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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


Fitness Bands Fail on Calorie Counts

Wed, 24 May 2017 11:01:00 -0500

Activity trackers accurately reckon heart rate—but they're way off in estimates of energy expenditure. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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New Concrete Recipes Could Cut Cracks

Fri, 19 May 2017 18:55:00 -0500

Recipes for concrete that incorporate by-products from the coal and steel industries, like fly ash and slag, could reduce road salt–related cracking. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Bees Prefer Flowers That Proffer Nicotine

Wed, 17 May 2017 22:00:00 -0500

Bumblebees sought out flowers with nicotine in their nectar, and the drug appeared to enhance the bees' memories. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Large Impacts May Cause Volcanic Eruptions

Tue, 16 May 2017 19:04:00 -0500

Really big meteorite or asteroid strikes may cause melting and deep deformations that eventually lead to volcanic eruptions.  

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Why the Cross Put Chickens on a New Road

Mon, 15 May 2017 17:47:00 -0500

A religiously inspired change in the European diet about a thousand years ago led to the development of the modern domesticated chicken.  

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Field Study: Worms Leave 'Til No-Till

Fri, 12 May 2017 14:30:00 -0500

Earthworm numbers doubled in fields after farmers switched from conventional plowing to no-till agriculture. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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The Sneaky Danger of Space Dust

Thu, 11 May 2017 19:40:00 -0500

When tiny particles of space debris slam into satellites, the collision could cause the emission of hardware-frying radiation. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Insects Donate DNA to Unrelated Bugs

Wed, 10 May 2017 10:23:00 -0500

Bacteria swap DNA among themselves. And that process may be more common in multicellular organisms than previously believed. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Gophers versus the Volcano

Tue, 9 May 2017 19:20:00 -0500

Pocket gophers survived the Mount Saint Helens eruption in their underground burrows and immediately went to work bringing back the ecosystem.  

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Wilderness Areas Suffer from Human Sound

Sun, 7 May 2017 20:25:00 -0500

Human-produced noise doubles the background sound levels in 63 percent of protected areas, and raises it tenfold in 21 percent of such landscapes.  

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Pollution Peaks When Temperatures Top Out

Wed, 3 May 2017 20:15:00 -0500

As temperatures rise, energy demands peak, with a corresponding increase in air pollutants. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Hot Chilies Cool Down Gut Inflammation in Mice

Tue, 2 May 2017 17:30:00 -0500

The spicy compound in chilies kicks off a chemical cascade that reduces gut inflammation and immune activity in mice. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Bronx River's Cleanup Brings Herring Home

Mon, 1 May 2017 14:22:00 -0500

Called an "open sewer" in the recent past, the Bronx River is now clean enough for a type of herring to once again be introduced and to make runs to the ocean.  

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Ancient Human DNA Found in Cave Dirt

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:42:00 -0500

Scientists uncovered genetic traces of Neandertals and Denisovans by screening cave dirt for DNA. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Gut Microbes Help Keep Starved Flies Fecund

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:45:00 -0500

Microbes living in the guts of fruit flies appear to influence the flies' food choice—and promote egg production, even under a nutrient-poor diet. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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