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


Exoplanets Make Life Conversation Livelier  

Astronomer Caleb Scharf weighs what ever more exoplanets mean in the search for extraterrestrial life.

Bring Bronx Zoo To Your Living Room  

Animal Planet's series The Zoo shows viewers the biological, veterinary and conservation science at a modern zoo.  

UV Rays Strip Small Galaxies of Star Stuff  

Researchers measured the intensity of the universe's ultraviolet background radiation, and say it may be strong enough to strip small galaxies of star-forming gas. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Aggressed-Upon Monkeys Take Revenge on Aggressor's Cronies  

Japanese macaques at the receiving end of aggression tend to then take it out on a close associate or family member of the original aggressor.  

Chaotic Orbits Could Cause Catastrophic Collision  

Researchers used ancient climate cycles to confirm the solar system’s chaotic planetary orbits. An Earth-Mars collision is one distant outcome. Julia Rosen reports.

Pulling the String on Yo-Yo Weight Gain  

Mice that lost weight and then gained back more than they lost maintained an obesity-type microbiome that affected biochemicals involved in either burning or adding fat--suggesting interventions.  

Poverty Shaves Years Off Life  

A meta-analysis found that being of low-socioeconomic status was associated with almost as many years of lost life as was a sedentary lifestyle.  

Pollinators Shape Plants to their Preference  

In fewer than a dozen generations, bumblebee-pollinated plants were coaxed to develop traits that made them even more pleasing to the bees. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Low Biodiversity Brings Earlier Bloom  

For every two species lost in a grassland, the remaining flowers there bloomed a day earlier--on par with changes due to rising global temperatures. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Early Life Microbes Ward Off Asthma  

Exposure to specific microbes when an infant is less than a year old seems to have a protective effect against the child's eventual acquisition of asthma.  

(Probably Not A) Giant Alien Antenna  

Astrophysicists propose that mysterious 'fast radio bursts' could, in very speculative theory, be produced by an antenna twice the size of the Earth. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Jupiter Moon To Be Searched For Life  

If anything's alive on the ice-covered ocean world of Europa, a future NASA mission hopes to find it.  

Teeth Hint at a Friendlier Neandertal  

By sequencing DNA in Neandertal dental plaque, scientists were able to find out about their diets—and their good relations with modern humans. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Forensic Science: Trials With Errors  

What appears to be accepted science in the courtroom may not be accepted science among scientists.

How to Find Loooong Gravitational Waves  

The gravitational waves found last year were short compared with the monster waves that could be turned up by what's called Pulsar Timing Arrays.  

Biggest Rivers Are Overhead  

Atmospheric rivers can carry the same amount of water vapor as 15 to 20 Mississippi Rivers—and deliver punishing winds, too. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Last Woollies Had Mammoth Mutations  

The final holdout woolly mammoths had large numbers of harmful mutations—which would have given them satiny coats and a weakened sense of smell. Christopher Intagliata reports.

African Penguins Pulled into an Ecological Trap  

Climate change and overfishing have made the penguins’ feeding grounds a mirage—which has led to a drop in penguin population. Jason G. Goldman reports. 

Neanderthals Live On In Our Genomes  

Researchers found that Neanderthal gene variants still affect the way genes are turned off and on in modern humans. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

Medical Marijuana Faces Fed's Catch-22  

Doing large studies of marijuana's potential as medicine means getting it removed from an official federal list of substances with no official medical use—which requires more proof of its potential as medicine.

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