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In this week’s news roundup, Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post joins us for a roundup of her top science stories of the week.
Biologist Thor Hanson describes the dizzying diversity of seeds. A new documentary, Seeds of Time portrays the fight to save them.
“Normal” human skin cells can contain a surprisingly large number of sun-induced mutations in their DNA, a new study has found.
A multi-year scientific expedition gives scientists new insights into the ocean’s viral communities.
Neal Stephenson’s new novel Seveneves blasts humanity into orbit, only to bring them down to earth...five thousand years later.
Damon Lavrinc, an editor at Jalopnik, talks about driving apps and gadgets.
Virginia Hughes of BuzzFeed News joins us for a roundup of her top science stories of the week.
An expert in the field of ancient DNA explains the why’s and how to’s of woolly mammoth de-extinction.
How—and why—scientists keep a close eye on the activity of our nearest star.
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology passed a bill that would cut NASA’s earth science budget by roughly 20 percent.
A look at what the rise of emoji says about online communication.
The specific combinations of strains of bacteria that live on and in a person can be used to identify an individual—even up to a year later.
Scientists traced the evolution of dinosaurs to birds through the beak of a chicken.
Hear the full show as Ira and Science Friday take the stage at Huntsville, Alabama’s own U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post joins us for a roundup of her top science stories this week.
Barry Estabrook's latest book, Pig Tales, is a journey through the good, the bad and the ugly of hog farming.
This season’s Science Club challenge: Tell us what the sun does.
Reminiscent of the flashy dance halls and shag carpets of the '70s, the disco clam flaunts frilly tentacles and its very own light show.
Could ingested plants be used as a delivery system of therapeutic microRNAs?
In her new book How to Bake Pi, mathematician Eugenia Cheng cooks up digestible math lessons on number theory to topology.
An evolutionary biologist brings big data to bear on 50 years of pop music history.
Several scientists share stories of their favorite Animal Kingdom matriarchs with Science Friday, just in time for Mother’s Day.
Salty aquifers deep under Antarctica could be a blueprint for where life might hide out on Mars.
In his new book, psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman documents the profession's early days—a time when malaria was considered an effective cure for mental illness.
How can cities like Kathmandu become more earthquake resistant in the future?
Could Elon Musk’s plan for a home battery fire up an energy revolution?
How should research progress as human gene editing techniques become cheaper, faster, and more precise?
The New Celebrity Scientists profiles scientists who’ve cracked the fame code to become cultural icons.
We all know Dr. Oliver Sacks as a renowned neurologist and a prolific author. But he’s a true Renaissance man, as becomes clear when reading his new memoir, On the Move: A Life.
Floating 200 miles above the Earth, and speeding at nearly five miles per second, the International Space Station may be the most unusual lab available to science.
Could solar sails, antimatter propulsion, and air-breathing rockets take us to Mars and other galaxies in the future?
YouTube science star Destin Sandlin uses a high speed camera to unpack the science behind everyday phenomena.
Arielle Duhaime-Ross, a science reporter at The Verge, gives us her take on the week's news.
In Sydney Padua’s graphic novel, two real-life Victorian-era computing pioneers build a steam-powered computer and use it to have adventures.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden discusses the agency's priorities, from understanding conditions on Earth to reaching Mars.
Amanda Glaze studies perceptions of evolution as well as its religious and societal influences throughout the Southeastern United States.
Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post gives us her rundown of the week's science stories.
NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory found that snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is a fraction of what it used to be.
The microbes that live on and in residents of an Amazonian village with no recorded contact with Western civilization are super-diverse—and some carry genes for antibiotic resistance.
Scientists say dark matter may not be as “dark” as once thought.
The cups work using capillary action: Simply press your lips to the rim, and you get a sip, whether you want one or not.
In his book Geek Physics, Rhett Allain uses physics to answer pop culture and everyday science questions.
The first science documentaries are almost as old as cinema itself.
Washington Post science blogger Rachel Feltman gives us her top stories this week, and the BBC’s Jonathan Webb tells us what to expect from the revved-up particle collider.
Ninety-nine percent of the data zipping between continents travels not via satellite, but through thousands of miles of cables.
Re/code’s Lauren Goode give us her take on Apple’s new wearable.
A series of rigorous (and adorable) experiments by Karen Adolph of NYU's Infant Action Lab shatters the myth that babies learn to fear heights as they learn to crawl.
Recent findings suggest that microbes living in Arctic permafrost could produce carbon dioxide and methane as it thaws.
What questions should we ask as research on artificial intelligence progresses?
Medical ethicist Art Caplan says science and medical journals are plagued by fraud, plagiarism, and predatory publishers.
In the news roundup this week, Eric Holthaus breaks down the new U.S. climate pledge.
Energy secretary Ernest Moniz joins us to talk about the science behind the diplomacy.
There’s a better way to make hard-boiled eggs—and it doesn’t involve boiling.
The blackpoll warbler, a songbird that weighs 12 grams, can fly 1,700 miles—non-stop—to its wintering grounds.
Scientists say that dust from passing comets could have darkened the surface of Mercury.
The satirical science festival BAHFest challenges science fans to construct real arguments for completely bogus hypotheses.
Researchers look to the genome of a patient’s tumor to build a cancer vaccine.
The early Earth was no place for life as we know it: Belching volcanoes, meteor strikes, hydrogen cyanide and a healthy bombardment of ultraviolet rays.
A choreographer and a biologist team up to create a dance that’s part high art, part climate change consciousness raising.
Cognitive neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga discusses his on discovering how these halves communicate.
When we picture rapidly moving things, people seem to have a preference for ones that move from left to right, not right to left.
A new, fast 3-D printer uses ultraviolet light and oxygen to shape liquid resin.
Physicists discuss the quest to understand dark energy and dark matter.
The malaria parasite manufactures lemon-and-pine-scented aromas that attract mosquitoes.
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.
This Women’s History Month, Science Friday celebrates some of the unsung heroines of science.
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.
Scientists estimate that a subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s largest moon—Ganymede—could be 60 miles thick.
What technological hurdles must be cleared for a successful manned mission to Mars?
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.
Will momentum for developing an Ebola vaccine and treatment stay on track as infection rates decrease?
Doctors are trying to piece together a puzzling polio-like paralysis that might be associated with a respiratory illness.
Fossils found in Morocco might help explain how modern-day insects, crustaceans, and other arthropods got their shapes.
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.
Algorithms already write financial and sports news articles. Could they break into fiction?
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.
Just in time for Pi Day, we look at the science behind baking the perfect pie crust.
Venetia Burney, age 11, came up with the name ‘Pluto’ for a newly-discovered planet 85 years ago this week.
Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity on December 2, 1915.
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.
How much medical care is too much medical care?
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.
A newly discovered fossil jaw pushes the date of Homo's evolution back to 2.8 million years ago.
Is it possible to keep our personal information secure in the digital age?
Wayne Jaescke, a patent attorney and amateur astronomer, captured a photo of a wispy cloud rising 120 miles into the Martian atmosphere.
Several major airports have found a new use for open but restricted space alongside runways and hangars—as a home for beehives.
This Idea Must Die asks scientists and big thinkers which scientific theories they’d target for extinction.
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.
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.
As part of Black History Month, Science Friday looks at the role of African-American scientists at NASA during the Civil Rights era.
In Future Crimes, author Marc Goodman looks at how criminals are using emergent technology for their own benefit.
After decades of warnings, the advisory committee behind the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines drops its prohibition on cholesterol.
With its legal battle over, Kivalina, Alaska struggles to relocate a 400-person village predicted to be underwater by 2025.
As the ice retreats, habitats shift, and certain food chains have begun to crumble.
Hungry shoppers spent up to 60 percent more than those who had a full stomach, according to a new study.
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.
Neurologists look at genes and hormones to understand why more women are developing Alzheimer’s than men.
How will new maps help us navigate from point A to point B more efficiently?
An in-depth survey of pet dogs revealed surprising insights about breed-specific behaviors.
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.
Fossil remains of an ancient pregnant whale suggest that the animal gave birth ...
Psychologist Diana Reiss discusses communication and cognition in dolphins.
Biologists are using data tags and a National Geographic Crittercam to study the...
What happens when a dolphin catches a cold? No, it's not a trick question. In th...
Underwater digital tags show humpback whales use bubbles to trap schools of fish...
Humpback whales blow bubbles around schools of fish to concentrate them for easier capture. It's called a bubble net, says David Wiley, research coordinator for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and it's visible as a ring of bubbles at the surface. Now, with underwater digital tracking tags and custom visualization software, whale researchers can see what the whales are doing underwater when they're bubble-netting.