Science Updates

  • Dolphin Brains

    Dolphin Brains 

    Dolphins and other marine mammals have pretty big brains compared to the size of their bodies. That’s one indication of high intelligence, and anyone who has seen them perform at an aquarium or zoo can attest to that fact. This Science Update introduces us to one scientist who’s trying to find out how dolphins got so brainy.

  • Traveling Dust

    Traveling Dust 

    In this Science Update, hear how microbes can travel from country to country on clouds of dust.

  • Asian Brown Cloud

    Asian Brown Cloud 

    In developing areas of the world, including parts of Asia, rapid industrialization has brought about more cars, more factories, and more people to burn coal and wood for cooking purposes. Those activities throw a lot of soot and other pollutants into the air. In this Science Update, you’ll hear about an effort to measure the pollution over Asia and assess its impact on humans and the environment.

  • Lawn Nitrates

    Lawn Nitrates 

    Scientists measure the nitrate levels in groundwater and determine whether the lawn fertilizers raised those levels significantly.

  • Predicting Earthquakes

    Predicting Earthquakes 

    In this Science Update, learn how a master model of Southern California geology can help predict earthquakes.

  • Crayfish Reflexes

    Crayfish Reflexes 

    Most people don't pay much attention to crayfish unless they're piled high on a plate and served with melted butter. But one scientist is using the spiny crustacean to learn how social interaction can change the very chemistry of our bodies. Find out how in this Science Update.

  • Word Associations

    Word Associations 

    In this Science Update, you’ll hear about researchers who are studying exactly what happens in the brain when it learns and remembers information.

  • Hurricanes


    Hurricanes cycle through long periods of high and low activity.

  • Hominid Diet

    Hominid Diet 

    Learn about what fossils reveal about the unusual diet of early hominids.

  • Glowing Wounds

    Glowing Wounds 

    This Science Update reveals how tales that may sound like supernatural fiction could actually be science fact.

  • Curve Balls

    Curve Balls 

    About the only math most folks do around a baseball diamond is quoting their favorite player's batting average. But it turns out that baseball may actually have a thing or two to teach mathematicians. You'll learn why in this Science Update.

  • Cheese Tomography

    Cheese Tomography 

    A hot area in engineering is the idea of non-destructive evaluation—using sophisticated scanning techniques to examine an item without taking it apart or cutting it open. In this Science Update, you'll learn about how one researcher has adapted the technology for a rather tasty material.

  • Elephant Grass

    Elephant Grass 

    In this Science Update, you can hear about how researchers make car parts out of biodegradable plastic using elephant grass as a filler.

  • Ozone Fill-up

    Ozone Fill-up 

    In this Science Update, find out whether it's possible to take direct action to repair the holes in the ozone layer.

  • Wheelchairs


    In this Science Update, hear how exchanging technology with some of the world's poorest countries is helping to build better wheelchairs.

  • Marine Reserves

    Marine Reserves 

    This Science Update looks at the unexpected impact marine reserves have on their surroundings.

  • Musical Illusion

    Musical Illusion 

    Listen to a musical illusion, which causes us to hear what isn't there, and find out what it tells us about the infant brain.

  • Blood Cholesterol

    Blood Cholesterol 

    People who give blood generally do so out of a desire to help their fellow human beings. However, could donating blood provide any health benefits to the donor? This Science Update examines whether or not donating blood lowers your cholesterol.

What Are

Science Updates?

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