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


Toll-Free Number Stems Human-Wildlife Conflicts  

India's Project Wildseve allows people who have suffered crop or livestock loss from wild animals to streamline the compensation process, thus helping both farmers and wildlife.  

We Now Live in the Unnatural World  

David Biello's new book is The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth’s Newest Age .  

High Fiber Diet Keeps Intestinal Walls Intact  

A low-fiber diet causes fiber-eating microbes to dwindle, opening up real estate for mucus-munchers that make the intestine more vulnerable to infection. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Forest Die-Offs Alter Global Climate 'Like El Nino'  

The loss of forests worldwide appears to interact synergistically to produce unpredictable effects on the global climate. Christopher Intagliata reports.

DNA Samples Find a Lot of Fish in the Sea  

The DNA in seawater can reveal the diversity and abundance of fish species living in ocean waters. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Police Body Cameras Appear to Moderate Interactions with Civilians  

A study of seven jurisdictions found that when cops wear body cameras, complaints against them by civilians fall precipitously.  

NIH Director Looks at Presidential Transition  

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins talks about the future of the NIH in light of the election.  

Ebola Virus Grew More Infectious in the Latest Epidemic  

A strain that emerged during the latest epidemic is able to enter human cells more easily—which means it’s more infectious, too. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Orangutan Picks Cocktail By Seeing Ingredients  

An orangutan matched researchers' predictions about which mixed beverage he would choose based on his relative fondness for the separate ingredients.  

Small-Brained Birds More Likely to Get Shot  

Using taxidermy data, biologists determined that gun-killed birds have smaller brains than birds that died in other ways. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Online Sociality Linked to Lower Death Risk  

Facebook users in California had slightly better health outcomes than non-users, even after controlling for other factors. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Bookish Mobsters Made Better Bookies  

Just as with honest jobs, mobsters with a more advanced education made more money than their less educated counterparts. Erika Beras reports.

For River Otters, Social Life is Shaped by the Latrine  

Alaskan river otters can gain valuable information about each other by sniffing around their latrines. Jason G. Goldman reports.

Falcons Patrol Fruit Fields for Pesky Invasive Birds  

Birds of prey work where other traditional methods of bird abatement—like scarecrows, pyrotechnics and netting—fail. Emily Schwing reports.

Clark Kent's Glasses Aided His Anonymity  

Slightly altering one’s appearance—even with glasses—can indeed hinder facial recognition by others. Erika Beras reports.

Poor Sleepers Worse at Recognizing Unfamiliar Faces  

Subjects suffering insomnia got more wrong answers in a face-matching task--but they were paradoxically more confident of their responses. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Yawns Help the Brain Keep its Cool  

Theory has it yawning helps cool the brain--and it turns out animals with bigger brains do indeed tend to yawn longer. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Polar Bears Can't Just Switch To Terrestrial Food  

With a shorter season of sea ice, polar bears have less access to marine mammals. But switching to a terrestrial diet deprives them of the fatty seal meals they need to thrive.  

Flowers Deceive Flies With Chemical Cocktail  

The parachute flower smells like alarm pheromones of a honeybee, to attract tiny flies that feed on bees under attack.

Feed Microbes Oxygen to Help Clear Spilled Oil  

A technique called “biosparging” relies on pumping oxygen underground to help naturally occurring microorganisms multiply and consume oil spills.    

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