Science

1:06pm

Fri November 22, 2013
Space

ISON: The Comet of the Century... or Is It?

When astronomers spotted Comet ISON in 2012, some christened it the "Comet of the Century." It initially failed to live up to the hype. But this month, ISON blazed brighter and sprouted several tails. Astronomers like Andrew Fraknoi are following the comet as it scrapes past the sun, where it could be destroyed--or emerge, even more spectacular than before.

1:06pm

Fri November 22, 2013
Science

When Water Flows Uphill

In the Leidenfrost Effect, a water droplet will float on a layer of its own vapor if heated to a certain temperature. This common cooking phenomenon takes center stage in a series of playful experiments by physicists at England's University of Bath, who discovered new and fun means to manipulate the movement of water.

1:05pm

Fri November 22, 2013
History

Using Modern Ballistics to Crack 'Cold Case JFK'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Those of us of a certain age can remember exactly what we were doing on a Friday this hour 50 years ago when we heard the news. President Kennedy's assassination horrified and transfixed the nation. It was murder in plain sight, seemingly the easiest kind of crime to solve. But 50 years later the basic facts of the case are still debated.

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11:57am

Fri November 22, 2013
Shots - Health News

Insomnia Could Raise Risk Of Heart Disease And Death In Men

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:49 pm

There's more than one reason to aim for a good night's sleep.
Charles Taylor iStockphoto.com

There are lots of reasons to aim for a good night's sleep. Sleep helps us retain our memories. It helps our brains get rid of harmful toxins. But sleep might also play a role in heart disease.

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11:46am

Fri November 22, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Science Sees Its Own Reality In Life's Hall Of Mirrors

Swarms of locusts in Madagascar, or clouds of elementary particles, without sound, odor, flavor or color? Reality is harder to pin down than you first might think.
Bilal Tarabey AFP/Getty Images

The Bible says God created the heaven and earth. God made the great swarms of living creatures. God created us.

Science dismisses this story. It is a fairy tale. But science goes much farther. God is an illusion, yes. But so is the world we fancy that he created.

Swarms of living things? Human beings? Heaven and earth? None of this is real. Not really.

What there really is, for science, are only things made up of smaller things made up of smaller things made up of smaller things.

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6:11pm

Thu November 21, 2013
Science

'Ghost Particles' In Antarctica Offer Glimpse Of Deep Space

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 6:54 pm

The average temperature in winter is about -72 degrees Faharenheit. The IceCube Lab is illuminated in the moonlight.
Emanuel Jacobi NSF

A new kind of telescope buried deep beneath the ice of Antarctica has, for the first time, seen a signal from distant, violent events. In doing so, it is beginning to paint a picture of a part of our cosmos that has never been observed before.

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2:04pm

Thu November 21, 2013
Shots - Health News

Reinventing The Condom With Easy-On Tabs And Beef Tendon

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:42 pm

One experimental condom has tabs on either side so it's easier to put on in the dark.
Courtesy of California Family Health Council

When you hear the term "next-generation condom," beef tendon probably isn't the first thing that pops into your mind.

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12:49pm

Thu November 21, 2013
World

Walking The World: 7 Years And Counting

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now to East Africa, where one man is currently on a journey of discovery.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

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12:05pm

Thu November 21, 2013
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Ties That Bind Animals And Humans Alike

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 1:20 pm

Elephants at the Mashatu game reserve in Mapungubwe, Botswana.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Most of us — scientists and animal lovers alike — agree by now that chimpanzees and elephants, birds and bunnies, dolphins and dogs may all feel love and joy and grief.

When stories of animal emotion go viral, as recently happened with two inseparable dog brothers, one of whom acts as a seeing-eye dog for the other, we share them not because we're knocked out with surprise by what animals feel but because we're touched and uplifted.

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10:15am

Thu November 21, 2013
The Salt

Remember 'French Fries Cause Cancer'? Here's The Acrylamide Update

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:02 pm

French fries: There are probably other reasons besides acrylamide to avoid these tasty snacks.
iStockphoto

Back in 2002, french fry lovers around the world received a nasty bit of news: Those crunchy, fried strips of potato contained a known carcinogen. Now, all these years later, a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration has consumers once again puzzling over whether to fear the chemical acrylamide.

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