What is a coronavirus? | Elizabeth Cox
For almost a decade, scientists chased the source of a deadly new virus through China's tallest mountains and most isolated caverns. They finally found it in the bats of Shitou Cave. The virus in question was a coronavirus that caused an epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in 2003. So what exactly is a coronavirus, and how does it spread? Elizabeth Cox explains. [Directed by Anton Bogaty, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott, music by Jarrett Farkas].
14 May 2020
How can we solve the antibiotic resistance crisis? | Gerry Wright
Antibiotics: behind the scenes, they enable much of modern medicine. We use them to cure infectious diseases, and to safely facilitate everything from surgery to chemotherapy to organ transplants. But we've stopped discovering new ones and we're at risk of losing them forever. How did we get into this situation? Gerry Wright shares what we can do about antibiotic resistance. [Directed by Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Stephen LaRosa].
16 Mar 2020
Can you solve the sea monster riddle? | Daniel Finkel
According to legend, once every thousand years a host of sea monsters emerges from the depths to demand tribute from the floating city of Atlantartica. As the ruler of the city, you'd always dismissed the stories... until today, when they rose out of the roiling waters, surrounded your city and demanded a ransom of pearls. Can you figure out which chest of pearls is the ransom? Dan Finkel shows how. [Directed by Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].
2 Apr 2020
Can you solve the dragon jousting riddle? | Alex Gendler
After years of war, the world's kingdoms have come to an agreement. Every five years, teams representing the elves, goblins, and treefolk will compete in a grand tournament of dragon jousting. You have the important job of recording the scores for the inaugural tournament. But, you overslept and the games are already underway. Can you figure out the real score of each match? Alex Gendler shows how. [Directed by Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].
10 Jan 2020
Most Popular Podcasts
Why is cotton in everything? | Michael R. Stiff
Centuries ago, the Inca developed ingenuous suits of armor that could protect warriors from even the fiercest physical attacks. These hardy structures were made not from iron or steel, but rather something unexpectedly soft: cotton. Today cotton is used to make everything from fabric, to currency, diapers and fishing nets. Michael Stiff explores the science of what makes cotton so versatile. [Directed by WOW-HOW Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].
24 Jan 2020
The accident that changed the world | Allison Ramsey and Mary Staicu
In 1928, scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab and found something unexpected: a colony of mold growing on a Petri dish he'd forgotten to place in his incubator. And around this colony of mold was a zone completely and surprisingly clear of bacteria. What was this mysterious phenomenon? Allison Ramsey and Mary Staicu detail the discovery of penicillin and how it transformed medicine. [Directed by WOW-HOW Studio, narrated by Susan Zimmerman].
10 Feb 2020
What is depression? | Helen M. Farrell
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten percent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it's a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering. [Directed by Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].
1 Mar 2019
Hacking bacteria to fight cancer | Tal Danino
In 1884, an unlucky patient who had a rapidly growing cancer in his neck came down with an unrelated bacterial skin infection. As he recovered from the infection, the cancer surprisingly began to recede. The infection had stimulated the patient's immune system. Today, synthetic biologists program bacteria to safely deliver drugs directly to tumors. How is this possible? Tal Danino investigates. [Directed by Chris Bishop, narrated by Addison Anderson].
11 Dec 2019
The Gauntlet | Think Like A Coder, Ep 8 | Alex Rosenthal
This is episode 8 of our animated series "Think Like A Coder." This 10-episode narrative follows a girl, Ethic, and her robot companion, Hedge, as they attempt to save the world. The two embark on a quest to collect three artifacts and must solve their way through a series of programming puzzles. [Directed by Kozmonot Animation Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].
16 Apr 2020
How does alcohol make you drunk? | Judy Grisel
Ethanol: this molecule, made of little more than a few carbon atoms, is responsible for drunkenness. Often simply referred to as alcohol, ethanol is the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages. So how exactly does it cause drunkenness, and why does it have dramatically different effects on different people? Judy Grisel explores alcohol's journey through the body. [Directed by Anton Bogaty, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott].
9 Apr 2020
The Train Heist | Think Like A Coder, Ep 4 | Alex Rosenthal
This is episode 4 of our animated series "Think Like A Coder." This 10-episode narrative follows a girl, Ethic, and her robot companion, Hedge, as they attempt to save the world. The two embark on a quest to collect three artifacts and must solve their way through a series of programming puzzles. [Directed by Kozmonot Animation Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].
9 Dec 2019
How to spot a pyramid scheme | Stacie Bosley
In 2004, a nutrition company offered a life-changing opportunity to earn a full-time income for part-time work. There were only two steps to get started: purchase a $500 kit and recruit two more members. By 2013, the company was making $200 million. There was just one problem -- the vast majority of members earned less than they paid in. Stacie Bosley explains what a pyramidscheme is and how to spot one. [Directed by Wooden Plane Productions, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott, music by Matthew Reid].
2 Apr 2019
The wars that inspired Game of Thrones | Alex Gendler
Beginning around 1377, medieval England was shaken by a power struggle between two noble families, which spanned generations and involved a massive cast of characters, complex motives and shifting loyalties. Sound familiar? Alex Gendler illustrates how the historical conflict known as the Wars of the Roses served as the basis for much of the drama in Game of Thrones. [Directed by Brett Underhill, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by WORKPLAYWORK and Cem Misirlioglu].
15 Feb 2019
Why is ketchup so hard to pour? | George Zaidan
Ever go to pour ketchup on your fries...and nothing comes out? Or the opposite happens, and your plate is suddenly swimming in a sea of red? George Zaidan describes the physics behind this frustrating phenomenon, explaining how ketchup and other non-Newtonian fluids can suddenly transition from solid to liquid and back again. [Directed by TOGETHER, narrated by George Zaidan].
22 Feb 2019
The science of spiciness | Rose Eveleth
When you take a bite of a hot pepper, your body reacts as if your mouth is on fire -- because that's essentially what you've told your brain! Rose Eveleth details the science and history behind spicy foods, giving insights into why some people continue to pay the painful price for a little spice. [Directed by Flaming Medusa Studios Inc., narrated by Rose Eveleth].
15 Feb 2019
How do blood transfusions work? | Bill Schutt
In 1881, doctor William Halsted rushed to help his sister Minnie, who was hemorrhaging after childbirth. He quickly inserted a needle into his arm, withdrew his own blood, and transferred it to her. After a few uncertain minutes, she began to recover. What made this blood transfusion successful? Bill Schutt explains the history of the life-saving procedure. [Directed by Hype CG, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Gabriel Maia].
20 Feb 2020
The secret messages of Viking runestones | Jesse Byock
With their navigational skills and advanced longships, the Vikings sustained their seafaring for over 300 years. But for all their might, they left few monuments. Instead, fragments of stone, bark and bone found in the sites of ancient settlements provide the keys to their culture. Many of these objects are inscribed with Old Norse written in runic letters. Jesse Byock explores the ancient language. [Directed by Lisa LaBracio, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott].
20 Feb 2020
The hidden life of Rosa Parks | Riché D. Richardson
Throughout her life, Rosa Parks repeatedly challenged racial violence and the prejudiced systems protecting its perpetrators. Her refusal to move to the back of a segregated bus ignited a boycott that lasted 381 days and helped transform civil rights activism into a national movement. But this work came at an enormous risk— and a personal price. Riché D. Richardson details the life of Rosa Parks. [Directed by Eido, narrated by Christina Greer, music by John Poon].
13 Apr 2020
How Thor got his hammer | Scott A. Mellor
Loki the mischief-maker, writhes in Thor's iron grip. The previous night, he'd snuck up on Thor's wife and shorn off her beautiful hair. To fix what he'd done, Loki rushes to the dwarves and tricks them into making gifts for the gods. Wanting to best their smith rivals, the dwarves make a set of golden treasures, including a hammer called Mjolnir. Scott A. Mellor traces the legend of Thor's hammer. [Directed by Remus and Kiki, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Playhead].
7 Jan 2019
The history of the world according to cats | Eva-Maria Geigl
In ancient times, wildcats were fierce carnivorous hunters. And unlike dogs, who have undergone centuries of selective breeding, modern cats are genetically very similar to ancient cats. How did these solitary, fierce predators become our sofa sidekicks? Eva-Maria Geigl traces the domestication of the modern house cat. [Directed by Chintis Lundgren, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott, music by Draško Ivezić].
3 Jan 2019