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Science Friday

Friday 12:00 - 1:00pm


Science Friday is a weekly science talk show, broadcast live over public radio stations nationwide. Each week, we focus on science topics that are in the news and try to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. Panels of expert guests join Science Friday’s host, Ira Flatow, a veteran science journalist, to discuss science – and to take questions from listeners during the call-in portion of the program.

Ebola Vaccines Fast-Tracked As Outbreak Slows

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Jon Cohen, a staff writer covering the outbreak for Science magazine, says that despite the vaccines’ success in monkeys, their efficacy in humans is far from guaranteed.

Could This 3-D Printer Print Itself?

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This week, HP announced its new 3-D printer, which it claims can print materials strong enough to lift up a car—and do it 10 times faster than anything on the market today.

Scientists Sniff Smelly Comet

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The Rosetta spacecraft has detected the scent of a comet...and it stinks.

Countering Memory Loss With Cocoa Compounds

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Researchers try to counteract age-related memory decline with cocoa flavanols.

Creature Double Feature

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Witness two tales that will make your skin crawl and your mind reel with fear and curiosity.

Doctors ‘Unwrap’ a 3,000-Year-Old Mummy

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Radiologists use CT scans to piece together the life, and death, of Egyptian mummies.

A Haunted House Turned Scientists’ Lab

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Scientists turn Pittsburgh’s ScareHouse into a real-world lab to discover why some brains thrive on fear.

Behind the Monster Music: Why Some Tunes Scare Us

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Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and Sound Opinions co-host Jim DeRogatis discuss the neuroscience of spooky songs.

Nerve Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man to Move Legs Again

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The pioneering treatment uses cells from the nasal cavity and strips of nerve from the ankle to repair a spinal injury.

Meet ‘The Innovators’ Who Made the Digital Revolution

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Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators shows how the digital revolution was a team effort.

Hand Sanitizer May Increase BPA Absorption

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Hand sanitizer and similar products could increase the amount of BPA absorbed by the skin.

You Observed...Everything

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The Science Club meets to discuss your observations of the world around you, from spider habitats to lunar eclipses.

Making a Meal From a Mouthful of Seawater

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A manta ray can filter 240 gallons of seawater per minute.

Fossil Find Pushes Back Neanderthal-Human Mixing

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Researchers say a leg bone discovered in a Siberian river bank belongs to a man who lived some 45,000 years ago.

Rooting Out the Plant Microbiome

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Scientists are uncovering the importance of the plant microbiome for fighting off pathogens and increasing crop yields.

More Than Cornflakes

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John Harvey Kellogg and his brother, W.K., are known today for their most famous discovery—corn flakes—but invented many other health foods along the way.

Forensic Entomologists Hunt Down Insects to Help Catch Criminals

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To help piece together a crime scene, forensic entomologists examine the insects found in the area.

Environmental Detectives Use Genetic Tools to Track Invasives

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A recently developed technique called "environmental DNA" allows invasive species trackers to get a time-sensitive fingerprint of which species are living where—including underwater.

The 'First' Battle of Gas Versus Electric

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As plug-in electric vehicles struggle to carve out a slice of today's auto market, it's worth remembering the first such battle—at the turn of the 1900s.

Is Your ‘Priceless’ Painting a Fake? Better Ask a Scientist

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Techniques from physics and chemistry can help scientists and art historians sniff out art forgeries.