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Covering everything about science and technology -- from the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies -- Science Friday is your source for entertaining and educational stories and activities. Each week, host Ira Flatow interviews scientists and inventors like Sylvia Earle, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and more.
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There’s a long-standing narrative about hunter-gatherers in ancient times: Men ventured out for meat, while women largely stayed closer to home, foraging for plants and tending to children. As with most things, it almost certainly wasn’t that black and white. Recent analyses of physiological and archaeological evidence, published in American Anthro…
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There’s a long-standing narrative about hunter-gatherers in ancient times: Men ventured out for meat, while women largely stayed closer to home, foraging for plants and tending to children. As with most things, it almost certainly wasn’t that black and white. Recent analyses of physiological and archaeological evidence, published in American Anthro…
  continue reading
 
Just about every day there’s a new headline about artificial intelligence. OpenAI Founder and CEO Sam Altman was forced out, and then dramatically returned to his post—all in the span of a week. Then there’s the recent speculation about a revolutionary new model from the company, called Q*, which can solve basic math problems. Beyond the inner work…
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Just about every day there’s a new headline about artificial intelligence. OpenAI Founder and CEO Sam Altman was forced out, and then dramatically returned to his post—all in the span of a week. Then there’s the recent speculation about a revolutionary new model from the company, called Q*, which can solve basic math problems. Beyond the inner work…
  continue reading
 
COP28 Host Had Plans to Promote Oil and Gas, Documents Show The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, began this week in Dubai. This is an annual event, where leaders and delegates from around the world come together to discuss how to collaboratively reach important milestones for the future of the planet. Goals like slowing the rise of …
  continue reading
 
COP28 Host Had Plans to Promote Oil and Gas, Documents Show The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28, began this week in Dubai. This is an annual event, where leaders and delegates from around the world come together to discuss how to collaboratively reach important milestones for the future of the planet. Goals like slowing the rise of …
  continue reading
 
It’s hard to imagine a world without seatbelts or airbags. But five decades ago, it was the norm for car manufacturers to put glamour over safety. “It was stylistic pornography over engineering integrity,” Ralph Nader, prolific consumer advocate and several-time presidential candidate, tells Science Friday. This winter marks the 55th anniversary of…
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It’s hard to imagine a world without seatbelts or airbags. But five decades ago, it was the norm for car manufacturers to put glamour over safety. “It was stylistic pornography over engineering integrity,” Ralph Nader, prolific consumer advocate and several-time presidential candidate, tells Science Friday. This winter marks the 55th anniversary of…
  continue reading
 
If you want to predict the color of something, you can talk about wavelengths of light. Light with a wavelength of around 460 nanometers is going to look blue. If you want to predict what something sounds like, frequencies can be a guide—a frequency of around 261 Hertz should sound like the musical note middle C. Predicting smells is more difficult…
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If you want to predict the color of something, you can talk about wavelengths of light. Light with a wavelength of around 460 nanometers is going to look blue. If you want to predict what something sounds like, frequencies can be a guide—a frequency of around 261 Hertz should sound like the musical note middle C. Predicting smells is more difficult…
  continue reading
 
Few living scientists are as iconic as Dr. Jane Goodall. The legendary primatologist spent decades working with chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. More recently, Goodall has devoted her time to advocating for conservation, not just in Africa, but worldwide. Ira spoke with Goodall in 2002, after she had published her book The Ten Trusts:…
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Few living scientists are as iconic as Dr. Jane Goodall. The legendary primatologist spent decades working with chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. More recently, Goodall has devoted her time to advocating for conservation, not just in Africa, but worldwide. Ira spoke with Goodall in 2002, after she had published her book The Ten Trusts:…
  continue reading
 
Ever wondered why your dog’s back-and-forth shaking is so effective at getting you soaked? Or how bugs, birds, and lizards can run across water—but we can’t? Or how about why cockroaches are so darn good at navigating in the dark? Those are just a few of the day-to-day mysteries answered in the new book How to Walk on Water and Climb Up Walls: Anim…
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Ever wondered why your dog’s back-and-forth shaking is so effective at getting you soaked? Or how bugs, birds, and lizards can run across water—but we can’t? Or how about why cockroaches are so darn good at navigating in the dark? Those are just a few of the day-to-day mysteries answered in the new book How to Walk on Water and Climb Up Walls: Anim…
  continue reading
 
Saluting Science's Silly Side, Virtually In science, there are some traditions: Every October, the Nobel Prize committee announces the winners of that year’s awards, which are presented in Sweden in December. And every September for the past 33 years, a different committee has awarded the Ig Nobel Prizes in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And every year,…
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Saluting Science's Silly Side, Virtually In science, there are some traditions: Every October, the Nobel Prize committee announces the winners of that year’s awards, which are presented in Sweden in December. And every September for the past 33 years, a different committee has awarded the Ig Nobel Prizes in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And every year,…
  continue reading
 
Reporter Ashley Ahearn bought a wild horse from the federal government for $125. Also, with opera and visual art, an exhibit looks at modern genetic engineering of pigs. The Captivating Story Of The West’s Wild Horses Wild mustangs are an icon of the American West, conjuring a romantic vision of horses galloping free on an open prairie. But in real…
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Reporter Ashley Ahearn bought a wild horse from the federal government for $125. Also, with opera and visual art, an exhibit looks at modern genetic engineering of pigs. The Captivating Story Of The West’s Wild Horses Wild mustangs are an icon of the American West, conjuring a romantic vision of horses galloping free on an open prairie. But in real…
  continue reading
 
Moon Rocks Collected In 1972 Reveal New Secrets It’s hard to imagine, but the moon we all know and love hasn’t always been in the sky. Like all of us, the moon has an age. Until recently, our lunar neighbor has been estimated to be about 4 billion years old. But new research on lunar crystals from the Apollo 17 mission has helped researchers pinpoi…
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Moon Rocks Collected In 1972 Reveal New Secrets It’s hard to imagine, but the moon we all know and love hasn’t always been in the sky. Like all of us, the moon has an age. Until recently, our lunar neighbor has been estimated to be about 4 billion years old. But new research on lunar crystals from the Apollo 17 mission has helped researchers pinpoi…
  continue reading
 
Gift-giving season is upon us once again! And if you’re not sure what to get the kids in your life, we’re here to help. Many new STEM books for kids and young adults came out this year, and we asked a few experts to tell us about their favorites from 2023. Joining guest host Flora Lichtman to offer listeners their recommendations for the best kids’…
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Gift-giving season is upon us once again! And if you’re not sure what to get the kids in your life, we’re here to help. Many new STEM books for kids and young adults came out this year, and we asked a few experts to tell us about their favorites from 2023. Joining guest host Flora Lichtman to offer listeners their recommendations for the best kids’…
  continue reading
 
Over the last year, we’ve heard more and more about AI’s potential to transform medicine—how it can help doctors read scans, analyze health data, and even develop personalized drugs. But the AI boom has set off alarm bells for some healthcare providers. Guest host Flora Lichtman talks with two scientists who wondered whether these models were perpe…
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Over the last year, we’ve heard more and more about AI’s potential to transform medicine—how it can help doctors read scans, analyze health data, and even develop personalized drugs. But the AI boom has set off alarm bells for some healthcare providers. Guest host Flora Lichtman talks with two scientists who wondered whether these models were perpe…
  continue reading
 
Scientists observing the exoplanet WASP-107b with the James Webb Space Telescope say that the planet has clouds of sand high in its atmosphere. The scientists detected water vapor, sulfur dioxide, and silicate sand clouds in the atmosphere of the planet, which is about the mass of Neptune but the size of Jupiter—stats that caused astronomers to des…
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Scientists observing the exoplanet WASP-107b with the James Webb Space Telescope say that the planet has clouds of sand high in its atmosphere. The scientists detected water vapor, sulfur dioxide, and silicate sand clouds in the atmosphere of the planet, which is about the mass of Neptune but the size of Jupiter—stats that caused astronomers to des…
  continue reading
 
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