Topic: science

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When Your Job Is Saving The Ocean | How She Works

On her dive days as a marine biologist for The Bay Foundation, Ariadne Reynolds is usually scuba diving in the Santa Monica Bay for three 1-1.5 hour stretches as she observes urchins and kelp growth, and measures ever...

Why the Giant Sequoia Needs Fire to Grow

Giant sequoias, the planet's largest trees and among the oldest living things on Earth—many of the largest are over 3,000 years old—depend on fire to help them reproduce. Learn how a destructive force is necessary for...

Spend a Day With the World’s Only Grass-Eating Monkeys

Geladas, one of the flagship species of Africa’s alpine grasslands, are found only in the Ethiopian Highlands. They are the smallest vestige of a genus that millions of years ago stretched from South Africa to Spain a...

I is for IC – Circuit Playground

'IC' stands for integrated circuit, and in I is for IC from Circuit Playground, Adabot learns that there's a lot going on inside of them and without them, our electronics would still be huge. From Explain That Stuff: ...

Seashell inspiration: Growing cement bricks with bacteria

Imagine an 8-year-old girl studying a seashell on the sand in Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1985. It's her first trip to the beach and it's a moment that will set the course of her career: “The 8-year-old version of mys...

How Scientists and Citizens Are Protecting Ancient Ruins in Peru

How can a historic archaeological site become a protected part of the crowded city that threatens to take it over for development? Pachacamac Site and Sanctuary Museum director Denise Pozzi-Escot has worked to solve t...

How to practice effectively…for just about anything

Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to m...

Why Does Your Cat’s Tongue Feel Like Sandpaper?

If you've ever been licked by a cat, did their tongue feel scratchy like sandpaper? The scratchiness is caused by their keratin papillae, tiny claw-like spines on their tongue that help to clean their fur. Cats (Felis...

An up close look at fingerprints and sweat glands

Zoom in to see this fingertip's epidermal ridges, those tiny lines, whorls, loops, arches, and valleys that are unique to each person on the planet. This macro and time lapse footage, filmed by Time Lapse Vision, an i...

One Town, Four Elements: Ytterby

There's a small town in Sweden that has not one, not two, not three, but four elements named after it. Those elements--yttrium(Y), terbium (Tb), erbium (Er), and ytterbium (Yb)--were discovered by part-time chemist Ca...

The animatronic animals of Spy in the Wild

Over 30 animatronic creatures were created for Spy in the Wild, the PBS and BBC co-produced wild animal mini-series, including a sloth, a warthog, a squirrel, an otter, a cobra, and an orangutan. Designer John Nolan g...

Designing solar panel walls that can recycle & heat greywater

What if the walls of your house could recycle the wastewater from your sinks, showers, baths, and washing machine? Architect Maria Paz Gutierrez is working with environmental engineer Slav Hermanowicz and bioengineer ...

H is for Hertz – Circuit Playground

How does the internet work on your laptop, phone, and other wireless devices without any connecting cables? How does your television remote work? In this episode of Circuit Playground, Adabot learns about electromagne...

The Art and Science of Conservation at the Freer Gallery of Art

The conservation and scientific research of ancient Asian art takes a large team of experts from many fields. In order to bring thousands of treasures from the East to the galleries of the Smithsonian in downtown Wash...

A Real-Life Bone Collector: Recovering an Extinct Human Ancestor

Follow biological anthropologist and 'bone collector' Dr. Marina Elliott deep into the ancient underground crevasses that would reveal around 1,500 bone fragments belonging to Homo naledi, a new species in human linea...

The Glass Ribbon Machine

In 1879, Thomas Edison and his research team developed a durable carbon-filament light bulb. In the 1880s and 90s, when glass had to be blown by hand, the skilled Corning glassblowers that Edison hired could produce t...

How small are we in the scale of the universe?

In 1995, scientists pointed the Hubble Telescope at an area of the sky near the Big Dipper. The location was apparently empty, and the whole endeavor was risky – what, if anything, was going to show up? But what came ...

Almost-invisible hydrogel robots that can grab quickly

These almost-invisible robot hands can grab things quickly. MIT engineers have been working to create a durable gel formula that can be 3-D printed and laser cut into soft robotic parts, like flapping fish fins or gen...