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Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios

Brain fun for curious people.

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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
Abortion-Restrictive States Leave Ob-Gyns With Tough Choices

Post-Dobbs, ob-gyns and medical students alike must navigate the risk of criminal prosecution associated with patient care in some states.

18 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
Nasal Rinsing Safely | How Your Brain Constructs Your Mental Health

A recent study looked into life-threatening Acanthamoeba infections, and a few deaths, linked to the use of tap water with... more

15 Mar 2024 · 24 minutes
A New Book Puts ‘Math in Drag’

Do you think math is boring? Drag queen Kyne is on a mission to make math fun and accessible for... more

14 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
With This Rare Disorder, No Amount Of Sleep Is Enough

A new book explores idiopathic hypersomnia, which causes overwhelming daytime sleepiness despite ample sleep.

13 Mar 2024 · 16 minutes
How Election Science Can Support Democracy | The Genetic Roots Of Antibiotic Resistance

The Union of Concerned Scientists has unveiled an election science task force led by experts from across the country. Also,... more

12 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
Triple Feature: Dune, Mars, And An Alien On Earth

On the heels of the Oscars, we dive into three films that take us to other worlds: A planetary scientist... more

11 Mar 2024 · 30 minutes
Could This Be The End Of Voyager 1?

Voyager 1 has been sending incoherent data back to Earth, possibly marking the beginning of the end of its decades-old... more

08 Mar 2024 · 12 minutes
What It Takes To Care For The US Nuclear Arsenal

The book “Countdown” looks at why the US is modernizing its arsenal, and what it means to exist with nuclear... more

07 Mar 2024 · 17 minutes
A Young Scientist Uplifts The Needs Of Parkinson’s Patients

Neuroscience graduate student Senegal Alfred Mabry is looking at effects of Parkinson’s disease beyond the most visible body tremors.

06 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
Snakes Are Evolutionary Superstars | Whale Song Is All In The Larynx

In the trees, through the water, and under the dirt: Snakes evolve faster than their lizard relatives, allowing them to... more

05 Mar 2024 · 24 minutes
What’s Behind The Measles Outbreak In Florida?

Two pediatricians discuss the outbreak, vaccine hesitancy, and unraveling public health measures in Florida and beyond.

04 Mar 2024 · 17 minutes
Pythagoras Was Wrong About Music | Biochar's Potential For Carbon Capture

The Greek philosopher Pythagoras had specific ideas about the mathematical ratios behind music. It turns out that he was wrong.... more

01 Mar 2024 · 18 minutes
As Space Exploration Expands, So Will Space Law

A new generation of space lawyers will broker deals and handle disputes between countries as the world enters a new... more

29 Feb 2024 · 18 minutes
Blood In The Water: Shark Smell Put To The Test

Despite their reputation as super-smellers, sharks don’t have a better sense of smell than other fish. One researcher investigates.

28 Feb 2024 · 17 minutes
How Trivia Experts Recall Facts | One Ant Species Sent Ripples Through A Food Web

How can some people recall random facts so easily? It may have to do with what else they remember about... more

27 Feb 2024 · 24 minutes
Science Friday
Could This Be The End Of Voyager 1?
Science Friday

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Voyager 1 has been sending incoherent data back to Earth, possibly marking the beginning of the end of its decades-old mission.