Big Picture Science

by Big Picture Science · · · · 148 subscribers

The surprising connections in science and technology that give you the Big Picture. Astronomer Seth Shostak and science journalist Molly Bentley are joined each week by leading researchers, techies, and journalists to provide a smart and humorous take on science. Our regular "Skeptic Check" episodes cast a critical eye on pseudoscience.

It's In Material July 30, 2018
(Repeat) Astronauts are made of the “right stuff,” but what about their spacesuits? NASA’s pressurized and helmeted onesies are remarkable, but they need updating if we’re to boldly go into deep space. Suiting up on...
It's In Material July 30, 2018
(Repeat) Astronauts are made of the “right stuff,” but what about their spacesuits? NASA’s pressurized and helmeted onesies are remarkable, but they need updating if we’re to boldly go into deep space. Suiting up on...
Identity Crisis July 23, 2018
DNA is the gold standard of identification. Except when it’s not. In rare cases when a person has two complete sets of DNA, that person’s identity may be up in the air. Meanwhile, DNA ancestry tests are proving frustratingly...
On Thin Ice July 16, 2018
ENCORE Water is essential for life – that we know. But the honeycomb lattice that forms when you chill it to zero degrees Celsius is also inexorably intertwined with life. Ice is more than a repository for water that would otherwise...
On Thin Ice July 16, 2018
ENCORE Water is essential for life – that we know. But the honeycomb lattice that forms when you chill it to zero degrees Celsius is also inexorably intertwined with life. Ice is more than a repository for water that would otherwise...
What Goes Around July 9, 2018
ENCORE It’s not just tin cans and newspapers. One man says that, from a technical standpoint, everything can be recycled – cigarette butts, yoga mats, dirty diapers. Even radioactive waste. You name it, we can recycle...
What Goes Around July 9, 2018
ENCORE It’s not just tin cans and newspapers. One man says that, from a technical standpoint, everything can be recycled – cigarette butts, yoga mats, dirty diapers. Even radioactive waste. You name it, we can recycle...
Frogs' Pants July 2, 2018
ENCORE It’s one of the most bizarre biological experiments ever. In the 18th century, a scientist fitted a pair of tailor-made briefs on a male frog to determine the animal’s contribution to reproduction. The process of gestation...
Frogs' Pants July 2, 2018
ENCORE It’s one of the most bizarre biological experiments ever. In the 18th century, a scientist fitted a pair of tailor-made briefs on a male frog to determine the animal’s contribution to reproduction. The process of gestation...
Free Range Dinosaurs June 25, 2018
Dinosaurs are once again stomping and snorting their way across the screen of your local movie theater. But these beefy beasts stole the show long before CGI brought them back in the Jurassic Park blockbusters. Dinosaurs had...
ENCORE Get ready for compassionate computers that feel your pain, share your joy, and generally get where you’re coming from. Computers that can tell by your voice whether you’re pumped up or feeling down, or sense changes in heart...
ENCORE Get ready for compassionate computers that feel your pain, share your joy, and generally get where you’re coming from. Computers that can tell by your voice whether you’re pumped up or feeling down, or sense changes in heart...
The Earth is not round. Technically, it’s an oblate spheroid. But for some people, the first statement is not even approximately correct. Flat Earthers believe that our planet resembles – not a slightly squashed grapefruit –...
Imagining Planets June 4, 2018
Pluto, we hardly knew ye. Well, not anymore! Until recently, Pluto and Mars were respectively the least-known and best-known planet-sized bodies in our Solar System. Thanks to the New Horizons spacecraft, our picture of Pluto has...
Imagining Planets June 4, 2018
Pluto, we hardly knew ye. Well, not anymore! Until recently, Pluto and Mars were respectively the least-known and best-known planet-sized bodies in our Solar System. Thanks to the New Horizons spacecraft, our picture of Pluto has...
Time on Your Side May 28, 2018
ENCORE Time passes like an arrow, but what if it flew like a boomerang? Scientists are learning how to reverse time’s most relentless march: aging. But before we rewind time, let’s try to define it, because there’s plenty of...
Time on Your Side May 28, 2018
ENCORE Time passes like an arrow, but what if it flew like a boomerang? Scientists are learning how to reverse time’s most relentless march: aging. But before we rewind time, let’s try to define it, because there’s plenty of...
Your Brain's Reins May 21, 2018
ENCORE You are your brain. But what happens when your brain changes for the worse – either by physical injury or experience? Are you still responsible for your actions? We hear how the case of a New York man charged with murder was...
Your Brain's Reins May 21, 2018
ENCORE You are your brain. But what happens when your brain changes for the worse – either by physical injury or experience? Are you still responsible for your actions? We hear how the case of a New York man charged with murder was...
You Are Exposed May 14, 2018
There’s no place like “ome.” Your microbiome is highly influential in determining your health. But it’s not the only “ome” doing so. Your exposome – environmental exposure over a lifetime – also plays a role. Hear how...