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A Moment of Science: Audio Podcast

  1. Grapefruit And Medicine2019/11/07
    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.

  2. Waking Up Sleeping Bacteria2019/11/07
    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.

  3. Is Coral A Plant Or An Animal?2019/11/06
    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?

  4. Sort Nuts By Shaking The Can2019/11/05
    If you shake a can of mixed nuts for a few seconds, the largest nuts come to the top. The spaces between nuts are not big enough for small nuts to fall through, but the small nuts end up on the bottom and the large ones on top anyway.

  5. How To Sort Nuts By Shaking A Can2019/11/04
    If you shake a can of mixed nuts for a few seconds, the largest nuts come to the top. The spaces between nuts are not big enough for small nuts to fall through, but the small nuts end up on the bottom and the large ones on top anyway.

  6. Saguaro Boot2019/11/04
    When a saguaro cactus dies, its flesh decays, leaving behind the woody skeleton that supported the plant. What also remains are boot-like structures, called saguaro boots. It’s the combined creation of the saguaro and a Gila woodpecker.

  7. Why Is The Sky Blue?2019/10/31
    As common as the question is, explaining why the sky is blue is not as simple. It requires an understanding of the physics of light.

  8. The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt2019/10/30
    In the north Atlantic, there is an enormous bloom of Sargassum seaweed. It is wreaking ecological and economic havoc along coastlines in the tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

  9. Alligator Hearts Thrive With Less Oxygen2019/10/30
    Some alligators can run much faster than you might think. Even more surprising is how alligators atain physical fitness. Unlike humans, alligators that get less oxygen when they are still in an egg end up with stronger hearts.

  10. Vitamines and Vitamins2019/10/29
    In 1912 a Polish biochemist, Casimir Funk, identified substances within food that were vital for a healthy diet, so Funk called them vital amines, or vitamines.

  11. The Massive Migration Of The Hoverfly2019/10/28
    What do wildebeest, humpback whales and Canada geese all have in common? They all partake in huge migrations as the seasons change.

  12. Too Smart For Their Own Good?2019/10/25
    Some of the ways we use devices like smartphones may present risks that aren't so apparent. For example, gauging if or when people overuse their devices presents challenges.

  13. How Plants Survive In The Desert2019/10/24
    Succulent plants such as cacti, aloes and agaves beat the dry heat of the desert by storing plenty of water in their roots, stems or leaves. They're able to do this because when it does rain, succulents absorb a lot of water quickly.

  14. Mission To Saturn2019/10/23
    Saturn is orbited by an interesting moon called Titan that is larger than the planet Mercury and has a thick atmosphere of nitrogen. In 2019 NASA approved plans for a spacecraft mission to Titan called Dragonfly.

  15. Sneezing Plants2019/10/22
    Agriculturalists are worried about a fungus-caused plant disease called leaf rust that afflicts wheat, barley and rye. It's produced plant epidemics in North and South America, and had devastating consequences in India.

  16. Hands Apart2019/10/21
    Some people have a neurological disorder called alien hand syndrome that causes them to lose control over their hands. The cause is usually some sort of brain damage.

  17. Did Theia Bring Water To The Earth?2019/10/18
    Planetary scientists think that the moon formed after a Mars-sized object called Theia hit Earth, hurtling material into space, which coalesced to form the moon. New research suggests that Theia may have also brought water to the Earth.

  18. How Mosquitoes Find Us2019/10/17
    Mosquitoes can smell carbon dioxide from up to 100 feet away, and when we exhale, we emit CO2. Once mosquitoes catch a whiff of it, their brains start scanning their surroundings for their next meal.

  19. Cloudy Vision2019/10/16
    Cataracts are the result of the natural breakdown of proteins in the eye’s lens as you age. When lens proteins lose their three dimensional structure they cause the lens to become cloudy.

  20. Penguins, Biodiversity And Antarctica2019/10/15
    Colonies of penguins that live in Antarctica create hotbeds of diversity by doing something that all animals do: pooping.
    Researchers found that when penguins poop, they enrich the soil in and around the colony, creating the perfect environment for mosses and lichens to grow.

  21. Help On Horseback2019/10/12
    Horses can help people learn to walk again through a form of physical rehabilitation called hippotherapy. The patient rides a horse, and as it walks or trots, the movement of your legs and pelvis reminds your body of what it feels like to walk.

  22. Ants To The Rescue2019/10/10
    In 2019 ethologists published evidence that a species of harvester ants will rescue their nest mates when they become trapped in a spider web.

  23. A New Atomic Clock Could Help Spaceships Navigate Better2019/10/09
    A New Atomic Clock Could Help Spaceships Navigate Better

  24. Grunting And Tennis2019/10/09
    Grunting can alter a game of tennis but not like you might think

  25. Birds Of A Feather Flock Together2019/10/07
    Social niches are made up of the social aspects of a species' environmental relationship. In the case of humans, this means that your friends, family and coworkers influence you just as much as other environmental factors.

  26. Gut Microbes And Depression2019/10/05
    In 2019, a team of Belgian researchers obtained new evidence correlating gut bacteria with depression in humans. They found a correlation between the patients' depression and the absence of two bacteria species.

  27. The Abominable Yeti Crab2019/10/04
    Deep in the ocean by thermal vents, the crabs are dancing.

  28. Mosquitoes On The Scent2019/10/03
    Mosquitoes On The Scent

  29. Madly In Love2019/10/02
    Scientists have found that when you're in love, your brain is flooded with different chemicals, including dopamine. In the right amount, dopamine can make you behave recklessly and become manic and obsessive.

  30. How Ants Turn Into Zombies2019/10/01
    Scientists have found zombie ants in the Brazilian rainforests. The ants are infected by a fungus. In fact, scientists have just found four new species of the zombie‑creating fungus, Ophiocordyceps.

  31. The Cleaning Powers Of Goat Stomachs2019/09/30
    Researchers from the University of Zurich examined 28 goats that were fed different pelleted diets of grit and hay. The scientists performed CT scans of the goats’ stomachs at the beginning of the experiment and then again six months later.

  32. Habits Of Highly Successful Animals2019/09/27
    Those who love anteaters and rhinoceroses might be out of luck if we want to see our favorite animals thrive in the next century, according to a group of researchers who used statistical tools to predict what kinds of animals will predominate over the next century.

  33. The Ocean's Fish Are Running Out Of Clean Water2019/09/26
    The ocean is getting louder. Fish make noise. They whistle, chirp, hum, sing, swish. But boat engines, sonar, and deep-sea mining cause quite the racket, making it difficult for fishes to hear the call of friends or potential mates.

  34. Born To Own A Dog2019/09/25
    In 2019 a team of Swedish and British scientists published a study claiming that whether we chose to own a dog or not may be influenced by our genes.

  35. Craters On Mars2019/09/24
    A high-powered camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft recently took a picture of a newly formed impact crater on Mars. Researchers know that the impact happened sometime between pictures of the area taken in September 2016 and February 2019.

  36. Language Learning And Puzzles2019/09/23
    According to new research, if a person is good at recognizing patterns, that’s a good indicator that they’ll be good at learning languages, too. There’s mixed research on whether language learning ability is based on language specific capacities in the brain, or whether it draws on more general pattern-recognition abilities.

  37. Grounded, With Wings2019/09/20
    According to natural selection, species evolve in ways that better enable them to survive and pass on their genes. But sometimes evolution takes what may appear to be odd and unexpected turns. Take, for example, birds that have wings but can't fly. What can explain this strange phenomenon?

  38. The Extinction Crisis2019/09/19
    According to many scientists, we are in the midst of a major mass extinction catastrophe right now. In 2019 a United Nations backed scientific panel concluded that the rate of species extinctions happening right now is already tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past ten million years.

  39. The Painless Lives Of Mole-Rats2019/09/18
    Naked mole-rats are resistant to certain kinds of pain, like the burning sensation caused by acid and capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat. But they do feel the painful effects of a substance called allyl isothiocyanate, which is what gives wasabi its burn.

  40. The Perfect Temperature For Coffee2019/09/17
    Today on A Moment of Science, we’re going to take a moment to think about coffee and specifically about the importance of water temperature when brewing coffee.

  41. Diamonds On The Bottom Of The Sea2019/09/16
    According to new research, most diamonds found at the Earth’s surface are made of carbon from recycled ancient seabed. It’s been a theory for a while, since some diamonds have traces of salt trapped in them.

  42. Why Can't We Remember Our Dreams?2019/09/13
    Perhaps you’ve heard that the average person dreams four to six times each night. But did you know that most of us are unable to recall 90% of our dreams? Today on A Moment of Science we ask why it is that we forget most of our dreams.

  43. Working Out Your Arteries2019/09/12
    An overabundance of so-called "bad" cholesterol clogs the arteries with plaque, making blood flow more difficult. If the plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form and cut off blood supply completely.

  44. Water Sensitive Microbes2019/09/11
    The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is the driest desert on Earth. The only life there is microbial, and researchers study it to get an idea of what we might find on Mars.

  45. Mosquito-Killing Fungus2019/09/10
    There’s been a lot of research lately about how we can get rid of malaria-carrying mosquito populations.
    One way might be to use a transgenic fungus.

  46. Giraffe Nurseries2019/09/09
    Humans aren’t the only species that send their children to nurseries in order to play, learn and be protected. Giraffes, in fact, sometimes leave their calves in a sort of nursery.

  47. NASA's Twin Study2019/09/06
    Mark and Scott Kelly are identical twin brothers who are both NASA astronauts. In 2015, Scott Kelly was launched on a record 340 day mission to the International Space Station.

  48. Are Flip-Flops Good For You?2019/09/05
    According to podiatrists, flip-flops provide no arch support and cause the foot to roll inward. And, because the only thing keeping flip-flops on feet is that little rubber thong, you end up gripping them mainly with the toes.

  49. Are Flip-Flops Good For You?2019/09/05
    According to podiatrists, flip-flops provide no arch support and cause the foot to roll inward. And, because the only thing keeping flip-flops on feet is that little rubber thong, you end up gripping them mainly with the toes.

  50. The Amazing Walking Sticks2019/09/04
    Today's episode is about walking stick insects. You probably know them for their curious appearance. They resemble the twigs of the plants they feed on.

  51. The Health Consequences Of Parenting2019/09/03
    Research conducted at Lorna Linda University Health shows that children who grew up with parents who had a “warm” parenting style have an advantage over children who grew up with parents who had a “cold” parenting style when it comes to health and aging.

  52. Assassin Bugs2019/09/02
    The assassin bug eats other insects. It has raptorial forelegs similar to a praying mantis, meaning it's covered in teeth-like extensions used for grasping prey.

  53. Coffee Cup Convection2019/08/27
    Convection is a common process in nature, and occurs when warmer air or liquid lies under a cooler layer. This is what happens in a coffee cup: the coffee on top is cooled by evaporation, and since cooler is also heavier, gravity pulls it toward the bottom.

  54. Jabuticaba, The Fruit That Grows On Trees2019/08/21
    Jabuticaba is a fruit native to Brazil. It’s the size and color of a plum, with a white pulp and several seeds. It’s also known for its health benefits and sometimes gets called a “super fruit.”

  55. Clouds In The Kitchen2019/08/15
    Fill a kettle with water, then turn on the burner. In a while, your kettle will start belching white billowy stuff into the air. What is this stuff? Steam? Actually, no.

A Moment of Science: Audio
You have questions and A Moment of Science has answers. These two-minute audio podcasts provide the scientific story behind some of life's most perplexing mysteries. There's no need to be blinded by science. Explore it, have fun with it, but most of all learn from it. A Moment of Science is a production of WFIU Public Media from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

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