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Recent Audio Podcasts

The Chemistry Of Line-Dried Laundry

Laundry Hanging To Dry

There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh laundry. Some chemists were curious, what exactly is that smell?

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Why Do We Love Junk Food?

Fast Food

Why does eating bad food feel so good? Our evolutionary history might tell us more.

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Reflex Tears

Crying Baby

Sometimes it can feel like tears spring to your eyes. What exactly are reflex tears, and how can they be beneficial?

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Animal Pain

Dog With Three Legs

People often project human emotions onto their pets, but humans and animals might be more similar in how we experience pain than previously thought.

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Ants and Superstrength

Red Ants Carrying Leaves

How did ants get to be so strong? The answer might lay in their evolution.

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Older stories »

A Moment of Science Blog

Ancient Science Part 2b - The History Of Quarantine

Medieval painting of the Justinian plague.

Right now, billions of people, over half the human population on Earth, are living in areas with orders to stay at home. The scale of the current pandemic is unique, but the existence of pandemics and our use of isolation to combat them is not.

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Ancient Science Part 2 - Who Was Hippocrates?

Printed edition of the Hippocratic oath.

The phrase "do no harm" famously comes from the Hippocratic Oath, a piece of writing from ancient Greece, and is still a core aspect of medical ethics today. As its name suggests, the oath was ascribed to a doctor named Hippocrates early on, along with a sizable collection of other writings called the Hippocratic corpus.

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How Measles Wipes Out Immunity

Child receiving measles vaccine.

Although the coronavirus is the most serious public health concern at the moment, there has also been an increase in the number of measles cases this year. The best precaution against measles is the MMR vaccine, which can also protect against other infections over time.

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Ancient Science Part 1 - Astronomy And Medicine In The Ancient Middle East

Relief of Ashurbanipal killing a lion.

While our understanding of things like epilepsy, the stars, and the shape of the Earth has changed dramatically over the centuries, ancient cultures confronted the same universe as we do. Even though their ideas about that universe are often very different from ours, there are also countless insights hidden in scientific writings from over 2,000 years ago.

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The Discovery Of The Dead Sea Scrolls

Isaiah scroll from the Dead Sea.

In March of 1947, Mohammed ed-dib, a member of the Ta’amireh Bedouin tribe came to Bethlehem and showed three old scrolls to various antiquities dealers. He had found the scrolls inside a cave in the desert, stuffed inside large jars.

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