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Madeline K. Sofia

Madeline Sofia is an assistant producer on NPR's Science Desk, and specifically for Joe's Big Idea. The goal of Joe's Big Idea is to tell scientific stories that explore the minds and motivations of researchers, and highlight the scientific process. Joe's Big Idea is also involved in helping young scientists become better scientific communicators. These scientists are part of a world-wide group known as Friends of Joe's Big Idea, or FOJBIs. Madeline is in charge of connecting the FOJBI community and facilitating their growth as communicators. FOJBIs regularly volunteer at outreach events, hold science socials, and contribute to blogs.

Before working at NPR, Madeline received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rochester Medical Center. She studied Vibrio cholerae, a fascinating 4 billion-year-old, single-celled organism that's evolved to outsmart the human immune system — and cause cholerae. If you're interested in working with us, check out the JBI Facebook page.

It's shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in years.

If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are sick with the flu, this one's for you.

When Hahna Alexander set out to create a shoe that could charge a battery, she had no idea what challenges lay ahead of her.

The inventing part went smoothly enough. Like many first-time inventors, she had a good idea and a passion for her work. She successfully invented a shoe that harnesses energy from each step the wearer takes. That energy can be used to charge a battery.

Snot otter. Lasagna lizard.

Pick your favorite nickname for the Eastern hellbender salamander.

What do elephant seals and Shakira have in common? They can both keep the beat.

A new study suggests that northern elephant seals memorize the rhythm and pitch of individual vocal calls in order to recognize each other. Knowing who's who is important because elephant seals live in social colonies run by dominant males. Submissive males need to be able to recognize when the alpha male is around in order to avoid getting the blubber kicked out of them.

If you're standing in the blazing sun struggling to read this on your cellphone, there may be some relief in sight.

And you'll have a moth to thank.

The reason you have to find shade to read your phone is the way the light reflects off the screen. The reflection reduces contrast, washing out images.

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