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

12:00 minutes

The European Space Agency’s Philae probe made a spectacular, bouncy landing on Comet 67P last fall—but then fell into a coma after it ran out of power, its solar panels in the shade of a cliff. But last weekend, it woke up and transmitted housekeeping data back to its partner spacecraft, Rosetta, in orbit around the comet. In this episode of Good Thing/Bad Thing, Tariq Malik of Space.com talks about the excitement and the potential pitfalls of this unexpected awakening.

And The Verge science reporter Arielle Duhaime-Ross helps us unravel a decades-old scientific question: Why tests of a chlamydia vaccine in the 1960s made certain people more susceptible to this sexually transmitted infection. Also making the cut for her top science news stories of the week are the discovery of 35 new groups of bacteria in Colorado’s groundwater and a new treatment for malaria.

Segment Guests

Arielle Duhaime-Ross

Arielle Duhaime-Ross is science reporter for The Verge in New York, New York.

Tariq Malik

Tariq Malik is managing editor of Space.com in New York, New York.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Becky Fogel

Becky Fogel is a newscast host and producer at Texas Standard, a daily news show broadcast by KUT in Austin, Texas. She was formerly Science Friday’s production assistant.

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.