Twitter: @WIREDScience (followed by 161 science writers)
2022 to present
Average episode: 8 minutes
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Podcaster's summary: Narrators read our favorite written stories. You can listen to them anywhere, including on your smart speaker. Play for audio versions of WIRED's latest Science stories on genetic engineering, robotics, space, climate change, and more.
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|2023-Mar-23 • 8 minutes|
The Quest for Injectable Brain Implants Has Begun
The hard electrodes inserted into the brain to treat Parkinson’s and paralysis damage the organ’s soft tissue. A new invention could change that.
|2023-Mar-22 • 8 minutes|
The Climate Report That Foretells Humanity’s Future
The IPCC’s synopsis of the state of climate science warns that we’re running out of time to avoid ever-worsening disaster.
|2023-Mar-21 • 7 minutes|
Your Tap Water Is Filthy, but That Could Finally Change
The US is proposing bold action to clean thousands of “forever chemicals” out of drinking water. It’s long overdue.
|2023-Mar-20 • 8 minutes|
How a Beam of Pellets Could Blast a Probe Into Deep Space
Researchers seek to develop advanced propulsion systems that can transform long-distance space exploration.
|2023-Mar-17 • 5 minutes|
How to Create Your Optimal Bedtime Routine
We asked experts how to craft a more intentional, peace-filled ritual to support a better night’s sleep.
|2023-Mar-16 • 5 minutes|
How to Lucid Dream (Even if You Think You Can’t)
Want to take control inside your dreams? Turns out it’s a skill you can practice.
|2023-Mar-15 • 8 minutes|
The Electron Is Having a (Magnetic) Moment. It’s a Big Deal
A new experiment pulled off the most precise measurement of an electron’s self-generated magnetic field—and the universe’s subatomic model is at stake.
|2023-Mar-14 • 6 minutes|
The World’s First 3D-Printed Rocket Is About to Launch
Relativity Space’s attempt to reach orbit heralds the increasing use of 3D printing in the space sector.
|2023-Mar-13 • 10 minutes|
No One Knows if You Need Another Covid Booster
It’s cellular immunity, not antibodies, that probably protects against the coronavirus’s worst effects—and scientists haven’t worked out how long it lasts.
|2023-Mar-10 • 9 minutes|
It’s Time for a Flu Vaccine—for Birds
Avian influenza has killed millions of birds. Shots to prevent it already exist. Why isn’t the entire poultry industry using them?
|2023-Mar-09 • 9 minutes|
Tiny, Explosive ‘Jetlets’ Might Be Fueling the Solar Wind
Scientists investigated a weird feature in Parker Solar Probe data—and may have discovered what drives the plasma that pervades the solar system.
|2023-Mar-08 • 8 minutes|
The Food System Is Awful for the Climate. It Doesn’t Have to Be
New modeling estimates that food production could add a degree Celsius to global warming. But it also points to powerful ways to make diets more sustainable.
|2023-Mar-07 • 7 minutes|
As Kenya’s Crops Fail, a Fight Over GMOs Rages
Faced with extreme drought, Kenya’s president approved a controversial new crop for farmers. Then the legal backlash began.
|2023-Mar-06 • 10 minutes|
How Old Are You, Really? New Tests Want to Tell You
About a dozen such consumer tests are now on the market, but the science of reading DNA for insights about longevity is still young.
|2023-Mar-03 • 11 minutes|
The Disruptors Who Want to Make Death Greener
Startups rush to gain a foothold in a burgeoning industry as New York and California move to legalize human composting.
|2023-Mar-02 • 8 minutes|
Cute Animals Are Overrated. Let’s Save the Weird Ones
One million species are at risk of extinction, but a handful of charismatic creatures get all the hype. A new conservation strategy has a different focus.
|2023-Mar-01 • 8 minutes|
You Can Turn Your Backyard Into a Biodiversity Hotspot
New research shows that if done right, urban farms and gardens can support all kinds of species—for the good of people and the environment.
|2023-Feb-28 • 9 minutes|
No One Knows If Decades-Old Nukes Would Actually Work
Atomic weapons are complex, sensitive, and often pretty old. With testing banned, countries have to rely on good simulations to trust their weapons work.
|2023-Feb-27 • 7 minutes|
On-Demand Rocket Launches Are Coming
In a factory on the outskirts of Glasgow, aerospace manufacturer Skyrora is building rockets for a space-bound taxi service for satellites.
|2023-Feb-24 • 10 minutes|
A Stroke Paralyzed Her Arm. This Implant Let Her Use It Again
Electrical stimulation applied to the spinal cord temporarily restored arm and hand movement in two patients.
|2023-Feb-23 • 9 minutes|
Rovers Are So Yesterday. It’s Time to Send a Snakebot to Space
The student winners of a NASA competition designed a serpentine bot that could sidewind across lunar regolith or roll down hills.
|2023-Feb-22 • 8 minutes|
Why Bother Bringing Back the Dodo?
Audacious plans to resurrect the long-extinct bird could be lucrative. But the moonshot raises thorny philosophical questions.
|2023-Feb-21 • 9 minutes|
A Bold Plan to Beam Solar Energy Down From Space
The European Space Agency is exploring a unique way to dramatically cut carbon emissions by tapping sunlight closer to the source.
|2023-Feb-20 • 6 minutes|
MDMA and Psilocybin Are Approved as Medicines for the First Time
Many are celebrating Australia’s decision to pave the way for these psychedelic therapies, but questions around accessibility remain.
|2023-Feb-17 • 9 minutes|
The Secret to Making Concrete That Lasts 1,000 Years
Scientists have uncovered the Roman recipe for self-repairing cement—which could massively reduce the carbon footprint of the material today.
|2023-Feb-16 • 11 minutes|
Did the Seeds of Life Ride to Earth Inside an Asteroid?
Biological amino acids could have celestial or terrestrial roots. An experiment simulated their formation in deep space—but the mystery isn’t solved yet.
|2023-Feb-15 • 10 minutes|
How Sensor-Dangling Helicopters Can Help Beat the Water Crisis
A simultaneous solution to California’s extreme drought and flooding is to bank more water underground. Send in the choppers (and a few ATVs).
|2023-Feb-14 • 9 minutes|
A Looming El Niño Could Dry the Amazon
When a warm band of water develops in the Pacific, drought grips the rainforest. The Amazon, devastated by deforestation and fires, is especially vulnerable.
|2023-Feb-13 • 6 minutes|
Scientists Grew Mini Human Guts Inside Mice
These tiny organoids with working immune systems mimic the function of the GI tract and could be used to study intestinal diseases and drugs to treat them.
|2023-Feb-10 • 9 minutes|
At Last, the Milky Way Gets a Better Close Up
The largest catalog ever collected by a single telescope maps Earth’s 3 billion stellar neighbors—and helps track the dust that warps how we see them.
|2023-Feb-09 • 10 minutes|
The World’s Farms Are Hooked on Phosphorus. It’s a Problem
Half of the globe’s crop productivity comes from a key fertilizer ingredient that’s non-renewable—and literally washing away.
|2023-Feb-08 • 9 minutes|
Why Not Cover Ugly Parking Lots With Solar Panels?
In France, a plan to cover swaths of asphalt with photovoltaics will bring renewable energy even closer to urban areas where it’s needed.
|2023-Feb-07 • 8 minutes|
Hey EV Owners: It’d Take a Fraction of You to Prop Up the Grid
If you agree to provide some of your car’s battery power in times of high energy demand, you’ll get paid, and help make the grid more stable.
|2023-Feb-06 • 10 minutes|
It’s Not Sci-Fi—NASA Is Funding These Mind-Blowing Projects
The space agency gave money to researchers working on liquid telescope mirrors, a lunar oxygen pipeline, and Martian building blocks made of fungi.
|2023-Feb-03 • 9 minutes|
Medieval monks were, in many ways, the original LinkedIn power users
Focusing wasn’t much easier in the time before electricity or on-demand TV. In fact, you probably have a lot in common with these super-distracted monks.
|2023-Feb-02 • 11 minutes|
Scientific Fraud Is Slippery to Catch—but Easier to Combat
Fakery spans “beautified” data, photoshopped images, and “paper mills.” Experts and institutions are employing tools to spot deceptive research and mitigate its reach.
|2023-Feb-01 • 4 minutes|
Lasers Are Mapping Scotland’s Mysterious Iron Age Passages
Digitized archaeology is making souterrains—subterranean passages in the Highlands—accessible in a way Indiana Jones could only dream of.
|2023-Jan-31 • 9 minutes|
The Tonga Eruption Is Still Revealing New Volcanic Dangers
One year later, researchers are still marveling at the power of the Hunga Tonga explosion—and wondering how to monitor hundreds of other undersea volcanoes.
|2023-Jan-30 • 8 minutes|
This Seriously Hipster Bean Is Coffee’s Best Hope for Survival
Climate change is straining the world’s two favorite coffee species. Could a resilient 19th-century alternative solve the brew’s existential crisis?
|2023-Jan-27 • 8 minutes|
The Key to California's Survival Is Hidden Underground
The state is ping-ponging between severe drought and catastrophic flooding. The solution to both? Making the landscape spongier.
|2023-Jan-26 • 8 minutes|
Why the Search for Life in Space Starts With Ancient Earth
Need to estimate, from trillions of miles away, how likely another world is to host life? There’s a flowchart for that.
|2023-Jan-25 • 10 minutes|
The US Just Greenlit High-Tech Alternatives to Animal Testing
Lab animals have long borne the brunt of drug safety trials. A new law allows drugmakers to use miniature tissue models or "organs on chips" instead.
|2023-Jan-24 • 9 minutes|
What This Fearsome Weapon Reveals About Early Americans
The hottest West Coast tech 16,000 years ago was a “projectile point” for hunting game. Though tiny, the artifact tells an outsize tale.
|2023-Jan-23 • 11 minutes|
Meet the Earth’s Lawyers
ClientEarth helps shape new laws and enforce old ones to protect the planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants.
|2023-Jan-20 • 11 minutes|
Climate Enforcers Need Hard Evidence. Friederike Otto Has It
World Weather Attribution ties disasters and extreme conditions to climate change—providing crucial leverage for legal and policy battles.
|2023-Jan-19 • 8 minutes|
Why Do You Get Sick in the Winter? Blame Your Nose
A new study shows that as temperatures drop, nasal cells release fewer of the tiny protectors that bind and neutralize invading germs.
|2023-Jan-18 • 8 minutes|
Drug Shortages Aren’t New. The Tripledemic Just Made You Look
Flu meds and prescription drugs have been in short supply all winter—but the problem goes back over a decade.
|2023-Jan-17 • 8 minutes|
In the Next Pandemic, Let’s Pay People to Get Vaccinated
Data from Sweden and the US suggests cash incentives increase uptake without denting people’s trust in vaccines or future willingness to get them.
|2023-Jan-16 • 8 minutes|
2022 Wasn't the Hottest on Record. That's Nothing to Celebrate
Last year was one of the warmest measured, say NASA and NOAA. It would have been even more sweltering if not for La Niña, which will soon fade away.
|2023-Jan-13 • 13 minutes|
Let’s Go to Mars. Let’s Not Live There
Space agencies and companies aim to send people to the Red Planet. But settling there would be hell on—well, you know what we mean.
|2023-Jan-12 • 7 minutes|
You Don’t Need to Fear a World of 8 Billion Humans
Some environmentalists warn the planet can’t handle so many people, but we may need to rethink our approach to rising populations.
|2023-Jan-11 • 10 minutes|
Here’s What’s Next for Pig Organ Transplants
2022 was a breakthrough year for xenotransplantation, a procedure that could be a lifeline for patients in desperate need of a donor.
|2023-Jan-10 • 7 minutes|
Eating Too Much Salt Could Cause Stress Levels to Rise
Holiday feasts tend to be salt-heavy—but early animal experiments are finding that overindulging in the condiment could take an emotional toll.
|2023-Jan-09 • 9 minutes|
A More Elegant Form of Gene Editing Progresses to Human Testing
Instead of cutting out chunks of the genome to disable malfunctioning genes, base editing makes a smaller, more precise swap.
|2023-Jan-06 • 10 minutes|
The Bittersweet Defeat of Mpox
The epidemic has largely subsided, but largely because queer men seem to have learned more from AIDS and Covid-19 than the authorities did.
|2023-Jan-05 • 7 minutes|
Vertical Farming Has Found Its Fatal Flaw
Europe’s energy crisis is forcing companies to switch strategies or close down. The industry’s future hangs in the balance.
|2023-Jan-04 • 8 minutes|
Russia Has Turned Eastern Ukraine Into a Giant Minefield
Vast swathes of the country have been vindictively laced with explosives, threatening the civilian population both physically and mentally.
|2023-Jan-02 • 10 minutes|
The Mystery of Nevada’s Ancient Reptilian Boneyard
Whale-sized shonisaurs dominated the ocean 230 million years ago. A fossil cluster offers a fascinating glimpse at how they lived—based on where they died.
|2022-Dec-30 • 9 minutes|
Bio-Based Plastics Aim to Capture Carbon. But at What Cost?
Growing crops to make plastic could theoretically reduce reliance on fossil fuels and even pull carbon out of the atmosphere, but at an enormous environmental cost.
|2022-Dec-29 • 13 minutes|
How Far Can You Fly a Battery-Powered Jumbo Jet?
The answer explains why electric cars are everywhere, but electric aircraft are still a novelty.
|2022-Dec-28 • 11 minutes|
How the UN’s ‘Sex Agency’ Uses Tech to Save Mothers’ Lives
Big Data, drones, diagnostics—the United Nations and other groups hope to innovate the world out of a maternal and reproductive health crisis.
|2022-Dec-23 • 8 minutes|
The Grim Origins of an Ominous Methane Surge
During the coronavirus lockdowns, emissions of the potent greenhouse gas somehow soared. The culprit wasn't humans—but the Earth itself.
|2022-Dec-22 • 8 minutes|
Antihelium Offers Hope in the Search for Dark Matter
An experiment at the Large Hadron Collider suggests there’s a chance of catching this elusive evidence as it floats through our galactic neighborhood.
|2022-Dec-21 • 9 minutes|
A Smart Way to Get Ahead of the Next Flu Surge
Internet-connected thermometers can quickly show how influenza is spreading—so measures to control the disease can be targeted more effectively.
|2022-Dec-20 • 8 minutes|
The Real Fusion Energy Breakthrough Is Still Decades Away
US nuclear scientists have achieved the long-sought goal of a fusion ignition—but don't expect this clean technology to power the grid yet.
|2022-Dec-19 • 6 minutes|
How Do You Prove There’s Ice on the Moon? With a Lunar Flashlight
A briefcase-sized satellite will ping lasers at the lunar South Pole to locate ice and map it for future human explorers.
|2022-Dec-16 • 7 minutes|
The Orion Moon Capsule Is Back. What Happens Next?
The craft survived a 26-day voyage and a scorching descent. Now it’s time for NASA engineers to learn what went wrong—and what went right.
|2022-Dec-15 • 9 minutes|
‘Solar Twins’ Reveal the Consistency of the Universe
Physicists study starlight to find whether the fine structure constant, whose value makes our universe possible, really is the same everywhere.
|2022-Dec-14 • 9 minutes|
The Next Great Overdose-Reversing Drug Might Already Exist
Fentanyl-related substances have a bad reputation, but they could also save lives. In the US, a legislative battle to expedite research is heating up.
|2022-Dec-13 • 10 minutes|
The Extraordinary Shelf Life of the Deep Sea Sandwiches
How did a lunch last underwater for 10 months? The answer relates to how carbon moves in the deep sea, and has implications for fighting climate change.
|2022-Dec-12 • 7 minutes|
This Low-Cost Test for Hearing Loss Lives on a Smartphone
Audiology screening can be inaccessible for kids in low-resource areas. By utilizing off-the-shelf products, these scientists are trying to change that.
|2022-Dec-09 • 5 minutes|
Electronic Second Skins Are the Wearables of the Future
Flexible e-skins could be used to measure wearers’ blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen levels in real time, assisting with diagnoses and health care.
|2022-Dec-08 • 10 minutes|
The Era of One-Shot, Multimillion-Dollar Genetic Cures Is Here
Gene therapies promise long-term relief from intractable diseases—if insurers agree to pony up.
|2022-Dec-07 • 5 minutes|
A Proactive Way to Detect Cancer at Its Earliest Stages
Medtech firm Earli is working on a way to make tumors announce themselves as they appear—and even provide directions to where they are in the body.
|2022-Dec-05 • 5 minutes|
Pop-Up Farming Pods to Help Colonizers Grow Crops on Mars
Interstellar Lab’s inflatable BioPod is designed to help plants survive inhospitable conditions on Earth and allow explorers to settle on the Red Planet.
|2022-Dec-05 • 8 minutes|
Pliocene-Like Monsoons Are Returning to the American Southwest
As carbon concentrations rise, conditions are becoming more like they were 3 million years ago, when the area was wetter and the rain was heavier.
|2022-Dec-02 • 9 minutes|
'Gold Hydrogen’ Is an Untapped Resource in Depleted Oil Wells
The fuel can be produced by adding bacteria to spent drill holes—meaning there are thousands of potential hydrogen sources worldwide.
|2022-Dec-01 • 9 minutes|
For Alzheimer’s Scientists, the Amyloid Debate Has No Easy Answers
For years, potential therapies that attack this brain protein have failed to help patients in clinical trials. Now—surprisingly—a new drug shows promise.
|2022-Nov-30 • 3 minutes|
Vertical Farming Needs to Grow More Than Salad
Indoor agriculture promises to massively reduce the water and land needed to support crops. But at the moment, it only works for a tiny percentage of foods.
|2022-Nov-29 • 9 minutes|
How to Use a Laser to Kick an Electron out of a Molecule
By firing pulses quintillionths of a second long, physicists study the fleeting motion of an electron leaving two bonded atoms.
|2022-Nov-28 • 9 minutes|
Turns Out Fighting Mosquitoes With Mosquitoes Actually Works
New evidence indicates that an effort to stamp out disease-carrying insects is working. The key? Mosquitoes genetically engineered to kill off their own kind.
|2022-Nov-24 • 6 minutes|
Tiny Aerosols Pose a Big Predicament in a Warming World
Fossil fuels are rapidly heating the planet, but their aerosols also help cool it. Just how much, though, is a major uncertainty in climate science.
|2022-Nov-23 • 5 minutes|
NASA Will Not Change the James Webb Telescope's Name
The moniker, which honors a former agency administrator accused of enforcing anti-LGBTQ policies, has long been controversial.
|2022-Nov-22 • 7 minutes|
Your Phone Can Determine If a Bridge Is Busted
Any smartphone in any car can pick up a span’s unique vibrations. Tracking how that changes over time reveals hidden structural problems.
|2022-Nov-21 • 9 minutes|
Europe’s Cities Are Getting More Crowded—That’s a Good Thing
The sprawling mass of suburbia has been a disaster for the environment. But now smaller, denser cities herald a renaissance in city living.
|2022-Nov-18 • 11 minutes|
No, Qatar’s World Cup Can’t Be Classed as Carbon-Neutral
Despite efforts to reduce emissions, the 2022 FIFA tournament is highly carbon-intensive. And its road to net-zero relies on questionable carbon credits.
|2022-Nov-16 • 10 minutes|
Countries Hit Hardest by Climate Change May Finally Get Their Due
After 30 years of talk about forcing wealthy polluters to compensate those bearing the brunt of climate damage, the COP27 conference seems poised to act.
|2022-Nov-16 • 9 minutes|
Brace Yourself for a Triple Wave of Seasonal Viruses
Many people haven’t been exposed to common respiratory viruses following the pandemic, meaning they might be more vulnerable to getting ill this year.
|2022-Nov-15 • 8 minutes|
This Gulp of Engineered Bacteria Is Meant to Treat Disease
A small study of people with a rare disorder that prevents them from processing protein is an early attempt at creating “living” medicines.
|2022-Nov-14 • 6 minutes|
This Personalized Crispr Therapy Is Designed to Attack Tumors
In a small study, researchers modified patients’ immune cells to target their particular cancer—but it only worked for a third of volunteers.