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Recent Audio Podcasts

How Does Crop Rotation Work?

Farming

Crop rotation involves a lot of questions, like a puzzle. There are so many different crops that farmers can choose to plant, and so many different combinations; the possiblities are endless.

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Mollusks Reveal The Length Of A Day

rudist fossil

Rudist clams were around in the late Cretaceous and are extinct today. Their fossils can tell us a lot of surprising things, such as the length of a day 70 million years ago.

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The New Tree In Town

plants

When a gardener digs up a tree or shrub in one place and transplants it to another, the plant will endure all sorts of stress. It’s common for transplants to show signs of shock. Most often these plants are unable to recover.

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Shrinking Eyespots On Butterflies

satyrid butterfly

The eyes on the wings of a butterfly can look kind of strange, but they're not looking at you, they're just a deflecting mechanism. Like a lot of butterfly species, the African satyrid butterfly's eyespots make predators more likely to attack its wings rather than the more vital parts of its body.

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Phosphine: A Sign Of Life On Venus

Venus

In 2020 an international team of astonomers made a surprising discovery using the James Clerk Maxwell telescope in Hawai'i. They found evidence that the atmosphere of the planet Venus contains tiny amounts of phsophine gas.

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A Moment of Science Blog

Exercising While Under The Weather

Treadmill.

There is an old saying that you should “sweat out a cold,” but that’s just folk wisdom, not science. If you just have a runny nose or sore throat, it may be fine to do some moderate exercise for a half hour or so. But if you're achey and have a fever, then it's better to rest.

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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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