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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


Galaxies Far, Far Away Send Us Highest-Energy Cosmic Rays

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:00:00 -0500

A new study hints that the most energetic particles ever seen come from far beyond the Milky Way.  

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Springtime Now Arrives Earlier for Birds

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:27:00 -0500

A trove of scientific notes from the early 1900s suggests a warming climate is driving birds to migrate earlier to New York’s Mohonk Preserve. Julia Rosen reports.

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Warming Puts Squeeze on Ancient Trees

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 23:30:00 -0500

As temperatures rise, the tree line moves upslope. But ancient bristlecone pines are losing that upslope race to faster-colonizing neighbors. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Rising CO2 Pushes Plants to Drink Sparingly

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 15:25:00 -0500

As carbon dioxide levels rise, plants are sipping water more efficiently—which could come in handy in a drier future. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Cannibalism Quells Contagion among Caterpillars

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 20:30:00 -0500

Cannibalistic caterpillars prevent disease from decimating their populations by removing infected individuals. Emily Schwing reports.

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Feds Want to Know Who's Protesting Trump

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 19:12:00 -0500

Internet hosting company DreamHost is battling the U.S. Justice Department over requests for information about people visiting a Web site for organizing protests. Larry Greenemeier reports.

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Windows Vex Bats' Echolocating Abilities

Thu, 7 Sep 2017 14:30:00 -0500

Smooth vertical surfaces like windows reflect sound waves away from bats—meaning bats can't "see" windows and similar obstacles with echolocation. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Wetlands Could Save Cities--and Money, Too

Wed, 6 Sep 2017 13:12:00 -0500

Using insurance industry models, researchers determined that wetlands prevented some $625 million in damages due to Hurricane Sandy. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Rabbit Relatives Reel from Climate Change

Sat, 2 Sep 2017 11:20:00 -0500

Pikas, a hampster-size rabbit relative, have disappeared from a 64-square-mile plot in the northern Sierra Nevada—and climate change is a likely culprit. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Winking Star 6 Centuries Ago Explained

Fri, 1 Sep 2017 18:15:00 -0500

A star that appeared and then vanished in A.D. 1437 was an explosion in a binary star system—which now reveals clues about the life cycle of certain stars. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Grazing Cattle Trim the Menu for Birds

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 08:00:00 -0500

When cattle graze the desert's natural landscape, birds face changes in food availability—and some species are unable to adapt. Jason Goldman reports.

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Climate Change Might Shrink Fish

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 19:40:00 -0500

Warmer water boosts fishes' demand for oxygen—and their bodies may shrink in response. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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A Fruitful Experiment in Land Conservation

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 16:00:00 -0500

In 1998 an orange juice maker dumped 12,000 tons of orange peels on degraded pastureland in Costa Rica—transforming it into vine-rich jungle. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Recycle Your Eclipse Glasses

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:33:00 -0500

Astronomers Without Borders wants to share your used eclipse glasses with kids in other parts of the world for the 2019 total solar eclipse.  

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Seeing 1 Solar Eclipse May Not Be Enough

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 15:18:00 -0500

David Baron, author of the new book American Eclipse, talks about how seeing his first total solar eclipse turned him into an eclipse chaser.    

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