Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
We may never make history, but each week we teach young women who could, particularly in the sciences.
Visible With the Naked Eye
Science Friday invites Chairman Lamar Smith to discuss technology that will track objects such as asteroids that threaten Earth.
War of the Currents Redux: Fuel Cells vs Batteries
This week, I'm focusing on some really geeky -- I should say Benjie* -- research that caught my eye. Be ready for some gorgeous graphics and hi-tech talk.
Once more, lots of intriguing stories making the news this week. Here are a few of my favorites.
Like many other species of subalpine and alpine wildflowers, each year, as the winter snowpack recedes, the glacier lily comes to life, sprouting leaves and flowers as soon as conditions are favorable and taking advantage of every moment of the short growing season.
When a tarantula is sick and weak, what do you do? Stick it in the ICU!
NASA's rover has discovered an ancient stream bed on Mars.
Climate is defined as an average of thirty years of weather data. It is the norm, the average, what’s expected. When our planet’s climate veers from what’s expected, when a record is set, the question is – why?
For bug lovers, there are lots of cool events happening all over the country.
Meet Animaris gubernare and Animaris adulari, two of kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen's strandbeests.
This autumn, new records are being set for the minimum amount of sea ice in the Arctic. On August 26, the extent of ice diminished to less than it has ever been -- at least in the 30 years we've been watching it with satellites.
Do Arctic wolves use cooperative hunting strategies?
Learn about the yucca moth and the yucca plant and why pollinators are so important. In English and Spanish!
The Delmarva fox squirrel is a very, very large squirrel. It can tip the scales at as many as three pounds.
You’ve probably all seen silk webbing in the ridges of tree bark. It could be a spider’s web, or it could’ve been made by the elusive and shy insects called webspinners in the Order Embiidina.
Down to just 167 singing males in 1987, the Kirtland's warbler population has rebounded, with 1,828 males counted in 2011. The species has risen, almost literally, like a phoenix from the ashes.
A few weeks ago we showed you how to make a piece of insect collecting equipment called a beat sheet. In this post, we’re going to add pan traps and baited traps to your DIY collecting tools.
The jackdaw's intelligence and curiosity perpetuate the bird's tendency to get into trouble.
An excerpt from the book "Girls Get Curves" by Danica McKellar provides an introduction to logic and reasoning.
In this video, we teach about indirect sperm transfer behaviors of these arthropods, in a slightly different way than other entomologists. Our way involves costumes. And mustaches. Enjoy!
This podcast explores the tactile communication of ants and how they use touch to interact with their environment.
Curiosity Lander: Excitement Recalls Viking
The numbat, aka the banded anteater, is a marsupial native to Australia.
Aphids produde an alarm pheromone to defend themselves against predation.
Street canyons--narrow streets lined by buildings hundreds of feet tall--are unique to the urban landscape. But while their structure undoubtedly adds to the allure of cities, it also effectively traps pollutants emitted by vehicular traffic traversing the canyon floor, resulting in poor air quality.
That we can “catch” yawns is in itself fascinating, but that we can’t catch them from just anyone -- that we are immune to the yawns of perfect strangers but highly susceptible to those of family members or friends -- makes this behavior all the more intriguing.
Fleas can jump over 150 times their own body length. A house fly can beat its wings 200 times per second. How do these feats compare with those of other animals?
There are major hindrances to prioritizing biodiverse areas for conservation. Examples include determining the size of land area that must be set aside, which generally must be very large to ensure that ecosystems can maintain their functions, and determining the value of these places in economic terms.
What does a single atom look like?
For Kristie, this spider is #1 on her "Top 5 Spiders To See Down Under" list. Sadly, she missed it last year while traveling in NSW but we thought we'd share this photo and take the opportunity to teach about some of the cool morphological features these spiders and their relatives have.
Cyprus is split in half, with a Turkish sector in the north and a Greek sector in the south. The unofficial division makes scientific collaboration in this Mediterranean island nation all but impossible; it also complicates management of the island's endangered sea turtles.
The global value of plant-based medicines is most readily apparent in revenue generated from sales of over-the-counter herbal preparations. In 2005 more than $14 billion (USD) was spent on such remedies in China alone. In 2007 US citizens spent even more -- nearly $15 billion -- on over-the-counter natural products.
Caitlin Gee, a student at High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, interviews Danielle Goldman, a student from Bronx High School of Science, about her experiences in the Intel Science Talent Search competition.
Cockroaches get a bad rap. Just the word makes people “ew” and “ugh”. Even though only 10% of species are pests of humans, we tend to associate all of them with filth. This video explores the biology, morphology and mythology surrounding these misunderstood animals.
For this podcast, world renowned architect Mick Pearce joins us from Zimbabwe to talk about the design of the Eastgate Center in Harare. There are no electrical AC units in the building – instead, Pearce used termite mound structure as inspiration for the ventilation system!
Facebook buys facial recognition company. Facing up to the consequences.
Encyclopedia of Life fellow Rosario Castañeda takes us to the back rooms of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, searching through dozens of jars of pickled anole lizards to see the traces of evolution in action.
People always ask us how they can collect insects safely. Professional insect collecting equipment can be expensive, so we’ve decided to make a little DIY series about how to make your own insect collecting equipment on the cheap.
While epiphytes are defined by their growth on other plants, most commonly trees, they do not steal nutrients away from their hosts. Rather, they rely on specialized aerial root systems that absorb water and nutrients directly from the air.
This week’s EOL podcast begins with a riddle about a life form that’s all around us, yet rarely seen. Working under cover, it sends its ghostly tendrils into almost every corner of the terrestrial world. We associate it with death and decay, but life as we know it would be impossible without it.
One place where the tides have an extreme effect on the ecosystem is in the Bay of Fundy.
Call them what you want – stick insects, walking sticks or stick bugs – we call them masters of camouflage! Insects in the Order Phasmatodea look and behave like plants and hide from even the most intrepid entomologists. In this new video we created for Texas A&M University’s Department of Entomology, we take you through the morphology, biology and mythology of these fascinating creatures.
There are few animals in the world that share the morphological peculiarities of turtles, and the physical likenesses that do exist between these shelled wonders and other animals are so ambiguous as to be considered one of the last great obstacles to a more complete understanding of not only the turtle's evolutionary past but also the whole of vertebrate evolution.
Brittle stars are not like most sea stars when it comes to taking in and digesting food. Most sea stars extrude their stomachs to feed, but the brittle star cannot. The brittle star’s food is taken in to the mouth, through the stomach and absorbed along the alimentary canal as it has no intestines or anus. The waste then goes back out of the mouth.
To access older blog posts, navigate via the archive links in the sidebar at left.