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Science Friday : About

Airs Friday at 2pm on 93.9 FM

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

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.

Ben Franklin: Sonic Explorer

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

Ben Franklin’s sonic experiments included inventing a new musical instrument and testing the limits of the human voice.

Do Your Patriotic Duty: Learn Math

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

Mathematician Edward Frenkel says a well-educated public is essential to democracy—and that includes being knowledgeable about math.

Meet the Mohawk Behind NASA’s Curiosity Mission

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

NASA’s “Mohawk Man,” Bobak Ferdowsi, talks public and private space exploration, plans for Europa, and whether or not we’ll be putting a human on Mars.

Celebrating Nature’s Summer Light Show, Fireflies

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

The flashing of lightning bugs is a favorite part of a lazy summer evening, but there’s a lot of hidden nighttime drama.

How New Rules and Smart Tech Are Reinventing the Grid

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

After Superstorm Sandy, there was a lot of talk of a more distributed smart grid—a more resilient system. But how far have we come?

A Web of Doubt

Thursday, July 03 2014 06:00 PM

Author Charles Seife spots the falsehoods and fakes that make their way onto the information super highway.

Shedding Light on the Science of Sunscreen

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

How does sunscreen protect our skin from harmful radiation, and what is the meaning behind SPFs?

Food Failures: Avoiding Grilling and Barbecue Pitfalls

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

Marinade myths, charcoal chemistry, and the elusive “smoke ring”—the science behind barbecue and grilling.

Getting a Grasp on the Clever Cephalopod

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

The nautilus, the “living fossil” of cephalopods, can uncover the origins of the complex brain of modern cephalopods.

3-D Mammography Detects More Cancers, But Will It Save Lives?

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

A new study suggests that 3-D mammography detects more cancers than traditional digital mammography. But the technology is expensive, and there's no indication yet that it catches more dangerous cancers, or is saving more lives.

Making Art From the DNA You Leave Behind

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to genetic surveillance with artworks made from strangers’ DNA.

Dr. Arnold Relman, Health System Critic, Dead at 91

Thursday, June 26 2014 06:00 PM

Relman called the American health care system a "new medical-industrial complex." We remember him here with two archival clips.

Reinventing How City Dwellers Get Around

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

Portland, Oregon, is a hotbed for transit innovation. Will other cities catch on?

What Happens After the Robot Apocalypse?

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

In Robogenesis, sci-fi author Daniel H. Wilson imagines the world post-robot uprising.

Untangling the Web of Spider Science

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

Arachnologist Greta Binford traces the evolution of spiders by examining their venom.

At Reed College, Nuclear Education That’s Really 'Hands-On'

Thursday, June 19 2014 06:00 PM

At Reed College, undergraduates keep a nuclear reactor running.

Beer Science: Crafting the Perfect Pint

Monday, June 16 2014 06:00 PM

Two of Oregon’s craft brew experts pore over hops, yeast, malt, and the microbiology of beer.

Rep. Rush Holt: Science and Congress

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

Representative Rush Holt talks about how “thinking like a scientist” can help the political process.

Your Summer Science Book List

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

Lee Billings and Maria Popova compile your perfect summer science book list.

The Science of the ‘Brazuca’

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

How will the “Brazuca” fly? Scientists put the World Cup soccer ball through its paces.

Pre-Surgery Routine Needs an Update, Says Doc

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

Robert Cima of the Mayo Clinic says science doesn't back up pre-surgical practices like fasting and colon cleanses.

Is NASA Ready to Make the Leap to a Manned Mission to Mars?

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

What technologies, budget, and partners would NASA needed for a successful manned mission to Mars?

‘Do Fathers Matter?’ Explores Dad's Influence

Thursday, June 12 2014 06:00 PM

In his new book, Paul Raeburn writes of the surprising biological and genetic connections fathers have with their children.

The EPA's New Proposal to Curb Carbon Emissions

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

The EPA's proposal sets a 30 percent decrease in power plant carbon emissions by 2030.

It's a Material World

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

In his book Stuff Matters, Mark Miodownik explains why the everyday materials around us are truly extraordinary.

The Goat Brigade

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

A herd of “elite” brush-clearing goats demonstrate why they are a versatile tool to shield against wildfires in Southern California.

Documenting the Oldest Living Things in the World

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

In her new book of photography, The Oldest Living Things in the World, artist Rachel Sussman documents the oldest continuously living organisms on the planet.

Making Summer Travel Plans With Climate Change in Mind

Thursday, June 05 2014 06:00 PM

With projections of warmer temperatures and rising sea levels, which tourist destinations should you plan to visit sooner rather than later?

How Touch Helps Us Emotionally Experience the World

Thursday, May 29 2014 06:00 PM

Researchers describe a type of nerve that helps us understand social interactions and emotion.