Science Friday

Science Friday

United States

Covering everything about science and technology -- from the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies -- Science Friday is your source for entertaining and educational stories and activities. Each week, host Ira Flatow interviews scientists and inventors like Sylvia Earle, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and more.


Hr2: Lunar Magetism, Curiosity, Eclipse Balloons  

Curiosity drives much of our learning and creativity. Where do we get it from, and how does it change our brains? Plus, the NASA Eclipse Ballooning Project hopes to livestream the solar eclipse from weather balloons across the country. And scientists still do not know when or why the moon lost its magnetic field, but it was at least a billion years later than they thought.

Hr1: News Roundup, Oroville Dam, Biometrics, Sweat  

Fingerprint scanners are standard on new smartphones, and new ID methods are on the way. But security researchers say biometrics are still too easily duped. Plus, how humans and other animals have evolved to beat the heat.

Hr2: Gene Editing, Voting Machine Hacks, Neutrinos, Midnight Scan Club  

Researchers can fix genetic mutations in human embryos. But should they? Plus, physicists were able to take the first measurement of a neutrino interacting with the nucleus of an atom. And a look at what security is in place to protect voter registration databases and voting machines.

Hr1: News Roundup, Eclipse Special  

Just three weeks remain before the total solar eclipse. Are you ready?

Hr2: Harassment and Bias, Alan Alda  

What will it take to bring true equality to research labs? And Alan Alda discusses how he teaches scientists using theater improvisation and other empathy-building exercises.

Hr1: Haptics, Pseudoscience, Superhero Physics  

Scientists are developing tools that allow you to digitally feel textures like wood and cotton. Plus, a walks through Martin Gardner’s 1950s catalog of pseudoscientific ideas. And, a lesson in the physics of this summer's blockbuster superhero stunts.

Hr2: Alzheimers Care, Particle Physics, Air  

Physicists have observed subatomic particles decaying in a way that does not jibe with the predictions of the Standard Model, suggesting, if the results are correct, that there could be undiscovered particles at play. Plus, the fascinating story of the air we breathe and the gases that have shaped human history.

Hr1: News Roundup, Forest Payments, Asteroid Defense, Quindar  

NASA wants to test our ability to deflect asteroids that could come too close to Earth for comfort. Plus, how Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen and art historian/musician James Merle Thomas took inspiration from the sounds of NASA missions to weave a tale of human space exploration.

Hr2: Diatoms, Ants, Chasing Coral  

Ants can build awesome colonies underground. But did you know they can build tall towers too? A look at what engineers can learn by studying a social community of the ant kind. Plus, a filmmaker documents the devastation of bleached coral reefs in the warming oceans. Why he thinks dying coral could stir faster action on climate change.

Hr1: News Roundup, State of Science, Smart Grid, Ice Science  

The booming growth of solar and wind power is stressing out our ancient electrical grid. How can our grid get a grip? A look at that challenge, and some creative answers: from building neighborhood microgrids to inventing smarter transformers. Plus, a new Science Club challenge to keep you cool this summer.

Hr1: News Roundup, Kilogram, Roman Concrete, Science Road Trip  

The hidden wonders you might want to hit on a geeky science-themed road trip. Plus, researchers are working to understand the exceptional durability of an ancient building material. And why standardizing our mass measurements relies on an elaborate and exacting physics experiment.

Hr2: DC Science Staffing, Skype A Scientist, No-Heat Cooking  

A new Food Failures segment teaches us how to make delicious dishes without turning up the heat. Plus, President Trump has yet to name a presidential science advisor or directors for NASA and NOAA, and other key science positions.

Hr2: Rover AI, Vax Patch, Gastrophysics  

From color to crunch, there are subtle cues that make our food taste better. Plus, a new autonomous system lets the Mars rover conduct research even while offline. And an experimental vaccine patch would deliver influenza vaccine via an array of dissolvable, microscopic needles.

Hr1: News Roundup, CA Solar Glut, Nuclear Safety, Polar Bears  

USGS wildlife biologist Karyn Rode monitors how populations of polar bears are affected by shrinking sea ice and other changing conditions in the Arctic. Plus, how safety lapses at national nuclear weapons labs are making dangerous work even more hazardous.

Hr1: News Roundup, Climate and Coffee, Cephalopod Week  

The cephalopod celebration continues, with a look at technology inspired by the brainy creatures. Plus, researchers estimate that climate change effects could wipe out 39–59 percent of Ethiopian coffee farms in the future.

Marijuana Policy and Opioids, Placenta, Exoplanets, DNA Replication  

A new way to look at fetal health, using the placenta. Plus, the Kepler mission found thousands of new planet candidates, including 10 possible rocky worlds within their stars habitable zone. And a new video captures DNA in the act of replication.

Hr2:Political Math, Great Lakes  

The North American Great Lakes are changing under the influence of pollution, invasive species, and climate change. How well will they weather this stress?

Hr1: News Roundup, Amazon Pharmacy, Flatworms in Space, Milkshake Mindset, Cephalopod Week  

Cephalopod Week kicks off with an octopus matchmaker and cephalopod defense moves. And how your mindset might change the way you metabolize a milkshake. And researchers look to a simple organism, the flatworm, to study how living in space might affect humans on a cellular level.

Hr2:Algorithm Accountability, CRISPR, Gravitational Lensing, Hottest Exoplanet  

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna describes her work on developing the CRISPR-Cas9 technique and the ethical concerns of using the revolutionary tool. Plus, regulating algorithms could offer better insight into why they fail. And researchers find a doomed planet orbiting a massive hot star.

Hr1: News Roundup, Telescope, Sunscreen, Paleoanthropology  

A new report says only one quarter of SPF products on the market are up to snuff. And a customizable melanin-like material could offer better protection from the sun.Plus, hominin fossils dating to 300,000 years ago have been found at a site in Morocco.

Video player is in betaClose