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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


Arctic Heat Waves Linked to Snowpocalypse-Like Storms

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:50:00 -0500

An analysis of more than six decades of daily temperature and snowfall data linked warmer arctic temperatures to cold snaps at lower latitudes. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Gut Parasites Have Their Own Gut Microbiomes

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 19:10:00 -0500

The whipworm lives in the human gut, mooching microbes from its host to build its own microbiome. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Drones Could Help Biologists Tally Birds

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 20:05:00 -0500

Counting by drone not only saves time and effort, but yields better data on species numbers—a definite plus in terms of conservation. Karen Hopkin reports.

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Saliva Protein Might Inhibit Intestinal Anarchy

Sat, 10 Mar 2018 14:41:00 -0500

A protein found in spit prevents bad bugs from binding to intestinal cells in the lab, pointing to a possible way to lower the chances of dysentery. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Searching the Heavens for Mountains

Fri, 9 Mar 2018 18:10:00 -0500

Exoplanet hunters are moving beyond simply finding new planets into trying to know what they look like and whether there's surface or subsurface activity.  

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Human Echolocators Use Tricks Similar to Bats

Tue, 6 Mar 2018 22:30:00 -0500

People who use echolocating mouth clicks to compensate for low vision increase the number and intensity of clicks when objects are harder to detect. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Animal Coloration Can Serve Double Duty

Mon, 5 Mar 2018 22:53:00 -0500

The cinnabar moth caterpillar's coloration pattern warns predators close up, but camouflages the critter from a distance.  

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Some Lichen Fungi Let Genes Go Bye

Thu, 1 Mar 2018 20:03:00 -0500

A study of 22 different types of lichens revealed 10 included fungi that had lost a gene for energy production, making them completely dependent on their algal partner.  

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To See Gun Injury Drop, Hold an NRA Meeting

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 18:42:00 -0500

When the National Rifle Association holds its national convention, gun injuries drop 20 percent—perhaps because fewer gun owners are around their guns. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Big Cities Have Fewer Tweeters Per Capita

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 23:05:00 -0500

But those who do tweet in big cities are more prolific—tweeting more often, on average, than their small-town counterparts. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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How Baby Birds Learn to Duet

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:15:00 -0500

Recordings of songbird duets reveal baby birds learn conversational turn-taking like we do: gradually, and from adults. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Mosquitoes Learn the Smell of Danger

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 08:00:00 -0500

The bloodsuckers lose their appetite for attractive scents when they associate those aromas with a likelihood of being swatted. Karen Hopkin reports.

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Needed: Info on Biodiversity Change over Time

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 19:26:00 -0500

Understanding an ecosystem means following changes in the abundances and identities of the species present as the clock ticks. The BioTIME database should help.

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Undersea Recordings Reveal a Whale's Tale

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:40:00 -0500

By eavesdropping on the calls of blue whales, researchers hope to get a more accurate picture of the massive mammals' distribution and abundance. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Seabird Feathers Reveal Less-Resilient Ocean

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:50:00 -0500

By analyzing 130 years of seabird feathers, researchers determined that food webs are losing complexity in the Pacific—meaning less-resilient ecosystems. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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