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Science Friday

WNYC

Brain fun for curious people.

Brain fun for curious people.

Location:

New York, NY

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WNYC

Description:

Brain fun for curious people.

Twitter:

@scifri

Language:

English

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(800) 989-8255


Episodes

Shellfish Deaths, Chemical Safety, Humpback Songs. July 23, 2021, Part 2

7/23/2021
Billions Of Sea Creatures, Lost To Heat Waves A couple weeks ago, the Pacific Northwest saw record-breaking temperatures. News coverage captured countless people suffering, and dying, during triple-digit heat the region had never seen before. Portland and Seattle reached their highest temperatures ever recorded. Canada set a new record for the highest temperature ever seen in the country with a measurement of 118 degrees Fahrenheit in British Columbia. However, there are still more victims...

Duration:00:48:22

Surgeon General, Blockchain. July 23, 2021, Part 1

7/23/2021
Flooding Worldwide Fits Climate Change Models While the western United States is burning again this summer, other parts of the world are drowning. Germany, Belgium, and China saw floods this week after intense rainstorms that dropped many inches of rain in matters of hours, killing hundreds and displacing thousands. In Turkey and Nigeria, less deadly rain events throughout July have still flooded streets and destroyed homes. And as climate change continues around the globe, scientists say...

Duration:00:48:32

Songbird Mystery, Sweat, Betelgeuse. July 16, 2021, Part 2

7/16/2021
Songbirds Suffer Mystery Illness From The East Coast To The Midwest The reports started in late May: Songbirds in Washington, D.C. and neighboring regions were being found dead, often with swollen and crusty eyes. In the days that followed, similar sightings came from many states, including Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Now, the symptoms have been seen as far west as Indiana—but wildlife experts still aren’t sure what’s causing the deaths. The illness has affected many...

Duration:00:49:06

New Battery Technology, COVID Rise From Unvaccinated Populations. July 16, 2021, Part 1

7/16/2021
Research For New Battery Technology Is Gaining Steam As countries around the world set their goals for decarbonizing their economies, it’s becoming clear that batteries may play a pivotal role in smoothing out the peaks and valleys of solar and wind power productions, as well as driving a shift to electric vehicles, and providing power for other parts of our lives. Lithium-ion batteries are now the standard. They run electric cars and power your laptop and cell phone. But they have major...

Duration:00:47:58

African Wild Dogs, Spotted Lanternfly, Seashells. July 9, 2021, Part 1

7/9/2021
Sniffing Out How To Save African Wild Dogs One of the most endangered mammals on Earth, African wild dogs are known for their oversized ears, social bonds, and highly efficient hunting style. That predatory nature is now contributing to their threatened status, as their territory in sub-Saharan Africa increasingly overlaps with human farmers, who often use poison or other lethal deterrents to protect their livestock from wild dogs and other predators. Producer Christie Taylor talks to...

Duration:00:50:03

John McPhee’s Annals Of The Former World. July 9, 2021, Part 2

7/9/2021
Writing, Like Geology, Requires A Little Digging When author John McPhee first considered the piece of writing that would become his 1998 book, Annals of the Former World, he envisioned a short, un-bylined article in The New Yorker, in which he would visit a road cut on Route 80—a piece that could probably be completed in a few days. Instead, that idea became a 700-page coast to coast exploration of the geology of North America, a project that took over 20 years to complete. In this...

Duration:00:50:46

Garden Hotline, Benjamin Franklin. July 2, 2021, Part 2

7/2/2021
The Science Of Your Summer Vegetable Garden Planting and tending to a vegetable garden is both an art and a science. If all goes well, you’ll be enjoying delicious homemade salads all summer long. But if your tomatoes get too little water, or if the soil is too acidic, or if pests get to the lettuce before you do, then all that hard work may have been for nothing. Whether you’re a seasoned grower or first-time gardener, it’s never a bad idea to hear what the experts have to say. Years ago...

Duration:00:47:53

Extreme Heat, COVID Delta Variant, Poe’s Science. July 2, 2021, Part 1

7/2/2021
The Alarming Impacts Of Extreme Heat This week, the Pacific Northwest was hit by a record breaking heat wave, with temperatures rising as high as 116 degrees Fahrenheit in Portland, Oregon. Experts say of all the extreme weather events brought on by climate change and heat waves stand to do the most damage to the environment, infrastructure, and human health. Umair Irfan, staff writer for Vox, joins Ira to share more about the alarming impacts of such extreme heat. Plus, as record-breaking...

Duration:00:47:47

Cephalopod Week Wrap Up, California Carbon Credits Error. June 25, 2021, Part 1

6/25/2021
California’s Climate Program Is Actually Adding Carbon To The Atmosphere California has a reputation as the state that’s doing the most about climate change. And the lynchpin of those efforts is California’s Cap-and-Trade program, where the state’s biggest polluters—like ExxonMobil, BP, and others—are required to offset their carbon dioxide emissions by investing in carbon reduction strategies. But according to a recent investigation by ProPublica and others, this climate solution is...

Duration:00:52:02

UFO Report, Animal Play, Alzheimers and Music. June 25, 2021, Part 2

6/25/2021
Is The Truth About UFOs Out There? Over the past several years, U.S. Navy pilots have reported several instances of ”unexplained aerial phenomena” while in flight. They’ve recorded videos that show shapes that appear to move in unusual ways, zooming and turning in ways beyond the capabilities of our own aircraft. After several members of Congress requested an explanation for the videos, the government put together a report on the phenomena. The report, however, doesn’t definitively answer...

Duration:00:52:02

Immunocompromised and Covid, Summer SciFi Reading. June 18, 2021, Part 2

6/18/2021
COVID-19 Vaccines May Not Protect Immunocompromised People This week, California and New York, two of the states hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that they were relaxing almost all coronavirus-related business restrictions. Across the country, vaccination numbers are slowly ticking up—although a troubling COVID-19 variant known as Delta is picking up as well. As things reopen, experts warn that people with compromised immune systems may not be well protected, even if they do...

Duration:00:51:42

Marijuana And Medicine, Cephalopod Week, Environmental Antidepressants. June 18, 2021, Part 1

6/18/2021
How To Talk About Medical Marijuana With Your Doctor Over the last decade, cannabis has had a moment. Thirty-six states and Washington D.C. have legalized it for medical use. (Fifteen states, plus D.C., have also legalized weed recreationally.) Altogether, about 5.5 million people in the U.S. now have medical marijuana cards. One of the primary arguments for expanding marijuana laws is the drug’s potential usefulness for medical treatments. While each state has its own rules for which...

Duration:00:51:40

Health Equity And Trans Health, Human-Robot Relationship. June 11, 2020, Part 1

6/11/2021
Biden’s New Assistant Secretary Of Health On Protecting Trans Youth The American healthcare system is facing some incredible challenges: Black and Latino communities were hit harder by COVID-19, and have lower vaccination rates than white, Asian, and Native American communities. The opioid crisis is still raging, climate change is disproportionately impacting the health of communities of color, and a wave of anti-trans healthcare bills are being pushed by Republican lawmakers through...

Duration:00:50:32

Alzheimer’s Treatment Controversy, Science Mistakes, Chonky Fish. June 11, 2020, Part 2

6/11/2021
FDA’s Approval Of Debated Alzheimer’s Treatment Raises Controversy This week, the FDA gave the green light to a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug, a monoclonal antibody called aducanumab, is the first Alzheimer’s treatment to receive approval in almost 20 years. It targets the amyloid protein that forms the tangled plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. But while researchers agree that aducanumab leads to less amyloid plaque, no one really knows what...

Duration:01:02:32

Genetics of Depression, Engineering Humans for Space, Tech Ethics. June 4, 2021, Part 2

6/4/2021
Research Reveals 178 Genes Are Associated With Depression If you have a family member that suffers from depression, chances are you may have more than one. Doctors often say “depression runs in families,” but scientists really had no good idea how—until a major analysis of the genomes of 200,000 military veterans uncovered the 178 genes that influence your risk of major depression. Science Friday producer Katie Feather talked to Dr. Daniel Levey, assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale...

Duration:00:51:16

Fauci On 40 Years Of HIV/AIDS, Watermelon Origins, Venus Missions. June 4, 2021, Part 1

6/4/2021
Anthony Fauci Reflects On 40 Years Of HIV/AIDS Research Every week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases its regular report of the latest developments on emerging diseases—a living record documenting decades of medical history, known as the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). In May 1981, former MMWR editor Michael B. Gregg got a call about an unusual deadly pneumonia, seen in young gay men in Los Angeles. The tip was from epidemiologist Wayne Shandera,...

Duration:00:50:25

Sand Sustainability, Jane Goodall, Morphing Pasta, Cicada Snacks. May 28, 2021, Part 2

5/28/2021
Shifting The Sand Business To Greener Practices Sand is one of the most in-demand natural materials on the planet—some 50 billion tons of sand and gravel are mined every year. It’s because the humble sand is a key ingredient in many materials, from concrete and asphalt to microchips and glass. But sand is also heavy, needed in large quantities, and costly to ship—meaning that in some regions, local demand for sand outstrips supply. A ‘sand mafia’ exists in parts of the globe, and in others,...

Duration:00:50:19

Vaccine Hesitancy, Colorado River Drought, Alternative Syrups. May 28, 2021, Part 1

5/28/2021
How Do We Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy? This Memorial Day weekend, many people will be traveling to the beach, hitting the road or socializing with friends—maskless—for the first time in over a year. As of this week, 50% of people over 18 are now fully vaccinated. Another 15 to 20% of people are taking a “wait and see” approach. Of those still on the fence, some are concerned about the vaccine’s side effects; others have a long standing mistrust of the institutions responsible for the vaccine...

Duration:00:50:12

Cybersecurity, Baseball Physics, Opioid Trial. May 21, 2021, Part 2

5/21/2021
Americans’ Online Security Needs An Update Last week, all eyes were on the shutdown of a gas pipeline that delivered fuel to large portions of the Southeastern US. The shutdown was not due to a leak or planned pipeline maintenance, but to a ransomware attack that took billing computers at the pipeline operator offline. The attack had encrypted data on those computers, rendering the data unusable to the pipeline operator until they paid a ransom. In recent years, similar ransomware attacks...

Duration:00:49:19

Global Vaccination, Malaria Vaccine, Zombie Wildfires. May 21, 2021, Part 1

5/21/2021
How Do You Solve a Problem Like World Vaccination? Here in the U.S., it feels as if we’ve turned a corner in the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the population can be vaccinated, and restrictions for masks and distancing are loosening. But we won’t be able to get a handle on the pandemic until the rest of the world has access to a vaccine. If you thought distributing shots to rural areas here in the U.S. was hard, imagine distributing them to every corner of the globe. President Joe Biden this...

Duration:00:48:15