People & Society

Out of fascination and need, people have always studied other people. When scientific methods are applied to those observations, the studies help characterize and analyze our behavior, social and political institutions, family and community structures and our economies. Scientific studies of people and society help answer age-old human contemplations.

Episode 26: Kiss of death

In this episode, Charlie and Jordan delve into the discovery of water on Mars, chat about a new Ebola field test and explore the immune system's "kiss of death."

Bacterial litmus test measures micronutrients

A bacterium engineered to produce different pigments in response to varying levels of a micronutrient in blood samples could give health officials an inexpensive way to detect nutritional deficiencies in resource-limited areas of the world.

Assessing water health

Freshwater is a precious resource to all. Yet despite the importance of clean water to everyday life, nearly three quarters of Virginia rivers and streams fail to meet simple state standards.

Your home's microbiom moves with you

The Home Microbiome Project is an initiative aimed at uncovering the dynamic co-associations between people's bacteria and the bacteria found in their homes. The hope is that the data and project will show that routine monitoring of the microbial diversity of your body and of the environment in which you live is possible.

NSF Science Now: Episode 36

In this week's episode, we discover a protein that could someday eliminate malaria, learn about microbes battling it out in Antarctica, explore super Wi-Fi that uses UHF channels and virtually unwrap a 1500-year-old scroll.

Clearing feeding tubes faster: biotech's future

Feeding tubes often become clogged with medication and food, depriving patients of nutrition. National Science Foundation-funded small business Actuated Medical has invented an FDA-approved device that clears clogs quickly and cleanly. Roger Bagwell demonstrated how the device works at the 2014 BIO International Convention.


ApneaApp is a solution for detecting sleep apnea events on a smartphone.

An in-mouth wafer to treat oral cancer

To treat oral cancer, NSF-funded small business Privo Technologies has created a platform that delivers treatments directly to the affected area. Privo develops new classes of targeted treatments, such as chemotherapy drugs, designed to be delivered through the mouth's mucous membranes.

NSF Science Now: Episode 35

Hosted by NSF's Dena Headlee, Science Now is a weekly newscast covering some of the latest in NSF-funded innovation and advances across all areas and disciplines, from astronomy to zoology. This fast paced, news round-up reports many of the week's top stories.