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


Social Media Sites Can Profile Your Contacts  

Why you should think twice before you give an app access to your phone’s address book.    

"Textalyzer" Aims at Deadly Distracted Driving  

A new device promises to tell police when a driver has been sending messages while behind the wheel, but is it legal? Larry Greenemeier reports.

Climate Change Fires Up Polar Bear Treadmill  

Sea ice is drifting faster in the arctic—which means polar bears need to walk farther to stay in their native range. Emily Schwing reports.

No Bull: Lizards Flee When They See Red  

Western fence lizards are more spooked by red and gray shirts than they are by blue ones—perhaps because the males have blue bellies themselves. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Celebrities Tweet Like Bots  

Celebrity Twitter accounts look a lot like Twitter bots: they tweet regularly, follow relatively few people, and upload a lot of content. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Cold Snap Shapes Lizard Survivors  

An epic bout of cold weather quickly altered a population of lizards—an example of natural selection in action. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Mediterranean Diet Works--for Upper Crust  

Italians who stuck closely to the heart-healthy diet had fewer heart attacks and strokes—but only if they were well-off and/or college educated. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Screams Heard Round the Animal World  

Humans appear well equipped to recognize the alarm calls of other animals—perhaps because sounds of distress tend to have higher frequencies. Karen Hopkin reports.

This Caterpillar Whistles While It Irks  

The North American walnut sphinx caterpillar produces a whistle that sounds just like a songbird's alarm call--and the whistle seems to startle birds. Christopher Intagliata reports.

To Buy Happiness, Spend Money on Saving Time  

Volunteers who used money to save themselves time were more content than volunteers who purchased themselves physical stuff. Karen Hopkin reports.

Bacteria Can Be Resistant To Brand New Antibiotics  

Exposure to existing antibiotics can imbue infectious bacteria with resistance that also kicks in against new drugs related to the originals. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Teaching Computers to Enjoy the View  

Researchers in the U.K. trained computers to rate photos of parks and cities for what humans consider to be their scenic beauty. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Flying through a Corpse's Clues  

Forensic entomologists can chemically analyze fly eggs from a corpse, which might speed up detective work. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Old Records Help Resurrect Historic Quake  

Century-old records found in Puerto Rico helped reconstruct the damage caused there by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake—and could help disaster experts plan for the next big one. Julia Rosen reports. 

This Cell Phone Needs No Battery  

An experimental cell phone works by absorbing and reflecting radio waves—meaning it's incredibly energy efficient and needs no battery. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Bacteria Might Share the Blame for Eczema  

In patients with severe eczema, Staphylococcus aureus strains dominated the skin microbe population—suggesting that certain types of bacteria could worsen eczema flares. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Franklin's Lightning Rod Served Political Ends  

Whether lightning rods should have rounded or pointy ends became a point of contention between rebellious Americans and King George III.  

Heat Will Hit America's Poorest Worst  

Economists calculate that each degree Celsius of warming will dock the U.S. economy by 1.2 percent--and increase the divide between rich and poor. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Rainbow Photons Pack More Computing Power  

Quantum bits, aka qubits, can simultaneously encode 0 and 1. But multi-colored photons could enable even more states to exist at the same time, ramping up computing power. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Moths Inspire Better Smartphone Screens  

Researchers designed an antireflective coating for smartphone screens, with inspiration from the bumpy eyes of moths. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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