Podcast

Science Friday

Brain fun for curious people.

Episodes

  • The Center Of The Milky Way, Rats At Play, And Geometry. Sept 13, 2019, Part 2

    Sep 13 2019

    The Greek mathematician Euclid imagined an ordered and methodical universe, but his vision struggled to catch on for centuries, until Renaissance painters and French monarchs found a way connect the ancient science of geometry to the real world. Science historian Amir Alexander joins Ira to share the story of geometry’s rising global influence in his new book Proof!: How The World Became Geometrical.  Plus, a million years ago, the black hole at the center of our galaxy burped. Now, scientists a...more

  • How AI Is Influencing Decisions In Police Departments And Courtrooms. Sept 13, 2019

    Sep 13 2019

    Facial recognition technology is all around us—it’s at concerts, airports, and apartment buildings. But its use by law enforcement agencies and courtrooms raises particular concerns about privacy, fairness, and bias, according to some researchers. Some studies have shown that some of the major facial recognition systems are inaccurate. Amazon’s software misidentified 28 members of Congress and matched them with criminal mugshots. These inaccuracies tend to be far worse for people of color and wo...more

  • SciFri Extra: Bird Nerds Of A Feather Flock Together

    Sep 11 2019

    The Science Friday Book Club is done birding—for now. But after wrapping up our summer discussion of Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds, bird enthusiasts flocked together at Caveat, a venue in New York City, for one last celebration of bird brains and feathered phenomena. We pitted audience members up against some local bird geniuses in tests of memory, pattern recognition, and problem-solving. Then, we brought on a gaggle of experts to talk about the special and smart birds of New York Cit...more

  • Randall Munroe, Football Concussion Research. Sept 6, 2019, Part 2

    Sep 06 2019

    If you’ve ever been skiing, you might have wondered how your skiis and the layer of water interact. What would happen if the slope was made out of wood or rubber? Or how would you make more snow in the most efficient way if it all melted away? These are the questions that comic artist Randall Munroe thinks about in his book How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. He answers these hypothetical scenarios and other everyday questions—from charging your phone to sending a di...more

  • Widening The Lens On A More Inclusive Science. Sept 6, 2019, Part 1

    Sep 06 2019

    In 2012, the Obama administration projected that the United States would need to add an additional 1 million college graduates in STEM fields per year for the next ten years to keep up with projected growth in the need for science and technology expertise. At the same time, though, native Americans and other indigenous groups are underrepresented in the sciences, making up only 0.2 percent of the STEM workforce in 2014, despite being 2 percent of the total population of the United States. Why ar...more

  • Vaping Sickness, Teaching Science. Aug 30, 2019, Part 2

    Aug 30 2019

    Over 10 million Americans vape, or smoke electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes are also the most popular tobacco product among teenagers in this country. Some of them are marketed with bright colors and fun flavors like chocolate, creme brulee, and mint—or they’re advertised as a healthier alternative to regular cigarette smoking. But last week, public health officials reported that a patient in Illinois died from a mysterious lung illness linked to vaping. In 29 states across the country, there a...more

  • Degrees of Change: Tourism. Aug 30, 2019, Part 1

    Aug 30 2019

    Each year, outdoor enthusiasts in the country spend nearly $900 billion dollars on hiking, fishing and other types of outdoor recreation. The different types of business that take part in that tourism economy span a wide range—from big all inclusive ski resorts to mom and pop shops that sell tours of their local hiking spots.  But with shrinking snowpacks, more extreme weather, and the unpredictable changes from season to season, these businesses must wrestle with a challenge: climate change. Wi...more

  • Climate And Farming, Mars 2020, Fireflies. August 23, 2019, Part 2

    Aug 23 2019

    From cutting back on fossil fuels to planting a million trees, people and policymakers around the world are looking for more ways to curb climate change. Another solution to add to the list is changing how we use land. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, released a special report this month that emphasized the importance of proper land management, such as protecting forests like the Amazon from being converted to farmland, has on mitigating climate change. Rob...more

  • Book Club Birds, Amazon Burning. August 23, 2019, Part 1

    Aug 23 2019

    “Bird-brain” has long been an insult meant to imply slow-wittedness or stupidity. But in reading Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds, SciFri Book Club readers have been learning that birds often have wits well beyond ours—take the mockingbird’s capacity to memorize the songs of other birds, or the precise annual migrations of hummingbirds and Arctic terns. Or the New Caledonian crow, which make tools and solve puzzles that might mystify human children. UCLA pigeon researcher Aaron Blaisdell ...more

  • Live in San Antonio: Deadly Disease, Bats, Birds. Aug. 16, 2019, Part 2

    Aug 16 2019

    Imagine stepping into a white suit, pulling on thick rubber gloves and a helmet with a clear face plate. You can only talk to your colleagues through an earpiece, and a rubber hose supplies you with breathable air. Sounds like something you wear in space, right? In this case, you’re not an astronaut. You’re at the Texas Biomedical Institute in San Antonio, one of the only places where the most dangerous pathogens—the ones with no known cures—can be studied in a lab setting. Dr. Jean Patterson, a...more

  • Lightning, Electric Scooters, News Roundup. Aug. 16, 2019, Part 1

    Aug 16 2019

    Lightning during a heavy rainstorm is one of the most dramatic phenomena on the planet—and it happens, somewhere on Earth, an estimated 50 to 100 times a second. But even though scientists have been puzzling over the physics of lightning for decades, stretching back even to Ben Franklin’s kite experiment, much of the science remains mysterious. Ira and IEEE Spectrum news editor Amy Nordrum speak with Farhad Rachidi, a lightning researcher at Säntis Tower in Switzerland, as well as Bill Rison, a ...more

  • Northwest Passage Project, Birds and Color. Aug 9, 2019, Part 1

    Aug 09 2019

    First, tardigrades on the moon, feral hogs on Earth, and more news from this week’s News Roundup. Scientists and students navigated the Northwest Passage waterways to study how the Arctic summers have changed. Last year, one day into expedition, the boat ran aground and cut the mission off before it could get started. This year, the team successfully launched from Thule, Greenland and completed their three-week cruise. Birds don’t just see the world from higher up than the rest of us; they also ...more

  • Wiring Rural Texas, Visiting Jupiter and Saturn. Aug 9, 2019, Part 2

    Aug 09 2019

    High-speed internet access is becoming a necessity of modern life, but connecting over a million rural Texans is a challenge. How do we bridge the digital divide in Texas' wide open spaces? It turns out the Great Red Spot might not be so great—it's shrinking. Plus, other news from the giant planets.

  • Is Chemical Sunscreen Safe, Slime, Amazon Deforestation. August 2, 2019, Part 2

    Aug 02 2019

    Sunscreen has been on the shelves of drugstores since the mid-1940s. And while new kinds of sunscreens have come out, some of the active ingredients in them have yet to be determined as safe and effective. A recent study conducted by the FDA showed that the active ingredients of four commercially available sunscreens were absorbed into the bloodstream—even days after a person stops using it. Ira talks to professor of dermatology and editor in chief of the Journal of the American Medical Associat...more

  • Ethics Of Hawaiian Telescope, Bird Song, Alaska Universities Budget Cut. August 2, 2019, Part 1

    Aug 02 2019

    Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in Hawaii, towering over the Pacific at nearly 14,000 feet. That high altitude, combined with the mountain’s dry, still air and its extreme darkness at night, make it an ideal place for astronomy. There are already 13 observatories on the summit plateau. Now, astronomers want to build another, called the Thirty Meter Telescope, or TMT, which would become the largest visible-light telescope on the mountain.  But many native Hawaiians don’t want it there, for a mu...more

  • Ice Cream Science, Online Language. July 26, 2019, Part 2

    Jul 26 2019

    Have you ever tried to make your favorite rocky road flavored ice cream at home, but your chocolate ice cream turns out a little crunchier than you hoped? And your ribbons of marshmallow are more like frozen, sugary shards? Chemist Matt Hartings and ice cream maker Ben Van Leeuwen, co-founder of Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream in New York City, talk about the science behind how milk, sugar, and eggs turn into your favorite frozen desserts. They’ll chat about the sweet science behind other frozen d...more

  • Anonymous Data, Birding Basics. July 26, 2019, Part 1

    Jul 26 2019

    The Science Friday Book Club is buckling down to read Jennifer Ackerman’s The Genius of Birds this summer. Meanwhile, it’s vacation season, and we want you to go out and appreciate some birds in the wild. But for beginning birders, it may seem intimidating to find and identify feathered friends both near and far from home. Audubon experts Martha Harbison and Purbita Saha join guest host Molly Webster to share some advice. They explain how to identify birds by sight and by ear, some guides that c...more

  • Moon Art, Space History, And NASA's Megarocket. July 19, 2019, Part 2

    Jul 19 2019

    Our Lunar Muse Most of us remember that iconic photograph of the Apollo 11 moon landing: Buzz Aldrin standing on a footprint-covered moon, one arm bent, and Neil Armstrong in his helmet’s reflection taking the picture.  But there’s a much longer, ancient history of trying to visually capture the moon that came before the 1969 photo—from Bronze Age disks with crescent moons to Galileo’s telescope drawings to 19th-century photos and modern photographs. For millennia, we’ve been obsessed with the m...more

  • Apollo Anniversary And Bird Book Club. July 19, 2019, Part 1

    Jul 19 2019

    Celebrating Apollo's 'Giant Leap' July 20, 1969 was a day that changed us forever—the first time humans left footprints on another world. In this segment, Ira Flatow and space historian Andy Chaikin celebrate that history and examine the legacy of the Apollo program. Apollo ushered in a new age of scientific discovery, with lunar samples that unlocked the history of how the moon and the solar system formed. It accelerated the development of new technologies, like the integrated circuit. And most...more

  • Mosquitos and Smell, Fermentation, Model Rocket Launch. July 12, 2019, Part 2

    Jul 12 2019

    If you’ve ever tried brewing your own beer or raising your own sourdough, then you know that the process of fermentation isn't easy to get right. How do you control the growth of mold, yeast, or bacteria such that it creates a savory and delicious new flavor, and not a putrid mess on your kitchen counter? David Zilber is Director of Fermentation at the restaurant Noma, and he tells his fermentation secrets. The human scent is made up of a combination of 100 odor compounds. Other mammals such as ...more

  • Degrees of Change: Food and Climate. July 12, 2019, Part 1

    Jul 12 2019

    A quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from putting food on the table. From the fossil fuels used to produce fertilizers, to the methane burps of cows, to the jet fuel used to deliver your fresh asparagus, eating is one of the most planet-warming things we do. In our latest chapter of Degrees of Change, we're looking at how to eat smarter in a warming world. Plus, we’ve launched a new way for you to add your voice to the show: the SciFri VoxPop app. Download now for iPhone or And...more

  • The Bastard Brigade, Spontaneous Generation. July 5, 2019, Part 2

    Jul 05 2019

    Much has been written about the Manhattan Project, the American-led project to develop the atomic bomb. Less well known is Nazi Germany’s “Uranium Club”—a similar project started a full two years before the Manhattan Project. The Nazis had some of the greatest chemists and physicists in the world on their side, including Werner Heisenberg, and the Allies were terrified that the Nazis would beat them to the bomb—meaning the Allies were willing to try anything from espionage to assassination to bo...more

  • Science Road Trips, Archaeology From Space. July 5, 2019, Part 1

    Jul 05 2019

    Summer is here—and that means it’s time for a road trip! Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, co-authors of Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the Hidden Wonders of the World, join Ira to share some suggestions for sciencey things to see and do around the country, from unusual museum exhibits to outstanding natural wonders. Plus, we asked you for YOUR travel ideas—and did you deliver! We’ll share tourist tips from some regular Science Friday guests, and highlight some of your many suggestions. Speak...more

  • Paternity, Musical Proteins, Microbiome In Runners. June 28, 2019, Part 2

    Jun 28 2019

    These days, a scientific paternity test is easily acquired, and its results are seen as almost indisputable. But what about the days before so-called foolproof DNA analysis? For most of human history, people considered the identity of a child’s father to be more or less “unknowable.” Then in the 20th century, when a flurry of events sparked the idea that science could help clarify the question of fatherhood, and an era of “modern paternity” was born. The new science of paternity, which includes ...more

  • Cephalopod Week Wrap-Up, USDA Climate Change, Sinking Louisiana. June 28, 2019, Part 1

    Jun 28 2019

    The eight-day squid-and-kin appreciation extravaganza of Cephalopod Week is nearly over, but there’s still plenty to learn and love about these tentacled “aliens” of the deep. After a rare video sighting of a giant squid—the first in North American waters—last week, NOAA zoologist Mike Vecchione talks about his role identifying the squid from a mere 25 seconds of video, and why ocean exploration is the best way to learn about the behavior and ecology of deep-sea cephalopods. Then, Marine Biologi...more

  • SciFri Extra: About Time

    Jun 25 2019

    The official U.S. time is kept on a cesium fountain clock named NIST-F1, located in Boulder, Colorado. On a recent trip to Boulder, Ira took a trip to see the clock. He spoke with Elizabeth Donley, acting head of the Time and Frequency Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, about keeping the official U.S. time on track—and how NIST is using advanced physics to develop ever more precise and stable ways to measure time.

  • Smoke Chasers, Colorado Apples, Pikas. June 21, 2019, Part 2

    Jun 21 2019

    When wildfires rage in the West, Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Emily Fischer hops into a plane, and flies straight into the smoke. The plane is a flying chemistry lab, studded with instruments, and Fischer’s goal is to uncover the chemical reactions happening in smoke plumes, to determine how wildfire smoke may affect ecosystems and human health. Pikas—those cute little animals that look like rodents but are actually more closely related to rabbits—used to roam high mountain ha...more

  • Cephalopod Week 2019, Climate and Microbes, Puppy Eyes, Wave Energy. June 21, 2019, Part 1

    Jun 21 2019

    For eight glorious days during the end of June, Science Friday honors the mighty mollusks of the ocean—Cephalopod Week returns for the sixth year! And we’re cephalo-brating with a tidal wave of ways for you to participate. This year, we want to know your favorite cephalopod. Is it the charismatic giant Pacific octopus or the long-lived chambered nautilus? Science Friday digital producer Lauren Young and biologist Diana Li add their own favorite cephalopods to the ultimate undersea showdown. They...more

  • Degrees Of Change: Urban Heat Islands. June 14, 2019, Part 1

    Jun 14 2019

    We’ve known for more than 200 years that cities are hotter than surrounding rural areas. All that concrete and brick soaks up the sun’s rays, then re-emits them as heat long after night has fallen. On top of that, waste heat from the energy we use to power our buildings, vehicle emissions, and even air conditioning units can cause some cities to be as many as 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than their rural surroundings—creating “urban heat islands.” Between the toll that heat takes on the body and...more

  • The Best Summer Science Books. June 14, 2019, Part 2

    Jun 14 2019

    The Best Science Books To Read This Summer They say a vacation is only as good as the book you bring with you. And these days it feels like there are as many ways to consume science writing as there are fields of science. Whether you’re a fan of historical nonfiction, graphic novels, poetry or short essays, this year’s panel of summer science books experts has the one you’re looking for to take with you on your journey. Alison Gilchrist is a graduate student researcher at CU Boulder and host of ...more

  • Quantum Leaps, Cancer Drugs, Cat Cameras. June 7, 2019, Part 2

    Jun 07 2019

    The “spooky physics” of the quantum world has long been marked by two key ideas: The idea of superposition, meaning that a quantum particle can exist in multiple states simultaneously, and the idea of randomness, meaning that it’s impossible to predict when certain quantum transitions will take place. Writing in the journal Nature, Zlatko Minev and colleagues report that they may be able to make the quantum behavior slightly less mysterious. Minev joins Ira to talk about the finding, and what ne...more

  • Gender Bias In Research Trials, Antarctica, Tornado Engineering. June 7, 2019, Part 1

    Jun 07 2019

    For half a century, most neuroscience experiments have had one glaring flaw: They've ignored female study subjects. The reason? Researchers claimed, for example, that female rats and mice would skew their data, due to hormonal cycling. Writing in the journal Science, neuroscientist Rebecca Shansky says that view is out of date—and it's been harming science too. She and Radiolab producer and co-host Molly Webster join Ira to talk about the past, present, and future of laboratory research, and whe...more

  • SciFri Extra: Remembering Murray Gell-Mann

    Jun 04 2019

    Physicist Murray Gell-Mann died recently at the age of 89. He received the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles, and is credited with giving quarks their name. But he was known for more than just physics—he was a co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, and a champion of creativity and interdisciplinary research.   One of his biggest interests was exploring the “chain of relationships”  that connects basic physical laws and the subatomic world to the comple...more

  • Climate Politics, Football and Math, Ether. May 31, 2019, Part 2

    May 31 2019

    A green wave is sweeping through Washington, and it’s picking up Republicans who are eager to share their ideas on clean energy and climate change. But even as Republican lawmakers turn to shaping climate policy, the White House is doubling down on climate denial, forming a “climate review panel” to vet and discredit the already peer-reviewed science on climate change. So where will climate science end up? Ira’s joined by marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and climate scientist Michael Man...more

  • Spoiler Alert, Glyphosate, Unisexual Salamanders. May 31, 2019, Part 1

    May 31 2019

    How many times has this happened to you? You’re standing in front of an open freezer, wondering what type of mystery meat has been left in there, when you purchased it, and if it’s still safe to eat? If you’re puzzled by sell-by dates, freezer burn, and just how long food can remain edible, you’re not alone. Studies show that more than 80 percent of Americans misinterpret date labels and throw food away prematurely to protect their families’ health. That adds up to $218 billion worth of food eac...more

  • SciFri Extra: A Relatively Important Eclipse

    May 28 2019

    This week marks the 100th anniversary of an eclipse that forever changed physics and our understanding of the universe. In May 1919, scientists set out for Sobral, Brazil, and Príncipe, an island off the west coast of Africa, to photograph the momentarily starry sky during a total eclipse. Their scientific aim was to test whether the sun’s gravity would indeed bend light rays from faraway stars, as predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity. After analyzing the data from the brief minu...more

  • Bees! May 24, 2019, Part 2

    May 24 2019

    For the hobby beekeeper, there’s much to consider when homing your first domestic honey bee colonies—what kind of hive to get, where to put them, where to get your bees, and how to help them survive the winter. But when left to their own devices, what do the bees themselves prefer? From smaller nests to higher openings, wild honey bees seem to prefer very different conditions from the closely clustered square boxes of traditional beekeeping. But there are ways to adapt! Seeley joins Ira to expla...more

  • Ebola Outbreak, Climate Play, Navajo Energy. May 24, 2019, Part 1

    May 24 2019

    What would it take to power a subsea factory of the future? Plus, other stories from this week in science news. Then, as the last coal-fired power plant plans to shut down at the end of the year, the Navajo Tribe is embracing renewables.  Next, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, distrust of the government and healthcare workers are hampering efforts to contain the current outbreak. Finally, in a new climate change play, a playwright explores what kinds of narratives we need to stir action on c...more

  • New Horizons Discovery, Science Fair Finalists, Screams. May 17, 2019, Part 2

    May 17 2019

    The most happening New Year’s Party of 2019 wasn’t at Times Square or Paris—it was in the small town of Laurel, Maryland, halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. There, scientists shared the stage with kids decked out in NASA gear, party hats, and astronaut helmets. They were there to count down not to the new year, but to the New Horizons spacecraft flying by a very distant, very ancient, snowman-shaped object: MU69. Now, the first ha...more

  • Degrees Of Change: Sea Level Rise, Coal-Use Decline. May 17, 2019, Part 1

    May 17 2019

    As the frequency of tropical storms and droughts increase and sea levels rise with climate change, forested wetlands along the Atlantic coast are slowly filling with dead and dying trees. The accelerating spread of these “ghost forests” over the past decade has ecologists alarmed and eager to understand how they are formed and what effect they will have regionally and globally.  One interdisciplinary group of researchers from North Carolina State University and Duke University are examining the ...more

  • Biodiversity Report And The Science Of Parenting. May 10, 2019, Part 2

    May 10 2019

    According to a new UN report on global biodiversity, as many as one million species—both plants and animals—are now at risk of extinction, according to a new UN report on global biodiversity. That number includes 40% of all amphibian species, 33% of corals, and around 10% of insects. One might assume that this type of devastating species loss could only come as a result of one thing—climate change. But in fact, as the report highlights illustrate, it’s deforestation, changes in land and sea use,...more

  • Superconductivity Search, Ride-Share Congestion, Lions Vs. Porcupines. May 10, 2019, Part 1

    May 10 2019

    Six decades ago, a group of physicists came up with a theory that described electrons at a low temperature that could attract a second electron. If the electrons were in the right configuration, they could conduct electricity with zero resistance. The Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer theory, named after the three physicists, is the basis for how superconductivity works at a quantum level. Superconductivity would allow electricity to flow with no loss of heat from its system. Since that time, scientists...more

  • Neuroscientists Peer Into The Mind's Eye, Alexander von Humboldt. May 3, 2019, Part 2

    May 03 2019

    It sounds like a sci-fi plot: Hook a real brain up to artificial intelligence, and let the two talk to each other. That’s the design of a new study in the journal Cell, in which artificial intelligence networks displayed images to monkeys, and then studied how the monkey’s neurons responded to the picture. The computer network could then use that information about the brain’s responses to tweak the image, displaying a new picture that might resonate more with the monkey’s visual processing syste...more

  • Business Planning For Climate Change,The Digital Afterlife. May 3, 2019, Part 1

    May 03 2019

    Scientists have built all sorts of models to predict the likelihood of extreme weather events. But it’s not just scientists who are interested in these models. Telecomm giant AT&T teamed up with scientists at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to build a climate map of the Southeastern part of the country, overlaid with a map of AT&T’s infrastructure. Climate scientist Rao Kothamarthi from Argonne Labs discusses the process of creating hyperlocal climate change models, and Shannon C...more

  • Measles, Poetry Month, Lemur Hibernation. April 26, 2019, Part 2

    Apr 26 2019

    Back in 1963, before the development of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, there were 4 million cases of measles every year. It took nearly four decades, but by 2000, enough people had become vaccinated that the measles virus was eliminated in the U.S. But since then, the ranks of unvaccinated people have grown, and the measles virus has been reintroduced into the U.S. This week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials report over 600 cases of measles across 22 sta...more

  • Degrees of Change: Sponge Cities and Pocket Prairies. April 26, 2019, Part 1

    Apr 26 2019

    Climate change is happening—now we need to deal with it. Degrees of Change, a new series of hour-long radio specials from Science Friday, explores the problem of climate change and how we as a planet are adapting to it. In this first chapter, SciFri looks at how climate change affects water systems. This year, there were record downpours in the American Midwest that washed out levees and caused catastrophic flooding. Meanwhile, California is recovering from a seven year-long drought that led to ...more

  • 5G, Pig Brains, Privacy For Nature. April 19, 2019, Part 1

    Apr 19 2019

    Last week, President Trump announced a new initiative to push forward the implementation of 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity for smartphones and other devices. How is this faster speed possible, and how quickly will it become accessible to consumers? Washington Post technology reporter Brian Fung explains the innovations that would enable greater rates of data transmission. Plus: Harold Feld, a lawyer and consumer advocate, says not everyone will benefit equally from 5G as plans ...more

  • New Human Species, Census, Plankton, Brain Etchings. April 19, 2019, Part 2

    Apr 19 2019

    Last week, researchers announced they’d found the remains of a new species of ancient human on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It was just a few teeth and bones from toes and hands, but they appeared to have a strange mix of ancient and modern human traits scientists had never seen before. Enter: Homo luzonesis. However, Homo luzonesis’ entry on the hominid family tree is still fuzzy and uncertain. Dr. Shara Bailey, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at New York Univer...more

  • Year In Space Results, Citizen Science Day, Cherry Blossoms. April 12, 2019, Part 2

    Apr 12 2019

    To find out what was happening to astronauts over longer periods of space flight, NASA put together a 10-team study of twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly. Scott spent a year on International Space Station, while his brother Mark lived a relatively normal life on Earth—though both regularly sent the researchers samples of their blood, urine, cognitive test results, and other data to assess their physiology over time. Scott Kelly returned to Earth in 2016, and researchers have been studying and ...more

  • Event Horizon Telescope, Biosphere 2. April 12, 2019, Part 1

    Apr 12 2019

    “As I like to say, it’s never a good idea to bet against Einstein,” astrophysicist Shep Doeleman told Science Friday back in 2016, when the Event Horizon Telescope project was just getting underway. At an illuminating press conference on Wednesday, April 10th, scientists shared the image for the first time: a slightly blurry lopsided ring of light encircling a dark shadow. But even as the image confirms current ideas about gravity, it also raises new questions about galaxy formation and quantum ...more