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Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios

Brain fun for curious people.

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Elephants Seem To Use Names For Each Other | Kids Discover Rare T. Rex Fossil

A new study used machine learning to analyze elephant vocalizations and identified “contact rumbles” that appear to function as names.... more

14 Jun 2024 · 25 minutes
How Sound Rules Life Underwater

In her new book, science journalist Amorina Kingdon explores the astonishing variety of sound in the ocean, and how it... more

13 Jun 2024 · 17 minutes
Metal-Absorbing Plants Could Make Mining Greener | A Tiny Fern's Gigantic Genome

Plants called “hyperaccumulators” have evolved to absorb high levels of metals. Scientists want to harness them for greener metal mining.... more

12 Jun 2024 · 21 minutes
How Psychological Warfare Moved From Battlefields To Politics

A new book looks at the history of psychological warfare, its connections to science fiction, and how it’s been adapted... more

11 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
Step Aside, DNA. It’s RNA’s Time To Shine.

The COVID vaccines proved that RNA could be extremely powerful. A new book explores even more medical applications for the... more

10 Jun 2024 · 17 minutes
A Week Of Milestones For Spaceflight | Mexico Has Elected A Scientist President

Boeing’s Starliner successfully launched and docked at the ISS, SpaceX’s Starship rocket launched and returned. Also, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo brings... more

07 Jun 2024 · 21 minutes
The Organ That Gives Birds Their Voices | Common Loons Are Pop Music Icons

Scientists are studying birds’ unique vocal organ, the syrinx, to better understand its evolutionary history. Also, the eerie calls of... more

06 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
Indigenous Nations Are Fighting To Take Back Their Data

Indigenous data sovereignty is the idea that Indigenous Peoples should decide how to collect, own, and use their own data.

05 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
The Unseen World Of Plant Intelligence

Science journalist Zoë Schlanger discusses plants’ ability to communicate, store memories, and more in her new book, “The Light Eaters.”

04 Jun 2024 · 27 minutes
Right-To-Repair Laws Gain Steam In State Legislatures

A growing number of states are adopting laws that force companies to give consumers better options to repair their devices.

03 Jun 2024 · 12 minutes
Starliner Crewed Test Flight Rescheduled | Slugs And Snails Like Cities

The much-delayed crewed test flight is back on the calendar, despite a helium leak. Also, researchers used data from the... more

31 May 2024 · 21 minutes
Your ‘Biological Age’ Could Be Different Than How Old You Are

Metabolic markers could eventually result in a test for “biological age,” which considers how things other than time age the... more

30 May 2024 · 17 minutes
High-Speed Rail Gets A Boost In The U.S.

After decades of under-development, spending on high-speed rail projects is ramping up in California, Florida, and the Northeast Corridor.

29 May 2024 · 16 minutes
Using A Lab On Wheels To Study Weed From Dispensaries

A van outfitted as a mobile laboratory helps scientists study how legal cannabis products affect users—without breaking the law.

28 May 2024 · 17 minutes
Jelly Creatures That Swim In Corkscrews | Keeping Wind Turbines Safe For Birds

For the first time, scientists have recorded how salps form chains and swim in corkscrews to reach the ocean’s surface... more

27 May 2024 · 20 minutes
Zapping Nerves Into Regrowth | Celebrating the Maya Calendar In Guatemala’s Highlands

An early study found that electrical stimulation could improve hand and arm function in people with spinal cord injuries. Also,... more

24 May 2024 · 21 minutes
Fine-Tuning Grapes For Iowa’s Wine Industry

Scientists are breeding wine grapes that will grow in Iowa’s climate in hopes of expanding the state’s wine industry.

23 May 2024 · 17 minutes
How To Recycle Rare Earth Elements

Scientists have developed a way to recycle rare earth elements found in discarded electronics without using acid or harsh chemicals.

22 May 2024 · 17 minutes
New Evidence Questions Dark Energy’s ‘Constant’ Nature

Early data from the DESI collaboration suggests that dark energy, which powers the universe’s accelerating expansion, may evolve over time.

21 May 2024 · 18 minutes
New Guidelines Recommend Earlier Breast Cancer Screening

The latest update moves the recommended age to start mammograms from 50 down to 40. How are these decisions made?

20 May 2024 · 17 minutes
New Rule Sets Stage For Electric Grid Update | Harnessing Nanoparticles For Vaccines

Upgrades to the power grid under a new rule could help accommodate an increasing renewable energy supply and meet data... more

17 May 2024 · 26 minutes
How Climate Change Is Changing Sports

Sports ecologist and author Dr. Madeline Orr discusses how climate change is affecting sports, from ski conditions to athletes’ health.

16 May 2024 · 17 minutes
Why Is Tinnitus So Hard To Understand And Treat?

Medical researchers are working to better understand—and hopefully mute—tinnitus, a persistent “ringing in the ears.”

15 May 2024 · 17 minutes
Finding Purpose In A ‘Wild Life’

In her new book, Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant shares how her lifelong love for the natural world led her to become... more

14 May 2024 · 17 minutes
Archeopteryx Specimen Unveiled | Trees And Shrubs Burying Great Plains' Prairies

The Field Museum has unveiled a new specimen of Archaeopteryx, a species that may hold the key to how ancient... more

13 May 2024 · 24 minutes
JWST Detects An Atmosphere Around A Rocky Exoplanet | Boeing Plans To Fly Humans To The ISS Next Week

Astronomers have confirmed they found an atmosphere around an Earth-like rocky exoplanet for the first time. Also, Boeing’s Starliner craft... more

10 May 2024 · 18 minutes
Challenging The Gender Gap In Sports Science

In a conversation from 2023, SciFri producer Kathleen Davis talks to journalist Christine Yu about how most participants in sports... more

09 May 2024 · 16 minutes
What Martian Geology Can Teach Us About Earth

The geology of Mars could provide a snapshot of what our planet was like as the crust was forming and... more

08 May 2024 · 18 minutes
How Louisiana Is Coping With Flooding In Cemeteries

As climate change intensifies storms, Louisiana is dealing with catastrophic flooding of cemeteries. Now other states face similar problems.

07 May 2024 · 11 minutes
Inside Iowa State’s Herbarium | Science-Inspired Art From ‘Universe of Art’ Listeners

The Ada Hayden Herbarium preserves hundreds of thousands of specimens, including some collected by George Washington Carver. And, as the... more

06 May 2024 · 24 minutes
Science From Iowa’s Prairies | Planning To Go See Cicadas? Here’s What To Know

Science Friday is in Ames, Iowa, home to prairies, greater prairie chickens, and an array of wildlife. Also, the co-emergence... more

03 May 2024 · 25 minutes
Maybe Bonobos Aren't Gentler Than Chimps | Art Meets Ecology In A Mile-Long Poem

A study found aggression between male bonobos to be more frequent than aggression between male chimpanzees. Also, visual artist Todd... more

02 May 2024 · 17 minutes
When Products Collect Data From Your Brain, Where Does It Go?

An array of new products monitors users’ brain waves using caps or headbands. That neural data has few privacy protections.

01 May 2024 · 17 minutes
Visualizing A Black Hole’s Flares In 3D

Researchers are trying to develop a better picture of what’s happening in the regions closest to a black hole’s event... more

30 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
The 4,000-Year History of Humans and Silk

For her new book, Aarathi Prasad spent years researching the past and future of silk—and even grew her own silkworms.

29 Apr 2024 · 17 minutes
Flint’s Water Crisis, 10 Years Later | Underwater Cables Could Help Detect Tsunamis

While progress has been made in replacing water pipes in Flint, Michigan, many residents say they still don’t know if... more

26 Apr 2024 · 25 minutes
Fighting Banana Blight | Do Birds Sing In Their Dreams?

America’s most-consumed fruit is at risk from a fungal disease. Researchers in North Carolina are on a mission to save... more

25 Apr 2024 · 19 minutes
Why Is Solving The Plastic Problem So Hard?

Plastics are everywhere, in packaging, clothing, and even our bodies. Could they be made less integral to manufacturing and more... more

24 Apr 2024 · 17 minutes
What Worsening Floods Mean For Superfund Sites

Superfund sites contain extreme pollution. Flooding—made worse by climate change—could carry their toxic contaminants into surrounding areas.

23 Apr 2024 · 17 minutes
The Global Mental Health Toll Of Climate Change | Capturing DNA From 800 Lakes In One Day

An explosion of research is painting a clearer picture of how climate change is affecting mental health across the globe.... more

22 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
Clean Energy Transition Progress | Avian Flu In Cattle And Humans Has Scientists Concerned

Global temperature increases are slowing, electric vehicle sales are growing, and renewable energy is now cheaper than some fossil fuels.... more

19 Apr 2024 · 25 minutes
A Cheer For The Physics Of Baseball

When you watch a baseball game, you’re also enjoying a spectacular display of science—from physics to biomechanics.

18 Apr 2024 · 17 minutes
Carbon Cost Of Urban Gardens And Commercial Farms | Why There's No Superbloom This Year

Some food has a larger carbon footprint when grown in urban settings than on commercial farms, while for other foods... more

17 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
Inside The Race To Save Honeybees From Parasitic Mites

Varroa destructor mites are killing honeybees and their babies at alarming rates.

16 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
The Brain’s Glial Cells Might Be As Important As Neurons

These lesser-known nervous system cells were long thought to be the “glue” holding neurons together. They’re much more.

15 Apr 2024 · 15 minutes
Limits On ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Drinking Water | An Important Winter Home For Bugs | Eclipse Drumroll

A long-awaited rule from the EPA limits the amounts of six PFAS chemicals allowed in public drinking water supplies. Also,... more

12 Apr 2024 · 25 minutes
Investigating Animal Deaths At The National Zoo

When an animal dies at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo, a pathologist gathers clues about its health and death from a... more

11 Apr 2024 · 17 minutes
Eating More Oysters Helps Us—And The Chesapeake Bay

In the ever-changing and biodiverse Chesapeake Bay, conservation and food production go hand in hand.

10 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
How Trees Keep D.C. And Baltimore Cool

Satellite technology—and community outreach—can help harness trees’ cooling power for city residents.

09 Apr 2024 · 12 minutes
Predicting Heart Disease From Chest X-Rays With AI | Storing New Memories During Sleep

Dr. Eric Topol discusses the promise of “opportunistic” AI, using medical scans for unintended diagnostic purposes. Also, a study in... more

08 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
Science Friday
Predicting Heart Disease From Chest X-Rays With AI | Storing New Memories During Sleep
Science Friday

Listen now on

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Dr. Eric Topol discusses the promise of “opportunistic” AI, using medical scans for unintended diagnostic purposes. Also, a study in mice found... more