New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — in just under 15 minutes. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join hosts Emily Kwong and Regina Barber for science on a different wavelength.If you're hooked, try Short Wave Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/shortwave
How Glaciers Move — And Affect Sea Level Rise
Glaciers like the ones in Greenland are melting due to climate change, causing global sea levels to rise. That we know. But these glaciers are also moving. What we don't know is just how these two processes – melting and movement – interact and ultimately impact how quickly sea levels will rise. This encore episode, Jessica Mejía, a postdoctoral researcher in glaciology at the University of Buffalo, explains what it's like to live on a glacier for a month and what her research could mean for coastal communities all over the world.Curious about other research happening around the globe? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org — we'd love to hear from you!
Feeling Lonely? Your Brain May Process The World Differently
The U.S. is in the midst of a loneliness epidemic. And for a lot of people, the feeling is even more pronounced during the holidays. In addition to its emotional impact, chronic loneliness and social isolation have some dramatic health consequences: increased risk of heart disease and stroke, infections, cancer, even premature death. Recent research also suggests that loneliness can change the way people process the world. So today on the show, host Regina G. Barber talks to Rachel Carlson about the neuroscience of loneliness.
A Star Is Born ... And Then What? Journey Through The Life Cycle of a star
Soon after the sun sets on winter nights, if you live in the northern hemisphere you can look into the sky and find the Orion constellation near the eastern horizon. Astrophysicist Sarafina El-Badry Nance has always been drawn to a particular star in Orion: Betelgeuse, a red supergiant nearing the end of it's life on the hunter's left shoulder. But what stages of life did Betelgeuse — or any star — go through before it reached this moment? Regina G. Barber talks to Sarafina about three winter constellations, and journey through the life cycle of a star. Curious about the night sky? Email us at email@example.com — we'd love to hear from you!
Don't Call It Dirt: The Surprising Science Of Soil
It's easy to overlook the soil beneath our feet, or to think of it as just dirt to be cleaned up. But soil wraps the world in an envelope of life: It grows our food, regulates the climate and makes the planet habitable. "What stands between life and lifelessness on our planet Earth is this thin layer of soil that exists on the Earth's surface," says Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, a soil scientist at the University of California-Merced. In honor of World Soil Day tomorrow, we're revisiting our conversation with Prof. Berhe, who is also serving as Director of the U. S. Dept. of Energy's Office of Science. She talks to Aaron about the hidden majesty of soil and why it's crucial to tackling the climate crisis.
These Penguins Take 10,000 Little Naps A Day — Seconds At A Time
Sleep. It's an essential biological function that has long intrigued scientists. Researchers have studied everything from mice to fruit flies in the lab to get a better understanding of what happens when animals sleep — and why so many do it. This week, scientists finally added one piece to the elusive sleep puzzle: How wild chinstrap penguins sleep amid their noisy colony. Turns out, they do it over 10,000 times in seconds-long bursts throughout the day — totaling 11 hours when all is said and done.
The International Race To Create Human Eggs And Sperm In The Lab
In which we meet the pioneers of one of the most exciting — and controversial — fields of biomedical research: in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. The goal of IVG is to make unlimited supplies of what Hayashi calls "artificial" eggs and sperm from any cell in the human body. That could let anyone — older, infertile, single, gay, trans — have their own genetically related babies. As such, the field opens up a slew of ethical concerns. But that isn't stopping researchers from pressing forward. So, this episode NPR science correspondent Rob Stein gives us a glimpse into the global race to create the first artificial human embryos to see how the competition is unfolding. Want to hear more cutting-edge technology? Email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much better with new hosts
Ever since the show got rid of Maddie and Emily, the show’s quality has increased 10 fold. It’s still lighthearted and fun without coming off as immature or annoying. Love my little daily dose of science!
Educational, interesting, and fun!
This show serves up such interesting bits of science news that you otherwise wouldn’t hear about. It can also offer practical insights. With all the doom and gloom out there, this show does wonders to restore my faith in the future and humanity.
Everyone needs to listen
Digestible for all. This is my absolute #1 favorite podcast, I’ve been listening for a long time. As we are in the midst of a solar flare I’m thankful for learning about them here. It’s been haunting me since I heard the episode lol. Thankful I have learn about real life events and phenomena through Short Wave so I have a slightly better understanding of things around me to the universe. Everyone should listen to this, love you guys and what you’re doing! Such valuable stuff!