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


Better Memory Begets Boredom  

The better study participants scored in the memory test, the faster they got bored. Karen Hopkin reports.

DNA Points to Multiple Migrations into the Americas  

DNA analysis of skeletons found in the Pacific Northwest backs up traditional oral histories, and suggests there could have been more than one colonization of the Americas. Emily Schwing reports.

Keep Rolling Luggage Upright With Physics  

A team of physicists has revealed why rolling suitcases start rocking from wheel to wheel—and how to avoid that frustrating phenomenon. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Wolves Need More Room to Roam  

Ecologists say wolves should be allowed to roam beyond remote wilderness areas—and that by scaring off smaller predators like coyotes and jackals, wolves might do a good service too. Emily Schwing reports.

Engineers Build Bendy Batteries for Wearables  

Researchers built silver–zinc batteries that can bend and stretch—meaning they could be more elegantly integrated into future wearable devices. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Rising Temps Lower Polar Bear Mercury Intake  

As polar bears are forced onto land, they're feeding on animals with less mercury—reducing their levels of the toxic pollutant. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Some Hotel Bed Bug Sightings May Be Bogus  

Only a third of travelers could correctly identify a bed bug—suggesting that some bug sightings in online reviews could be cases of mistaken identity. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Opioids Still Needed By Some Pain Patients  

The "other victims" of the opioid epidemic are pain patients who need the drugs but cannot now get them because of fears related to their use.  

Bacterially Boosted Mosquitoes Could Vex Viruses  

Mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria are unable to transmit viruses to humans—and could curb the spread of viral disease. Karen Hopkin reports.

Alaska Accelerates Indoor Agriculture  

With 700 new greenhouses, Alaska is growing its own produce as deep into winter as the sun keeps rising.

Chromosomes Combat Counterfeit Caviar  

Researchers found unique genetic variants that differentiate costly beluga caviar from cheaper fakes that rip off consumers. Christopher Intagliata reports.

French Prez Invites Trumped Researchers  

New French President Emmanual Macron reacted to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement by inviting disaffected U.S. researchers to make France "a second homeland."  

Trees Beat Lawns for Water Hungry L.A.  

Evaporation from overwatered lawns cost the city of Los Angeles 70 billion gallons of wasted water a year. But the city's trees were much thriftier. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Former CDC Head Warns of Threats Biological and Political  

Tom Frieden, head of the CDC from 2009 to 2017, told graduating medical students that we face challenges from pathogens and from politicans.  

Fitness Bands Fail on Calorie Counts  

Activity trackers accurately reckon heart rate—but they're way off in estimates of energy expenditure. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

New Concrete Recipes Could Cut Cracks  

Recipes for concrete that incorporate byproducts from the coal and steel industries, like fly ash and slag, could reduce road-salt related cracking. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Bees Prefer Flowers That Proffer Nicotine  

Bumblebees sought out flowers with nicotine in their nectar, and the drug appeared to enhance the bees' memories. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Large Impacts May Cause Volcanic Eruptions  

Really big meteorite or asteroid strikes may cause melting and deep deformations that eventually lead to volcanic eruptions.  

Why The Cross Put Chickens On A New Road  

A religiously inspired change in the European diet about a thousand years ago led to the development of the modern domesticated chicken.  

Field Study: Worms Leave 'Til No-Till  

Earthworm numbers doubled in fields after farmers switched from conventional ploughing to no-till agriculture. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Video player is in betaClose