Science Friday

Fridays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the trusted source for news about science, technology, and other cool stuff. Each week host Ira Flatow mixes it up with people in the know and those who want to be. It's brain fun, for curious people. For over 22 years, Science Friday has brought the top stories in science to radio listeners and given them a chance to join in the discussion by asking questions and making comments during the live broadcast. http://www.sciencefriday.com/

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Author Interviews
9:26 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Einstein's Real Breakthrough? Quantum Theory

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. When you think about Albert Einstein, the words E=MC squared and Theory of Relativity naturally come to mind. But Einstein did not win his Nobel Prize for that work. Instead, he won the prize for figuring out how light interacts with objects and for believing, when almost no one else did, that light and energy are carried as discreet packets called quanta.

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Technology
9:26 am
Fri November 1, 2013

To Learn How Your Camera Works, Try Building One

Digital cameras are ubiquitous today — even $20 cell phones have them built in. But few people actually know how a digital camera works. Shree Nayar, a computer scientist at Columbia University, set out to change that with his Bigshot Do-It-Yourself Digital Camera kit, which gives tinkerers a view of a camera's anatomy.

Movies
9:47 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Science Goes to the Movies: 'Gravity'

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The most spectacular science shocker ever filmed. Too real to be science fiction, now science fact.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

That theme signals a new series we're calling Science Goes to the Movies. If you ever watch sci-fi flick and think, now, com on. Did that really happen? Well, to us, that's what this series is all about. We're going to ask scientists to put on their film critic hats and help us separate the fact from Hollywood fiction.

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Author Interviews
9:47 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Craig Venter: Life at the Speed of Light

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Craig Venter was the first person to ever create a living thing from scratch, a cell, a bacterium, into which was inserted manmade genetic material - DNA. And for all intents and purposes, it was alive, moving, reproducing. It opened up a whole new world of what he and we now call synthetic biology, creating stuff from genetic code as we need it.

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Animals
9:47 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Discover the Inner Beauty of the Naked Mole Rat

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, it's time for our video pick of the week. And making his debut on SCIENCE FRIDAY is our new video producer, Luke Groskin. Hey, Luke.

LUKE GROSKIN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: You like this seat? Get used to it.

GROSKIN: It's nice and comfy.

FLATOW: All right. What have you got for us this week?

GROSKIN: Well, today we're going to regale ourselves in the inner beauty of the naked mole rat.

(LAUGHTER)

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Science
10:48 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Vines Choking Out Trees in the Tropics

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky.

If you've ever walked through the jungle, you'll know it can be surprisingly dark down on the forest floor. You see trees soaring up all around. You're creating a dense canopy overhead. And climbing toward that canopy, snaking up the trees are the vines.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Making Sense of Science Infographics

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Chances are, without even realizing it, you've seen at least one infographic today. Did you catch the weather forecast this morning? Maybe you saw a rain cloud moving across a map of the U.S. Maybe you opened the paper to find pie charts of the latest poll results. Now those are infographics.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Fri October 18, 2013

With Shutdown Over, Scientists Assess the Damage

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is away. After nearly three weeks, the shutdown is finally over. The Smithsonian is open, national parks have opened up their gates, and federal labs all over the country are turning on their lights. But not everyone is back to business as usual. Many scientists who were about to start their field season in Antarctica had their trips cancelled or postponed.

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NPR Story
10:48 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Promising New Treatment for the Deadly Ebola Virus

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

Now, for many of us, we first heard about the Ebola virus from the movie "Outbreak," Dustin Hoffman trying to contain an outbreak of an Ebola-like virus in a small California town. Well, in the 18 years since that movie came out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented 18 known outbreaks of Ebola, with the most recent happening last fall in the Congo.

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NPR Story
11:36 am
Fri October 11, 2013

'Brave Genius': A Tale of Two Nobelists

In Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize, Sean B. Carroll tells the story of biologist Jacques Monod and philosopher Albert Camus--two men who made significant contributions to their respective fields, and who shared an enduring friendship.

NPR Story
11:35 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Nobel Prize Roundup: 'God Particle' Strikes Gold

This week a handful of scientists got the wakeup call of a lifetime: news they had won the Nobel Prize. This year's recipients predicted the existence of the Higgs boson, figured out how cells transport materials, and used computer programming to map chemical reactions. Winners and experts discuss the research behind this year's awards, and what comes next.

Sports
11:35 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Baseball Postseason Predictions

Many baseball fans have a love affair with two things: their favorite team and statistics. Bruce Bukiet, an associate professor of mathematical sciences, shares his predictions and mathematical models for this year's Major League Baseball playoff standings.

Science
10:07 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Radio Rewind: Leon Lederman

Twenty years ago, physicist and Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman discussed the "malignancy" of the Standard Model of particle physics and how supercolliders could help refine the theory.

Science
10:05 am
Fri October 4, 2013

DIY Halloween Hacks

Trying to liven up your ghosts and goblins this Halloween? Windell Oskay, cofounder of Mad Evil Scientist, shares homemade hack ideas for a festive fright fest, from LED jack-o'-lanterns, to 3D printed candy, to spooky specimen jars.

Humans
9:37 am
Fri October 4, 2013

'Countdown' Explores the Effects of Our Overpopulated Planet

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 6:08 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. According to the population institute, it took only 14 years, from 1999 to today, for the global population to increase by one billion people, just 14 years. Every four and a half days we add another million people. That's adding a city the size of Dallas. Is this sustainable? Can the population of the Earth continue to grow and still supply the people on it with the raw essentials they need, like food, housing, shelter?

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Space
9:18 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Sifting Martian Soil and Dreaming of Future Expeditions

Soil collected last year by the Mars rover Curiosity may contain two percent water, researchers report. Laurie Leshin of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute describes what else the rover is finding in the soil, and what that information might mean for future expeditions to Mars.

Science
9:18 am
Fri October 4, 2013

With Government Shut Down, Science Idles

As the budgetary stalemate in Washington continues, many federally funded science projects are now on hold. Matthew Hourihan of the American Association for the Advancement of Science describes some of the effects of the funding impasse on research programs, from the CDC to NASA.

Music
9:46 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Les Paul: Inventor and Innovator

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow, broadcasting today from Madison, Wisconsin, with a question for our audience, Wisconsinites, Wisconsinians(ph), whatever you prefer.

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Food
9:23 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Food Fermentation: The Science of Sausage and Cheese

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here at the Wisconsin Science Festival at the Institute for Discovery in Madison and talking about a trip to America's dairy land, of course. Inevitably you're going to talk about food and fermentation. In the form of Wisconsin, it's famous for fermentation, one of the oldest ways of preserving food. It's also a way to get really unique flavors.

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Research News
9:19 am
Fri September 27, 2013

World's Largest Neutrino Telescope Buried in Antarctic Ice

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. We're broadcasting from the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in Madison, home this week of the Wisconsin Science Festival. Astronomers and astrophysicists have traditionally, for centuries, looked upwards to the sky to learn more about the universe. We've launched telescopes into space. We have sent probes beyond our solar system to study dark matter, colliding galaxies, how the planets formed.

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