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Science Friday

Science Friday and WNYC Studios

1.1K
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3.7K
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Science Friday

Science Friday

Science Friday and WNYC Studios

1.1K
Followers
3.7K
Plays
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Brain fun for curious people.

Latest Episodes

DIY Masks, Neanderthal Diet, Symbiotic Worms. April 3, 2020, Part 2

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across the country are running low on PPE—personal protective equipment. This includes masks, gowns, face shields, and other important gear to keep healthcare workers safe. These supplies are the first line of defense between healthcare workers and potentially sick patients. Cloth masks are usually only advised as a last resort for healthcare workers, but an increasing number of hospitals are seeking them out. Some hospitals, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis—the largest hospital in Missouri—are anticipating a tsunami of COVID-19 cases in the weeks ahead. To get ready, it’s watching and taking lessons from the experiences of hospitals in coronavirus hotspots, like New York City. One big example is turning to homemade cloth masks to fill oncoming PPE shortages. A homegrown effort called the Million Masks Challenge has sprung up amidst the crisis. Volunteers are pulling out their sewing machines and extra fabric to make ma...

46 MIN3 d ago
Comments
DIY Masks, Neanderthal Diet, Symbiotic Worms. April 3, 2020, Part 2

COVID-19 Supplies Shortage, Citizen Science Month, Mercury Discovery. April 3, 2020, Part 1

April is Citizen Science Month! It’s a chance for everyone to contribute to the scientific process—including collecting data, taking observations, or helping to analyze a set of big data. And best of all, a lot of these projects can be done wherever you happen to be personally isolating. Caren Cooper, an associate professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and co-author of the new book A Field Guide To Citizen Science: How You Can Contribute to Scientific Research and Make a Difference, joins Ira to talk about what makes a good citizen science project, how to get involved, and suggestions for projects in all fields of science. Cooper is also the project leader for the citizen science project Crowd The Tap, looking at mapping water infrastructure and the prevalence of lead pipes throughout the country. For more projects to keep you company through this Citizen Science Month and beyond, head over to sciencefriday.com/citizenscience. Mercury is the smallest planet in the...

46 MIN3 d ago
Comments
COVID-19 Supplies Shortage, Citizen Science Month, Mercury Discovery. April 3, 2020, Part 1

SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Cobalt'

Cobalt has been hoodwinking people since the day it was pried from the earth. Named after a pesky spirit from German folklore, trickery is embedded in its name. In 1940s Netherlands, cobalt lived up to its name in a big way, playing a starring role in one of the most embarrassing art swindles of the 19th century. It’s a story of duped Nazis, a shocking court testimony, and one fateful mistake. Want moreScience Diction? Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and sign up for our newsletter. The infamous Han van Meegeren, hard at work. (Wikimedia Commons) Guest: Kassia St. Clair is a writer and cultural historian based in London. Footnotes And Further Reading: For fascinating histories on every color you can imagine, read Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color. Thanks to Jennifer Culver for background information on the kobold. Read more about Han van Meegeren in The Forger’s Spell by Edward Dolnick and in the 2009 series “Bamboozling Ourselves” in the New York Times. Cre...

17 MIN6 d ago
Comments
SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Cobalt'

Squid Lighting, Tongue Microbiome, Invasive Herbivores. March 27, 2020, Part 2

How Humboldt Squid Talk To Each Other In The Dark Cephalopods are masters of changing their bodies in response to their environments—fromcamouflagingtosending warning signals to predators. The art of their visual deception lies deep within their skin. They can change their skin to different colors, textures, and patterns to communicate with other animals and each other. But how does this play out in the darkness of the deep ocean? That’s the question a team of scientists studied in the deep diving Humboldt squid that lives over 2,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface. Their results were published this week in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Biologist Benjamin Burford, who is an author on that study, explains how Humboldt squid use a combination of skin color patterns and bioluminescence to send each other signals and what this might teach us about communication in the deep ocean. See a video and more photos of Humboldt squid communicating with each othe...

45 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Squid Lighting, Tongue Microbiome, Invasive Herbivores. March 27, 2020, Part 2

COVID Near You Citizen Science, Fact-Check Your Feed. March 27, 2020, Part 1

These days, our newsfeeds are overloaded with stories of the coronavirus. This week,Science Fridaycontinues to dig into the facts behind the speculation—the peer-reviewed studies and reports published by scientists investigating the virus. But what we know—and don’t know—about the new virus is changing daily, making it hard to keep up. Everyone, for example, wants to know more about possible therapies for treating COVID-19 patients. After President Trump publicly speculated about the tried and true antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, his endorsement sent governors, doctors, and the worried public scrambling to get their hands on the drug. But is there any science to back-up this claim? And what about remdesivir, the antiviral drug that has been used to treat a handful of patients, and is now the subject of several new drug trials? Angela Rasmussen, associate research scientist and virologist at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health joinsScience Fridayonce again to brea...

45 MIN1 w ago
Comments
COVID Near You Citizen Science, Fact-Check Your Feed. March 27, 2020, Part 1

SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Dinosaur'

At the turn of the 19th century, Britons would stroll along the Yorkshire Coast, stumbling across unfathomably big bones. These mysterious fossils were all but tumbling out of the cliffside, but people had no idea what to call them. There wasn’t a name for this new class of creatures. Until Richard Owen came along. Owen was an exceptionally talented naturalist, with over 600 scientific books and papers. But perhaps his most lasting claim to fame is that he gave these fossils a name: the dinosaurs. And then he went ahead and sabotaged his own good name by picking a fight with one of the world’s most revered scientists. Want moreScience Diction? Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and sign up for our newsletter. Woodcut of the famous dinner inside of an Iguanodon shell at the Crystal Palace in 1854. Artist unknown. (Wikimedia Commons) Footnotes And Further Reading: Special thanks to Sean B. Carroll and the staff of the Natural History Museum in London. Read an article by Howar...

12 MIN1 w ago
Comments
SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Dinosaur'

Coronavirus Fact-Check, Poetry of Science, Social Bats. March 20, 2020, Part 2

As new cases of coronavirus pop up across the United States, and as millions of people must self-isolate from family and friends at home, one place many are turning to for comfort and information is their news feed. But our regular media diet of politics, sports, and entertainment has been replaced by 24/7 coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nearly every outlet is covering the pandemic in some way—celebrities live streaming their self-quarantine, restaurants rolling out new health practices and food delivery options, educators and parents finding ways to teach kids at home. There’s an overwhelming number of ways the media has covered the virus. But on top of that, there’s also blatant misinformation about the virus distracting us from the useful facts. It’s all appearing in one big blur on Facebook or Twitter feeds. And it doesn’t help that nearly every few hours we’re getting important, and often urgent, updates to the evolving story. This week, guest host John Dankos...

47 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Coronavirus Fact-Check, Poetry of Science, Social Bats. March 20, 2020, Part 2

Jane Goodall, Coronavirus Update, Science Diction. March 20, 2020, Part 1

60 years ago this year, a young Jane Goodall entered the Gombe in Tanzania to begin observations of the chimpanzees living there. During her time there, Goodall observed wild chimpanzees in the Gombe making and using tools—a finding that changed our thinking about chimps, primates, and even humans. Now, Goodall travels the world as a conservationist, advocate for animals, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. She joins guest host John Dankosky to reflect on her years of experience in the field, the scientific efforts she is involved with today, and the need for hope and cooperation in an increasingly connected but chaotic world. Science has given us more than data. It’s also brought us words for everyday things or ideas—meme, cobalt, dinosaur. And there’s often a good story about how those words got into our common use. Take the word “vaccine,” the distant, but hoped-for solution to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It turns out the word originates fromvaccinae,relating to co...

48 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Jane Goodall, Coronavirus Update, Science Diction. March 20, 2020, Part 1

SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Vaccine'

For centuries, smallpox seemed unbeatable. People had tried nearly everything to knock it out—from herbal remedies to tossing back 12 bottles of beer a day (yep, that was a real recommendation from a 17th century doctor), to intentionally infecting themselves with smallpox and hoping they didn’t get sick, all to no avail. And then, in the 18th century, an English doctor heard a rumor about a possible solution. It wasn’t a cure, but if it worked, it would stop smallpox before it started. So one spring day, with the help of a milkmaid, an eight-year-old boy, and a cow named Blossom, the English doctor decided to run an experiment. Thanks to that ethically questionable but ultimately world-altering experiment (and Blossom the cow) we got the word vaccine. Want more Science Diction? Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and sign up for our newsletter. "The cow-pock - or - the wonderful effects of the new inoculation" by James Gillray in 1802, featured at the beginning of this epi...

12 MIN2 w ago
Comments
SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Vaccine'

Farmers’ Stress, Tiny Dino-Bird Discovery. March 13, 2020, Part 2

The Farm Crisis of the 1980s was a dark time for people working in food and agriculture. U.S. agricultural policies led to an oversupply of crops, price drops, and farms closures. At the same time, the rate of farmer suicide skyrocketed. The industry struggled, until organizations like Farm Aid and others popped up to give voice to the crisis. But farm advocates agree that farmers are in the middle of another period of hardship, one brought on by the same factors that caused the Farm Crisis in the 1980s. Farmers today are experiencing low crop prices, uncertain markets, and high farm debt. And this time around, there’s a greater awareness and stress about the impacts of climate change. So what will our response be to this latest crisis? How will farmers get the support they need—both economically and emotionally? State and regional organizations for farmers have been quick to restart the conversation around the importance of rural mental health, but funding has been slow to follow...

47 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Farmers’ Stress, Tiny Dino-Bird Discovery. March 13, 2020, Part 2

Latest Episodes

DIY Masks, Neanderthal Diet, Symbiotic Worms. April 3, 2020, Part 2

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across the country are running low on PPE—personal protective equipment. This includes masks, gowns, face shields, and other important gear to keep healthcare workers safe. These supplies are the first line of defense between healthcare workers and potentially sick patients. Cloth masks are usually only advised as a last resort for healthcare workers, but an increasing number of hospitals are seeking them out. Some hospitals, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis—the largest hospital in Missouri—are anticipating a tsunami of COVID-19 cases in the weeks ahead. To get ready, it’s watching and taking lessons from the experiences of hospitals in coronavirus hotspots, like New York City. One big example is turning to homemade cloth masks to fill oncoming PPE shortages. A homegrown effort called the Million Masks Challenge has sprung up amidst the crisis. Volunteers are pulling out their sewing machines and extra fabric to make ma...

46 MIN3 d ago
Comments
DIY Masks, Neanderthal Diet, Symbiotic Worms. April 3, 2020, Part 2

COVID-19 Supplies Shortage, Citizen Science Month, Mercury Discovery. April 3, 2020, Part 1

April is Citizen Science Month! It’s a chance for everyone to contribute to the scientific process—including collecting data, taking observations, or helping to analyze a set of big data. And best of all, a lot of these projects can be done wherever you happen to be personally isolating. Caren Cooper, an associate professor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and co-author of the new book A Field Guide To Citizen Science: How You Can Contribute to Scientific Research and Make a Difference, joins Ira to talk about what makes a good citizen science project, how to get involved, and suggestions for projects in all fields of science. Cooper is also the project leader for the citizen science project Crowd The Tap, looking at mapping water infrastructure and the prevalence of lead pipes throughout the country. For more projects to keep you company through this Citizen Science Month and beyond, head over to sciencefriday.com/citizenscience. Mercury is the smallest planet in the...

46 MIN3 d ago
Comments
COVID-19 Supplies Shortage, Citizen Science Month, Mercury Discovery. April 3, 2020, Part 1

SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Cobalt'

Cobalt has been hoodwinking people since the day it was pried from the earth. Named after a pesky spirit from German folklore, trickery is embedded in its name. In 1940s Netherlands, cobalt lived up to its name in a big way, playing a starring role in one of the most embarrassing art swindles of the 19th century. It’s a story of duped Nazis, a shocking court testimony, and one fateful mistake. Want moreScience Diction? Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and sign up for our newsletter. The infamous Han van Meegeren, hard at work. (Wikimedia Commons) Guest: Kassia St. Clair is a writer and cultural historian based in London. Footnotes And Further Reading: For fascinating histories on every color you can imagine, read Kassia St. Clair’s The Secret Lives of Color. Thanks to Jennifer Culver for background information on the kobold. Read more about Han van Meegeren in The Forger’s Spell by Edward Dolnick and in the 2009 series “Bamboozling Ourselves” in the New York Times. Cre...

17 MIN6 d ago
Comments
SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Cobalt'

Squid Lighting, Tongue Microbiome, Invasive Herbivores. March 27, 2020, Part 2

How Humboldt Squid Talk To Each Other In The Dark Cephalopods are masters of changing their bodies in response to their environments—fromcamouflagingtosending warning signals to predators. The art of their visual deception lies deep within their skin. They can change their skin to different colors, textures, and patterns to communicate with other animals and each other. But how does this play out in the darkness of the deep ocean? That’s the question a team of scientists studied in the deep diving Humboldt squid that lives over 2,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface. Their results were published this week in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Biologist Benjamin Burford, who is an author on that study, explains how Humboldt squid use a combination of skin color patterns and bioluminescence to send each other signals and what this might teach us about communication in the deep ocean. See a video and more photos of Humboldt squid communicating with each othe...

45 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Squid Lighting, Tongue Microbiome, Invasive Herbivores. March 27, 2020, Part 2

COVID Near You Citizen Science, Fact-Check Your Feed. March 27, 2020, Part 1

These days, our newsfeeds are overloaded with stories of the coronavirus. This week,Science Fridaycontinues to dig into the facts behind the speculation—the peer-reviewed studies and reports published by scientists investigating the virus. But what we know—and don’t know—about the new virus is changing daily, making it hard to keep up. Everyone, for example, wants to know more about possible therapies for treating COVID-19 patients. After President Trump publicly speculated about the tried and true antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, his endorsement sent governors, doctors, and the worried public scrambling to get their hands on the drug. But is there any science to back-up this claim? And what about remdesivir, the antiviral drug that has been used to treat a handful of patients, and is now the subject of several new drug trials? Angela Rasmussen, associate research scientist and virologist at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health joinsScience Fridayonce again to brea...

45 MIN1 w ago
Comments
COVID Near You Citizen Science, Fact-Check Your Feed. March 27, 2020, Part 1

SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Dinosaur'

At the turn of the 19th century, Britons would stroll along the Yorkshire Coast, stumbling across unfathomably big bones. These mysterious fossils were all but tumbling out of the cliffside, but people had no idea what to call them. There wasn’t a name for this new class of creatures. Until Richard Owen came along. Owen was an exceptionally talented naturalist, with over 600 scientific books and papers. But perhaps his most lasting claim to fame is that he gave these fossils a name: the dinosaurs. And then he went ahead and sabotaged his own good name by picking a fight with one of the world’s most revered scientists. Want moreScience Diction? Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and sign up for our newsletter. Woodcut of the famous dinner inside of an Iguanodon shell at the Crystal Palace in 1854. Artist unknown. (Wikimedia Commons) Footnotes And Further Reading: Special thanks to Sean B. Carroll and the staff of the Natural History Museum in London. Read an article by Howar...

12 MIN1 w ago
Comments
SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Dinosaur'

Coronavirus Fact-Check, Poetry of Science, Social Bats. March 20, 2020, Part 2

As new cases of coronavirus pop up across the United States, and as millions of people must self-isolate from family and friends at home, one place many are turning to for comfort and information is their news feed. But our regular media diet of politics, sports, and entertainment has been replaced by 24/7 coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nearly every outlet is covering the pandemic in some way—celebrities live streaming their self-quarantine, restaurants rolling out new health practices and food delivery options, educators and parents finding ways to teach kids at home. There’s an overwhelming number of ways the media has covered the virus. But on top of that, there’s also blatant misinformation about the virus distracting us from the useful facts. It’s all appearing in one big blur on Facebook or Twitter feeds. And it doesn’t help that nearly every few hours we’re getting important, and often urgent, updates to the evolving story. This week, guest host John Dankos...

47 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Coronavirus Fact-Check, Poetry of Science, Social Bats. March 20, 2020, Part 2

Jane Goodall, Coronavirus Update, Science Diction. March 20, 2020, Part 1

60 years ago this year, a young Jane Goodall entered the Gombe in Tanzania to begin observations of the chimpanzees living there. During her time there, Goodall observed wild chimpanzees in the Gombe making and using tools—a finding that changed our thinking about chimps, primates, and even humans. Now, Goodall travels the world as a conservationist, advocate for animals, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. She joins guest host John Dankosky to reflect on her years of experience in the field, the scientific efforts she is involved with today, and the need for hope and cooperation in an increasingly connected but chaotic world. Science has given us more than data. It’s also brought us words for everyday things or ideas—meme, cobalt, dinosaur. And there’s often a good story about how those words got into our common use. Take the word “vaccine,” the distant, but hoped-for solution to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It turns out the word originates fromvaccinae,relating to co...

48 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Jane Goodall, Coronavirus Update, Science Diction. March 20, 2020, Part 1

SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Vaccine'

For centuries, smallpox seemed unbeatable. People had tried nearly everything to knock it out—from herbal remedies to tossing back 12 bottles of beer a day (yep, that was a real recommendation from a 17th century doctor), to intentionally infecting themselves with smallpox and hoping they didn’t get sick, all to no avail. And then, in the 18th century, an English doctor heard a rumor about a possible solution. It wasn’t a cure, but if it worked, it would stop smallpox before it started. So one spring day, with the help of a milkmaid, an eight-year-old boy, and a cow named Blossom, the English doctor decided to run an experiment. Thanks to that ethically questionable but ultimately world-altering experiment (and Blossom the cow) we got the word vaccine. Want more Science Diction? Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and sign up for our newsletter. "The cow-pock - or - the wonderful effects of the new inoculation" by James Gillray in 1802, featured at the beginning of this epi...

12 MIN2 w ago
Comments
SciFri Extra: Science Diction On The Word 'Vaccine'

Farmers’ Stress, Tiny Dino-Bird Discovery. March 13, 2020, Part 2

The Farm Crisis of the 1980s was a dark time for people working in food and agriculture. U.S. agricultural policies led to an oversupply of crops, price drops, and farms closures. At the same time, the rate of farmer suicide skyrocketed. The industry struggled, until organizations like Farm Aid and others popped up to give voice to the crisis. But farm advocates agree that farmers are in the middle of another period of hardship, one brought on by the same factors that caused the Farm Crisis in the 1980s. Farmers today are experiencing low crop prices, uncertain markets, and high farm debt. And this time around, there’s a greater awareness and stress about the impacts of climate change. So what will our response be to this latest crisis? How will farmers get the support they need—both economically and emotionally? State and regional organizations for farmers have been quick to restart the conversation around the importance of rural mental health, but funding has been slow to follow...

47 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Farmers’ Stress, Tiny Dino-Bird Discovery. March 13, 2020, Part 2
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