Science Updates

  • Robot Farmers

    Robot Farmers 

    In this Science Update, learn about how scientists are now designing fleets of small, cheap robots that may revolutionize farming.

  • Fish Ears

    Fish Ears 

    New discoveries about a fish's mating ritual may shed light on a cause of hearing loss in humans.

  • Cough Medicines

    Cough Medicines 

    A 2004 report in the journal Pediatrics questioned the effectiveness of over-the-counter children's cough medicines. In this Science Update, you'll hear more about the study, and why some medicines may have escaped this sort of rigorous testing.

  • Thick & Thin Foods

    Thick & Thin Foods 

    From sodas to health shakes, people are drinking more calories than ever before. In this Science Update, hear how this increase may be linked to obesity.

  • Artificial Sweeteners

    Artificial Sweeteners 

    With millions of Americans following low-carb, low-sugar diets, artificial sweeteners are more popular than ever. You will learn in this Science Update, however, about new research that suggests that these sugar substitutes may actually promote overeating in the long term.

  • Subvocal Speech

    Subvocal Speech 

    Researchers are trying to develop a silent communication system using the nerve signals that tell your throat and tongue to form words.

  • Electricity from Sewage

    Electricity from Sewage 

    In this Science Update we learn how researchers are using leftover material—wastewater—as a way to generate electricity.

  • POW Memory

    POW Memory 

    Learn why people who survive terrifying situations may actually have surprisingly unreliable memories of who or what caused them.

  • Dog Breeds

    Dog Breeds 

    Recently, designer mutts like the Labradoodle—a cross between a Labarador retriever and a poodle—have become popular. This Science Update explores whether or not some kinds of dogs are just too different to make puppies.

  • Punching Shrimp

    Punching Shrimp 

    In this Science Update, find out why, to be a true champion, a prizefighter should really try to "punch like a mantis shrimp."

  • Soil & Global Warming

    Soil & Global Warming 

    One of the biggest environmental worries is global warming, which is caused by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. In this Science Update, you'll hear how dirt might help fight it.

  • Smelling Diseases

    Smelling Diseases 

    We all use our noses to make quick judgments from time to time—whether it's checking to see if the milk's still good, or if a shirt needs to go in the wash. This Science Update discusses how doctors are developing a kind of sniff test to screen for diseases.

  • WWII Tree Disease

    WWII Tree Disease 

    In this Science Update, learn about the unintended consequences of military invasions on a region's natural environment.

  • Gold Mine Quakes

    Gold Mine Quakes 

    Studying small earthquakes earthquakes in gold mines can help scientists learn more about major earthquakes.

  • Cicada Cycles

    Cicada Cycles 

    Cicadas spend years underground and come out once in a blue moon for a frenzy of activity. But certain broods, like the one that emerged in 2004, come out like clockwork every 13 or 17 years. In this Science Update, you'll hear what's so special about these numbers.

  • Cicada Emergence

    Cicada Emergence 

    Every 13 or 17 years, some parts of the country are on cicada watch. They're waiting for billions of the thumb-sized insects to crawl out of the ground, create an incredible racket with their calls, and then die after successfully mating. One Science Update listener asked how the bugs know when to finally come out.

  • Dogs and Their Owners

    Dogs and Their Owners 

    If you look at drawings of people and their dogs, you'll notice they're often drawn alike: for instance, saggy-faced bulldogs with saggy-faced old men. This Science Updates explores if this stereotype really true.

  • Human Language

    Human Language 

    Researchers suggest that language is not only universal among humans, but also has universal properties that are unique to the language of human beings

What Are

Science Updates?

Science Updates are 60-second radio programs presenting current science research, which we explore in a student-friendly way.