The early 20th century comedian W.C. Fields used to have an old Vaudeville routine where he'd set up to play a game of pool, and he'd hit all the balls in with one shot. It turns out that the balls had strings attached to them, and an accomplice hiding under the table simply pulled the balls into the pockets. In this Science Update, you'll find out if there's a legitimate way to do what W.C. Fields did, without needing special effects.
A study shows that low-flush toilets can develop problems due to aging.
Children who have been physically abused often develop social problems, and a researcher studies why this happens.
Learn how models help scientists study difficult environments like the earth's interior.
Fluorescent lights could be used for more than illumination if their flickering patterns turned into code.
In this Science Update, hear how people may rely on a type of mental map to understand relationships between numbers.
Hear about how certain small fish are managing to survive in highly toxic waters.
Hear about research to try to make long distance space travel more comfortable for astronauts.
Special effects can make moviegoers feel like they’re in another world—perhaps exploring another planet, swimming the ocean depths, or facing down a dinosaur. Those effects are meant to be entertaining, but not necessarily scientifically accurate. In this Science Update, you’ll hear how one of the most popular movies in history managed to achieve both—by accident.
In this Science Update, hear about the effects of groundwater pumping on the health of riverbank ecosystems.
Learn why two different species of rodents, called voles, have very different strategies for post-mating relationships.
In this Science Update, you’ll hear about a group that’s working to unravel the mystery of how human genes generate such a large number of proteins.
In this Science Update, you’ll hear how genetically engineered tomatoes may be able to resist parasitic worms without the use of toxic pesticides.
In this Science Update, you’ll hear how scientists can measure the way we process language by observing people’s eye movements.
We’ve always been warned not to look at the sun, for fear of burning out the cells in our retinas. It turns out that even photodetectors—devices specially designed to measure light—can’t look at the sun either, but for a different reason: they’re rendered useless when flooded with the sun’s intense rays. In this Science Update, you’ll hear about a new photodetector that’s not afraid to stare the sun straight in the eye.
Many diseases don't develop noticeable symptoms until they've already done considerable damage. That's why doctors would like to get a closer look at the first signs of disease: tiny changes in the way our cells communicate with each other. In this Science Update, you’ll hear about an innovative plan to get closer to those early distress signals.
Researchers are using hamsters to understand the roots of aggression.
Many people now get their DNA tested for hereditary diseases, including Huntington’s Disease and some cancers. But soon, DNA may also be used to diagnose infectious diseases, from salmonella to HIV. In this Science Update, you’ll hear about a developing technology that could make this possible.
Learn how Astronomers study the past by using a powerful telescope to measure light that has been traveling for billions of years.
In this Science Update, hear how scientists are creating new ways to separate toxic waste and dangerous chemicals from the environment.