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Mar. 27, 2015

Shaking Up the Climate Conversation, With Dance

A choreographer and a biologist team up to create a dance that’s part high art, part climate change consciousness raising.

dance, art, american museum of natural history, karole armitage, paul ehrlich, climate change

Mar. 27, 2015

Michael Gazzaniga: Tales from Both Sides of the Brain

Cognitive neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga discusses his on discovering how these halves communicate.

brain, caltech, 60s, michael gazzaniga

Mar. 27, 2015

One Last Thing: Left to Right

When we picture rapidly moving things, people seem to have a preference for ones that move from left to right, not right to left.

perception, running, peter walker, psychology

Mar. 27, 2015

Liquid 3-D Printer Speeds Past the Rest

A new, fast 3-D printer uses ultraviolet light and oxygen to shape liquid resin.

3d printing

Mar. 27, 2015

Understanding the Dark Side of Physics

Physicists discuss the quest to understand dark energy and dark matter.

dark matter, physics, jodi cooley, dan hooper, steven weinberg, dark energy

Mar. 27, 2015

Malaria Parasite Lures Mosquitoes With Bait-and-Switch

The malaria parasite manufactures lemon-and-pine-scented aromas that attract mosquitoes.

mosquito, malaria, audrey odom

Mar. 20, 2015

Keeping the President in Tune With Tech

Megan Smith, a Google alum who once built and raced a solar car across Australia, came on board last year as U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

megan smith, washington dc, chief technology officer, politics, science in politics

Mar. 20, 2015

Writing Women Back Into Science History

This Women’s History Month, Science Friday celebrates some of the unsung heroines of science.

women's history month, maria sibylla merian, marie tharp, dna, women in science, stem

Mar. 20, 2015

Sweeping the Skies, More Than 200 Years Ago

Astronomer Caroline Herschel was born 265 years ago this week, on March 16, 1750. She was the first woman to receive a salary for astronomical research.

caroline herschel, william herschel, astronomy, astronomer, one last thing, dean regas

Mar. 20, 2015

Scientists Dip Into the Water on Jupiter’s Largest Moon

Scientists estimate that a subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s largest moon—Ganymede—could be 60 miles thick.

moon, jupiter's moon, satellite, largest satellite, ganymede, orbit

Mar. 20, 2015

What Will It Take to Land a Person on Mars?

What technological hurdles must be cleared for a successful manned mission to Mars?

mars, mars one, traveling to mars, living on mars

Mar. 20, 2015

Warming West Coast Waters Upset Food Chains

Warmer waters are changing the distribution of food in the Pacific, stranding hundreds of starving sea lion pups on shore, and causing the death of hundreds of thousands of birds.

sea lions, dying, otters, pelicans, birds, drowning birds, food chain, warmer oceans, sea, ocean, temperature

Mar. 13, 2015

As Ebola Infection Rates Decline, Will Vaccine Search Continue?

Will momentum for developing an Ebola vaccine and treatment stay on track as infection rates decrease?

Ebola, treatment, vaccine, john cohen science, who, liberia

Mar. 13, 2015

Puzzling Polio-like Paralysis Baffles Doctors

Doctors are trying to piece together a puzzling polio-like paralysis that might be associated with a respiratory illness.

respiratory illness, enterovirus D68, paralysis, teri schreiner

Mar. 13, 2015

When a Seven-Foot-Long Arthropod Swam the Seas

Fossils found in Morocco might help explain how modern-day insects, crustaceans, and other arthropods got their shapes.

fossils, Morocco, Peter Van Roy, Aegirocassis benmoulae, large arthropod

Mar. 13, 2015

'ResearchKit' Taps iPhone Users for Clinical Trials

Apps on the new platform allow iPhone users to enroll in clinical trials on heart health, Parkinson's, or asthma. But critics say the smartphone-driven studies have flaws.

smartphone, apps, sensors, the verge, john wilbanks, arielle duhaime-ross, data, health data, apple, iphone, researchkit

Mar. 13, 2015

Rise of the Bot Author

Algorithms already write financial and sports news articles. Could they break into fiction?

artificial intelligence, journalism, robot, algorithm, mark riedl, tony veale, computer

Mar. 13, 2015

SciFri Celebrates π

This year holds an unusually special treat for enthusiasts of the constant π: March 14, 2015 approximates π not just to the usual three digits (3.14) but to five: 3.14.15.

pi, ian stewart, pi day

Mar. 13, 2015

Food Failures: Crafting Pie Crust

Just in time for Pi Day, we look at the science behind baking the perfect pie crust.

food failures, baking, pie, crust, j. kenji lopez-alt

Mar. 13, 2015

How an 11-Year-Old Named a (Dwarf) Planet

Venetia Burney, age 11, came up with the name ‘Pluto’ for a newly-discovered planet 85 years ago this week.

pluto, venetia burney, dwarf planet

Mar. 06, 2015

One Hundred Years of General Relativity

Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity on December 2, 1915.

relativity, albert einstein, physics, michael turner, alex filippenko

Mar. 06, 2015

Dawn Arrives at Ceres

Mission director and chief engineer Marc Rayman gives an update on the Dawn mission, scheduled to arrive in orbit around dwarf planet Ceres this week.

dawn, nasa, ceres, dwarf planet, marc rayman, space

Mar. 06, 2015

Avoid the Doctor—For Your Health

How much medical care is too much medical care?

health, doctor, medicine, h. gilbert welch

Mar. 06, 2015

The Interstellar Tourist’s Guide to Exoplanets

Exoplanet hunter Sara Seager explains how biosignature gases could help identify life on exoplanets, and The Takeaway’s John Hockenberry takes Ira on a futuristic tour of exoplanet vacation destinations.

exoplanet, sarah ballard, natalie batalha

Mar. 06, 2015

Fossil Jaw Turns Back Clock on Human Evolution

A newly discovered fossil jaw pushes the date of Homo's evolution back to 2.8 million years ago.

homo sapiens, homo, australopithecus, science express, brian villmoare

Mar. 06, 2015

Balancing Surveillance: Privacy and Security in the Digital Age

Is it possible to keep our personal information secure in the digital age?

data and goliath, cybersecurity, nsa, facebook, google, surveillance, computer surveillance

Mar. 06, 2015

Mysteries of the Mars Plume

Wayne Jaescke, a patent attorney and amateur astronomer, captured a photo of a wispy cloud rising 120 miles into the Martian atmosphere.

Wayne Jaescke, mars, plume

Feb. 27, 2015

Airport Apiaries, Now Boarding

Several major airports have found a new use for open but restricted space alongside runways and hangars—as a home for beehives.

beehives, bees, hives, airports

Feb. 27, 2015

Which Scientific Ideas Must Die?

This Idea Must Die asks scientists and big thinkers which scientific theories they’d target for extinction.

this idea must die, john brockman, sean carroll, seth lloyd

Feb. 27, 2015

Apps That Judge What's on Your Plate

A new class of food-coaching apps connects you to pros and peers who offer tips on healthy eating, based on descriptions and photos of what you eat.

app chat, apps, food apps, eating apps, food coach

Feb. 27, 2015

Dawn of the Cyborg Bacteria

In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots.

cyborg, cyborg bacteria, Elizabeth Beattie, Denise Wong

Feb. 27, 2015

NASA and Integration During the Civil Rights Movement

As part of Black History Month, Science Friday looks at the role of African-American scientists at NASA during the Civil Rights era.

we could not fail: the first african americans in the space program; steven moss, richard paul, christine darden, Morgan Watson

Feb. 27, 2015

Future Crimes: The Next Generation of Security Threats

In Future Crimes, author Marc Goodman looks at how criminals are using emergent technology for their own benefit.

future crimes, future crime, marc goodman, technology

Feb. 27, 2015

After Decades of Dietary Warnings, Eggs Make a Comeback

After decades of warnings, the advisory committee behind the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines drops its prohibition on cholesterol.

dietary cholesterol, cholesterol, cleveland clinic, harvard school of public health, walter willett, steven nissen

Feb. 20, 2015

Legal Battle Ends, But Seas Continue to Rise in Kivalina, Alaska

With its legal battle over, Kivalina, Alaska struggles to relocate a 400-person village predicted to be underwater by 2025.

christine shearer, climate change, kivalina, colleen swan, inupiat, alaska, fossil fuels

Feb. 20, 2015

Habitats Shift As Arctic Temps Creep Above Freezing

As the ice retreats, habitats shift, and certain food chains have begun to crumble.

arctic, climate change, george divosky, cheryl rosa, cooper island, alaska

Feb. 20, 2015

Is Your Empty Stomach Fueling Your Shopping Spree?

Hungry shoppers spent up to 60 percent more than those who had a full stomach, according to a new study.

decision making, norbert schwarz, binder clips, proceedings of the national academy of sciences

Feb. 20, 2015

What Bilingual Babies Can Teach Us About Language Learning

Babies raised in bilingual households spend significantly more time lip-reading than their monolingual counterparts—which suggests that it could also be a vital skill for language learners of all ages.

bilingual babies, bilingual, david lewkowicz, languages, lip reading

Feb. 20, 2015

Are Women at Greater Risk for Alzheimer’s?

Neurologists look at genes and hormones to understand why more women are developing Alzheimer’s than men.

alzheimer's disease, alzheimer's, women, men, roberta diaz brinton, michael greicius

Feb. 20, 2015

Forecasting the Future of Maps

How will new maps help us navigate from point A to point B more efficiently?

google maps, mapping, technology

Feb. 13, 2015

Are Decades-Long Megadroughts on the Horizon?

Climate change might be pushing the Southwest and Central Plains of the U.S. towards megadroughts.

drought, megadrought, soil, southwest, central plains, climate, jason smerdon

Feb. 13, 2015

Medical Fraud Missing From Public Record

An investigation of the FDA claims the agency isn't doing enough to expose instances of fraud and misconduct.

food and drug administration, misconduct, charles seife

Feb. 13, 2015

A Love Story, Set in the Multiverse

In Nick Payne’s play Constellations, a beekeeper and cosmologist fall in and out of love across 50 parallel universes.

constellations, broadway, nick payne, play, multiverse, love

Feb. 13, 2015

The World’s Oceans Are Overflowing With Plastics Pollution

Researchers estimate that between 4.8-12.7 million metric tons of plastic leaked into the ocean in 2010.

science, plastics, kara lavendar law

Feb. 13, 2015

Dogs, They’re Just Like Us

An in-depth survey of pet dogs revealed surprising insights about breed-specific behaviors.

dogs, canines, breeds, pedigree, dog breeds, breeding, breed, james serpell

Feb. 13, 2015

Tales of Broken Hearts

In The Man Who Touched His Own Heart, Rob Dunn writes of the creative—and sometimes tragic—ways that scientists and surgeons have sought to mend the maladies of the heart.

books, bar room brawl

Feb. 06, 2015

Honey, I Shrunk the Lab: Testing for STDs on a Smartphone

A new, inexpensive smartphone dongle tests for HIV and syphilis in 15 minutes.

samuel sia, biomedical engineering, hiv, syphilis

Feb. 06, 2015

The SciFri Book Club Talks ‘The Lost City of Z’

The SciFri Book Club convenes to talk about David Grann’s non-fiction tale of Amazonian exploration, The Lost City of Z.

jeff vandermeer, lost city of z, amazon, book club, sarah parcak

Feb. 06, 2015

Uncovering the Amazon’s Real ‘Lost Cities’

Archaeologist Michael Heckenberger’s discovery of “garden cities” in the Amazon suggests ancient civilizations once thrived there.

amazon, lost city of z, book club, michael heckenberger

Feb. 06, 2015

How Budget Plans on Earth Might Stop Opportunity Rover on Mars

A preliminary NASA budget contains no funding for the Mars rover Opportunity in 2016.

nasa, mars, rover, opportunity

Feb. 06, 2015

Can the FCC Proposal Protect the Open Internet?

This week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced a plan for “the strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.”

fcc, internet, open internet, kevin werbach

Feb. 06, 2015

Fess Up: We're Taking Your 'Climate Confessions'

Do you have a predilection for beef? Forget to flick off the lights? Or maybe you're a much-too-frequent flier? Call in to confess your climate sins.

the adaptors, flora lichtman, mike berners-lee, climate, climate change, global warming

Feb. 06, 2015

Catching Up on Sea Slug Science

The Hopkins’ rose sea slug has invaded Northern California, due to warming waters.

sea slugs, nudibranch, terry gosliner, california academy of sciences, CAS

Feb. 06, 2015

Remembering ‘The Father of the Pill’

The chemist Carl Djerassi passed away on January 30, 2015, at the age of 91.

carl djerassi, birth control, the pill, plan b, national medal of science

Jan. 30, 2015

Scientists and the Public Disagree on Key Issues

Is it possible to shift public opinion on controversial scientific issues?

lee rainie, tim o'brien, michael lacour, vaccine, vaccinations, gmos, science

Jan. 30, 2015

The True Story Behind ‘Spare Parts’

In “Spare Parts,” four teenage MacGyvers beat MIT with a smelly robot built with PVC pipe.

spare parts, robots, underwater robots, ROVs, immigration policy, teenagers, undocumented residents, illegal immigrants,

Jan. 30, 2015

Small Drones Raise Big Legal Questions

Law professor Ryan Calo discusses how to regulate personal drones and other potentially invasive technologies.

cnn, drones, white house, drone, south lawn, drone on south lawn, ryan calo

Jan. 30, 2015

Modernizing Money: ‘Chip-and-PIN’ Credit Cards and Mobile Payments

Sorting through the changing technology of credit cards and mobile payments.

chip-and-PIN, mobile payments, credit cards, robin sidel, nanette byrnes

Jan. 30, 2015

Hitting the Sack: Sleep Cycles Can Affect Athletes’ Performance

An athlete’s performance can vary by up to 26 percent, depending on the time of day.

current biology, roland brandstaetter, super bowl, football, sleep, sleep deprivation, peak performance, athletes, bedtime

Jan. 30, 2015

Face Time

We can make split-second judgments about someone's personality and character without even consciously seeing their face.

real world judgments, split second judgments, jon freeman

Jan. 23, 2015

Lasers Help Metal Resist Rust and Ice

Scientists use lasers to create super water-repellent metals.

water-resistance, water, metal, chunlei guo, physics, lasers

Jan. 23, 2015

Remembering the Moment Black Holes Went Mainstream

Forty-five years ago, a collaboration between Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking transformed perceptions about black holes and the beginning of the universe.

roger penrose, stephen hawking, black holes, physics, mathematicians

Jan. 23, 2015

Conserving Cuba’s Coral Reefs

Since 1970, Caribbean coral have declined by more than 50 percent, according to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

coral reefs, cuba, marine biology

Jan. 23, 2015

Behind the Scenes of the Explorers Club

The Explorers Club houses artifacts from research expeditions over the last century, including the first exploration to the North Pole to the Apollo 11 moon mission.

explorers club, exploration, expedition

Jan. 23, 2015

Scientists Engineer Bacteria With Genetic 'Kill Switch'

Genetic engineers have designed strains of E. coli that can survive only in the presence of a compound that doesn't exist in nature.

Dan Mandell, david guston, e. coli, genetic engineering

Jan. 23, 2015

Journeying to the Building Blocks of the Solar System

What can comets, asteroids, and protoplanets tell us about the formation of the solar system?

comets, asteroids, protoplanet, rosetta mission, dawn mission, nicolas thomas, osiris, comet 76p, marc rayman, ceres, vesta

Jan. 23, 2015

Put Down Your Phone, Give Your Brain a Break

Some studies suggest letting the mind wander spurs creativity and contemplation. Is it time to rethink our relationship with our phones and bring back boredom?

new tech city, candy crush, manous zomorodi, alex goldmark, podcast, boredom, smartphone, tablet

Jan. 16, 2015

The SciFri Book Club Reads ‘The Lost City of Z’

The SciFri Book Club cracks the cover of our winter book pick: David Grann’s non-fiction tale of Amazonian exploration, The Lost City of Z.

the lost city of z, exploration

Jan. 16, 2015

Which Cyber Hacks Should We Worry About?

Molly Sauter explains the scope and severity of recent cyber attacks.

cyber attack, cyber hack, the coming swarm

Jan. 16, 2015

The Long Quest to Make Machines Talk

Brad Story, a professor of speech, language, and hearing sciences, walks us through the history of talking machines, and computer scientists Alan Black and Rupal Patel talk about making computerized voices more personal and engaging.

brad story, voder, siri, cortana, google now, alan black, rupal patel

Jan. 16, 2015

Does the ‘Innate Genius’ Stereotype Widen the STEM Gender Gap?

In a new study, academics rated philosophy—where women are earning less than 35 percent of the Ph.D.s—as a field where candidates need raw talent for success.

stem, gener gap, brilliance, innate genius, women and stem

Jan. 16, 2015

Spinning Theories on Planet Rotation

Scientists modeled how an exoplanet’s atmosphere could keep its rotation from locking up.

planets, rotation, earth, spinning

Jan. 16, 2015

Sea Turtles Guided Home by Magnetic Sense

Female turtles return to the coastlines where they hatched using the earth's magnetic fields as a navigational tool.

sea turtles, migration, navigation, current biology, roger brothers

Jan. 16, 2015

Tablets and Smartphones Might Be Sapping Your Sleep

Researchers say using tablets and smartphones before bedtime can shift your circadian rhythms.

charles czeisler, sleep, circadian rhythms, awake, mobile phones, smartphones, blue screen, tablets

Jan. 09, 2015

CES 2015: Smart Mirrors, Autonomous Cars, and Safer Home Security

Re/code reviewer Lauren Goode gives her rundown of the best tech at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show.

consumer electronics show, re/code, lauren goode, mercedes, self-driving cars, autonomous vehicle, autonomous car, driverless cars

Jan. 09, 2015

Can Diet and Exercise Affect Your Genes?

Researchers are examining how exercise, diet, and your environment play a role in gene expression.

dna, epigenetics, methyl groups, andy feinberg, diet and exercise, exercise, diet

Jan. 09, 2015

Sifting Soils for New Approaches to Antibiotics

Researchers report that they’ve isolated a new type of antibiotic compound from soil-dwelling bacteria that previously couldn’t be cultured.

antibiotic, antibiotic resistance

Jan. 09, 2015

A Broadway Hit, With an Autistic Math Whiz at Its Center

Actor Alex Sharp talks about playing a 15-year-old math whiz on the Autism spectrum in the hit Broadway play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, christopher boone, broadway

Jan. 09, 2015

Diet Pill Mimics the Effects of Eating

The “imaginary meal” pill helps mice lose weight—but can it do the same in humans?

ronald evans, food pill, imaginary meal, diet, food

Jan. 09, 2015

The Cold Virus Seeks Safety in the Nose

One out of five people harbors a cold virus in their nose at any one time.

nose, rhinovirus, cold, cold virus

Jan. 09, 2015

Mapping White-Nose Syndrome’s Lethal Course in Bats

Bats infected with white-nose syndrome use up twice as much energy during hibernation as uninfected bats.

white-nose syndrome, bats, hibernation, bmc physiology, david blehert

Jan. 09, 2015

Bill Nye on the Origins of Evolution

When it comes to evolution, Bill Nye the Science Guy won’t be denied.

bill nye the science guy, evolution, bill nye

Jan. 02, 2015

An App a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?

Dr. Eric Topol's book The Patient Will See You Now argues that technology will save patients time and money—and put healthcare back in their hands.

the patient will see you now, eric topol, medicine, medical apps

Jan. 02, 2015

Birding Into the New Year

We’ll check in on the 115th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count and hear what birds have made an appearance so far this winter.

cbc, geoff lebaron, kenn kaufman, christmas bird count, birding, birdwatching

Jan. 02, 2015

Don’t Stress! How to (Hopefully) Keep New Year’s Resolutions

A lack of discipline isn’t what might undermine your goals, but rather an abundance of stress.

stress, willpower, new years, new year, new years resolutions, dieting, exercise

Jan. 02, 2015

Could an ‘Ocean’ of Water Be Trapped Within the Earth?

Rocks deep within the earth’s mantle could sequester water for billions of years and release small amounts to the surface.

earth's mantle, water

Jan. 02, 2015

Families Geek Out! Try These DIY Experiments at Home

Bill Nye the Science Guy writer Lynn Brunelle and Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments author Mike Adamick share fun science experiments parents and kids can do at home.

bill nye the science guy, home science experiments, dad's book of awesome science experiments, diy, hacks

Dec. 26, 2014

2014 Science Year in Review

From the Ebola outbreak to the Rosetta mission to a comet, a look at the biggest science stories of the year.

science stories, 2014 year in review, ebola, rosetta comet

Dec. 26, 2014

Birdie in Flight

The aerodynamics of the badminton birdie, along with a complex chain of movements executed by players, enables it to reach 200 mph.

badminton, emily driscoll, birdie, flight

Dec. 26, 2014

John McPhee Assembles California

In this 1993 interview from the Science Friday archives, writer John McPhee talks plate tectonics and global geology.

john mcphee, eldridge moores, assembling california, geology

Dec. 26, 2014

SciFri Live: Science Movie Quiz

You may know science, but how well do you know movie science?

caltech, movie science, quiz

Dec. 19, 2014

Does Mars Have What It Takes to Support Life?

NASA’s Curiosity rover finds evidence of methane and organics on the Red Planet.

curiosity rover, nasa, john grotzinger, methane on mars, organics on mars, life on mars, mars, red planet

Dec. 19, 2014

Scientists Speak Out About Attacks on Science

Bioengineer John Dabiri and conservation biologist Terrie Williams, two targets of Senator Tom Coburn's 2014 “Wastebook” look beyond the caricatures painted by politicians and pundits to tell the story of their research.

Dec. 19, 2014

Making Space a More Democratic Place

What if anyone could 3-D-print a satellite in space? Or jet from the Earth to the Moon, using just the hydrogen found in a two-liter bottle of water?

nasa, space, mason peck, democratizing space

Dec. 19, 2014

Moving Ice May Mean More Melting for Greenland

By 2060, Greenland’s seasonal “supraglacial” lakes will double in number and move farther inland.

greenland, glaciers, ice sheet, andrew shepherd, nature climate change, global warming, climate change

Dec. 19, 2014

Science Goes to the Movies: ‘The Imitation Game’

SciFri’s scientist-film critics weigh in on the Alan Turing biopic.

janna levin, simon sing, alan turing, the imitation game, benedict cumberbatch, german

Dec. 19, 2014

Weighing In on the ‘Good Carb, Bad Carb’ Debate

Curbing “high glycemic” carbs may not benefit healthy eaters.

high glycemic carbs, good carbs, bad carbs, glycemic index, low glycemic carbs, Frank Sacks

Dec. 19, 2014

Under the Influence of Beer Foam

A team of fluid mechanics researchers at Princeton University dive into the anti-sloshing physics of foam.

princeton, fluids, fluid mechanics, beer, beer foam, coffee

Dec. 12, 2014

The Best Science Books of 2014

Science writers Deborah Blum and Annalee Newitz join Ira to share their favorite science books of 2014.

deborah blum, annalee newitz, books, reading

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