60-Second Science

60-Second Science

United States

Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of science. For a full-length, weekly podcast you can subscribe to Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American . To view all of our archived podcasts please go to www.scientificamerican.com/podcast


Blood Cells Remember Your Mountain Vacation  

Red blood cells retain a memory of high-altitude exposure, allowing for faster acclimation next time. But that memory fades within four months. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Fermented Foods Find Fervent Advocate  

Properly fermented foods deliver probiotics that could help cut disease risk, said a researcher at the annual meeting of the AAAS.

Vision Needed to Curb Nearsightedness Epidemic  

In urban Asian areas, myopia amoung teenagers is topping 90 percent--but foresight may be able to bring those numbers way down.  

Guppy Groups Provide Friendly Protection Against Foes  

Guppies exposed to predators tend to aggregate into smaller, more tightly knit groups, which may allow them to coordinate their predator avoidance strategies. Jason G. Goldman reports.

Spaceflight Squishes Spacefarers' Brains  

Astronauts’ gray matter is compressed by time in space—except in an area that controls feeling and movement in the legs. Karen Hopkin reports.

Two Words Trigger CDC To Stay Quiet  

Researchers and administrators at the CDC dare not utter the words guns or firearms for fear of budget cuts from Congress, according to health policy researcher David Hemenway.  

The True 'Bottom' of the Food Chain is Plenty Polluted  

Critters living more than six miles below the ocean surface contain high levels of harmful compounds like polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and flame retardants. Julia Rosen reports.

Heat Sensor Has Snaky Sensitivity  

Researchers have developed a heat sensor that can detect temperature changes of just ten thousandths of a degree Celsius—comparable to the sensitivity of pit vipers. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Housing Boom Busts Birds' Valentine's Day  

A Pacific Northwest housing boom is encroaching on songbird habitat, forcing the birds to flee their homes—and their mates.    

Cool Coating Chills in Sunlight  

A thin film coating can chill a vat of water to 15 degress Fahrenheit cooler than its surroundings, by absorbing—and then emitting—the sun's infrared rays. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Partnered-Up Men More Attractive to Women  

Women rate a man they see with an attractive woman as more desirable than an unattached man. Erika Beras reports.

Gulf Dead Zone Makes For Shrimpier Shrimp  

The low-oxygen waters of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico result in smaller shrimp, and a spike in large shrimp prices. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Frog Spit Behaves Like Bug-Catching Ketchup  

The amphibians' saliva is what's known as a "shear-thinning fluid," like ketchup—sometimes thick, sometimes thin and flowing. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Super Bowl Snacks Need These Exercise Equivalents  

Charles Platkin, Director of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College, published tips on what it would take to burn off the calories we typically consume during the Super Bowl.  

The Arctic's Anti-Snowball Snowball Effect  

Arctic heat waves melt sea ice, which promotes more warming and even more ice loss. In other words, it’s a snowball effect—or in this case, an anti-snowball effect. Julia Rosen reports.

Widening the Suez Canal Ushers In Underwater Invaders  

Nomadic jellyfish and poisonous puffer fish are the poster children of an invasion of non-native species into the Mediterranean, with environmental and economic costs. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Hawaiian Crows Ready for the Call of the Wild  

The critically endangered birds have done well in captive breeding, meaning they may be ready once more for wild living, and the repertoire of calls associated with it. Jason G. Goldman reports. 

A Humble Fish with A Colorful Edge  

The cichlid, a small fish, has one of the most incredible visual systems known--which allows it to adapt to differently colored environments. Jason G. Goldman reports.

LSD's Long, Strange Trip Explained  

When LSD binds to serotonin receptors, it pulls a "lid" closed behind it, locking it in place for hours, and explaining its long-lasting effects. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Umbrellas Plus Sunscreen Best Bet to Beat Burns  

Sunscreen or beach umbrellas alone were unable to completely prevent sunburns—so researchers suggest combining the methods instead. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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