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Recent Audio Podcasts

How Butterflies Keep Their Wings Cool

butterfly

In 2020 an interdisciplinary team of American researchers published a study on how butterflies keep their wings cool. Using a specialized infrared camera, they found that the living parts of the wings, around the wing veins, were best at radiating heat.

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Megalodon: The Largest Shark That Ever Lived

Megalodon: The Largest Shark That Ever Lived

The largest shark that ever lived is called Otodus megalodon. Its teeth were as big as a human hand. The oldest fossil evidence dates from 20 million years ago, and it became extinct just 3.5 million years ago.

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Serving Up Nuclear Pasta

supernova

Neutron stars can form when a giant star goes supernova. During a supernova, the star’s core collapses, and the remaining protons and electrons get squeezed together so tightly that their nuclei touch.

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The Science Of Narrative Structure

Books on a table.

Even very different kinds of books share some common characteristics, like the pattern of their function words. These are the short connector words such as pronouns and prepositions, as well as articles, conjunctions, negations and auxiliary verbs.

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Dinosaur For Dinner

dinosaur bone

Chewed up dinosaur bones are a pretty common find in Colorado's Mygatt-Moore Quarry. According to a recent story, about 29% of 2,368 dinosaur bones researchers found had bite marks from the serrated teeth of therapods, carnivorous dinosaurs that roamed the region in the late Jurassic period 150 million years ago.

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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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