Science Friday

Saturday 12 p.m.

Science Friday is your trusted source for news and entertaining stories about science. We started as a radio show, created in 1991 by host and executive producer Ira Flatow. Since then, we’ve grown into much more: We produce award-winning digital videos and publish original web content covering everything from octopus camouflage to cooking on Mars. SciFri is brain fun, for curious people. The radio show is broadcast on many public radio stations Fridays from 2-4 p.m. Eastern Time. You can join the conversation by calling 1-844-724-8255 or tweeting us your questions @scifri.

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In California, solar power is booming: The state leads the nation in solar production, and for a brief period on March 11, California pulled nearly 40 percent of its electricity from the sun.

Instead of heading to the doctor for a painful flu shot, what if you could someday vaccinate yourself at home — just by applying a patch to your skin?

Researchers at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are working to make that a reality. They’ve developed a small, bandagelike patch that can dispense a flu vaccine into your skin using a hundred or so microneedles. Its creators described the first human trials recently in The Lancet.

Are We Facing Electrical Gridlock?

Jul 15, 2017

A Peek Into The Sex Lives Of Algae

Jul 15, 2017

Creating The Perfect Ice Cube

Jul 15, 2017

Buzz over the Chukchi Sea in a helicopter in early spring, and there’s little to see but sky and ice. That is, until your eye catches the maze of polar bear tracks threading across the ice in some areas. The sea, which stretches between northwestern Alaska and northeastern Russia, is home to one of the Arctic’s 19 distinct polar bear populations.

Kepler turns up a trove of new exoplanets

Jul 10, 2017

Scientists behind NASA's Kepler K2 mission recently unveiled hundreds of new planet candidates for NASA’s exoplanet catalog, including 10 that could be rocky planets in the "just right" Goldilocks zone of their stars.

Is marijuana a secret weapon against the opioid epidemic?

Jul 9, 2017
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Blair Gable/Reuters

As US Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a crowd of federal, state and local law enforcement in March, the country “is in the throes of a heroin and opioid epidemic.” According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription opioid and heroin overdoses kill 91 Americans each day.

A Mathy Makeover For The Kilogram

Jul 8, 2017

Climate change is coming to your coffee cup

Jul 6, 2017

When it comes to coffee, Ethiopia is sacred ground.

It’s the home of Coffea arabica — one of the most popular species of coffee bean. And in Ethiopia, coffee is a major part of the economy: It makes up about a quarter of the country’s export earnings, and around 15 million farmers make a living farming the crop.

The key to eating more veggies? Trick your brain.

Jul 2, 2017

If you’ve ever scanned a restaurant menu and found yourself torn between the “sizzling grilled sirloin” and the healthy option, “8-oz sirloin steak,” you’re not alone. The healthier one doesn’t sound nearly as mouthwatering, does it?

What theoretical physics says about the future of our government

Jul 2, 2017

We’ve all heard campaigning politicians — especially those who want to be president of the United States — say that if elected, they’ll fix what’s wrong in Washington. But what if the tangle of issues faced by our government is just too complex for one person to manage?

Take a dazzling new peek at Jupiter

Jul 1, 2017

Jupiter may be one of the planets we can spot with the naked eye, but scientists have long puzzled over what lies beneath its swirling clouds — or inside its stormy Great Red Spot.

Could an Amazon pharmacy be a prescription for industry change?

Jul 1, 2017

These days, you can find just about anything on Amazon — from toilet paper to textbooks and even groceries. For now, though, there’s still something you won’t find on the site: prescription drugs.

Flu? There’s A Patch For That

Jul 1, 2017

Curiosity Gets An AI Upgrade

Jul 1, 2017

The Polar Bear Necessities

Jul 1, 2017

The natural sunscreen of the future

Jun 30, 2017

Whether you fry in the sun or hardly seem to burn at all depends on something you can’t change: the amount of pigment, or melanin, in your skin. But what if you could add melanin to sunscreens for better sun protection?

In the future, we may come close: Researchers reporting in Science have developed a melaninlike substance that can be tuned to dark and light shades, corresponding with different degrees of protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Finding an Earthly home for the Thirty Meter Telescope

Jun 28, 2017

Named for the diameter of its mirror, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT, for short) will some day see 10 to 100 times farther in the sky than existing telescopes — far enough, scientists hope, to glimpse exoplanets and some of the oldest objects in the universe.

How actress Hedy Lamarr became the ‘mother of Wi-Fi’

Jun 25, 2017

Known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr starred in dozens of films over a career that spanned decades.

But there was more to Lamarr than met the eye. An avid inventor, she worked on everything from a tablet that, when dropped into water, fizzed into instant cola, to frequency hopping — a World War II-era secure communications technology that’s used today in wireless internet, GPS and cellphones.

Caught On Video: How DNA Replicates

Jun 24, 2017

Baby Boxes, Singing Fish, And E-DNA

Jun 24, 2017

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