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How do airplanes fly?

(Courtesy of NASA)
(Courtesy of NASA)

How do planes stay in the air? And how did humans figure out that it wasn’t enough to just strap wings to our arms and flap them like birds?

Big universe, big questions

This huge Hubble Space Telescope mosaic, spanning a width of 600 light-years, shows a star factory of more the 800,000 stars being born. The stars are embedded inside the Tarantula Nebula. (Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Sabbi/STScI)
This huge Hubble Space Telescope mosaic, spanning a width of 600 light-years, shows a star factory of more the 800,000 stars being born. The stars are embedded inside the Tarantula Nebula. (Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Sabbi/STScI)

Have you ever wondered about what’s beyond the edge of the universe? Or maybe a better question: is there even an edge of the universe? And what does it mean that the universe is expanding? Nine-year-old Thea talks with astrophysicist Katie Mack to find answers to her many questions about the universe.

The how’s and why’s of hair

A microscopic view of hair. (Courtesy of Sandy Koch)
A microscopic view of hair. (Courtesy of Sandy Koch)

Why do humans have hair and not fur? How does hair grow? Why does it turn gray? How does hair become curly or straight? Black, brown, blonde or red?

Why don’t carnivores need to eat their vegetables?

(Mehgan Murphy |Smithsonian's National Zoo)
(Mehgan Murphy |Smithsonian's National Zoo)

We’re back with new episodes! Carnivores are animals that only eat other animals – so how do they get the vitamins, minerals and fiber that we humans get from eating plants? We take a trip to a salad bar with some animal pals to find out.

How do you catch a cold? (Encore)

Image of a rhinovirus from Jean-Yves Sgro of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Image of a rhinovirus from Jean-Yves Sgro of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

We’ve been catching colds for millennia – but it wasn’t until fairly recently that we actually understood how and why we get sneezy, coughy, and achy. In this episode, we find out more about the common cold: Does standing outside in the cold actually make it easier to get sick? Is there a cure that […]

“I Am the Universe” by Jasper Nordin

Aliens are awesome. Some are so huge, 50,000 beings could fit on their pinkie fingertips. Some are so tiny, several trillion of them could live on the head of a pin. There is a theory, however, that the Universe itself is a massive alien; the stars and planets are merely pores on its skin. In […]

Extinction (encore)

Image: Tim Evanson/flickr
Image: Tim Evanson/flickr

Dinosaurs with feathers, passenger pigeons and Australopithecus – together at last!

You can Kickstart Brains On!

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We’ve launched a Kickstarter to raise money for Brains On!  You can support Brains On! by giving to this campaign (and while you’re at it, score some cool Brains On! rewards) and sharing it with other science-loving people.

Brains On! Besties

Image courtesy of Kristina Alexanderson/flickr
Image courtesy of Kristina Alexanderson/flickr

Meet the Brains On! Besties… kid-friendly audio finds we think you’ll love.