What makes a shopper spend at one store and not others? Paco Underhill, founder and CEO of Envirosell and author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, explains how he sizes up a shop for its selling potential. Also: why spending may not slow even in a slumping economy.
What were the most important scientific discoveries this year? From the discovery of ice in Martian soil, to the creation of the first synthetic genome, to learning of new exoplanets, Ira Flatow and guests discuss the science stories that captured the headlines and why.
It's a question that many people have on their minds this season: Does spiking the homemade eggnog safeguard it against salmonella? Eggnog expert and microbiologist Vince Fischetti of The Rockefeller University in New York runs some tests to find out.
Astronomers using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory have corroborated the presence of dark energy — a mysterious force pushing the universe outward. William Forman, an astrophysicist with the project, says the findings help explain how the universe evolved — and how it may end.
From Flickr to Facebook, Twitter to MySpace, social media sites help people follow the news and, in some cases, become part of the story. Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, looks back at the role of social media in 2008 and gives predictions for the future.
What do graphene and autophagy have in common? They were two of the hottest topics in scientific literature this year. David Pendlebury, citation analyst with Thomson-Reuters, looks at the most-cited scientific papers of 2008, and explains why the research was so noteworthy.
The Cassini spacecraft spotted icy plumes jetting from Saturn's moon Enceladus in 2005. Now researchers say a carbonated ocean may fuel the plumes. Science News reporter Ron Cowen talks about this and other news from a meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences.
Two Russian scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics this week for their work on graphene, a chicken-wire-like lattice of carbon atoms. Joseph Stroscio, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, talks about why physicists are so fascinated by the material.
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says two-thirds of Americans don't get the recommended two servings of fruit a day; three-quarters miss the target for vegetables. Ira Flatow and guests discuss ways Americans might be persuaded to eat more fresh produce.
Ira Flatow took Nissan's new electric-powered Leaf for a drive around New York City. This car runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery -- no oil or gas -- and with a new battery, the car can go between 60 and 130 miles on a charge. The car is set to go into production in the next few...
Computer scientists at Indiana University in Bloomington have developed a tool to track the flow of information in Twitter. The goal is to identify deliberately deceptive tweets, and trace them back to their origins. Researcher Johan Bollen explains how the analysis works.
A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that dieters' sleep duration affects weight loss. Those who slept less lost more muscle than fat, while dieters who slept more took off more fat. Sleep researcher Michael Lacey explains how sleep relates to weight.
Add an extra "H" for "hypothesis" to the head, heart, hands, and health that make up the 4-H club motto. This week, 4-H chapters across the country are taking part in science experiments that aim to teach kids in rural and urban areas about water use and carbon footprints.
Science Friday listener Josh Scott is on a mission: He wants to get a pictorial history of space exploration tattooed on his arm. What missions or satellites should be included? Apollo? Hubble? Call in with your suggestions and help Scott get sleeved in space science style.
Host: Marc Pelletier How studying mammalian biological history can help us better understand ourselves. Guest: Darin Croft, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes. Comments and suggestions...