Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
BBC science editor David Shukman talks about the motivations behind China's moonshot.
The secret behind The Simpsons math jokes? A writers’ room full of ex-mathematicians.
Seventy thousand miles of track will need to be outfitted with "positive train control" technology by 2015.
Unraveling the speech patterns behind tongue twisters and Valley girls. . .and boys.
Steven Brill discusses "Bitter Pill," his investigation of skyrocketing healthcare costs.
The IgNobel Prizes salute unusual research, such as an investigation of dung beetle navigation.
Author Jo Robinson digs up tips on how to get the most nutrition out of our fruits and vegetables.
Choreographer and gravity-junkie Elizabeth Streb pushes the boundaries of physics—with dance.
Fifty years later, forensic scientists apply modern tech to the JFK assassination.
Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, dishes up a few cooking hacks for Turkey Day.
Researchers test ridged surfaces in order to control the movements of hot water.
As Comet ISON skirts the sun, it could be destroyed—or emerge, even more spectacular than before.
Researchers linked daily nut consumption to a lower risk of dying from major chronic diseases.
Stores can tap into your smartphone’s Wifi signal to track your in-store movements.
Under NASA’s proposed 2013 budget, planetary science would receive $1.217 billion.
Is there a link between climate change and stronger hurricanes?
New York Times columnist Nick Bilton's new book reveals the social network's dark side.
Why most mammals—even elephants—take only 20-30 seconds to urinate.
New data suggest one in every five stars like the sun may have an Earth-like planet circling it.
Falling Upwards chronicles the balloonists who took science into the stratosphere.
In this episode of App Chat, Ellis Hamburger debates the pros and cons of Square Cash.
Bioethicists--and the FBI--are rethinking biosecurity for the synthetic biology revolution.
Scientists say antifungal bacteria could help fight the fungus causing white-nose syndrome.
Dietary supplements don’t fall under the conventional food or drug FDA regulations.
The Mangalyaan orbiter would make India the fourth space program to reach the Red Planet.
Can woolly bear caterpillars predict winter weather?
A year after Hurricane Sandy, differing visions for the coastline of tomorrow.
The Bigshot Do-It-Yourself Digital Camera kit gives tinkerers a view of a camera's anatomy.
Einstein is best known for relativity, but was his quantum theory more revolutionary?
Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield explores life floating through space and back on Earth.
People suffering from Cotard’s syndrome believe they are dead or no longer exist.
Neuroscientist James Fallon’s brain scan matched the patterns in the scan of a psychopath.
Toxic blooms of cyanobacteria are choking lakes and rivers worldwide, due in part to warmer waters.
How do naked mole rats live to 30 years without getting cancer?
In his latest book, Venter imagines printing out flu vaccines and teleporting Martian DNA.
Astronauts separate fact from fiction in Alfonso Cuarón's 3-D space epic, Gravity.
Could Homo erectus, Homo habilis, and the rest of the Homo genus be one species?
Neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman explores how our brains connect to the social world.
Outbreaks of the Ebola virus have a 90 percent fatality rate in humans.
Government labs are turning on their lights—but many Antarctic scientists are still in limbo.
How you can decode modern infographics and spot those that mislead.
Increased forest fragmentation and a boost in carbon dioxide may contribute to the vines' success.
Studying the link between genetic variations implicated in cancer may lead to more personalized treatments.
Wider insurance coverage and coordinated care—will these add up to healthier patients?
Math professor Bruce Bukiet uses "simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication" to predict the World Series bracket.
Guest host John Dankosky reviews the discoveries behind this year’s Nobel Prizes.
"Brave Genius" profiles two extraordinary men: biologist Jacques Monod and philosopher Albert Camus.
As the budgetary stalemate in Washington continues, many federally funded science projects are now on hold.
Recent analyses of Martian soil have found significant amounts of water.
How secure are the encryption systems that protect our communications?
How can we sustain and balance the exploding global population?
Halloween hacks for a "tricked out" trick-or-treating.
Physicist Leon Lederman discusses the Standard Model versus a Unified Theory of particle physics.
Recent evolution has given humans the ability to break down starch and digest cheese. Bon appetit!
Do we need to rethink how we protect nature in the age of climate change?
The IceCube telescope detects over 100,000 neutrinos every year.
The chemistry behind sausage and cheese.
Paul was a lifelong tinkerer, building a railroad rail guitar as a teen and hearing aids in his 90s.
Climatologist Jennifer Francis talks about how climate change and severe weather may be linked.
L.A. commuters spend 60 hours a year stuck in traffic. But is mass transit a viable alternative?
“Quantified self” apps count your steps, measure your sleep, and collect a bevy of other details.
A report card on the state of science fairs today, and a look into the future.
Birding tips on how to get the most out of the fall bird migration.
Researchers say earwax can provide data about pesticide exposures, hormone levels, and even stress levels of the endangered blue whale.
A 145-million-year-old volcano covers an area the size of New Mexico.
A look at highlights from this week’s American Chemical Society conference.
Stephen Hawking says that, were he to start from scratch, he wouldn’t focus on physics.
Scientists announced this week that Voyager has finally reached interstellar space.
Desalination is growing in popularity, but is it sustainable enough to solve our water problems?
Jars broke? Lids buckled? Home canning expert Jessica Piper explains common preserving pitfalls.
The microbes in your gut may help determine if you are thin or obese.
Could Mars have been a better starting point for the origins of life on Earth?
An existing drug has been shown to block a key protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and restore memory in mice.
The Monty Hall Problem: using probability to win a car...or a goat.
The Eighth International Penguin Conference is being held this week.
Fire historian Steve Pyne says our fire system resembles our health care system—it’s focused on emergencies and not prevention.
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer will suck up dust and gas above the Moon.
Cardiologist Eric Topol says smartphone apps give him a better day-to-day view of patients' health.
One memory-related gene may retire later in life, leaving you wondering, "Where'd I put my keys?"
NASA will give the dormant WISE space telescope a new task, enlisting it in the hunt for near-Earth asteroids.
Scientists still have little idea what spurs people to take their own lives.
Iron beads made from meteoric metals predate the Iron Age.
How to brew the perfect ale and lager from your stove top.
Could copper in drinking water contribute to Alzheimer’s disease in mice?
Although the Kepler planet-hunting telescope is no longer operating, discoveries remain to be made in its data.
Researchers are developing a DNA-sampling robot for undersea exploration.
How important are our eyes when we take in a musical performance?
Science museums aren't just dioramas and dusty skeletons anymore.
Elon Musk described his Hyperloop design as a cross between a "Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table."
Why hasn’t an increases in the number of female students studying the sciences led to proportional number of women in the STEM workforce?
How has the electrical grid changed since the massive blackout of 2003?
Swapping turf for less thirsty plants can reduce your yard's water footprint and look just as lush.
Performance artist Marina Abramovic wants to build a laboratory devoted to arts and science.
The vaccine offered complete protection against malaria in a small trial, but only after five doses.
Some experts say teaching emotional literacy in school is key to better behavior—and better grades.
The annual Perseid meteor shower, produced by remnants of the Swift-Tuttle comet, is back.
This office is not short on artifacts.
Flexible insect protein surpasses the best synthetic rubbers.
A laboratory lunch over the first in vitro burger.
A look at the social and environmental impacts of global warming worldwide.
It's officially the holiday season, time for turkey, mashed potatoes, and a few ...
Got a weakness for chocolate chip cookies? Kettle chips? Pizza? Ira talks with f...
In new research, people who imagined the details of eating bite after bite of a ...
A look at how genes, anatomy, history and culture affect the food choices we mak...
Gotta have crunch? In The Omnivorous Mind, John S. Allen explains the universal ...
Ice can be hard to get a handle on, literally and figuratively. It can be cloudy or clear, as hard as concrete or as soft as a snowflake. Ice experts Erland Schulson, head of the Ice Research Lab at Dartmouth College, and Shintaro Okamoto, founder of Okamoto Studio in Queens, New York, have staked their livelihoods on the slippery material. We asked them what fascinates them about frozen water.