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Jun. 26, 2015

Autonomous Trucks, Overgrown Goldfish, and an Edible Scientific Feud

Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post joins us for a roundup of her top science stories of the week.

autonomous truck, goldfish

Jun. 26, 2015

A 40,000-Year-Old Jawbone Reveals Neanderthal Ancestry

Scientists find evidence of a modern human with a recent Neanderthal ancestor in Romania.

neanderthal,

Jun. 26, 2015

Author Ashlee Vance Explores the ‘Unified Theory of Elon Musk’

In his new book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future , journalist Ashlee Vance gives the inside story behind Musk’s “relentless drive and ingenious vision.”

space x, tesla, elon musk, ashlee vance

Jun. 26, 2015

Cephalopod Week Wrap-Up

A wrap of highlights from Cephalopod Week, and a check-in with SciFri education manager Ariel Zych and biologist Chuck Fisher aboard the exploration vessel Nautilus.

cephalopod, cephalopod week, nautilus

Jun. 26, 2015

Move Over E.Coli: DARPA’s Quest for Next-Gen Bugs

Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA's Biological Technologies Office, says synthetic biology could be the next big thing for military innovation.

e. coli, darpa, synthetic biology

Jun. 26, 2015

Meet Inside Out’s Emotion Coach

Psychology professor Dacher Keltner helped Inside Out’s filmmakers navigate the 11-year-old mind.

inside out, pixar, disney, cartoons, emotions

Jun. 26, 2015

Food Failures: I Scream, You Scream...When We Ruin Our Ice Cream

Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks returns to share homemade ice cream hacks.

ice cream, jeff potter

Jun. 19, 2015

A Cometary Awakening, a Vaccine Mystery, and Brand New Bacteria

Tariq Malik of Space.com talks about Philae’s unexpected awakening, and Arielle Duhaime-Ross helps decipher a mystery that has plagued scientists for 50 years.

Philae, philae lander, comet, chlamydia, malaria

Jun. 19, 2015

Science Goes to the Movies: Jurassic World

Paleontologists Lindsay Zanno and Kenneth Lacovara share what made them clap—and cringe—while watching Jurassic World.

jurassic world, jurassic park, dinosaurs, Lindsay Zanno, Kenneth Lacovara

Jun. 19, 2015

Could Mars Have a Cold, Icy Past?

The ancient climate of Mars may have been “cold and icy,” according to researchers.

mars, cold, icy, planet, martian surface

Jun. 19, 2015

Cephalopod Week Is Back

We kick off our second annual Science Friday Cephalopod Week—a celebration of all things tentacled.

cephalopod week, octopuses, squid, nautiluses, cuttle fish

Jun. 19, 2015

Engineering Evaporation

Researchers at Columbia University design engines powered by evaporation.

spores, evaporation, engineering by evaporation, bacteria, bacterial power

Jun. 19, 2015

Not All Cooking Oils Are Created Equal

Ever wondered which cooking oil is healthiest? Tom Brenna, a professor of human nutrition at Cornell University, helps us get to the fat of the matter.

cooking oil, olive oil, cooking, oils, oil, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil

Jun. 19, 2015

Throw These Science Books in Your Beach Bag

Maria Popova and Lee Billings share their summer reading picks.

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

Jun. 12, 2015

Polluting Planes, Coked-Out Eels, and the Science of ‘Frass’ (Fake Grass)

What cutting airlines' carbon emissions could mean, why scientists gave eels cocaine, and the good—and bad—of artificial turf.

eels, cocaine, artificial turf, carbon emissions

Jun. 12, 2015

The Peculiarity of Homo Sapiens

Modern humans are the only surviving hominin from what was once a rich, fairly bushy family tree. But why did we alone survive?

Jun. 12, 2015

Will Our Smartphones Know Us Better Than Ourselves?

This week Apple revealed an improved Siri comparable to Android’s Google Now.

Jun. 12, 2015

The Silky Wonders of Worm Spit

Bioengineers at Tufts University are crafting silk protein into medical, optical, and bioelectronic materials.

silkworm

Jun. 12, 2015

Repurposing Drugs to Discover New Treatments

Could approved drugs be repurposed to discover new treatments for chronic and rare diseases?

Jun. 12, 2015

Climate Skeptics Convene on Capitol Hill

This week, the Tenth International Conference on Climate Change convened in Washington, D.C. But don't confuse it with the IPCC.

Jun. 12, 2015

The Walking...and Falling Robots of DARPA's Robotics Competition

The DARPA Robotics Competition challenged teams to design robots that could navigate a simulated disaster scenario.

Jun. 12, 2015

This Ant Stinks

Two entomologists set out to prove the true scent of the odorous house ant.

Jun. 05, 2015

Koala Chlamydia, Pluto's Moons, and Bad Science Search Results

Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post talks about the week in science, and Christina Warren of Mashable joins to talk about science search results gone wrong.

google search, google instant answer, dinosaurs, what happened to the dinosaurs, creation museum

Jun. 05, 2015

What Is Sleep? A 'Superpower,' a 'Power Cleanse'

In his latest "Flame Challenge," Alan Alda asked people to answer the question: "What is sleep?" We talk with the winning respondents.

sleep, eric galicia, brandon aldinger, alan alda, matthew walker, sleeping, snoozing, napping, nap

Jun. 05, 2015

How You Explained the Sun

Science Friday’s Science Club has been on a month-long exploration of the sun: what it is, how we see it, and its effects on our lives.

science club, sun, secretary of energy, ariel zych, charles bergquist

Jun. 05, 2015

Rising Ocean Temps Could Shrink Ocean Habitats

How will increasing global temperatures affect fish and marine habitats?

marine life, global warming, habitat, cod, sea bream, eelpout, rock crab, curtis deutsch

Jun. 05, 2015

A Potential ‘Missing Link’ Between the Brain and Immune System

Researchers describe previously undiscovered lymphatic vessels in the brains of mice.

lymph system, lymphatic system, lymph vessels, lymph vessels in brain, mice, jonathan kipnis, nature

Jun. 05, 2015

Food Failures: ‘Beer Can Chicken’ Myths and BBQ Science Tips

Meathead Goldwyn busts “beer can” chicken myths and shares science secrets for a successful backyard barbecue.

meathead goldwyn, amazingribs.com, chicken, beer can chicken, meat, barbeque, BBQ, grill, summer

Jun. 05, 2015

Endangered Sawfish Reproduce Asexually

Female smalltooth sawfish were found to undergo “virgin births” in southern Florida.

May. 29, 2015

The Thirty-Meter Telescope, A Cancer-Killing Virus, and a Fossil Find

Hawaii Public Radio reporter Molly Solomon talks about a new proposal for Hawaii's Thirty-Meter Telescope, and reporter Rachel Feltman sums up the week in science news.

thirty-meter telescope, hawaii, space observatory, telescope, David Ige, doug simons, rachel fetlman, vaccine, skin cancer, creationism

May. 29, 2015

Chew on This: Jaw Fossils Provide Evidence of New Hominin

Scientists uncover evidence of new hominin species in the Afar region of Ethiopia.

Yohannes Haile-Selassie, lucy, hominin, family tree, paleontology, fossils, evolution, human evolution, nature, fred spoor, Australopithecus deyiremeda, Australopithecus afarensis

May. 29, 2015

One Year Aboard the Space Station

Astronaut Scott Kelly—aboard the International Space Station—and his Earth-bound twin brother, Mark, talk about the effects of living in space for one year.

astronaut, mark kelly, scott kelly, space, international space station, year in space

May. 29, 2015

How Did the Beefsteak Tomato Get So Beefy?

Biologist Zach Lippman describes the genetics behind the oversized beefsteak tomato.

Zach Lippman, beefsteak tomato, tomato, tomatoes, produce, nature genetics

May. 29, 2015

The Limits of Artificial Intelligence

Scientists have unveiled a robot that can sustain injury to one of its six legs, think for a few minutes, and devise a more efficient way to walk.

jeff clune, robot, injury, a.i., artificial intelligence, Ashok Goel

May. 29, 2015

We’re at Least a Little Like Yeast

Scientist swap out yeast genes for human ones, with an almost 50 percent success rate.

yeast, genetics, edward marcotte

May. 22, 2015

Retracted Research, 3.3 Million-Year-Old Stone Tool, and Panda Guts

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.

panda, retraction, stone tool, yeast, opiate drugs, news roundup, rachel feltman

May. 22, 2015

The Small But Mighty Seed

Biologist Thor Hanson describes the dizzying diversity of seeds. A new documentary, Seeds of Time portrays the fight to save them.

seeds, kessler, wolfgang stuppy, climate change, seed bank, seeds of time, the triumphs of seeds

May. 22, 2015

In Your Skin, a Catalog of Sun-Induced Mutations

“Normal” human skin cells can contain a surprisingly large number of sun-induced mutations in their DNA, a new study has found.

sun, skin, mutation, philip jones

May. 22, 2015

Plankton Goes Viral

A multi-year scientific expedition gives scientists new insights into the ocean’s viral communities.

ocean, plankton, virus, tara, matthew sullivan, jennifer brum

May. 22, 2015

Neal Stephenson Versus the Moon

Neal Stephenson’s new novel Seveneves blasts humanity into orbit, only to bring them down to earth...five thousand years later.

May. 22, 2015

App Chat: Apps to ‘Smarten Up’ Your Car

Damon Lavrinc, an editor at Jalopnik, talks about driving apps and gadgets.

cars, jalopnik, damon lavrinc, smart car, app chat, apps

May. 15, 2015

‘Thrifty’ Metabolisms, Bad News Bees, and a Pricey Jar of Peanut Butter

Virginia Hughes of BuzzFeed News joins us for a roundup of her top science stories of the week.

endangered species, weight loss, peanut butter, bees, joe roman, virginia hughes

May. 15, 2015

How to Clone a Mammoth

An expert in the field of ancient DNA explains the why’s and how to’s of woolly mammoth de-extinction.

clone, mammoth, paleontology, beth shapiro, extinction, de-extinction

May. 15, 2015

Tracking Your Local (Space) Weather

How—and why—scientists keep a close eye on the activity of our nearest star.

nasa, solar, sun, heliophysics, space weather, solar flare, alex young

May. 15, 2015

NASA Budget Cuts Impact Earth-Based Science

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology passed a bill that would cut NASA’s earth science budget by roughly 20 percent.

nasa, budget, michael hiltzick, j marshall shepherd

May. 15, 2015

Emoting With Emoji

A look at what the rise of emoji says about online communication.

emoji, emoticon, language, internet, thomas dimson, tyler schnoebelen, ana becker, linguistics

May. 15, 2015

A Tiny, Living Identification Badge: Your Microbiome

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.

Eric Franzosa, pnas, dna, dna fingerprinting, biome, bacteria

May. 15, 2015

Chicken Beaks and Dinosaur Snouts

Scientists traced the evolution of dinosaurs to birds through the beak of a chicken.

bhart-anjan bhullar, dinosaurs, chicken beaks

May. 14, 2015

Science Friday, Live From Huntsville

Hear the full show as Ira and Science Friday take the stage at Huntsville, Alabama’s own U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

huntsville, alabama, space and rocket center

May. 08, 2015

The Oldest Bird, a Distant Galaxy, and the Beard Microbiome

Rachel Feltman of The Washington Post joins us for a roundup of her top science stories this week.

rachel feltman, the washington post, beard microbiome, feces in beard, modern birds, distant galaxy, andrew freedman, mashable

May. 08, 2015

Tales From ‘Big Pig’

Barry Estabrook's latest book, Pig Tales, is a journey through the good, the bad and the ugly of hog farming.

barry estabrook, pig tales: an omnivore's quest for sustainable meat, pork

May. 08, 2015

The Science Club Looks Into the Heart of the Sun

This season’s Science Club challenge: Tell us what the sun does.

sun, science club, charles bergquist, ariel zych

May. 08, 2015

Flash of the Disco Clam

Reminiscent of the flashy dance halls and shag carpets of the '70s, the disco clam flaunts frilly tentacles and its very own light show.

disco clam, clam, lindsey dougherty

May. 08, 2015

MicroRNA and Cancer Therapeutics

Could ingested plants be used as a delivery system of therapeutic microRNAs?

microrna, cell research, ken witwer, kendal hirschi

May. 08, 2015

Eugenia Cheng: How to Bake Pi

In her new book How to Bake Pi, mathematician Eugenia Cheng cooks up digestible math lessons on number theory to topology.

math, eugenia cheng, cooking, baking, pi

May. 08, 2015

Charting Music’s Big Revolutions

An evolutionary biologist brings big data to bear on 50 years of pop music history.

music evolution, hip hop, rap

May. 08, 2015

Animal Moms: From Lion to Mouse

Several scientists share stories of their favorite Animal Kingdom matriarchs with Science Friday, just in time for Mother’s Day.

mother's day, moms

May. 01, 2015

Salty Antarctic Aquifers, Penguin Poop, and a 3D-Printed Splint

Salty aquifers deep under Antarctica could be a blueprint for where life might hide out on Mars.

antarctica, salty aquifer, antarctic aquifer, arielle duhaime-ross, mars, penguins, penguin poop, trachea

May. 01, 2015

'Shrinks' Tells of Desperate Early Cures

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.

shrinks, malaria, lobotomy, electroconvulsive therapy, nobel prize, jeffrey lieberman

May. 01, 2015

Seismic Risk and Safety in Nepal

How can cities like Kathmandu become more earthquake resistant in the future?

Brian Tucker, seismologist, seismology, GeoHazards International, earthquake, himalayas, nepal, tibet, mount everest, kathmandu

May. 01, 2015

Getting Charged Up for the Tesla Home Battery

Could Elon Musk’s plan for a home battery fire up an energy revolution?

energy, elon musk, battery, tesla

May. 01, 2015

The Debate on Gene Editing

How should research progress as human gene editing techniques become cheaper, faster, and more precise?

George Q. Daley, Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Boston Children's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Alta Charo, Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, gene editing, ethics, crispr

May. 01, 2015

The Rise of the Celebrity Scientist

The New Celebrity Scientists profiles scientists who’ve cracked the fame code to become cultural icons.

celebrities, carl sagan, neil degrasse tyson, bill nye, stephen hawking, declan fahy

May. 01, 2015

The Other Side of Oliver Sacks

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.

oliver sacks, on the move, cancer

Apr. 24, 2015

The Most Unusual Laboratory (Not) on Earth

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.

earth, international space station, julie robinson, kelly twins, mark and scott kelly

Apr. 24, 2015

Dreaming Up the Future of Interstellar Travel

Could solar sails, antimatter propulsion, and air-breathing rockets take us to Mars and other galaxies in the future?

marshall space flight center, les johnson, nasa, space, voyager 1

Apr. 24, 2015

YouTuber Wants to Make You ‘Smarter Every Day’

YouTube science star Destin Sandlin uses a high speed camera to unpack the science behind everyday phenomena.

destin sandlin, youtube, smarter every day, diy

Apr. 24, 2015

A Stegosaurus Smackdown, Plus Bumblebee and Mosquito Mysteries

Arielle Duhaime-Ross, a science reporter at The Verge, gives us her take on the week's news.

Arielle Duhaime-Ross, bumblebees, mosquitoes, stegosaurus

Apr. 24, 2015

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

In Sydney Padua’s graphic novel, two real-life Victorian-era computing pioneers build a steam-powered computer and use it to have adventures.

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, ada lovelace, charles babbage, sydney padua

Apr. 24, 2015

A New Era for NASA? Charles Bolden Leads the Way

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden discusses the agency's priorities, from understanding conditions on Earth to reaching Mars.

charles bolden, barack obama, president, nasa, space exploration, moon, sun, solar system, robotic exploration, mars, manned mission to mars, mission

Apr. 24, 2015

The Pot-Stirrer

Amanda Glaze studies perceptions of evolution as well as its religious and societal influences throughout the Southeastern United States.

evolution, amanda glaze, american south, southeastern united states

Apr. 17, 2015

New Climate Polls, A Comet Mystery, and Puppy Love

Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post gives us her rundown of the week's science stories.

washington post, dogs and humans, human-dog bonding, oxytocin, yale climate center, anthony leiserowitz, climate change

Apr. 17, 2015

Water Wanes in the West

NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory found that snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is a fraction of what it used to be.

tom painter, aso, b. lynn ingram, the west without water, nasa, airborne snow observatory,

Apr. 17, 2015

Exploring Remote Villages for Clues to the Human Microbiome

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.

microbiome, maria gloria dominguez-bello, yanomami

Apr. 17, 2015

How ‘Dark’ Is Dark Matter?

Scientists say dark matter may not be as “dark” as once thought.

dark matter, astrophysicist, richard massey, dark energy, gravity

Apr. 17, 2015

3D-Printed Coffee Cups Help Liquids Defy Gravity

The cups work using capillary action: Simply press your lips to the rim, and you get a sip, whether you want one or not.

don pettit, nasa, astronaut, mark weislogel, portland state university, coffee, drinking coffee in space, space station

Apr. 17, 2015

Geek Physics With Rhett Allain

In his book Geek Physics, Rhett Allain uses physics to answer pop culture and everyday science questions.

rhett allain, geek physics, bubble wrap, superheroes, physics questions, pop culture

Apr. 17, 2015

Science on Screen, From Old to New

The first science documentaries are almost as old as cinema itself.

cinema, films, reels, science in the movies, science goes to hollywood

Apr. 10, 2015

News Roundup: The Birth of the Moon, E.T. Life, and LHC Season Two

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.

large hadron collider, lhc, bbc, jonathan webb, moon, rachel feltman, speaking of science, physics, earth

Apr. 10, 2015

Undersea Cables String Together the Global Internet

Ninety-nine percent of the data zipping between continents travels not via satellite, but through thousands of miles of cables.

cables, undersea network, internet, nicole starosielski

Apr. 10, 2015

How the Apple Watch Measures Up

Re/code’s Lauren Goode give us her take on Apple’s new wearable.

apple watch, lauren goode, re/code

Apr. 10, 2015

The Macroscope: Babies on the Brink

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.

babies, infant action lab, fear of heights, ledge, bridge, karen adolph, nyu

Apr. 10, 2015

As Arctic Permafrost Thaws, Microbes Kick Into Action

Recent findings suggest that microbes living in Arctic permafrost could produce carbon dioxide and methane as it thaws.

microbiologist, janet jansson, carbon dioxide, microbes

Apr. 10, 2015

The Future of Artificial Intelligence

What questions should we ask as research on artificial intelligence progresses?

robots, a.i., artificial intelligence, elon musk, bill gates, steve wozniack,

Apr. 10, 2015

Are Scientific Journals Clogged With ‘Publication Pollution’?

Medical ethicist Art Caplan says science and medical journals are plagued by fraud, plagiarism, and predatory publishers.

art caplan, science journals, medical journals, fraud, plagiarism, predatory publishing

Apr. 03, 2015

A Climate Pledge, a Medieval Antibiotic, and an Exoskeletal Boot

In the news roundup this week, Eric Holthaus breaks down the new U.S. climate pledge.

greenhouse gas, climate change, antibiotic, exoskeletal boot, Eric Holthaus, Arielle Duhaime-Ross, slate, the vergy

Apr. 03, 2015

The Math Game Behind the Iran Nuclear Talks

Energy secretary Ernest Moniz joins us to talk about the science behind the diplomacy.

ernest moniz, energy secretary, iran, iran nuclear deal

Apr. 03, 2015

Cracking the Egg

There’s a better way to make hard-boiled eggs—and it doesn’t involve boiling.

egg, food failures, jeff potter, cooking for geeks, kitchen science

Apr. 03, 2015

Catching a Non-Stop, Transatlantic Flight on a Songbird’s Back

The blackpoll warbler, a songbird that weighs 12 grams, can fly 1,700 miles—non-stop—to its wintering grounds.

Bill DeLuca, blackpoll warbler, migratory songbirds, migration, bird migration, birds, songbirds, warbler, warblers, songbird

Apr. 03, 2015

Mercury: The Ashtray of the Solar System?

Scientists say that dust from passing comets could have darkened the surface of Mercury.

mercury, Peter Schultz, nature geoscience, carbon

Apr. 03, 2015

Festival of Fake Hypotheses Generates Real Laughs

The satirical science festival BAHFest challenges science fans to construct real arguments for completely bogus hypotheses.

Zach Weinersmith, bah, bahfest, bad ad hoc hypothesis, bad ad hoc hypotheses, sarah hird

Apr. 03, 2015

Building Cancer Vaccines From Tumor Mutations

Researchers look to the genome of a patient’s tumor to build a cancer vaccine.

Beatriz Carreno, Nicholas Restifo, National Cancer Institute, cancer, cancer vaccine, cancer treatment

Mar. 27, 2015

'Hellish' Conditions Gave Spark To Life On Earth

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.

Mar. 27, 2015

Shaking Up the Climate Conversation, With Dance

A choreographer and a biologist team up to create a dance that’s part high art, part climate change consciousness raising.

dance, art, american museum of natural history, karole armitage, paul ehrlich, climate change

Mar. 27, 2015

Michael Gazzaniga: Tales from Both Sides of the Brain

Cognitive neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga discusses his on discovering how these halves communicate.

brain, caltech, 60s, michael gazzaniga

Mar. 27, 2015

One Last Thing: Left to Right

When we picture rapidly moving things, people seem to have a preference for ones that move from left to right, not right to left.

perception, running, peter walker, psychology

Mar. 27, 2015

Liquid 3-D Printer Speeds Past the Rest

A new, fast 3-D printer uses ultraviolet light and oxygen to shape liquid resin.

3d printing

Mar. 27, 2015

Understanding the Dark Side of Physics

Physicists discuss the quest to understand dark energy and dark matter.

dark matter, physics, jodi cooley, dan hooper, steven weinberg, dark energy

Mar. 27, 2015

Malaria Parasite Lures Mosquitoes With Bait-and-Switch

The malaria parasite manufactures lemon-and-pine-scented aromas that attract mosquitoes.

mosquito, malaria, audrey odom

Mar. 20, 2015

Writing Women Back Into Science History

This Women’s History Month, Science Friday celebrates some of the unsung heroines of science.

women's history month, maria sibylla merian, marie tharp, dna, women in science, stem

AVAILABLE IN ITUNES

Michael Pollan Talks Plants and Food

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FEATURED PLAYLIST

Cephalopod Spectacular

BOOKS BY OUR GUESTS

Mystery Box

Teaching Ancient Nautilus New Tricks

\tWith its heavy outer shell, weak vision, and primitive brain, the nautilus lacks much of the excitement of the more flashy and cunning cephalopods. Yet a series of experiments by evolutionary biologists Dr. Jennifer Basil and Robyn Crook involving fish juice, blue lights, and mazes dispels the notion that this ancient species is incapable of basic learning and throws into question the origins of cephalopods' intellectual prowess.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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