June 2, 2023
Animals like tiger sharks, sea otters, and wildebeest play outsized roles in sequestering carbon. Plus, over a thousand people have participated in an international project to crossbreed smaller varieties of a backyard tomato plant. And, researchers find the saguaro cactus’ new growth is declining.
Monitoring the Monarchs
Monarch expert Lincoln Brower discusses the decline in monarch butterfly populations.
Concocting The Perfect Cup Of Coffee
Brew-masters pore over the chemistry and craft of making a good cup of joe.
Mapping the Monarchs
Any orange-and-black beauties in your neck of the woods? Add a photo to our Spring Monarch Migration 2013 Google map.
The Story of Saliva
Why do newborns drool excessively? How many pints of saliva does a person generate daily? (Hint, it’s more than one.) And more spit mysteries excerpted from “Gulp: Adventures Down the Alimentary Canal.”
Will There Be Another Ice Age?
If carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, we likely have a long thaw ahead of us.
Milkweed for Monarchs
People can help monarch butterflies by planting milkweed, a plant the insects rely on for breeding and feeding.
What Scared the Fearless Woman?
Patients once considered insensitive to fear can experience the sensation in response to internal triggers, a new study shows.
What’s in a Label?
A new book looks at how the way we think and behave can be shaped by forces we aren’t aware of.
Tracking a Rise in ADHD Diagnosis
Researchers work to understand what might be behind a surge in diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
‘Drunk Tank Pink’ Finds Clues to Behavior
In his new book, Adam Alter examines the way labels, symbols, and colors can affect human behavior.
President Obama Calls for a ‘BRAIN Initiative’
NIH Director Francis Collins discusses President Obama’s new ‘BRAIN Initiative’ research program.
Building Synthetic Tissues from Water Droplets?
Researchers turned tiny water droplets into cooperating networks that can change shape and pass electrical signals.
Amyloid Proteins Help Paralyzed Mice Walk Again
Scientists say the proteins, once thought to be enemies of the nervous system, may actually be protective ‘guardians.’
Bees Emerging After a Hard Winter
Apiculturist Eric Mussen discusses the plight of the modern honeybee.
Searching for the Roots of ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’
Primatologist Frans de Waal explores the origins of morality in The Bonobo and the Atheist.
Mama’s Boys, Black Sheep, and Peacekeepers
An excerpt from “The Bonobo and the Atheist.”
Would Usain Bolt Run More Slowly With the Name Usain Plod?
This excerpt from “Drunk Tank Pink” explores whether names affect major life outcomes.
Making Tissues from Water Droplets?
Researchers turned tiny water droplets into cooperative networks that can change shape and pass electrical signals.
Building the Future of SciFri
A number of listeners have asked us what the end of “Talk of the Nation” means for us.
How to Get 6,000 People to Talk Science
Bill Nye and I were on a panel discussing how to tell stories about science.