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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.

If you're hooked, try Short Wave Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/shortwave

Most Recent Episodes

Particle and experimental physicist Chien-Shiung Wu. University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries hide caption

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University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries

The Queen of Nuclear Physics (Part One): Chien-Shiung Wu's Discovery

In the 1950's, a particle physicist made a landmark discovery that changed what was known about how the universe operates. Chien-Shiung Wu did it while raising a family and an ocean away from her relatives in China.

The Queen of Nuclear Physics (Part One): Chien-Shiung Wu's Discovery

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TASTE BUDDIES: Why Bitter Tastes Better For Some

Love the bitter bite of dark chocolate, leafy greens or black licorice? Your genetics may be the reason why. Today on the show, host Aaron Scott talks to biochemist Masha Niv about how our bitter taste buds work and how a simple taste test can predict your tolerance for some bitter things. Plus, what bitter receptors elsewhere in the body have to do with your health.

TASTE BUDDIES: Why Bitter Tastes Better For Some

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Who Else Can See Your Period Tracker Data?

Apps can be a great way to stay on top of your health. They let users keep track of things like exercise, mental health, the quality of their skin, and even menstrual cycles.

Who Else Can See Your Period Tracker Data?

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A COVID Memorial Project installation in September, 2020 marked 200,000 lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic. The official death toll in the U.S. is on the cusp of a million. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

How Vaccine Misinformation Spread Through The Parenting World

Any hour now, the U.S. is expected to officially mark one million lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health correspondent Allison Aubrey shares how this misinformation first entered the parenting world--and how some are fighting back.

How Vaccine Misinformation Spread Through The Parenting World

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The Importance Of The Vaginal Microbiome

Today on Short Wave, researcher Fatima Aysha Hussain talks to host Emily Kwong about how microbes in the vagina can impact health and how transplanting vaginal microbiomes from one vagina to another could help people managing bacterial vaginosis.

The Importance Of The Vaginal Microbiome

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AP

Who Would Be Most Affected By Roe Reversal

If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in line with the draft decision leaked in early May, the decision to reverse Roe v. Wade affect a much broader group than people who get pregnant. But research shows abortion restrictions have a disproportionate impact on young women, poor women and especially those in communities of color.

Who Would Be Most Affected By Roe Reversal

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U.S. President George Bush jokes with French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau, center, and Jo Elizabeth Butler, the legal adviser of the Climate Change Secretariat, in Rio de Janeiro after signing the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, June 12, 1992. The draft was hammered out the month before in New York. Dennis Cook / AP hide caption

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Dennis Cook / AP

A Climate Time Capsule, Part 2: The Start of the International Climate Change Fight

In 1992, diplomats and scientists at the United Nations negotiated the first-ever treaty intended to tackle the climate change. This brought the issue to the forefront and led to a series of conferences that have occurred almost every year for the next 30 years.

A Climate Time Capsule, Part 2: The Start of the International Climate Change Fight

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A Climate Time Capsule (Part 1): The Start of the International Climate Change Fight

In 1992, diplomats and scientists at the United Nations negotiated the first-ever treaty intended to tackle the scientific phenomenon now known as climate change. This brought the issue to the forefront and led to a series of conferences that would occur almost every year for the next 30 years.

A Climate Time Capsule (Part 1): The Start of the International Climate Change Fight

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NPR

Stephanie's Story: How COVID Misinformation Affected One Family

Stephanie was usually careful about her health and regular vaccinations. But then she got into sharing conspiracy-filled videos and fringe ideas. When COVID hit, misinformation put her and her husband at risk. Science correspondent and editor Geoff Brumfiel shares with Emily Kwong what he learned in reporting Stephanie's story.

Stephanie's Story: How COVID Misinformation Affected One Family

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Signs on a temporary fence around the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 05, 2022 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images hide caption

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Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

The Turnaway Study: What The Research Says About Abortion

A leaked draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization has placed uncertainty on the future of abortion rights in the United States. As written, the opinion would overturn Roe v. Wade protections. We at Short Wave were immediately curious about the data behind abortions: What happens when pregnant people are denied abortions?

The Turnaway Study: What The Research Says About Abortion

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