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 Emily Kwong for science on a different wavelength.
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Short Wave

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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 Emily Kwong for science on a different wavelength.

Most Recent Episodes

Picture of a sign warning about the presence of hippos in a neighborhood in Colombia, near the Hacienda Napoles theme park, once the private zoo of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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AFP via Getty Images

The Debate About Pablo Escobar's Hippos

Pablo Escobar had a private zoo at his estate in Colombia, with zebras, giraffes, flamingoes - and four hippopotamuses. After Escobar was killed in 1993, most of the animals were relocated except for the so-called "cocaine hippos." Authorities thought they would die but they did not and now, about a hundred roam near the estate. Conservationists are trying to control their population because they worry about the people and the environment. But some locals like the hippos and a few researchers say the animals should be left alone and are filling an ecological void. The controversy reflects growing debate in ecology about what an invasive species actually is.

The Debate About Pablo Escobar's Hippos

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Students wearing masks board a school bus outside a Manhattan school on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in New York. Brittainy Newman / AP hide caption

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Brittainy Newman / AP

How COVID Is Affecting Kids' Mental Health

It's likely the last week has been rough if you're either going to school or in a family with kids trying to navigate school, be it virtual or in person. Thousands of schools around the country have shifted to remote learning. Others have changed testing protocols, are seeing staff and students out sick while trying to stay open during the midst of this latest surge. NPR health correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee and NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz talk to All Things Considered host Ailsa Chang about the effects on both kids' education and their mental health.

How COVID Is Affecting Kids' Mental Health

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A male ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the birds featured in the board game Wingspan. Elise Amendola / AP hide caption

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Elise Amendola / AP

Wingspan! Spend A Night In With Birds! Science! Caterpillars!

Wingspan is a board game that brings the world of ornithology into the living room. The game comes with 170 illustrated birds cards, each equipped with a power that reflects that bird's behavior in nature. Wingspan game designer Elizabeth Hargrave speaks with Short Wave's Emily Kwong about her quest to blend scientific accuracy with modern board game design. (encore)

Wingspan! Spend A Night In With Birds! Science! Caterpillars!

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People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a testing facility in Times Square on December 9, 2021 in New York City. Spencer Platt / Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Pondering A New Normal As The Omicron Surge Continues

The U.S. is experiencing a viral blizzard which will likely continue through January, 2022. The omicron variant's surge is pushing hospitalization rates up across the country and most of the seriously ill are not vaccinated. With likely weeks still to go before infections with this variant reach their peak, the message is get vaccinated and get boosted. Emily Kwong talks to Short Wave regular Allison Aubrey about what researchers know about omicron's severity and how the vaccines are changing health outcomes. They also talk about COVID-19 and children. And, they'll talk about some strategies to figure out how to live with the virus circulating, possibly for years to come.

Pondering A New Normal As The Omicron Surge Continues

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The driver of an electric car handles the charging cable to charge the car at a public charging station in Berlin, Germany. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

The Electric Car Race! Vroom, Vroom!

Electric cars can help reduce greenhouse gases and companies are taking note — racing to become the next Tesla. Today on the show, guest host Dan Charles talks with business reporter Camila Domonoske about how serious the country is about this big switch from gas to electric cars. Plus, what could get drivers to ditch the gas guzzlers?

The Electric Car Race! Vroom, Vroom!

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Air Force veteran Danyelle Clark-Gutierrez and her service dog, Lisa, shop for food at a grocery store. Lisa helps Clark-Gutierrez cope with post-traumatic stress disorder after she experienced military sexual trauma. Stephanie O'Neill for KHN hide caption

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Stephanie O'Neill for KHN

Man's Best Friend Is Healing Veterans

Service dogs have long helped veterans with physical disabilities. While there have been stories about veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder being transformed by service animals, the peer-reviewed science wasn't there to back up the claims. Health reporter Stephanie O'Neill reports that's changed in recent years. Studies suggest service dogs can be effective at easing PTSD symptoms and used alongside other treatments. Now, the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act will help connect specially trained dogs to some veterans with symptoms of traumatic stress.

Man's Best Friend Is Healing Veterans

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Dr. Jasmin Marcelin has been involved with free community events in North Omaha to provide and address concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. Image description: Black and white event banner with the words "Let's talk about it" on the left, and on the right, the words "Free food, activities, music. You have questions about your family's health and we want to help." Nebraska Medical Center hide caption

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Nebraska Medical Center

How To Talk About The COVID-19 Vaccine With People Who Are Hesitant

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jasmine Marcelin has spent the last year talking to a lot of people about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Today on the show, in part two of a two part series, Dr. Marcelin shares with Emily Kwong what she's learned and how to talk about the vaccine with people who have doubts about getting vaccinated.

How To Talk About The COVID-19 Vaccine With People Who Are Hesitant

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Dr. Jasmine Marcelin has been involved with free community events in North Omaha to provide and address concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines. Taylor Wilson / Nebraska Medical Center hide caption

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Taylor Wilson / Nebraska Medical Center

Doctor Finds Hope In Helping Inform And Vaccinate Her Community

On today's show, Emily Kwong checks in with infectious disease physician Dr. Jasmine Marcelin at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Jasmine spoke to Short Wave last year about how COVID-19 affected her as a doctor. In part one of a two part episode, Emily talks with her about how she's feeling a year in and how getting involved in community vaccination clinics has made a difference in her life.

Doctor Finds Hope In Helping Inform And Vaccinate Her Community

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There are two known species of manta ray, the giant manta ray and the reef manta ray. Both populations are at-risk due to threats like fisheries and pollution. The IUCN lists the giant manta ray as endangered and the reef manta ray as vulnerable. Rachel T Graham/MarAlliance hide caption

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Rachel T Graham/MarAlliance

An Ode To The Manta Ray

A few months ago, on a trip to Hawaii, Short Wave host Emily Kwong encountered manta rays for the first time. The experience was eerie and enchanting. And it left Emily wondering — what more is there to these intelligent, entrancing fish?

An Ode To The Manta Ray

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Delta-8-THC is derived from the cannabidiol (CBD) in hemp plants. AP hide caption

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AP

The Science Of The Delta-8 Craze

The cannabis industry is where the chemistry lab meets agriculture. Delta-8-THC is chemically derived and the hemp industry's fastest growing product. It has been popping up in smoke shops, CBD shops and even gas stations.

The Science Of The Delta-8 Craze

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