Fighting Cancer With Your Own Immune System

Dec 12, 2015

Pluto Comes Into Focus

Dec 12, 2015

The Best Science Books of 2015

Dec 12, 2015

Are algorithms racist — and can we fix that?

Dec 6, 2015

Some believers in big data have claimed that, in big data sets, “the numbers speak for themselves.” Or in other words, the more data available to them, the closer machines can get to achieving objectivity in their decision-making.

But data researcher Kate Crawford says that’s not always the case. In fact, big data sets can perpetuate the same biases present in our culture, teaching machines to discriminate when scanning resumes or approving loans, for example.

Kurt Vonnegut in the ‘House of Magic’

Dec 5, 2015

Alan C. Tough, Siding Spring Observatory

For the next few weeks, astronomy buffs will have a chance to view a cosmic visitor that is not only making a once-in-a-lifetime swing through the Solar System but may also offer watchers a glimpse of color that's just right for the holiday season.

The little-known world of endangered plant poaching

Nov 30, 2015

There are plenty of news stories about lions, leopards and elephants being poached, but animals aren’t the only endangered species out there. Rare and protected plants are also harvested by poachers, smuggled across borders and illegally sold online. 

What brainless slime mold can teach us about making better decisions

Nov 30, 2015

There is a mindless, senseless yellow-tinted blob of an organism that lives on the forest floor. It’s called slime mold and even though it lacks a brain, it can be relied upon to make a healthy decision more often than most humans. 

“It lives on the forest floor, and it loves moisture and darkness. And it just meanders around looking for food,” Science Friday video producer Luke Groskin. “It has no eyes, and it can only feel for food. So how does it make a decision? How does that creature decide, ‘Oh, it's time to go over here. It's time to go over there.'”

Randall Munroe’s Thousand-Word Challenge

Nov 28, 2015

Scientists say they have a new cure for hearing loss

Nov 28, 2015
Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Jay Alan Zimmerman is a successful composer who writes music for movies and musicals. There's something that sets him apart from other composers, however. He's deaf. 

Zimmerman wasn’t always deaf. He came to New York and began his career in music. Over time he realized he had lost quite a bit of hearing at the top of his range. He didn’t realize just how bad his hearing loss was until one day when he was trying to work on a new track. 

This is a microscopic image of MDMA, the psychoactive drug popularly known as ecstasy, or Molly, that “produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The smell inside the warehouse of Nine Pin Ciderworks in Albany, New York, on a recent afternoon was unmistakable: alcohol, with a hint of sweetness.

The aroma wafted from three large plastic vats nearly filled to the brim with the juice of 21,000 pounds of apples recently picked from a nearby orchard. Gurgling loudly, the liquid belched carbon dioxide in a process crucial to turning pure apple juice boozy — fermentation. A gaseous haze hung over the vats at eye level.

Hard Cider Science

Nov 21, 2015

Eight things spiders can do that you’ve never heard of

Nov 18, 2015

They have eight legs, multiple sets of eyes, and build webs in the corners of your house. But arachnologists Lauren Esposito and Catherine Scott say the bizarre world of spiders goes far beyond anything you’ve ever heard of. Here are eight things spiders can do that you've probably never heard of:

1. Some spiders eat their mates during copulation

Catherine Scott, an arachnologist and doctoral student at the University of Toronto says the redback spider, a species in the genus of black widow spiders, is actively eaten during copulation:

Six things you believe about spiders that are totally false

Nov 16, 2015

Lauren Esposito regularly milks scorpions. Catherine Scott lets black widows crawl on her. Both of these spider experts love arachnids, and they want you to love them, too.

Here are six myths about spiders they say are totally wrong, and are giving arachnids a bad rap: 

Myth Number 1: Spiders are aggressive

Microscopic Hairs Keep Some Critters Clean

Nov 14, 2015

Are ALL Minnesotans Above Average?

Nov 12, 2015

World-famous Minnesotan Garrison Keillor often features the fictional MN town of Lake Woebegone in his show “A Prairie Home Companion,” as a place where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.”

David Myers, an author of textbooks on Social Psychology has used “A Prairie Home Companion” to coin a term that describes a certain type of social psychology phenomenon in which people believe they are better than the average person.

Is Football Bad for Your Brain?

Nov 12, 2015

At the beginning of his high school football season Blake Ripple’s football coach read aloud a sticker that said the helmets the teenage players would wear would not prevent head injury, only head fracture. 

Science Writer Sam Kean has had real-life experiences worthy of a horror film. During one such recent episode, he woke up from a night of sleep and found that he was unable to move, completely paralyzed, but fully awake. 

Kean isn’t the only one who’s had such an experience. Others have had similar episodes — waking from sleep to what they described as a “demon sitting on their chest” or an alien abduction. One woman in this state was even thought to be dead and was taken to a morgue before recovering the ability to move her limbs.