Science Updates

  • 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

  • Worry Beads

    Worry Beads 

    This Science Update takes a look at why you might keep your hands busy when you're stressed.

  • Cold Sensors

    Cold Sensors 

    Why can you feel cold even when you're sitting in a warm room? Scientists may have discovered the answer.

  • Phone Fibbing

    Phone Fibbing 

    In this Science Update, find out why some kinds of communication are more trustworthy than others.

  • Ping-Pong Avalanches

    Ping-Pong Avalanches 

    In this Science Update, you'll hear how ping-pong balls may help predict the path of a deadly snow avalanche.

What Are

Science Updates?

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