Short Wave New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, every weekday. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.
Short Wave
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Short Wave

From NPR

New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, every weekday. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Most Recent Episodes

Ainissa Ramirez is the author of the book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another. Bruce Fizzell hide caption

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Bruce Fizzell

Lightbulbs Strike Back

Encore episode. Humans have a long history of inventions that shape the world around us: electricity, telephones, computers, music — the list goes on. But as Ainissa Ramirez explains in her new book, The Alchemy of Us, those inventions are shaping us, too.

Lightbulbs Strike Back

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Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe first encountered Ebola in 1976, before it had been identified. Since then, from his post at the Congo National Institute for Biomedical Research, he has led the global search for a cure. Samantha Reinders/Samantha Reinders for NPR hide caption

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Samantha Reinders/Samantha Reinders for NPR

The Congolese Doctor Who Discovered Ebola

Encore episode. Jean-Jacques Muyembe is a Congolese doctor who headed up the response to the recent Ebola outbreak in Congo. Back in 1976, he was the first doctor to collect a sample of the virus. But his crucial role in discovering Ebola is often overlooked. NPR's East Africa correspondent Eyder Peralta helps us correct the record.

The Congolese Doctor Who Discovered Ebola

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Dajae Williams is a quality engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. "I create music that fuses hip-hop and math as a tool to encourage underprivileged youth to explore STEM." NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

This NASA Engineer Is Bringing Math And Science To Hip-Hop

Encore episode. NASA engineer Dajae Williams is using hip hop to make math and science more accessible to young people of color. We talk with Dajae about her path to NASA, and how music helped her fall in love with math and science when she was a teenager.

This NASA Engineer Is Bringing Math And Science To Hip-Hop

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Honeybees on honeycomb Soteavy Som / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm hide caption

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Soteavy Som / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

Honeybees Need Your Help

Encore episode. A deadly triangle of factors is killing off U.S. honeybees. Last year, forty percent of honeybee colonies died in the U.S., continuing an alarming trend. Entomologist Sammy Ramsey tells host Maddie Sofia about the "three P's" and what listeners can do to help our fuzzy-flighted friends.

Honeybees Need Your Help

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Dr. Owen Garrick speaking with Stanford student Javarcia Ivory. The Oakland Health Disparities Project asked if the race of a physician made a difference in patient health outcomes. Oakland Health Disparities Project hide caption

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Oakland Health Disparities Project

The Importance Of Black Doctors

Though Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population, they represent only 5% of physicians. How does that lack of diversity in the physician workforce impact Black patients' health and well-being? Dr. Garrick Owen, the CEO and President of Bridge Clinical Research, wanted to know.

The Importance Of Black Doctors

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An article on Mary Mallon where she was infamously labeled "Typhoid Mary." She was the first healthy person identified as a carrier of typhoid fever in the United States. Library of Congress hide caption

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Library of Congress

Typhoid Mary: Lessons From An Infamous Quarantine

A special episode from our colleagues at NPR's history podcast Throughline.

Typhoid Mary: Lessons From An Infamous Quarantine

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Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Backyard Birding 101

If you pay attention to what's going on in your own backyard, ornithologist Viviana Ruiz Gutierrez says the birds among us have been putting on a great show. Gutierrez explains migration, mating dances, nesting, and shares tips on how to be hospitable to the birds in your neighborhood.

Backyard Birding 101

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The Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was one of the country's largest known coronavirus clusters. KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

One Way To Slow Coronavirus Outbreaks At Meatpacking Plants? A Lot Of Testing

Meatpacking plants have been some of the biggest COVID-19 hot spots in the country. Thousands of workers have been infected, dozens have died. As plants reopen, one strategy has helped slow the virus's spread: large-scale employee testing. NPR food and agriculture correspondent Dan Charles explains how this approach could be a lesson for other industries as well.

One Way To Slow Coronavirus Outbreaks At Meatpacking Plants? A Lot Of Testing

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This illustration shows NASA's Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander approaching a site on Saturn's exotic moon, Titan. NASA/JHU-APL hide caption

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NASA/JHU-APL

Octocopter Set to Explore Titan, Saturn's Very Cool Moon

NASA is on a mission to explore Titan — the largest moon of Saturn. To do that, scientists are building a nuclear-powered, self-driving drone (technically an octocopter) called Dragonfly. Scheduled to launch in 2026 and arrive on Titan in 2034, Dragonfly could provide clues about how the building blocks of life started here on Earth.

Octocopter Set to Explore Titan, Saturn's Very Cool Moon

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Flying costs a lot of carbon, and for those who fly, traveling by plane can make up a large portion of their carbon emissions. Thomas Jackson/Getty Images hide caption

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Thomas Jackson/Getty Images

Meet The Climate Scientist Trying to Fly Less for Work

A few years ago, climate scientist Kim Cobb had a brutal realization about how much she was flying for conferences and meetings. Those flights were adding lots of climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Host Maddie Sofia talks with her about her push to get scientists to fly less for work, and what happened when the pandemic suddenly made that idea a reality.

Meet The Climate Scientist Trying to Fly Less for Work

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