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Recent Audio Podcasts

Stink Bugs Are Not All Bad

Green stink bug

It isn't uncommon for people to hate stink bugs, but not all stink bugs are bad. Some are beneficial, like spined soldier bugs. They are predators that feed on over 90 agricultural pests, including Mexican bean beetles and cabbage loopers.

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UFO Attack!

The evening sky

In 1969 two airliners, plus the pilot of an Air National Guard fighter plane, report being harassed by a team of UFOs.

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Why Elephants Don't Get Cancer

Elephant

Scientists at the University of Utah and at Arizona State studied the elephant genome and found that they have up to 40 extra copies of genes that code for a protein called p53, which has strong cancer-preventing properties.

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Mona Lisa's Mysterious Smile

Mona Lisa

Harvard neuroscientist Margaret Livingstone is pretty sure she's solved the puzzle of the Mona Lisa's changing smile. Presuming nothing, Livingstone reasoned that the famous portrait's flickering smile is caused by the way we see.

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How Full Is That Glass?

Water in a glass

Psychologist Jean Piaget claimed that children overestimate the volume of vertical dimensions, but that as their brains mature, they develop the capacity to more accurately compare vertical and horizontal dimensions.

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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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