shark that's over 3,500 pounds comes close to a populated area, I feel an obligation to call,” he says. “Yesterday she was very close to Ocracoke, North Carolina, either right on the beach right in front of it or actually inside the sound, nearby. A few hours later, she popped out off shore. She was very near there.” Fischer contacted authorities right away who then continued handling their own business there. “They were very excited about it”.

As for Mary Lee, she has been very busy in the past two weeks. “She’s been exploring the coast and going in and out and very near a lot of estuaries and river mouths,” Fischer says.

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Filed under: Science • Sharks
January 9th, 2013
07:07 AM ET

Researchers alert Jacksonville Beach police to great white shark tracked off Florida coast; OCEARCH Founder Chris Fischer shares details

This morning, “Early Start” shows you amazing video of researchers from "OCEARCH" yanking a 3,500 pound, 16-foot-long shark out of the water in September, just off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. They nicknamed her "Mary Lee," and she’s been very busy. Currently being tracked and monitored via GPS by the research group, you can see her activity in the last 72 hours on their website.

When the massive great white shark entered the surf zone early Tuesday morning at Florida’s Jacksonville Beach, about 200 yards offshore, the research group contacted Jacksonville Beach police and alerted them to the shark's presence. Police urged people to stay away. Chris Fischer is the Founder of OCEARCH. Also an expedition leader, Fischer is the one who tagged Mary Lee, and he joins us live from Park City, UT this morning with details.

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Filed under: Science
January 8th, 2013
08:41 AM ET

“The Search for the Giant Squid” Author Richard Ellis on giant squid captured on film for the first time: 'breakthrough for science and mythology'

This morning, “Early Start” brings you a story of mythical proportions. Captured on film in its natural habitat for the first time ever is the giant squid, found in the Pacific Ocean some 3,000 feet below the surface. This squid, shown in images from The Discovery Channel and Japanese Public Broadcaster NHK, is believed to be up to 26 feet long. An expert on the giant squid comes to the studio today with details. Richard Ellis is the author of “The Search for the Giant Squid” and Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History.

This giant squid is described by Ellis as “a very, very exaggerated version of the smaller squid.” The discovery is being considered something of a breakthrough for science and mythology because no one has ever seen a giant squid alive before. “People have been searching for them for hundreds of years, literally,” Ellis says. “For a long time, people didn't even think they existed.”

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Filed under: Discovery • Science
December 25th, 2012
08:03 AM ET

The year in science; CNN's John Zarrella counts down the biggest science stories of 2012

From finding god, to a potentially blood boiling leap from space, it was a stunning year for science. A year where daredevils met nerds and danger met discovery. On the cusp of the New Year, CNN’s John Zarrella looks back at the top scientific and technological breakthroughs of 2012. See if you can guess what made the top 10, or better yet, number 1.

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Filed under: Gadgets • Science • Technology • Technovations • Trending
December 20th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

Former NASA scientist turns to 'hillbilly tech' on 'Rocket City Rednecks'

Dr. Travis Taylor, a former NASA scientist and star of National Geographic's "Rocket City Rednecks," joins "Early Start" on Thursday to discuss how he and his team use "hillbilly" ingenuity to power rockets with moonshine, build steam catapults, and solve other engineering problems using unlikely techniques.

Filed under: Science
October 1st, 2012
10:25 AM ET

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen explains new developments in cancer research

Like a scene right out of science fiction, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a procedure to help a cancer patient grow an ear on her arm. A surgery led to the loss of several structures of her inner ear as well as her hearing. Elizabeth Cohen describes this new advancement to John.

Filed under: Medical • Science • Technology
June 6th, 2012
08:26 AM ET

'Science Guy' Bill Nye explains it all: Venus transiting the sun, Shuttle Enterprise makes its final journey and stopping summer brain drain

Last night, as the sun set on the East Coast, the planet Venus began its "transit." In this rare event, the planet Venus passes between the sun and the Earth. If you missed it, you'll have to wait until 2117 to see it again.

One other worldly event you can catch today: Shuttle Enterprise is making its final journey towards New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. CNN will have live coverage of this event all through the morning.

This is just one way the worlds of science and space are becoming relevant to kids, who Bill Nye "The Science Guy" claims could use more science education. He's teaming up with Sophia.org to help stem kids 'summer brain drain,' claiming that students can lose up to 40% of what they learn during the school year in lose lazy days.

This morning on "Early Start," Bill Nye talks about these space stories in the news, and explains why it's so important to keep a child's education going through the summer months.

For more information on the education site Nye is partnering with, visit Sophia.org.

Filed under: Education • Science • Shuttle