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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

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Send Messages to Your Brain?

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

Researchers discuss how the microbiome might play a role in anxiety, depression, and autism.

Microbes Thrive in Antarctic Lake Buried Beneath Ice

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

Microbes have made a home in a lake trapped beneath an 800-meter-thick ice sheet in Antarctica.

The SciFri Book Club Talks ‘Dune’

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

The SciFri Book Club concludes its discussion of Frank Herbert’s ecological epic, Dune.

Oceans Act As the World's Thermostat

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

Global temperatures hit a plateau at the turn of the 21st century. Now researchers say they've discovered where that missing heat was hiding: in the oceans.

Making ‘Masstransiscope’

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

A filmmaker uses science to transform the New York City subway into a movie theater.

Neanderthals and Modern Humans Mingled for Millennia

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

New, more accurate radiocarbon dating suggests the two cultures co-existed in Europe for nearly 5,000 years.

‘Evolutionary Misfit’ Finds Its Way Into the Family Tree

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

Scientists piece together how a 14-legged Cambrian worm is related to modern animals.

Tar Noir

Thursday, August 21 2014 06:00 PM

Using paleoforensics, researchers recount the grim details of life and death at the the La Brea Tar Pits.

Close-Up With a Comet

Thursday, August 14 2014 06:00 PM

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is the first probe to orbit a comet.

Is Healthy Soil the Low-Tech Solution to Climate Change?

Thursday, August 14 2014 06:00 PM

In her book The Soil Will Save Us, writer Kristin Ohlson concludes that the low-cost, low-tech solution to climate change may be directly underfoot—in healthy soil.

Decoding Secret Communication Between Plants

Thursday, August 14 2014 06:00 PM

A new study in Science says that certain parasitic plants spy on their hosts through RNA exchanges.

App Chat: Being Social Without Leaving a Trace

Thursday, August 14 2014 06:00 PM

A growing number of apps allow users to post ephemeral or anonymous messages—and they're catching on quickly with millennials.

Food Failures: Concocting Condiments

Thursday, August 14 2014 06:00 PM

Culinary scientist Ali Bouzari dips into the chemistry behind condiments, from hot sauce to mustard.

Sylvia Earle’s ‘Mission Blue’

Thursday, August 14 2014 06:00 PM

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle bears witness to troubling changes in our oceans in the documentary Mission Blue.

Bridging the Rift: Oculus' Answer to Virtual Reality

Thursday, August 14 2014 06:00 PM

Technological and design innovations inside the Oculus Rift make virtual reality poised for a mass-market debut.

Listening In on Elephant ‘Mating Pandemonium’

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

In a “mating pandemonium” event, a group of elephants roar after a pair of elephants mate.

Behind the Scenes at the City Morgue

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

Forensic pathologist Judy Melinek’s memoir Working Stiff goes behind the scenes at the New York City morgue.

Giving Viruses a License to Kill...Cancer

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

Scientists transform common viruses like measles and herpes into potential cancer treatments.

Can an Experimental Therapy Be Used to Treat Ebola?

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

A look at the experimental therapy used to treat two Americans who were infected with Ebola.

"Lucy" Debunked

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

A neurobiologist reveals sci-fi thriller Lucy’s neuroscience bloopers.

Close Your Eyes and Listen to the Night Sky

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

If the bright “supermoon” drowns out the Perseid meteor shower this year, why not listen for meteors instead?

Can Science Build a Better Piano?

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

Scientists have created a 3D acoustical scan of the piano's resonance—and say it could help refine the art of piano-making.

Algorithm Turns Everyday Objects Into Microphones

Thursday, August 07 2014 06:00 PM

Sound waves trigger tiny vibrations in objects. By studying the vibrations, researchers can recreate the sounds that caused them.

Ebola Outbreak Continues in West Africa

Thursday, July 31 2014 06:00 PM

Ebola specialist Daniel Bausch provides an on-the-ground view of treating the disease in West Africa.

How Ultramarathons Affect the Heart, Blood, and Brain

Thursday, July 31 2014 06:00 PM

Exercise scientists Tamara Hew-Butler and Greg Whyte talk about how the body changes after dozens of hours in motion.

Can Animals Go Mad?

Thursday, July 31 2014 06:00 PM

From depressed dogs to anxious gorillas, author Laurel Braitman explores mental illness in animals.

Tapping Into Musical Memory

Thursday, July 31 2014 06:00 PM

A new documentary, Alive Inside, exposes the connections between music and memory.

Can’t Stop Worrying? Blame It on Your Habenula

Thursday, July 31 2014 06:00 PM

The habenula is a pea-sized part of the brain that tracks our expectations of negative events.

Will Big Data Answer Big Questions on Health?

Thursday, July 31 2014 06:00 PM

Google's latest big idea is called "Baseline Study"—an effort to catalog the DNA of thousands of healthy people, along with their blood, urine, saliva, breath, and tears.

Mosquito-Borne Viruses Raise Public Health Concern

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

This summer, two different and currently untreatable mosquito-borne viruses were identified on the East Coast.

A Newly Discovered Virus That Lives in Our Gut

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

Researchers discovered a virus that lives in the gut of half of the world’s population.

What’s the Real Cost of Your Steak?

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

Cattle require 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than eggs or poultry.

The SciFri Book Club Introduces Dune

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

Sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson and astrobiologist Sara Imari Walker introduce the SciFri Book Club’s summer selection: Dune.

New Online Tracking Tool Evades Privacy Settings

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

A new online tracker is snooping on visitors to over 5,600 popular sites—and it's nearly impossible to block.

HIV/AIDS Update

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

A round-up of the latest HIV/AIDS research news and an update from the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

‘Moth-ers’ Celebrate Less-Loved Lepidopterans

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

Elena Tartaglia, a co-founder of National Moth Week, gives tips on spotting butterflies' neglected cousins.

Oarfish: The Ultimate Fish Tale

Thursday, July 24 2014 06:00 PM

Little is known about the monstrously long oarfish, its life cycle, and how it navigates its deep sea environment.

Scientists Call Whales the ‘Engineers’ of the Ocean Ecosystem

Thursday, July 17 2014 06:00 PM

Whales stabilize the ocean ecosystem through a mechanism scientists call the “whale pump,” or fecal plumes.

Pacemaker Researchers Swap Batteries for Biology

Thursday, July 17 2014 06:00 PM

With gene therapy, scientists reprogram pig heart cells to improve heartbeat.

Frozen in Time, a Giant Virus

Thursday, July 17 2014 06:00 PM

A virus large enough to be seen through a light microscope was recovered from the Siberian permafrost.

App Chat: Plugging In to the Outdoors

Thursday, July 17 2014 06:00 PM

Reporter Bob Parks guides us through his favorite outdoor and camping apps.

As California Dries Up, Locals Hope for El Niño

Thursday, July 17 2014 06:00 PM

A third of California is now clenched by exceptional drought, and this week the state announced $500 fines for water-wasters. But many residents continue to hope for rain.

Fashioning the Future

Thursday, July 17 2014 06:00 PM

A scientist and a designer imagine fashion’s high-tech future.

Smarty Pants: Testing the Quality of Textiles

Thursday, July 17 2014 06:00 PM

Confidence in how well our garments suit us shouldn't be taken for granted—we owe much to textile quality assurance.

The ABCs of 3D

Thursday, July 10 2014 06:00 PM

Makerbot’s Bre Pettis explains what you need to know to try your own 3D printing.

Keeping an Eye on Wayward Studies

Thursday, July 10 2014 06:00 PM

Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog, discusses what happens when scientific studies go bad.

Concerns Rise Over Pesticide Use, Birds, and Bees

Thursday, July 10 2014 06:00 PM

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned in the E.U. but are still approved for use in the U.S. while the EPA reviews them.

Could Inducing Hypothermia Help Revive Trauma Patients?

Thursday, July 10 2014 06:00 PM

In a procedure called “Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation,” doctors would replace the blood of patients with cold saline to help buy valuable operating time.

What’s So Bad About Being Alone With Your Thoughts?

Thursday, July 10 2014 06:00 PM

A study finds that many people would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts.

The Surprisingly Predictable Patterns of Random Choice

Thursday, July 10 2014 06:00 PM

In his new book, Rock Breaks Scissors, author William Poundstone decodes the patterns in big data, sports, and human behaviors.