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Podcast Profile: A Moment of Science

podcast imageTwitter: @momentofscience
1073 episodes
2013 to present
Average episode: 2 minutes
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Categories: Broadcast Radio Programs • Story-Style

Podcaster's summary: A Moment of Science is a daily audio podcast, public radio program and video series providing the scientific story behind some of life's most perplexing mysteries.

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:46 UTC. Episodes: 1073. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Apr-12 • 2 minutes
Virtual reality and yawning
There’s a big gap between how we act in virtual reality and how we act in real life, as scientists who did an experiment focused on yawning found out.
2024-Apr-11 • 2 minutes
Not all antioxidants are the same
We've heard a lot about how antioxidants can help prevent disease. Does that mean we should eat as many antioxidant-rich foods as possible?
2024-Apr-10 • 2 minutes
Moths use acoustic camouflage
Most moth species are active at night. It must be really dangerous to be a moth. Luckily, they've developed a few ways to protect themselves.
2024-Apr-09 • 2 minutes
Why do humans like coffee?
Scientists think that animals evolved the ability to detect bitter tastes in order to avoid things that are harmful or even poisonous. So why do we like coffee?
2024-Apr-08 • 2 minutes
What makes swatting a fly so hard?
Where most of us are concerned, the question is not whether we would hurt a fly but whether we could.
2024-Apr-05 • 2 minutes
The mysteries of Oumuamua
In October, 2017 astronomers at Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii discovered something strange. It was an object, moving through the solar system too fast to have been captured by the sun’s gravitational pull.
2024-Apr-04 • 2 minutes
Red cone, green cone
Did you know that compared to creatures such as dogs and cats, humans can distinguish millions more shades of color?
2024-Apr-03 • 2 minutes
Tsunamis in the oceans of Mars
There's evidence that the northern lowlands of Mars are the basin of a huge ocean that existed more than 3 billion years ago, and covered about a third of the planet's surface.
2024-Apr-02 • 2 minutes
Fighting back against root rot
Root rot is a condition of indoor and outdoor plants. Root rot may be caused by poorly drained or overwatered soil, or soil-borne pathogens and nematodes.
2024-Apr-01 • 2 minutes
In the atmosphere, microbes are walking on air
Microbes are everywhere, from the deepest ocean to the highest mountaintop. They're also in the air all around, riding the breeze up, up, up into sky.
2024-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
The ant with moves like a cheetah
But a cheetah isn’t the fastest animal in the world, even though a lot of people think it is. The animal that can move the fastest is actually a lot smaller: the Dracula ant.
2024-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
Background noise and sleep quality
Background white noise can help some peoples’ sleep quality by minimizing the length of time it takes them to get to sleep. So, what exactly is white noise?
2024-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
Different rates of sea level rise
Mid-Atlantic states such as North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland have been hit particularly hard by rising sea levels
2024-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
Ant doctors
Do other species have healthcare?
2024-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
How your attitude affects your body
Our attitudes might affect us more than our genes do.
2024-Mar-22 • 2 minutes
Can animals tell time?
Does your pet give you the evil eye when they get fed a few minutes late? Its like they know...but do they?
2024-Mar-21 • 2 minutes
Could The Gulf Stream collapse?
The Gulf Stream is a current of warm water in the North Atlantic Ocean that travels up the Eastern coast of North America. Media reports have raised concerns that it may collapse as the climate warms due to human activities like burning fossil fuels.
2024-Mar-20 • 2 minutes
Ice age plant survived the big chill
Like a science fiction time traveler, an arctic plant of the late Pleistocene age, over 31,000 years old, was resurrected after a long frozen sleep.
2024-Mar-19 • 2 minutes
Every time you eat a fig, remember a fig wasp lost its wings
Figs have their thousands of individual flowers folded up inside them, so they can't rely on bees or wind to pollinate them with a male fig's pollen. That's where the fig wasp comes in.
2024-Mar-18 • 2 minutes
Study links air pollution and a decline in cognitive function
Has your brain been feeling foggy lately? Or maybe, smoggy? If you live somewhere affected by air pollution, there might be a connection.
2024-Mar-15 • 2 minutes
The jellyfish that never grows old
Scientists once thought that aging and death were the inevitable fate of all complex living things. But then, by accident, they discovered they were wrong.
2024-Mar-14 • 2 minutes
The great cilantro debate
On today's Moment of Science, we'll be sniffing our way through a controversial culinary conundrum: the great cilantro debate.
2024-Mar-13 • 2 minutes
Elephant grandmothers means more elephant calves
Grandmother elephants are important for the survival of baby calves.
2024-Mar-12 • 2 minutes
Looks delicious! The connection between appearance and taste
English is full of phrases that connect appearance to taste. However, scientists have been discovering that the connection between the two runs deeper than simple metaphors.
2024-Mar-11 • 2 minutes
Escaping alive from a frog's stomach
Sometimes, when a frog eats a large insect, you can see it squirming in the frog’s belly, desperate to escape. Lack of air, acids, and digestive enzymes seal its inevitable doom.
2024-Mar-08 • 2 minutes
Copy your neighbors, but only when they're successful
Scientists looked at the nestbox choices of pied flycatchers after the birds observed the "success" of nesting great tits.
2024-Mar-07 • 2 minutes
Why are operating rooms so cold?
Is there a reason operating rooms are always so cold and drafty?
2024-Mar-06 • 2 minutes
Starfish are all heads, no tails
Colorful or plain, skinny or chubby, big or small, the nearly 2,000 species have it all.
2024-Mar-05 • 2 minutes
Skeptics think about vaccines differently
Vaccine skeptics might see vaccines the way they do because they tend to overestimate the likelihood of rare negative events.
2024-Mar-04 • 2 minutes
Walked or swam? An index can answer
How do scientists figure out even basic facts such as whether an animal walked on land or swam in the sea?
2024-Mar-01 • 2 minutes
Play and the brain
Researchers classify an animal behavior as play when it doesn’t involve an external reward, such as food, seems to serve no purpose, occurs repeatedly, and happens when the animal is relaxed and not facing threats.
2024-Feb-29 • 2 minutes
What we can learn from ancient climate records
Scientists find clues to how the earth's climate is changing by looking to the past.
2024-Feb-28 • 2 minutes
Tetrataenite as a solution to the rare earth crisis
Demand for rare earth elements is soaring, and it will continue to grow in the future.
2024-Feb-27 • 2 minutes
The effects of bismuth in Pepto Bismol
When the bismuth combines with the trace amounts of sulfur in your saliva and in your gastrointestinal tract, it reacts to form a black substance called bismuth sulfide.
2024-Feb-26 • 2 minutes
King Tut's dagger from space
King Tutankhamen of Egypt has fascinated people ever since archeologist Howard Carter discovered his splendid tomb in 1922.
2024-Feb-23 • 2 minutes
Where does bitterness come from? Ask the sharks
Bitterness, like sweetness or saltiness, is one of the major taste sensations. And while it makes our food flavorful, detecting bitterness can sometimes be a warning that we’re eating something toxic.
2024-Feb-22 • 2 minutes
Remembering the past, as a baby
What's your earliest memory?
2024-Feb-21 • 2 minutes
Why are sunrises faster than sunsets?
It takes much less time for the sun to light up the sky at dawn than it does for all the light to disappear after the sun sets at dusk.
2024-Feb-20 • 2 minutes
The temperature of ice on a hot day
If you drink a glass of ice water on a hot day, what temperature is the ice?
2024-Feb-19 • 2 minutes
Do brains differ with biology?
There are some biological differences between the sexes, but do they extend to the brain?
2024-Feb-16 • 2 minutes
Mauveine: The first synthetic dye
Where does color come from?
2024-Feb-15 • 2 minutes
Can plants hear?
In 2019 a team of Israeli scientists published evidence that the evening primrose plant can detect the specific sound vibration frequencies of the buzz of an insect’s wings.
2024-Feb-14 • 2 minutes
Patient HM: Henry Molaison and the neuroscience of memory
Every student who has ever taken a course in neuroscience or psychology has heard of Patient HM.
2024-Feb-13 • 2 minutes
Monkeys can be petty, too
We share a lot of genetic material in common with our chimpanzee relatives, and maybe some personal characteristics too.
2024-Feb-12 • 2 minutes
Snowshoes and physics
One frosty morning you awake to a blanket of fresh snow. Adventure awaits! Do you go skiing? Skating? Building snowmen? Or you could do some physics!
2024-Feb-09 • 2 minutes
Dogs can recognize their own species
French scientists tested dogs to see if they could recognize the faces of other dogs on a computer screen.
2024-Feb-08 • 2 minutes
Being able to stomach bugs
While not an ordinary part of the cuisine of the United States, insects are a common food source for millions of people around the world. It might be time Americans reconsidered their lack of bug-based eating.
2024-Feb-07 • 2 minutes
Are eyes evolving?
In evolutionary theory, an inherited trait is favored by natural selection when it helps an individual to produce more offspring than its competitors.
2024-Feb-06 • 2 minutes
The proteins in dinosaur feathers
Modern birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. Specifically, paleontologists have shown that birds evolved from a group of two legged dinosaurs called theropods.
2024-Feb-05 • 2 minutes
UFO attack or meteor fragments?
June 1969. Not one airliner but two, plus the pilot of an Air National Guard fighter plane, report being harassed by a team of UFOs.
2024-Feb-02 • 2 minutes
Beans get their flavor from yeast
Coffee and cacao beans are fermented. Similar to wine, the flavor of the beans is determined by the type of yeasts and microorganisms present.
2024-Feb-01 • 2 minutes
Solving a new problem with an old remedy
From DIY oven cleaner to removing odor from rugs, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has long been known as an essential home cleaning agent.
2024-Jan-31 • 2 minutes
Think like a penguin: Finding your niche
A "niche" is an organism's special "slot" in an ecosystem that allows it to co-exist with other species.
2024-Jan-30 • 2 minutes
Going for a spin and getting dizzy
When someone moves, fluid sloshes inside the ears’ semicircular canals. The fluid tugs at tiny strands of hair.
2024-Jan-29 • 2 minutes
The risk astronauts take with the Sun
The Apollo astronauts were at risk of something many people don't know about. The Sun.
2024-Jan-26 • 2 minutes
Are you a tick magnet?
We all know someone who goes for a walk in the woods, and comes back with many ticks crawling on them.
2024-Jan-25 • 2 minutes
What are contrails?
Why do airplanes sometimes leave contrails behind, and what are they exactly?
2024-Jan-24 • 2 minutes
How does carbon dioxide impact our ability to think?
At high levels, carbon dioxide can affect the brain to cause impaired thinking.
2024-Jan-23 • 2 minutes
Dinosaurs may have had malaria
Scientists discovered a type of malaria in a twenty-million-year-old mosquito fossil from the Dominican Republic preserved in amber.
2024-Jan-22 • 2 minutes
Murphy's breakfast never goes to plan
If you're eating toast, and you accidentally bump it to the floor, it seems more likely to land buttered side down.
2024-Jan-19 • 2 minutes
Bacteria feel full, too
We've been hearing a lot about the importance of gut bacteria. Now it seems that bacteria also have a say in how and when we eat.
2024-Jan-18 • 2 minutes
How the motor cortex treats words
The instant you decide to move your foot, the part of your brain's motor cortex responsible for sending commands to the foot goes into action. So what does this mean?
2024-Jan-17 • 2 minutes
What a steel!
Have you ever prepared a meal that required lots of garlic and found that after all of that chopping your hands reek of garlic for the rest of the night?
2024-Jan-16 • 2 minutes
Cafeteria plate dispensers reveal facts about atoms
You take a plate off the top of one stack. The other plates in the stack rise from below just far enough to present the next plate at the same height as the one you just took!
2024-Jan-15 • 2 minutes
Is it ok to swallow watermelon seeds?
A few seeds from fruits such as watermelons or apples passing through your digestive tract won't hurt you. But they won't help you much either.
2024-Jan-12 • 2 minutes
What exactly was Little Miss Muffet eating?
Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey. But what even is that?
2024-Jan-11 • 2 minutes
Vampire bats are good at sharing
It may surprise you to learn that vampire bats are one of the most well-known examples of sharing in the animal kingdom.
2024-Jan-10 • 2 minutes
Testing your reaction time
How fast are your reflexes? Test them out with a falling dollar.
2024-Jan-09 • 2 minutes
Why don't elephants get cancer?
Since elephants are so big, they have way more cells than most animals. Which means more opportunities for elephant cells to go crazy and become cancerous. So why don't they get cancer?
2024-Jan-08 • 2 minutes
What events actually make us happy?
Major events often make people happy, but does this last very long?
2024-Jan-05 • 2 minutes
Desert ants navigate with the magnetic field
When ants first leave their nest to begin their jobs as foragers, they first have to make sure they can find their way home.
2024-Jan-04 • 2 minutes
Life thrives in the seabed of hydrothermal vents
From stories of giant monsters to little green Martians, we humans can imagine some pretty strange creatures. Life, however, offers plenty of surprises here on Earth.
2024-Jan-03 • 2 minutes
Moths are evolving to avoid city lights
Moths are a lot less attracted to artificial light than they used to be. Learn more about what that means with today's A Moment of Science!
2024-Jan-02 • 2 minutes
Recognizing different relatives
Other animals besides humans learn to recognize their relatives
2024-Jan-01 • 2 minutes
Jellyfish thrive in cold water, too
Jellyfish, delicate and soft as they may be, thrive even in places you might not go swimming—including the Arctic.
2023-Dec-29 • 2 minutes
Mona Lisa's smile: now you see it, now you don't
Any list of the world's top ten most famous paintings will surely include da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." Part of the painting's appeal is its mystery.
2023-Dec-28 • 2 minutes
Rethinking dopamine
Scientists are now considering the role that dopamine plays in our bodies’ response to other stimuli, such as surprising, new, or negative events.
2023-Dec-27 • 2 minutes
The sensitivity of dog noses
Did you know that dog’s noses can be tens of thousands of times more sensitive than ours?
2023-Dec-26 • 2 minutes
The curious case of microbial invasion
‘Biological invasion’ is a phenomenon that occurs when a foreign organism establishes within a community of organisms that it otherwise wouldn’t be associated with.
2023-Dec-25 • 2 minutes
What's the difference between hair and fur?
Hair and fur are practically identical. How can that be?
2023-Dec-22 • 2 minutes
Bees have figured out some sweet, sweet math
When you think of beehive, your first thought may be of honey oozing out of the iconic hexagonal cells. Remarkable as the honey may be, though, the cells themselves are just as interesting.
2023-Dec-21 • 2 minutes
Making a new mouth for every meal
Microscopic hydras will trap and paralyze their prey. The next step usually is to stuff their mouths, only hydras usually don't have mouths.
2023-Dec-20 • 2 minutes
DNA and RNA in a genetic museum
When it comes to researching extinct animals the focus has almost entirely been on DNA because it tends to stand the test of time better, but RNA is the real secret to understanding how animal’s cells functioned.
2023-Dec-19 • 2 minutes
How cockroaches get away
The all-too-familiar American cockroach almost seems to know where you're going to strike. What's the tip-off that sends the cockroach running?
2023-Dec-18 • 2 minutes
Seeing color out of the corner of your eye
If you look at a green door at the edge of your field of vision, it's still green. Simple right? Not quite.
2023-Dec-15 • 2 minutes
Tardigrades are even stranger than they appear
Tardigrades look strange, but they're made up of even stranger stuff.
2023-Dec-14 • 2 minutes
The mermaid, the witch, and climate change?
Some academics have turned to creative sources to translate what existing research tells us about climate problems and policy responses: fairy tale characters.
2023-Dec-13 • 2 minutes
MRI, CT, and PET scans, oh my!
What sets MRI, CT, and PET scans apart?
2023-Dec-12 • 2 minutes
You are what you eat, even for extinct Caribbean rodents
In 2018, scientists from Johns Hopkins and the University of Cincinnati attempted the first study of extinct Hispaniolan rodents using isotopes. What can isotopes tell us about extinct animals?
2023-Dec-11 • 2 minutes
Firefly flashes are mating signals
Male fireflies cruise the evening air, flashing their lanterns in a pattern characteristic of their species, looking for females of their own kind.
2023-Dec-08 • 2 minutes
The ocean is changing color
About 56% of the ocean’s surface has changed in color. An expanse larger than Earth’s entire land surface has become slightly greener.
2023-Dec-07 • 2 minutes
What makes fluorescent colors so bright?
Have you ever wondered why fluorescent colors -- like you see in highlighters or clothing dyes, for instance - seem so much brighter than other colors?
2023-Dec-06 • 2 minutes
The importance of the magnetic field for life on Earth
What did the Earth need to become habitable?
2023-Dec-05 • 2 minutes
Why are dogs such messy drinkers?
Dogs aren't quite as graceful as we humans when it comes to taking a drink. But you might give your pooch more credit if you knew that her lapping method is the most effective one.
2023-Dec-04 • 2 minutes
Wallabies in England?
Imagine yourself walking through the English countryside. You might expect to come across some squirrels, moles, foxes, and badgers. However, you may find an unexpected animal friend crossing you path: a red-necked wallaby!
2023-Dec-01 • 2 minutes
Rats stay closer together in colder temperatures
Have you ever watched a bunch of rats hanging out together? You might notice something interesting.
2023-Nov-30 • 2 minutes
Air pressure and drinking straws
When you sit down to a glass of iced tea with a straw in it, you might say that you are sucking the tea up through the straw. But is this accurate?
2023-Nov-29 • 2 minutes
Today's sturgeon is a blast from the past
If you want a piece of living history, where would you look? You could visit California’s giant redwoods, or simply watch the birds, those descendants of dinosaurs. But consider, instead, the humble sturgeon.
2023-Nov-28 • 2 minutes
Your skin's thermometer
What temperature is comfortable for your skin? The answer might be different from air temperature.
2023-Nov-27 • 2 minutes
Don't count out moths when it comes to pollination
When you think of pollination, you probably think of bees buzzing around on a bright summer day.
2023-Nov-24 • 2 minutes
Why would you drive a cockroach?
Scientists found a way to drive a cockroach the way you might drive a car. What does that mean?
2023-Nov-23 • 2 minutes
How do insects drink?
Insects need water just like the rest of us, so how do they drink?
2023-Nov-22 • 2 minutes
Healing damage from a heart attack
Some medical researchers are looking for new ways to prevent heart attack damage from happening.
2023-Nov-21 • 2 minutes
Does money bring happiness?
According to that famous Beatles song, no: "Money Can't Buy Me Love." But, of course, the Beatles also had a hit with their cover of the Motown song "Money, That's What I Want."
2023-Nov-20 • 2 minutes
The yeast that was lost and found
Ask any brewer and they will tell you that yeast is the secret to making beer.
2023-Nov-17 • 2 minutes
Does trampling the lawn really harm the grass?
Hurting a blade of grass isn't the end of its life. But how does it affect the soil?
2023-Nov-16 • 2 minutes
Stink bugs aren't all bad
Many species of stink bugs are also pests, but some are beneficial.
2023-Nov-15 • 2 minutes
Don't tie yourself in (muscle) knots
You might be sitting in your car. Or slouching at your desk. Or hunched over your phone. Take a minute to think: are you comfortable?
2023-Nov-14 • 2 minutes
Gone fishing, virtually
A lot of the time phishing is used by people who want to steal your personal information and bank account numbers.
2023-Nov-13 • 2 minutes
Stressed out quails and their eggs
There's been a long debate between nature and nurture. Scientists have found evidence of a quail's environment impacting egg development.
2023-Nov-10 • 2 minutes
Social isolation and inflammation
There’s research showing that social isolation is associated with increase inflammation in the body.
2023-Nov-09 • 2 minutes
There's plastic dust all over our national parks
Our national parks are being coated in dust: plastic dust.
2023-Nov-08 • 2 minutes
Wishing on a meteor shower's shooting stars
If you see a shooting star, make a wish. If you see scores of shooting stars, make a note: you’re witnessing a meteor shower.
2023-Nov-07 • 2 minutes
How do apples get their shine?
All fruits and vegetables produce a natural, dull waxy coating that acts a barrier to the outside world.
2023-Nov-06 • 2 minutes
Why do we get so enraged?
Sometimes, something small can really set our anger off. Why does this happen?
2023-Nov-03 • 2 minutes
Chewers, crunchers, smooshers, and suckers. How do you eat?
While we all have different tastes when it comes to food, the process of chewing seems to be something we share.
2023-Nov-02 • 2 minutes
How do aardvarks eat?
Aardvarks are mighty predators in the insect world. How do they do it?
2023-Nov-01 • 2 minutes
Were myths of unicorns based in reality?
Unicorns are a legend, but there is growing evidence that the legend may have been inspired by a real animal.
2023-Oct-31 • 2 minutes
Our closest relatives can plan ahead, too
Bonobos, our closest great ape relative, and orangutans, our most distant great ape relative, also appear to be capable of planning ahead.
2023-Oct-30 • 2 minutes
Do you hear what I hear?
Are there other ways plants respond to their environments that we just can’t perceive?
2023-Oct-27 • 2 minutes
How much water is in that glass?
How does the shape of a glass affect how much you drink? A scientist set out to examine just this, and the results are rather astounding.
2023-Oct-26 • 2 minutes
Changing a koala's stomach microbiome
Koalas are more than just picky eaters. A Moment of Science looks into what makes their stomachs so sensitive
2023-Oct-25 • 2 minutes
Keep your magnets away from that meteorite
Are you looking for a new hobby? Do you love the thrill of discovery? Are you the kind of person who enjoys the great outdoors? Then meteorite hunting might be for you.
2023-Oct-24 • 2 minutes
It's easy being green for the palo verde
Not just any old plant has what it takes to survive desert heat.
2023-Oct-23 • 2 minutes
The orchid with a distinctive body odor
There are orchids that smell like rotting meat and orchids that smell like fish to attract pollinators. This one smells like us.
2023-Oct-20 • 2 minutes
We carry around our own bacterial clouds
Just like Pigpen and his cloud of dust, we have a cloud of bacteria that follows us everywhere
2023-Oct-19 • 2 minutes
How do camels avoid getting thirsty?
A camel can travel hundreds of miles, over several days, without stopping to drink. On today's Moment of Science, we'll learn how camels survive the dry desert.
2023-Oct-18 • 2 minutes
What do alcoholism and having a sweet tooth have in common?
Compared to craving other things, such as alcohol for example, having a yearning for sweets seems relatively harmless.
2023-Oct-17 • 2 minutes
Warming up with a nice cup of nectar
A warm drink on a cold day is a great combo, and humans aren't the only species to discover this.
2023-Oct-16 • 2 minutes
The hidden world inside lava caves
Do you live near a dormant volcano? You might have a weird wonderland right beneath your feet.
2023-Oct-13 • 2 minutes
These caves were formed by lava
Kazumura is a lava cave over forty miles long, the largest in the world!
2023-Oct-12 • 2 minutes
The sort-of giant cavefish of India
Deep in some underground pools lives a shadowy creature. Its existence has remained hidden away—until now.
2023-Oct-11 • 2 minutes
What causes heavy rain?
Some days rain falls in a light, calm sweep across the earth. On other days rain falls in a torrential downpour, flooding the ground below. So, what causes this difference?
2023-Oct-10 • 2 minutes
Swear words increase pain tolerance, but only "traditional" ones
If we stub our toes or get other sudden injuries, sometimes a swear pops out. Could they be helpful?
2023-Oct-10 • 2 minutes
The chemical that keeps swarming locusts from eating each other
Locusts gather into huge, ravenously hungry migratory swarms.
2023-Oct-06 • 2 minutes
Shakespearean words on the brain
Hearing or reading language used in this shifted way causes a sudden jump in brain activity.
2023-Oct-05 • 2 minutes
The spa of the sea
Cleaner wrasse have made it their jobs to clean their fish friends.
2023-Oct-04 • 2 minutes
The epidemiological consequences of climate change on mosquito niche range
Where and how we interact with mosquitos has become complicated by climate change.
2023-Oct-03 • 2 minutes
A new layer of Earth's core
Researchers study earthquakes to learn more about our planet's interior, and new information came to light in 2023.
2023-Oct-02 • 2 minutes
The importance of rediscovery and the nose-horned lizard
A researcher found a nose-horned lizard in 2018, which hadn't been seen for 130 years!
2023-Sep-29 • 2 minutes
Fungi and plants have a complicated relationship status
Some fungi are useful to plants, some can kill. But it turns out their relationship gets more complex than this.
2023-Sep-28 • 2 minutes
Our voices match our gestures
Even if we can't see someone while they're talking, our brains still pick up their gestures.
2023-Sep-27 • 2 minutes
The coywolf hybrid takes over the East coast
Eastern wolves and coyotes have been interbreeding more frequently over the past several hundred years
2023-Sep-26 • 2 minutes
Do animals use math?
Animals sometimes understand numbers without school or even language.
2023-Sep-25 • 2 minutes
Variety is the texture of life
Researchers looked into the role texture plays in how full we feel after eating.
2023-Sep-22 • 2 minutes
How grasshoppers are able to hang around upside-down
How do insects handle being upside-down for so long?
2023-Sep-21 • 2 minutes
Having a eureka moment can cloud our judgement
A eureka moment is an experience where a solution or idea suddenly appears in your mind and immediately feels true.
2023-Sep-20 • 2 minutes
Rats use special hairs to sense the wind
A cat’s facial whiskers are one example of a type of long stiff hair found in clusters on the bodies of most mammals.
2023-Sep-19 • 2 minutes
Bark used as ancient gum
Our ancestors may have made their own version of gum from birch bark.
2023-Sep-18 • 2 minutes
Do carnivores care that we're here?
While you’re out in nature, do you ever wonder if your presence changes the way animals interact with each other?
2023-Sep-15 • 2 minutes
Corals' microbiomes are busy during dormancy
For many organisms, winter is a time to rest. But just because it's dormant doesn't mean the northern star coral isn't working.
2023-Sep-14 • 2 minutes
When psychology meets accounting
What role does psychology play when it comes to how you use your money?
2023-Sep-13 • 2 minutes
Gigantopithecus: Who were the relatives of Earth's largest ape?
Who exactly was the Gigantopithecus?
2023-Sep-12 • 2 minutes
How did dust cause an ancient ice age?
Space dust possibly caused an ice age 466 million years ago. How?
2023-Sep-11 • 2 minutes
Sowing the seeds of future conservation
Seeds are important for many things, from everything bagels to starting a garden, but can they be the key to preserving habitats for monarch butterflies?
2023-Sep-08 • 2 minutes
Bacteria on, in, and under your skin
Did you know that researchers have discovered that there are at least 250 kinds of bacteria that live on our skin?
2023-Sep-07 • 2 minutes
Are we able to taste more?
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter. Are there more flavors out there for us to discover?
2023-Sep-06 • 2 minutes
Bungostegos: The lizard that walked upright on all fours
Learn about Bunostegos akokanensis, an animal that existed before the time of the dinosaurs.
2023-Sep-05 • 2 minutes
Pterosaurs: Earth's biggest fliers ever
Just three groups of animals with backbones have evolved the ability to fly: birds, bats, and pterosaurs.
2023-Sep-04 • 2 minutes
The honeybee's royal jelly
How do honeybees determine their line of succession?
2023-Sep-01 • 2 minutes
How mangrove forests provide flood protection
Mangrove forests add a great visual to the coastline, but they provide great benefits too.
2023-Aug-31 • 2 minutes
Saber-toothed tigers were big. Really big
Saber-toothed tigers were one of the largest cats to ever exist. How big was that really?
2023-Aug-30 • 2 minutes
Stormy solar weather in our forecast
Could the Earth face solar storms in our future? What does that look like?
2023-Aug-29 • 2 minutes
43,000 underwater volcanoes, and counting
A decade ago, we knew of almost 25,000. One study has discovered an additional 19,000. And we know there are even more out there.
2023-Aug-28 • 2 minutes
Are flying fish really flying?
A simple question for today's A Moment of Science: do flying fish really fly?
2023-Aug-25 • 2 minutes
The invisible world of ancient manuscripts
If you look at ancient manuscripts, you may notice that beneath the text, there is often a faint outline of other words that have been erased and written over.
2023-Aug-24 • 2 minutes
Spider webs go way back
Some webs look tangled, while others look like delicate, perfect wheels. The latter are called orb webs.
2023-Aug-23 • 2 minutes
Self-sharpening sea urchin teeth
Researchers discovered sea urchins keep their teeth sharp all on their own.
2023-Aug-22 • 2 minutes
It's a miracle! The abilities of the agbayun berry
What if there was a food that could trick the brain into thinking that something sour, like a lemon or lime, was actually sweet?
2023-Aug-21 • 2 minutes
Some hairstyles can lead to traction alopecia
There are some common hairstyles that can lead to traction alopecia, or hair loss.
2023-Aug-18 • 2 minutes
Not-so-total recall: Your brain and the Mandela Effect
Does the Monopoly Man wear a monocle? Is the evil queen’s incantation, “Mirror, mirror on the wall?” Does Curious George have a tail?
2023-Aug-17 • 2 minutes
Why soap and hard water don't mix
Without soap, clothes, dishes, and even your body don't get very clean. But even soap falls short of doing the job in areas with hard water.
2023-Aug-16 • 2 minutes
Cuttlefish seeing in three dimensions
Find out how scientists learned cuttlefish see in three dimensions with today's A Moment of Science
2023-Aug-15 • 2 minutes
Why you should thank NASA for rainy-day road safety
Why you should thank NASA for rainy-day road safety on this Moment of Science.
2023-Aug-14 • 2 minutes
Brain activity related to consciousness in dying people
Scientists noted interesting findings in the brain activity of patients undergoing cardiac arrest.
2023-Aug-11 • 2 minutes
Cloudy vs clear apple juice: Which do you prefer?
Most people prefer clear apple juice, but cloudy has its own appeal as well.
2023-Aug-10 • 2 minutes
How far south can you see the Aurora Borealis?
How far south do the Northern Lights go?
2023-Aug-09 • 2 minutes
Using laziness as a survival strategy
The Damaraland mole-rats save up their energy for a rainy day.
2023-Aug-08 • 2 minutes
Walk the walk with pedometers
How do pedometers work? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2023-Aug-07 • 2 minutes
Beluga whales: They're just like us!
Who you interact with in a regular day might not be so different from a beluga whale's social life.
2023-Aug-04 • 2 minutes
Make your request in person, not over email
What's the psychological difference between getting a request in person versus over a message?
2023-Aug-03 • 2 minutes
Best in mold: Japan's national fungus
Aspergillus oryzae, or “koji,” received its important status because it lies at the heart of Japanese cuisine.
2023-Aug-02 • 2 minutes
The death-defying ginkgo
Ginkgo trees are very eye-catching during the fall, but they're special for another reason as well.
2023-Aug-01 • 2 minutes
These strange bunnies eat strange fruit
The unique Amami rabbit has an even more unique favorite snack: Balanophora yuwanensis.
2023-Jul-31 • 2 minutes
The black hole at our galaxy's center
Learn more about the Milky Way's center, the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A-star.
2023-Jul-28 • 2 minutes
Feeling the waves even on shore
Sometimes, after taking a long trip in a vehicle—like a plane or boat—you might feel unsteady on stable ground.
2023-Jul-27 • 2 minutes
The lost underwater "city" off Zakynthos
Near the Greek island of Zakynthos is an underwater rock formation, once thought to be remnants of a forgotten civilization.
2023-Jul-26 • 2 minutes
Why do wind turbines have three blades?
If you've ever driven by a wind farm, you may have noticed that the turbines most likely have three blades. Not two, not five, but three.
2023-Jul-25 • 2 minutes
What a view! Researching the "wow" factor
Scientists have long known that seeing landscapes with blue skies and fair weather can brighten our mood. But what about fleeting features like rainbows that are here one moment and gone the next?
2023-Jul-24 • 2 minutes
The one-time beauty of monocarpic plants
Monocarpic plants flower only once, but they make the most of it. What makes them so spectacular?
2023-Jul-21 • 2 minutes
Why don't animals naturally have three legs?
Animals sometimes need amputations, but are able to adapt pretty quickly to the lost limb. Why don't animals naturally evolve to have three legs?
2023-Jul-20 • 2 minutes
Sediment ripples from a lake on ancient Mars
Planetary scientists now have a mountain of evidence, accumulated over decades of exploration, that three to four billion years ago, Mars had accumulations of liquid water on its surface.
2023-Jul-19 • 2 minutes
Sipping raindrops from snake scales
How do snakes stay hydrated in the desert? A Moment of Science looks to the western diamondback rattlesnake for the answer.
2023-Jul-18 • 2 minutes
Older macaques with smaller social circles
Do you find yourself prioritizing close friends and family over a wide circle of friends as you grow older?
2023-Jul-17 • 2 minutes
The physics behind a knuckleball
Today's A Moment of Science cracks the code behind a knuckleball.
2023-Jul-14 • 2 minutes
Can't go to the Moon? Try Arizona instead
Find out how NASA prepared astronauts for the 1969 moon landing while staying here on Earth.
2023-Jul-13 • 2 minutes
The dark-furred Amami rabbit
Today’s A Moment of Science brings you something you’ve never seen before: the black Amami rabbit.
2023-Jul-12 • 2 minutes
Zap! How electric eels create their shocks
Electric eels can release over 800 volts of electricity! How are these powerful shocks made?
2023-Jul-11 • 2 minutes
Cooking with magnets
“If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” But what if there were a way to make kitchens less hot?
2023-Jul-10 • 2 minutes
How does smoking a pipe impact your health?
Put this in your pipe and smoke it, with today's A Moment of Science.
2023-Jul-07 • 2 minutes
Why does crying make your nose run?
When you burst out crying, you expect the bleary red eyes and the rivers of tears that stream down your cheeks. But on top of all that, your nose starts to run like a faucet. Why does this happen?
2023-Jul-06 • 2 minutes
Feedback loops and global climate change
Climate scientists need models to help study the impacts of climate change. Feedback loops play an essential role in these models.
2023-Jul-05 • 2 minutes
Audiobooks vs. books in the brain
How do books and audiobooks differ in your brain?
2023-Jul-04 • 2 minutes
The lives of solitary bees
Unlike social bees like the bumblebee, solitary bees don't have queens or worker bees, and they don't reside together in colonies.
2023-Jul-03 • 2 minutes
Why it's harder for toddlers to learn from a screen
There have been many advancements in online education in recent years, but our youngest students will still face some difficulties.
2023-Jun-30 • 2 minutes
Why we must recycle the rare earth metals
Rare earths are vital to green technologies, like wind turbines and electric cars, that will allow us to quit burning fossil fuels and solve the crisis of global climate change. They are vital for promising new technologies like quantum computers.
2023-Jun-29 • 2 minutes
Do opossums actually hang by their tails?
Have you ever seen a cartoon of a sleeping opossum hanging upside down by its tail? Well, you may be surprised to learn that 'possums don't actually sleep that way.
2023-Jun-28 • 2 minutes
What makes thick skin thick?
Having a thick skin is good if you don't want teasing to affect you. But what does it mean for our bodies?
2023-Jun-27 • 2 minutes
The perfect blast: The explosion of a kilonova
In 2017, astronomers observed one of the most important and mysterious cosmic events: an explosion known as a kilonova.
2023-Jun-26 • 2 minutes
How stripes can save animals
Animals with stripes really stand out when you look at them. How could this pattern possible help them hide from predators?
2023-Jun-23 • 2 minutes
Does stress actually cause grey hair?
There have always been anecdotes about stress causing hair to turn grey, but is there any scientific evidence to back these claims?
2023-Jun-22 • 2 minutes
Biological clocks of all kinds
We have our circadian rhythm, but how does time impact other animals?
2023-Jun-21 • 2 minutes
Global climate change and the Greenland ice sheet
The huge ice sheet covering Greenland is pivotal to the threat of rising sea levels, but it presents some difficulties for scientists.
2023-Jun-20 • 2 minutes
Less salt, same flavor?
From potato chips to even our butter, salt is in a lot that we consume these days. But heavily salting our food isn't new behavior.
2023-Jun-19 • 2 minutes
The hummingbird bill is a multitool
There are many uses for a hummingbird's bill besides just feeding.
2023-Jun-16 • 2 minutes
Some like it hot, some like it even hotter
If you ever travel to the Sichuan province in China, you may hear the word "mala" to describe much of the food.
2023-Jun-15 • 2 minutes
Why your eyes get puffy when you cry
Our tears are different when we cry for emotional reasons. What's the difference?
2023-Jun-14 • 2 minutes
Spilling the tea on hard water
Making tea with hard water makes a noticeable difference, according to research.
2023-Jun-13 • 2 minutes
What makes superglue so super
How is superglue so sticky?
2023-Jun-12 • 2 minutes
Should you sweat out a cold?
There's the popular advice to "sweat out a cold," but does it actually have any benefit?
2023-Jun-09 • 2 minutes
Since the dawn of humanity, fathers have always been older
Researchers found that, over this vast span of time, humans were, on average, about twenty six years old when they conceived children. But they also found a difference between the sexes.
2023-Jun-08 • 2 minutes
Sea turtle moms plant decoy nests
Sea turtles try to keep their nests as safe as possible, even leaving behind a decoy.
2023-Jun-07 • 2 minutes
Can tooth fillings pick up radio signals?
In an interview with Dick Cavett, Lucille Ball made a spooky claim: while driving down a bumpy road, she began to hear music—not from her radio, from inside her mouth!
2023-Jun-06 • 2 minutes
Wait to use mouthwash after you exercise
Why would it matter when you use mouthwash?
2023-Jun-05 • 2 minutes
What's the difference between white and dark meat?
White or dark, what do you prefer?
2023-Jun-02 • 2 minutes
What is a virus?
The common cold, the flu, measles. What is a virus, anyway?
2023-Jun-01 • 2 minutes
Knowing where the wind blows
How do wind farm developers know exactly where to put the turbines?
2023-May-31 • 2 minutes
Your dog, to the rescue
TV shows and movies always show a pet rescuing their human friends. Is this really likely?
2023-May-30 • 2 minutes
How distinctive is your walk?
Could you recognize someone just by the way they walk?
2023-May-29 • 2 minutes
An ancient animal that grew up fast
Children grow up fast, and that's true for more animals than just humans.
2023-May-26 • 2 minutes
Insects are a good source of antioxidants
It might not be common in the US right now, but eating insects have several benefits and could become more popular in the near future.
2023-May-25 • 2 minutes
Traveling with zoochory
Just like animals, plants are driven to reproduce. Find out more about one of their methods of transportation, zoochory.
2023-May-24 • 2 minutes
The ocean is losing its oxygen
What do you look for in a home? Even creatures of the sea want to live somewhere nice, and their needs aren’t that different from yours.
2023-May-23 • 2 minutes
Our fossils of the future
Our age, the Anthropocene era, is distinctive in many ways. The fossils we leave behind might show this in the future.
2023-May-22 • 2 minutes
Mammals live longer when they live in groups
Why do mammals live together? There's some benefits to living with others.
2023-May-19 • 2 minutes
Shedding microfibers, just from doing laundry
Most of us are probably pretty careful not to litter. Turns out, we might be doing the same thing just by wearing clothes.
2023-May-18 • 2 minutes
What makes hummingbird wings so pretty?
Many birds have striking features, but the hummingbird's wings are unique.
2023-May-17 • 2 minutes
The future of bananas
Bananas are a staple fruit in our dieting habits, but scientists have some concerns about its future.
2023-May-16 • 2 minutes
Your dance moves are like a fingerprint
How distinctive are your dance moves?
2023-May-15 • 2 minutes
The family tree of arctic sled dogs
Where did modern sled dogs originate?
2023-May-12 • 2 minutes
Why our recorded voices sound so different
Why do our recorded voices sound so different from inside our own heads?
2023-May-11 • 2 minutes
Can moon dust shield us from the sun?
A study suggests a valuable resource sits right on the surface of the Moon: dust.
2023-May-10 • 2 minutes
Trees that farm their own drought tolerance
With climate change, stronger droughts are challenging the world’s forests.
2023-May-09 • 2 minutes
An illusion in your coffee cup
Things are not always as they seem, and this little demonstration will prove it.
2023-May-08 • 2 minutes
Glass frogs turn translucent by hiding their blood
Researchers sometimes make biomedically important findings in the strangest places. One such discovery took place with glass frogs--tiny amphibians that live in the tropical forests of Central and South America.
2023-May-05 • 2 minutes
Eating more with loved ones
Overeating at Thanksgiving or other family functions feels pretty common. Is there a reason for that?
2023-May-04 • 2 minutes
The toxic legacy of leaded gasoline
In the 1920s automotive engineers made one of the greatest mistakes of the twentieth century.
2023-May-03 • 2 minutes
Camouflaging with iridescence
Iridescent coloring is pretty eye-catching, so how can it be used as camouflage?
2023-May-02 • 2 minutes
Sending a cube into space
What's the size of a toaster, weighs about three pounds, and orbits the Earth?
2023-May-01 • 2 minutes
Voiceless frogs can fall in love, too
Today's A Moment of Science has the love story of a frog who can't sing.
2023-Apr-28 • 2 minutes
Queen bees don't have it easy
Queen bees don't have to leave the hive, but that doesn't mean they have easy lives.
2023-Apr-27 • 2 minutes
How the voice humanizes information
Research suggests how we receive information (reading vs hearing) can inform our opinions about the topic at hand.
2023-Apr-26 • 2 minutes
The significance of mouthfeel
Mouthfeel, or texture, is an important component of flavor while we eat.
2023-Apr-25 • 2 minutes
Modern bird beaks aren't so modern after all
New fossil evidence suggests previous assumptions about beak evolution weren't quite right.
2023-Apr-24 • 2 minutes
Fish have their own dog days of summer
Hotter weather makes humans more irritable. Turns out we aren't the only species impacted by the dog days of summer.
2023-Apr-21 • 2 minutes
The brain and mapping your toes
In most people’s brains, each finger is represented by its own small section in the brain, but the same isn’t true for toes.
2023-Apr-20 • 2 minutes
How the spitting cobra spits
Spitting cobras are dangerous because they don't even need to bite their victim in order to do damage. How do they do it?
2023-Apr-19 • 2 minutes
How to see ghosts with Pepper's ghost illusion
Learn more about the practical effect known as Pepper's ghost illusion.
2023-Apr-18 • 2 minutes
Frisky groundhogs in February
When groundhogs first emerge in February, they have very specific priorities.
2023-Apr-17 • 2 minutes
Keeping sweet corn sweet
Not much really compares to fresh picked sweet corn in the summer, and it turns out that there may be a very good scientific reason for why so many of us prefer farm-fresh corn.
2023-Apr-14 • 2 minutes
Why is it so easy to break a coffee cup?
Learn about the role of leverage in breaking mugs with today's A Moment of Science.
2023-Apr-13 • 2 minutes
Are solar storms a threat to the internet?
The internet is one of the most valuable resources of our time. What potential threats exist to our global network?
2023-Apr-12 • 2 minutes
Antarctica's biodiversity and penguin poop
What's the importance of penguin poop?
2023-Apr-11 • 2 minutes
The mysterious origins of the Macrauchenia
Learn more about the Macrauchenia, a creature Charles Darwin considered as one of the strangest ever.
2023-Apr-10 • 2 minutes
Caribou and their mighty migration
The idea of heading south for the winter isn’t exclusive to humans. Plenty of animals embark on huge trips as the seasons change.
2023-Apr-07 • 2 minutes
What is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?
One of the most bewildering developments of modern physics is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. On today's Moment of Science we'll learn what this is, and try to clear up some of the uncertainty.
2023-Apr-06 • 2 minutes
Flowers choose the best pollinators
It turns out flowers have some say in who carries their pollen.
2023-Apr-05 • 2 minutes
Arthropods in your house
They might not be welcome house guests, but your home probably has more arthropods than you think.
2023-Apr-04 • 2 minutes
How does the windhover hover?
Have you ever seen a raptor stay motionless in the air?
2023-Apr-03 • 2 minutes
Grapefruit and your medication
Did you know eating grapefruit can be ill advised, depending on your medication?
2023-Mar-31 • 2 minutes
Invasive species and tornadoes
Tornadoes can leave devastating destruction in their path, and impact an environment in surprising ways.
2023-Mar-30 • 2 minutes
The gun embodiment effect
Researchers wondered whether the act of wielding a gun would make a person perceive other people as wielding a gun as well.
2023-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
Turning your world upside down
See how our visual systems invert images with this simple demonstration.
2023-Mar-28 • 2 minutes
Less oxygen, stronger alligator hearts
Usually less oxygen leads to problems, but that isn't the case for alligator eggs.
2023-Mar-27 • 2 minutes
The smooth wake from a ship
Why would a ship's wake be smooth and not more chaotic? A Moment of Science explains.
2023-Mar-24 • 2 minutes
The oldest known eardrums
Why do ancient katydids have prehistoric significance?
2023-Mar-23 • 2 minutes
Tricking your muscles, with a door frame
Learn more about your muscles' sensory receptors with today's A Moment of Science!
2023-Mar-22 • 2 minutes
Crows can choose if they want to call
Some sounds are involuntary, but crows have the ability to determine if they want to call.
2023-Mar-21 • 2 minutes
The biggest earthquake humans ever experienced
There have been several devastating earthquakes in recent history. Today's A Moment of Science looks at what is suspected to be the biggest earthquake our ancestors experienced.
2023-Mar-20 • 2 minutes
The complexities of feeling hangry
Have you ever felt hangry? Turns out this emotion is more complex than you might think.
2023-Mar-17 • 2 minutes
Getting grounded, but keeping your wings
Why do flightless birds still have their wings?
2023-Mar-16 • 2 minutes
Don't sweat the small stuff with moisture-wicking fabric
How does moisture-wicking fabric work while you're working out?
2023-Mar-15 • 2 minutes
Hills in the ocean
Despite appearances from the surface, the ocean has a surprising geographical range.
2023-Mar-14 • 2 minutes
Pickle me this
Learn more about the widespread technique of pickling with today's A Moment of Science.
2023-Mar-13 • 2 minutes
The invasive jumping worm
Gardeners would tell you earthworms are a crucial species in keeping their plants healthy, but not all worms are beneficial for your plants
2023-Mar-10 • 2 minutes
Wet weather leads to brighter colors
Not only leaves, but rocks, soil, and road surfaces all have more intense color when they're wet than when they're dry.
2023-Mar-09 • 2 minutes
Defending Earth: The impact threat
An asteroid striking our planet might be a popular storyline in science fiction, but how likely is this possibility really?
2023-Mar-08 • 2 minutes
Leafhoppers might be fans of climate change
Find out more about leafhoppers and why they might like global warming with today's A Moment of Science.
2023-Mar-07 • 2 minutes
When did humans learn to cook?
Anthropologists think our ancestors solved the calorie problem by learning to cook their food with fire.
2023-Mar-06 • 2 minutes
The amazing regeneration of the axolotl
We’ve all heard of lab rats—but what about lab axolotls?
2023-Mar-03 • 2 minutes
Working out and your arteries
How exactly does exercise make us healthier?
2023-Mar-02 • 2 minutes
You can see the forest and the trees
Learn more about reforestation practices with today's A Moment of Science.
2023-Mar-01 • 2 minutes
The curve of a meandering river
Check out today's A Moment of Science for more on one of nature's most basic and subtle shapes -- the winding, back-and-forth S-curve of a meandering river.
2023-Feb-28 • 2 minutes
Internal compass helps guide fish home
We recently looked at the internal GPS systems of insects, but what about other wildlife?
2023-Feb-27 • 2 minutes
How getting back on the horse can help
Today's A Moment of Science is all about the benefits of hippotherapy.
2023-Feb-24 • 2 minutes
Your Pong opponent is a dish of brain cells
Pong is so easy you might say anyone could master it. And Pong’s newest players? A group of lab-grown brain cells.
2023-Feb-23 • 2 minutes
GPS can get a bit buggy
Insects use their own GPS system to navigate, and scientists looked at how accurate their sense of direction is.
2023-Feb-22 • 2 minutes
What is alien hand syndrome?
Learn more about alien hand syndrome with today's A Moment of Science!
2023-Feb-21 • 2 minutes
Why did T. rexes have tiny arms?
The T. rex was one of the fiercest dinosaur predators, but why did it have such small arms?
2023-Feb-20 • 2 minutes
Why do we feel madly in love?
Love makes you do crazy things, but what is it exactly that makes us behave so differently?
2023-Feb-17 • 2 minutes
Cockroaches have personalities and make choices
How personable are cockroaches?
2023-Feb-16 • 2 minutes
Convection in your coffee cup
There are some interesting physics to be found first thing in the morning.
2023-Feb-15 • 2 minutes
Planet of the ants
Humans like to think of Earth as our planet, but biology tells us otherwise.
2023-Feb-14 • 2 minutes
Bernoulli's hair dryer
Learn all about Bernoulli's principle with today's A Moment of Science!
2023-Feb-13 • 2 minutes
Humans can echolocate, too
We often associate bats with echolocation, but did you know some humans can have this ability too?
2023-Feb-10 • 2 minutes
The Earth's core and the evolution of complex life
For billions of years, life on Earth had included only microbes, and simple soft-bodied organisms. Then, within just a few tens of millions of years, a variety of complex aquatic animals appeared.
2023-Feb-09 • 2 minutes
Did sanitation make Rome any healthier?
Rome had a fairly sophisticated sanitation system, but didn't have a reduction in internal parasites. What made this possible?
2023-Feb-08 • 2 minutes
Same and different: Infants use analogies before they speak
The ability to make comparisons and analogies is a mental capacity that distinguishes human beings from at least most other animals.
2023-Feb-07 • 2 minutes
Magpie egg hormones impact their offsprings' boldness
Not all magpie jays are alike. Some individuals are much bolder than others. Now, scientists think they may have discovered a clue to explain the differences.
2023-Feb-06 • 2 minutes
Warped spacial mapping
Rats have good spacial mapping, but sometimes things can impact their mental image.
2023-Feb-03 • 2 minutes
Why are parrots so smart?
When scientists study parrots, they often appear as smart as monkeys and other mammals. How is this possible?
2023-Feb-02 • 2 minutes
Trust comes with old age
The older we get, the more trusting we tend to become.
2023-Feb-01 • 2 minutes
Flies that eat spiders
"Come inside my web," said the spider to the fly...
2023-Jan-31 • 2 minutes
Mitchell's Satyr: On the brink of extinction
The rare butterfly Mitchell's Satyr used to be found all over the Midwest.
2023-Jan-30 • 2 minutes
What makes blue ice?
Blue ice is relatively rare to see, so how does this formation get made?
2023-Jan-27 • 2 minutes
The strange life of a pyrosome
Pyrosomes might seem like a creature from science fiction, but they really exist. Learn all about them with today's A Moment of Science.
2023-Jan-26 • 2 minutes
Harsh winters are due to climate change
Our hotter summers are also impacting our colder winters. Find out more with today's A Moment of Science.
2023-Jan-25 • 2 minutes
Crabgrass has a sneaky trick
Crabgrass might be an eyesore in your lawn, but it presents an even bigger for crop growth.
2023-Jan-24 • 2 minutes
Sound off: Humans have simpler throats than monkeys
Would you ever mistake playground hoots as the call of a real baboon or great ape?
2023-Jan-23 • 2 minutes
To bee or not to bee
The Great American Eclipse of 2017 raised some interesting questions about bee behavior.
2023-Jan-20 • 2 minutes
Laughing gas isn't a laughing matter
Nitrous oxide isn't often talked about these days, but it is still an important greenhouse gas.
2023-Jan-19 • 2 minutes
How many bees does a meadow need?
They might be inconvenient on a personal level, but bees play a very important role in our environment.
2023-Jan-18 • 2 minutes
The ecological niche: Not just a hole in the wall
What is the significance of an ecological niche? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2023-Jan-17 • 2 minutes
How do pets provide stress relief?
What is it about cute animals that calms us down?
2023-Jan-16 • 2 minutes
How vitamins got their name
Vitamins are a vital aspect of maintaining our help, but how did they get their name?
2023-Jan-13 • 2 minutes
The bloodsucking strategy of the vampire finch
The truth behind the vampire finch is stranger than fiction!
2023-Jan-12 • 2 minutes
Surgery in the Stone Age
How long have we had sophisticated medical knowledge?
2023-Jan-11 • 2 minutes
No ant left behind
Rescuing each other from predators isn't a common behavior seen in animals, but the harvester ant shows its possible.
2023-Jan-10 • 2 minutes
Mole rats lead pretty painless lives
Mole rats are immune to certain kinds of pain, including what makes wasabi and some peppers spicy for humans.
2023-Jan-09 • 2 minutes
Chewing up our daily energy
Chewing takes up a small part of our day, but researchers believed it takes up a significant part of our energy.
2023-Jan-06 • 2 minutes
The next best thing to a yeti
A large, white animal with fur and claws? The yeti might not exist, but today's A Moment of Science has the next best thing.
2023-Jan-05 • 2 minutes
Seafloor mapping and a melting glacier
Why is a melting glacier such a cause for concern? Today's A Moment of Science looks closer at the research.
2023-Jan-04 • 2 minutes
The perfect pizza comes down to thermodynamics
Want to know the secret to a perfect pizza? It all comes down to science.
2023-Jan-03 • 2 minutes
The fascinating thievery of crows
Crows are some of the most intelligent birds on the planet. What keeps us fascinated with their behavior?
2023-Jan-02 • 2 minutes
The apple in your mind's eye
How well can you remember things you see every day, like logos?
2022-Dec-30 • 2 minutes
Yaks breathe easy, thanks to specialized cells
Breathing at high altitudes gets incredibly difficult. How are yaks able to live in such drastic conditions?
2022-Dec-29 • 2 minutes
Cataracts and cloudy vision
People are now living longer than ever, but there are a few drawbacks that come with old age.
2022-Dec-28 • 2 minutes
Mindset and genes
Our attitudes affect our bodies more than you might think. Find out how with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Dec-27 • 2 minutes
Vanilla may one day come from plastic
Despite our associations, vanilla is actually far from boring.
2022-Dec-26 • 2 minutes
The curious properties of corks
17th-century physicist Robert Hooke was fascinated with corks. Today's A Moment of Science takes a closer look at his findings.
2022-Dec-23 • 2 minutes
A tusked and tufted deer
Learn more about the tufted deer with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Dec-22 • 2 minutes
Brain waves and social behavior
The complex circuitry of the brain is the source of our emotions, thoughts, and behavior. One of the most important types of behavior, in humans and other animals, are social interactions with others.
2022-Dec-21 • 2 minutes
When the sky flashes green
It might sound like a fairy tale detail, but sometimes the sky can briefly turn green. How does this happen?
2022-Dec-20 • 2 minutes
Reflections in a spoon
Why do reflections change depending on the side of a spoon?
2022-Dec-19 • 2 minutes
The incredible walking sticks
Learn more about stick bugs with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Dec-16 • 2 minutes
Bubble trouble: How to calm a shaken can of soda
Either intentionally or not, we've all unfortunately opened a can of soda that was shaken. Find out how to potentially avoid this bubble trouble with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Dec-15 • 2 minutes
The significance of glass color
Have you ever wondered why wine bottles are traditionally olive green? Today's A Moment of Science has an answer.
2022-Dec-14 • 2 minutes
Dinosaurs in the snow
Scientists used to think dinosaurs were like giant lizards and not capable of living in cold climates. That no longer seems to be the case.
2022-Dec-13 • 2 minutes
The science of sweetened condensed milk
Sweetened condensed milk is a key ingredient in many delicious recipes. Why exactly was it created in the first place?
2022-Dec-12 • 2 minutes
Amazon's biodiversity enhanced by river movement
The Amazon is home to some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet. How is this made possible?
2022-Dec-09 • 2 minutes
Making clouds in your kitchen
When you heat up a kettle, it often seems like you can see the steam rising from it. What exactly are those white clouds made of?
2022-Dec-08 • 2 minutes
Sea turtles navigate by the magnetic field
Many animal species travel great distances each year. How do they avoid getting lost on the way to their destinations?
2022-Dec-07 • 2 minutes
The desert where rain is deadly
Learn more about the weather in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.
2022-Dec-06 • 2 minutes
The impact of an underwater volcanic eruption
An underwater volcano eruption earlier this year could have long-term impacts on the global climate.
2022-Dec-05 • 2 minutes
How temperature impacts the perfect cup of coffee
What's the secret to making the perfect cup of coffee? Temperature plays a key role.
2022-Dec-02 • 2 minutes
How long is a day on each planet in the solar system?
How long does a day last on other planets?
2022-Dec-01 • 2 minutes
Rediscovered: The world's largest bee
Megachile pluto, commonly called “Wallace’s giant bee” is the world’s largest bee. And perhaps the most elusive.
2022-Nov-30 • 2 minutes
Ancient settlements in the Amazon
Archeological evidence shows people have lived on the Amazon for thousands of years. New research sheds further light on what these early settlements looked like.
2022-Nov-29 • 2 minutes
The question of a rock and a rowboat
If you drop a rock overboard from a boat, does the water surface rise?
2022-Nov-28 • 2 minutes
Vegetarian birds have more friends
How does diet impact social life? It turns out vegetarian birds of a feather really do flock together.
2022-Nov-25 • 2 minutes
Knowing your emotions can reduce anger
While anger can lead to aggression for some, it doesn't in everyone. This difference comes down to emotional differentiation.
2022-Nov-24 • 2 minutes
Ancient dogs got bigger to guard livestock
Over a relatively short period of 6,000 years, dogs got larger on average. This change didn't come down to simple chance.
2022-Nov-23 • 2 minutes
How rainbow weevils get their spots
Learn more about why the spots that give the rainbow weevil its name with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Nov-22 • 2 minutes
Dinosaur snouts as air conditioning
A dinosaur's nose was surprisingly useful, especially when it needed to cool down.
2022-Nov-21 • 2 minutes
Why are dogs so friendly towards humans?
We think of dogs as man's best friend, but why does this relationship exist?
2022-Nov-18 • 2 minutes
Moths have their own acoustic camouflage
Moths' main predators rely on echolocation, so they've adopted their own acoustic camouflage to avoid becoming prey.
2022-Nov-17 • 2 minutes
Some spots on the Moon are almost room temperature
There's no air or drinkable water on the Moon, but at least the temperature would be pretty comfortable.
2022-Nov-16 • 2 minutes
Pain and genetic mutation
A rare genetic mutation means some can feel little to no pain. Learn more about it with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Nov-15 • 2 minutes
Hummingbirds, altitude, and global climate change
With shifting global temperatures, many environments will change. Not all animals will be able to adapt quickly.
2022-Nov-14 • 2 minutes
Why do we like coffee?
Humans have evolved to dislike bitter tastes as a form of protection. So why do we still like the taste of coffee?
2022-Nov-11 • 2 minutes
The "thieving magpie" stereotype isn't quite true
The idea of corvids stealing shiny things isn't that true to reality.
2022-Nov-10 • 2 minutes
Solar power at night
Solar power is a helpful alternative to fossil fuels, with the drawback of not collecting power at night. There may be a new way to conquer this limitation.
2022-Nov-09 • 2 minutes
Travel by warp bubble
As popularized in science fiction, warp capabilities could greatly reduce travel times. What would make this possible?
2022-Nov-08 • 2 minutes
Why is the dark side of the Moon so different?
There’s something different about the dark side of the Moon, and it’s not just that we can’t see it from the Earth.
2022-Nov-07 • 2 minutes
Your shadow can have a halo
Sometimes a faint glow can occur around your shadow. Where does this come from?
2022-Nov-04 • 2 minutes
How plants make sure their pollen gets delivered to the right place
If a pollinator visits flowers from different species, how do plants make sure their pollen gets to a flower of the same species, a crucial step in making seeds?
2022-Nov-03 • 2 minutes
Ancient Egyptians and their cats
We've loved cats for thousands of years, but how did this relationship begin?
2022-Nov-02 • 2 minutes
How to walk from the U.S. to Russia
Did you know you can walk from the U.S. to Russia in only 2.5 miles?
2022-Nov-01 • 2 minutes
The jabuticaba fruit literally grows on trees
Why would it be unique for a fruit to grow on a tree? Learn more about the jabuticaba with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Oct-31 • 2 minutes
Christmas beetles for dinner
These beetles are a favorite snack among foxes, but is their diet always so simple?
2022-Oct-28 • 2 minutes
Dependence on our smartphones
Depending on our phones too much can lead to some health risks. Learn more with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Oct-27 • 2 minutes
Plants passing down info to their offspring
Even plant parents care for their offspring, passing on vital information.
2022-Oct-26 • 2 minutes
Food and global climate change
How does climate change impact our food production?
2022-Oct-25 • 2 minutes
Mosquitoes, disease, and global warming
Rising temperatures impact some unexpected areas of our lives. Learn more about how climate change effects mosquitoes with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Oct-24 • 2 minutes
Eroding topsoil troubles Midwest farms
After over 200 years of cultivating fields, topsoil has eroded in these areas. What exactly does that mean for farmland?
2022-Oct-21 • 2 minutes
How lavender relaxes us
Do you find lavender calming? Find out why that might be the case with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Oct-20 • 2 minutes
Spiderman lives in the Amazon
Learn more about the slingshot spider's similarities to the Marvel superhero with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Oct-19 • 2 minutes
How did people get ice before refrigeration?
Today's A Moment of Science looks closer at the history of refrigeration.
2022-Oct-18 • 2 minutes
Giraffes use nurseries, too
Humans aren't the only ones to send their kids to daycare. Turns out giraffes do the same thing!
2022-Oct-17 • 2 minutes
Extreme heat causes railroads to bend
How does heat impact our world? In extreme conditions, even railroad tracks can be impacted.
2022-Oct-14 • 2 minutes
Giant pandas and bamboo
Pandas are known for essentially just eating bamboo, but was their diet always so selective?
2022-Oct-13 • 2 minutes
Yawning in virtual reality
Virtual reality can mimic the real world pretty convincingly, but it can't mimic human behavior perfectly.
2022-Oct-12 • 2 minutes
Eavesdropping for food
Eavesdropping is usually frowned upon among humans, but not always for animals.
2022-Oct-11 • 2 minutes
An inky ring in a glass of water
Learn how to make a ring of ink in water with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Oct-10 • 2 minutes
The power of grunting in tennis
Tennis players are known for the noises they make during games. How do these grunts effect their gameplay?
2022-Oct-07 • 2 minutes
The super abilities of bats
Find out more details of bats' abilities with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Oct-06 • 2 minutes
Making older skin young again
The epic of Gilgamesh and the quest for eternal youth might have a modern update with new research into skin rejuvenation.
2022-Oct-05 • 2 minutes
Discovered in a museum drawer: Simbakubwa kutokaafrika
Discoveries come from a number of surprising places, including museums.
2022-Oct-04 • 2 minutes
Orangutans holler out their travel plans
Do you picture Tarzan yelling and swinging from vine to vine through a jungle? This mental image has some basis in reality with orangutan behavior.
2022-Oct-03 • 2 minutes
Photographing a black hole
How do you photograph something that doesn't reflect light?
2022-Sep-30 • 2 minutes
Methane from glaciers and volcanoes
Learn more about the relationship between volcanoes, glaciers, and methane.
2022-Sep-29 • 2 minutes
Vinegar eels do the wave
There are several organisms in the animal kingdom that move with a certain synchronization. Learn more about the wave of the vinegar eels with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Sep-28 • 2 minutes
Lying in a foreign language comes easier
Do you find it difficult to tell a lie? Research shows telling one in a different language may be easier.
2022-Sep-27 • 2 minutes
Even fruit flies have culture
Fruit flies are very social creatures and even have their own established culture.
2022-Sep-26 • 2 minutes
Our ancient relative, Australopithecus sediba
Find out more about this member of our family tree with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Sep-23 • 2 minutes
The icy lumps that grow beneath the ground
Learn more about the unique geological formation known as pingos with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Sep-22 • 2 minutes
Matters of the heart rate
Resting heart rate is different for babies versus adults. Why is that exactly?
2022-Sep-21 • 2 minutes
Howler monkeys are changing color
The traditionally dark fur of the howler monkey is starting to get light yellow patches. Scientists look into why this is happening.
2022-Sep-20 • 2 minutes
Cells and organ failure
When you get a cut, your cells quickly start to divide and heal. What does this process look like for our internal organs?
2022-Sep-19 • 2 minutes
Climate change clues from the past
Researchers look to the geological evidence from the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum to inform policies for our future.
2022-Sep-16 • 2 minutes
How do cranes communicate?
Without the power of speech, how do birds communicate?
2022-Sep-15 • 2 minutes
White noise and sleep quality
Having background noise is helpful for some to get to sleep. What exactly is white noise, and why does it impact our quality of rest?
2022-Sep-14 • 2 minutes
The coolest orangutans use slang
How does popularity work in the animal kingdom? For orangutans, there might be a few similarities to human behavior.
2022-Sep-13 • 2 minutes
The musical mpingo tree
Find out more about this musical tree with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Sep-12 • 2 minutes
Raindrops on the rear window
Raindrops always appear to miss the rear window of cars. Why does this happen?
2022-Sep-09 • 2 minutes
Why are dreams so hard to remember?
Even the most vivid dreams can be difficult to remember soon after waking up. Why don't dreams leave more of an impression?
2022-Sep-08 • 2 minutes
Are you waking up with tea or coffee?
What's your preference to get your morning started?
2022-Sep-07 • 2 minutes
Ocean waves squared
Have you ever seen ocean waves form a square? What causes this unique formation?
2022-Sep-06 • 2 minutes
Reducing the power consumption of computers
Energy consumption is a major concern when it comes to environmental impact. The power computers require presents a threat of its own.
2022-Sep-05 • 2 minutes
Why do giraffes have such long necks?
They're an iconic animal, but why exactly do giraffes have such long necks?
2022-Sep-02 • 2 minutes
The icy volcanoes of Pluto
Learn more about the dwarf planet of our solar system, Pluto.
2022-Sep-01 • 2 minutes
Dyslexia in English vs Chinese
How does dyslexia differ across languages?
2022-Aug-31 • 2 minutes
Does the patas monkey speak for the trees?
Learn more about the animal that may have inspired Dr. Seuss' Lorax with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Aug-30 • 2 minutes
Diamonds in the sky
Diamonds are a treasured resource on Earth, but how common are they on other planets?
2022-Aug-29 • 2 minutes
Termites can help out in a drought
Regardless of how we might personally feel about insects, they do play an important role in our ecosystems. Find out the benefits of termites with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Aug-26 • 2 minutes
Smelling your way around
How does your sense of smell impact your ability to navigate?
2022-Aug-25 • 2 minutes
More internet means more migration
In the modern age, the internet has a huge impact on countless factors in our daily lives. Learn why migration is effected as well with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Aug-24 • 2 minutes
A crow species can infer weight
Corvids are known to be pretty clever birds, but did you know they're good at guessing weight as well?
2022-Aug-23 • 2 minutes
The battle between Triceratops and Triceratops
Many animals fight within their own species, and the dinosaurs were not exception.
2022-Aug-22 • 2 minutes
Why is it so hard to swat a fly?
Flies are notorious house pests. Why can it be so hard to get rid of them?
2022-Aug-19 • 2 minutes
Geese domestication may be 7,000 years old
While we may think of chickens as the first domesticated fowl, evidence suggests the goose got there first.
2022-Aug-18 • 2 minutes
Choking under pressure
Pressure can come from any number of sources, especially for athletes competing at the top of their fields. Today's A Moment of Science has more on the impacts on performance.
2022-Aug-17 • 2 minutes
The causes of root rot and how to fight back
What exactly is root rot, and how can we best protect our plants?
2022-Aug-16 • 2 minutes
AI develops prejudice all on its own
Prejudices can come from learned behavior, even for artificial intelligence.
2022-Aug-15 • 2 minutes
The fastest movement on the planet
Cheetahs are the fastest runners on the planet, but there's another surprising contender with impressive moves of their own.
2022-Aug-12 • 2 minutes
Weather pattern predictability
How far in advance can we accurately predict the weather?
2022-Aug-11 • 2 minutes
Ancient feathers encased in amber
The unique protective properties of amber provide a unique insight into ancient findings.
2022-Aug-10 • 2 minutes
What is decanting and why does it matter?
How does decanting actually change the makeup of a wine?
2022-Aug-09 • 2 minutes
Fireflies as the monarchs of the night
Fireflies and monarch butterflies can't easily camouflage themselves from predators. How do they stay safe?
2022-Aug-08 • 2 minutes
Railroads on fire
Learn why railroads sometimes need to heat up with a fire in today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Aug-05 • 2 minutes
Learning English? Try Latin
Learn more about the benefits of studying Latin when learning a new language with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Aug-04 • 2 minutes
Love it or hate it: cilantro
What makes cilantro such a divisive addition to food?
2022-Aug-03 • 2 minutes
What are frost quakes?
You've heard of an earthquake, but what exactly are frost quakes?
2022-Aug-02 • 2 minutes
Dolphins may help us understand menopause
Dolphins have always been fascinating creatures to study. Recently, scientists have looked to see what we can learn from dolphins about some of our own body functions.
2022-Aug-01 • 2 minutes
Why does rubbing alcohol feel cold?
When you use rubbing alcohol on your skin, why does it feel cold?
2022-Jul-29 • 2 minutes
How plants communicate with their family trees
Plants have long been understood to communicate with each other, but do they listen to some fellow plants more often than others?
2022-Jul-28 • 2 minutes
Walking can be a real uphill battle
Why is walking uphill such hard work?
2022-Jul-27 • 2 minutes
The prickly truth behind a porcupine's quills
How much do you know about the real danger of porcupine quills? Fill in some blanks with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Jul-26 • 2 minutes
Math is not really a language
You might have heard math described as its own language, but is it really?
2022-Jul-25 • 2 minutes
The grizzly bear's unusual nickname
Have you heard of grizzly bears being called "Rototillers of the Rockies"?
2022-Jul-22 • 2 minutes
What really causes dry skin?
We know things such as taking hot showers, excess bathing, and sun exposure can cause dry skin. But why do these factors actually influence our bodies?
2022-Jul-21 • 2 minutes
A flightless bird's family tree
The ostrich, rhea, cassowary, and emu are all flightless birds who share a family tree. How did these animals evolve to get this way?
2022-Jul-20 • 2 minutes
The moon, coral growth, and how many days used to be in a year
Growth rings in corals reveal some interesting insights into how many days were in a year millions of years ago.
2022-Jul-19 • 2 minutes
Finches can categorize colors
Learn more about how the zebra finch thinks about color with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Jul-18 • 2 minutes
Black carbon pollution and melting ice in Antarctica
Human pollution has an impact on all environments across the globe, including in remote Antarctica.
2022-Jul-15 • 2 minutes
The dusky dottyback fish goes undercover
Many animals use mimicry to confuse others around them. Learn how the dottyback fish uses this ability with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jul-14 • 2 minutes
The bubble that lasted for a whole year
Why do bubbles pop so soon, and how long can they really last?
2022-Jul-13 • 2 minutes
How losing a tail can save your genes
Some animals are able to lose a limb to save themselves in a process called autotomy.
2022-Jul-12 • 2 minutes
A fourth state of matter
Solid, liquid, gas...and what else? Learn about plasma with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jul-11 • 2 minutes
How orb-weaving spiders build their webs
Learn more about this impressive feat of engineering with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Jul-08 • 2 minutes
When I yawn, my dog yawns
Have you noticed if you yawn, your pet tends to copy you? Why does that happen?
2022-Jul-07 • 2 minutes
How blind and sighted people understand color
While blind people can learn that roses are red, how deep is this understanding of “redness”?
2022-Jul-06 • 2 minutes
Ghosts and robots in the lab
Have you ever experienced the sensation of someone touching you who wasn't really there? A lab experiment may shed light on why that happens.
2022-Jul-05 • 2 minutes
The incredible scientific discovery found on Facebook
Discoveries can come from some surprising sources, including over social media.
2022-Jul-04 • 2 minutes
The bone wars of paleontology
Learn about the infamous feud which helped launch the field of paleontology into the mainstream with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Jul-01 • 2 minutes
Tasteless penguins
Penguins have a very fish-heavy diet, but do they actually like how it tastes? Learn more about their senses with today's A Moment of Science
2022-Jun-30 • 2 minutes
The ruthless carnivore of the plant world
Learn all about the ferocious butterwort plant with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Jun-29 • 2 minutes
What goes on at CERN?
How much do you know about CERN? Learn more about it with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jun-28 • 2 minutes
A vaccine against Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's disease has well-known effects with seemingly few methods of treatment. New research may shed some hope on this subject.
2022-Jun-27 • 2 minutes
Frogs can't poison themselves
Frogs are known to have some deadly toxins at their disposal. But if they're so deadly, how do they keep from poisoning themselves?
2022-Jun-24 • 2 minutes
Welcome to the Laughing Gas Ball
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is known today as a part of major surgery. But what did its discoverer have in mind?
2022-Jun-23 • 2 minutes
The fish whose blood isn't red
Blood is often associated with the color red, but that isn't true for all species. Learn about the special case of fish in the Antarctic.
2022-Jun-22 • 2 minutes
You shouldn't pet that honey badger
Honey badgers might look like friendly mammals, but they're among the fiercest animals on the planet.
2022-Jun-21 • 2 minutes
Waking up and feeling tired
Do you ever wake up and feel groggy and slow? You're probably experiencing sleep inertia.
2022-Jun-20 • 2 minutes
The millipede that really does have one thousand feet
Millipedes have many feet, but none until now have truly lived up to their name. Researchers in 2021 have found a true millipede in Western Australia.
2022-Jun-17 • 2 minutes
How animals use chromatophores in coloration
Color is everywhere in the animal kingdom and plays an important role in several behaviors. Learn about the details behind these beautiful displays with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Jun-16 • 2 minutes
Volcanoes warm, then cool, the Earth
How do volcanoes impact our planet? Find out more about this explosive science with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jun-15 • 2 minutes
How can you tell the difference between horns and antlers?
Is there a difference between horns and antlers? Find out with A Moment of Science!
2022-Jun-14 • 2 minutes
What is wax, anyway?
Wax is a common substance in our lives, but what is it exactly?
2022-Jun-13 • 2 minutes
The connection between a cottonwood, a beaver, and a beetle
What kind of relationship exists between a tree, a beaver, and a beetle? Find out with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jun-10 • 2 minutes
The heat death of the universe
If the universe started with the Big Bang, what will it look like far into the future?
2022-Jun-09 • 2 minutes
Evolution, batesian mimicry, and snakes
Yesterday we looked closer at batesian mimicry, and today's A Moment of Science checks out another example of this phenomenon in snakes.
2022-Jun-08 • 2 minutes
Evolving with batesian mimicry
"Monkey see, monkey do" might be a common phrase for humans, but there's some truth behind this for other species as well. Learn more about batesian mimicry with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jun-07 • 2 minutes
When pigs fly: Hope for heart patients in designed swine
Organ transplants can be a complicated process on a number of levels, including finding a suitable organ match in the first place. New research may have provided a new option.
2022-Jun-06 • 2 minutes
How did you get those big muscles?
Countless sources will claim to have "the real secret" behind getting big muscles. What does science say about our bodies?
2022-Jun-03 • 2 minutes
The science behind apple pie
Want to learn more about this tasty treat? Read about food science with A Moment of Science!
2022-Jun-02 • 2 minutes
In nature, sometimes size matters
Even animals can be bullies, and it turns out size plays an important role in how an animal behaves with others in its species.
2022-Jun-01 • 2 minutes
Pets have their own obesity epidemic
Obesity is a well-known issue in the United States, and humans aren't the only ones impacted.
2022-May-31 • 2 minutes
Salmon that shape mountains
Environments can shape a species, but what about the other way around?
2022-May-30 • 2 minutes
Carbon isotopes and past life on Mars
NASA’s Curiosity rover is exploring Gale crater on Mars. The crater contains rock formed from sediments deposited billions of years ago on the bottoms of ancient lakes and rivers of liquid water. Could life have existed in these long-vanished lakes and rivers?
2022-May-27 • 2 minutes
The light of spring
There are many changes with the coming of spring, including sunlight. Learn more with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-May-26 • 2 minutes
How to find a "super tree"
Researchers wondered what the best trees were for absorbing air pollution, and created a ranking scale as a result of their findings.
2022-May-25 • 2 minutes
The problem with zero gravity
Zero gravity is often confused for weightlessness. Learn more about why that comparison isn't really accurate with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-May-24 • 2 minutes
An arsenic green wallpaper to dye for
Today we are very aware of the dangers of arsenic exposure, but that didn't stop some of our ancestors from using this poison in a number of objects to get a particular shade of green.
2022-May-23 • 2 minutes
The tomato plant's surprising defense against caterpillars
You might think a plant would be defenseless against predators, but that's not really the case. Learn more about the tomato plant's defense system with A Moment of Science.
2022-May-20 • 2 minutes
Soap bubbles and butterfly wings
What do soap bubbles and butterfly wings have in common? Learn the answer with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-May-19 • 2 minutes
The world's largest colony of fish nests
There are many surprises still within the area of the Antarctic, including its unexpected abundance of life. Learn more about the discovery of fish nest colonies in the Weddell Sea with A Moment of Science.
2022-May-18 • 2 minutes
Big mouth, even bigger bite
Creatures today like crocodiles have some impressive force behind their jaws, but did any animals of the past pack an even more powerful punch? Learn more about the megalodon's bite here.
2022-May-17 • 2 minutes
Our sun stands apart amidst solar twins
Looking at the universe, our sun might be considered "just another star". While it might be special to us, there are a few other characteristics that makes it stand out.
2022-May-16 • 2 minutes
The largest bird to ever live
The appropriately named elephant bird was the largest bird to ever live. Learn more about this impressive creature with A Moment of Science!
2022-May-13 • 2 minutes
Dementor wasps are strange and fascinating
Learn more about this unique species with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-May-12 • 2 minutes
Could we cure paralysis?
Learn more about some groundbreaking research in paralysis with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-May-11 • 2 minutes
The importance of white paint for airplanes
Why are most airplanes painted white? The reason goes beyond personal preference.
2022-May-10 • 2 minutes
Dino eating dino? Not for T. rex and Stegosaurus
The T. rex and Stegosaurus are among some of the most well-known dinosaurs, so it isn't uncommon to see them pictured together. But would the two have ever actually met?
2022-May-09 • 2 minutes
Amphipods have unwilling living backpacks
There are many strange relationships between creatures of the animal kingdom, and not all of these are beneficial for both sides.
2022-May-06 • 2 minutes
How wildfires are impacting the ozone
With wildfire rates rapidly increasing, it's important to know how these events impact the rest of the world.
2022-May-05 • 2 minutes
Why the mountain beaver's brain didn't grow
When we think of brainpower, often the assumption is "bigger is better." In the case of the mountain beaver however, this isn't necessarily true.
2022-May-04 • 2 minutes
Traces of past life in the world's oldest rubies
Ancient rubies revealed some surprising information about past life on Earth.
2022-May-03 • 2 minutes
"Hair" of the caterpillar
Fuzzy caterpillars are a common sight throughout most of the United States, but this fuzz isn't actually hair. Learn more about these prickly creatures with A Moment of Science!
2022-May-02 • 2 minutes
Shining light on our understanding of the sun
Learn about past theories on the nature of our closest star with today's A Moment of Science!
2022-Apr-29 • 2 minutes
Technology and the rise of the mid-Atlantic accent
While no longer in use today, most people are still familiar with the mid-Atlantic accent of the past. What led to this particular form of pronunciation, and why isn't it around today?
2022-Apr-28 • 2 minutes
What makes human brains different?
Last week we examined the differences between humans and our closest genetic relatives. But what else separates us from chimpanzees?
2022-Apr-27 • 2 minutes
Bats can block out the competition's sonar signals
It is commonly known that bats use echolocation to navigate the world. But did you know they can also block these sonar signals from their rivals?
2022-Apr-26 • 2 minutes
The worst day on Earth: The day of the Chicxulub impact
What happened on the day that an asteroid caused a mass extinction event millions of years ago?
2022-Apr-25 • 2 minutes
Fast-forwarding evolution in fish
Evolution happens over such a long period of time, it can be difficult to study. One rare exception to this rule comes from steelhead trout.
2022-Apr-23 • 2 minutes
Where does candle wax go?
When you burn a candle, where does the melted wax end up? Today's A Moment of Science has the answer
2022-Apr-21 • 2 minutes
The routine case of exploding manhole covers
As alarming as it might sound to experience, flying manhole covers can be a routine part of life. Why does this phenomenon happen?
2022-Apr-20 • 2 minutes
Pecking order at the bird feeder
Many animals experience living in a pecking order, especially birds. How does this come up at the bird feeder?
2022-Apr-19 • 2 minutes
How similar are humans to the rest of our family tree?
Humans share a large percentage of DNA with monkeys and apes. What really separates us from our closest living genetic relatives?
2022-Apr-18 • 2 minutes
Aphantasiacs and hyperphantasiacs
How well does your mind's eye see? Learn about the spectrum of visual imagery with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Apr-15 • 2 minutes
The mathematical perfection of an egg's shape
Eggs have often been described as the most perfect shape, for several reasons. Now researchers believe they have the formula behind this shape.
2022-Apr-14 • 2 minutes
Why your arm hurts after getting a shot
Why is your arm always sore after getting a shot? A Moment of Science has the answer
2022-Apr-13 • 2 minutes
Why tail weaponry has gone the way of the dinosaurs
There aren't many animals these days that have some sort of self-defense on their tail, unlike the dinosaurs millions of years ago. So what changed along the way?
2022-Apr-12 • 2 minutes
Birdsong apps can be confusing for real birds
Birders will often use apps to learn how to mimic calls of the birds they're searching for. But how can this impact the wildlife they're trying to observe?
2022-Apr-11 • 2 minutes
Why do you like that toy?
We all probably have a favorite chair or other object that we like the best for no real reason. Why is that? And what do preferences in babies tell us about their future likes and dislikes?
2022-Apr-08 • 2 minutes
The truth behind a snake's warning pattern
Several snakes have bright patterns, either to warn off predators or to be used as camouflage. But are these patterns a sign of real danger or just a bluff? Learn more with A Moment of Science.
2022-Apr-07 • 2 minutes
The electrifying science behind Frankenstein
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has been one of the most iconic science fiction stories for over 200 years. What science of her time inspired this tale?
2022-Apr-06 • 2 minutes
The fiery sting of the fire ant
Learn more about the sting the fire ant gets its name from.
2022-Apr-05 • 2 minutes
Why did human brains decrease in size?
Our brains are three times as large as our closest evolutionary relative. But the size of the human brain hasn't just continually grown during our evolution.
2022-Apr-04 • 2 minutes
The science of sponges is stranger than fiction
What do you know about sponges? Learn all about these unique members of the animal kingdom with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Apr-01 • 2 minutes
The difference between simple and complex carbs
Our bodies prefer to get their energy from carbs. But does it matter what kind of carbohydrates you put into your body?
2022-Mar-31 • 2 minutes
Why crocs might want to eat rocks
Crocodilians appear to eat rocks on purpose, but why exactly would they want to do that?
2022-Mar-30 • 2 minutes
The science behind "fat-free" foods
Just because a label says a product is fat free or low fat, that doesn't mean the food is good for you. A Moment of Science looks closer at the pros and cons of fat-free foods.
2022-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
Do birds hear tsunamis and hurricanes?
There's plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that birds and other animals can sense incoming weather threats, but is there any scientific backing to these claims?
2022-Mar-28 • 2 minutes
The simple elastic ruler
Try this simple at home demonstration to learn more about light rays and water.
2022-Mar-25 • 2 minutes
Bright colors mean less harassment for hummingbirds
Even hummingbirds can experience unwanted attention. But scientists noted that those with certain plumage tend to face less harassment.
2022-Mar-24 • 2 minutes
The difficulty in describing smells
You might be good at identifying a smell, but how well can you describe it? Research looks closer at the linguistic difficulties some cultures have.
2022-Mar-23 • 2 minutes
The Moon has ancient lunar lava
How much do you know about the Moon's history? Evidence shows billions of years ago, our moon was a much different place.
2022-Mar-22 • 2 minutes
What caused the Appalachian Mountain bend?
The Appalachian Mountains run in almost a straight line, except for a 150 mile-long bend. What caused this formation to occur?
2022-Mar-21 • 2 minutes
Mammals in cities are larger and longer
Bigger is usually better in the animal kingdom, but what role does environment play in determining a mammal's size? Research suggests urbanization may be a key player.
2022-Mar-18 • 2 minutes
Does a shape of a glass impact how you drink?
There are tons of options when it comes to glassware specifically for alcohol. Does the glass you choose make much of a difference?
2022-Mar-17 • 2 minutes
Evidence of the oldest dinosaur herds
In 2021, researchers looked at early fossil evidence and determined herbivores lived together in cohesive herds. Today's A Moment of Science has more on this research.
2022-Mar-16 • 2 minutes
George Washington comes out on top
A simple experiment with quarters teaches us more about rotations.
2022-Mar-15 • 2 minutes
Science says your cat really is a freeloader
Researchers conducted experiments to determine cats' likelihood to be a freeloader or a "contrafreeloader," and the results probably won't surprise cat owners.
2022-Mar-14 • 2 minutes
The long-lasting damage of a hurricane
Hurricanes can be devastating weather events. Once they pass, their impact is often felt long after the crisis ends.
2022-Mar-11 • 2 minutes
Is climate change making the Earth dimmer?
Climate change is leading to a number of unexpected consequences. New research published last year shows our planet getting dimmer might be one of them.
2022-Mar-10 • 2 minutes
How do power indicators work?
Power indicators can be handy when trying to tell how much juice a battery has left, but how do this process actually work?
2022-Mar-09 • 2 minutes
The elusive beaked whale
Learn more about this uncommon creature with A Moment of Science!
2022-Mar-08 • 2 minutes
14,400-year-old bread sheds light on our dietary history
Scientists studying ancient bread break down what our ancestors ate and the significance of this discovery.
2022-Mar-07 • 2 minutes
It can be too warm or too cold for bumblebees to fly
Bumblebees can behave like Goldilocks too, by wanting the air temperature to be just right for flight.
2022-Mar-04 • 2 minutes
Eyes are the windows to the personality
We've heard the expression "eyes are the windows to the soul," but what do they really tell us about an individual? Research shows there's more information in eye movements than you might expect.
2022-Mar-03 • 2 minutes
The changing landscape of shark tourism
There are benefits to learning about sharks in both aquariums and in their natural habitats. With the expanding industry of shark tourism, there can be pros and cons to intruding on a shark's home turf.
2022-Mar-02 • 2 minutes
Is it safe to shower when there's lightning?
Not showering during a thunderstorm is commonly heard advice, but is there any truth that you're really taking a safety risk if you ignore this warning?
2022-Mar-01 • 2 minutes
Moth wingtips can be used to confuse bat sonar
Animals have had to make several adaptations to their bodies as they evolve to avoid predators. Scientists have recently looked at how moths are designed to avoid detection from bats.
2022-Feb-28 • 2 minutes
Elephants can sniff out their preferred snacks
Members of the animal kingdom use their five senses in ways impossible for humans to replicate. But sometimes, we see familiar characteristics in surprising places.
2022-Feb-25 • 2 minutes
The roots of modern biology grew in a monastery garden
Research into the field of genetics has come a long way, but how did these roots begin? Learn more about Gregor Mendel in today's A Moment of Science
2022-Feb-24 • 2 minutes
Why rivers don't flow in straight lines
Rivers wind and bend their way through a landscape, but why don't we see them in straight lines? Today's A Moment of Science has the answer
2022-Feb-23 • 2 minutes
How hummingbirds use their sense of smell
Scientists have wondered how hummingbirds use their senses when finding flowers with nectar, but didn't think their sense of smell was useful. New research shows that might not actually be the case.
2022-Feb-22 • 2 minutes
Another good reason to go for Thai food
Have you ever wondered why some cuisines are known for being spicy and others for being bland? This might have something to do with the climates of these areas.
2022-Feb-21 • 2 minutes
The leafy seadragon is a master of camouflage
There are many supernatural creatures of the ocean that keep us fascinated, like the kraken or sirens. But what about a real sea dragon?
2022-Feb-18 • 2 minutes
The cloning and quaking stand of aspen
Quaking aspen trees are known to group in communities, or "stands." These stands might actually be made up of genetic clones.
2022-Feb-17 • 2 minutes
Changing shape to cope with a changing climate
Animals have had to adapt to their specific climates over generations of evolution. Climate change, however, has created a more immediate need to adapt.
2022-Feb-16 • 2 minutes
The simple science behind one-way glass
One-way glass is a common sight in crime shows, but how do these reflective surfaces really work?
2022-Feb-14 • 2 minutes
The potential hidden twin within
Even if you don't have a twin, there's a potential that not all of your chromosomes are actually yours.
2022-Feb-11 • 2 minutes
The ant with metal in its mandibles
Animals can be composed of a surprising number of materials, including some metals.
2022-Feb-10 • 2 minutes
How curiosity impacts infant development
Babies are constantly learning about the world around them, but are some more interested in learning than others?
2022-Feb-09 • 2 minutes
Why do salmon leap?
Salmon are commonly seen leaping upstream to travel, but why do they leap in still water as well?
2022-Feb-08 • 2 minutes
Expanding the search for extraterrestrial life to planets less like Earth
NASA's James Webb telescope hopes to provide more information than we've ever had access to before about the universe around us, including the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
2022-Feb-07 • 2 minutes
Fruit flies are social butterflies
When we think of social animals, fruit flies probably aren't the first example to come to mind. These tiny creatures need to be around others more than you might think.
2022-Feb-04 • 2 minutes
The mating song of Alston's singing mice
Many animals have strange or elaborate mating rituals, even some mice. Learn more about what makes this mouse's sweet song so different.
2022-Feb-03 • 2 minutes
The wonderful Welwitschia mirabilis plant
Learn about this plant with a tongue twister of a name with A Moment of Science!
2022-Feb-02 • 2 minutes
Taking a bug's anatomy to heart
While they might look a little different from us, a bug still technically has a heart just like us. Learn more about their anatomy with today's A Moment of Science
2022-Feb-01 • 2 minutes
Sleep and inequality in the United States
Inequality for minority groups can impact a number of life factors, including getting enough sleep. Research looks into the relationship between these areas and the reasons behind it.
2022-Jan-31 • 2 minutes
Blood type might impact how you should prep for traveling
If you've ever experienced some unpleasant sickness from traveling, like getting diarrhea, your blood type might actually be part of the equation.
2022-Jan-28 • 2 minutes
The trick behind a rattlesnake's rattle
Scientists noticed some interesting behaviors when rattlesnakes began to rattle, and further research provided insight into these creatures.
2022-Jan-27 • 2 minutes
Anxiety can impact how you view facial expressions
When someone tells you to calm down, that's often the most inconvenient time to actually calm down. But is the expression on your face really accurate to how you feel inside? Today's A Moment of Science looks at how we interpret facial expressions.
2022-Jan-26 • 2 minutes
The hidden benefits of marine biofluorescence
Under the blue light seen below the ocean's surface, there's a surprising array of biofluorescence to be seen. If, of course, you have the right kind of eyes to detect it.
2022-Jan-25 • 2 minutes
The durian fruit's smell is at odds with its taste
How can a fruit that smells like garbage be appealing? Somehow, most of the animal kingdom besides humans are fans of durians.
2022-Jan-24 • 2 minutes
The gap in the Grand Canyon's rock record
In geology, gaps in the rock record are fairly common. But the Great Unconformity of the Grand Canyon takes this gap to a new level.
2022-Jan-21 • 2 minutes
Seeing yourself through imaginary coworkers
How do you see the world? Your descriptions of the people around you can actually reveal a lot about how you see yourself.
2022-Jan-20 • 2 minutes
Is stinky cheese appetizing or disgusting?
Why do some people find the smell of pungent cheeses appetizing while others find it unbearable? Neuroscientists were wondering the same thing and researched the question further.
2022-Jan-19 • 2 minutes
U.S. islands and migratory animals
Migratory animals often use islands while making their long journeys, creating some of the most biodiverse areas. Learn more about this relationship with A Moment of Science.
2022-Jan-18 • 2 minutes
Studying gut health and brain rejuvenation in mice
Our intestinal health can have a major impact on the rest of our body. Scientists have recently looked into how having a healthy gut can improve brain function.
2022-Jan-17 • 2 minutes
What makes a bug a true bug?
We commonly refer to most insects as bugs, but how accurate is that term?
2022-Jan-14 • 2 minutes
Handwriting and learning to read
In the modern age, there are fewer instances of needing to actually write anything down by hand. Scientists say we should still teach children how to write. Learn more with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jan-13 • 2 minutes
The indigestible goodness of fiber
If fiber is actually indigestible for humans, why do we keep eating it?
2022-Jan-12 • 2 minutes
How does sound travel on Mars?
The Mars Perseverance Rover has collected vital data for studying the red planet, including audio recordings. So how does sound travel on Mars?
2022-Jan-11 • 2 minutes
How do moths stay safe when mating?
Humans aren't the only ones who practice safe sex, others in the animal kingdom do as well. Learn how moths protect themselves with A Moment of Science.
2022-Jan-07 • 2 minutes
How knowledge and memory relate
You might think that knowledge and memory go hand in hand, but the true nature of their relationship is a bit more complicated. Learn more with today's A Moment of Science.
2022-Jan-06 • 2 minutes
Lakes on Mars, or a radar mirage?
In 2018, evidence for potential liquid water on Mars was announced. This would be a monumental discovery, but arguments since then have repeatedly cast doubt on these claims.
2022-Jan-05 • 2 minutes
Your ear does more than just listen to noise
Our ears don't just listen to the noises around us, they also make some sound as well. Learn more about otoacoustic emissions with A Moment of Science
2022-Jan-04 • 2 minutes
Birds in the big city behave differently from those in the country
Like any environment, there are certain adaptations people take on in order to live in a large metropolitan area. Are the animals that live among us any different?
2022-Jan-03 • 2 minutes
How are defibrillators really used?
While their use has been popularized by Hollywood in countless medical dramas, the defibrillator isn't actually the miracle machine it's made out to be.
2021-Dec-31 • 2 minutes
Birds have their own cultures and traditions, too
Human cultures often benefit from their influence on each other, and scientists wondered if the same can be said for birds. Today's A Moment of Science has more on this research into the social lives of great tits.
2021-Dec-30 • 2 minutes
The oldest fossils on Earth could shed light on finding signs of past life on Mars
Single-celled organisms were present on the Earth long before more intelligent life began. Finding fossils of these past life forms on Earth could help scientists looking for former life on Mars.
2021-Dec-29 • 2 minutes
Why does having a sore throat hurt so much?
Why do sore throats hurt? Today's A Moment of Science looks closer at this pesky sickness and a few potential methods for relief.
2021-Dec-28 • 2 minutes
Confronting brain freeze head on
Why do we get brain freeze, and always at the least convenient times? Today's A Moment of Science looks closer at this headache.
2021-Dec-27 • 2 minutes
How our bodies keep us warm
We're pretty familiar with terms such as 'cold-blooded' and 'warm-blooded,' but they're not the most accurate descriptions for what actually goes on inside bodies.
2021-Dec-24 • 2 minutes
Probing the limits of life in Antarctica
Scientists have found evidence of microbial life in all of Earth's environments, but does that mean life can truly exist under any conditions? New research looks at the extreme environment of Antarctica for answers.
2021-Dec-23 • 2 minutes
Deer parents probably aren't abandoning their fawns
It's not uncommon to see a deer fawn alone, and sometimes our first assumption is it was abandoned by its parents. Today's A Moment of Science explains how that probably isn't the case.
2021-Dec-22 • 2 minutes
Having red hair could mean you have a higher pain tolerance
Having red hair is incredibly rare, and could signal other unique differences your body has. Learn more about the relationship between hair color and pain tolerance with today's A Moment of Science.
2021-Dec-21 • 2 minutes
Why an egg's consistency changes as it cooks
Eggs change from a liquid-like state to practically solid the longer you cook them, but why is that?
2021-Dec-20 • 2 minutes
Goby fish can act like Goldilocks, too
Goldilocks might have been a sensitive character in a fairytale, but the goby fish can be just as picky when finding a bed. Learn more about Goby-locks with today's A Moment of Science.
2021-Dec-17 • 2 minutes
Benjamin Franklin burned through money, for science
When Benjamin Franklin was researching how heat and cold are conducted, he performed some interesting experiments using cold hard cash. Learn more with today's A Moment of Science.
2021-Dec-16 • 2 minutes
The silent song of asteroseismology
In the 1600s, many people believed the stars produced musical vibrations. While it's true stars vibrate, they don't produce any sound. Asteroseismology still uses these vibrations to learn more about the cosmos.
2021-Dec-15 • 2 minutes
Does zero gravity actually exist?
Seeing astronauts floating weightless is a commonly known image, but that weightlessness is different from actual zero gravity. Does zero gravity even exist?
2021-Dec-14 • 2 minutes
The human genus may have a new member
All modern humans belong to the same species, but that doesn't mean we were the only species. Scientists may have recently found a new member of our extended family.
2021-Dec-13 • 2 minutes
The secret behind getting clear ice cubes
Ice cubes always seem to be slightly cloudy in the middle. Why is that, and is it possible to avoid?
2021-Dec-10 • 2 minutes
How mongoose pups benefit from a "veil of ignorance"
Usually, operating with a "veil of ignorance" has few benefits. Researchers studying mongooses found that this might not always be the case in the animal kingdom.
2021-Dec-09 • 2 minutes
Suggestions on judging statistics and risk assessment
When confronted with something new, we often try to determine the potential risk associated with it. Today's A Moment of Science provides suggestions when determining your own risk assessment.
2021-Dec-08 • 2 minutes
Flip a coin, beat the odds
In a hundred tosses of a coin, you expect about fifty heads. But do those odds change depending on what previous coin toss results were?
2021-Dec-07 • 2 minutes
Science says you should read to your baby
Research shows there are multiple benefits for babies who are read to at a young age.
2021-Dec-06 • 2 minutes
The beetle that walks on the underside of the water's surface
There's more than just one way to move around in the water, and this beetle has found one of the more unique modes of transportation.
2021-Dec-03 • 2 minutes
A lost strain of rice is found again
A staple of Southern cuisine, hill rice, was thought to be lost from the US. Finding it again has been an important development for geneticists and horticulturalists alike.
2021-Dec-02 • 2 minutes
What the weather report doesn't tell you
Weather reports usually come from a measurement at least six feet off the ground. While that reading is accurate, it doesn't show the full story of temperatures closer to the ground.
2021-Dec-01 • 2 minutes
Scientists study the unique birdsong known as bird incubation calls
Zebra finches are among one finch species known to use bird incubation calls, a distinctive sound used only around the time of eggs hatching.
2021-Nov-30 • 2 minutes
Research furthers potential muscle regeneration
Researchers looked into further understanding a set of proteins known as the Yamanaka factors, hopefully leading to advancements in restoring muscle mass and strength as we age.
2021-Nov-29 • 2 minutes
"It takes one to know one"
Scrub jays are known to steal from other birds, and their behavior towards others in their species shows shows everyone's in on the secret.
2021-Nov-26 • 2 minutes
Why humans have baby teeth
Baby teeth are valuable for childhood development, and for more reasons than keeping the tooth fairy employed. Today's A Moment of Science has more.
2021-Nov-25 • 2 minutes
How do polar bears drink?
Most water polar bears come in contact with is frozen, so how do they stay hydrated?
2021-Nov-24 • 2 minutes
The lost continent of 'Icelandia'
A team of Earth scientists published their hypothesis earlier this year that Iceland is just "the tip of the iceberg" for the continental crust of Icelandia
2021-Nov-23 • 2 minutes
The hairy truth behind trichomes
Just like our hair, trichomes can cover a plant in a variety of ways. Today's A Moment of Science has more on these structures
2021-Nov-22 • 2 minutes
How different cancer models actually model cancer
There are many options to choose from when testing a cancer model. How do scientists pick which one is the best for their uses?
2021-Nov-19 • 2 minutes
Turkeys actually make great wingmen
The dating strategies for turkeys have benefits for those who don't pass along their genes.
2021-Nov-18 • 2 minutes
Microbes in our brains are related to how infants develop fear
While some have a fear of germs, new research shows our sense of fear might come from microbes in our brains.
2021-Nov-17 • 2 minutes
Clearing out your wallet might be a pain reliever
Cleaning out clutter always makes us feel better, but what about physically? Today's A Moment of Science looks at the benefits of a cleared-out wallet.
2021-Nov-16 • 2 minutes
The importance of time when navigating deep space
Navigating deep space remains a daunting challenge. New developments in atomic clocks hope to aid in this issue.
2021-Nov-15 • 2 minutes
What it means when an experiment fails to replicate
One of the main tenets of scientific study is results should be reproducible over and over again. But what happens when that's not possible?
2021-Nov-12 • 2 minutes
The largest insect migration in the world
The Painted Lady butterfly makes the long journey across the Sahara Desert regularly, making the longest insect migration in the world.
2021-Nov-11 • 2 minutes
The chemistry of cooking with wine
We've recently looked at cooking with vodka and beer, so what does cooking with wine do?
2021-Nov-10 • 2 minutes
Mammals can press pause on their pregnancies
Parents often say there's no perfect time to get pregnant. For some animals, embryonic diapause is a convenient workaround to this problem.
2021-Nov-09 • 2 minutes
The benefits of baking with alcohol
Many recipes can contain a secret ingredient. Today's A Moment of Science has a tip on what to add to your next pie.
2021-Nov-08 • 2 minutes
Only three percent of Earth's land is ecologically intact
The climate crisis has caused havoc on almost all areas of the planet. Research into biodiversity has led to a drastic statistic on Earth's ecology.
2021-Nov-05 • 2 minutes
How red is "blood red" really?
What color is blood? The answer might seem obvious, but color can depend on a couple factors in your body.
2021-Nov-04 • 2 minutes
The mollusk with a rare iron mineral in its teeth
Teeth can contain a wide variety of substances besides calcium. Scientists found a surprising mineral in the teeth of the gumboot chiton.
2021-Nov-03 • 2 minutes
Scientists use drone technology to aid blowhole research
There are many creative uses for drones, and scientists have found another way to use this new technology.
2021-Nov-02 • 2 minutes
The irresistible scent of dead arthropods
Some plants have come up with unique ways to encourage pollination. One flower even has a specific scent to help encourage the presence of flies.
2021-Nov-01 • 2 minutes
Carbon-dating the mysterious Greenland shark reveals impressive lifespans
There's a lot we don't know about the Greenland shark, making them very mysterious creatures. Some recent information tells us a little more about them.
2021-Oct-29 • 2 minutes
Why the Midwest gets so many tornadoes
Tornadoes touch down on every continent except Antarctica, but what makes them so tied to the midwest United States?
2021-Oct-28 • 2 minutes
Do wild animals ever overeat?
We don't often see obese animals in the wild, but does that mean that they don't exist?
2021-Oct-27 • 2 minutes
The evolution of making porcelain
Porcelain is a popular but incredibly fragile material for making everything from plates to dolls. Today's A Moment of Science looks closer at how it's made.
2021-Oct-26 • 2 minutes
The freezing and flowing waters of Mars
We've heard a lot about liquid water on Mars, but how is this possible with low temperatures in the planet's early history?
2021-Oct-25 • 2 minutes
The alligator gar is not an alligator
Despite the name, the alligator gar is not a reptile. Learn more about these massive creatures with today's A Moment of Science.
2021-Oct-22 • 2 minutes
How Neanderthals simplified the complex process of making tar
Our prehistoric ancestors relied on the tools they made to survive, but how did they put those tools together in the first place?
2021-Oct-21 • 2 minutes
Pandemic symptoms prompt unconventional respiratory research
With the COVID-19 virus impacting breathing abilities, researchers have looked into potential respiratory failure treatment alternatives.
2021-Oct-20 • 2 minutes
Missing out on sleep really adds up
How tired is too tired? Today's A Moment of Science looks at how a few nights with little sleep can really add up.
2021-Oct-19 • 2 minutes
Sharks use Earth's magnetic field to navigate
Many animals have amazing sensory abilities. Thanks to recent research, scientists now have greater insight into how sharks navigate the seas.
2021-Oct-18 • 2 minutes
You're a winner!
It feels great to win, even if we only think we did. Researchers looked into how just thinking we've won impacts our bodies.
2021-Oct-15 • 2 minutes
Scientists observe incredible aurora display known as a "space hurricane"
Auroras are always incredible displays of light, and a recently observed phenomenon called a "space hurricane" is no exception.
2021-Oct-14 • 2 minutes
Exploring the "twilight zone" of the ocean
We've explored a relatively small part of our oceans, including a mysterious section known as the "Twilight Zone." Research has shown this area is not nearly as lifeless as we first thought.
2021-Oct-13 • 2 minutes
How Moon rocks differ from Earth rocks
Impact theory helps explain why Moon rocks look so similar to stones here on Earth.
2021-Oct-12 • 2 minutes
The trouble with drinking blood
There are many animals with unique diets, but one of the most surprising is the vampire bat's. Today's A Moment of Science has more on the realities of living off of blood.
2021-Oct-11 • 2 minutes
Lightning strike rates are increasing in the Arctic
In the past, the Arctic has been too cold to produce many thunderstorms. Warming temperatures are changing this environment and making lightning strikes more likely.
2021-Oct-08 • 2 minutes
The fountain pen is mightier than the sword
Today's A Moment of Science has more on the fountain pen, the perfect example of capillary action, in action.
2021-Oct-07 • 2 minutes
How non-migrating birds stay warm in the winter
Birds are known to migrate with seasonal temperature changes, but what do those who don't travel South for winter do?
2021-Oct-06 • 2 minutes
The explosive methods of an ant's self-defense
There are some strange methods animals use to defend themselves, and this ant is no exception.
2021-Oct-05 • 2 minutes
Behind the familiar physics of alien rain
We're all familiar with how rainfall on Earth works, but how does it differ on other planets?
2021-Oct-04 • 2 minutes
The phenomenon of multiple discovery
If Alexander Graham Bell had never lived, would we still have the telephone? The answer might be surprising, thanks to a pattern in science called multiple discovery
2021-Oct-01 • 2 minutes
Why many are making the switch to plant-based burgers
Plant-based foods are becoming a popular alternative to meat products, and taste isn't the only factor convincing consumers to make the switch.
2021-Sep-30 • 2 minutes
The Rodents Are Both Warm And Cold Blooded
Most mammals, including humans, respond to cold temperatures the same way. Today's A Moment of Science looks at two exceptions
2021-Sep-29 • 2 minutes
Lightweight Electric Vehicles: Can A Battery Double As A Structural Part Of A Vehicle?
As electric batteries become more widely used in vehicles, a major hurdle to their widespread use is their weight. A new project looks to dual uses for batteries.
2021-Sep-28 • 2 minutes
Fire: Not Just For Humans Anymore
Humans have long been considered the only animals to use fire. However, scientific evidence from Australian Aboriginal groups have shown this is not the case.
2021-Sep-27 • 2 minutes
Butterfly Brains And Speciation
What role do our brains play in evolution? Scientists study butterfly brains to learn more.
2021-Sep-24 • 2 minutes
Is It A Waste To Wash Your Recyclables?
We all try our best to reduce, reuse, recycle. But how much is washing out recycling really helping?
2021-Sep-23 • 2 minutes
Plant Fossils Beneath The Greenland Ice Sheet
A sample taken beneath Greenland's mile-thick ice sheet reveals much about the area's past million years of history, and provides a warning for its future.
2021-Sep-22 • 2 minutes
Some Countries Navigate Better Than Others
What impacts our internal sense of direction? Research shows a surprising contributing factor.
2021-Sep-21 • 2 minutes
Immune Response Of Early Embryos
When do we develop our immune system?
2021-Sep-20 • 2 minutes
Long-Lived Sea Species
Animals like the tortoise are known to live much longer than humans. What other animals have equally impressive lifespans?
2021-Sep-17 • 2 minutes
Changing Climate: Can Forests Make Like A Tree And Leave?
As climate change becomes a more pressing issue, how will forests adapt to rising temperatures?
2021-Sep-16 • 2 minutes
Bad Grades And Biological Clocks
Doing well in classes is a bit more complicated to achieve than just studying hard. Today's A Moment of Science looks at how activity patterns might impact grades.
2021-Sep-15 • 2 minutes
Jonathan, The Giant Tortoise
Have you heard of Jonathan the Giant Tortoise? Today's A Moment of Science has more on his impressive lifespan
2021-Sep-14 • 2 minutes
Why Do African Apes Walk On Their Knuckles?
Chimps and gorillas are the only animals to walk on their knuckles, but why do they do this?
2021-Sep-13 • 2 minutes
Additive And Subtractive Strategies
We often first think of adding a new variable when problem solving, like giving a dying houseplant more water or fertilizer. Why don't we think of taking something away as frequently?
2021-Sep-10 • 2 minutes
Running On The Water
Many animals and insects, including two species of grebes, can run on water. But what sets these birds apart from others?
2021-Sep-09 • 2 minutes
Bacteria Can Survive The Harsh Conditions Of Space
The origin of life on Earth is still a mystery. The theory of panspermia looks to bacteria for answers.
2021-Sep-08 • 2 minutes
Guayule: A Promising Crop From The Desert
What exactly is guayule, and why is this lesser-known crop so useful?
2021-Sep-07 • 2 minutes
Did Whales Learn To Avoid Whalers?
Sperm whales have the largest brain for any animal. Researchers are now wondering if that brain power leads to some interesting, complex thought.
2021-Sep-06 • 2 minutes
The Cities Of The Maya
Researchers have always known the Mayan built a sophisticated civilization, but had assumed their numbers to be fairly small. A breakthrough has brought new information to light for this ancient population.
2021-Sep-03 • 2 minutes
The Microbial Time-Travelers Of Pangaea
Microbes are usually quick to evolve, but what if there's no need to change? Today's A Moment of Science looks at some consistent microbial designs.
2021-Sep-02 • 2 minutes
Fastidious Felines
While it may seem like some of our furry friends' food preferences are incredibly picky, they actually have a refined pallet. Today's A Moment of Science has more.
2021-Sep-01 • 2 minutes
How Does Autotune Work?
Very few of us can sing perfectly, but autotune helps hide a singer's mistakes. How does this process work?
2021-Aug-31 • 2 minutes
The Scent Of Danger: Underwater
In a crab-eat-crab underwater world, how are crustaceans able to protect themselves? Today's A Moment of Science has more on their sense for danger.
2021-Aug-30 • 2 minutes
Albatross Conservation
The albatross Wisdom has had an impressively long life. How can we best protect seabirds so they can experience the same?
2021-Aug-27 • 2 minutes
What Is A Glacier?
What are glaciers and how do they form? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2021-Aug-26 • 2 minutes
Feeding Cattle Seaweed
Cows have a surprisingly high contribution to climate change. How can changing their diet help curb their impact?
2021-Aug-25 • 2 minutes
Defensive Pessimism
Are there different benefits to being either an optimist or a pessimist? Today's A Moment of Science looks at those who see the glass as "half full."
2021-Aug-24 • 2 minutes
Was Oumuamua A Nitrogen Iceberg?
A 2017 space anomaly still has astronomers questioning what they saw. Now, they might have a new theory.
2021-Aug-23 • 2 minutes
Why We Choose To Listen To Sad Music
Sometimes we listen to sad music to feel better, and sometimes we listen to feel sadder. Why do we do that?
2021-Aug-20 • 2 minutes
Mechanical Gears In An Insect
Gears can be found in almost every mechanical device. Researchers discovered nature has designed some of its own.
2021-Aug-19 • 2 minutes
Humongous Fungus
What's the world's largest single organism? This fungus makes whales and elephants look tiny in comparison.
2021-Aug-18 • 2 minutes
The Patagonia Picnic Table Effect
What is The Patagonia Picnic Table Effect? Today's A Moment of Science looks at the relationship between birders and rare bird sightings.
2021-Aug-17 • 2 minutes
Glitter In The Environment
If you've ever used glitter, it can seem like it takes forever to away. This is true for our environment as a whole, and today's A Moment of Science looks at the dangers of microplastics.
2021-Aug-16 • 2 minutes
Protecting Paddlefish Roe
How can different species benefit from environmental protections? The case of the paddlefish is a good example of how we can better protect our neighboring species.
2021-Aug-13 • 2 minutes
Life In The Deep Biosphere
There's evidence that life can exist several miles underground. How do these unique ecosystems exist?
2021-Aug-12 • 2 minutes
Trilobites Breathed Through Their Legs
Humans have noses, fish have gills, and 450-million-year-old trilobites had dumbbell-shaped breathing structures hanging off their legs. Today's A Moment of Science has more on this new fossil evidence.
2021-Aug-11 • 2 minutes
Turtles, Tortoises, Terrapins
How can you tell the difference between a turtle, a tortoise, and a terrapin? Today's A Moment of Science breaks these classifications down.
2021-Aug-10 • 2 minutes
The Oceans, Carbon, And Climate Change
Climate change and carbon levels have a massive impact on our oceans. Newly published research looks into what the future of our oceans can look like.
2021-Aug-09 • 2 minutes
Can Plants Learn?
Pavlov's famous experiment ringing a bell before feeding a dog shed light on associative learning. Researchers wondered if plants were capable of making the same associations.
2021-Aug-06 • 2 minutes
Modern Alchemy: Lab-Made Gold
Alchemy existed long before modern science, and it's appeal still lives on. Some still wonder, is transmutation possible?
2021-Aug-05 • 2 minutes
Why Do Cats Shed All Year Round?
If a cat's fur is supposed to protect them from the cold, why do they shed year round instead of seasonally?
2021-Aug-04 • 2 minutes
Did Climate Change Kill North America's Mammals?
North America used to be home to some of the world's largest mammals. 10,000 years later, scientists are looking at climate change as a possible cause of mass extinction.
2021-Aug-03 • 2 minutes
Screens And Sleep
Artificial light from our devices has started affecting our ability to get to sleep. But how exactly does this happen? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2021-Aug-02 • 2 minutes
When A Song Gets Stuck In Your Head
What makes a song so easy to stay in your head? Today's A Moment of Science looks at the characteristics of earworms.
2021-Jul-30 • 2 minutes
How Climate Change Impacts Coffee Pollinators
Coffee needs cool, mountainous areas to grow. As rising temperatures decrease suitable growing places, how will this impact pollinators?
2021-Jul-29 • 2 minutes
When Crocodiles And Alligators Get The Munchies
What else do these impressive predators eat besides meat?
2021-Jul-28 • 2 minutes
Change Blindness
Why are "spot the difference" games so difficult? The answer might have to do with how our brains evolved.
2021-Jul-27 • 2 minutes
Lobsters' Long Lives
We've probably all seen the claim that lobsters are immortal. How true is this fun fact?
2021-Jul-26 • 2 minutes
Not Just A Pretty Face
How do our perceptions of attractiveness impact how we perceive people?
2021-Jul-23 • 2 minutes
Traffic Noise And Mating Crickets
How can noise impact other animals besides humans? Today's A Moment of Science explains more.
2021-Jul-22 • 2 minutes
How We Got Teeth And Bones: The Beginnings Of Biomineralization
What is biomineralization? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2021-Jul-21 • 2 minutes
Why do humans have such a universal response when we find something disgusting?
2021-Jul-20 • 2 minutes
Animals Use Reason, Just Like You
Philosophers have often wondered what sets humans apart from animals. It turns out that distinction might be more difficult to find than previously thought.
2021-Jul-19 • 2 minutes
The Moon's Precious Ice
Humans have already found water in many places on the Moon. Now, we want to explore the frozen water hidden deep inside craters at the Moon’s poles.
2021-Jul-16 • 2 minutes
Busting Bedbugs
How are bedbugs able to spread so quickly even though they don't fly? Today's A Moment of Science explains more.
2021-Jul-15 • 2 minutes
The Albatross
How much do you know about the albatross? Today's A Moment of Science takes a look at these impressive birds.
2021-Jul-14 • 2 minutes
Early Crop Evolution
Today's A Moment of Science looks at the beginnings of how our ancestors influenced crop production.
2021-Jul-13 • 2 minutes
The Sex Lives Of Reindeer Lichen
For a long time, scientists thought reindeer lichen reproduced asexually. Now, new research shows the lives of these lichen may be more interesting than previously thought.
2021-Jul-12 • 2 minutes
Cool Down With A Hot Drink On A Hot Day
Is it better to drink a hot or cold beverage when trying to cool down?
2021-Jul-09 • 2 minutes
Cats And Wildlife
We might have domesticated cats, but how are their hunting instincts still impacting the environment?
2021-Jul-08 • 2 minutes
Gopher Tortoises
Why is the gopher tortoise known for saving its neighbor's lives? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2021-Jul-07 • 2 minutes
Birds And Small Mammals In The Desert
How do birds and small mammals deal with the heat when living in the desert?
2021-Jul-06 • 2 minutes
Voting By Sneezing
Today's episode looks at one of the unique ways animals communicate with each other.
2021-Jul-05 • 2 minutes
Life Inside Sea Floor Rock
Today's episode uncovers how the ocean floor might not be a lifeless place.
2021-Jul-02 • 2 minutes
Neanderthals Were Kinda Gross
50,000 years ago, food was much more scarce. Today we look at the standards our ancestors may have had when it came to what they ate.
2021-Jul-01 • 2 minutes
Earth's Early Continents
What was our planet like in its infancy?
2021-Jun-30 • 2 minutes
Female Dragonflies Fake Death To Survive
Some female dragonflies have been observed using unconventional tactics to evade aggressive pursuers.
2021-Jun-29 • 2 minutes
Fossilized Lightning
Where can we find the marks of Zeus's stray lightning?
2021-Jun-28 • 2 minutes
Dog Facial Expressions And Humans
The assumption for years has been that animal facial expressions aren't related to complex cognitive processing. But research now suggests this may be incorrect.
2021-Jun-25 • 2 minutes
Camber Angles
How are racecar drivers able to stay so stable turning the corners of the racetrack? Besides years of practice, camber angles help out.
2021-Jun-24 • 2 minutes
Should You Tap Your Soda Can?
We've all heard the old wives's tale to tap your soda before opening it to prevent fizzing over. Is there any truth in this advice?
2021-Jun-23 • 2 minutes
The Ogre-Faced Spider Hunts Using Sound
Today's A Moment of Science looks at some of the amazing qualities of the Ogre-Faced Spider.
2021-Jun-22 • 2 minutes
How A Rogue Gene May Contribute To Cancer
New research into cancer sheds some light on a gene that might be contributing to cancer risks.
2021-Jun-21 • 2 minutes
Amazing Roaches
It seems like whenever a roach is spotted, it runs away before it can be caught. What sort of abilities do they have to help make this happen?
2021-Jun-18 • 2 minutes
The Ambivalent Teenage Years Of Worms
We probably all went through a few phases in our teenage years. How do other animals act during their adolescent stages?
2021-Jun-17 • 2 minutes
This Snail Is Made Of Iron
What makes this snail the punk rocker of the gastropod world? Learn more with today's A Moment of Science.
2021-Jun-16 • 2 minutes
Politics And The Brain
There's a lot to be learned from a brain scan. Is it possible for your brain to also show your political beliefs?
2021-Jun-15 • 2 minutes
Anxiety around phone calls is fairly common. How can we best combat this nervousness?
2021-Jun-14 • 2 minutes
Coffee Shop Creativity
Does getting work done in coffee shops actually help productivity levels?
2021-Jun-11 • 2 minutes
Does Nutrasweet Have Calories?
How are artificial sweeteners able to be so sweet yet have no calories? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2021-Jun-10 • 2 minutes
Sleeping Without A Brain
Sleep is important for our brains to properly function. But do animals without a central brain need sleep too?
2021-Jun-09 • 2 minutes
Ancient Dental Records
How much can teeth really tell us? As it turns out, it might be more than you think.
2021-Jun-08 • 2 minutes
Animals And Napoleonic Intelligence
When studying animal behavior, most research looks at how animals interact within their social groups. But what new information is there to learn when looking at animal interactions with strangers?
2021-Jun-07 • 2 minutes
Addicted Ants
How do other animals besides humans react to drug exposure?
2021-Jun-04 • 2 minutes
Identical Twins Aren't Always Genetically Identical
For years, scientists have assumed that identical twins were the same down to their genes. Now, a new study sheds light on what we thought we knew about genetics.
2021-Jun-03 • 2 minutes
Single Fish Female Seeks Good Father
Does being a good parent help attract a mate?
2021-Jun-02 • 2 minutes
Deforestation Is Stressing Out Animals
Scientists look into the many ways deforestation can be harmful to animals.
2021-Jun-01 • 2 minutes
The Plastic Brain
How is the brain able to key in on specific conversations even when there's plenty of background noise? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2021-May-31 • 2 minutes
Horns vs. Antlers
Have you ever wondered how to tell the difference between horns and antlers? Today's A Moment of Science explains.
2021-May-28 • 2 minutes
Plants Arming Themselves
Plants might not be as defenseless against predators as they may first appear.
2021-May-27 • 2 minutes
That's One Cold And Sleepy Squirrel
For those of us who dislike winter, hibernating through the whole season doesn't sound too bad. How do Arctic ground squirrels do it?
2021-May-25 • 2 minutes
How Some Grapes Conserve Their Water
Climate change is impacting several of our favorite produce. Today, we look into how some grapes are able to fight back.
2021-May-24 • 2 minutes
Bonobos Need Glasses Too
To learn more about the aging process in humans, we need to look at the aging process in some of our closest relatives.
2021-May-21 • 2 minutes
Becoming Human
Humans have evolved to use more and more complex tools, setting us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. But where did our use of tools begin?
2021-May-20 • 2 minutes
Octopuses Sense Chemicals With Their Arms
While octopuses are known for their brainpower, their other abilities make them unique members of the animal kingdom.
2021-May-19 • 2 minutes
Time Heals All Wounds...But Younger Wounds Heal Faster
The older you get, the longer it seems for injuries to heal. But did you know scientists have figured out the reason why?
2021-May-18 • 2 minutes
What exactly is sebum, and what role does it play in our bodies?
2021-May-17 • 2 minutes
Contagious Violence
Children are known to spread illnesses among their social groups fairly easily. But is there more than just sickness that can be spread?
2021-May-14 • 2 minutes
This Reef Towers Over The Sea Floor
While it might be hard to believe, The Great Barrier Reef still holds many secrets for humanity to discover. This pinnacle reef is one of those secrets.
2021-May-13 • 2 minutes
Distracted From Survival
Human activities are negatively impacting our water and air quality, but are there other ways we're harming our environment?
2021-May-12 • 2 minutes
The Royal, Loyal Language Of Naked Mole Rats
What do naked mole rats and royalty have in common? The answer lies in communication.
2021-May-11 • 2 minutes
How Your Genes Impact The Effect Caffeine Has On You
Have you ever wondered why caffeine seems to impact people in different ways? The reason for this could be in our genes.
2021-May-10 • 2 minutes
Coral Reefs, Seaweed, And Crabs
Could crabs be an ally in the fight to save coral reefs? Scientists have been looking into this possibility.
2021-May-07 • 2 minutes
Come Springtime, Thank Phytochromes
When Spring has finally sprung, make sure to thank phytochromes for making it all possible.
2021-May-06 • 2 minutes
The Acidification Of The Oceans
Carbon dioxide production impacts our planet's air, but how is it affecting our oceans?
2021-May-05 • 2 minutes
Wise Owls
We've all heard the phrase "wise old owl," but are these animals really deserving of the description?
2021-May-04 • 2 minutes
Do Hummingbirds Hibernate?
Many animals are able to sleep through harsh winters, helping them to conserve energy. Recently, scientists have been looking into whether hummingbirds do the same.
2021-May-03 • 2 minutes
Saccadic Suppression
What is saccadic suppression, and how does it help us in our daily lives?
2021-Apr-30 • 2 minutes
Cadmium And The Flu
How does cadmium interact with pathogens in the body? Scientists show this could be a potentially dangerous combination.
2021-Apr-29 • 2 minutes
Glacial "Sawdust": The Colorful Components Of Mountain Lakes
What makes mountain lakes so colorful? Today's A Moment of Science tells us more.
2021-Apr-28 • 2 minutes
Colors And The Brain
How exactly do we perceive color? A team of researchers set out to find the answer.
2021-Apr-27 • 2 minutes
Ravens: Avian Einsteins
The brainpower of ravens can't be denied. Now, scientists are looking into new behaviors and what insights they might provide for corvid communication.
2021-Apr-26 • 2 minutes
How Do Birds Navigate Migration?
Bird migration is a well-documented phenomenon, but how are they able to make their annual journey?
2021-Apr-23 • 2 minutes
Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Makers
On today's A Moment of Science, we look into the science behind what makes old-fashioned ice cream makers work.
2021-Apr-22 • 2 minutes
Can We Farm On Mars?
As we look to the future of space travel and the potential to step foot on Mars, many important questions need to be asked to see this dream become reality. One of those questions is: how would farming work on the red planet?
2021-Apr-21 • 2 minutes
How To Heave Your Guts
We've often heard the phrase "heaving your guts," but are humans the only ones who can do so?
2021-Apr-20 • 2 minutes
The Chemistry Of Line-Dried Laundry
There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh laundry. Some chemists were curious, what exactly is that smell?
2021-Apr-19 • 2 minutes
Why Do We Love Junk Food?
Why does eating bad food feel so good? Our evolutionary history might tell us more.
2021-Apr-16 • 2 minutes
Reflex Tears
Sometimes it can feel like tears spring to your eyes. What exactly are reflex tears, and how can they be beneficial?
2021-Apr-15 • 2 minutes
Animal Pain
People often project human emotions onto their pets, but humans and animals might be more similar in how we experience pain than previously thought.
2021-Apr-14 • 2 minutes
Ants and Superstrength
How did ants get to be so strong? The answer might lay in their evolution.
2021-Apr-13 • 2 minutes
The Baby Schema
Why do humans often find "awkward" features cute? Scientists looking into the baby schema provide some insight.
2021-Apr-12 • 2 minutes
Consider The Kumquat
Have you ever wanted a healthier alternative to gummy candy? Then perhaps you should consider the kumquat.
2021-Apr-09 • 2 minutes
What's Up With That Fake Grape Flavor?
Have you ever wondered why your grape-flavored snacks never seem to really taste like grape?
2021-Apr-08 • 2 minutes
Persistent Monkeys
We are often told "if at first you don't succeed, try try again." But are humans the only ones who think so?
2021-Apr-06 • 2 minutes
Hurricanes And Global Climate Change
When humans burn fossil fuels, some specific gases released trap the sun’s heat, and cause global climate change by the greenhouse effect. The warming climate is bringing changes to our day-to-day weather.
2021-Apr-05 • 2 minutes
Bilingual Brain
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to speak more than one language? Would it be hard to talk without mixing up the languages?
2021-Apr-02 • 2 minutes
What's In A Moo?
For many of us, cattle lowing in the distance sounds like the mere background music of a bucolic country scene. Cows, however, don’t talk without having something to say, and they even have unique voices.
2021-Apr-01 • 2 minutes
Smells And Memories
When you step outside and sense the transition from autumn to winter, or notice signals of a fast‑approaching spring, you likely experience a feeling of being transported back in time and place. Sensory stimuli have the power to involuntarily trigger such memories.
2021-Mar-31 • 2 minutes
What Kangaroos Can Tell Us
In recent experiments, scientists think that kangaroos have the ability to communicate simply by gazing at human researchers.
2021-Mar-30 • 2 minutes
Calypso Orchid: A Lure And A Tease
The calypso orchid is one of the most eye‑catching little flowers you'll see on forest floors across the Northern United States, Canada, and Europe. It's an early bloomer that appears in springtime each year, showing off deep purple petals and a yellow fringe on its dainty white lower lip.
2021-Mar-29 • 2 minutes
The Alcohol Clouds Of Outer Space
There’s a joke that asks, “Where do astronauts go for a drink?” The answer is, “The space bar!” But in the distant future, you might ask that question literally. There really is alcohol in space, even if we can’t access it yet.
2021-Mar-26 • 2 minutes
Natural Artificial Flowers
There's a type of mustard plant, called "Holboell's rockcress" which naturally grows a dainty, light blue flower atop its narrow stem. Sometimes you'll see a Holboell's rockcress sporting a bright yellow cluster of leaves that looks suspiciously like a buttercup.
2021-Mar-25 • 2 minutes
Flight Loss
Most insects fly—but, across millennia, many species have lost the ability. Island dwelling insects have been especially prone to this evolutionary trend.
2021-Mar-24 • 2 minutes
Can A Theory Evolve Into A Law?
Scientists get a little weary of some people saying that the fact that evolution is a theory means that modern science itself isn't convinced it really happens. Today we review the difference between a theory and a law.
2021-Mar-23 • 2 minutes
How Wolves Feed Their Kids
Wolves are predators that hunt and kill large mammals, such as deer. During the season that they rear their pups, they kill prey and bring it back to their den for their pups to eat.
2021-Mar-22 • 2 minutes
What Is Rewilding?
Rewilding is a term coined in the 1990s by those working in conservation and environmental activism. It refers to large-scale wilderness recovery that allows natural processes and native wildlife to flourish in its proper place.
2021-Mar-19 • 2 minutes
Onions Are Toxic To Your Pets
You may already know that chocolate can be lethal to your pet, but did you know that onions can be toxic to your cats and dogs too? And I'm not just talking about their breath.
2021-Mar-18 • 2 minutes
Baby-Talking Bats
“Baby talk,” or “motherese,” might not be a language with any native speakers, but most humans seem suddenly fluent in it in certain situations. And it turns out bats might do something similar.
2021-Mar-17 • 2 minutes
Hearing A Shape
The first picture an expecting mother is likely to see of her developing fetus is not, technically, a picture at all. Most likely, it's an ultrasound image, produced by technology that has more to do with hearing than with seeing.
2021-Mar-16 • 2 minutes
The Oldest Ballistic Tongue
Part of the appeal of chameleons lies in their ability to fire their long sticky tongues out of their mouths to capture insects to eat. Scientists recently discovered an animal from 99 millions years that had the same kind of tongue.
2021-Mar-15 • 2 minutes
Red-Eyed Pictures
Some photos appear normal, except for an unearthly red color glowing from the pupils of your loved ones' eyes. Are Grandma and Uncle Felix possessed, or is there some other explanation for this red-eye phenomenon?
2021-Mar-12 • 2 minutes
Dogs Don’t Recognize Faces Like Humans Do
The human brain is exquisitely tuned to identify faces and facial expressions, which are so important to human social interaction. Researchers have found that certain areas of the human cerebral cortex are specialized for processing visual information about faces.
2021-Mar-11 • 2 minutes
The Breathless Parasite
Pretty much everyone knows that oxygen is a fundamental requirement for life as we know it, but oddly enough that’s not entirely right. There are many simple life forms, such as some kinds of bacteria and archea, that don’t have a major metabolic pathway that needs oxygen.
2021-Mar-10 • 2 minutes
How Do Birds Survive Hurricanes?
Ecologists go in search of birds displaced by hurricanes that make landfall along the coastal wetlands of the southern U.S. The abundant plant life there provides homes to birds that wade through brackish waters and nest in these environments.
2021-Mar-09 • 2 minutes
Earth's First Parasite
In 2020 paleontologists found the oldest fossil evidence of a parasite ever, in 540 million-year-old rocks in Yunnan Province, China.
2021-Mar-08 • 2 minutes
Today’s A Moment of Science examines brachiation, which is how apes and monkeys swing through the trees. Orangutans, spider monkeys, and chimpanzees can brachiate, but gibbons do it most often.
2021-Mar-05 • 2 minutes
AI Antibiotics
Bacteria are evolving the ability to resist some of our most important antibiotics. Unless something is done, resistant strains of bacteria may kill 10 million people per year by 2050.
2021-Mar-04 • 2 minutes
The Parasite That Eavesdrops On Its Host
In 2020, an international team of researchers made an important discovery about a parasite called a dodder. Dodders are a group of over a 100 parasitic plant species, found through much of the world.
2021-Mar-03 • 2 minutes
Did Life On Earth Begin In Hot Springs?
The molecular working parts of living things are complex organic molecules with a backbone of carbon atoms. Some scientists think that hot springs might have provided the special chemical environments needed to link simple molecules up to form these longer and more complicated molecules.
2021-Mar-02 • 2 minutes
Frogs Can Breathe Through Their Skin
Cutaneous respiration is the ability to breathe through the skin, and is a common trait in amphibians, although humans can't do it.
2021-Mar-01 • 2 minutes
Failing Better
Some scientists have an exact figure for how much failure is optimal for learning: they say that learning is most effective when it involves failure 15 percent of the time.
2021-Feb-26 • 2 minutes
Why Is U.S. Money Green?
We use money all the time, but have you ever wondered why U.S. banknotes are green? After A Moment of Science researchers did some investigating into the history of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, it turns out that there are several reasons for the green-back design.
2021-Feb-25 • 2 minutes
More Wolves, Taller Willows
The willows in Yellowstone National Park used to commonly grow up to 157 inches tall. But in the 1990s, most willows in the northern part of the park only grew to be 39 inches.
2021-Feb-24 • 2 minutes
Earth's Climate History
If we understood how Earth's climate has changed over its long geological history, we could better understand modern climate change. In 2020, geoscientists took a major step towards that goal when they published the most complete reconstruction of the last 66 million years of Earth's climate history.
2021-Feb-23 • 2 minutes
The Germ-Killing Power Of Copper
The ancient Egytians used copper to sterilize wounds and clean their drinking water. They even wrote about it in one of the oldest known medical texts, the Smith Papyrus, which is over four thousand years old.
2021-Feb-22 • 2 minutes
How Does Crop Rotation Work?
Crop rotation involves a lot of questions, like a puzzle. There are so many different crops that farmers can choose to plant, and so many different combinations; the possiblities are endless.
2021-Feb-19 • 2 minutes
Mollusks Reveal The Length Of A Day
Rudist clams were around in the late Cretaceous and are extinct today. Their fossils can tell us a lot of surprising things, such as the length of a day 70 million years ago.
2021-Feb-18 • 2 minutes
The New Tree In Town
When a gardener digs up a tree or shrub in one place and transplants it to another, the plant will endure all sorts of stress. It’s common for transplants to show signs of shock. Most often these plants are unable to recover.
2021-Feb-17 • 2 minutes
Shrinking Eyespots On Butterflies
The eyes on the wings of a butterfly can look kind of strange, but they're not looking at you, they're just a deflecting mechanism. Like a lot of butterfly species, the African satyrid butterfly's eyespots make predators more likely to attack its wings rather than the more vital parts of its body.
2021-Feb-16 • 2 minutes
Phosphine: A Sign Of Life On Venus
In 2020 an international team of astonomers made a surprising discovery using the James Clerk Maxwell telescope in Hawai'i. They found evidence that the atmosphere of the planet Venus contains tiny amounts of phsophine gas.
2021-Feb-15 • 2 minutes
A Drop In Temperature
When you take your temperature, we hope to find that we have a normal temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This might not be as normal as we think, though.
2021-Feb-12 • 2 minutes
The Discovery Of A New Organ
A team of Swedish biomedical researchers have just discovered a new organ in the bodies of mice, and they expect that humans have it, too. They missed this organ until now because it's not a complicated organ like a heart or a liver.
2021-Feb-11 • 2 minutes
Bridging The Gibbon Divide
When a landslide in China created a treeless gully in a forest, the apes who lived there had to leap dangerously across, or take a long detour through the trees. So scientists built them a bridge.
2021-Feb-10 • 2 minutes
The Loneliness Of Social Distancing
During times of mandatory isolation, like COVID-19 “social distancing”, countless people experience loneliness, but our craving for social contact is also very similar to cravings like thirst and hunger.
2021-Feb-09 • 2 minutes
Thiophenes On Mars: Evidence Of Past Life?
Thiophenes are compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur. Their molecules contain a ring of four carbon atoms and one sulfur atom. They are found in coal, crude oil, in fossils of microscopic life, and bacterial mats.
2021-Feb-08 • 2 minutes
Do Elephants Grieve Their Dead?
There are documented accounts by scientists of elephants' interest in the bodies of their dead. In 2019 a team of American researchers added their own observation at the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya.
2021-Feb-05 • 2 minutes
The Rusty Moon
In 2020, a team of American scientists reported the first remotely sensed evidence of the mineral hematite on Earth's moon. The researchers made their discovery with a NASA instrument aboard the Indian space agency's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft orbiting the moon.
2021-Feb-04 • 2 minutes
Is Your Dog Anxious?
Sensitivity to loud noises, like thunder or fireworks, is the most common kind of anxiety for dogs. In fact, researchers at the University of Helsinki had dog owners around the world report on their canines' anxiety.
2021-Feb-03 • 2 minutes
Where Did Penguins Come From?
Scientists have mulling over the origin of the penguin. And after sequencing the genome of the 18 species of penguins that exist today, they have a pretty good idea how these evolved.
2021-Feb-02 • 2 minutes
If you visit an archive with scrolls, illuminated manuscripts, or old books on display, you might notice a particular kind of round, yellowish, or orange-tinted stain on some of the paper artifacts. This color effect is called foxing, and paper so affected is said to be “foxed.”
2021-Feb-01 • 2 minutes
The Danger of Supervolcanoes
Just like the impact of an asteroid or a comet, the explosion of a volcano can be a major disaster. 39,000 years ago the Campi Flegrei volcano blew up in what's now Italy, blasting 70 cubic miles of molten rock into the stratosphere.
2021-Jan-29 • 2 minutes
Whale Migration Molting
Some animals go to great lengths to exfoliate. Some scientists think that the reason some whale species make their long migration is to shed their skin, not to feed or give birth.
2021-Jan-28 • 2 minutes
Was Earth Once A Waterworld?
Many astronomers think that exoplanets circling distant stars might be waterworlds, but maybe we don't need to look that far away. In 2020 two American geologists published evidence that Earth's surface may have been entirely covered with water up until at least 3.2 billion years ago.
2021-Jan-27 • 2 minutes
The Difference In Our Gestures
Do we learn gestures by watching others make them? Or do our patterns of gesture originate from language itself?
2021-Jan-26 • 2 minutes
Is The Great Barrier Reef Dying?
The Great Barrier Reef is that gigantic coral reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and it may be dying. This reef is the largest biological structure on Earth, and covers 130,000 square miles.
2021-Jan-25 • 2 minutes
Spaghettification by Black Hole
Here’s a joke for astronomy buffs: what’s a black hole’s favorite meal? Spaghettification! Of course, the joke only makes sense if you know what spaghettification means. This A Moment of Science explains that punchline.
2021-Jan-22 • 2 minutes
Rejuvenating Human Cells
Science has done some amazing things, but nobody really knows if it could ever extend our life span, or eliminate aging entirely. Recently, a team of researchers from California found a way to reverse aging in several kinds of human cells.
2021-Jan-21 • 2 minutes
Dolphin Best Friends
Male dolphins hang out with acquaintances and family, but they also spend a lot of time with their best friend. Adult male bottlenose dolphins often bond in duos or trios.
2021-Jan-20 • 2 minutes
A Rainforest In Antarctica
92 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, there was a rainforest in Antarctica. This isn't due to the movement of continents on Earth's tectonic plates. Even 92 million years ago, Antarctica was still near the South Pole.
2021-Jan-19 • 2 minutes
House Cat Versus Predators
The hunting abilities of house cats are pretty impressive. They look so cute and cuddly, and then they turn out to be ferocious killers. A lot of people don't realize that they're a pretty big threat to local animal populations.
2021-Jan-18 • 2 minutes
Brussel Sprouts Really Are Good For You
Over the years, Brussels sprouts and broccoli have developed a bad reputation as unappetizing health food. In spite of this, they are some of the most delicious vegetables out there, as long as they're cooked correctly.
2021-Jan-15 • 2 minutes
The Many Colors Of Bell Peppers
The bell pepper is one of the most popular vegetables in the world (even though it’s technically a fruit). Its deeply pigmented, shiny skin advertises its other qualities: flavor and texture, of course, but also nutritional content.
2021-Jan-14 • 2 minutes
How Butterflies Keep Their Wings Cool
In 2020 an interdisciplinary team of American researchers published a study on how butterflies keep their wings cool. Using a specialized infrared camera, they found that the living parts of the wings, around the wing veins, were best at radiating heat.
2021-Jan-13 • 2 minutes
Megalodon: The Largest Shark That Ever Lived
The largest shark that ever lived is called Otodus megalodon. Its teeth were as big as a human hand. The oldest fossil evidence dates from 20 million years ago, and it became extinct just 3.5 million years ago.
2021-Jan-12 • 2 minutes
Serving Up Nuclear Pasta
Neutron stars can form when a giant star goes supernova. During a supernova, the star’s core collapses, and the remaining protons and electrons get squeezed together so tightly that their nuclei touch.
2021-Jan-11 • 2 minutes
The Science Of Narrative Structure
Even very different kinds of books share some common characteristics, like the pattern of their function words. These are the short connector words such as pronouns and prepositions, as well as articles, conjunctions, negations and auxiliary verbs.
2021-Jan-08 • 2 minutes
Dinosaur For Dinner
Chewed up dinosaur bones are a pretty common find in Colorado's Mygatt-Moore Quarry. According to a recent story, about 29% of 2,368 dinosaur bones researchers found had bite marks from the serrated teeth of therapods, carnivorous dinosaurs that roamed the region in the late Jurassic period 150 million years ago.
2021-Jan-07 • 2 minutes
Do Praying Mantises Change Color?
Mantises display subtle shades of color that sometimes allow them to disappear into their habitats, where you might find them perching on a blade of tall grass or a pumpkin vine.
2021-Jan-06 • 2 minutes
Facebook And The Emergency Department
Social media can be addictive, and sometimes it's better to cut back on use. But it isn't necessarily all bad. It can tell us some surprising things about a person's well being.
2021-Jan-05 • 2 minutes
How Chinchillas Stay Clean
Chinchillas are sometimes singled out as being particularly adorable and fascinating. Chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains. To survive the cold temperatures, their fur is dense, and about an inch-and-a-half long.
2021-Jan-04 • 2 minutes
The Australian Wildfires: An Ecological Disaster
Near the beginning of 2020 massive wildfires ravaged Australia.The fires peaked in intensity during December and January. Damage to Australian ecosystems and wildlife was extensive.
2021-Jan-01 • 2 minutes
The Early Bird Gets The Girl
Everyone might enjoy waking up to birdsong, but not at 4am. So what is making birds start their singing at this less idyllic time?
2020-Dec-31 • 2 minutes
How Eureka Moments Can Warp Our Judgement
A eureka moment is an experience where a solution or idea suddenly appears in your mind and immediately feels true. One reason eureka experiences are peculiar is that they tend to accompany accurate solutions to problems, but they can also lead to errors.
2020-Dec-29 • 2 minutes
The Powerful Pistol Shrimp
Today we will consider a small but mighty creature called the pistol shrimp. It's a ferocious animal, known for its claws, one of which is a normal pincer. The other is an enormous snapper, which is the pistol.
2020-Dec-28 • 2 minutes
The Gestures In Our Voices
When we talk to people on the phone who we know well, we can often predict their physical gestures while they're talking, even if we can't see them. That's because we've seen them do it before, and because of cues from their voices.
2020-Dec-26 • 2 minutes
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall
Some days rain falls in a light, calm sweep across the earth. On other days rain falls in a torrential downpour, flooding the ground below. So, what causes this difference?
2020-Dec-04 • 2 minutes
Ancient Gum
At one Stone-Age-era archaeological site in southern Denmark on the island Lolland all of the artifacts have been sealed in mud since the Mesolithic period 6,000 years ago. One artifact is what researchers are calling an early version of chewing gum, made from birch pitch that oozed from birch bark after being heated.
2020-Dec-03 • 2 minutes
Will Dogs Really Rescue Humans?
Cooperation and mutual aid can help animals survive and reproduce, and in these circumstances evolution can promote helpful and unselfish behavior. A study by American researchers published in 2020 shows that domestic dogs really will rescue their owners even when they haven't been trained to do it for a reward.
2020-Dec-02 • 2 minutes
Aluminum, Phosphate, Lead and Water
Too much lead is always a cause for concern, and scientists are still learning about how lead interacts with other substances. Take aluminum and phosphate. Phosphate is sometimes added to water because it inhibits corrosion of lead pipes, reducing the amount of lead released into water.
2020-Dec-01 • 2 minutes
Rediscovering the Nose-Horned Lizard
Many years ago, it seemed like there was so much biodiversity out there, with all kinds of new plants and animals to discover. Now it seems like every corner of the world has been studied and cataloged.
2020-Nov-30 • 2 minutes
Are There Active Volcanoes On Venus?
The surface of Venus is dotted with ring-like structures named coronae, produced by volcanic activity. They appear to be much like the Hawaiian islands on Earth, which are products of volcanic activity from a plume of hot material welling up from Earth’s mantle.
2020-Nov-27 • 2 minutes
Neanderthals and Fertility
Some of us have Neanderthal genes, and there's nothing wrong with that. There's research showing that women with a certain gene variant, or allele, inherited from Neanderthals are more fertile than women without it, and that 15 to 20 percent of women in Europe have it.
2020-Nov-26 • 2 minutes
Why Does the Sun Seem to Follow Us?
You're driving down the highway on a beautiful day as your child looks out the window. She asks, "Why is the sun following us?"
2020-Nov-25 • 2 minutes
Escape From A Frog's Stomach
In 2020 a Japanese biologist reported discovering a species of aquatic beetle that can actively escape alive from the stomach of a pond frog. It doesn't crawl back up the frog's gullet and out its mouth, but instead goes the other way.
2020-Nov-24 • 2 minutes
Vaccine Skeptics Think Differently
Despite having almost 1,300 measles cases in 2019 after measles was declared eradicated from the U.S. in 2000, some people are still hesitant to vaccinate themselves or their children.
2020-Nov-23 • 2 minutes
The Wonderful World Inside Lava Caves
Do you live near a dormant volcano? You might have a weird wonderland right beneath your feet.
2020-Nov-20 • 2 minutes
Lava Caves Part 1
In Hawaii, there's a lava cave named Kazumura that's over 40 miles long, the largest in the world. When a volcano erupts, it sends lava rivers rushing downhill. As these rivers flow, their sides and surfaces crust over, forming a tunnel.
2020-Nov-19 • 2 minutes
Desert Ants Use Magnetic Field To Get Home
Desert ants spend the first four weeks of their lives in their underground nest. They keep themselves busy by digging tunnels, building chambers, and doing general maintenance inside.
2020-Nov-18 • 2 minutes
What Happens To Nuclear Waste?
Today, 440 nuclear reactors are operating in 30 countries worldwide. The energy generated by these plants provides 10 percent of the world’s electricity. But after we use nuclear fuel, what happens to the waste, and how do we handle it?
2020-Nov-17 • 2 minutes
Denman Glacier: Assessing The Threat
Melting glaciers in West Antarctica might collapse due to the effects of human-caused global climate change, but there are also risks in Antarctica's eastern part.
2020-Nov-16 • 2 minutes
Mangrove Forests and Flood Protection
Mangrove forests are beautiful all on their own, but they also provide flood protection. The roots of the trees hold in sediment, which prevents erosion, and erosion makes floods a lot worse.
2020-Nov-13 • 2 minutes
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
Have you ever had the experience of being on a boat all day, and then later feeling like you were swaying or rocking even though you were no longer on the boat? This is known as "land sickness."
2020-Nov-12 • 2 minutes
Bumblebees and Flowering Plants
Scientists think that bumblebees can speed up flowering in plants. They go the idea when doing a different experiment and noticing bumblebees using their mouths to pinch the leaves of plants that hadn't flowered yet.
2020-Nov-11 • 2 minutes
The Asteroid Did It: A Murder Mystery
The extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period is Earth's greatest murder mystery. 66 million years ago, something killed about 75 percent of all animals, including the dinosaurs.
2020-Nov-10 • 2 minutes
Coyotes May Soon Enter South America
Historically, coyotes roamed a broad expanse, as far east as the Mississippi and as far west as the Pacific, north into Canada and south into Mexico, but since 1900 they’ve extended their range into every corner of the US
2020-Nov-09 • 2 minutes
Warm Antarctic Waters
Scientists are carefully monitoring the west Antarctic ice sheet. It's melting, and has been responsible for about four percent of the global rise in sea levels to date.
2020-Nov-09 • 2 minutes
A Brain Area That Shuts Off Pain
During WWII, doctors noticed severely injured soldiers didn't need pain medication. Biomedical researchers have known for some time that the brain has an endogenous opiate system that controls pain. Now, they've found evidence of a new pain relief circuit.
2020-Nov-06 • 2 minutes
Isolation and Inflammation
An illness all by itself is unpleasant, but the isolation we experience while recovering is also bad for our health. There's research showing that social isolation is associated with increased inflammation in the body.
2020-Nov-05 • 2 minutes
Reindeer Could Save The Permafrost
Reindeer herds may be saving thawing permafrost, which can release greenhouse gases stored in it and speed up climate change.
2020-Nov-04 • 2 minutes
Pain Relieving Profanity
When you stub your toe or hit your head, sometimes a swear word will slip out. Some researchers argue that this is a kind of stress-reduced analgesia, or pain-reliever.
2020-Nov-02 • 2 minutes
Turtle Moms And Their Decoy Nests
Every summer, scores of trained volunteers scan coastal beaches, looking for sea turtle nests. When found, the nests are marked and watched, preventing predators or curious humans from finding the eggs.
2020-Oct-30 • 2 minutes
The "Ghost" Hominin
It's interesting that modern anthropologists can do more than just study fossil bones and teeth. Ancient remains sometimes contain surviving DNA, and this has let scientists study the genomes of both the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.
2020-Oct-29 • 2 minutes
Upside-Down Grasshoppers
Have you ever wondered how bugs handle being upside down for so long? It's a puzzling question, especially since insects don't have a closed circulatory system like we humans do.
2020-Oct-28 • 2 minutes
Insect Flours
Over the next few decades, bread may become an important protein source for many consumers, and animal protein alone won’t be able to meet the demand. Right now, researchers are engineering a new kind of flour for bread making, a flour that is made from insects.
2020-Oct-27 • 2 minutes
Will Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Harm Our Ability To Think?
According to a study published by American researchers in 2020, unless we change current practices, by the end of this century there will be more than twice as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as there was before the industrial revolution.
2020-Oct-26 • 2 minutes
Volcanic Eruptions And Rainfall
Scientists have noticed that global precipitation tends to drop after a volcanic eruption, but they haven't known all the factors that can influence this effect. Now, thanks to a new study, a group of researchers thinks the missing link is El Niño, the weather pattern we normally see every 2 to 7 years.
2020-Oct-23 • 2 minutes
Beluga Whales Are Just Like Us
Beluga whales have complex social networks, where support structures and cooperation extend beyond the nuclear family. Beluga communities often have a mix of family members, extended relations, and non-kin.
2020-Oct-22 • 2 minutes
What Events Make Us Really Happy?
A research team did a study on how major life events affect our wellbeing, using a sample of 14,000 Australians who had participated in a survey that examines households’ economic and personal well-being, labor market dynamics and family life
2020-Oct-21 • 2 minutes
Saber-Toothed Tigers Were Really, Really Big
Maine Coons seem huge for domesticated cats. But Smilodon populator is the biggest species of one of the biggest cats of all time: the saber-toothed tiger.
2020-Oct-20 • 2 minutes
Methane, The Other Greenhouse Gas
Greenhouse gases trap the sun’s heat in a planet’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the most familiar example The release of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels is the main cause of global climate change.
2020-Oct-19 • 2 minutes
Seductive Details And Learning
Seductive details are attention catching details that make a lesson or presentation more interesting but aren't relevant to the content. Even though these kinds of things can make the presentation more interesting, they could inhibit learning.
2020-Oct-16 • 2 minutes
Plastic Dust Is Covering Our National Parks
According to a recent study, our national parks are being coated in plastic dust. Most of it is from around the world, but a lot of it originates in nearby cities, and get brought to the parks by passing storms.
2020-Oct-15 • 2 minutes
In times of unexpected uncertainty, people may be more prone to paranoia. For instance, during the current global pandemic, many people have been thrown into unanticipated volatility, and this can compel some to seek out who, or what, to blame for that volatility in order to make sense of it.
2020-Oct-14 • 2 minutes
Shedding Microfibers
It's hard to keep our planet pollution-free. Even our clothes are contaminating the planet with all the microfibers they release. New research shows that even wearing clothes releases a significant number of microfibers into the air.
2020-Oct-13 • 2 minutes
Dogs' Noses Can Seek Out Heat
Did you know that a dog's nose can be tens of thousands of times more sensitive than ours? A recent study even suggests that dogs' noses can actually sense heat.
2020-Oct-12 • 2 minutes
Cutting The Salt But Keeping The Flavor
Pretzels, potato chips, and popcorn are all covered in it. It's baked into our bread and mixed into our butter. It snows down on our fies and even our cucumber slices.
2020-Oct-09 • 2 minutes
Do Carnivores Care About Us?
While you’re out in nature, do you ever wonder if your presence changes the way animals interact with each other? Well, in 2018 researchers in California conducted a study showing how human activity can actually influence how carnivorous animals divide shared resources, referred to as resource niche partitioning.
2020-Oct-08 • 2 minutes
Canines Conquer The East
Eastern wolves and coyotes have been interbreeding more frequently over the past several hundred years, and now their hybrids are widespread from the Great Lakes region to the east coast.
2020-Oct-07 • 2 minutes
The Trees That Farm Their Own Drought Tolerance
With climate change, stronger droughts are challenging the world's forests, meaning species' niches, or environmental requirements, aren't matching up with the environment they live in. But what if forest trees could expand their niches by farming gardens of drought tolerance, where istead of food they grow tiny helpers?
2020-Oct-06 • 2 minutes
Speaking With Tongues
Today, we're talking about talking, and parrots, which can learn to talk, and is why studying the way parrots vocalize can help scientists better understand the way humans vocalize. If you think about it, bird song and talking have a lot in common.
2020-Oct-05 • 2 minutes
Your Skin's Thermometer
What skin temperature feels comfortable to you? I'm not talking about air temperature, I'm talking about the temperature of your skin itself, under your clothes. Chances are, it's about 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
2020-Oct-02 • 2 minutes
Of Figs And Fig Wasps
Figs have their thousands of individual flowers folded up inside them, so they can't rely on bees or wind to pollinate them with a male fig's pollen. That's where the fig wasp comes in.
2020-Oct-01 • 2 minutes
Black Tongues And Stomach Aches
Sometimes, when people get stomach aches they are alarmed to find that their tongue has turned black. Fortunately for them, it isn't a life threatening condition.
2020-Sep-30 • 2 minutes
Murphy's Toast
If you're eating toast, and you accidentally bump it to the floor, it seems more likely to land buttered side down. This is one of the most common formulations of Murphy's Law--the tongue-in-cheek axiom that states "If something can go wrong, it probably will."
2020-Sep-29 • 2 minutes
Growing Plants Indoors
It can be hard to grow plants indoors, especially in a room without a lot of sunlight. Sometimes it's just a matter of choosing the right plant, though.
2020-Sep-28 • 2 minutes
Cockroach Milk
A cockroach species in Hawaii called the Pacific beetle cockroach can actually give milk. This isn't the only thing this cockroach has in common with mammals, either. It also gives birth to live young.
2020-Sep-25 • 2 minutes
Airplane Contrails
Have you ever seen a perfectly cloudless sky? Cloudless--that is--except for two or three long white lines smeared across the perfect blue sky by airplanes like smudges on a pane of glass.
2020-Sep-23 • 2 minutes
The "Frankenstein" Galaxy
Today's Moment of Science is about a galaxy called UGC 1382. For a long time, scientists thought it was a fairly small, run-of-the mill galaxy, but then they realized it actually had huge spiral arms.
2020-Sep-22 • 2 minutes
How Cold Does It Feel?
If you're lucky enough to live where it's sometimes windy and cold, you've probably heard your weatherperson give out two temperatures: the actual temperature outside, and a temperature based on the wind-chill temperature index.
2020-Sep-21 • 2 minutes
Trees Know When Something's Eating Them
German scientists studying young beeches and maples knew plants responded to predation, but they wanted to know if plants could tell the difference between a deer chewing their leaves verus being damaged by other factors like storms, or being trampled upon.
2020-Sep-18 • 2 minutes
Sunrise, Sunset
Why does the sunset take more time than the sunrise? It takes much less time for the sun to light up the sky at dawn than it does for all the light to disappear after the sun sets at dusk.
2020-Sep-17 • 2 minutes
Parenting Styles And Bullying
Why do some kids become bullies or the victims of bullies? How closely is this linked to how their parents raised them?
2020-Sep-10 • 2 minutes
Ancient Asteroid Impact
Scientists have discovered evidence of another ancient asteroid impact, but not the one that killed the dinosaurs. This asteroid is much, much older than that.
2020-Sep-09 • 2 minutes
Skinny Diabetes
A lot of doctors have been stumped by slim patients showing signs of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes. They'd see or hear about someone who had all of these conditions associated with excess fat, but who didn't have an ounce of extra fat on their bodies.
2020-Sep-08 • 2 minutes
The Galactic Positioning System
In 1967 a team of astronomers in Great Britain thought they had found extraterrestrial intelligence. They discovered radio sources in deep space that produced pulses of energy at very precise intervals ranging from milliseconds to seconds.
2020-Sep-03 • 2 minutes
Meet Lichen's Secret Third Partner, Yeast
If I asked you what lichen was, you might say that it's a symbiotic organism that's made up of fungus joined with algae or cyanobacteria. This is what scientists would have said from 1867 up until recently.
2020-Sep-02 • 2 minutes
The Origin Story Of Earth's Oldest Rock
Scientists have found zircon crystals in Australia that are over 4 billion years old. Since the Earth is just over 4 and a half billion years old, those zircon crystals are the closest thing we have to a time capsule from Earth in its early years.
2020-Sep-01 • 2 minutes
The Secrets Of Sandpaper
Sandpaper isn't made of ordinary sand, it's made of abrasive minerals like aluminum oxide or garnet that are glued onto a paper backing.
2020-Aug-31 • 2 minutes
Whollydooleya tomnpatrichorum: A Newly Identified Flesh-Eating Marsupial
Scientists in Australia identified a new extinct marsupial using a fossil of its molar tooth they found in a newly discovered fossil site in remote Queensland. They decided to name is Whollydooleya tomnpatrichorum.
2020-Aug-28 • 2 minutes
The Milky Way Is More Than A Candy Bar
Did you know that a third of the people living on Earth can't see the Milky Way at night? More than 80 percent of North Americans and 60 percent of Europeans are unable to see the Milky Way at night.
2020-Aug-27 • 2 minutes
The Hairy Truth
The main difference between hair and fur is where it grows, not what it's made of. Hair length is a trait that's specific both to you as an individual, and to your species.
2020-Aug-26 • 2 minutes
Does Trampling Harm Grass?
Parking your car on your lawn might look strange, but it doesn't harm your grass. The part of the grass that's responsible for new growth is at the base of the plant, so even if the blades are harmed it isn't a big deal.
2020-Aug-25 • 2 minutes
Elephant Grandmothers Equal More Elephant Calves
Multigenerations groups aren't common in zoos, but they're a really good idea for elephants. A recent study showed how important grandmother elephants are for the survival of baby calves.
2020-Aug-24 • 2 minutes
Lost Underwater City Not A City At All
In shallow water off the Greek island Zakynthos there is what could be the ruins of an old Greek or Roman city. When it was discovered, people thought it was a forgotten city that had been destroyed by tidal waves that hit the island long ago.
2020-Aug-21 • 2 minutes
Fish Can Recognize Human Faces
How do people recognize faces? Is it a special ability that relies on custom circuitry in the human brain? Or, do we learn it with the same brain circuitry that we use to recognize other objects?
2020-Aug-20 • 2 minutes
King Tut's Space Dagger
King Tutankhamen of Egypt has fascinated people ever since archeologist Howard Carter discovered his splendid tomb in 1922. He ruled ancient Egypt as Pharaoh around 1330 BC, and died when he was only eighteen years old.
2020-Aug-19 • 2 minutes
Red Planet With A Ring
It might sound odd, but scientists think Mars is going to have a ring around it in tens of millions of years. They're predicting that one of Mars' moons, Phobos, is going to break apart, and its particles are going to make a ring around Mars.
2020-Aug-18 • 2 minutes
Why Women Live Longer Than Men
According to lots of evidence, women do live longer than men, on average. In fact, humans are the only species for which this appears to be true under all conditions.
2020-Aug-17 • 2 minutes
Kids And Money
Money is known to alter behavior, for better and for worse. Some experiments have found that even just handling money can change the behavior of kids as young as three.
2020-Aug-14 • 2 minutes
Be Generous, Or Else
According to scientists, belief in a divine god makes people more generous.
2020-Aug-13 • 2 minutes
Bean Yeasts Create Flavor
Coffee and cacao beans are fermented. Similar to wine, the flavor of the beans is determined by the type of yeasts and microorganisms present.
2020-Aug-12 • 2 minutes
Seeing Motion And Avoiding Obstacles
Robotic aerial vehicles designed for functions such as search and rescue need ways to avoid crashing into trees, buildings and walls. There's a lot that robot designers can learn from studying how insects conrol their flight.
2020-Aug-11 • 2 minutes
Dogs Show Evidence Of Empathy
Dogs always seem to know how to improve our mood. It's almost as if they can tell exactly what we're feeling.
2020-Aug-10 • 2 minutes
Tsunamis And The Oceans Of Mars
Although the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity found geological evidence that ancient Mars had standing liquid water a long time ago, scientists are now talking about water on Mars again.
2020-Aug-07 • 2 minutes
How Sign Languages Develop
Researchers think that the first steps in the creation of a sign language likely resemble a game of charades. According to one study, it only takes five generations of learners for a pantomime to become a stable sign.
2020-Aug-06 • 2 minutes
City Moths Evolve To Avoid City Lights
Did you know that moths are a lot less attracted to artificial light than they used to be? Huge numbers of moths die from flying toward artificial lights and accidentally frying themselves.
2020-Aug-05 • 2 minutes
Jupiter's X-ray Aurora
A planet has to have a magnetic field to make aurora lights. The sun is always sending out particles called the solar wind. That wind frequently increases in intensity to become a solar storm when large numbers of particles are released.
2020-Aug-04 • 2 minutes
Fungi Help Trees Share Carbon
Once you know something about forests, it's easy to think of trees as competitive: they have to battle it out with each other for space, sunlight, water and nutrients. But researchers are finding that there's a lot more sharing going on than they previously thought.
2020-Aug-03 • 2 minutes
Were Unicorns Real?
Today's Moment of Science is about unicorns. These creatures may be legendary, but there is growing evidence that the legend may have been inspired by a real animal.
2020-Jul-31 • 2 minutes
Dinosaur Malaria
There are hundreds of millions of malaria cases worldwide every year. It's caused by a protozoan called Plasmodium and is spread by anopheline mosquitoes. It also might have helped kill of the dinosaurs.
2020-Jul-30 • 2 minutes
A More Nutritious Cassava Plant
If you live in the United States, you probably haven't given a lot of thought to vitamin B6. Our bodies can't produce it, but it's in a lot of staple food we eat. But some diets that rely on cassava produce deficiencies.
2020-Jul-29 • 2 minutes
The Orchid That Smells Like People
It might sound strange, but some orchids smell like people. Others smell like rotting meat or fish to attract pollinators.
2020-Jul-28 • 2 minutes
Really Tiny Thermometers
Researchers at the University of Montreal have created a programmable thermometer made from DNA. It's 20,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
2020-Jul-27 • 2 minutes
Ant Antennae: Two-Way Communication
Once one ant finds food, it leaves a pheromone scent trail so others can find the way with their antennae. Ant antennae not only pick up information, they can also give information.
2020-Jul-23 • 2 minutes
Ancient Climate Records
Sophisticated digital climate models help scientists measure the effects of carbon dioxide on the warming and cooling of the planet. Water scientists also find clues to how the earth's climate is changing by looking to the past.
2020-Jul-22 • 2 minutes
The Magnetic Field And Life On Earth
The Earth needed a number of things to become habitable. First of all, it needed to be close to a star, but not too close. It also needed water, a rocky surface and atmosphere. Most important of all, however, it needed a magnetic field.
2020-Jul-21 • 2 minutes
The Radical Radial Symmetry Of Moon Jellyfish
Imagine you're a moon jellyfish for a second. Now imagine suddenly finding yourself missing one of your arms. As a jellysih missing an arm, what would you say is at the top of your list of concerns?
2020-Jul-20 • 2 minutes
Is ET Hiding?
We are closer than ever to finding inhabited worlds. When an alien planet passes in front of its star, an event that's called a transit, there is a small dip in the intensity of starlight that astronomers use to detect the planet.
2020-Jul-17 • 2 minutes
When To Copy Your Neighbors
Have you ever planted a garden because your neighbor's garden was growing well? This kind of imitative behavior was the inspiration behind a 2013 study where scientists looked at the nestbox choices of pied flycatchers after the birds observed the success of nesting great tits.
2020-Jul-16 • 2 minutes
Remembrance Of Things Past For Babies
Most people say their earliest memory is from around the age of three, which led researchers to believe that children start forming long-term memories at around three and a half years old
2020-Jul-15 • 2 minutes
A New Mouth For Every Meal
Outside of Greek mythology, hydras actually exist in the real world, although you can't see them without a microscope, otherwise it just looks like a slide of dirty water.
2020-Jul-14 • 2 minutes
Bacterial Hooks
Many women get a urinary tract infection at some point, and they are quite painful. The infection is caused by bacteria that enter the body through the urethra to colonize the bladder.
2020-Jul-13 • 2 minutes
A New Ninth Planet
We're going to have a solar system with nine planets, and it has nothing to do with Pluto. Caltech researchers have evidence of another more normal-sized planet in our solar system.
2020-Jul-10 • 2 minutes
Fish Brains Have An Alert System
Did you know that your brain has an alerting system? There is a structure in the brain that combines information from all of the senses, and detects important changes.
2020-Jul-09 • 2 minutes
Recounting Our Bacteria: Fewer Than We Thought
In the last few decades, scientists have begun to understand the importance of bacteria that live in and on our bodies. The accepted estimate has been around 10 times as many bacteria as human cells.
2020-Jul-08 • 2 minutes
Are Dragons Real?
On today's Moment of Science, we're going to talk about dragons. This might seem like an inappropriate topic for a science program, but there are stories and myths about dragons from everywhere in the world.
2020-Jul-07 • 2 minutes
Do Sharks Navigate By Smell?
The deep ocean is a confusing place to navigate. There are almost no visual landmarks, and water currents can carry an animal off course. Yet many species of sharks reliably find their way over long distances in the open ocean.
2020-Jul-06 • 2 minutes
Why We Become Enraged
Sometimes when we're driving, we can become so enraged we can't really explain why. This is because our brains evolved to be extremely aware of threats and to react when a true threat emerges.
2020-Jul-03 • 2 minutes
Brains Are The Same
Men and women have some obvious biological differences. But what about the brain? Are there such things as "female brains" and "male brains."
2020-Jul-02 • 2 minutes
The Green Door
Here's a simple demonstration you can do with cool implications. Find a large object that is brightly colored, like a green door. Stand with that door to your side, but don't look directly at it.
2020-Jul-01 • 2 minutes
Dogs Recognize Their Own Species
French scientists recently tested dogs to see if they could recognize the faces of other dogs on a computer screen. This might not sound that difficult, until you think about the wide variety of dog faces.
2020-Jun-30 • 2 minutes
Camouflage Is Not Infallible
There are a few different types of camouflage in the natural world. There's disruptive coloration, like stripes or spots that break up your form against the background. There's also background matching, which blends in with the background.
2020-Jun-29 • 2 minutes
My Bacteria Are Full
We've been hearing a lot about the importance of gut bacteria to our health. Now it turns out that bacteria also have a say in how and when we eat.
2020-Jun-26 • 2 minutes
How Insects Drink
Insects need water. How they get their water depends a lot on their diets. Herbivorous insects get most of their water from their food because plants contain a lot of water.
2020-Jun-26 • 2 minutes
Evolving Better Eyes
Although the eye is complicated, biologists still have a good understanding of how it evolved. In modern animals, they have found eyes of all different degreees of complexity.
2020-Jun-25 • 2 minutes
Tardigrades: Stranger Than They Appear
Tardigrades are little animals that can survive dehydration, radiation, and survive in outer space without a space suit. As strange as all of the above sounds, they are apparently even stranger.
2020-Jun-23 • 2 minutes
Recognizing Distant Relatives
In 2015, a team of European biologists published evidence that Siberian jays can distinguish relatives they've never seen before.
2020-Jun-22 • 2 minutes
Spiteful Monkeys
We humans may share around 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees and other simians, but we're still pretty different. After all, we have smart phones, and monkeys have--well--they don't have smart phones.
2020-Jun-19 • 2 minutes
Think Like A Penguin
A "niche" is an organism's special "slot" in an ecosystem that allows it to co-exist with other species. It's defined by the resources it needs to survive and the impact it has on its environment.
2020-Jun-18 • 2 minutes
Driving A Cockroach
Scientists recently found a way to drive a cockroach the way you might drive a car. They put electrodes in its brain, and by stimulating it in the right places they could move it around like a car.
2020-Jun-17 • 2 minutes
Drinking And Smoking
Most alcoholics smoke at about three times the rate in the general population. But a study suggested that what you're dealing with isn't just behavioral--it also has to do with brain chemistry.
2020-Jun-16 • 2 minutes
Word Up, Brain
On today's Moment of Science we're going to perform a little experiment in order to learn a little bit about the motor cortex--a strip of tissue running from ear to ear across the surface of the brain that is responsible for controlling voluntary movement.
2020-Jun-15 • 2 minutes
Stink Bugs Are Not All Bad
It isn't uncommon for people to hate stink bugs, but not all stink bugs are bad. Some are beneficial, like spined soldier bugs. They are predators that feed on over 90 agricultural pests, including Mexican bean beetles and cabbage loopers.
2020-Jun-12 • 2 minutes
UFO Attack!
In 1969 two airliners, plus the pilot of an Air National Guard fighter plane, report being harassed by a team of UFOs.
2020-Jun-08 • 2 minutes
Why Elephants Don't Get Cancer
Scientists at the University of Utah and at Arizona State studied the elephant genome and found that they have up to 40 extra copies of genes that code for a protein called p53, which has strong cancer-preventing properties.
2020-Jun-05 • 2 minutes
Mona Lisa's Mysterious Smile
Harvard neuroscientist Margaret Livingstone is pretty sure she's solved the puzzle of the Mona Lisa's changing smile. Presuming nothing, Livingstone reasoned that the famous portrait's flickering smile is caused by the way we see.
2020-Jun-04 • 2 minutes
How Full Is That Glass?
Psychologist Jean Piaget claimed that children overestimate the volume of vertical dimensions, but that as their brains mature, they develop the capacity to more accurately compare vertical and horizontal dimensions.
2020-Jun-03 • 2 minutes
Fermi's Paradox Part Two
According to reasonable estimates of how many stars have planets, how many planets may be suitable for the evolution of organisms, and so on, our Milky Way Galaxy should be brimming over with life.
2020-Jun-02 • 2 minutes
Fermi's Paradox
Probability would lead us to believe that extraterrestrial life does exist, so why have we not found any?
2020-Jun-01 • 2 minutes
Babies and Bacteria
Fetuses have some bacteria while still in the womb, but during birth they're coated with microbes as they travel down the birth canal, including bacteria that help newborns digest their first meal.
2020-May-27 • 2 minutes
The Cyclopean Eye
Since we have two eyes, why is it that we don't see two of everything? We seem to see like the cyclops in Greek mythology, as if we had one eye on our forehead.
2020-May-22 • 2 minutes
Put This In Your Pipe And Smoke It
We all know that smoking cigarettes is bad. But what about smoking a pipe or cigars? Since you don't inhale, is it better for your health? Or at least less bad?
2020-May-21 • 2 minutes
What Makes Hummingbird Feathers So Beautiful
If you've ever had a bird feeder, you've probably noticed how much more colorful hummingbirds are compared to other birds. So how are hummingbirds so colorful, anyway? What makes their feathers so special?
2020-May-20 • 2 minutes
Why Do Wind Turbines Have Three Blades?
If you've ever driven by a wind farm, you may have noticed that the turbines most likely have three blades. Not two, not five, but three.
2020-May-15 • 2 minutes
Iridescence As Camouflage
Some beetles have beautiful, shiny carapaces that look like metal, or a jewel. That shininess is called iridescence. It's caused when tiny structures in the carapace interfere with certain wavelengths of light, so that different colors are seen from different angles.
2020-May-14 • 2 minutes
Making Love, Not War
Scientists have compared chimpanzee and bonobo brains and think their different behavior could be due to brain structure.
2020-May-13 • 2 minutes
Sand Dunes Repel Each Other
Sand dunes are everywhere. They form deserts on Earth, Venus, Mars, and Saturn's moon Titan. They even form underwater on seafloors and riverbeds.
2020-May-12 • 2 minutes
Does Money Make Us Happy?
Does money make us happy? The answer, according to psychologists, is both: up to a certain point money can buy happiness, so to speak.
2020-May-07 • 2 minutes
Helpful Parrots
Humans are often quite willing to help one another, but it's not an exclusively human trait. Thanks to new research, scientists have learned that African grey parrots do, too, in some circumstances.
2020-May-06 • 2 minutes
Do Flying Fish Actually Fly?
There are around sixty-four species of flying fish, and they really do fly.
2020-May-01 • 2 minutes
The Oceans Are Warming
The world's oceans are like a sponge for heat, absorbing about 90 percent of the excess warming caused by carbon emissions from human activities. That would mean that measuring changes in the temperature of the oceans is an independent and critical measure of climate change.
2020-Apr-29 • 2 minutes
Fossils Of The Future
Our era has a tentative name: the Anthropocene era. There’s debate over when it started, and whether we merit a new geological epoch at all, but some researchers argue that the future fossil record will clearly show both that a new epoch has begun and when it started.
2020-Apr-28 • 2 minutes
How Old Is Cosmic Dust?
By studying various kinds of rocks, scientists know that our solar system is about 4.6 billion years old. However, in 2019 an international team of researchers reported that they found tiny grains of dust in a meteorite that fell in Australia in 1969 that may be 7 billion years old.
2020-Apr-27 • 2 minutes
The Urban Coyote Patrol
It’s nighttime. The moon is bright, and the day’s hubbub has quieted. In the distance, you hear a coyote howl. This scene sounds like something from the U.S. countryside. Increasingly, however, you’ll hear those howls in the town streets.
2020-Apr-24 • 2 minutes
Why Do Opossums Hang Upside Down by Their Tails?
Have you ever seen a cartoon of a sleeping opossum hanging upside down by its tail? Well, you may be surprised to learn that 'possums don't actually sleep that way.
2020-Apr-23 • 2 minutes
Monocarpic Plants
Agave, like aloe, is a succulent, meaning it has a number of characteristics that help it survive hot, dry desert climates. It's also a monocarpic plant, and a spectacular one at that.
2020-Apr-17 • 2 minutes
Cloudy Apple Juice
Many people prefer clear apple juice to cloudy, mainly because it simply looks better. It turns out, however, that cloudy apple juice is actually better for you.
2020-Apr-16 • 2 minutes
The Vampire Bat Cares
When most people think of vampires, they picture a scary, solitary, blood-sucking monster from a horror movie. They don't think of a model of sharing and selfless behavior.
2020-Apr-14 • 2 minutes
Dancing Fingerprint
Even though there are varying degress of skill, everyone can dance. What's more, our dance moves are something like a fingerprint. We all dance in a unique way that's the same regardless of what music we're dancing to.
2020-Apr-10 • 2 minutes
The Difference Between White And Dark Meat
What's the difference between white and dark meat? Beef if mostly dark meat and fish is mostly white meat. Turkeys, however, have both, so they offer a good illustration of the difference.
2020-Apr-10 • 2 minutes
Bacterial Diversity On Your Skin
Many people use antibacterial soap in order to get rid of bacteria. However, researchers have discovered that there are at least 250 kinds of bacteria that live on our skin. Some of the kinds they found were completely unknown.
2020-Apr-10 • 2 minutes
How Cuttlefish See In Three Dimensions
An international team of neuroscientists has discovered how cuttlefish see in three dimensions. First of all, a cuttlefish isn't really a fish. The animals are closely related to octopuses and squids and part of a group called cephalopods.
2020-Apr-08 • 2 minutes
Executing Queen Bees
In a bee hive, most bees work hard collecting pollen from flowers, except the queen, who doesn't even have to leave her hive.
2020-Apr-06 • 2 minutes
Scans, Scans, And More Scans
Go to the hospital to have a doctor check out an internal problem and you're liable to hear about MRI scans, CT scans and PET scans. All of these scans take detailed pictures of your body's insides.
2020-Apr-03 • 2 minutes
Do Plants Have Ears?
If what we mean by hearing is just that a plant detects and responds to sounds, then there's evidence that plants can hear. In 2019 a team of Isreali scientists published evidence that the evening primrose plant can detect the specific sound vibration frequencies of the buzz of an insect's wings.
2020-Apr-02 • 2 minutes
Killed By The Sun
Do you ever think about the risks the Apollo astronauts took in the name of science? It's amazing. Actually, the astronauts were at risk of something many people don't know about: the Sun.
2020-Apr-01 • 2 minutes
The Moon Is Getting New Mirrors
It's amazing how much light our moon reflects. Having a few mirrors doesn't hurt, though. They're there because of the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment.
2020-Mar-31 • 2 minutes
The Palo Verde, It's Easy Being Green
Not just any old plant has what it takes to survive desert heat. Desert plants like cacti are remarkable for their unique adaptations to one fo the harshest climates on the planet. The palo verde is not exception.
2020-Mar-27 • 2 minutes
Octopus Games
Octopuses can figure out mazes, learn by watching each other, even open jars to get at food. Few people realize how intelligent an octopus is.
2020-Mar-26 • 2 minutes
Your Signature Moves
Each one of us has a signature style to how we move and walk. Of course, after a long day or over a lifetime, that appearance will probably change. But the inner workings of how our muscles move are stable and distinct to each one of us.
2020-Mar-25 • 2 minutes
The Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting Faster Than Expected
The Greenland ice sheet is melting due to global climate change, and this melting may become the biggest single contributor to rising sea levels in this century. The ice sheet is enormous. It's seven times bigger than the United Kingdom and almost two miles thick in places.
2020-Mar-23 • 2 minutes
The Duality Of Hummingbird Bills
A hummingbird's bill is for both pollination and combat. Hummingbirds use their bills to knock other birds off their perches and to fence while they hover over flowers.
2020-Mar-20 • 2 minutes
Firefly Mating Signals
Firefly flashes are actually mating signals. Male fireflies cruise the evening air, flashing their lanterns in a pattern characteristic of their species, looking for females of their own kind.
2020-Mar-19 • 2 minutes
The Ancestry Of Arctic Sled Dogs
Dogs and their closest wild relatives, wolves, both came to North America from Eurasia. The earliest dogs in the Americas were introduced at least ten thousand years ago.
2020-Mar-18 • 2 minutes
Curds And Whey
Everyone knows the children's rhyme about Miss Muffet eating curds and whey, but what exactly are curds and whey? Let's find out, on today's Moment of Science.
2020-Mar-17 • 2 minutes
Koalas Have Sensitive Stomachs
Koalas are such picky eaters that sometimes that won't even eat species of eucalypt that aren't their preferred choice. This preference stems from the fact that their stomachs simply can't handle it.
2020-Mar-16 • 2 minutes
A Magical Glow?
Have you ever wondered why fluorescent colors like the ones you see in highlighers or clothing dyes seem so much brighter than other colors? It's because they seem to reflect more light than they receive.
2020-Mar-11 • 2 minutes
Stormy Solar Weather
When thunderstorms are strong enough, they can knock over trees and cause large blackouts. Solar storms, however, make blackouts from thunderstorms seem like nothing. If a major solar storm hit the U.S., we'd have to worry about blackouts all over the place.
2020-Mar-10 • 2 minutes
Sea Urchin Teeth
Sea urchins are small, furry, and sometimes colorful. They usually don't bite humans, but they do have really sharp teeth that researchers learned sharpen themselves.
2020-Mar-09 • 2 minutes
The Benefits Of Communicating In Person
It is very easy to ignore requests made via email, while similar requests made in person are met with understanding. All of this has to do with psychology. Email lacks the verbal cues and body languages that signify trustworthiness.
2020-Mar-06 • 2 minutes
How Butterflies Found A Place In The Sun
Winter mornings can be drab, which is why many people look forward to birds and butterflies returning in spring. Butterflies are good at brightening the day. It sems fitting, since they evolved from the drab moth when they moved into the daytime over 200 million years ago.
2020-Mar-05 • 2 minutes
Springs In The Cafeteria
You're in a line at a cafeteria. You take a plate off the top of a stack of plates. The other plates in the stack rise from below just far enough to present the next plate at the same height as the one you just took. This system reflects a general principle of springs: if you put twice as much force on a spring, it compresses, or stretches, twice as far.
2020-Mar-03 • 2 minutes
A Satellite, Cubed
A CubeSat is the size of a toaster, weighs about three pounds, and orbits the Earth. These nanosatellites are a particularly tiny type of research spacecraft. They were originally proposed about 20 years ago, and the first one launched in 2003.
2020-Feb-27 • 2 minutes
Autism And Tone Of Voice
A variety of characteristics are used to diagnose autism in children. Often, it's poor social and communication skills which others observe in children that compel parents to get a child tested. There are currently no unique biological indicators of autism.
2020-Feb-26 • 2 minutes
Why Cockroaches Escape
The all-too familiar American cockroach almost seems to know where you're going to strike. What's the tip-off that sends the cockroach running?
2020-Feb-24 • 2 minutes
Why Don't Animals Have Three Legs?
It seems like a lot of animals use only three limbs sometimes, and since using three limbs seems to work well for them, why haven't any of them evolved that way?
2020-Feb-24 • 2 minutes
The Origin Of The Electric Eel's Electricity
There's a reason you won't find electric eels at your local petting zoo. These fierce creatures can release over 800 volts of electricity. Today we will investigate precisely how these powerful shocks are made by eels.
2020-Feb-21 • 2 minutes
Eating More With Friends And Family
A new study suggests that people eat more when they eat with family and friends. When eating with strangers, however, people take smaller portions in order to make a good impression.
2020-Feb-20 • 2 minutes
Birds In Danger
There is reason to worry about the future of birds in North America. A large team of researchers published a study showing that the bird population of North America has dropped by 29 percent since 1970. That's about three billion fewer birds
2020-Feb-20 • 2 minutes
The Star That's Almost Too Massive To Exist
When a star burns through most of its nuclear material, it can explode in a bright supernove and leave behind a dense core. If that core is massive enough, it'll become a neutron star.
2020-Feb-19 • 2 minutes
The Royal Jelly
According to legend, King Arther gained the crown by pulling a sword from a rock. Queen honeybees have an equally enchanting way of ascending to the throne. It's called the royal jelly.
2020-Feb-18 • 2 minutes
The Camel's Unique Physiology
A camel can travel hundreds of miles, over several days, without stopping to drink. On today's Moment of Science, we'll learn how camels survive the dry desert.
2020-Feb-15 • 2 minutes
Survival Stripes
The stripes on some insects help them survive in the wild. When prey with high-contrast stripes move, their stripes blur, making it hard for a predator to see them. That's what a group of scientists found out in an experiment on praying mantises.
2020-Feb-14 • 2 minutes
Mouthwash and Exercise
It might not be a great idea to use mouthwash right after working out, at least if you want to experience the blood pressure-reducing effects seen after exercise. Mouth bacteria play an important role in reducing blood pressure after we exercise, and using antibacterial mouthwash can get rid of it.
2020-Feb-13 • 2 minutes
Spiders Go Way Back
Some spider webs look as though they were thrown together at the last minute, while others look as though they wer meticulously planned months in advance. It's hard to say just how long it took for spiders to evolve such intricate webs, but evidence suggests that orb webs have been around for a long time, at least 100 million years.
2020-Feb-12 • 2 minutes
Getting Electricity From Heat
In order to fight climate change, we need to find new ways of generating electricity that don't involve burning fuels and generating greenhouse gases. Physicists know that there is energy available in the temperature difference between a hot object and its cooler surroundings. A thermoelectrice device is made of special materials that can capture this energy and convert it directly into electricity, without any moving parts.
2020-Feb-11 • 2 minutes
Fighting Peanuts With Peanuts
Here’s the common advice about peanuts: if you’re allergic, stay away. Nut allergies are notorious for causing severe, even deadly, reactions. But new treatments for peanut allergies are on the rise.
2020-Feb-10 • 2 minutes
Saving Up For A Rainy Day
Are you annoyed by that guy in your office who plays solitaire all day and never actually accomplishes anything? Then you'd really be aggravated in the work environment of the Damraland mole-rats of the Kalahari Desert, where up to 40 percent of a colony is "that guy."
2020-Feb-07 • 2 minutes
Varying Perceptions Of Pitch
People who listen to music a lot can perceive the similarity between two of the same notes in different octaves. This may not seem like such a unique ability, since most people in Western countries are able to do this. Still, scientists have long wondered whether it's innate knowledge or learned through exposure.
2020-Feb-06 • 2 minutes
The Last Woolly Mammoths
While the first human civilizations grew in Mesopotamia, and the ancient Egyptians were building the pyraminds, there were still woolly mammoths living on a remote arctic island.
2020-Feb-06 • 2 minutes
Walking On The Moon In Arizona
The Apollo 11 mission that landed the first humans on the moon famously blasted off from Florida, but NASA was in Arizona, too. In 1967, two years before Neil Armstrong left his footprint in the lunar dust, engineers figured out a way to recreate the moon's surface . . . on Earth.
2020-Feb-06 • 2 minutes
The Humanizing Voice
Voices often indicate thoughts and emotions indirectly. Cues in the form of pitches, tones and pauses are qualities of voices that listeners use to make inferences about a speaker's mind. But those cues aren't always represented in content that we read, like in a transcript or a text message.
2020-Feb-05 • 2 minutes
The Mistletoe Bird (Zoochory Part 2)
Last time on A Moment Of Science we learned about plants that disperse their seeds via zoochory, meaning they've evolved various ways to hitch rides with animals. A particularly interesting case of this latter form of zoochory is mistletoe, the holiday smooching plant.
2020-Feb-05 • 2 minutes
Just as animals are often driven to great lengths, literally and figuratively, to propagate their species, plants too are driven to reproduce. To do this, plants need to disperse their seeds, so that they have space to germinate and grow.
2020-Feb-05 • 2 minutes
Seed Swallower
Seeds aren't as dangerous as some urban legends might lead you to believe, but they also aren't very good for you, either.
2020-Feb-05 • 2 minutes
Acting Like An Introvert
When making plans for the weekend, some people like to be by themselves, while others prefer to be go out and be social. To learn more about these two types of people, sometimes called introverts and extroverts, researchers tried to see what would happen if one type tried to act like the other.
2020-Jan-25 • 2 minutes
Stressed Out Quails
People have long debated whether physical or behavioral traits are the result of genetic inheritance or environmental factors. In an effort to end this debate, sometimes called nature versus nurture, Scientists have studied quail eggs.
2020-Jan-23 • 2 minutes
How The Monarch Got Its Poison
Among butterflies, the monarch really stands out with its beautiful orange and black colors. These colors evolved to warn predators about the monarch's toxic compounds that disrupt a sodium ion pumping mechanism in cells.
2020-Jan-22 • 2 minutes
The Superior Quality Of Hot Nectar
In the midst of winter, one of the best ways to combat the effects of cold weather is a hot beverage. A new study out of the University of London shows that we're not the only species that likes a hot drink. In fact, bumblebees prefer warm nectar to cool.
2020-Jan-22 • 2 minutes
How To See The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are waving ribbons of green, red and purple in the sky. These curtains of light can be seen as far south as the South Pole. In the southern hemisphere, however, they're called the Aurora Australis. They can also sometimes be seen in New Zealand or Chile.
2020-Jan-22 • 2 minutes
Coffee Cup Illusion
Things are not always as they seem, and this little demonstration will prove it. All you need is a cup of black coffee and an overhead light.
2020-Jan-20 • 2 minutes
Solitary Bees
Despite the common fear among many people of "swarms of bees," most bee species are actually solitary. Unlike social bees like the bumblebee, solitary bees don't have queens or worker bees, and they don't reside together in colonies.
2020-Jan-19 • 2 minutes
Magma and Oxygen
Today on A Moment of Science were going to explain why Earth's air contains oxygen.
2020-Jan-18 • 2 minutes
Hairstyles That Lead To Hair Loss
Ponytails, cornrows, and tight up-dos are hairstyles that can look great. But wearing your hair pulled tight for extended periods of time can eventually lead to hair loss.
2020-Jan-15 • 2 minutes
Galactic Center
In 2019, scientists achieved a great goal of astrophysics when they published the first-ever image of a black hole. By coordinating radio telescopes around the world to create, in effect, one Earth-sized telescope, scientists were able to capture an image of a black hole.
2020-Jan-09 • 2 minutes
Knuckleball Physics
In baseball, hitting a homer against a fastball, or even a knuckleball, can be very difficult, though not as difficult as you might think.
2019-Dec-28 • 2 minutes
Luke Skywalker's Hand
In a scene from Star Wars: The Emprie Strikes Back, Darth vader cuts off Luke Skywalkers right hand. Afterwards, Luke receives a robotic replacement hand that is as good as new.
2019-Dec-27 • 2 minutes
Eyes and Alzheimer's
Researchers think that looking at how quickly a person's pupil dilates when taking cognitive tests could predict if a person is at an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, even before any obvious symptoms show up.
2019-Dec-23 • 2 minutes
Crows Choose Whether To Call
Humans voluntarily choose some of our actions, but others are automatic. Scientists want to know whether animal behaviors are automatically triggered by environmental situations, or whether animals sometimes choose their behaviors just like humans do.
2019-Dec-18 • 2 minutes
Feeling Hangry
When people are hungry, this hunger sometimes turns into anger. This mental state is known as "hangry," and could be caused by the stress of the morning mixed with hunger.
2019-Nov-12 • 2 minutes
Computing With Light
Computers would be much faster, smaller, and consume less energy if they used light signals instead of electrical signals. That's why many scientists are racing to figure out how to make computers that use light.
2019-Nov-11 • 2 minutes
A Rock In A Rowboat
Imagine you're in a rowboat, in a small pond. You have a huge boulder with you in the boat. You throw the boulder overboard into the water. Does the water level of the pond rise, fall, or stay the same?
2019-Oct-16 • 2 minutes
Cloudy Vision
Cataracts are the result of the natural breakdown of proteins in the eye’s lens as you age. When lens proteins lose their three dimensional structure they cause the lens to become cloudy.
2019-Oct-09 • 2 minutes
A New Atomic Clock Could Help Spaceships Navigate Better
A New Atomic Clock Could Help Spaceships Navigate Better
2019-Oct-07 • 2 minutes
Birds Of A Feather Flock Together
Social niches are made up of the social aspects of a species' environmental relationship. In the case of humans, this means that your friends, family and coworkers influence you just as much as other environmental factors.
2019-Oct-03 • 2 minutes
Mosquitoes On The Scent
Mosquitoes On The Scent
2019-Sep-30 • 2 minutes
The Cleaning Powers Of Goat Stomachs
Researchers from the University of Zurich examined 28 goats that were fed different pelleted diets of grit and hay. The scientists performed CT scans of the goats’ stomachs at the beginning of the experiment and then again six months later.
2019-Sep-26 • 2 minutes
The Ocean's Fish Are Running Out Of Clean Water
The ocean is getting louder. Fish make noise. They whistle, chirp, hum, sing, swish. But boat engines, sonar, and deep-sea mining cause quite the racket, making it difficult for fishes to hear the call of friends or potential mates.
2019-Sep-03 • 2 minutes
The Health Consequences Of Parenting
Research conducted at Lorna Linda University Health shows that children who grew up with parents who had a “warm” parenting style have an advantage over children who grew up with parents who had a “cold” parenting style when it comes to health and aging.
2019-Aug-27 • 2 minutes
Coffee Cup Convection
Convection is a common process in nature, and occurs when warmer air or liquid lies under a cooler layer. This is what happens in a coffee cup: the coffee on top is cooled by evaporation, and since cooler is also heavier, gravity pulls it toward the bottom.
2019-Aug-21 • 2 minutes
Jabuticaba, The Fruit That Grows On Trees
Jabuticaba is a fruit native to Brazil. It’s the size and color of a plum, with a white pulp and several seeds. It’s also known for its health benefits and sometimes gets called a “super fruit.”
2019-Aug-15 • 2 minutes
Clouds In The Kitchen
Fill a kettle with water, then turn on the burner. In a while, your kettle will start belching white billowy stuff into the air. What is this stuff? Steam? Actually, no.
2013-Apr-08 • 2 minutes
Sadness Makes People Short With Money
You've probably heard the phrase "Sadder but wiser," implying that feeling low somehow makes us think more clearly.