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Science Friday : About

Airs Friday at 2pm on 93.9 FM and AM 820

Science Friday is a weekly science talk show from NPR. Each week, Science Friday's host Ira Flatow, a veteran science journalist, looks at science topics that are in the news brings an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. Panels of expert guests join Flatow, a veteran science journalist, to discuss science -- to take questions from listeners during the call-in portion of the program.

 

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Show Archive

Latest Stories from Science Friday

Does Mars Have What It Takes to Support Life?

Thursday, December 18 2014 07:00 PM

NASA’s Curiosity rover finds evidence of methane and organics on the Red Planet.

Scientists Speak Out About Attacks on Science

Thursday, December 18 2014 07:00 PM

Bioengineer John Dabiri and conservation biologist Terrie Williams, two targets of Senator Tom Coburn's 2014 “Wastebook” look beyond the caricatures painted by politicians and pundits to tell the story of their research.

Weighing In on the ‘Good Carb, Bad Carb’ Debate

Thursday, December 18 2014 07:00 PM

Curbing “high glycemic” carbs may not benefit healthy eaters.

Under the Influence of Beer Foam

Thursday, December 18 2014 07:00 PM

A team of fluid mechanics researchers at Princeton University dive into the anti-sloshing physics of foam.

Moving Ice May Mean More Melting for Greenland

Thursday, December 18 2014 07:00 PM

By 2060, Greenland’s seasonal “supraglacial” lakes will double in number and move farther inland.

Science Goes to the Movies: ‘The Imitation Game’

Thursday, December 18 2014 07:00 PM

SciFri’s scientist-film critics weigh in on the Alan Turing biopic.

Making Space a More Democratic Place

Thursday, December 18 2014 07:00 PM

What if anyone could 3-D-print a satellite in space? Or jet from the Earth to the Moon, using just the hydrogen found in a two-liter bottle of water?

Evidence Mounts for Liquid Water on Mars

Thursday, December 11 2014 07:00 PM

NASA reveals new evidence for a large lake that could have existed for millions of years on Mars.

Alan Alda Challenges Scientists to Answer: What Is Sleep?

Thursday, December 11 2014 07:00 PM

Alan Alda’s “Flame Challenge” asks scientists to answer the big questions that keep them up at night to 11-year-olds around the world.

Food Failures: Cookie Science Secrets

Thursday, December 11 2014 07:00 PM

In this episode, Cooking for Geeks author Jeff Potter gives home bakers tips on how to achieve cookie perfection using different sugars, fats, and flours.

DIY Holiday Gift Hacks

Thursday, December 11 2014 07:00 PM

Avoid the long lines and hack your holiday gifts, from homemade perfume to 3-D printed ornaments.

The Best Science Books of 2014

Thursday, December 11 2014 07:00 PM

Science writers Deborah Blum and Annalee Newitz join Ira to share their favorite science books of 2014.

Climate Deal or Not, Fight Against Global Warming Has Begun

Thursday, December 04 2014 07:00 PM

Last year, for example, new solar plants outpaced coal installations in the U.S., and carbon-trading schemes across state and national borders have already begun.

How Long Does a President’s Legacy Last?

Thursday, December 04 2014 07:00 PM

In 1991, 53 percent of students tested could recall Lyndon Johnson as the 36th president; that number dropped to 20 percent by 2009, according to a new study released in Science.

Paola Antonelli: ‘Design Is More Than Cute Chairs’

Thursday, December 04 2014 07:00 PM

For MoMA curator Paola Antonelli, “design” includes computer interfaces, video games, and maker kits.

You Are ‘When’ You Eat

Thursday, December 04 2014 07:00 PM

In mice, eating within an 8-12 hour window helped to prevent and even reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Test Launch Marks New Phase for NASA

Thursday, December 04 2014 07:00 PM

NASA is in early stage test flights for Orion, its updated crew capsule, but the spaceflight landscape is changing.

What’s Killing West Coast Starfish?

Thursday, December 04 2014 07:00 PM

Scientists have linked an unprecedented starfish die-off along the West Coast to a virus.

Near City Streets, an Insect Cleaning Crew

Thursday, December 04 2014 07:00 PM

Ants and other insects could be able to remove thousands of pounds of food waste from street medians and city parks each year.

Ig Nobel Prizes Salute Science’s Strange and Silly

Thursday, November 27 2014 07:00 PM

In a Science Friday holiday tradition, we’re playing highlights from this year’s 24th First Annual Ig Nobel awards ceremony.

Does Your Genome Belong to Your Family, Too?

Thursday, November 27 2014 07:00 PM

Should doctors share information about your risky genes with your family, since they, too, might harbor that suspect DNA sequence?

An Art Movement Where Art and Science Collide

Thursday, November 27 2014 07:00 PM

In the new art movement “art-sci,” artists take inspiration from science, use scientific techniques in their artwork, and inspire new science.

Would You Trust a Robot to Schedule Your Life?

Thursday, November 20 2014 07:00 PM

Given access to your Google calendar, a personal assistant named Amy will happily schedule all your appointments. The catch? She's a machine—a digital personal assistant.

Food Failures: The Science of Sides

Thursday, November 20 2014 07:00 PM

Find out how to avoid Turkey Day trip-ups in the latest episode of our “Food Failures” series.

‘Hot’ for Turkey

Thursday, November 20 2014 07:00 PM

Female wild turkeys parse the courtship performances of males to determine their genetic potential.

Ghosts of Early Language May Linger in the Brain

Thursday, November 20 2014 07:00 PM

Chinese adoptees living in Canada, who now speak only French, still process Chinese sounds as native speakers do, even if they have no conscious recall of word meaning.

Into the Wormhole: The Science of 'Interstellar'

Thursday, November 20 2014 07:00 PM

It’s a sci-fi epic set among black holes, wormholes, and tesseracts. But director Christopher Nolan and physicist Kip Thorne say Interstellar doesn’t break the laws of physics.

Meet The Brain Scoop’s Emily Graslie

Thursday, November 20 2014 07:00 PM

YouTube science star Emily Graslie takes viewers behind the scenes of natural history museums with “The Brain Scoop.”

The First Touchdown on a Comet

Thursday, November 13 2014 07:00 PM

The European Space Agency’s Philae lander is the first probe to touch down on a comet.

Lacking Funding, Some Scientists Turn to the Crowd

Thursday, November 13 2014 07:00 PM

Scientists frustrated by a lack of research dollars are turning to crowdfunding.

Horns, Claws, and Teeth: The Animal Weapons Arms Race

Thursday, November 13 2014 07:00 PM

Doug Emlen, author of “Animal Weapons,” unpacks the evolutionary arms race that pushes horns, claws, teeth and other animal defenses to the extreme.

Here Kitty, Kitty: The Genetics of Tame Animals

Thursday, November 13 2014 07:00 PM

Researchers discuss the possible genetic underpinnings that make certain cats and rats tame.

Mining Wikipedia Data to Track Disease

Thursday, November 13 2014 07:00 PM

By analyzing access to specific health-related pages on Wikipedia, researchers may be able to identify—or even forecast—potential disease outbreaks.

‘New Environmentalism’ Moves Beyond Pollution and Climate Change

Thursday, November 13 2014 07:00 PM

Gus Speth, a longtime Washington insider, says it’s time to consider consumerism, economic instability, and a functional democracy as core environmental issues.

U.S. High-Speed Internet Lags Behind on Price, Cost

Thursday, November 06 2014 07:00 PM

For less than $40 a month, residents of Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bucharest, and Paris can enjoy lightning-fast Internet download and upload speeds of 1,000 Mbps.

Apple Science, From American Beauty to Zestar

Thursday, November 06 2014 07:00 PM

Between new crosses and old heritage varieties, there’s a world of apples beyond the Red Delicious.

Piecing Together the Puzzle of Insect Evolution

Thursday, November 06 2014 07:00 PM

One hundred researchers studied 144 insect species to fill in the blanks of insects’ evolutionary history.

Opening Up the Synthetic Biology Toolkit

Thursday, November 06 2014 07:00 PM

Synthetic biologist Christopher Voigt and biotechnologist Stephen Streatfield discuss current trends in synthetic biology.

Spilling Our Guts: Decreased Diversity in the Human Microbiome

Thursday, November 06 2014 07:00 PM

How can hospital stays and the evolution from apes to humans change the diversity of our microbiome?

George Washington Carver: Renaissance Man

Thursday, November 06 2014 07:00 PM

Carver was a painter, singer, and piano teacher, taught farmers the virtues of crop rotation, and developed hundreds of recipes for peanuts, sweet potatoes, soybeans and pecans.

Ebola Vaccines Fast-Tracked As Outbreak Slows

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

Jon Cohen, a staff writer covering the outbreak for Science magazine, says that despite the vaccines’ success in monkeys, their efficacy in humans is far from guaranteed.

Could This 3-D Printer Print Itself?

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

This week, HP announced its new 3-D printer, which it claims can print materials strong enough to lift up a car—and do it 10 times faster than anything on the market today.

Scientists Sniff Smelly Comet

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

The Rosetta spacecraft has detected the scent of a comet...and it stinks.

Countering Memory Loss With Cocoa Compounds

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

Researchers try to counteract age-related memory decline with cocoa flavanols.

Creature Double Feature

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

Witness two tales that will make your skin crawl and your mind reel with fear and curiosity.

Doctors ‘Unwrap’ a 3,000-Year-Old Mummy

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

Radiologists use CT scans to piece together the life, and death, of Egyptian mummies.

A Haunted House Turned Scientists’ Lab

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

Scientists turn Pittsburgh’s ScareHouse into a real-world lab to discover why some brains thrive on fear.

Behind the Monster Music: Why Some Tunes Scare Us

Thursday, October 30 2014 07:00 PM

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and Sound Opinions co-host Jim DeRogatis discuss the neuroscience of spooky songs.

Nerve Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man to Move Legs Again

Thursday, October 23 2014 07:00 PM

The pioneering treatment uses cells from the nasal cavity and strips of nerve from the ankle to repair a spinal injury.

Meet ‘The Innovators’ Who Made the Digital Revolution

Thursday, October 23 2014 07:00 PM

Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators shows how the digital revolution was a team effort.