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Jul. 25, 2014

Mosquito-Borne Viruses Raise Public Health Concern

This summer, two different and currently untreatable mosquito-borne viruses were identified on the East Coast.

Roxanne Rutledge Connelly, mosquitoes, mosquito, Eastern equine encephalitis, Chikungunya, insects, infection, virus

Jul. 25, 2014

A Newly Discovered Virus That Lives in Our Gut

Researchers discovered a virus that lives in the gut of half of the world’s population.

bacteriophage, virus, gut, obesity, disease, diabetes, robert edwards

Jul. 25, 2014

What’s the Real Cost of Your Steak?

Cattle require 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than eggs or poultry.

steak, beef, cattle, usda, water, land, environment, geophysics, gidon eshel

Jul. 25, 2014

The SciFri Book Club Introduces Dune

Sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson and astrobiologist Sara Imari Walker introduce the SciFri Book Club’s summer selection: Dune.

dune, frank herbert, sci-fi, scifi, Kim Stanley Robinson, Sara Imari Walker

Jul. 25, 2014

New Online Tracking Tool Evades Privacy Settings

A new online tracker is snooping on visitors to over 5,600 popular sites—and it's nearly impossible to block.

cookie, online, tracking, website, julia angwin, propublica, security

Jul. 25, 2014

HIV/AIDS Update

A round-up of the latest HIV/AIDS research news and an update from the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

truvada, hiv, aids, anthony fauci, antonio urbina, world health organization

Jul. 25, 2014

‘Moth-ers’ Celebrate Less-Loved Lepidopterans

Elena Tartaglia, a co-founder of National Moth Week, gives tips on spotting butterflies' neglected cousins.

moth week, national moth week, butterflies, Elena Tartaglia

Jul. 25, 2014

Oarfish: The Ultimate Fish Tale

Little is known about the monstrously long oarfish, its life cycle, and how it navigates its deep sea environment.

oarfish, sea, ocean, serpent, misty paig-tran

Jul. 18, 2014

Scientists Call Whales the ‘Engineers’ of the Ocean Ecosystem

Whales stabilize the ocean ecosystem through a mechanism scientists call the “whale pump,” or fecal plumes.

whales, sperm, balleen, cetaceans, fecal pump, plume, ocean, ecosystem

Jul. 18, 2014

Pacemaker Researchers Swap Batteries for Biology

With gene therapy, scientists reprogram pig heart cells to improve heartbeat.

Eduardo Marbán, heart, pacemaker

Jul. 18, 2014

Fashioning the Future

A scientist and a designer imagine fashion’s high-tech future.

fashion, future, Adafruit Industries, Becky Stern, Juan Hinestroza, wearable tech

Jul. 18, 2014

Smarty Pants: Testing the Quality of Textiles

Confidence in how well our garments suit us shouldn't be taken for granted—we owe much to textile quality assurance.

Sean Cormier, fit, fashion institute of technology, textiles, clothing, fashion, wearables, garments

Jul. 18, 2014

As California Dries Up, Locals Hope for El Niño

A third of California is now clenched by exceptional drought, and this week the state announced $500 fines for water-wasters. But many residents continue to hope for rain.

drought, california, exceptional drought, water, wasting water, jpl, Jay Famiglietti, el nino, El Niño, molly peterson, Southern California Public Radio, Indiana University

Jul. 18, 2014

Frozen in Time, a Giant Virus

A virus large enough to be seen through a light microscope was recovered from the Siberian permafrost.

giant virus, permafrost, evolution, James Van Etten, siberia, University of Nebraska

Jul. 18, 2014

App Chat: Plugging In to the Outdoors

Reporter Bob Parks guides us through his favorite outdoor and camping apps.

bob parks, apps, outdoor apps, camping, birding, birds

Jul. 11, 2014

The ABCs of 3D

Makerbot’s Bre Pettis explains what you need to know to try your own 3D printing.

makerbot, bre pettis, 3d printing, maker community, 3d, printing, dyi, prostheses

Jul. 11, 2014

Keeping an Eye on Wayward Studies

Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog, discusses what happens when scientific studies go bad.

ivan oransky, retraction, retractionwatch, nature, journals, mistake

Jul. 11, 2014

Concerns Rise Over Pesticide Use, Birds, and Bees

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned in the E.U. but are still approved for use in the U.S. while the EPA reviews them.

neonictinoid, nature, birds, bees, decline, pesticides

Jul. 11, 2014

Could Inducing Hypothermia Help Revive Trauma Patients?

In a procedure called “Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation,” doctors would replace the blood of patients with cold saline to help buy valuable operating time.

hypothermia, surgery, university of pittsburgh, hasan alam, resuscitation, saline, trauma

Jul. 11, 2014

What’s So Bad About Being Alone With Your Thoughts?

A study finds that many people would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts.

university of virginia, alone, shock, thinking, men, erin westgate

Jul. 11, 2014

The Surprisingly Predictable Patterns of Random Choice

In his new book, Rock Breaks Scissors, author William Poundstone decodes the patterns in big data, sports, and human behaviors.

choice, behavior, chance, rock paper scissors, william poundstone, patterns, psychology, big data, hot hand, streaks

Jul. 04, 2014

Ben Franklin: Sonic Explorer

Ben Franklin’s sonic experiments included inventing a new musical instrument and testing the limits of the human voice.

glass armonica, benjamin franklin, sonic experiments, renaissance man

Jul. 04, 2014

Do Your Patriotic Duty: Learn Math

Mathematician Edward Frenkel says a well-educated public is essential to democracy—and that includes being knowledgeable about math.

math, math education, patriotism, edward frenkel

Jul. 04, 2014

Meet the Mohawk Behind NASA’s Curiosity Mission

NASA’s “Mohawk Man,” Bobak Ferdowsi, talks public and private space exploration, plans for Europa, and whether or not we’ll be putting a human on Mars.

bobak ferdowsi, mars, red planet, golden age of space exploration, space, space travel

Jul. 04, 2014

Celebrating Nature’s Summer Light Show, Fireflies

The flashing of lightning bugs is a favorite part of a lazy summer evening, but there’s a lot of hidden nighttime drama.

lightning bugs, emily v driscoll, marc branham, gainesville, florida, university of florida, florida museum of natural history,

Jul. 04, 2014

How New Rules and Smart Tech Are Reinventing the Grid

After Superstorm Sandy, there was a lot of talk of a more distributed smart grid—a more resilient system. But how far have we come?

smart grid, Kate Burson, Cheryl Martin, energy

Jul. 04, 2014

A Web of Doubt

Author Charles Seife spots the falsehoods and fakes that make their way onto the information super highway.

interent, charles seife, wikipedia, virtual unreality

Jun. 27, 2014

Shedding Light on the Science of Sunscreen

How does sunscreen protect our skin from harmful radiation, and what is the meaning behind SPFs?

sunscreen, sun, spf, uv, radiation, summer, skin, skincare, james sanogueira

Jun. 27, 2014

Food Failures: Avoiding Grilling and Barbecue Pitfalls

Marinade myths, charcoal chemistry, and the elusive “smoke ring”—the science behind barbecue and grilling.

food failures, bbq, barbecue, grilling, summer, grill, brisket, meat, meathead goldwyn, smoke ring, charcoal, marinade

Jun. 27, 2014

Getting a Grasp on the Clever Cephalopod

The nautilus, the “living fossil” of cephalopods, can uncover the origins of the complex brain of modern cephalopods.

cephalopod, cephalopod week, nautilus, octopus, vampire squid, luke groskin, cuttlefish, squid, jennifer basil

Jun. 27, 2014

3-D Mammography Detects More Cancers, But Will It Save Lives?

A new study suggests that 3-D mammography detects more cancers than traditional digital mammography. But the technology is expensive, and there's no indication yet that it catches more dangerous cancers, or is saving more lives.

mammography, breast cancer, sarah friedewald, laura esserman, tomosynthesis, 3d

Jun. 27, 2014

Making Art From the DNA You Leave Behind

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to genetic surveillance with artworks made from strangers’ DNA.

heather dewey-hagborg, stranger visions, invisible, art, dna sequencing, sciarts, genetic privacy, genes

Jun. 27, 2014

Dr. Arnold Relman, Health System Critic, Dead at 91

Relman called the American health care system a "new medical-industrial complex." We remember him here with two archival clips.

arnold relman, new england journal of medicine, harvard university, obituary, health care, health care reform

Jun. 20, 2014

Reinventing How City Dwellers Get Around

Portland, Oregon, is a hotbed for transit innovation. Will other cities catch on?

portland, oregon, ryno, drive oregon, transportation, transit, tram, trolley, light rail, cars, hydroelectric, energy, power, innovation, jeff allen, chris hoffmann

Jun. 20, 2014

What Happens After the Robot Apocalypse?

In Robogenesis, sci-fi author Daniel H. Wilson imagines the world post-robot uprising.

robogenesis, robopocalypse, robot, fiction, science fiction, daniel wilson, book

Jun. 20, 2014

At Reed College, Nuclear Education That’s Really 'Hands-On'

At Reed College, undergraduates keep a nuclear reactor running.

nuclear reactor, reed college, portland, oregon, undergraduate, Cherenkov radiation, ilana novakoski

Jun. 20, 2014

Untangling the Web of Spider Science

Arachnologist Greta Binford traces the evolution of spiders by examining their venom.

spider, arachnology, greta binford, venom

Jun. 20, 2014

Beer Science: Crafting the Perfect Pint

Two of Oregon’s craft brew experts pore over hops, yeast, malt, and the microbiology of beer.

portland, oregon, beer, brewery, agrarian ales, craft brew alliance, craft beer, yeast, hops, malt, leon frye, ben tilley

Jun. 13, 2014

Rep. Rush Holt: Science and Congress

Representative Rush Holt talks about how “thinking like a scientist” can help the political process.

rush holt, representative, congress, politics, washington

Jun. 13, 2014

Your Summer Science Book List

Lee Billings and Maria Popova compile your perfect summer science book list.

maria popova, lee billings, books, summer reading, sci-fi, science books

Jun. 13, 2014

The Science of the ‘Brazuca’

How will the “Brazuca” fly? Scientists put the World Cup soccer ball through its paces.

brazuca, jabulani, world cup, soccer, soccer ball, physics, simon choppin, sports

Jun. 13, 2014

Pre-Surgery Routine Needs an Update, Says Doc

Robert Cima of the Mayo Clinic says science doesn't back up pre-surgical practices like fasting and colon cleanses.

mayo clinic, surgery, pre-surgery, fasting, robert cima, painkillers

Jun. 13, 2014

Is NASA Ready to Make the Leap to a Manned Mission to Mars?

What technologies, budget, and partners would NASA needed for a successful manned mission to Mars?

space, space exploration, national research council, nasa, mars, human spaceflight,

Jun. 13, 2014

‘Do Fathers Matter?’ Explores Dad's Influence

In his new book, Paul Raeburn writes of the surprising biological and genetic connections fathers have with their children.

fathers, dads, father's day, paul raeburn, family

Jun. 06, 2014

The EPA's New Proposal to Curb Carbon Emissions

The EPA's proposal sets a 30 percent decrease in power plant carbon emissions by 2030.

climate, environment, carbon emissions, power plants, environmental protection agency, epa, eileen claussen, center for climate and energy solutions, energy, pollution

Jun. 06, 2014

It's a Material World

In his book Stuff Matters, Mark Miodownik explains why the everyday materials around us are truly extraordinary.

steel, metal, everyday objects, stuff, mark miodownik, materials

Jun. 06, 2014

The Goat Brigade

A herd of “elite” brush-clearing goats demonstrate why they are a versatile tool to shield against wildfires in Southern California.

goats, wildfires, southern california, fuel, fire, wildfire, fighting fire with goats

Jun. 06, 2014

Documenting the Oldest Living Things in the World

In her new book of photography, The Oldest Living Things in the World, artist Rachel Sussman documents the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet.

oldest living things in the world, rachel sussman, long life, llareta, organisms

Jun. 06, 2014

Making Summer Travel Plans With Climate Change in Mind

With projections of warmer temperatures and rising sea levels, which tourist destinations should you plan to visit sooner rather than later?

climate change, glacier national park, union of concerned scientists, global warming, tourism, travel

May. 30, 2014

How Touch Helps Us Emotionally Experience the World

Researchers describe a type of nerve that helps us understand social interactions and emotion.

nerves, social interactions, social cues, c fibers, francis mcglone, neuron

May. 30, 2014

Laser Blast Can Regrow Teeth, in Rats

Zapping dental stem cells with lasers appears to switch on production of new dentin, the hard stuff under tooth enamel.

dental stem cells, dave mooney, stem cells, dentin, lasers, teeth, lasering teeth, tooth

May. 30, 2014

Why Do Some Songs Stick in Our Heads?

“Earworms” are song fragments that get stuck in our mind.

earworms, catchy tune, music, songs, tunes, music stuck in my head, elizabeth margulis

May. 30, 2014

The Lineup of Cancer Threats Is Changing

A recent study projects that by 2030, pancreatic cancer will become the second most deadly type of cancer in the U.S. after lung cancer.

pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, otis brawley, cancer, risk

May. 30, 2014

A Decade After the Genome, Scientists Map the 'Proteome'

Nearly all the body's cells contain identical DNA. So why does a neuron grow up so differently than a liver cell? Proteins, says Akhilesh Pandey, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University.

proteins, proteome, David Pincus, Akhilesh Pandey

May. 30, 2014

How Can Airline Tracking Improve?

How can a commercial airliner go missing, and what can we do to improve tracking technology?

malaysia airlines flight 370, malaysia airlines, tracking planes, airplanes, robert mann

May. 30, 2014

What’s ‘I,’ and Why?

In Me, Myself, and Why, science writer Jennifer Ouellette probes the science of self.

jennifer ouellette, me myself and why, book, selves, understanding ourselves, dropping acid, brain scan

May. 23, 2014

Is It Possible to Make Matter From Light?

Scientists mapped out the plan for a potential “photon-photon collider” that could convert light into matter.

Nature Photonics, matter, light, photon

May. 23, 2014

The Debate Over Net Neutrality

What does the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality plan mean for consumers?

FCC, net neutrality, maggie reardon, gautham nagesh

May. 23, 2014

Why Science and the Humanities Are Better Together

Biographer Walter Isaacson explains why the future belongs to those who can merge the arts and the sciences.

walter isaacson, jefferson lecture, arts and science, art, science

May. 23, 2014

Are Microbes Winning the Antibiotic Arms Race?

We're running out of antibiotics, and drug companies have little incentive to develop new ones. Can we save the ones we already have?

missing microbes, antibiotic resistance, modern plagues

May. 23, 2014

Customizing Your Cryptocurrency With Altcoins

ZeroCash, Litecoin, and SolarCoin are digital currency alternatives to Bitcoin.

alt coins, morgen peck, zerocash, litcoin, solarcoin

May. 23, 2014

New Meteor Shower May Offer Skygazers a Treat...Or Not

Late Friday night, Earth will sail through debris left by the comet 209P/LINEAR. Scientists are calling the shower the Camelopardalids.

meteor shower, camelopardalids, dean regas, astronomy, comet, meteor, sky

May. 16, 2014

Antarctic Ice Sheet Slipping Into the Sea

Scientists confirmed a West Antarctic ice sheet the size of the Dakotas is melting.

west antarctica, antarctica, ice sheet, glaciers, ian joughin, sea levels, climate change, global warming, amundsen sea

May. 16, 2014

Should the Last Samples of Smallpox Virus Be Saved?

World health experts will meet to discuss whether or not to destroy the last live samples of smallpox virus.

smallpox, virus, centers of disease control, world health organization, health, disease, inger damon

May. 16, 2014

Can’t Read This Headline? It’s Written in Invisible Ink

Prisoners, Lovers, & Spies tells the story of invisible writing, from lemon juice to microdots.

invisible ink, spies, history, prisoners, codes, communication, kristie macrakis, writing

May. 16, 2014

Listening In on Seizures

A “brain stethoscope” turns seizure patients’ brainwaves into music.

brainwaves, music, brain, brain stethoscope, seizures, epilepsy, josef parvizi, chris chafe, neurology

May. 16, 2014

Is Graphene the New 'Wonder' Material?

Graphene is stronger than steel and more conductive than copper—a look at the applications and limitations of this ‘wonder’ material.

graphene, biomedicine, technology, jonathan coleman, a.t. charlie johnson, james hone

May. 16, 2014

Remembering Nereus, Explorer of Ocean Depths

The robotic deep-sea submersible Nereus was destroyed while diving over six miles beneath the surface in the Kermadec Trench.

deep-sea exploration, oceans, nereus, kermadec trench, new zealand, submersible, challenger deep in the mariana trench, timothy shank

May. 09, 2014

Young Blood Sharpens Memory in Old Mice

The blood of young mice seems to rejuvenate older mice, both strengthening their muscles and improving their ability to learn and remember.

mice, young blood, rejuvenation, stem cells

May. 09, 2014

Science Goes to the Movies: 'Transcendence'

SciFri’s scientist-film critics weigh in on the science behind the Hollywood techno-thriller Transcendence.

transcendence, johnny depp, ai, a.i., artificial intelligence, christof koch, stuart russell

May. 09, 2014

What’s Shaking Up Oklahoma?

Earthquakes have increased by 50 percent in Oklahoma since 2013 and may be linked to drilling disposal wells.

drilling, earthquakes, disposal wells, elizabeth cochran

May. 09, 2014

Another Climate Report, But Who's Listening?

The White House released its latest climate report this week, with much the same message as recent IPCC findings—climate change is real, and it's happening fast.

climate change, global warming, climate assessment report, yale project on climate change communication, sheril kirshenbam, anthony leiserowitz

May. 09, 2014

The Serious Science of Humor

Author Scott Weems lets us in on the jokes and uncovers the science of humor.

science of humor, scott weems, ha

May. 02, 2014

Elephants Use Different 'Words' to Signal Danger

African elephants use different types of rumbles to signal danger from bees or humans.

african elephants, elephants, animal language, disney animal kingdom, joseph soltis, bees, animal communication

May. 02, 2014

Food Failures: Foraging Dos and Don'ts

Professional forager Tama Matsuoka Wong gives tips for picking wild plants safely and sustainably.

foraging, cooking, wild plants, tama matsuoka wong, food failures, dandelion flowers

May. 02, 2014

Male Researchers May Increase Stress in Lab Mice

The gender of a researcher might influence the stress levels of laboratory mice.

mice, laboratory, gender, jeffrey mogil, researcher

May. 02, 2014

Nothing to Sneeze At

Sneezes and coughs generate gas clouds that can spread germs farther than previously imagined.

Lydia Bourouiba, John Bush, MIT, Applied Mathematics Lab, coughing, sneezing, germs, spreading germs, how do germs spread?

May. 02, 2014

Forty Years of Mindbending Success with the Rubik’s Cube

The Rubik’s Cube has over 43 quintillion different starting combinations.

Erno Rubik, rubik's cube, 40th anniversary of the rubik's cube, liberty science center

May. 02, 2014

Squarepusher Rocks with Bots

Electronic musician Squarepusher talks about writing Music for Robots.

Tom Jenkinson, squarepusher, music, music for robots

May. 02, 2014

App Chat: Apps to Mind Your Money

Forget balancing a checkbook. Today there are better ways for the budget-minded to keep track of bank balances.

finance apps, balancing checkbook, money, money management, money apps

Apr. 25, 2014

Thoreau, Climate Scientist

Scientists use Henry David Thoreau’s notes to study climate change at Walden Pond.

walden pond, massachusetts, richard primack, biology, climate change, global warming, henry david thoreau

Apr. 25, 2014

Serving Up the Origins of the Chicken and Chili Pepper

Scientists are combining genetics and linguistics to trace the origins of these staples of the modern-day menu.

domestication, chicken, chili pepper, greger larson, paul gepts, evolution

Apr. 25, 2014

The Science Club Talks Art Machines

The Science Club meets to recap the month’s ‘Build an Art Machine’ project.

science club, machine art, tinkering, craft, diy, machine, tinkering studio, exploratorium, maker, karen wilkinson, mike petrich

Apr. 25, 2014

Is Aereo the Latest TV Technology Disruptor?

Is Aereo a high-tech TV game changer or a clever way to get around broadcast copyright law?

aereo, tv, television, cecilia kang, remote, broadcast, antenna, atennae, piracy, copyright, copyright law

Apr. 25, 2014

Recording the Global Soundscape

Ecologist Bryan Pijanowski hopes to create a soundscape of every ecosystem on the planet.

Bryan Pijanowski, Global Soundscapes project, soundscape, ecologist, sound, noise, ecology

Apr. 25, 2014

Can We Game Our Way to Better Health?

Gamers and scientists join forces to develop “serious games” to improve health.

games, video games, games for health, neuroracer

Apr. 18, 2014

The Sticky Science Behind Maple Syrup

Plant physiologist Abby van den Berg traces how maple sap flows through trees and onto your plate.

maple syrup, sap, abby van den berg, maple,

Apr. 18, 2014

Discovering Your Inner Fish

Evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin takes us through the evolutionary story of how the human body evolved from our fish and reptilian ancestors.

neil shubin, evolution, fish, reptile, humans, biology, human body

Apr. 18, 2014

Amir Aczel: 'Why Science Does Not Disprove God'

Aczel's latest book chronicles the New Atheist movement, taking aim at scientists like Richard Dawkins.

amir aczel, new atheist, atheism, science, god, religion, richard dawkins, lawrence krauss

Apr. 18, 2014

How a Warming Planet Will Change What's on Your Plate

Climate change has already cut yields of wheat and corn, taking a bite out of gains achieved by better farming technology.

climate change, global warming, jonathan foley, corn, wheat, farming, eating, food production, sustainability, ipcc, katharine hayhoe

Apr. 18, 2014

Spotting Earth's Cousin in the Cosmos

Astronomers have found a planet about the size of Earth, far enough from its star to host liquid water.

kepler 186, kepler 186f, nasa, seti, elisa quintana, planet, earth, space, exoplanet

Apr. 18, 2014

E.O. Wilson: ‘A Window on Eternity’

E.O. Wilson discusses the recovery and biodiversity of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park.

e.o. wilson, gorongosa national park, mozambique, africa, a window on eternity, nature preserve

Apr. 11, 2014

Bill Nye Stops By

Bill Nye stops by to chat about teaching science, launching solar sails into space, and more.

bill nye, planetary society, space, space literacy, evolution

Apr. 11, 2014

Busting Bad Bacteria With Their Viral Enemies

Phages added to packaged beef or spinach could cut down on E. coli bacteria outbreaks.

bacteriophages, e. coli, bacteria, viruses, beef, phages, spinach, paul ebner

Apr. 11, 2014

Up Close With the Lunar Eclipse

The lunar eclipse on Tuesday, April 15, will be visible from all over North and South America.

moon, eclipse, sun, lunar eclipse, astronomy, andrew fraknoi

Apr. 11, 2014

Scientists Study Vole Romance Under the Influence

To learn how alcohol affects relationships, scientists mix prairie voles a drink.

prairie vole, wine, tipsy, cocktail, drunk, vole

Apr. 11, 2014

Reawakening Limbs After Years of Paralysis

Paraplegics were able to stand and move their legs again with the help of a spinal implant.

brain, paralyzed, paralysis, susan harkema, roderic pettigrew, spine, paraplegic, electrical stimulation, implant

Apr. 11, 2014

With Her Kids' Help, Jean Craighead George’s ‘Ice Whale’ Sees Print

The final novel from My Side of the Mountain author Jean Craighead George takes children underneath the Arctic Ocean.

Apr. 04, 2014

Diving Into the Underground Ocean of One of Saturn’s Moons

Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, may have an underground ocean the size of Lake Superior.

enceladus, david stevenson, science, moon, underground ocean

Apr. 04, 2014

The Origins of Violence

An anthropologist, a psychologist, and a crime writer ask: Are humans hard-wired for violence?

steven pinker, harold schechter, richard wrangham, crime, violence

AVAILABLE IN ITUNES

Michael Pollan Talks Plants and Food

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The Myth of the Woolly Bear

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