Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
ZMapp, the cocktail of antibodies used to treat two American aid workers infected with the Ebola virus, spared 18 severely ill monkeys from death.
High energy x-rays provide a rare glimpse into the behavior of black holes.
USC's Moh El-Naggar says engineers hope to harness bacterial energy using fuel cells.
Uncharismatic microfauna, such as insects and mollusks, are giving scientists at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles a glimpse of the city's cool, humid past.
Animator Tom Sito explains how scientists and engineers kickstarted Hollywood’s digital animation revolution.
Hollywood T.V. and film writers explain how they balance scientific accuracy and storytelling.
Now that Hollywood’s visual effects wizards can create convincing “digital actors,” will we still need the real thing?
Researchers discuss how the microbiome might play a role in anxiety, depression, and autism.
Microbes have made a home in a lake trapped beneath an 800-meter-thick ice sheet in Antarctica.
The SciFri Book Club concludes its discussion of Frank Herbert’s ecological epic, Dune.
Global temperatures hit a plateau at the turn of the 21st century. Now researchers say they've discovered where that missing heat was hiding: in the oceans.
A filmmaker uses science to transform the New York City subway into a movie theater.
New, more accurate radiocarbon dating suggests the two cultures co-existed in Europe for nearly 5,000 years.
Scientists piece together how a 14-legged Cambrian worm is related to modern animals.
Using paleoforensics, researchers recount the grim details of life and death at the the La Brea Tar Pits.
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is the first probe to orbit a comet.
In her book The Soil Will Save Us, writer Kristin Ohlson concludes that the low-cost, low-tech solution to climate change may be directly underfoot—in healthy soil.
A new study in Science says that certain parasitic plants spy on their hosts through RNA exchanges.
A growing number of apps allow users to post ephemeral or anonymous messages—and they're catching on quickly with millennials.
Culinary scientist Ali Bouzari dips into the chemistry behind condiments, from hot sauce to mustard.
Oceanographer Sylvia Earle bears witness to troubling changes in our oceans in the documentary Mission Blue.
Technological and design innovations inside the Oculus Rift make virtual reality poised for a mass-market debut.
In a “mating pandemonium” event, a group of elephants roar after a pair of elephants mate.
Forensic pathologist Judy Melinek’s memoir Working Stiff goes behind the scenes at the New York City morgue.
Scientists transform common viruses like measles and herpes into potential cancer treatments.
A look at the experimental therapy used to treat two Americans who were infected with Ebola.
A neurobiologist reveals sci-fi thriller Lucy’s neuroscience bloopers.
If the bright “supermoon” drowns out the Perseid meteor shower this year, why not listen for meteors instead?
Scientists have created a 3D acoustical scan of the piano's resonance—and say it could help refine the art of piano-making.
Sound waves trigger tiny vibrations in objects. By studying the vibrations, researchers can recreate the sounds that caused them.
Ebola specialist Daniel Bausch provides an on-the-ground view of treating the disease in West Africa.
Exercise scientists Tamara Hew-Butler and Greg Whyte talk about how the body changes after dozens of hours in motion.
From depressed dogs to anxious gorillas, author Laurel Braitman explores mental illness in animals.
A new documentary, Alive Inside, exposes the connections between music and memory.
The habenula is a pea-sized part of the brain that tracks our expectations of negative events.
Google's latest big idea is called "Baseline Study"—an effort to catalog the DNA of thousands of healthy people, along with their blood, urine, saliva, breath, and tears.
This summer, two different and currently untreatable mosquito-borne viruses were identified on the East Coast.
Researchers discovered a virus that lives in the gut of half of the world’s population.
Cattle require 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than eggs or poultry.
Sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson and astrobiologist Sara Imari Walker introduce the SciFri Book Club’s summer selection: Dune.
A new online tracker is snooping on visitors to over 5,600 popular sites—and it's nearly impossible to block.
A round-up of the latest HIV/AIDS research news and an update from the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Elena Tartaglia, a co-founder of National Moth Week, gives tips on spotting butterflies' neglected cousins.
Little is known about the monstrously long oarfish, its life cycle, and how it navigates its deep sea environment.
Whales stabilize the ocean ecosystem through a mechanism scientists call the “whale pump,” or fecal plumes.
With gene therapy, scientists reprogram pig heart cells to improve heartbeat.
A scientist and a designer imagine fashion’s high-tech future.
Confidence in how well our garments suit us shouldn't be taken for granted—we owe much to textile quality assurance.
A third of California is now clenched by exceptional drought, and this week the state announced $500 fines for water-wasters. But many residents continue to hope for rain.
A virus large enough to be seen through a light microscope was recovered from the Siberian permafrost.
Reporter Bob Parks guides us through his favorite outdoor and camping apps.
Makerbot’s Bre Pettis explains what you need to know to try your own 3D printing.
Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog, discusses what happens when scientific studies go bad.
Neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned in the E.U. but are still approved for use in the U.S. while the EPA reviews them.
In a procedure called “Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation,” doctors would replace the blood of patients with cold saline to help buy valuable operating time.
A study finds that many people would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts.
In his new book, Rock Breaks Scissors, author William Poundstone decodes the patterns in big data, sports, and human behaviors.
Ben Franklin’s sonic experiments included inventing a new musical instrument and testing the limits of the human voice.
Mathematician Edward Frenkel says a well-educated public is essential to democracy—and that includes being knowledgeable about math.
NASA’s “Mohawk Man,” Bobak Ferdowsi, talks public and private space exploration, plans for Europa, and whether or not we’ll be putting a human on Mars.
The flashing of lightning bugs is a favorite part of a lazy summer evening, but there’s a lot of hidden nighttime drama.
After Superstorm Sandy, there was a lot of talk of a more distributed smart grid—a more resilient system. But how far have we come?
Author Charles Seife spots the falsehoods and fakes that make their way onto the information super highway.
How does sunscreen protect our skin from harmful radiation, and what is the meaning behind SPFs?
Marinade myths, charcoal chemistry, and the elusive “smoke ring”—the science behind barbecue and grilling.
The nautilus, the “living fossil” of cephalopods, can uncover the origins of the complex brain of modern cephalopods.
A new study suggests that 3-D mammography detects more cancers than traditional digital mammography. But the technology is expensive, and there's no indication yet that it catches more dangerous cancers, or is saving more lives.
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to genetic surveillance with artworks made from strangers’ DNA.
Relman called the American health care system a "new medical-industrial complex." We remember him here with two archival clips.
Portland, Oregon, is a hotbed for transit innovation. Will other cities catch on?
In Robogenesis, sci-fi author Daniel H. Wilson imagines the world post-robot uprising.
At Reed College, undergraduates keep a nuclear reactor running.
Arachnologist Greta Binford traces the evolution of spiders by examining their venom.
Two of Oregon’s craft brew experts pore over hops, yeast, malt, and the microbiology of beer.
Representative Rush Holt talks about how “thinking like a scientist” can help the political process.
Lee Billings and Maria Popova compile your perfect summer science book list.
How will the “Brazuca” fly? Scientists put the World Cup soccer ball through its paces.
Robert Cima of the Mayo Clinic says science doesn't back up pre-surgical practices like fasting and colon cleanses.
What technologies, budget, and partners would NASA needed for a successful manned mission to Mars?
In his new book, Paul Raeburn writes of the surprising biological and genetic connections fathers have with their children.
The EPA's proposal sets a 30 percent decrease in power plant carbon emissions by 2030.
In his book Stuff Matters, Mark Miodownik explains why the everyday materials around us are truly extraordinary.
A herd of “elite” brush-clearing goats demonstrate why they are a versatile tool to shield against wildfires in Southern California.
In her new book of photography, The Oldest Living Things in the World, artist Rachel Sussman documents the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet.
With projections of warmer temperatures and rising sea levels, which tourist destinations should you plan to visit sooner rather than later?
Researchers describe a type of nerve that helps us understand social interactions and emotion.
Zapping dental stem cells with lasers appears to switch on production of new dentin, the hard stuff under tooth enamel.
“Earworms” are song fragments that get stuck in our mind.
A recent study projects that by 2030, pancreatic cancer will become the second most deadly type of cancer in the U.S. after lung cancer.
Nearly all the body's cells contain identical DNA. So why does a neuron grow up so differently than a liver cell? Proteins, says Akhilesh Pandey, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University.
How can a commercial airliner go missing, and what can we do to improve tracking technology?
In Me, Myself, and Why, science writer Jennifer Ouellette probes the science of self.
Scientists mapped out the plan for a potential “photon-photon collider” that could convert light into matter.
What does the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality plan mean for consumers?
Biographer Walter Isaacson explains why the future belongs to those who can merge the arts and the sciences.
We're running out of antibiotics, and drug companies have little incentive to develop new ones. Can we save the ones we already have?
ZeroCash, Litecoin, and SolarCoin are digital currency alternatives to Bitcoin.
Late Friday night, Earth will sail through debris left by the comet 209P/LINEAR. Scientists are calling the shower the Camelopardalids.
Graphene is stronger than steel and more conductive than copper—a look at the applications and limitations of this ‘wonder’ material.
The robotic deep-sea submersible Nereus was destroyed while diving over six miles beneath the surface in the Kermadec Trench.
SciFri’s scientist-film critics weigh in on the science behind the Hollywood tec...
From miniatures and matte paintings to motion capture, a look at how movie techn...
We'll look at how Hollywood became a driving force in the invention of new techn...
Astronauts separate fact from fiction in Alfonso Cuarón's 3-D space epic, Gravit...
Recent films such as Coraline have wowed audiences with their visual effects. We'll talk with movie industry experts about the science and technology that lies behind animation, 3D images, and other visual tricks of the silver screen.