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Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios

Brain fun for curious people.

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FDA Panel Rejects MDMA Therapy For PTSD

The panel raised concerns about the study’s methods and failure to address previous instances of research misconduct.

22 Jul 2024 · 18 minutes
A Small Meteor Blazes Over New York City | Tornado Science From ‘Twisters’

The foot-long meteor passed through the Earth’s atmosphere near the Statue of Liberty. Don’t worry, it was fine. Also, the... more

19 Jul 2024 · 24 minutes
Why Are There So Many Drug Shortages In The U.S.?

It’s not just Ozempic. There are 323 ongoing drug shortages in the U.S., leaving patients scrambling for necessary medications.

18 Jul 2024 · 33 minutes
What The Small Intestine Can Tell Us About Gut Health

Most gut microbiome research focuses on the colon. But understanding the small intestine might unlock better treatments for GI disorders.

17 Jul 2024 · 12 minutes
Helping Queen Conchs Mate In The Florida Keys

Rising temperatures shut down some conchs’ impulse to reproduce. So scientists are ferrying them to colonies in deeper, cooler waters.

16 Jul 2024 · 11 minutes
How Congestion Pricing Can Impact Human Health

Congestion pricing increases commuting costs in cities, but it can also mean better air quality and a healthier population.

15 Jul 2024 · 17 minutes
Galaxies ‘Dance’ In Stunning New JWST Image | Why Some Cats Scratch Furniture

As the James Webb Space Telescope marks two years of operations, NASA unveils a new image of two galaxies interacting.... more

12 Jul 2024 · 18 minutes
Your Pain Tolerance May Have Been Passed Down From Neanderthals

Gene variants inherited from Neanderthals can impact pain tolerance and nose shape in modern humans. What else could they influence?

11 Jul 2024 · 13 minutes
How Can Iowa’s Agriculture Adapt To Climate Threats?

From drought-resistant crops to making sure farmers of color thrive, here’s how experts in Iowa are looking at the future... more

10 Jul 2024 · 17 minutes
How Do They Actually Store The Declaration Of Independence?

At a live event in Washington, Ira talks to restoration experts about the science of preserving America’s founding documents.

09 Jul 2024 · 17 minutes
How Politics And Diplomacy Shape Panda Conservation

In this story from 2023, we look back at 80 years of panda conservation, and how “panda diplomacy” paved the... more

08 Jul 2024 · 30 minutes
The Best Science Books For Summer 2024

Two science writers and voracious readers have compiled their summer reading recommendations, just for Science Friday fans.

05 Jul 2024 · 30 minutes
Avoiding Grilling and Barbecue Pitfalls

In a conversation from 2014, Ira talks marinade myths, charcoal chemistry, and the elusive “smoke ring”—the science behind barbecue and... more

04 Jul 2024 · 14 minutes
From Microbes To Mammoths: How Life Transformed The Planet

In “Becoming Earth,” author Ferris Jabr reexamines our relationship to Earth, and makes the case that Earth itself is alive.

03 Jul 2024 · 27 minutes
Study Shows Which Kids Are Getting Periods Younger Than Others

The age of first menstruation trended downward from 1950 to 2005, but more so among low-income kids and kids of... more

02 Jul 2024 · 15 minutes
What To Do When Your Hypothesis Is Wrong? Publish!

In an effort to learn from scientific failure, The Journal of Trial Error only publishes “negative” results.

01 Jul 2024 · 17 minutes
The Sample From The Far Side Of The Moon | Will The Seine Be Clean Enough For The Olympics?

China’s Chang’e 6 return capsule landed in Mongolia, carrying samples from the far side of the moon. Also, Paris has... more

28 Jun 2024 · 25 minutes
The Octopus Overlooked By Science | Squid With ‘Giant’ Eggs Could Be New Species

The larger Pacific striped octopus is unusually social. But it wasn’t recognized by scientists until 2015, despite one man’s efforts.... more

27 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
House Stalls On Bill To Compensate Victims Of Nuclear Testing

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act expired on June 10, but supporters are still fighting to expand it.

26 Jun 2024 · 17 minutes
Crowdsourced Data Identifies 126 ‘Lost’ Bird Species

Researchers analyzed photos, videos, and audio from crowdsource platforms to identify bird species that have not been spotted in over... more

25 Jun 2024 · 17 minutes
20 Years Later, How Are City Climate Plans Actually Going?

When the federal government wavered in its commitment to climate action, cities stepped up. But goals, and success, are hard... more

24 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
It’s Hot. But How Hot? | Canine Cancer Vaccine Shows Promising Results

Researchers say the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature is a better indicator of heat stress. Also, cancer is the leading cause... more

21 Jun 2024 · 25 minutes
Mannequins Help Teach People How To Spot Ticks | Protecting A Flickering Symbol Of Summer Nights

Two mannequins walk into a science lab, and one’s got a big tick problem. She can teach humans how to... more

20 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
‘The Singularity Is Nearer,’ Says Futurist Ray Kurzweil

Two decades after his book “The Singularity is Near,” Kurzweil is back with more predictions about the future of AI.

19 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
Why Do Cephalopods Make Ink?

Squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish use ink to confuse predators and to communicate. But there’s still a lot we don’t understand... more

18 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
Meet The Emotions Behind Teenage Angst In ‘Inside Out 2’

Psychologist Dr. Lisa Damour helped make the film more scientifically accurate to how a teenager’s mind works.

17 Jun 2024 · 18 minutes
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
Recipient Of Pig Kidney Transplant Recovering | Answering Your Questions About April 8 Eclipse

A Massachusetts man who received a kidney from a genetically modified pig is recovering well. Also, on April 8, a... more

05 Apr 2024 · 30 minutes
Our Inevitable Cosmic Apocalypse

We revisit a 2020 interview with cosmologist Katie Mack about how the universe could end. Plus, remembering psychologist Daniel Kahneman.

04 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
The Complicated Truths About Offshore Wind And Right Whales

Officials say offshore wind turbines aren’t killing North Atlantic right whales. So why do so many people think otherwise?

03 Apr 2024 · 18 minutes
The Bumpy Road To Approving New Alzheimer’s Drugs

After a controversial Alzheimer’s medication was discontinued, a new anti-amyloid drug receives extra scrutiny from the FDA.

02 Apr 2024 · 17 minutes
‘3 Body Problem’ And The Laws Of Physics | In Defense Of ‘Out Of Place’ Plants

Particle accelerators, nanofibers, and solar physics: The science advisor for the Netflix adaptation breaks down the physics in the show.... more

01 Apr 2024 · 23 minutes
Baltimore Bridge Collapse | Mapping How Viruses Jump Between Species

We look into the engineering reasons why the Francis Scott Key bridge collapsed after a ship crashed into it. Also,... more

29 Mar 2024 · 20 minutes
The Legacy Of Primatologist Frans de Waal

In a conversation from 2019, Dr. Frans de Waal tells the story of a female chimp who didn’t produce enough... more

28 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
The ‘Asteroid Hunter’ Leading The OSIRIS-REx Mission

In a new memoir, planetary scientist Dr. Dante Lauretta takes readers behind the scenes of a mission to secure a... more

27 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
Swimming Sea Lions Teach Engineers About Fluid Dynamics

Understanding how sea lions move through water could help engineers design better underwater vehicles.

26 Mar 2024 · 17 minutes
Botanical Rescue Centers Take In Illegally Trafficked Plants

The U.S. Botanic Garden is one of 62 locations across the United States that rescue endangered species poached in the... more

25 Mar 2024 · 17 minutes
2023 Was Hottest Year On Record | The NASA Satellite Studying Plankton

The World Meteorological Organization’s report confirms last year had the highest temperatures on record and predicts an even hotter 2024.... more

22 Mar 2024 · 24 minutes
A Strange-Looking Fish, Frozen In Time

A group of fish called gar, dubbed “living fossils,” may have the slowest rate of evolution of any jawed vertebrate.

21 Mar 2024 · 17 minutes
What We Know After 4 Years Of COVID-19

Four years ago this week, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Experts say it’s far from over.

20 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
Science Unlocks The Power Of Flavor In ‘Flavorama’

In her new book, Dr. Arielle Johnson explains how and what we taste with chemistry.

19 Mar 2024 · 17 minutes
Science Friday
‘3 Body Problem’ And The Laws Of Physics | In Defense Of ‘Out Of Place’ Plants
Science Friday

Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Podcast Addict
Pocket Casts
Player FM
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Particle accelerators, nanofibers, and solar physics: The science advisor for the Netflix adaptation breaks down the physics in the show. Also, in... more