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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

Evidence Mounts for Liquid Water on Mars

NASA reveals new evidence for a large lake that could have existed for millions of years on Mars.

Ashwin Vasavada, gale crater, mars, curiosity

Dec. 12, 2014

Alan Alda Challenges Scientists to Answer: What Is Sleep?

Alan Alda’s “Flame Challenge” asks scientists to answer the big questions that keep them up at night to 11-year-olds around the world.

alan alda, flame challenge, what is a flame, sleep

Dec. 12, 2014

Food Failures: Cookie Science Secrets

In this episode, Cooking for Geeks author Jeff Potter gives home bakers tips on how to achieve cookie perfection using different sugars, fats, and flours.

jeff potter, cooking for geeks, cookies

Dec. 12, 2014

DIY Holiday Gift Hacks

Avoid the long lines and hack your holiday gifts, from homemade perfume to 3-D printed ornaments.

holiday gifts, diy, hacks

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

Dec. 05, 2014

Climate Deal or Not, Fight Against Global Warming Has Begun

Last year, for example, new solar plants outpaced coal installations in the U.S., and carbon-trading schemes across state and national borders have already begun.

climate change, climate talks, global warming, peru, paris, david biello, Robert Stavins, scientific american

Dec. 05, 2014

How Long Does a President’s Legacy Last?

In 1991, 53 percent of students tested could recall Lyndon Johnson as the 36th president; that number dropped to 20 percent by 2009, according to a new study released in Science.

presidents, science, forgetting, memory, henry roedinger

Dec. 05, 2014

Paola Antonelli: ‘Design Is More Than Cute Chairs’

For MoMA curator Paola Antonelli, “design” includes computer interfaces, video games, and maker kits.

Museum of Modern Art, Paola Antonelli, moma, video games, art, modern art, museums

Dec. 05, 2014

You Are ‘When’ You Eat

In mice, eating within an 8-12 hour window helped to prevent and even reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes.

gut microbiome, food, eating, diet, Amir Zarrinpar, cell metabolism, eat

Dec. 05, 2014

Test Launch Marks New Phase for NASA

NASA is in early stage test flights for Orion, its updated crew capsule, but the spaceflight landscape is changing.

nasa, orion, earth, space exploration, houston chronicle, eric berger

Dec. 05, 2014

What’s Killing West Coast Starfish?

Scientists have linked an unprecedented starfish die-off along the West Coast to a virus.

sea star wasting disease, sea stars, starfish

Dec. 05, 2014

Near City Streets, an Insect Cleaning Crew

Ants and other insects could be able to remove thousands of pounds of food waste from street medians and city parks each year.

Elsa Youngsteadt, Global Change Biology, ants, rats, food, urban landscape, city, new york city

Nov. 28, 2014

Ig Nobel Prizes Salute Science’s Strange and Silly

In a Science Friday holiday tradition, we’re playing highlights from this year’s 24th First Annual Ig Nobel awards ceremony.

ig nobel prizes, ig nobel awards, improbably research, marc abrahams

Nov. 28, 2014

Does Your Genome Belong to Your Family, Too?

Should doctors share information about your risky genes with your family, since they, too, might harbor that suspect DNA sequence?

susan m. wolf, robert green, dna, genes, genetics

Nov. 28, 2014

An Art Movement Where Art and Science Collide

In the new art movement “art-sci,” artists take inspiration from science, use scientific techniques in their artwork, and inspire new science.

art-sci, artsci, science and art, Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art

Nov. 21, 2014

Ghosts of Early Language May Linger in the Brain

Chinese adoptees living in Canada, who now speak only French, still process Chinese sounds as native speakers do, even if they have no conscious recall of word meaning.

Fred Genesee, infants, brains, language, chinese, speaking, language processing, speech

Nov. 21, 2014

Would You Trust a Robot to Schedule Your Life?

Given access to your Google calendar, a personal assistant named Amy will happily schedule all your appointments. The catch? She's a machine—a digital personal assistant.

Manoush Zomorodi, Alex Goldmark, amy, new tech city, machine, personal assistant, robot

Nov. 21, 2014

Food Failures: The Science of Sides

Find out how to avoid Turkey Day trip-ups in the latest episode of our “Food Failures” series.

Thanksgiving, turkey day, sides, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, cranberries, pectin, turkey, food failures, julie yu, exploratorium

Nov. 21, 2014

Meet The Brain Scoop’s Emily Graslie

YouTube science star Emily Graslie takes viewers behind the scenes of natural history museums with “The Brain Scoop.”

emily graslie, brain scoop, field museum, chief curiosity correspondent, dissection, dissecting

Nov. 21, 2014

Into the Wormhole: The Science of 'Interstellar'

It’s a sci-fi epic set among black holes, wormholes, and tesseracts. But director Christopher Nolan and physicist Kip Thorne say Interstellar doesn’t break the laws of physics.

interstellar, christopher nolan, kip thorne, space, astronauts

Nov. 21, 2014

‘Hot’ for Turkey

Female wild turkeys parse the courtship performances of males to determine their genetic potential.

turkey, heritage turkey, strut, genetics

Nov. 14, 2014

The First Touchdown on a Comet

The European Space Agency’s Philae lander is the first probe to touch down on a comet.

european space agency, philae lander, comet, rosetta, joel parker

Nov. 14, 2014

Lacking Funding, Some Scientists Turn to the Crowd

Scientists frustrated by a lack of research dollars are turning to crowdfunding.

crowdfunding, kickstarter, cindy wu, ethan perlstein

Nov. 14, 2014

Horns, Claws, and Teeth: The Animal Weapons Arms Race

Doug Emlen, author of “Animal Weapons,” unpacks the evolutionary arms race that pushes horns, claws, teeth and other animal defenses to the extreme.

evolutionary arms race, evolution, animal weapons

Nov. 14, 2014

Here Kitty, Kitty: The Genetics of Tame Animals

Researchers discuss the possible genetic underpinnings that make certain cats and rats tame.

cats, kittens, domestication, tameness, tame, domesticate, rat, wes warren, alex cagan

Nov. 14, 2014

Mining Wikipedia Data to Track Disease

By analyzing access to specific health-related pages on Wikipedia, researchers may be able to identify—or even forecast—potential disease outbreaks.

PLOS Computational Biology, dengue fever, wikipedia, wikipedia search, illness, sickness, flu, outbreak, ebola, sara del valle

Nov. 14, 2014

‘New Environmentalism’ Moves Beyond Pollution and Climate Change

Gus Speth, a longtime Washington insider, says it’s time to consider consumerism, economic instability, and a functional democracy as core environmental issues.

gus speth, new environmentalism, consumerism, economy, democracy, pollution, climate change

Nov. 07, 2014

U.S. High-Speed Internet Lags Behind on Price, Cost

For less than $40 a month, residents of Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bucharest, and Paris can enjoy lightning-fast Internet download and upload speeds of 1,000 Mbps.

internet, internet speed, high speed internet, slow internet, download, upload

Nov. 07, 2014

Apple Science, From American Beauty to Zestar

Between new crosses and old heritage varieties, there’s a world of apples beyond the Red Delicious.

apples, heritage apples, apple science

Nov. 07, 2014

George Washington Carver: Renaissance Man

Carver was a painter, singer, and piano teacher, taught farmers the virtues of crop rotation, and developed hundreds of recipes for peanuts, sweet potatoes, soybeans and pecans.

george washington carver, peanut butter, inventor

Nov. 07, 2014

Piecing Together the Puzzle of Insect Evolution

One hundred researchers studied 144 insect species to fill in the blanks of insects’ evolutionary history.

insects, insect road map, science

Nov. 07, 2014

Opening Up the Synthetic Biology Toolkit

Synthetic biologist Christopher Voigt and biotechnologist Stephen Streatfield discuss current trends in synthetic biology.

synthetic biology, tobacco

Nov. 07, 2014

Spilling Our Guts: Decreased Diversity in the Human Microbiome

How can hospital stays and the evolution from apes to humans change the diversity of our microbiome?

gut microbiome, gut bacteria

Oct. 31, 2014

Ebola Vaccines Fast-Tracked As Outbreak Slows

Jon Cohen, a staff writer covering the outbreak for Science magazine, says that despite the vaccines’ success in monkeys, their efficacy in humans is far from guaranteed.

ebola, vaccine, jon cohen

Oct. 31, 2014

Could This 3-D Printer Print Itself?

This week, HP announced its new 3-D printer, which it claims can print materials strong enough to lift up a car—and do it 10 times faster than anything on the market today.

3d printing, 3d printer, arik hesseldahl, hp

Oct. 31, 2014

Scientists Sniff Smelly Comet

The Rosetta spacecraft has detected the scent of a comet...and it stinks.

comet, odor, space, european space agency, rosetta, rosina, ammonia, sulphur dioxide, methane, kathrin altwegg, 67p/c-g

Oct. 31, 2014

Countering Memory Loss With Cocoa Compounds

Researchers try to counteract age-related memory decline with cocoa flavanols.

dentate gyrus, memory, cocoa, flavanol, scott small, neuroscience

Oct. 31, 2014

Creature Double Feature

Witness two tales that will make your skin crawl and your mind reel with fear and curiosity.

zombies, leeches, bloodsuckers, vampires, halloween

Oct. 31, 2014

Doctors ‘Unwrap’ a 3,000-Year-Old Mummy

Radiologists use CT scans to piece together the life, and death, of Egyptian mummies.

mummy, mummies, scary, egyptian, egypt, egyptian mummies, washington university

Oct. 31, 2014

A Haunted House Turned Scientists’ Lab

Scientists turn Pittsburgh’s ScareHouse into a real-world lab to discover why some brains thrive on fear.

fear, scary, scarehouse, haunted house, spooky, halloween

Oct. 31, 2014

Behind the Monster Music: Why Some Tunes Scare Us

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and Sound Opinions co-host Jim DeRogatis discuss the neuroscience of spooky songs.

scary, halloween, sounds, creepy music, scary music, horror film, sound effects

Oct. 24, 2014

Nerve Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man to Move Legs Again

The pioneering treatment uses cells from the nasal cavity and strips of nerve from the ankle to repair a spinal injury.

spinal cord, spine, spinal injury, paralysis, olfactory, darek fidyka, geoffrey raisman

Oct. 24, 2014

Fossil Find Pushes Back Neanderthal-Human Mixing

Researchers say a leg bone discovered in a Siberian river bank belongs to a man who lived some 45,000 years ago.

neanderthal, human, evolution, DNA, Svante Paabo, genetics

Oct. 24, 2014

Meet ‘The Innovators’ Who Made the Digital Revolution

Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators shows how the digital revolution was a team effort.

walter isaacson, innovators, innovation, tech, digital revolution, computer science, engineering

Oct. 24, 2014

Hand Sanitizer May Increase BPA Absorption

Hand sanitizer and similar products could increase the amount of BPA absorbed by the skin.

Oct. 24, 2014

You Observed...Everything

The Science Club meets to discuss your observations of the world around you, from spider habitats to lunar eclipses.

science club, observeeverything, #observeeverything

Oct. 24, 2014

Making a Meal From a Mouthful of Seawater

A manta ray can filter 240 gallons of seawater per minute.

manta ray, devil ray, filter feeder

Oct. 17, 2014

Rooting Out the Plant Microbiome

Scientists are uncovering the importance of the plant microbiome for fighting off pathogens and increasing crop yields.

plants, plant microbiome, bacteria

Oct. 17, 2014

More Than Cornflakes

John Harvey Kellogg and his brother, W.K., are known today for their most famous discovery—corn flakes—but invented many other health foods along the way.

kellogg, kellogg brothers, w.k. kellogg, john harvey kellogg, cereal, almond butter, peanut butter, artificial coffee, corn flakes

Oct. 17, 2014

Environmental Detectives Use Genetic Tools to Track Invasives

A recently developed technique called "environmental DNA" allows invasive species trackers to get a time-sensitive fingerprint of which species are living where—including underwater.

invasive species, environmental DNA, asian carp

Oct. 17, 2014

The 'First' Battle of Gas Versus Electric

As plug-in electric vehicles struggle to carve out a slice of today's auto market, it's worth remembering the first such battle—at the turn of the 1900s.

studebaker, gas, electric, vehicles, electric car, gas guzzler

Oct. 17, 2014

Forensic Entomologists Hunt Down Insects to Help Catch Criminals

To help piece together a crime scene, forensic entomologists examine the insects found in the area.

forensic entomology, crime scene, insects

Oct. 17, 2014

Is Your ‘Priceless’ Painting a Fake? Better Ask a Scientist

Techniques from physics and chemistry can help scientists and art historians sniff out art forgeries.

Oct. 10, 2014

Taking the Temperature of Rising Seas

Researchers are trying to better understand ocean water temperatures, which is an important factor in rising sea levels.

ocean, climate change, sea, antarctic, global warming, gregory johnson, oceanography, noaa

Oct. 10, 2014

Atul Gawande: On Being Mortal

In his book Being Mortal, surgeon Atul Gawande argues that more medicine may not be better medicine in end-of-life care.

atul gawande, death, mortality, end-of-life, medicine, doctor

Oct. 10, 2014

How to Make Quark Soup

Brookhaven National Laboratory cooks up tiny ephemeral batches of quark-gluon soup that are said to be the most "perfect" fluid ever discovered.

big bang, brookhaven national laboratory, quark, atoms, gluon, particle collider, paul sorensen, physics

Oct. 10, 2014

The Race to Contain, Rather Than Cure, Ebola

With production of experimental treatments slow-going, rapid diagnostic testing could be the best bet for containing the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

ebola, rapid diagnostic test

Oct. 10, 2014

How Did the Violin Get Its Shape?

From its role in biological systems to cultural products, “shape is information that can tell us a story,” says biologist Dan Chitwood.

violin, viola, cello, wood, evolution, music

Oct. 10, 2014

Your Home, Your Bacteria

The surfaces in a home reflect the distinct blend of bacteria that inhabit the people that live there.

climate change, ocean, temperature

Oct. 10, 2014

Is MSG Bad for Your Health?

Four decades of scientific studies suggest the food additive MSG may not deserve its toxic reputation.

msg, monosodium glutamate, food additive

Oct. 03, 2014

Do Chimps Have Culture?

Researchers say a real-world case of “monkey see, monkey do” might model the origins of human culture.

chimpanzees, chimps, culture, tools, tool use

Oct. 03, 2014

Mining the Internet for Clues to Chinese Censorship

Protests continue in Hong Kong, but only glimpses of the activity make it into mainland China due to censorship.

censorship, china, social media

Oct. 03, 2014

Dance and Physics Collide in ‘Quantum’

Choreographer Gilles Jobin took inspiration from the movements of physics for his piece Quantum.

quantum, physics, particles, gilles jobin

Oct. 03, 2014

A Whiff of What’s to Come: What Sense of Smell Says About Health

Older adults’ sense of smell might be a strong indicator of their risk of mortality within a five-year span.

smell, scent, death, jayant pinto

Oct. 03, 2014

Community Labs Practice Do-It-Yourself Biology

In DIY biology labs across the country, citizen scientists take the tools of synthetic biology into their own hands.

diy, do it yourself, laboratories, community lab, genspace, biocurious, bugss, biology, hacker

Oct. 03, 2014

Catching a Glimpse of an Eclipse

This month, North America will be under the skies of a full lunar eclipse on October 8 and a partial solar eclipse on October 23.

lunar eclipse, solar eclipse, space, dean regas, eric teske, astronomy

Sep. 26, 2014

MAVEN Maneuvers Into Mars’s Orbit

MAVEN makes into Mars’ orbit in time to meet a comet and begin unraveling mysteries of the Martian atmosphere.

mars, maven

Sep. 26, 2014

‘Internal Medicine’ Gives a Resident’s Eye View of the Hospital

A writer-doctor’s stories reveal the hospital through the eyes of a resident.

resident, internal medicine

Sep. 26, 2014

Sprouting a Forest in the City

Foresters are piecing together the complicated ecosystem of the urban forest.

ecosystem, forest, planting trees

Sep. 26, 2014

Plant Emissions: How Do Trees Interact With Pollution?

Certain tree species can add to pollution if they’re planted in certain locations.

trees, planting trees, emissions

Sep. 26, 2014

Water on Earth Is a Million Years Older Than the Sun

The cloud of gas and dust that eventually condensed to form the Sun contained "thousands of oceans of water," says astronomer Ted Bergin.

earth, sun, water, origin of water

Sep. 26, 2014

Stories to Make You Think BIG

With his new story about a 20-kilometer-high skyscraper, sci-fi author Neal Stephenson hopes to get engineers thinking big.

Sep. 26, 2014

Science Friday Science Club: Observe Everything

The Science Club embarks on its next project and explores observation.

science club, observation

Sep. 19, 2014

The People's March Against Climate Change

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, the People’s Climate March in New York City will bring a public voice to the climate change discussion.

climate march, bill mckibben, peter democal

Sep. 19, 2014

‘Dr.Fill’ Vies for Crossword Solving Supremacy

A computer program named “Dr.Fill” competes against human solvers for crossword puzzle glory.

dr.fill, dr. phil, matt ginsberg, will shortz, crosswords, crossword, crossword constructing, crossword solving

Sep. 19, 2014

Functional Features: The Evolution of the Human Face

Human social interaction may have been the reason faces evolved to be varied and unique.

facial recognition, scent, faces, face, nature communications, michael j. sheehan

Sep. 19, 2014

Shake Your Silk-Maker: The Dance of the Peacock Spider

With their ornately colored bodies, rhythmic pulsations, and booty-shaking dance moves, male peacock spiders attract mates and researchers alike.

peacock spider, madeline girard, display, spiders

Sep. 19, 2014

Artificial Sweeteners Might Sour Your Microbiome

Researchers say artificial sweeteners may alter the microbiome and the body’s ability to control glucose levels.

sweeteners, nature, eran elinav, artificial sweeteners, glucose,

Sep. 19, 2014

Dissecting the Politics and Money Behind Health Care

In The Cost of Cutting, private practice surgeon Paul Ruggieri delves into the shadowy ways money influences health care.

The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry, paul ruggieri, health care

Sep. 19, 2014

Food Failures: How to Collect Mushrooms (and Eat Them, Too)

Eugenia Bone, president of the New York Mycological Society, talks about the dos and don'ts of wild mushroom foraging.

eugenia bone, mushrooms, foraging

Sep. 12, 2014

Keeping an Eye on Eruptions Around the World

At least 20 volcanoes are probably erupting as you read these words.

volcanoes, volcanism, Cynthia Ebinger, Elizabeth Cottrell, Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program

Sep. 12, 2014

A Jovian Moon With Earth-Like Tectonics

The icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa may undergo processes similar to plate tectonics on Earth.

europa, moon, jovian, plate tectonics, ice

Sep. 12, 2014

Understanding the Urban Ecosystem

Researchers say road salt and dissolving concrete have contributed to increased salinization in urban streams.

Sujay Kaushal, William McDowell, urban ecosystem, urban environment, city, cities

Sep. 12, 2014

Can Conservation Efforts Save the Birds?

A look at the effects of conservation efforts and climate change on bird populations in North America.

birds, gary langham, audubon, ken rosenberg, national audubon society, cornell lab of ornithology, climate change

Sep. 12, 2014

After 40 Years, a Blue Whale Population Bounces Back

Blue whale populations are only a fraction of what they once were globally, but a California population has nearly made a comeback.

blue whales, comeback, california blue whales

Sep. 12, 2014

The Science of ‘Sameness’: Developing Generic Medications

As of 2010, generic drugs comprise almost 80 percent of the American pharmaceutical market, compared to 10 percent in 1960.

sameness, generic medications, generics, Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine, jeremy a. greene

Sep. 05, 2014

From Exotic Garden to Eco-Haven

A former millionaire's estate is becoming an environmental haven and training ground.

duke farms, restoration, new jersey, environment

Sep. 05, 2014

Hello, Stranger, Wanna Share a Cab?

Researchers found that potentially 95 percent of cab rides in New York City could have been shared.

cab sharing, steven strogatz

Sep. 05, 2014

Randall Munroe Asks, ‘What If?’

In his new book What If?, xkcd comic artist Randall Munroe answers his reader’s hypothetical questions with math and science.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, randall munroe, xkcd, comics, cartoons

AVAILABLE IN ITUNES

Michael Pollan Talks Plants and Food

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Another Reason To Spike That Eggnog

\tIt is a question on the minds of many people this season: will adding alcohol to the homemade eggnog safeguard against salmonella? To find out, Science Friday teamed up with eggnog expert and microbiologist Vince Fischetti, who agreed to run some tests in his lab at The Rockefeller University. What did you think of the video?

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