60-Second Science

Scientific American

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Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of science. For a full-length, weekly podcast you can subscribe to Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American . To view all ...Show More

02:22 | Mar 26th

We don't yet know what the immersion in technology does to our brains, but one neuroscientist says the answer is likely to be that there's good, there's bad, and it's complex.

01:53 | Dec 5th

Playing the sounds of a healthy reef near damaged corals may help bring the fish community back. Christopher Intagliata reports.
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02:34 | Dec 4th

A study done in South America found that with increasing population density humans had more diversity of fungi on the skin but less microbial diversity in the gut.

01:49 | Dec 4th

The fiber-optic cables that connect the global Internet could potentially be used as seismic sensors. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

01:54 | Dec 3rd

A few brief reports about international science and technology from Mexico to Tanzania, including one about the need to quarantine bananas in Colombia potentially infected by a fungus.

01:59 | Nov 30th

Ground-penetrating radar can detect tiny density differences that lead to images of ancient footprints impossible to discern by eye.

02:23 | Nov 25th

Indigenous artists in what’s now British Columbia created pigments by cooking aquatic bacteria. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

02:56 | Nov 25th

Recycled wastewater can be cleaner than bottled water, but people still avoid drinking it because of their disgust over its past condition.

02:36 | Nov 22nd

Bots masquerading as humans in a game outperformed their human opponents—but the their superiority vanished when their machine identity was revealed. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

03:11 | Nov 21st

Researchers activated specific brain cells in zebra finches to teach them songs they'd ordinarily have to hear to learn.

01:53 | Nov 20th

Pet dogs appeared more interested in videos of a bouncing ball when the motion of the ball matched a rising and falling tone. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

02:55 | Nov 17th

Archaeologists working in the ancient city of Hierakonpolis discovered five ceramic vats containing residues consistent with brewing beer.

02:51 | Nov 14th

Cats are clingier to their human owners than their reputation would suggest. Karen Hopkin reports.

01:57 | Nov 13th

Study subjects with a gene variant that heightened their sensitivity to bitterness tended to eat fewer vegetables than people who didn’t mind bitter flavors. Christopher Intagliata reports.

02:43 | Nov 10th

A measles-like virus is ricocheting through marine mammal populations in the Arctic—and melting sea ice might be to blame. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

02:36 | Nov 8th

Researchers tracked thousands of individual ants to determine how they move in vast numbers without stumbling into gridlock.

02:54 | Nov 6th

In an analysis of chess and tennis matches, players rising in the rankings did better than expected against higher-ranked opponents and better than similarly ranked players who were not rising.  

03:06 | Nov 6th

Within just a third of a second of hearing a snippet of a familiar refrain, our pupils dilate, and the brain shows signs of recognition. Christopher Intagliata reports.

02:15 | Nov 2nd

A few brief reports about international science and technology from Brazil to Hong Kong, including one about male elephants in India exhibiting unusual social behaviors.

02:36 | Oct 31st

The pumpkin's ancestor was an incredibly bitter, tennis-ball-sized squash—but it was apparently a common snack for mastodons. Christopher Intagliata reports.

01:50 | Oct 30th

In cold, northern climates, eggs tend to be darker and browner—heat-trapping colors that allow parents to spend a bit more time away from the nest. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

01:54 | Oct 29th

Green crabs learned to navigate a maze without making a single wrong turn—and remembered the skill weeks later. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

02:55 | Oct 24th

The phainopepla migrates from southern California to the desert Southwest to breed in the spring before flying to California coastal woodlands to do so again in summer.

02:31 | Oct 24th

A gigantic fish from the Amazon has incredibly tough scales—and materials scientists are looking to them for bulletproof inspiration. Christopher Intagliata reports.

02:34 | Oct 23rd

The Saharan silver ant feeds on other insects that have died on the hot sands, which it traverses at breakneck (for an ant) speeds.

02:01 | Oct 22nd

Synthetic repellents such as DEET seem to mask the scent of our “human perfume”—making us less obvious targets for mosquitoes. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

02:33 | Oct 18th

The resonant properties of your skull can amplify some frequencies and dampen others—and, in some cases, affect your hearing. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

02:37 | Oct 16th

The Dsup protein protects DNA under conditions that create caustic free radical chemicals.

02:38 | Oct 16th

Rumblings on the Red Planet act like x-rays, allowing scientists to probe the hidden interior of Mars. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

02:20 | Oct 11th

Algorithms are already used to remove online hate speech. Now scientists have taught an AI to respond—which they hope might spark more discourse. Christopher Intagliata reports.