By the end of 2010, two mass-market electric cars will be rolling on American highways: the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. The Volt is a gas-electric hybrid, with an all-electric range of 40 miles, and the Leaf is pure electric, with a range of 100 miles. Are Americans ready to plug in?
Plants have a reputation for being sedentary, unmoving, planted. But some plants are moving so quickly, their motion is invisible to human eyes. Biologist Joan Edwards and physicist Dwight Whitaker broke out the high-speed cameras to capture the story of exploding peat moss.
A new study in the journal Nature suggests that the butchering of animals with tools by hominids occurred nearly a million years earlier than thought. Study author Zeresenay Alemseged and anthropologist David DeGusta discuss the finding and what it might mean for human evolution.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute -- SETI -- turns 25 this year, and it's celebrating with "SETIcon." Participants, including SETI father Frank Drake and the director of the Center for SETI Research, Jill Tarter, discuss the conference and their work.
Although Charles Darwin's tome The Origin of Species is associated with the theory of evolution today, Darwin himself preferred terms such as "transmutation by means of natural selection." Science historian Howard Markel discusses how “evolution“ entered the scientific -- and popular -- vocabulary.
Reporting in Science, researchers write that little brown bats, or Myotis lucifugus, are likely to disappear from the Northeast over the next 16 years. Study author Winifred Frick discusses white-nose syndrome, which is associated with die-offs and caused by a fast-moving fungus.
In Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food, software engineer Jeff Potter discusses using the hacker mindset in the kitchen, from cooking salmon in the dishwasher to a warranty-voiding experiment on his oven to get the scorching temperatures necessary for perfect pizza crust.
Three studies point to receipts as a possibly significant source of the chemical bisphenol-A, according to Science News. While bisphenol-A isn't regulated, the government has suggested minimizing exposure to it. Science News senior editor Janet Raloff discusses the finding.
In her new book Hot X: Algebra Exposed, actress and math advocate Danica McKellar shares her secrets for solving algebra problems -- and navigating high school social life. McKellar discusses the book, and explains why she tailors her math teaching techniques toward girls.
A new government ruling issued last month makes it legal for iPhone users to "jailbreak" their phones so they can potentially choose a different carrier. Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig discusses that and other recent changes to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
Host: Marc Pelletier Five scientists discuss their hopes and aspirations for biotechnology in a post-genomics era. Guests: George Farr, Mark Griswold, Dave Brodbeck, Vincent Racaniello and David Thomas We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes. Comments and suggestions on...
How do scientists deal with sloppy or shoddy science? A survey found that researchers were often able to deal with minor misconduct informally. Gerald Koocher, one of the scientists behind the survey and co-author of a handbook for dealing with research misconduct, explains.
Spiders and silkworms make silk by the yard. Why can’t we copy them? Silk is strong, light and flexible and is being examined for use in everything from medical sutures to advanced electronics. Silk researcher David Kaplan explains the challenges in bioengineering silk.
Reporting in the journal PLOS Pathogens, researchers write opossums have bits of the Ebola virus mixed into their genetic code and human genomes contain snippets of the Borna virus. Study author Anna Skalka says some of the virus genetic code was inserted 40 million years ago.
The Gulf of Mexico has a few ways of cleansing oil from its waters: it hosts legions of microbes adapted to dine on natural oil seepages, and its warm water temperatures favor the evaporation of oil. But scientists say it's still too early to know how long it will take the Gulf to recover.