Science Friday

Friday 2 p.m.
  • Hosted by Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow hosts a weekly talk show about science.

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Wikimedia Commons

The heartbeats of most species, when frightened or stressed, tend to quicken. That is not so, however, for narwhals. When the marine mammals encounter stress, their heartbeats tend to, yes, lower — in spite of the fact that the creatures already have a staggeringly slow heartbeat of 10 beats per minute when in the act of diving down into icy waters to conserve oxygen and hold their breath for extended periods of time.

In DNA testing, ‘Yeti’ samples come up bears, bears, bears

Dec 16, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/valcker/14053511789/">Valcker</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>. Image cropped.

Legend has it that a reclusive, ape-like creature roams the remote, snowy landscape of the Himalayas: the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman. But in a setback for Yeti hunters, scientists recently revealed that nine rumored Yeti samples from the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau region were — not quite.

May Your Days Be Merry, But Less Bright

Dec 16, 2017

The High Energy Cost Of Bitcoin’s Rise

Dec 16, 2017

Steering Toward Greener Transportation

Dec 16, 2017

May Your Days Be Merry, But Less Bright

Dec 16, 2017

Steering Toward Greener Transportation

Dec 16, 2017

The High Energy Cost Of Bitcoin’s Rise

Dec 16, 2017

Preventing A ‘Digital Dark Age’

Dec 16, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/35290925806">Lance Cheung/USDA</a>

On Dec. 14, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote to end “net neutrality” — rules that keep internet service providers (ISPs) from creating paid fast lanes for some content, while blocking or slowing downloading speeds for other content.

Invasion Of The Jellyfish

Dec 11, 2017

Microbes In Space! (But They’re Ours)

Dec 11, 2017

Another way to look at the fossil record? By examining coal.

Dec 10, 2017
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<a href="http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/10945">CSIRO</a>/<a href="http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/pages/about/">CC BY 3.0</a>. Image cropped.

If you’re like most people, you probably think of coal as a chunk of black fossil fuel. Geologist Jen O’Keefe sees it differently: For her, each piece of coal is a window back in time. 

“I'm really interested in why we have coal in the first place, and what it can tell us about ancient environments,” says O’Keefe, a professor of geology and science education at Morehead State University. “We've got this great time capsule in our backyard that we can start to pick apart.”

After Cassini, where to next?

Dec 9, 2017
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<a href="https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/voyager-2-image-of-neptune">NASA/JPL</a>

The Cassini spacecraft just ended its 13-year orbit around Saturn in September, and scientists are already dreaming of where to send the next orbiter.

For the future of self-driving technology, look to ... bats?

Dec 9, 2017
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<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sandy-frost/8019878370/in/album-72157631612933493/">S. Frost/USFS</a>. <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>. Image cropped.

Venture near a cave at night, and you may glimpse a phenomenon that still stymies scientists: Thousands of bats streaming out of the cave at high speeds, using echolocation to avoid in-air collisions.

“All we know about science, physics, biology says that [bats are] doing an impossible task by echolocating in these large groups,” says Laura Kloepper, an assistant professor of biology at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana. “What we know about how echolocation works is that when they're in these groups, the signals from each bat should be interfering with each other.”

A Narwhal’s Slow, Anxious Heart

Dec 9, 2017

Microbes In Space! (But They’re Ours)

Dec 9, 2017

Dusting Off Voyager 1’s Thrusters

Dec 9, 2017
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Courtesy of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection

As a pending federal lawsuit over coal ash pollution in a Central Kentucky lake plods along, new details have emerged about the extent of contamination in the water.

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