Science Friday

News & Information: Sat • 11am-1pm
  • Hosted by Ira Flatow

Yes, we know it's on Saturday but they wouldn't change the name of the show for us ... we asked.  But we think it's a great program for Saturdays. Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the trusted source for news about science, technology, and other cool stuff. Each week host Ira Flatow mixes it up with people in the know and those who want to be.  It's brain fun, for curious people.

How we react to vocal fry in music depends on the gender of the singer

Jun 11, 2016
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Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters

Vocal fry, a speech pattern that is characterized by a throaty, low register, has become an increasingly popular topic of conversation. That creaky sound can be heard in pop music from artists like Britney Spears and Enrique Iglesias. Unsure of how to create vocal fry? 

“You just have to try talking like a Kardashian and see what comes out of that,” says vocalogy researcher at the University of Texas San Antonio Mackenzie Parrott. 

Still not sure what it sounds like? 

The Hyperloop: From Pipe Dream to Possible

Jun 10, 2016

Tracing Light to Map the Cosmic Darkness

Jun 10, 2016

Tracing Light to Map the Cosmic Darkness

Jun 10, 2016
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Courtesy of Beyond Meat

When California-based food company Beyond Meat soft-launched its new plant-based burger at a Whole Foods in Colorado in May, it sold out in one hour. The startup says the Beyond Burger is completely vegan, has no soy or gluten, and will cook like a real beef burger.

You’ve heard of seed banks — precious vaults that keep plant genetic material frozen for posterity’s sake. But what about coral banks?

For more than a decade, marine biologist Mary Hagedorn has been cultivating the art of carefully freezing coral sperm through a process known as cryopreservation. Her goal is to bank as many species as possible for use in future research and restoration, and to train other scientists to follow her lead.

Watch this video of tiny flying RoboBees in action

Jun 6, 2016

A group of Harvard scientists have a vision: to build a tiny robot that can fly, work together in groups, and even pollinate flowers like a honeybee. Meet RoboBee, whose latest feat was published in Science. The 80-milligram robot can fly to a surface, perch on it using electrostatic forces, and gently take off from that surface — saving valuable energy in the process.

Did you know GPS used to be controversial? Here’s how it survived.

Jun 5, 2016

In the early 1970s, the idea for a satellite-based modern navigation system was controversial within the United States Air Force. Many in leadership didn’t want anything to do with the project that would become our now-ubiquitous GPS — they thought the money was better spent on putting more planes in the air.

How much of your personal data do you give up when you use your smartphone?

Jun 4, 2016

Each call, post, or search from your smartphone leaves a trail of hidden digital data that you might not see, but that can be collected by organizations interested in your info.

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked documents that showed the NSA was collecting phone metadata. After these leaks, the NSA changed its guidelines. But where do we stand now? Have these NSA changes increased our privacy? What exactly has changed?

Old Ideas May Help Us Fight New Superbugs

Jun 3, 2016

Inside the Minds of Zoo Animals

Jun 3, 2016

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