By Science Friday and WNYC Studios
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Brain fun for curious people.
||CleanMicrobes and Art, Science Books 2018. Dec 7, 2018, Part 2||Here at Science Friday, our jobs involve reading a lot of science books every year. We have piles and piles of them at the office. Hundreds of titles about biology and art and technology and space, and sometimes even sci-fi. Now, the time has come for||12/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHemp and CBD, Phytosaurs, Mosquito Control. Dec 7, 2018, Part 1||Good news could be coming soon for anyone interested in hemp, the THC-free, no-high strain of cannabis whose use ranges from fibers to food to pharmaceuticals. If the 2018 Farm Bill passes Congress in its current form, growing hemp would be legal and p||12/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGene-Editing Humans, Asymmetry, Ancient Whale Ancestor. Nov 30, 2018, Part 2||The first CRISPR-edited babies are (probably) here. The news raises social, ethical, and regulatory questions—for both scientists and society. Then, why are human bodies asymmetrical? A single protein could help explain why. And finally, ever wonder||11/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanClimate Report, Wind Energy, SciFri Educator Collaborative. Nov 30, 2018, Part 1||This Monday, Mars fans rejoiced as NASA’s lander Mars InSight successfully parachuted safely onto the large, flat plain of Elysium Planitia. In the days that followed, the lander successfully has deployed its solar panels and begun to unstow its rob||11/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCaves And Climate, Environmental Archeology, Scanning The Past. Nov 23, 2018, Part 2||When you think of an archaeologist, you might imagine a scientist in the field wielding shovels and pickaxes, screening through dirt to uncover artifacts and structures buried deep in the ground. But what about those areas that you can’t reach or eve||11/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean2018 Ig Nobel Prizes. Nov 23, 2018, Part 1||When you go to the zoo, maybe you imitate the chimps, copying their faces, their gestures, or their walk. But it turns out the chimps imitate you just about as often—and as well, according to scientists. Other researchers have found that a trained no||11/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCalifornia Fires, Fire Engineering, Flu Near You. Nov 16, 2018, Part 1||When wildfires strike, the conversation typically centers around natural factors: forest management, climate change, or hot dry winds that fan the flames. But there’s another important factor in wildfire risk: what humans build. Not just where we bui||11/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSmell Science, Reader Come Home, Sonar Smackdown. Nov 16, 2018, Part 2||If you had to give up one of your senses, which would you pick? If you think that “smell” might be the obvious answer, consider that your nose plays a crucial role in how you perceive the taste of your food or that it’s a sophisticated sensor cap||11/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanImmigration and the Microbiome, Spice Trends. Nov 9, 2018, Part 1||‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes. Even if you’re not a fan of the fall beverage, we’ve all been touched by the 15-year dominance of Starbucks’ signature PSL (that’s pumpkin spice latte in coffee lingo) and its pumpkin spice spawn. So||11/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHeart History, Disease Seasonality, Beatboxing. Nov 9, 2018, Part 2||The case presented a medical mystery. A man had entered his doctor’s office complaining of chest pain, so his doctors ordered an angiogram, an X-ray of the arteries of his heart. His condition was serious: a complete blockage of one of his coronary a||11/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPhysics Mysteries, Appendix and Parkinson’s, Paralysis Treatment. Nov 2, 2018, Part 2||Ever wondered why your dog’s back-and-forth shaking is so effective at getting you wet? Or how bugs, birds, and lizards can run across water—but we can’t? Or how about why cockroaches are so darn good at navigating in the dark? Those are just a||11/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLocal Science Issues, Dolphin Calls, Kepler Death. Nov 2, 2018, Part 1||With the midterm elections less than a week away, science is on voters’ minds even when it’s not on the ballot. From coastal floods in Florida, to the growing pains of renewable energy in Hawaii, to curbing the opioid addiction crisis in Kentucky,||11/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanScience Goes To The Movies: First Man, Driverless Car Ethics, Beetle Battles. Oct 26, 2018, Part 2||Damien Chazelle’s film First Man reconstructs the personal trials of astronaut Neil Armstrong in the years leading up to his famous first steps on the moon—as well as the setbacks and losses that plagued the U.S. space program along the way. Thi||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBlood, Spatial Memory, Gerrymandering. Oct 26, 2018, Part 1||Blood is essential to human life—it runs through all of our bodies, keeping us alive—but the life-giving liquid can also have a mysterious, almost magical quality. As journalist Rose George points out, this association goes back to thousands of yea||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMusic And Technology, Social Critters, Sleep And Genetics. Oct 19, 2018, Part 2||Mark Ramos Nishita, more popularly known as Money Mark from the Beastie Boys, has created the “Echolodeon.” The custom-built machine converts original piano rolls, created from actual performances by greats like Debussy and Eubey Blake, into MID||10/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanC-Section Increase, Puerto Rican Hurricane Recovery, A Turtle Tiff. Oct 19, 2018, Part 1||The World Health Organization recommends that the C-section rate should be about 15% of births, for optimal outcomes for mothers and babies. But a series of studies published in The Lancet this week shows that rates worldwide are much higher. In||10/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSquirrel Monkeys, Salmon Migration, The Realness. Oct 12, 2018, Part 2||Squirrel monkeys have big brains for their size, they’re chatterboxes, and they’ve even been to space. There may even be parallels between squirrel monkey communication and the evolution of human language, says primatologist Anita Stone. She joins||10/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanElection Security, Channel Islands, IPCC Report. Oct 12, 2018, Part 1||The voting infrastructure is a vast network that includes voting machines, registration systems, e-poll books, and result reporting systems. This summer, the federal government put out a report that stated that hackers, possibly connected to Russia, ta||10/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDung Beetles, Exomoon, Poison Squad. Oct 5, 2018, Part 2||Before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was formed in 1906, you might have been more weary of pouring milk over your morning cereal. Milk could be spiked with formaldehyde, while pepper could contain coconut shells, charred rope or floor sweeping||10/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNobels, Argument Logic. Oct 5, 2018, Part 1||This week the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology, and medicine awarded its top scientists with its highest honor, the Nobel Prize. And this year, the annual celebration of scientific greatness was punctuated by a historic achievement: For the fir||10/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWater Wars, Air Pollution And Fetuses, Electric Blue Clouds. Sept. 28, 2018, Part 2||Yemen is gripped by civil war—and some experts say it could be the first of many “water wars” to come, as the planet grows hotter and drier. In This Is the Way the World Ends: How Droughts and Die-Offs, Heat Waves and Hurricanes Are Converging o||9/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUtah National Monuments, North Carolina Coal Ash, Asteroids. Sept. 28, 2018, Part 1||Back in December, the Trump administration announced reductions to two of Utah’s national monuments: Grand Staircase-Escalante, which runs from the Grand Canyon to Bryce Canyon National Park, and Bears Ears, newly established by the Obama administr||9/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUndiscovered Presents: The Magic Machine. Sept. 25, 2018||As a critical care doctor, Jessica Zitter has seen plenty of “Hail Mary” attempts to save dying patients go bad—attempts where doctors try interventions that don’t change the outcome, but do lead to more patient suffering. It’s left her dis||9/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEndangered Crow, Hawaiian Biodiversity, Mars Simulation. Sept. 21, 2018, Part 2||About five million years ago, the island of Kauai emerged from the ocean waves, and a new chain of island habitats was born, right in the middle of the Pacific. In those Hawaiian islands, birds would have found a multitude of microclimates, a lack of m||9/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUtah Dino Bones, Salt Lake Migrations, Tree Canopies. Sept. 21, 2018, Part 1||If you stood in southeastern Utah over 200 million years ago, you’d be overlooking the ocean. The landlocked state wasn’t quite the same landscape of scarlet plateaus and canyons you might see today, but a coastal desert where sand dunes butted up||9/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUndiscovered Presents: The Holdout. Sept 18, 2018.||Since the 1980s, Gerta Keller, professor of paleontology and geology at Princeton, has been speaking out against an idea most of us take as scientific gospel: That a giant rock from space killed the dinosaurs. Nice story, she says—but it’s just not||9/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSoil Future, Plant Feelings, Science Fair. Sept 14, 2018, Part 2||Climate change is increasing temperatures and causing heavier rainfalls across the country. Scientists are studying how these changes will affect different natural resources, including the soil ecosystem. For example, in Wisconsin, soil erosion is pred||9/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFlorence Flooding, Algorithms, Dino Demise. Sept. 14, 2018, Part 1||Last month, California passed a bill ending the use of cash bail. Instead of waiting in jail or putting down a cash deposit to await trial at home, defendants are released after the pleadings. The catch? Not everyone gets this treatment. It’s not a j||9/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUndiscovered Presents: I, Robovie. Sept 11, 2018.||A decade ago, psychologists introduced a group of kids to Robovie, a wide-eyed robot who could talk, play, and hug like a pro. And then, the researchers did something heartbreaking to Robovie! They wanted to see just how far kids’ empathy for a robot||9/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGrazing, Work-Life Imbalance. Aug. 7, 2018, Part 2||Each spring, animals move from their winter grazing grounds in search of greener pastures. For birds, where and when to start that journey is based on genetics, and signals from stars, and magnetic fields from the earth. But for some larger mammals lik||9/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTick Repellents, Robot Relationships. Aug. 7, 2018, Part 1||If you were given a robot and asked to break it, would you do it? The amount of Furby destruction videos on Youtube suggest it wouldn’t be that hard. But that’s not true for all robots. According to researchers, knowing more about a robot or bondin||9/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEric Kandel and the Disordered Mind, Death. Aug 31, 2018, Part 2||The human brain contains an estimated 100 billion neurons. When those cells malfunction, the disrupted process can lead to schizophrenia, PTSD, and other disorders. In his book The Disordered Mind, Nobel Prize-winning neuropsychiatrist Eric Kandel loo||8/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOutdoor Influencers, Northwest Passage, Undersea Volcanoes. Aug 31, 2018, Part 1||NASA is exploring a deep-sea volcano off the coast of Hawaii as a test run for human and robotic missions to Mars and beyond. The mission, dubbed SUBSEA, or Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog, will examine microbial lif||8/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSciFri Special Edition: A Time Traveler Cocktail Party. Aug 28, 2018.||In 2009, Stephen Hawking decided to throw a party for time travelers, famously sending the invitations after the date of the party. For the 30th anniversary of Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, the SciFri Book Club decided to throw our own party—a||8/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYellow Fever and Ebola, Trans-boundary Aquifers, Probiotics. Aug 24, 2018, Part 2||From 1976 to 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced eight outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus. Then, for 10 weeks earlier this year, the virus reemerged in the country, killing 33 people. Ministry of Health officials finally declared th||8/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHurricane Lane, Disposable Contacts, Brief History of Time. Aug 24, 2018, Part 1||This year was both the 30th anniversary of Stephen Hawking’s science blockbuster A Brief History of Time, but also the year the famed physicist himself passed away. In memory of Hawking and celebration of his work, Science Friday Book Club listeners||8/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAnt Traffic Flow, Natural Reactors, David Quammen. August 17, 2018, Part 2||Worker ants keep the nest alive. They look for food, take care of the eggs, and dig all the tunnels. Fire ant colonies, for example, have hundreds of thousands of worker ants. You’d think traffic jams happen all the time. But they don’t! The major||8/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanCoastal Flooding, Elephants and Cancer, Yosemite Bears. August 17, 2018, Part 1||More than five years after the devastating 14-foot high waters of Superstorm Sandy flooded New York and New Jersey, the Army Corps of Engineers is studying methods for reducing the damage of future high waters in the New York Bay and Hudson River estua||8/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanParch Marks, Wildfires, The Beatles. August 10, 2018, Part 1||The Mendocino Complex fire in northern California has spread to more than 300,000 acres—a swath of land bigger than New York City. The blaze is the state’s largest wildfire in recorded history, edging out last year's record-setting Thomas Fire, whi||8/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Story Of Sand, Science And Dance. August 10, 2018, Part 2.||When you think of sand, thoughts of the ocean and sand castles probably come to mind. But sand can be found in much more than beachfronts. Sand is a key ingredient in concrete for skyscrapers, silicon for computer chips, and the glass for your smartpho||8/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBacteria Extinction, Facial Recognition, Solar Probe. August 3, 2018, Part 2||Long before we walked the Earth, bacteria took it over. They’re in every ecosystem on the Earth, and researchers have hopes to someday find them on other planets. The tiny cells have even helped make our atmosphere oxygen-rich and liveable. But do b||8/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean"Lost in Math," Alan Alda, A Radical Brain Surgery, New Jersey Floods. August 3, 2018. Part 1||For decades, physicists trying to uncover the large and small structures of the universe have been coming up empty—no evidence of supersymmetry at the Large Hadron Collider, no dark matter particles, no new evidence explaining dark energy. That’s t||8/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPFAS, Urban Evolution, Science Diction. July 27, 2018, Part 1||If you thought city life was stressful, imagine being a wild animal trying to outlive speeding cars, toxic chemicals and heavy metals, or even the unnaturally bright nights and din of traffic. Why stick around at all? Yet our urban areas still teem wit||7/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAnt Socialization, Smoky Skies, Dust Storm, Mars Lake. July 27, 2018, Part 2||Many ant species have a queen, the member of the colony that lays eggs. The rest of the ants are divided into different roles that support the queen and the colony. So what ants become queens versus workers? Scientists found that the gene ilp2 that reg||7/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHeredity, Oldest Bread, Jupiter's Moons. July 20, 2018, Part 2||Have you ever taken a peek at your family tree? If you trace back along those branches, you might discover some long ago celebrities, kings, and philosophers among your ancestors. But what does it even mean to be “related” to an ancient queen when||7/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYeast Superbug, Dino Dinner, Toxic Algae. July 20, 2018, Part 1||If you hear the word “superbug,” you’re likely to think about drug-resistant bacteria or even viruses. But in a case that’s been unfolding since 2009, a drug-resistant yeast is increasingly worrying epidemiologists. The yeast, Candida auris, ha||7/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNerve Agents, Straws, Soccer Flops, Happiness. July 13, 2018, Part 2||Four months ago, an ex-Russian spy and his daughter were hospitalized in the U.K. They came into contact with a substance known as Novichok—a nerve agent developed by Soviet scientists during the Cold War. And recently, two U.K. citizens were hospita||7/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNeutrinos, Book Club, Air Conditioning. July 13, 2018, Part 1||In 1988, physicist Stephen Hawking’s wildly popular A Brief History of Time introduced general audiences around the world to scientists’ questions about the Big Bang, black holes, and relativity. Many of those questions remain unanswered, though||7/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean19th-Century Surveyor, News Roundup, Eagles' Nests. July 6, 2018, Part 1||In the 19th century, the American West was an arid climate yet to be fully explored. But surveyors like geologist John Wesley Powell, the second director of the United States Geological Society, would chart out the natural wonders that lied beyond the||7/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJurassic World, Rhino Comeback, Uranus Collision. July 6, 2018, Part 2||It’s the 25th anniversary of the debut of Jurassic Park. And with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom currently at the top of the summer movie food chain, its progeny continue to dominate the box offices. But even as the original Jurassic Park gave viewer||7/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
What happened to Bob?
On Nov. 30, 2018 episode on climate change, Ira’s guest expert Bob was disconnected after what sounded like the building collapsing on Bob. Did he simply drop his phone that made that strange noise or did Bob get struck by a meteor? It seemed like Ira wasn’t aware of the noise and continued like everything was okay. So what happened to Bob?
I am such a nerd and this podcast makes my heart happy and leaves me with endless new curiosities too!
Great for all ages.
This show whether listening live on the radio or this podcast is terrific for a car ride is long and short. Enjoyable for my kids since they were five years old. And they listen now while in college.
The show is also worth going to see live. The staff are fabulous and engaging and very personable.