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60-Second Science

Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of science. For a full-length, weekly podcast you can subscribe to Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American . To view all of ou


To Buy Happiness, Spend Money on Saving Time

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:32:00 -0500

Volunteers who used money to save themselves time were more content than volunteers who purchased themselves physical stuff. Karen Hopkin reports.

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Bacteria Can Be Resistant to Brand-New Antibiotics

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:20:00 -0500

Exposure to existing antibiotics can imbue infectious bacteria with resistance that also kicks in against new drugs related to the originals. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Teaching Computers to Enjoy the View

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 22:00:00 -0500

Researchers in the U.K. trained computers to rate photos of parks and cities for what humans consider to be their scenic beauty. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Flying through a Corpse's Clues

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:12:00 -0500

Forensic entomologists can chemically analyze fly eggs from a corpse, which might speed up detective work. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Old Records Help Resurrect Historic Quake

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 18:43:00 -0500

Century-old records found in Puerto Rico helped reconstruct the damage caused there by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake—and could help disaster experts plan for the next big one. Julia Rosen reports. 

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This Cell Phone Needs No Battery

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 11:00:00 -0500

An experimental cell phone works by absorbing and reflecting radio waves—meaning it's incredibly energy efficient and needs no battery. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Bacteria Might Share the Blame for Eczema

Fri, 7 Jul 2017 14:45:00 -0500

In patients with severe eczema, Staphylococcus aureus strains dominated the skin microbe population—suggesting that certain types of bacteria could worsen eczema flares. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Franklin's Lightning Rod Served Political Ends

Tue, 4 Jul 2017 14:33:00 -0500

Whether lightning rods should have rounded or pointy ends became a point of contention between rebellious Americans and King George III.  

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Heat Will Hit America's Poorest Worst

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:30:00 -0500

Economists calculate that each degree Celsius of warming will dock the U.S. economy by 1.2 percent--and increase the divide between rich and poor. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Rainbow Photons Pack More Computing Power

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:01:00 -0500

Quantum bits, aka qubits, can simultaneously encode 0 and 1. But multicolored photons could enable even more states to exist at the same time, ramping up computing power. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Moths Inspire Better Smartphone Screens

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 22:02:00 -0500

Researchers designed an antireflective coating for smartphone screens, with inspiration from the bumpy eyes of moths. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Better Memory Begets Boredom

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:30:00 -0500

The better study participants scored in the memory test, the faster they got bored. Karen Hopkin reports.

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DNA Points to Multiple Migrations into the Americas

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:30:00 -0500

DNA analysis of skeletons found in the Pacific Northwest backs up traditional oral histories, and suggests there could have been more than one colonization of the Americas. Emily Schwing reports.

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Keep Rolling Luggage Upright with Physics

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:05:00 -0500

A team of physicists has revealed why rolling suitcases start rocking from wheel to wheel—and how to avoid that frustrating phenomenon. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Wolves Need More Room to Roam

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:40:00 -0500

Ecologists say wolves should be allowed to roam beyond remote wilderness areas—and that by scaring off smaller predators like coyotes and jackals, wolves might do a good service, too. Emily Schwing reports.

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