Science & Media

Minding the Gun Law Gap

Federal law requires criminal background checks on people obtaining guns in stores, pawn shops, and from other licensed dealers. More than a dozen states also require background checks for privately exchanged guns. A new survey finds that the overall rate of background checks is higher in those states.

Undark Podcast #10: The Helminth Hackers

Our 10th podcast explores the small community of scientists and freelance self-experimenters investigating the use of parasitic worms in the treatment of a variety of autoimmune disorders. Also on tap: fake news and the strange sensory phenomenon known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).

Undark Podcast #9: The Flint Water Crisis

Join our podcast host David Corcoran as he discusses Undark’s recent deep dive into the continuing problems with water in Flint, Michigan — and around the country — with Steve Friess. Also: journalism in the age of Trump and how public opinion is formed about genetically modified organisms.

Noam Chomsky on Trump, Climate Change, and Journalism

Renowned linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky predicted the rise of a figure like Donald Trump six years ago. Journalists, pollsters, and pundits, on the other hand, dismissed that possibility until it became a reality two weeks ago. In a short video, Chomsky weighs in on this and other topics.

Undark Podcast #8: Worse Than the Disease

Reporter David Tuller discusses a therapy prescribed for chronic fatigue syndrome — one for which supporting research is now unraveling. Also, Undark’s Tracker columnist Seth Mnookin on a rift within the National Association of Science Writers, and reporter Jeff Emtman on flesh-eating beetles.

Undark Podcast #7: Bombturbation & More

Join our podcast host and former NYT Science Times editor David Corcoran as he talks with writer Karen Coates about how U.S. bombing permanently altered the landscape in Southeast Asia. Also: Undark’s Tracker columnist, Seth Mnookin on Patient H.M., and reporter James Perla on a rare bat in Costa Rica.

Undark Podcast #6: The Crime of HIV Laws

Join our podcast host and former NYT Science Times editor David Corcoran as he discusses the criminalization of HIV with science writer Jessica Wapner, author of Undark’s recent feature on the topic. Also on tap: Undark’s Tracker columnist, Paul Raeburn, and Scienceline reporter Sandy Ong.

Africa’s Nursery for Einsteins

Moving beyond the traditional international development model, physicist Neil Turok has a bigger goal for Africa — finding the next Einstein. And with the addition of more research institutions — and a quantum research center on the way — the continent is better prepared than ever to do so.