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Podcast Profile: Science Friday

podcast imageTwitter: @scifri (followed by 152 science writers)
Site: www.sciencefriday.com/radio
50 episodes
2022
Average episode: 47 minutes
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Categories: Broadcast Radio Programs • News-Style

Podcaster's summary: Brain fun for curious people.

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List Updated: 2022-Sep-28 12:10 UTC. Episodes: 50. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2022-Sep-23 • 48 minutes
Undersea Rovers, Swimming Sperm, Teen Inventor, Soil Judging. Sep 23, 2022, Part 2
Sperm Swim Together To Help Each Other Reach The Egg New research is complicating our understanding of how, exactly, sperm are able to reach eggs. The predominant theory is that sperm compete against each other, with the strongest swimmer fertilizing the egg. But a new study, using cow sperm, suggests that sperm might actually swim together, forming clusters to help each other swim upstream to reach the egg. Researchers created a device that has some of the features of a female reproductive tract, which the...
2022-Sep-23 • 48 minutes
Big Ideas In Physics, Saturn’s Rings, Soylent Green. Sep 23, 2022, Part 1
Biden Declares The COVID-19 Pandemic Over. Is It? During an interview with 60 minutes last weekend, President Joe Biden said “the pandemic is over.” “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with covid, we’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one is wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, “ Biden said at the Detroit auto show. This comment has prompted some dismay from the public health community. The World Health Organization hasn’t declare...
2022-Sep-16 • 47 minutes
How Do Antidepressants Work, Genetic Testing For Depression. Sept 16, 2022, Part 1
Why The Owner of Patagonia Gave Away The Whole Company Earlier this week, the founder and owner of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard—the company known for their famous puffer jackets and outdoor gear—gave away the whole company. Who’d he give it to? The Earth. “Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” Chouinard told David Gelles for The New York Times. “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are activel...
2022-Sep-16 • 47 minutes
Artemis Update, Stellar Art, AI for Mammography, Smoky Grapes, Harvesting Water From Air. Sept 16, 2022, Part 2
Pulling Water From Thin Air? It’s Materials Science, Not Magic. You’ve probably seen a magic trick in which a performer makes a playing card, coin, or even a rabbit appear out of thin air. Writing in the journal Nature Communications, researchers at UT Austin describe an experiment where they seem to pull water out of dry air—but it’s not magic, and it’s not a trick. Carefully applied materials science and engineering allows the team to extract as much as six liters of water per day from one kilogram of the...
2022-Sep-09 • 47 minutes
Fish Kills, Potential Sulfuric Acid Shortage, Goats for Invasives Control. Sep 9, 2022, Part 1
COVID-19’s Lingering Toll On The Heart As new omicron-specific boosters against COVID-19 unroll in cities around the US, research is revealing more about the longterm consequences of even one infection with the SARS-CoV2 virus. Writing this week in Nature Medicine, a team of researchers from Germany describe finding long-lasting signs of heart disorders in the majority of recovered patients in their study group–even up to nearly a year later. FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth joins Ira to describe the researc...
2022-Sep-09 • 56 minutes
Remembering Frank Drake, History of Air Conditioning. Sep 9, 2022, Part 2
The Hot And Cold Past Of The Air Conditioner In the Northeast, the leaves have started changing colors, heralding the season of pumpkins, sweaters, and the smell of woodsmoke. But in some parts of the country, the heat hasn’t let up. In cities like Dallas, Phoenix, and Miami, temperatures were up in the high 80s and low 90s this week—and with climate change, the U.S. is only getting hotter. But humans have come up with an ingenious way to keep the heat at bay: air conditioning. Widely considered one of the ...
2022-Sep-02 • 47 minutes
New COVID Vaccines, “Nope” Creature, NJ Toxic Site, Germicidal Coating. Sep 2, 2022, Part 1
New, Extra Protective COVID Vaccines Are On The Way Earlier this week, the FDA approved brand new COVID-19 vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech that are designed to better protect people from the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants. At the same time, the U.S. is scaling back free testing and precautionary measures, putting more pressure on vaccines. Casey Crownhart, a climate and technology reporter at MIT Technology Review, joins Ira to talk about COVID updates and other science news of the week. T...
2022-Sep-02 • 47 minutes
When Life Begins, Open Access Research, Wasps. Sep 2, 2022, Part 2
Why Is It So Hard To Agree On When Human Life Starts? After decades of deliberations involving physicians, bioethicists, attorneys, and theologians, a U.S. presidential commission in 1981 settled on a scientifically derived dividing line between life and death that has endured, more or less, ever since: A person was considered dead when the entire brain—including the brainstem, its most primitive portion—was no longer functioning, even if other vital functions could be maintained indefinitely through artifi...
2022-Aug-26 • 47 minutes
Endangered Birds, Urban Wildlife, Lyme Disease Test, Rodent Social Behavior. August 26, 2022, Part 2
Attracting Birds To Prime Habitat By Playing Recordings Of Their Calls How do you know a restaurant is good? If the parking lot is full of cars, that’s a pretty good indication. If it’s empty, you probably won’t bother stopping. In this case, the restaurant is a newly restored wetland in Michigan and the customers are rails. The birds migrate at night, so if they don’t hear other rail calls in an area, they’re not likely to stop. Researcher Dustin Brewer is broadcasting recorded rail calls to try to bring t...
2022-Aug-26 • 47 minutes
Autistic Researchers Studying Autism, Canned Salmon Insights, Medieval Friars’ Parasites. August 26, 2022, Part 1
California Accelerates Its Push For Electric Cars This week, air pollution regulators in California voted to phase out sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles, with a complete ban on gas car sales by 2035. The decision could have a larger impact on the automobile industry, however, as many states choose to follow California’s lead with regard to air quality and emissions decisions. Sophie Bushwick, technology editor at Scientific American, joins guest host Roxanne Khamsi to help unpack the decision. They als...
2022-Aug-19 • 47 minutes
Back-To-School Health Concerns, Artemis Moon Mission, Designing A Better Lanternfly Trap. August 19, 2022, Part 2
Teen Innovator’s New AI Tool Helps Create Affordable Drugs The U.S. has some of the highest prescription drug prices in the world, which can push patients into bankruptcy over medications they cannot afford. More than three in four American adults think the prices of prescription drugs are unaffordable, prompting the Senate to recently pass a bill intended to help lower prescription drug costs for seniors. One young innovator set out to find his own solution. 17 year-old Rishab Jain developed ICOR, a tool t...
2022-Aug-19 • 47 minutes
How Viruses Shaped Our World, A Seagrass Oasis For Manatees. Aug 19, 2022, Part 1
Will A Colorado River Drought Dry Up Energy Supplies? This week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, a federal agency that manages water in the Western U.S., started the process of cutting water use allotments along the Colorado River after seven states missed a deadline for coming up with their own reduction plan. The area has been under a long-running drought—and with water in demand for everything from drinking to agriculture to industry, and with the population of the area on the rise, agreements over water...
2022-Aug-12 • 47 minutes
New Prosthetic Arm, CAR T Cell Therapy, Climate Games. August 12, 2022, Part 2
Some Grasses Can Stop Lead From Spreading In Soil Lead left behind in soil from mining and smelting poses a major health risk to people who live nearby. Researchers in Nebraska and Kansas believe plant life and organic material can limit lead’s spread. In parts of the Midwest where lead mining and smelting lasted for over a century, communities are still dealing with toxic waste left behind by the industry. Lead, a dangerous neurotoxin, persists in the environment, including in water and soil, where it can ...
2022-Aug-12 • 47 minutes
Insulin Price Plan, Monkeypox Facts, Milky Way Memoir. August 12, 2022, Part 1
A Plan to Cap Insulin Prices May Not Be Helpful 30 million people in the U.S. live with diabetes, and access to insulin can be expensive. More than 1 in 5 people with private insurance pay more than $35 a month for this necessary medication. The U.S. Senate has a plan to cap insulin prices for certain diabetics, but critics say this plan would not help make insulin affordable for a majority of people. Plus, many people have been following the discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, with bait...
2022-Aug-05 • 47 minutes
Clean Energy Bill, Heatwave Infrastructure, Etana Teen Innovator. August 5th, 2022, Part 2
What’s Inside A Sudden, Second Chance At A Climate Bill Last week, climate activists received a surprise gift from Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin. It turns out they had been in secret negotiations to put out a spending package that might tackle some of the same climate mitigation projects as last year’s failed Build Back Better initiative. The $369 billion dollars for climate mitigation in the Inflation Reduction Act covers tax credits for renewable energy, methane leak reduction, and the...
2022-Aug-05 • 47 minutes
Cancer Vaccines, Planting Wildflowers, Eating Copi Fish. August 5th, 2022, Part 1
White House Declares Monkeypox Outbreak A Public Health Emergency The Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency on Thursday. Earlier in the week the White House appointed Robert Fenton, regional administrator at FEMA to direct the federal government’s response to the monkeypox outbreak, along with a deputy director from the CDC. This comes after criticism from activists and public health experts, who have said that the federal government has been dragging its feet on acc...
2022-Jul-29 • 46 minutes
Alzheimer’s Research Fraud, Extreme Heat Health, Piping Plovers, Octaglove. July 29, 2022, Part 1
Decades Of Alzheimer’s Research Could Be Based On Fraudulent Data Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating brain disorder that slowly affects memory and thinking skills. For many people who worry that loved ones may succumb to this disorder, the possibility of research in the field of Alzheimer’s is a balm of hope. However, a massive report from Science Magazine highlights a startling discovery: that decades of Alzheimer’s research are likely based on faulty data. Alzheimer's researchers are grappling with the ...
2022-Jul-29 • 47 minutes
Fire Of Love Film, Accessible Tech, Vagina Book. July 29, 2022, Part 2
For The Love Of Volcanoes A new documentary, “Fire of Love,” tells the story of French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft. The married couple spent two decades chasing volcanic eruptions across the world. Katia was a geochemist and Maurice a geologist. Together, they studied the science of volcanoes and produced films showcasing their power. That is, until their deaths in 1991, when they were killed by the very thing they loved so much. Guest host Sophie Bushwick talks with Sara Dosa, director of the d...
2022-Jul-22 • 47 minutes
Kahneman on ‘Noise,’ CHIPS Act, Great Salt Lake Dryness, Hybrid Toads. July 22, 2022, Part 2
When Times Get Tough, These Toads Make Hybrid Babies Scientists have long thought that when two animals from two different species mate, it’s a colossal error and the end of the road for the mismatched couple. It’s called interspecies breeding, and many hybrid offspring often end up sterile, such as zonkeys —a cross between a zebra and donkey. Or they can develop serious health problems, like ligers and tigons. One biologist even went as far to call interspecies breeding “the grossest blunder in sexual pref...
2022-Jul-22 • 47 minutes
Global Heat Wave, Indigenous Peoples Genetic History, Heat-Adaptive Plants. July 22, 2022, Part 1
Earth Faces A Global Heat Wave Temperatures are higher than normal for much of the planet this week—and while the heat wave in Europe has had much of the attention, over 100 million Americans in 28 states were under extreme heat advisories this week. Yasmin Tayag, a freelance science editor and writer based in New York, joins Ira to talk about the global heat wave and other stories from the week in science—including the president’s COVID diagnosis, an uptick in drug-resistant infections, and the question of...
2022-Jul-15 • 47 minutes
JWST Images, Solar System Exploration, Monkeypox. July 15, 2022, Part 2
Stunning JWST Images Show New Details Of The Universe After many delays, a Christmas launch, and a months-long period of travel and testing, the first science images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) were unveiled this week. The JWST has a huge multi-segmented mirror that allows it to gather faint light—and it sees in the infrared, allowing it to see through dust and gas and reveal details about the universe that were previously unseeable. On Monday, a short ceremony at the White House unveiled the...
2022-Jul-15 • 47 minutes
A Land Return, A COVID Update, Texas’ Power Grid, and A Gene-Editing Thriller. July 15, 2022, Part 1
1,000 Acres Of Ancestral Land Returned To Onondaga Nation Earlier this month, more than 1,000 acres of land in central New York were returned to the Onondaga Nation, the original steward of the land. This decision stems from a 2018 settlement between the Natural Resource Trustees and Honeywell International, Inc., which previously owned the land and polluted it with dangerous toxins, such as mercury and heavy metals. Under this agreement, Honeywell will fund and implement 18 restoration projects, and the On...
2022-Jul-08 • 48 minutes
Bird Poop Importance, The Wonders Of Sweat, Invertebrate Butts. July 8, 2022, Part 1
We Need To Talk About Bird Poop Seabird poop—sometimes called guano—was the “white gold” of fertilizers for humans for millennia. Rich in nitrogen and phosphorus from birds’ fish-based diets, the substance shaped trade routes and powered economies until chemical fertilizers replaced it. But while people may no longer find bird poop profitable, these same poop deposits—often found on islands or coasts where the birds nest and rear their young—may also be nurturing ecosystems that would be left high and dry i...
2022-Jul-08 • 47 minutes
Big Bang Debate History, Black Hole Sounds, Maggot Healthcare, Forest Lichens. July 8, 2022, Part 2
A Debate Over How The Universe Began Even though it’s commonly accepted today, the Big Bang theory was not always the universally accepted scientific explanation for how our universe began. In fact, the term ‘Big Bang’ was coined by a prominent physicist in 1949 to mock the idea. In the middle of the 20th century, researchers in the field of cosmology had two warring theories. The one we would come to call the Big Bang suggested the universe expanded rapidly from a primordial, hot, and ultra-dense cosmos. C...
2022-Jul-01 • 47 minutes
Summer Science Books, Effect of Roe on Obstetric Care, Female Athletic Injuries. July 1, 2022, Part 2
How Will Doctors Train For A Post-Roe World? It’s been one week since Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. Many people are still wrapping their heads around what this overturn means for their states— and for their lives. For physicians and medical professionals, there’s another level of fear and concern about what practicing in a world without Roe v. Wade will mean. Questions are circulating about how training for OB/GYN’s may change, or if abortion care will stop being taught in medical school i...
2022-Jul-01 • 47 minutes
SCOTUS Restricts EPA, Scientist Rebellion Protests, Kansas Wheat Problems, Early Science Films. July 1, 2022, Part 1
Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulating Ability This week, in its final round of opinions for the term, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had not explicitly given the Environmental Protection Agency the power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants under the terms of the Clean Air Act. “Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day...
2022-Jun-24 • 47 minutes
HIPAA Explained, Trans Research, Queer Scientists. June 24, 2022, Part 2
What Does HIPAA Actually Do? HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is name dropped a lot, but frequently misunderstood. Many are surprised to find that the “P” stands for portability, not privacy. Misunderstandings about what’s protected under the law go way deeper than its name. The law outlines protections only for health information shared between patients and health care providers. This means that any personal health data shared with someone who is not specifically mentioned i...
2022-Jun-24 • 47 minutes
Roe V. Wade Overturned, Animals’ Amazing Sensory Abilities. June 24, 2022, Part 1
U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade The U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday to overturn Roe v Wade. While there have been rumblings that this decision was going to happen, it’s still a shock to many people in the U.S. In early May, a draft opinion was leaked that had circulated among the court justices, showing a majority of them were in support of the overturn. This will have huge ripple effects throughout the U.S. when it comes to reproductive healthcare. A study from the University of California predi...
2022-Jun-17 • 48 minutes
The Rise Of Mammals And A Cephalopod Celebration. June 17, 2022, Part 2
The Wild and Wonderful World of Mammals Mammals may be the most diverse group of vertebrates that have ever lived. (Don’t tell the mollusk enthusiasts over at Cephalopod Week.) Many people share their homes with another mammal as a pet, like a dog or cat. The largest creatures on earth are mammals: Ocean-dwelling blue whales are the biggest animals that have ever lived, and African elephants are the biggest animals on land. And lest we forget, humans, too, are mammals. The history and diversity of mammalian...
2022-Jun-17 • 47 minutes
COVID Vaccines For Kids Under 5, IVF Status After Roe V. Wade. June 17, 2022, Part 1
FDA Approves COVID Vaccines For Kids Under Five Parents of young kids may finally breathe a big sigh of relief. On Friday the FDA granted emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccines for kids under the age of five. The agency approved a two-dose regimen from biotech firm Moderna and three-dose regimen from Pfizer. Small children could begin getting vaccinated as early as next week. Umair Irfan, staff writer at Vox, joins Ira to talk about COVID vaccines for little kids, the largest forest fire in New M...
2022-Jun-10 • 48 minutes
Race And Medicine, Salmon Recovery, Emergency Mushroom ID. June 10, 2022, Part 1
Americans’ Knowledge Of Reproductive Health Is Limited As the nation awaits a momentous Supreme Court decision that could overturn or severely limit the 1973 Roe V. Wade opinion on abortion, a new poll released by the Kaiser Family Foundation found serious gaps in Americans’ understanding of certain scientific aspects of reproductive health. For instance, the poll found that while medication abortion now accounts for more than half of all abortions in the U.S., fewer than three in ten U.S. adults (27%) say ...
2022-Jun-10 • 49 minutes
Cephalopod Wonders, Jumping Worms, Early Plastic Surgery. June 10, 2022, Part 2
Are Invasive Jumping Worms Taking Over? Most gardeners are thrilled when they find earthworms tunneling through their gardens. Normally, they’re a sign of rich soil, happy plants, and a bustling ecosystem. But one unwanted visitor is squirming its way into gardens and forests all across the country: the invasive jumping worm, known for its thrashing, restless behavior. Gardeners and scientists have become more and more concerned with these worms, which can cause damage in yards and forests. They’re known fo...
2022-Jun-03 • 47 minutes
Medical And Recreational Cannabis, Ocean Viruses, The Sound of Wi-Fi. June 3, 2022, Part 2
20,000 Viruses Under The Sea: Mapping The Ocean’s Viral Ecosystem The ocean is the largest region of the planet and remains a source of newly discovered species. But what do you do with a treasure trove of new viruses? A research team wrote in Science last month about finding thousands of new RNA viruses, and five new taxonomic phyla, in water samples from around the globe. The new species more than doubles the known number of RNA viruses on the planet, painting a clearer picture of the vast abundance and d...
2022-Jun-03 • 48 minutes
History Of Sex, Plastic Battery, Mosquito Smell, Postpartum Art. June 3, 2022, Part 1
Scientists Found The Biggest Known Plant On Earth This week, an underwater seagrass meadow claimed the title for the world’s largest plant. This organism sprawls across 77 square miles of shallow ocean and has survived 4,500 years. To accomplish this, it kept cloning itself and created identical offshoots to spread along the sand. The ocean has changed wildly over the last 4,500 years, yet this plant has survived. Researchers believe that cloning itself may have helped the plant adapt to a changing ocean, o...
2022-May-27 • 47 minutes
SIDS Research, Period Tracking Apps, Women And Girls In Science. May 27, 2022, Part 2
‘Breakthrough’ In Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Research Is Misleading Last week, headlines made the rounds in online publications and social media that there was a massive breakthrough in research about SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A study out of Australia concluded that babies who died of SIDS had significantly lower levels of an enzyme called BChE. This study was met with cheers by people desperate to understand why SIDS happens. But many experts say we need to pump the brakes on the celebration. W...
2022-May-27 • 47 minutes
Gun Violence, Baby Formula, Monkeypox, Milk Banking, Wondrous Sharks. May 27, 2022, Part 1
Gun Violence Is A Public Health Issue As illustrated by the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas this week, gun violence is a pervasive issue in the United States. The entire Science Friday team extends our condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy. One reason gun violence is so difficult to understand is that for a long time, there was a federal freeze on funding gun-violence research. That was due to the “Dickey Amendment” which was instated in 1996. This rule barred the Centers for Disease Control and...
2022-May-20 • 48 minutes
Seabird Poop, ‘Prehistoric Planet’ TV Show, Dry Great Plains, Six Foods For A Changing Climate. May 20, 2022, Part 2
We Need To Talk About Bird Poop Seabird poop—sometimes called guano—was the “white gold” of fertilizers for humans for millennia. Rich in nitrogen and phosphorus from birds’ fish-based diets, the substance shaped trade routes and powered economies until chemical fertilizers replaced it. But while people may no longer find bird poop profitable, these same poop deposits—often found on islands or coasts where the birds nest and rear their young—may also be nurturing ecosystems that would be left high and dry i...
2022-May-20 • 48 minutes
Miscarriage Care, End of Astronauts, COVID Deaths Milestone. May 20, 2022, Part 1
A Grim Milestone, As Cases Continue This week, COVID-19 case trackers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hit a grim milestone, logging over one million deaths in the country from the pandemic. The true total is likely to be much higher, as many cases go unreported, or are logged as deaths due to other factors in death certificates. And the pandemic continues, with locations such as New York City reaching “high” transmission levels, and recommending that people mask again indoors. Timothy Re...
2022-May-13 • 47 minutes
Abortion Medication, Rat Island, Access To Parks, Climate And Seafood. May 13, 2022, Part 2
Abortion Pills Are Used For Most U.S. Abortions. What Are They? The draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade means abortion access is once again in jeopardy. Nearly half of U.S. states will immediately ban abortion upon a Roe v. Wade overturn. Medication abortion, or abortion by pill, is currently the most common method of abortion in the United States. In 2020, 54% of abortions in the United States were medication abortions, according to research from the Guttmacher Institute. If the Supreme Co...
2022-May-13 • 47 minutes
Second Black Hole Image, Last Days Of The Dinosaurs, Rising COVID Cases. May 13, 2022, Part 1
As COVID Cases Rises, Effectiveness Of Vaccines Lessens In Kids As parts of the country continue to see waves of infection from the omicron variant of COVID-19, parents of children over age five have taken heart at the availability of vaccines—while parents of kids five and under have continued to wait for an approved dose. But even as the case numbers continue to climb, the vaccines are less effective against the more-virulent omicron variants—and, for some reason, dramatically less effective in kids. Koer...
2022-May-06 • 47 minutes
Revisiting The Titanic, STEM Drag Performers As Science Ambassadors. May 6, 2022, Part 2
The Seafaring Life Of ‘Modern-Day Captain Nemo,’ Robert Ballard In 1985, oceanographer Robert Ballard was sent on a secret deep-sea search operative with a very specific mission: to seek two sunken nuclear submarines. Ballard, who by then had explored the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and helped design deep-sea research submersibles, was assigned by the U.S. Navy to investigate and take images of the U.S.S. Thresher and U.S.S. Scorpion. But locating these two wreckages wouldn’t bring him to fame—instead, it was anothe...
2022-May-06 • 47 minutes
How The Brain Deals With Grief, Listening To Noisy Fish Sounds. May 6, 2022, Part 1
How Grief Rewires The Brain Being a human can be a wonderful thing. We’re social creatures, craving strong bonds with family and friends. Those relationships can be the most rewarding parts of life. But having strong relationships also means the possibility of experiencing loss. Grief is one of the hardest things people go through in life. Those who have lost a loved one know the feeling of overwhelming sadness and heartache that seems to well up from the very depths of the body. To understand why we feel t...
2022-Apr-29 • 47 minutes
Covid Court Cases, Sharing Viruses for Research, Hepatitis Spike. April 29, 2022, Part 1
What’s Up With The Spike In Hepatitis Among Young Kids? This spring, there’s been a strange spike in hepatitis cases among young children. Hepatitis can leave kids with stomach pain, jaundice, and a generally icky feeling. 169 cases have been recorded globally, and one death. A majority of these cases have been found in the United Kingdom, with the others in Spain, Israel, and the U.S. The sudden rise in cases is unusual, and physicians are trying to unlock the mystery of where this is coming from. Joining ...
2022-Apr-29 • 48 minutes
Dog Breeds And Dog Behavior, Polar Science Update, Decarbonizing Transportation. April 29, 2022, Part 2
Your Dog’s Breed Doesn’t Always Determine How They’ll Behave The dog world abounds with stereotypes about the personalities of different breeds. The American Kennel Club describes chihuahuas as “sassy,” and malamutes as “loyal,” while breed-specific legislation in many cities target breeds like pit bulls as stereotypically aggressive. But do these stereotypes say anything true about a dog’s personality and behaviors? New research in the journal Science looked at the genomes of thousands of dogs, both purebr...
2022-Apr-22 • 47 minutes
Plastics And Ocean Life, Building An Animal Crossing, Indigenous Restoration. April 22, 2022, Part 2
Building The World’s Largest Animal Crossing Outside of LA There’s a spot on Highway 101 in Agoura Hills, it’s pretty inconspicuous. There’s brown and green rolling hills on either side of the highway. Homes are sprinkled here and there. And then a small metal gate that leads off on a hiking trail. You probably wouldn’t know it, but soon this spot will be the location of the world’s largest animal crossing. This crossing will reconnect habitats that have been cut off from each other for three quarters of a ...
2022-Apr-22 • 47 minutes
Carbon Removal Technology, IPCC And Policy, Sustainability News, Listening To A River. April 22, 2022, Part 1
Celebrating Earth Day With Sustainable Action Today is Earth Day, when many people around the world are taking time to think about their relationship with the planet and to focus on activities helping to mitigate the existential problems our environment faces. And we will be doing the same: devoting our program to Earth Day stories, ideas, and issues. Sara Kiley Watson, assistant editor at Popular Science in charge of their sustainability coverage, joins Ira to talk about some challenges facing our planet—f...
2022-Apr-15 • 47 minutes
Inaccurate COVID Case Numbers, Spending A Trillion Dollars To Solve Problems. April 15, 2022, Part 1
FDA Approves First Breathalyzer COVID Test The FDA approved a new COVID breathalyzer test, which gives results in just three minutes. It’s the first test that identifies chemical compounds of coronavirus in breath. The testing unit is about the size of a piece of carry-on luggage and is intended to be used in medical offices and mobile testing sites. Nsikan Akpan, health and science editor at WNYC Radio based in New York City, talks with Ira about this new COVID test and other science news of the week, incl...
2022-Apr-15 • 47 minutes
NSF Director, Soylent Green In 2022, Colorado Snowpack, Springtime On Neptune. April 15, 2022, Part 2
Did ‘Soylent Green’s’ Predictions About 2022 Hold Up? In the spring of 1973, the movie Soylent Green premiered. The film drops us into a New York City that’s overcrowded, polluted, and dealing with the effects of a climate catastrophe. Only the city’s elite can afford clean water and real foods, like strawberry jam. The rest of the population relies on a communal food supply called Soylent. There’s Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow… and a new product: Soylent Green. The year the film takes place? 2022. And spoile...
2022-Apr-08 • 49 minutes
Why Cold Plasma Could Help Sustainable Farming, How To Get Teens The Sleep They Need. April 8, 2022, Part 2
The Future of Sustainable Farming Could Be Cold Plasma Plasma is a fascinating medium. It’s considered the fourth state of matter—alongside solid, liquid and gas—and it’s everywhere. In fact, more than 99.9% of all matter in the universe is assumed to be in plasma form. You may be most familiar with plasma as the material inside those glowing novelty lamps found in museum gift shops, but it’s naturally found in the sun, lightning, and the northern lights. Research into plasma and how it intersects with vari...
2022-Apr-08 • 48 minutes
FDA To Analyze COVID Boosters Efficacy, Dig Into Spring With Gardening Science. April 8, 2022, Part 1
FDA Convenes Panel On COVID Boosters And New Vaccines This week, the FDA convened a panel of independent experts to discuss COVID-19 boosters and possible variant-specific vaccines. This comes after last week’s authorization of a second booster for people over the age of 50, and some immunocompromised people. Ira talks with Maggie Koerth, senior science writer at FiveThirtyEight, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, about the latest on boosters and other science news of the week, including a new particle measur...