November 18, 2014

5:27 PM | Oct 2014: Ben Sheldon
Professor Ben Sheldon, who is the Luc Hoffman Chair of field ornithology and director of the Edward Grey Institute of field ornithology at the University of Oxford tells me what sparked his interest in birds and gives advice to young scientists. Alice Lown tells me about an unassuming little fish commonly found in rock pools around Britain, that is a master of camouflage. I discover that imitation isn’t just the highest form of flattery, but is also an indicator of an animal’s […]

November 17, 2014

4:39 PM | Science, technology and democracy: Sense About Science lecture - podcast
Professor Steve Rayner delivers the 2014 Sense About Science lecture, 'Science, Technology and Democracy: Dissecting the Anatomies of Controversy' Continue reading...
4:06 PM | BacterioFiles 191 - Coats Compose Current Conduits
This episode: Bacterial nanowires are made of the cells' outer membranes! Download Episode (9.75 MB, 10.6 minutes)Show notes:News item/Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Algae in low light can switch quantum light harvesting on or off Fecal transplants continue to seem like a great treatment for gut community imbalance Good gut microbe community seems important for survival after stem cell transplant Microbes on ocean plastic could have good and bad effects Bacteria could help […]
11:38 AM | A new strategy for tackling climate change - podcast
Have we been going about tackling climate change in completely the wrong way? This year's Sense About Science lecture proposed an alternative strategy Continue reading...

November 16, 2014

5:59 PM | StarTalk Live! SF Sketchfest
Where did we come from? Are we alone? Explore these questions with guest host Bill Nye the Science Guy, co-host Eugene Mirman and their guests comedian Dave Foley and SETI Institute Sr. Astronomer Seth Shostak. (Warning: Since this show was recorded live before an adult audience in San Francisco, be prepared for some suggestive language and humor.) Read more and listen to the full track:
2:41 PM | Brian Fisher: Living With The Pygmies
Alone in the African rainforest and on the brink of death, entomologist Brian Fisher finds help from an unexpected source. Dr. Brian Fisher is a modern day explorer who has devoted his life to the study and conservation of ants and biodiversity around the world. His research sends him through the last remote rainforests and deserts of Madagascar and Africa in search of ants. By documenting the species diversity and distribution of this "invisible majority," Dr. Fisher is helping to establish […]

November 15, 2014

5:00 PM | Quirks & Quarks for Nov. 15, 2014
This week, we find out: how to tame a wild-cat; why ants do it inter-specifically; how duck bills ran the distance; how stars hide in the dark; the relationship between birds and music; and it's na-na-na-na na-na-na-na Bat-Jam! ...
5:00 PM | The Taming of the Cat
Genetics suggests that cats were tamed by bravery and bribes....
5:00 PM | Ant Queen Wins Sperm Battle
Inter-species ant mating produces sterile workers for the colony....
5:00 PM | Duck-Billed Dinosaur Was A Distance Runner
Herbivorous hadrosaurs might have been tortoises instead of hares....
5:00 PM | The Darkness is Full of Stars
As many as half the stars in the universe may be hiding in the dark....
5:00 PM | Birds & Music
A composer tries to determine scientifically if bird song is really music....
5:00 PM | Bats Jam Others' Echolocation
Bats competing for food jam each other's sonar....
1:20 PM | SoT 168: It's Not Milk It's Bean Juice
A team of bioengineers is trying to make artificial milk in a lab and without animals. They call it "Muufri".In order to study penguins up close, without disturbing them, researchers from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique used small baby-penguin sized rovers. The rover - cleverly disguised as a penguin - was able to monitor penguins and even quick-tempered elephant seals without alarming the animals.A man who had brain surgery for a serious medical […]
4:50 AM | Episode 209 – Yeast from a Beast
00:00:00 – Patrick and Ryan are joined by Jasper Akerboom and Jason Osborne, who collaborated to make a beer with yeast harvested from fossils. The beer, Bone Dusters from Lost Rhino Brewing Company, involved diving into swamps for fossils, swabbing protocetids for cultures, and dealing with all the trials and tribulations of a yeast strain cultivated […]

November 14, 2014

9:58 PM | Doctors Without Borders Fight On Ebola's Front Lines
Scientific American health and medicine correspondent Dina Fine Maron talks with Armand Sprecher of Doctors Without Borders, who has fought Ebola in Guinea and Liberia. And Steve talks Ebola with... -- Read more on
3:01 PM | How Likely Is It That Birth Control Could Let You Down?
Which form of birth control a woman takes is far more complicated than simply how effective that form is. But effectiveness is certainly an important thing to consider. I love how this visualization shows all the options together in a really easy to read set of graphs. Roll over through time to see the number of women (for every 100) who will have an unplanned pregnancy using each method. » Rose
12:21 AM | TWiM #91: Rats, viruses, and bacteria
Vincent, Elio, and Michele review a study of the viruses and bacteria in commensal rats in New York City. Visit for complete show notes. Thanks for listening!

November 13, 2014

10:25 PM | Patient Zero - Updated
The greatest mysteries have a shadowy figure at the center, Patient Zero. We hunt for Patient Zeroes from all over the map.      
3:36 PM | Taming the Kitty-cat
The domestic cat is descended from a solitary, elusive, ferocious predator. So, how did we turn the wild-cat into that furry lump, purring in your lap? By studying the cat genome, scientists have discovered part of the answer, but they've also found that your cuddly house-cat is still pretty wild.

November 11, 2014

12:00 AM | Threshold responses of communities in coastal wetlands
Low levels of anthropogenic stress in a watershed impact wetland organisms

November 10, 2014

4:53 PM | BacterioFiles 190 - Bacteriophages Bust Biofilm Beacons
This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications! Download Episode (14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Tiny microbes affect temperature by how much sunlight is reflected off ice Bacteria could help clean uranium from aquifers Fungus can kill poison ivy Differences found in gut microbes between children with or without diabetes Using viruses to understand tiny physics better Post questions or comments here or […]
3:24 PM | Ep. 354: Comet Siding Spring vs. Mars
We were witness to a once in a million year event. A close approach of Comet Siding Spring to the Planet Mars. And fortunately, humanity had a fleet of spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet, ready to capture this monumental event in real time. What did we see? What will we learn? Ep. 354: Comet Siding […]

November 09, 2014

10:17 AM | Cosmic Queries: Gravity
The pull of gravity (the force, not the movie) is irresistible as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Leighann Lord grapple with weighty fan questions about matter and the curvature of spacetime. Read more and listen to the full episode at

November 08, 2014

5:00 PM | Quirks & Quarks for Nov. 8, 2014
This week, we revisit the Rosetta mission's long trip; we find out how pigs sleep with the fishes; learn how fish created copulation; look into the growth of chickens; and stargaze with the world's biggest telescope. ...
5:00 PM | Rosetta's Long Trip
The Rosetta mission to a comet will attempt to put a lander on the surface to sample and study it....
5:00 PM | These Crime Solvers are Real Pigs
Forensic experiments on sunken pigs show how bodies change underwater....
5:00 PM | Ancient Fish Created Copulation
Hundreds of millions of years ago, a tiny fish seems to have invented internal fertilization....
5:00 PM | Chicken Big
Chickens raised for meat have quadrupled in weight since the 1950's - thanks to selective breeding....
5:00 PM | Big Science: Thirty Meter Telescopes
Ground has been broken for the world's largest telescope, but funding to complete the project is still in doubt....
62 Results