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
NPR

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

Image of an adult pink bollworm moth USDA/ARS hide caption

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USDA/ARS

A Pesky Rumble: Pink Bollworms Vs. Cotton Farmers

The pink bollworm — an invasive species that plagues cotton farmers around the world — has been successfully eradicated from much of the U.S. and Mexico. Eradication campaigns rarely work, but this one did. NPR food and farming reporter Dan Charles gives us the play-by-play to how it took two concurrent approaches to eradicate this devastating pest.

A Pesky Rumble: Pink Bollworms Vs. Cotton Farmers

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Neurobiologist André White says the ability to balance and know where you are in space is among the senses. Justin Case/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Case/Getty Images

Our More-Than-Five Senses

You're familiar with touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. But your body moves through the world with more than five senses. NPR Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong speaks to neurobiologist André White, assistant professor at Mount Holyoke College, about the beautiful, intricate system that carries information from the outside world in.

Our More-Than-Five Senses

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Cars sit on the edge of a sinkhole in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, as heavy rain moves through the region. Roads closed due to flooding, downed trees and electrical lines elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic. AP hide caption

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AP

Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

The Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case brought by the city of Baltimore against more than a dozen major oil and gas companies including BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. In the lawsuit, BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, the city government argues that the fossil fuel giants must help pay for the costs of climate change because they knew that their products cause potentially catastrophic global warming. NPR climate reporter Rebecca Hersher has been following the case.

Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

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Stuttering often appears in childhood and for some, it stays with them all their lives. 1% of the world's adults stutter. Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop hide caption

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Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop

The Social Side of Stuttering

President-elect Joe Biden has spoken publicly about his childhood stutter. An estimated 1% of the world's adults stutter, yet the condition — which likely has a genetic component — remains misunderstood. NPR Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong speaks with speech pathologist Naomi Rodgers about her research on adolescent stuttering and why the medical model of stuttering is problematic.

The Social Side of Stuttering

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Albert Klein/Getty Images

Let's Go Back To Venus!

In 1962, the first spacecraft humans ever sent to another planet — Mariner 2 — went to Venus. The first planet on which humans ever landed a probe — also Venus! But since then, Mars has been the focus of planetary missions. NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel makes the case for why humans should reconsider visiting to Venus.

Let's Go Back To Venus!

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Apple cores are perfectly safe to eat, even though many choose not to. Cavan Images/Getty Images/Cavan Images RF hide caption

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Cavan Images/Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

Micro Wave: How 'Bout Dem Apple...Seeds

Many folks eat an apple and then throw out the core. It turns out, the core is perfectly ok to eat - despite apple seeds' association with the poison cyanide. In today's episode, host Maddie Sofia talks to producer Thomas Lu about how apple seeds could potentially be toxic to humans but why, ultimately, most people don't have to worry about eating the whole apple. And they go through some listener mail.

Micro Wave: How 'Bout Dem Apple...Seeds

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Speech therapist David Romero uses software to compose words with Teodoro Leazma, who suffered COVID-19. Leazma recovered his mobility, but then realized the illness caused him to have dyslexia and other cognitive disorders. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images hide caption

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Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

How COVID-19 Affects The Brain

Many patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 continue to have symptoms of brain injury after they are discharged. For many, brain function improves as they recover, but some are likely to face long-term disability. As NPR science correspondent Jon Hamilton explains, research into all the ways the coronavirus affects the brain is ongoing but research shows it can affect everything from loss of smell to memory problems. Read Jon's piece here.

How COVID-19 Affects The Brain

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In recent years, some in the medical community have started questioning the use of race in kidney medicine, arguing its use could perpetuate health disparities. FG Trade/Getty Images hide caption

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FG Trade/Getty Images

Should Black People Get Race Adjustments In Kidney Medicine?

As the U.S. continues to grapple with systemic racism, some in the medical community are questioning whether the diagnostic tools they use may be contributing to racial health disparities.

Should Black People Get Race Adjustments In Kidney Medicine?

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An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft as they fly through deep space. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats — a kind of modular, mini-satellite — attempting to fly to another planet. They're designed to fly along behind NASA's InSight lander on its cruise to Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

CubeSat: Little Satellite, Big Deal

Meet the CubeSat: a miniaturized satellite that's been growing in sophistication. In the last 20 years, over 1,000 CubeSats have been launched into space for research and exploration. We talk about three CubesSat missions, and how this satellite technology ventured from college campuses to deep space. (Encore) Tweet to Emily Kwong at @emilykwong1234 and talk #scicomm with Joe on @joesbigidea. And you can reach the show by emailing shortwave@npr.org.

CubeSat: Little Satellite, Big Deal

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Gitanjali Rao speaks onstage during The 2018 MAKERS Conference in Los Angeles, California. Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS hide caption

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Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS

This Teen Scientist Is TIME's First-Ever 'Kid Of The Year'

Fifteen-year-old Gitanjali Rao is a scientist, inventor, and TIME Magazine's first-ever 'Kid Of The Year.' She shares why she didn't initially think science was for her, what motivates her now, and a bit of advice for other budding innovators.

This Teen Scientist Is TIME's First-Ever 'Kid Of The Year'

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