October 19, 2014

8:01 PM | Nisse Greenberg: What's In A Name
While teaching a math class, Nisse Greenberg is troubled by his student's name, and his own. Nisse Greenberg is an educator and storyteller who eats mostly vegetarian. Sometimes he eats wings because wings are really good. When he applied for a visa to go to India he tried to type "atheist" into the proposed slot for religion, but he accidentally typed "matheist." He found it more appropriate anyway. He teaches high-school math to high-schoolers and math philosophy to adults. He creates art […]
6:18 PM | Cosmic Queries: Primate Evolution
Paleoanthropologist Dr. Ian Tattersall is back to help Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman answer fan questions about where primates came from, and where we’re going. Read more and listen to the full show at:
4:39 AM | SoT 164: Cosmetically Satisfying Penis
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 was awarded with one half to John O'Keefe and the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain".The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 was awarded jointly to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources".The Nobel Prize in […]

October 18, 2014

4:00 PM | Quirks & Quarks for Oct. 18, 2014
This week, we find out how birth control residue is harming fish; how plants use teeth and claws for defence; how to make a material bloody slippery; we home in on autism's complex causes; we look into crowd-sourcing science...
4:00 PM | The Birth Control Pill is Harming Fish
Residue from birth control pills in sewage can cause populations of a minnow species to crash, affecting the species that prey on them....
4:00 PM | Thornless Plants Defended by Teeth and Claws
African savannah plants forego thorns where the presence of predators discourages browsing....
4:00 PM | Material is Bloody Slippery
A new slippery material for medical devices prevents blood from sticking and causing problematic clots....
4:00 PM | Genetics Homes in on Autism
Autism is a complex disorder with multiple causes, but clever genetic "triangulation" is leading to insights into its biology. ...
4:00 PM | Crowd-sourcing Science on the High Seas
Oceanographers are interested in recruiting blue-water sailors to sample rarely traveled parts of the world's oceans....
4:00 PM | Question Period - Counting Stars
In our occasional feature, a listener asks how many stars can be seen in the sky?...

October 17, 2014

7:11 PM | Ebola spreads slower, kills more than other diseases If you...
Ebola spreads slower, kills more than other diseases If you haven’t heard, people are worried about ebola. Some of them should be: care workers who have come into contact with people infected with ebola, for example. Most people shouldn’t be. There have been a lot of great graphics and explainers about ebola over the past few weeks, but this one might be my favorite so far. This little animation from the Washington Post shows just how fast ebola spreads, and how many […]

October 16, 2014

12:00 AM | Molting effects oxygen consumption in a common mayfly
Molting mayflies hold their breath, have their lungs ripped out and then gasp for breath.

October 15, 2014

9:12 PM | TWiM #89: Microbial handoffs
Vincent, Michele, and Michael discuss how a gene from bacteria protects a tick from plant cyanide poisoning, and enhanced transmission of Streptococcus pneumoniae by influenza virus co-infection in mice.
8:53 PM | Let's Get Small: A Panel on Nanoscience
Scientific American senior editor Josh Fischman joins nanoscience researchers Shana Kelly, Yamuna Krishnan, Benjamin Bratton and moderator Bridget Kendall from the BBC World Service program The... -- Read more on
7:35 PM | Could The Pill be Killing our Fish?
Every day in Canada, estrogen, from millions of birth control pills, is flushed down the toilet and into our rivers and lakes. And according to a new Canadian study, it could be killing our fresh water fish. Researchers put estrogen into an experimental lake, and it led to the near-extinction of the fathead minnows.

October 14, 2014

10:10 PM | StarTalk SoundBite: Where Do Heavy Elements Come From?
Where do heavy elements come from? If you said “the ground” move to the back of the class. Never fear, the answer is in this StarTalk SoundBite with Prof. Neil Tyson and Teaching Assistant Leighann Lord. If you enjoyed this SoundBite or just want to learn more about Astrophysics in general, be sure to check out the full episode here:
3:39 AM | Episode 207 – Drop Bears of South America
00:00:00 – Dr. Robert McAfee joins Ryan to discuss all things sloths! Finally, Ryan gets to just cut loose. First up on the docket, were giant ground sloths sneaking meat meals in between the leaves? There’s some evidence to suggest that they were, but do these two slothologists believe it? 00:29:29 – No good sloth discussion […]

October 13, 2014

2:47 PM | BacterioFiles 186 - Matched Mice, Mismatched Microbiota
This episode: Gut microbes can be different even in genetically identical mice in similar conditions! Download Episode (7.4 MB, 8 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Bacteria could make building materials using less energy Even in placenta bacteria can be important for health Seeing if algae (and thus, plants) can survive in space Bacteria can make plastic out of methane gas Some fungi could adapt to Mars-like conditions within a few days (paper) Post questions or […]

October 12, 2014

6:51 PM | The Ig Nobel Prize
Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Leighann Lord dive into the strange world of the Ig® Nobel Prize for research that first makes you laugh, and then makes you think. Read more and listen to the full episode at

October 11, 2014

4:00 PM | Quirks & Quarks for Oct. 11, 2014
This week, we speak to the latest winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; we look at how birds decorate for survival; we learn why walking is the cheetah's problem; we find out how fossil fuel exploration leads to wilderness...
4:00 PM | Nobel for Seeing the Invisible
The 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded for an innovation in optical "nanoscopy."...
4:00 PM | Birds Colour Match Their Nests
Zebra finches select nest materials to camouflage their nests....
4:00 PM | Cheetahs Are Walking, Not Running, to Extinction
A study of cheetah energetics suggests that human activity is making their hunting more difficult....
4:00 PM | Oilpatch Ozone Pollution
Fossil fuel extraction leads to surprising smog in rural wilderness areas....
4:00 PM | Physics Breakthrough Breaks Down
The claim that gravity waves were detected last spring might have been mistaken....

October 10, 2014

7:53 PM | Exploring Ocean Tectonics from Space
Ever wondered what’s under the ocean? Well now you can take a super detailed tour, thanks to a team from UCSD and their . This map is far more detailed than previous ocean floor maps, and the science behind it was recently published in the journal Science. I just lost about an hour exploring some of my favorite dive sites topographies, so beware. »Rose
11:38 AM | Episode One Hundred And Ninety – On Psychic Awareness Month – Interview With Michael Marshall
In March of this year, the UK charity Good Thinking was contacted by Mark Tilbrook. Mark is a skeptical activist who had been planning to hand out leaflets to people on their way to attend a range of psychic shows. Both during and after the events, Mark had to deal with ...
10:17 AM | Beepcast, September 2014
Dieter Hochuli from the University of Sydney, tells me what life’s like for a caterpillar, and how one has evolved a cool mechanism to avoid being attacked. I find out how personality might influence your decision making, if you’re a stickleback. And in the scientific spark, I talk to Leigh Simmons who is managing editor of the scientific journal Behavioral Ecology, and Professor at, and Director of, the Centre for Evolutionary Biology at the University of Western Australia, about […]
6:00 AM | How the brain navigates: science Nobel prize special podcast
We speak to the three winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, who discovered 'the brain's GPS' Continue reading...

October 09, 2014

6:13 PM | Karen Hopkin: Who's The Donor?
A panicked day leads Karen Hopkin to wonder if her sperm donor really is the father of her child. Karen Hopkin is a freelance writer and the creator of the Studmuffins of Science calendar. Karen received a PhD in biochemistry in 1992, and then traded in her test tubes for a keyboard. A former producer for NPR's Science Friday, Karen currently voices stories for Scientific American's daily podcast, 60-Second Science. She is a coauthor of the textbook Essential Cell Biology and has written for […]
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