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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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Episodes

New Prosthetic Arm, CAR T Cell Therapy, Climate Games. August 12, 2022, Part 2

8/12/2022
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...

Duration:00:48:10

Insulin Price Plan, Monkeypox Facts, Milky Way Memoir. August 12, 2022, Part 1

8/12/2022
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,...

Duration:00:48:59

Clean Energy Bill, Heatwave Infrastructure, Etana Teen Innovator. August 5th, 2022, Part 2

8/5/2022
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...

Cancer Vaccines, Planting Wildflowers, Eating Copi Fish. August 5th, 2022, Part 1

8/5/2022
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...

Alzheimer’s Research Fraud, Extreme Heat Health, Piping Plovers, Octaglove. July 29, 2022, Part 1

7/29/2022
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...

Duration:00:46:03

Fire Of Love Film, Accessible Tech, Vagina Book. July 29, 2022, Part 2

7/29/2022
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,...

Duration:00:50:18

Kahneman on ‘Noise,’ CHIPS Act, Great Salt Lake Dryness, Hybrid Toads. July 22, 2022, Part 2

7/22/2022
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...

Duration:00:49:06

Global Heat Wave, Indigenous Peoples Genetic History, Heat-Adaptive Plants. July 22, 2022, Part 1

7/22/2022
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,...

Duration:00:48:08

JWST Images, Solar System Exploration, Monkeypox. July 15, 2022, Part 2

7/15/2022
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...

Duration:00:49:29

A Land Return, A COVID Update, Texas’ Power Grid, and A Gene-Editing Thriller. July 15, 2022, Part 1

7/15/2022
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...

Duration:00:48:53

Big Bang Debate History, Black Hole Sounds, Maggot Healthcare, Forest Lichens. July 8, 2022, Part 2

7/8/2022
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...

Duration:00:49:22

Bird Poop Importance, The Wonders Of Sweat, Invertebrate Butts. July 8, 2022, Part 1

7/8/2022
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...

Duration:00:49:46

Summer Science Books, Effect of Roe on Obstetric Care, Female Athletic Injuries. July 1, 2022, Part 2

7/1/2022
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...

Duration:00:49:13

SCOTUS Restricts EPA, Scientist Rebellion Protests, Kansas Wheat Problems, Early Science Films. July 1, 2022, Part 1

7/1/2022
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...

Duration:00:51:12

HIPAA Explained, Trans Research, Queer Scientists. June 24, 2022, Part 2

6/24/2022
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...

Duration:00:51:19

Roe V. Wade Overturned, Animals’ Amazing Sensory Abilities. June 24, 2022, Part 1

6/24/2022
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...

Duration:00:52:12

The Rise Of Mammals And A Cephalopod Celebration. June 17, 2022, Part 2

6/17/2022
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...

Duration:00:50:35

COVID Vaccines For Kids Under 5, IVF Status After Roe V. Wade. June 17, 2022, Part 1

6/17/2022
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...

Duration:00:50:36

Race And Medicine, Salmon Recovery, Emergency Mushroom ID. June 10, 2022, Part 1

6/10/2022
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....

Duration:00:50:31

Cephalopod Wonders, Jumping Worms, Early Plastic Surgery. June 10, 2022, Part 2

6/10/2022
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...

Duration:00:53:42