Science Friday
Brain fun for curious people.

What we are learning about how to convince people that vaccines are safe and necessary. Plus, flu infection boosts the risk of heart attack six fold. An infectious disease physician explains why—and how to protect yourself.

Direct download: scifri201801261p.mp3
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The untold story of jellyfish is one of perception versus reality.Plus, researchers tested if listeners could identify lullabies, dance, love, and healing songs from different cultures.

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Algorithms in are being used to aid decision-making in courts, child welfare, and other areas of public policy. Plus the unintended consequences of the tech world, and what CEOs could learn from Mary Shelley.

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Most volcanic activity happens under the sea—but we know very little about it. Plus, are sleep apps and gadgets really doing anything?

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Scientists study meteorites carrying organic matter, including blue salt crystals, to Earth. Plus how squeezing, squishing, and stretching cells can change their biology—and how medicine can benefit from knowing why.

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A graphic novel that addresses the quantum questions vexing physicists today. And the ecosystem of frozen soil.

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Everyday it seems there are more ways to get hacked. We will catch you up on the latest security tricks. Plus, we kick off our first book club of the new year: Frankenstein.

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Lucas Joppa, chief environment officer at Microsoft, says that artificial intelligence has the potential to help answer big environmental questions. Plus, a new way of thinking about hearing loss offers new opportunities for treatment.

 

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From colliding neutron stars to the completion of the Cassini mission, a look at 2017’s most important science stories.

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We take alook inside the woderful world of flies and maggots. Plus, fermenting, distillation and aging — test your spirit smarts in the SciFri Bourbon quiz.

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There is a lot we still do not know about matter, time, and the contents of the universe. That is both a challenge and a thrill for physicists. Plus, the health effects of a a busy urban road.

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From snowy owls to corn crakes, the annual Christmas Bird Count turns its gaze toward all our feathered friends flying overhead during the winter migration. Plus, how some major investors are beginning to shift their money away from fossil fuels.

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More and more data is born into this world as digital bits, with no analog counterpart. How can we preserve it for future generations? Plus, we have electric vehicles. Their popularity is growing. Does this make green transportation inevitable?

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Researchers continue to chip away at the one thing we all have in common —getting older. Plus, in heavily populated regions, human influence on wildfires appears to override the effects of climate change. But when nature sets the rules, it is a different story.

 

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From Oliver Sacks to graphic novels, Maria Popova and Deborah Blum discuss their favorite science books of the year. Plus, a curated list of engaging science books for kids (and babies too).

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Record summer temperatures and dry, searing winds triggered a devastating California wildfire season. Plus, stressed narwhals, jellyfish eaters, the microbiome of the space station, and a look at electrical safety for the holidays.

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Nearly half of people living with HIV in the US live in the South. A look at the underlying causes and interventions to stop the spread of the disease. Plus, Neolithic women performed enough manual labor that they were likely stronger than modern athletes.

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The internet grew for decades without 2015s net neutrality rules. So what happens if the FCC repeals them? Plus, two graduate students have developed an online calculator to estimate the effects of the House tax plan. And the Yeti may just be a collection of bears.

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The 2017 Ig Nobel Prizes saluted the strange and silly in scientific studies.

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Bioacoustician Laura Kloepper trudges through mountains of guano as she works to decode the mysterious communication of bats. Plus, what a closer look at Uranus and Neptune could tell us about our pale blue dot. And useing pollen and spores fossilized in coal to study the environment millions of years ago.

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Spraying sulfur into the stratosphere could slow global warming--but climate engineering is not without risks. Plus, a method to see all the way down to the smallest capillary.

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In his new novel, author Andy Weir creates a sprawling moon metropolis. Plus an ode to the brainy antics of the corvid family, from funerals to tool use to human facial recognition.

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As the world works together to lower carbon emissions, what role will the United States play in fighting climate change? Plus, some small bees—the size of a grain of rice—drink the sweat and tears of animals.

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Three mathematicians give us a peek into their abstract and beautiful world. Plus, should large tech companies be subject to the same regulations as nations?

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Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation, says scientists and science journalists can do more to help the public think critically about scientific news. Plus, astronomers detect the first object to travel from another galaxy into our own based on its orbit and speed.

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Researchers found that patients who responded well to immunotherapy had a more diverse mix of gut bacteria. And Supreme Court justices appear befuddled by math in gerrymandering case.

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Scientists expand the gene editing functions of CRISPR, making it safer and more precise. Plus, an insect-like robot can take off using - and from under -water. And Kelly and Zach Weinersmith ponder the good and bad of emerging technologies.

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Caitlin Doughty traveled the world to document how different cultures deal with their dead. Now, she challenges us to develop a better relationship with mortality. Plus, two scientists want you to stop worrying and love spiders.

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Walter Isaacson discusses how Leonardo da Vinci combined the arts and sciences to create his masterworks. Plus, astronomers talk about the impact of an ancient neutron star collision.

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A look at the potential health hazards of the smoke and debris from Califonia wildfires. Plus, a new book explains how hidden influences affect our behavior and feelings towards others. And a look at the science of Blade Runner 2049.

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Jane Goodall reflects on her life, and A.I. researchers decode baby talk.

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From other planets to our own future, writers can take us places we’ve never seen. Authors Cory Doctorow, N.K. Jemisin, and Annalee Newitz are among them. Plus, a recent meeting of the National Space Council signalled a shift of U.S. goals in space.

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The ABCs of altcoins, blockchains and cryptocurrency. Plus, one of the largest animals in the world is making a return to New York harbor.

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Some 75,000 wild horses roam the sagebrush-lined slopes and basins of the American West—and the government can not figure out what to do with them. Plus, what genetic advances are telling us about Neanderthal DNA.

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In Puerto Rico, how will rescue efforts progress on a flooded island? Plus, we break down what would actually happen during a nuclear war.

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Paddling a duck foot in water and other small experiments led to Darwins big theory of evolution. Plus, how our smartphones are robbing us of an undervalued cognitive resource—and what to do about it.

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On China’s most influential microblogging platform, a watch aficionado named Boss Hua accuses a government official of corruption. But, his posts aren’t censored. So what disappears into the black box of Chinese censorship...and what stays online? A team of social scientists cracked this questionby mistakewith big data.

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