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Sep. 04, 2015

Arctic Climate Change, Pot Pesticides, and Student Data

Brooke Borel, from Popular Science, shares her top stories from this week in science, and New York Times reporter Natasha Singer debates the pros and cons of collecting student data.

climate change, arctic, student data

Sep. 04, 2015

Macroscope Video: A Cure for the Colorblindness Blues

Using gene therapy, visionary researchers Maureen and Jay Neitz may have finally created a cure for the colorblindness blues.

colorblindness, monkeys, colorblind

Sep. 04, 2015

A Tribute to Oliver Sacks

Neurologist, writer, motorcycle racer, weightlifter, swimmer, and enthusiast of ferns, cycads, cephalopods and minerals—Oliver Sacks was a modern day renaissance man. Here we celebrate his life with recollections from friends and personal interviews.

oliver sacks, tribute

Sep. 04, 2015

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Teacher Edition

Teachers Nell Herrmann and Tchnavia Merrick tell us about their science-filled summer vacations.

teaching, summer vacation, summer, teacher, teach, science teacher, educator

Sep. 04, 2015

The Forgotten History of Autism

In his new book, NeuroTribes, science writer Steve Silberman documents how politics and self-promoting scientists have altered our understanding of the condition over the years.

autism, asperger's, neurology

Sep. 04, 2015

Is Modern Dating the Worst?

How text messages, profile pictures, and changing expectations factor into modern dating.

online dating, dating, romance

Aug. 28, 2015

Urban Ecosystems, Turing Nanopatterns, and Serving Sizes

Brandon Keim, a freelance science reporter, shares this week's top science news.

serving size, wildlife, ecology

Aug. 28, 2015

The SciFri Book Club Talks ‘The Soul of a New Machine’

After three weeks of reading, the SciFri Book Club regroups to discuss Tracy Kidder’s 1981 true-tech tale, The Soul of a New Machine.

the soul of a new machine, tracy kidder

Aug. 28, 2015

LEDs Could Light the Way to Future Networking

Engineers are researching how LEDs could help with the broadband “capacity crunch.”

LEDs, lights, energy

Aug. 28, 2015

Can Rooftop Solar and Utilities Get Along?

Rooftop solar is booming. But as more homegrown energy comes online, utilities foresee an economic squeeze—which is leading to nasty fights over the future of utilities and the grid.

Cleantechnica, solar, utilities

Aug. 28, 2015

Putting Scientific Research to the Test

Out of 100 psychology studies, researchers were able to reproduce the original results in less than half.

science, reproducibility project, global biological standards institute

Aug. 28, 2015

Birds to Spot in Your Yard This Fall

Autumn is a good time to observe birds changing their plumage and behavior, and an opportunity to spot birds commuting south from their Arctic summer homes.

birds, fall migration

Aug. 28, 2015

From Hawking, a New View of Black Holes

At a recent scientific meeting, physicist Stephen Hawking outlined a possible solution to a paradox about information in a black hole.

sean carol, stephen hawking, black hole

Aug. 21, 2015

Crowdsourcing Planetary Names, Female ‘Viagra,’ and a Vomit Machine

BuzzFeed News science editor Virginia Hughes shares her top stories from this week in science, and Scientific American editor Lee Billings discusses crowdsourced planetary names.

addyi, fda, sex drive, exoplanets, vomit machine

Aug. 21, 2015

Employee or Datapoint?

The data employers are gathering on their employees aren't always a fair measure of efficiency or success, and in some cases, it's an invasion of privacy.

tracking, technology, tracking technology, amazon, workplace

Aug. 21, 2015

How to Be a Garden Whiz

Could urine be the gold standard when it comes to fertilizing your garden?

urine, pee, gardening, golden rule

Aug. 21, 2015

Do You Understand the Richter Scale?

Seismologist Lucy Jones explains what earthquake magnitude means and why we should measure earthquakes differently.

earthquake, richter scale

Aug. 21, 2015

Museum Plays Art and Technology Matchmaker

LACMA’s Art & Technology program brings together artists and tech companies to see what the two can create together.

lacma, art and technology

Aug. 21, 2015

A Play About Medical Ethics, Ripped From the Headlines

Inspired by a real court case, the play Informed Consent explores the ethics of genetic research.

informed consent, play, genome, blood sample

Aug. 14, 2015

El Niño Vs. the Blob, Yeast Painkillers, and a Butter Bummer

This week’s news roundup takes us to San Francisco, where Ira is joined by KQED science and environment reporter Lauren Sommer.

lauren sommer, el nino, cholesterol, butter, roberto ferdman

Aug. 14, 2015

How Big Blazes Shape Landscapes

Scientists are closely monitoring how forest vegetation shifts after catastrophic fires, and discovering a few surprises.

wildfires, california, vegetation, forest, sally thompson, water, yosemite national forest, scott stephens

Aug. 14, 2015

The Strangely Social Life of the Larger Pacific Striped Octopus

A new study reveals surprising mating, dwelling, and feeding behaviors in one rare species of octopus.

octopus, cephalopod, pacific striped octopus, richard ross

Aug. 14, 2015

Pregnant Pause: Panda Pregnancy Is a Game of Wait and See

When it comes to figuring out whether or not a giant panda is pregnant, there’s no clear clue.

pregnant, pregnant pandas, pregnancy, pierre comizzoli

Aug. 14, 2015

Gold King, and Other Abandoned Mines Plague Colorado

The EPA accidentally triggered a blowout at the Gold King mine in Colorado, releasing three million gallons of wastewater into the Animas River.

mine, animas river, gold king mine, environment

Aug. 14, 2015

A Candidate's Voice Might Sway Your Vote

Voters tend to prefer politicians with deeper voices—a sign of strength and competence, says political scientist Casey Klofstad.

politicians, voice, pitch, deep voice

Aug. 14, 2015

App Chat: Assistive Technology

In this episode of Science Friday’s “App Chat” series, we take a look at assistive technology.

assistive technology, deafness, blindness, disability, deaf, blind, hearing impaired, vision impaired

Aug. 07, 2015

The SciFri Book Club Reads ‘The Soul of a New Machine’

This August, the SciFri Book Club reads Tracy Kidder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the creation of a new computer.

book club, the soul of a new machine, tracy kidder, scifri book club

Aug. 07, 2015

Venomous Frogs, a Polar Bear World Record, and Printing Pills

A polar bear dives longer than ever before, and researchers in Brazil discover two venomous frogs.

polar bear, frog, fda, 3d printing

Aug. 07, 2015

A Climate Plan, and a Survey of the Changing Arctic

A look at President Obama's Clean Power Plan, and a check-in on ongoing research around the Arctic.

climate change, pizzly bear, arctic ocean, arctic

Aug. 07, 2015

Rats on the Job

The average rat sleeps all day and eats garbage all night...but some of them have jobs to get to.

rats, rat police

Aug. 07, 2015

Keeping Cool (Without Making Global Warming Worse)

The global demand for air conditioning isn't sustainable, so what other options do we have?

ac, air conditioning, global warming

Aug. 07, 2015

Can Babies Take a Joke?

New research finds that children can distinguish between joking and pretending.

children, babies, humor

Aug. 07, 2015

Video Pick: The Unlikely Tale of a Tenacious Snail

For over 70 years, no one had seen the oblong rocksnail, until one spring day in 2011.

Jul. 31, 2015

Polio-free Nigeria, Ant Cooperation, and Tweet Takedowns

Brooke Borel, of Popular Science and the blog Our Modern Plagues, shares this week's top science news.

polio, vaccination, plague, ant, crazy longhorn ants, crazy ants, ants, crazy longhorn ant, crazy ant, twitter, plagiarism

Jul. 31, 2015

Deconstructing School Discipline

Researchers rethink discipline in an effort to break down the “school-to-prison” pipeline.

civil rights, expulsion, seclusion, discipline, prison, school to prison pipeline

Jul. 31, 2015

Can Intestinal Bacteria Shape Response to Early-Life Stress?

A new study investigates the link between the gut and the brain in mice.

microbiome, gut bacteria, mood, anxiety, depression

Jul. 31, 2015

So Flashy: The Chemistry Behind a Firefly’s Glow

Scientists work to understand the chemistry and benefit of firefly flashes.

fireflies, firefly, bioluminescence,

Jul. 31, 2015

A Device to Visualize Your Climate Change Future

In Marin County, California, augmented reality binoculars are helping locals visualize sea level rise—and plan for it.

climate change, marin county, california, global warming, public perception

Jul. 31, 2015

Walking While Texting Akin to Walking While Drunk

Researchers sent “wexters” through an obstacle course and found that they took more steps, deviated from the path, and slowed down more than regular walkers.

texting, walking, wexting, smart phone, text

Jul. 31, 2015

Wearable Technology Goes Way Back

Google Glass, Fitbits, and the Apple Watch are just the latest products in a long evolution of wearable technology.

google glass, fitbits, apple watch, fitbit, wearable technology, wearable tech, wearables

Jul. 31, 2015

Black-Market Marijuana Farming Is Far From Green

Illegal pot farms north of San Francisco are repeating many of the environmental sins of the logging era, like clear-cutting and road building.

marijuana, pot, pot growing, clear cutting, logging, road building, environment

Jul. 24, 2015

An HIV Mystery, the Search for E.T., and a Bug Bite Itch Zapper

BuzzFeed News science editor Virginia Hughes shares her top stories from this week in science, and astronomer Seth Shostack debates the pros and cons of attempting to contact E.T.

e.t., virginia hughes, hiv, e.t., seti, aliens, extraterrestrials

Jul. 24, 2015

Tips and Hacks for Navigating Recreational Drones

From pocket-size drones to camera-equipped quadcopters, drone educator Steve Cohen navigates us through tips for buying and building personal drones.

drones, steve cohen, remote-control helicopter

Jul. 24, 2015

Can Studying Dolphins Give Insight Into Human Disease?

Dolphins can switch in and out of a metabolic syndrome that resembles pre-diabetes in humans.

dolphins, diabetes, health

Jul. 24, 2015

Bacterial Hunger Games

Is it time to stop killing bacteria, and start pitting them against each other?

hunger games, bacteria, bacterial

Jul. 24, 2015

A Twist in the Tale of Native American Origins

Two studies detect a DNA link between indigenous Amazonians and native Australians and New Guineans.

native americans, dna

Jul. 24, 2015

Closer to Earth, 2.0, and a New Horizons Update

NASA’s Kepler program has located a planet close in size to Earth, orbiting in the habitable zone of a star similar to our own sun. Plus, new data about Pluto.

kepler-452b, jon jenkins, nasa

Jul. 24, 2015

Do Know-It-Alls Really Know It All?

Scientists find that self-described experts are more likely to claim knowledge of phony information.

expert, expertise, know-it-all, david dunning, stav atir

Jul. 24, 2015

In a Mountain of Data, Signs of a New Class of Particles

Scientists working on CERN’s LHCb experiment report that they’ve found evidence of a so-called pentaquark particle.

pentaquark, cern, large hadron collider

Jul. 17, 2015

iBubble Wrap, Fossilized Owl Vomit, and Deadly Temperature Swings

Brandon Keim, a freelance science reporter, shares this week's top science news.

brandon keim, owl vomit, bubble wrap, ibubble, packing material, climate change, invasive species

Jul. 17, 2015

New Horizons Reveals Unexpected Worlds

Ice mountains and gaping canyons are just a few of the surprising features the New Horizons spacecraft beamed back this week.

new horizons, pluto, charon, moons, kuiper belt, mission to pluto, cathy olkin

Jul. 17, 2015

Redefining the Kilogram

All the scales in the world are calibrated against a 125-year-old chunk of metal in a vault on the outskirts of Paris. Now scientists are looking to redefine the standard of what “kilogram” really means.

derek muller, jon pratt, kilo, kilogram

Jul. 17, 2015

Can Video Games Be Used As Teaching Tools?

Are Minecraft’s digital building blocks the teaching tools of the future?

minecraft, zach klein, video games

Jul. 17, 2015

A Sci-Fi Writer Keeps His Eye on ‘Spaceship Earth’

In his new novel, Aurora, sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson puts the dream of interstellar colonization under the microscope.

aurora, kim stanley robinson, interstellar colonization

Jul. 17, 2015

Total Meltdown: The Rate of Ice Cream Collapse

A food scientist explores how the microstructure of ice cream controls the rate at which it melts.

ice cream, maya warren, melting, ice cream cone, scoop

Jul. 17, 2015

Why Do Screams Make You Shudder?

Human screams have a unique audio quality not found in other types of speech.

current biology, scream, howl, scary, David Poeppel

Jul. 10, 2015

'Biological Aging,' Debunking Signs of Cometary Life, Triceratops Kin

Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post joins us for a roundup of the top science stories this week.

biological aging, rachel feltman, daniel belsky

Jul. 10, 2015

New Horizons Prepares for Pluto Close-Up

The New Horizons probe is about to capture its prize: a close-up of Pluto.

pluto, new horizons, cassini

Jul. 10, 2015

Is Climate Change the Plight of the Bumblebee?

Climate change has caused bumblebee habitats in North America to retreat by as much as 190 miles in some areas.

bumblebee, bumblebees, pollination, pollinator, climate change, range, habitat, migration

Jul. 10, 2015

Lollipops Meet Lasers in This Lab

Science documentary producer Emily Driscoll stopped by a Willy Wonka-like math lab to see what lollipops can teach us about fluid dynamics.

lollipop, lollipops, fluid dynamics, tootsie pop, tootsie roll pop

Jul. 10, 2015

Forget-Me-Not: How Prions Maintain Memory

Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel discusses the role of prions in maintaining long-term memories.

eric kandel, memories, prions

Jul. 10, 2015

The Ultimate Geek Road Trip

Geek Atlas author John Graham-Cumming help us plot the ultimate geek road trip, with sites spanning the history of science, technology, and mathematics.

geek atlas, road trip, geed road trip, randal olson, big bang, john graham-cumming

Jul. 10, 2015

Astronomers Play Hide-and-Seek with Supermassive Black Holes

Researchers estimate that there are millions of supermassive black holes hidden in the universe.

black holes, supermassive black hles, george lansbury, astronomer, galaxy

Jul. 03, 2015

These Brains Changed Neuroscience

In The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, science writer Sam Kean explains how the field of neuroscience emerged from stories of brains gone awry.

neuroscience, sam kean

Jul. 03, 2015

Does Math Matter?

In this live interview from the Aspen Ideas Festival, Ira asks mathematicians and educators if there’s a better way to learn math.

math

Jul. 03, 2015

Can Marijuana Help or Hurt Adolescent Health?

A roundtable of scientists discuss ongoing research on the effects and potential applications of marijuana for adolescents in the United States.

marijuana

Jul. 03, 2015

Bringing Nature Back to Man-Made Spaces

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, which was once a chemical weapons manufacturing site, is now one of the nation’s largest urban wildlife sanctuaries.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, colorado

Jul. 03, 2015

Why Do Cyclists Break the Rules?

A survey of 18,000 cyclists seeks to understand why some are more likely to follow traffic rules than others.

bike riding, biking, wesley marshall

Jun. 26, 2015

Autonomous Trucks, Overgrown Goldfish, and an Edible Scientific Feud

Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post joins us for a roundup of her top science stories of the week.

autonomous truck, goldfish

Jun. 26, 2015

A 40,000-Year-Old Jawbone Reveals Neanderthal Ancestry

Scientists find evidence of a modern human with a recent Neanderthal ancestor in Romania.

neanderthal,

Jun. 26, 2015

Author Ashlee Vance Explores the ‘Unified Theory of Elon Musk’

In his new book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future , journalist Ashlee Vance gives the inside story behind Musk’s “relentless drive and ingenious vision.”

space x, tesla, elon musk, ashlee vance

Jun. 26, 2015

Cephalopod Week Wrap-Up

A wrap of highlights from Cephalopod Week, and a check-in with SciFri education manager Ariel Zych and biologist Chuck Fisher aboard the exploration vessel Nautilus.

cephalopod, cephalopod week, nautilus

Jun. 26, 2015

Move Over E.Coli: DARPA’s Quest for Next-Gen Bugs

Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA's Biological Technologies Office, says synthetic biology could be the next big thing for military innovation.

e. coli, darpa, synthetic biology

Jun. 26, 2015

Meet Inside Out’s Emotion Coach

Psychology professor Dacher Keltner helped Inside Out’s filmmakers navigate the 11-year-old mind.

inside out, pixar, disney, cartoons, emotions

Jun. 26, 2015

Food Failures: I Scream, You Scream...When We Ruin Our Ice Cream

Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks returns to share homemade ice cream hacks.

ice cream, jeff potter

Jun. 19, 2015

A Cometary Awakening, a Vaccine Mystery, and Brand New Bacteria

Tariq Malik of Space.com talks about Philae’s unexpected awakening, and Arielle Duhaime-Ross helps decipher a mystery that has plagued scientists for 50 years.

Philae, philae lander, comet, chlamydia, malaria

Jun. 19, 2015

Science Goes to the Movies: Jurassic World

Paleontologists Lindsay Zanno and Kenneth Lacovara share what made them clap—and cringe—while watching Jurassic World.

jurassic world, jurassic park, dinosaurs, Lindsay Zanno, Kenneth Lacovara

Jun. 19, 2015

Could Mars Have a Cold, Icy Past?

The ancient climate of Mars may have been “cold and icy,” according to researchers.

mars, cold, icy, planet, martian surface

Jun. 19, 2015

Cephalopod Week Is Back

We kick off our second annual Science Friday Cephalopod Week—a celebration of all things tentacled.

cephalopod week, octopuses, squid, nautiluses, cuttle fish

Jun. 19, 2015

Engineering Evaporation

Researchers at Columbia University design engines powered by evaporation.

spores, evaporation, engineering by evaporation, bacteria, bacterial power

Jun. 19, 2015

Not All Cooking Oils Are Created Equal

Ever wondered which cooking oil is healthiest? Tom Brenna, a professor of human nutrition at Cornell University, helps us get to the fat of the matter.

cooking oil, olive oil, cooking, oils, oil, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil

Jun. 19, 2015

Throw These Science Books in Your Beach Bag

Maria Popova and Lee Billings share their summer reading picks.

books, reading, maria popova, lee billings, summer, summer reading, scifi, science books, sci-fi

Jun. 12, 2015

Polluting Planes, Coked-Out Eels, and the Science of ‘Frass’ (Fake Grass)

What cutting airlines' carbon emissions could mean, why scientists gave eels cocaine, and the good—and bad—of artificial turf.

eels, cocaine, artificial turf, carbon emissions

Jun. 12, 2015

The Peculiarity of Homo Sapiens

Modern humans are the only surviving hominin from what was once a rich, fairly bushy family tree. But why did we alone survive?

Jun. 12, 2015

Will Our Smartphones Know Us Better Than Ourselves?

This week Apple revealed an improved Siri comparable to Android’s Google Now.

Jun. 12, 2015

The Silky Wonders of Worm Spit

Bioengineers at Tufts University are crafting silk protein into medical, optical, and bioelectronic materials.

silkworm

Jun. 12, 2015

Repurposing Drugs to Discover New Treatments

Could approved drugs be repurposed to discover new treatments for chronic and rare diseases?

Jun. 12, 2015

Climate Skeptics Convene on Capitol Hill

This week, the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change convened in Washington, D.C. But don't confuse it with the IPCC.

Jun. 12, 2015

The Walking...and Falling Robots of DARPA's Robotics Competition

The DARPA Robotics Competition challenged teams to design robots that could navigate a simulated disaster scenario.

Jun. 12, 2015

This Ant Stinks

Two entomologists set out to prove the true scent of the odorous house ant.

Jun. 05, 2015

Koala Chlamydia, Pluto's Moons, and Bad Science Search Results

Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post talks about the week in science, and Christina Warren of Mashable joins to talk about science search results gone wrong.

google search, google instant answer, dinosaurs, what happened to the dinosaurs, creation museum

Jun. 05, 2015

What Is Sleep? A 'Superpower,' a 'Power Cleanse'

In his latest "Flame Challenge," Alan Alda asked people to answer the question: "What is sleep?" We talk with the winning respondents.

sleep, eric galicia, brandon aldinger, alan alda, matthew walker, sleeping, snoozing, napping, nap

Jun. 05, 2015

How You Explained the Sun

Science Friday’s Science Club has been on a month-long exploration of the sun: what it is, how we see it, and its effects on our lives.

science club, sun, secretary of energy, ariel zych, charles bergquist

Jun. 05, 2015

Rising Ocean Temps Could Shrink Ocean Habitats

How will increasing global temperatures affect fish and marine habitats?

marine life, global warming, habitat, cod, sea bream, eelpout, rock crab, curtis deutsch

Jun. 05, 2015

A Potential ‘Missing Link’ Between the Brain and Immune System

Researchers describe previously undiscovered lymphatic vessels in the brains of mice.

lymph system, lymphatic system, lymph vessels, lymph vessels in brain, mice, jonathan kipnis, nature

Jun. 05, 2015

Food Failures: ‘Beer Can Chicken’ Myths and BBQ Science Tips

Meathead Goldwyn busts “beer can” chicken myths and shares science secrets for a successful backyard barbecue.

meathead goldwyn, amazingribs.com, chicken, beer can chicken, meat, barbeque, BBQ, grill, summer

Jun. 05, 2015

Endangered Sawfish Reproduce Asexually

Female smalltooth sawfish were found to undergo “virgin births” in southern Florida.

May. 29, 2015

How Did the Beefsteak Tomato Get So Beefy?

Biologist Zach Lippman describes the genetics behind the oversized beefsteak tomato.

Zach Lippman, beefsteak tomato, tomato, tomatoes, produce, nature genetics

May. 29, 2015

The Limits of Artificial Intelligence

Scientists have unveiled a robot that can sustain injury to one of its six legs, think for a few minutes, and devise a more efficient way to walk.

jeff clune, robot, injury, a.i., artificial intelligence, Ashok Goel

May. 29, 2015

We’re at Least a Little Like Yeast

Scientist swap out yeast genes for human ones, with an almost 50 percent success rate.

yeast, genetics, edward marcotte

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Science Goes to the Movies: Jurassic World

Paleontologists Lindsay Zanno and Kenneth Lacovara share what made them clap—and cringe—while watching Jurassic World.

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