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

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 Emily Kwong for science on a different wavelength.

Most Recent Episodes

Mathematician Eugenia Cheng's book X+Y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender uses category theory, her field of research, to re-examine the role of gender in society. Basic Books hide caption

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Basic Books

Using Math To Rethink Gender (encore)

Gender is infused in many aspects of our world — but should that be the case?

Using Math To Rethink Gender (encore)

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Passengers check in at the Lufthansa counter at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport, Monday Nov. 29, 2021. The World Health Organization urged countries around the world not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concern over the new omicron variant. AP hide caption

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AP

Omicron's Arrival Is 'Wake-Up Call' That The Pandemic Is Ongoing

The coronavirus is still circulating and mutating — case in point, the World Health Organization has designated a new variant of concern, called omicron. The variant appears to have some characteristics that may make it more transmissible than others, but much about it is still unknown. NPR health correspondent Allison Aubrey talks with Emily Kwong about how researchers and public health experts are racing to learn all they can about it — including how transmissible it actually is and how it responds to current vaccines. They also talk travel bans, a weak tool in preventing viral spread that may even penalize information sharing.

Omicron's Arrival Is 'Wake-Up Call' That The Pandemic Is Ongoing

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A healthcare worker inoculates 59 year-old Raymon Diaz with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine during a vaccination campaign as part of the "Noche de San Juan" festivities in San Juan, Puerto Rico. AP hide caption

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AP

Why Puerto Rico Is A Leader In Vaccinating Against COVID-19

Puerto Rico was still recovering from Hurricane Maria and a string of earthquakes when the pandemic started. The island was initially hit hard by COVID-19, but is now is a leader in vaccination rates across the United States. Ciencia Puerto Rico's Mónica Feliú-Mójer explains the cultural factors that may have contributed to the success of Puerto Rico's COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Why Puerto Rico Is A Leader In Vaccinating Against COVID-19

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Subin Yang for NPR

How To Choose A Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance can be tremendously confusing, with its complexity, jargon and acronyms. But putting in a bit of time to learn what these health insurance terms mean can empower you to better understand what signing on to a plan might mean for your budget and your health.

How To Choose A Health Insurance Plan

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A recent survey says about half of Americans are planning to attend gatherings of 10 or more people over the holidays. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

Celebrate The Holidays Safely This Pandemic

Millions of Americans are planning to travel this week and gather inside for Thanksgiving — many in groups of 10 or more. At the same time, COVID-19 cases are rebounding. NPR correspondent Allison Aubrey's been talking to experts to find out how to gather in-person as safely as possible and minimize a new surge.

Celebrate The Holidays Safely This Pandemic

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This illustration shows NASA's DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency's (ASI) LICIACube prior to impact at the Didymos binary system. NASA/Johns Hopkins, APL/Steve Gribben hide caption

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NASA/Johns Hopkins, APL/Steve Gribben

A Mission To Redirect An Asteroid

In movies, asteroids careening towards Earth confront determined humans with nuclear weapons to save the world! But a real NASA mission to change the course of an asteroid (one not hurtling towards Earth), the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), is about to launch.

A Mission To Redirect An Asteroid

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Sea levels in Guyana are rising several times faster than the global average. High tides sometimes spill over the seawall that is meant to protect the coastline. NPR hide caption

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NPR

Two Sides Of Guyana: A Green Champion And An Oil Producer

For Guyana the potential wealth from oil development was irresistible — even as the country faces rising seas. Today on the show, Emily Kwong talks to reporter Camila Domonoske about her trip to Guyana and how it's grappling with its role as a victim of climate change while it moves forward with drilling more oil.

Two Sides Of Guyana: A Green Champion And An Oil Producer

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Honey bees store the nutritious sweet treat in honeycomb. AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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AFP via Getty Images

Bee Superfood: Exploring Honey's Chemical Complexities

Honey bees know a lot about honey, and humans are starting to catch up. Scientists are now looking at how the chemicals in honey affect bee health. With the help of research scientist Bernarda Calla, Short Wave producer Berly Mccoy explains the chemical complexities of honey, how it helps keep honey bees resilient, and what role it may play in saving the bees.

Bee Superfood: Exploring Honey's Chemical Complexities

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Kenji López-Alt says spatchcocking the turkey is the best way to overcome the common problem of light meat overcooking by the time dark meat is ready. The Washington Post via Getty Im hide caption

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The Washington Post via Getty Im

One Woman's Quest For The (Scientifically) Best Turkey

Turkey is the usual centerpiece of the Thanksgiving dinner, but it's all too easy to end up with a dry, tough, flavorless bird. For NPR science correspondent Maria Godoy, it got so bad that several years ago, her family decided to abandon the turkey tradition altogether. Can science help her make a better bird this year? That's what she hopes as she seeks expert advice from food science writers and cookbook authors Nik Sharma and Kenji López-Alt.

One Woman's Quest For The (Scientifically) Best Turkey

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A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a nine-year-old child in Tustin, CA. MediaNews Group via Getty Images hide caption

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MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Parents, We're Here To Help! Answers To Your COVID Vaccine Questions

Now that the Pfizer COVID vaccine is authorized for children five to eleven years old, a lot of parents are deliberating about what to do next. NPR health policy correspondent Selena Simmons-Duffin answers your questions about vaccine safety for kids, shedding masks at school and how soon you can schedule that long awaited indoor playdate.

Parents, We're Here To Help! Answers To Your COVID Vaccine Questions

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