Berly McCoy Berly McCoy is an assistant producer for Short Wave.
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Berly McCoy

Aaron Agosto
Headshot of Berly McCoy
Aaron Agosto

Berly McCoy

Assistant Producer, Short Wave

Kimberly (Berly) McCoy (she/her) is an assistant producer for NPR's science podcast, Short Wave. The podcast tells stories about science and scientists, in all the forms they take.

McCoy started working with NPR as the program coordinator of the NPR Scicommers, a group founded by Joe Palca and Maddie Sofia to teach scientists and engineers how to better communicate and find community.

After lending a fact-checking hand to the Short Wave team on and off, they graciously taught McCoy the production ropes, where she now produces regularly, with stories ranging from axolotls to physics.

In another life, McCoy earned her PhD in biochemistry transforming viruses into nanoreactors. She dug through garbage to understand human recycling behavior, counted rattlesnake tongue flicks to gauge their diet preferences and caught endangered butterflies on mountain tops for population surveys.

She lives just outside of Glacier National Park and enjoys rock climbing, ice fishing, her rambunctious dogs and making food magically appear from dirt.

Story Archive

Monday

Blastocyst illustration. A blastocyst is a hollow ball of cells with a fluid centre formed after several divisions of a fertilised cell (zygote). The inner cell mass (purple) contains the cells that will form the embryo proper, the embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library/Getty Images hide caption

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Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

In light of the Alabama court ruling, a look at the science of IVF

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Monday

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Monday

A male Greater Honeyguide in Mozambique's Niassa Special Reserve. Claire Spottiswoode hide caption

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Claire Spottiswoode

This wild African bird comes when it's called—and then leads you to honey

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Monday

Far from the Earth, time gets extremely weird. Black holes can cause it to stretch and even break down entirely. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

Our lives are ruled by the illusion of time

Time is a concept so central to our daily lives. Yet, the closer scientists look at it, the more it seems to fall apart. Time ticks by differently at sea level than it does on a mountaintop. The universe's expansion slows time's passage. "And some scientists think time might not even be 'real' — or at least not fundamental," says NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel. In this encore episode, Geoff joins Short Wave Scientist in Residence Regina G. Barber to bend our brains with his learnings about the true nature of time. Along the way, we visit the atomic clocks at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, consider distant exploding stars and parse the remains of subatomic collisions.

Our lives are ruled by the illusion of time

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Wednesday

Human brains aren't built to comprehend large numbers, like the national debt or how much to save for retirement. But with a few tools — analogies, metaphors and visualizations — we can get better at it. erhui1979/Getty Images hide caption

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erhui1979/Getty Images

Why big numbers break our brains

In celebration of our 1000th episode, we're wrapping our heads around big numbers. Educational neuroscientist Elizabeth Toomarian talks about why humans' evolutionarily-old brains are so bad at comprehending large quantities–like the national debt and the size of the universe–and how to better equip ourselves to understand important issues like our finances and the impacts of climate change.

Why big numbers break our brains

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Monday

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Friday

Buses pass under the 2007 'Enchanted' Oxford Street LED Light Display in London, England. Chris Jackson/Getty Images hide caption

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Thursday

Muharrem Huner/Getty Images

Monday

Researchers camp out on the Greenland ice sheet beneath the aurora borealis, or the northern lights. Jessica Mejía hide caption

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Jessica Mejía

How glaciers move — and affect sea level rise

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Friday

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Wednesday

One of the scientists shows the petri dishes in which they grow cells at the department of Genome Biology, Graduate School of Medicine. Osaka University, Osaka, Japan, August 7th, 2003. Kosuke Okahara for NPR hide caption

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Kosuke Okahara for NPR

A look at the international race to create human eggs and sperm in the lab

In which we meet the pioneers of one of the most exciting — and controversial — fields of biomedical research: in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. The goal of IVG is to make unlimited supplies of what Hayashi calls "artificial" eggs and sperm from any cell in the human body. That could let anyone — older, infertile, single, gay, trans — have their own genetically related babies. As such, the field opens up a slew of ethical concerns.

A look at the international race to create human eggs and sperm in the lab

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Friday

Karen Chin in the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, where she is the curator of paleontology. She is also a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a leading expert on fossilized dinosaur feces. Casey A. Cass/University of Colo hide caption

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Casey A. Cass/University of Colo

Monday

Tourists walk around the base of the Washington Monument as smoke from wildfires in Canada casts a haze of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall in June of this year. Air pollution alerts were issued across the United States due to the fires. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Friday

The cover of Fei-Fei Li's new memoir, The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of AI. Fei-Fei Li hide caption

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Fei-Fei Li

Trailblazing computer scientist Fei-Fei Li on human-centered AI

AI is popping up everywhere nowadays. From medicine to science to the Hollywood strikes. Today, with computer scientist and AI pioneer Fei-Fei Li, we dig deeper into the history of the field, how machines really learn and how computer scientists take inspiration from the human brain in their work. Li's new memoir The Worlds I See traces the history of her move to the U.S. from China as a high school student and her coming-of-age with AI.

Trailblazing computer scientist Fei-Fei Li on human-centered AI

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Monday

A cross section map of Challenger Deep, the deepest point on planet Earth. John Nelson/Esri hide caption

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John Nelson/Esri

Why mapping the entire seafloor is a daunting task, but key to improving human life

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Wednesday

The United States Department of Agriculture's rabies management program includes delivering oral vaccines to raccoons — by plane, helicopter and vehicle — to control the spread of rabies. Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

To control rabies in wildlife, the USDA drops vaccine treats from the sky

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Friday

Scientists have built an enormous atlas of the human brain that could help them chart a path toward preventing and treating many different neurological disorders. imaginima/Getty images hide caption

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imaginima/Getty images

This largest-ever map of the human brain could change how we study it

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Friday

In the night sky of northern Lebanon, two meteors of the annual Orionid meteor shower streak as they cross through the Milky Way. IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP via Getty Images

The Orionid meteor shower peaks this weekend. Enhance your view with these tips

We're about to hit peak Orionid meteor shower! According to NASA, it's one of the most beautiful showers of the year. The Orionids are known for their brightness and speed — they streak through the sky at 66 km/s! And today, we learn all about them — where they come from, what makes a meteor a meteor and how to get the best view of them this weekend.

The Orionid meteor shower peaks this weekend. Enhance your view with these tips

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Monday

Scientists are using AI to design synthetic proteins with hopes it will speed up the discovery process. Ian C Haydon/ UW Institute for Protein Design hide caption

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Ian C Haydon/ UW Institute for Protein Design

How AI is speeding up scientific discoveries

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Wednesday

During the marine heat wave this summer, Ian Enochs, the lead researcher for the Coral Program at NOAA, inspected the corals at Cheeca Rocks, off the Florida coast. NOAA hide caption

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NOAA

Why 'it is absolutely not too late' for Florida's coral reefs

Coral reefs in Florida have lost an estimated 90% of their corals in the last 40 years. And this summer, a record hot marine heat wave hit Florida's coral reefs, exacerbating that problem. Scientists are still assessing the damage as water temperatures cool. And one researcher is taking coral survival a step further: Buffing up corals in a "gym" in his lab. Reporter Kate Furby went to South Florida to see the coral reefs up close and talk to the innovative scientists working to save them.

Why 'it is absolutely not too late' for Florida's coral reefs

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Friday

Two brown bears fish for salmon. They are bulking up in preparation for hibernation. N. Boaka/via Katmai National Park & Preserve hide caption

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N. Boaka/via Katmai National Park & Preserve

Wednesday

Insights/Universal Images Group via Getty

Monday

Seaweed Generation's marine biologist Duncan Smallman at the company's workshop in Glasgow, Scotland. Robert Ormerod for NPR hide caption

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Robert Ormerod for NPR

Wednesday

The sample return capsule from NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission touched down in the desert on September 24, 2023, at the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range. The sample was collected from the asteroid Bennu in October 2020 by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. NASA/Keegan Barber hide caption

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NASA/Keegan Barber

After 7 years, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission successfully returns asteroid sample

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