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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


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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Engineers Build Bendy Batteries for Wearables

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:20:00 -0500

Researchers built silver–zinc batteries that can bend and stretch—meaning they could be more elegantly integrated into future wearable devices. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Rising Temps Lower Polar Bear Mercury Intake

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:25:00 -0500

As polar bears are forced onto land, they're feeding on animals with less mercury—reducing their levels of the toxic pollutant. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Some Hotel Bed Bug Sightings May Be Bogus

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Only a third of travelers could correctly identify a bed bug—suggesting that some bug sightings in online reviews could be cases of mistaken identity. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Opioids Still Needed by Some Pain Patients

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:57:00 -0500

The "other victims" of the opioid epidemic are pain patients who need the drugs but cannot now get them because of fears related to their use  

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Bacterially Boosted Mosquitoes Could Vex Viruses

Thu, 8 Jun 2017 22:10:00 -0500

Mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria are unable to transmit viruses to humans—and could curb the spread of viral disease. Karen Hopkin reports.

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Alaska Accelerates Indoor Agriculture

Sun, 4 Jun 2017 20:12:00 -0500

With 700 new greenhouses, Alaska is growing its own produce as deep into winter as the sun keeps rising.

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Chromosomes Combat Counterfeit Caviar

Sat, 3 Jun 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Researchers found unique genetic variants that differentiate costly beluga caviar from cheaper fakes that rip off consumers. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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French Prez Invites Trumped Researchers

Fri, 2 Jun 2017 15:54:00 -0500

New French president, Emmanual Macron, reacted to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement by inviting disaffected U.S. researchers to make France "a second homeland."  

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Trees Beat Lawns for Water-Hungry L.A.

Sat, 27 May 2017 13:11:00 -0500

Evaporation from overwatered lawns cost the city of Los Angeles 70 billion gallons of wasted water a year. But the city's trees were much thriftier. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Former CDC Head Warns of Threats Biological and Political

Fri, 26 May 2017 16:42:00 -0500

Tom Frieden, head of the CDC from 2009 to 2017, told graduating medical students that we face challenges from pathogens, and from politicians.  

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