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Recent Audio Podcasts

Computing With Light

Photo of computer servers.

Computers would be much faster, smaller, and consume less energy if they used light signals instead of electrical signals. That's why many scientists are racing to figure out how to make computers that use light.

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A Rock In A Rowboat

row boat on water

Imagine you're in a rowboat, in a small pond. You have a huge boulder with you in the boat. You throw the boulder overboard into the water. Does the water level of the pond rise, fall, or stay the same?

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Grapefruit Juice And Medicine

Photo of sliced grapefruit.

Experiments have shown that drinking grapefruit juice while taking drugs to control cholesterol, for example, can hamper the metabolizing process and allow too much of the drug to enter the bloodstream.

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Waking Up Sleeping Bacteria

Photo of microbes.

Bacteria may not sleep the way humans do, but bacteria called "persisters" can fall into something like a deep sleep in which they shut down and aren't affected by antibiotics. They can wake up spontaneously later on, and the infection they cause comes back. 

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Is Coral A Plant Or An Animal?

Photo of coral reef.

As larvae, corals are called planulae, and are free-swimming. An individual mature coral animal is called a polyp. If they are born a free-swimming creatures, how do they attach to become a reef?

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A Moment of Science Blog

The Invention Of Cities: Part 2

Çatalhöyük's long period of excavation and its wealth of well-preserved artifacts and archaeological remains has made it an indispensable source of data about human prehistory.

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The Invention of Cities: Part 1

There are innumerable points of significant change in over 100,000 years of human history, but arguably the most important period of all occurred in just the last 10,000.

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The Oldest Tree In Europe

Sitting on top of a rocky cliff in Italy’s Pollino National Park is Europe’s oldest tree.

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Was There An Opium Trade In The Bronze Age?

During the Bronze Age, a complex network of trade and political alliances connected what are today the countries of Egypt, Israel, Greece, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus.

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Inside The Heads Of Neanderthals

In contrast to common sense notions of Neanderthals as dumb apes, living without culture in the distant past, recent research makes this human ancestor seem more complex than previously thought.

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