NSF's Science360 Super Science Show

Co-editors of NSF’s Science360 News Service, Charlie Heck and Jordan D'Eri, bring you a weekly, well almost weekly, recap of some of the top NSF-funded news stories.

Read between the lines

It's Brain Awareness Week! Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have come up with a way to observe brain activity during natural reading. This marks the first time researchers have been able to study the brain while reading actual texts, instead of individual words.

It's a twister--of data!

In episode 75, Charlie and Jordan talk about visualizations developed by Amy McGovern at the University of Oklahoma, that may reduce the false alarm rate for tornado prediction.

Nuclear CSI

In episode 73, Jordan and Charlie investigate a new procedure for identifying individuals exposed to uranium within the past year. Scientists and homeland security experts believe these procedures could identify individuals who may be smuggling nuclear materials for criminal purposes.

Turn your eyes to the skies for the latest explorers

In episode 68, Charlie and Jordan head outdoors to show how National Science Foundation-supported researchers are finding new ways to use small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)--also known as drones--to gather data, improve communication and explore environments where humans and larger aircraft dare not go.

Breaking summer records

In episode 60, Charlie and Jordan return from summer break to investigate the future of summers. According to NSF-funded research at NCAR, in 50 years, summers across most of the globe could be hotter than any other experienced by people, ever.

NSF Science360 Super Science Rewind: Strut your stuff

In this Super Science Rewind, Jordan and Charlie discuss research discovered using new high-resolution microscopy by a team at the University of Pennsylvania. Molecular struts, called microtubules, interact with the heart's contractile machinery to provide mechanical resistance for the beating of the heart.

NSF Science360 Super Science Rewind: Snapology

In this Super Science Rewind, Charlie and Jordan talk about a new type of foldable material that is versatile, tunable and self actuated. It's a 4x4x4 cube -- inspired by an origami technique called snapology-- that could have a variety of uses, from surgical stents to pop-up domes for disaster relief.

Every dog has its day

In episode 58, Jordan and Charlie talk about a customized suite of technologies that allow a computer to train a dog autonomously, with the computer effectively responding to the dog based on the dog's body language.

The bee's knees

In episode 56, Jordan and Charlie see what the buzz is about with RoboBees, and how researchers at Harvard have found a way to "stick" their landings. Their flying microrobots, or RoboBees for short, can perch by using electrostatic adhesion, allowing the robots to save more energy.

Snakes on a super science show

In episode 55, Charlie and Jordan explore the venomous relationship between rattlesnakes and squirrels and how it helps scientists better understand how these natural enemies have co-evolved.

Detecting danger

In episode 54, Jordan and Charlie explore a new nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of "special nuclear materials" concealed in cargo containers. This method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded radioactive materials inside the containers.

Happy B-day NSF!

For more than six decades, the National Science Foundation has funded science and engineering research that has led to discoveries and innovations that transformed our world.

Strut your stuff

In episode 52, Jordan and Charlie discuss research discovered using new high-resolution microscopy by a team at the University of Pennsylvania. Molecular struts, called microtubules, interact with the heart's contractile machinery to provide mechanical resistance for the beating of the heart.

Nifty 50

Jordan and Charlie celebrate 50 episodes with 50 National Science Foundation-funded breakthroughs, discoveries, achievements and generally amazing contributions to science.

Treating strokes with chemistry

In episode 49, Charlie and Jordan talk about a molecule that can inhibit an enzyme linked with the onset of stroke. The molecule -- developed by research teams at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the National University of Singapore -- reduced the death of brain tissue by as much as sixty-six percent when given to a rat that had recently suffered a stroke.


In episode 48, Jordan and Charlie discuss the economic benefits of regulating mercury pollution. Researchers at MIT were able to translate the estimated health impacts of mercury pollution for US populations into economic benefits.

Fishy business

In episode 47, Jordan and Charlie explore how scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have solved the longstanding mystery about how some fish "disappear" from their predators. A fish's ability to go invisible in polarized light may one day help the US Navy hide in open water.


In episode 46, Jordan and Charlie talk about a new type of foldable material that is versatile, tunable and self actuated.

Network connectivity

In episode 45, Charlie and fill-in co-host Tommy Taylor Jr. explore Passive Wi-Fi. Engineers and computer scientists at the University of Washington have demonstrated that it's possible to generate Wi-Fi transmissions using 10,000 times less power than conventional methods.

No bones about it

In episode 44, Charlie and Jordan explore how engineers are studying the way bones heal in order to make materials last longer.

Artificial organs go for a spin

In episode 42, Jordan and fill-in co-host Laurie talk about cotton candy machines that have been repurposed to make artificial capillary networks. The artificial capillary system the researchers were able to produce using this method kept living cells viable and functional for more than a week, a huge improvement over current methods.

Cell Talk

In episode 40, Charlie and Jordan demonstrate how the cells responsible for relaying information from the ear to the brain adapt to noise levels in an environment

Turbo tongue

In episode 39, Charlie and Jordan discover one of the most explosive moments in the animal kingdom: the powerful tongue of the tiniest chameleons. This research illustrates that to observe some of nature's best performances, scientists sometimes have to look at its littlest species.

The spectacular science of 2015

In episode 38, Charlie and Jordan highlight as many National Science Foundation-funded news stories as they can in one minute, including--but certainly not limited to--water on Mars, the woolly mammoth genome, smart band-aids and a new species of dinosaur.

Make like a tree

In episode 37, Jordan and Charlie explore two different ways the ponderosa pine and the trembling aspen deal with drought. In the face of adverse conditions, people might feel tempted by two radically different options--hunker down and wait for conditions to improve, or press on and hope for the best.

Burn notice

In episode 36, Charlie and Jordan discuss the potential Band-Aid of the future.

Bite-sized robots

In episode 35, Charlie and Jordan explore new open-source medical capsule robots' hardware and software. Researchers around the globe who want to customize medical capsule robots won't have to start from scratch anymore.


In (Thanksgiving-inspired) episode 34, Charlie and Jordan explore how your ability to exercise self-control may depend on how quickly your brain factors healthfullness into food choices.

Science360 Rewind: Home grown

Did you know that the dust in your house could predict your geographic region and the gender of its occupants? In this Super Science Rewind, Charlie and Jordan talk about life at home...microscopic life, that is.

Animal sounds

In episode 33, Charlie and Jordan explore the zoolophone--a 3-D printed metallophone with playful animal shapes--and how it was created by optimizing shapes to control sound.


In (spooktacular) episode 32, Jordan and Charlie delve into the Batlab and learn how researchers are using recording from echolocating bat brains to understand how mammals view 3-D space.

Life on the (urban) farm

In episode 27, Jordan and Charlie discuss a new mammilian fossils find in New Mexico, Using molecular analysis to clarify dinosaur colors and the Urban Hydrofarmers Project.

Kiss of death

In episode 26, 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."

Home grown

In episode 29, Charlie and Jordan talk about life at home... microscopic life, that is. This research highlights the impressive amount of microbial diversity in the average household and the degree to which these organisms can tell a story about the homes they inhabit.

Nerd stuff

In episode 25, Charlie and Jordan examine a rare nautiluses (not seen in 30 years), how to fold a shell and enrolling more girls in computer science classes.

Coral behavior

In episode 23, Charlie and Jordan explore coral offspring's inherent traits, how invasive marine species become invasive and take a peek inside turtle shells.

Lab on a chip

In episode 22, Charlie and Jordan discuss a new way to diagnose asthma, a more affordable prosthetic knee and synthesizing bio-surfactants.

Life in a puddle

In episode 21, Jordan and Charlie chat about the origins of life, polar bears in the summer time and what it takes to limit energy consumption at home.

The pentaquark

In episode 20, Charlie and Jordan chat about rising sea levels, biodegradable "smart" implants and the existence of the pentaquark.

Woolly mammoth

In episode 19, Charlie and Jordan delve into a study of mammoth proportions, chat about a new 3-D printed soft robot and an advance in breast cancer research.

The island rule

In episode 18, Jordan and Charlie chat about the island rule, how spiral galaxies get their shape and the small brains in social wasps.

Solar cycles

In episode 17, Charlie and Jordan chat about wastewater catalysts, solar cycle disruptions and an "iron shield" for rice.

World Oceans Day

In a special World Oceans Day episode, Jordan and Charlie chat about ocean temperatures, new marine species and metacognition in chimpanzees.

Assembling water-free DNA

In episode14, Charlie and Jordan search underground caves for clues to prehistoric climate changes, explore the difference between mental maps and compasses, and look at water-free DNA assembly.

Part of the pack

In episode 13, Jordan and Charlie chat about the importance of a pack, discover a new antibody that may combat urinary tract infections and chase down storms with Doppler on Wheels.

Leaky graphene

In Episode 12, Charlie and Jordan chat about 3-D bioprinting, plugging up leaky graphene and a new approach to learning for the pre-k crowd called Connect4Learning.

The Earth Day special

In episode 9, Jordan and Charlie celebrate Earth Day by: Chatting about hydraulic fracturing, taking a closer look at batteries and exploring biodiversity.

Go with your gut (microbes)

In Episode 8, Charlie and Jordan chat about the many different species of gut microbes, explore how math is helping ovarian cancer research and investigate the smell coming from water pipes in West Virginia's Elk River area.

Bionic leaf

In the first episode of NSF's Science360 Super Science Show, Jordan D'Eri and Charlie Heck, co-editors of NSF's Science360 News Service bring you a bionic leaf that uses bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel, floatie-worthy Midwest weather patterns and super smart band-aids.

The Vizzies

In episode 2, Charlie and Jordan explore cell fusion discoveries, reminisce about the good and the not-so-good days through "mental time travel," and take a peek at the Vizzies.

The incredible bladderwort

In episode 3, Charlie and Jordan talk road tripping on lithium-air batteries, the super-compact carnivorous plant - the bladderwort - and new ways to treat water and waste water sustainably and off the grid.

Teaching robots

In episode 4, Jordan and Charlie discuss road safety through snowflake imaging, teach robots a thing or two, and take a peek at how researchers are unlocking the key to memory in bacteria.

The strongest bond

In episode 5, Jordan and Charlie delve into life's strongest bond, listen to a volcano's eruption sequence and explore the new online hub for neuroscientists. And there's a new app for that - Science360 radio that is.

Magnetic control

In episode 6, Jordan and Charlie talk all things NERD (Nano Electro Robotic Device), imagine being able to control heat and sound with a magnet, and peek into a new Texas tornado tracking system.

Fashionable technology

In episode 7, Jordan and Charlie chat about eating habits in the animal world, peer inside the brain of a living mouse, and delve into some fashionable technology.