12 September, 2013 – Episode 431 – This Week in Science

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Entering Eternity, Man Vs. Mammoths, Ape Intelligent, Gearing Up Biology, Guppy Reverse Finmen, Does Size Matter?, Taking Ecology Digital, Math Based Life, Brains And Stress, Lasers AND Robots, And Much More…

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This Week in Scienceā€¦ coming up next

Voyager Has Left The Solar System!
Thanks to a solar flare back in April, researchers were able to determine that Voyager is in a more plasma-dense region of space than what we measure within the heliosphere. the official date of humanity’s passage into interstellar space was August 28, 2012. So, happy late anniversary, People. (Note: After recording the episode, we were corrected. Voyager will not leave the solar system for several thousand years, since it still needs to pass thru the Oort Cloud. Ah… PR done well again, NASA!)

And, once again, We Didn’t Kill The Mammoths
New DNA evidence links the demise of the massive hairy animals to climate change, rather than death by human. It seems the mammoth nearly went extinct when the world warmed up about 120,000 years ago, but then bounced back when another Ice Age occurred. The beasts finally started their slip into history books and fossil catalogs around 20,000 years ago.

Apes are smart. Very smart, No, smarter than that…
Gorillas can match animals together based on broad, class-level distinctions. Yes, that smart.

Digital Ecology
Are financial algorithms beginning to act in a manner similar to biological ecosystems? Researchers suggest that the digital ecosystem is important to consider before it evolves out of our control.

Blair’s Animal Corner
Man didn’t invent the gear
Nature did – that’s one more in the win column for evolution!

Reverse Psychology in Guppies
Guppies will pretend to prefer one mate over another to avoid sperm competition. Those little tricksters…

Smaller Testes make you a Better Father
It’s no excuse in the human world, but it turns out that evolutionarily there is a trade off between testicular splendor and parental care.

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Using Math To Find Life
A math based approach might be successful in finding self-replicating hydrogen cyanide reaction products, and getting us one step closer to understanding our own beginnings.

Big Brained Birds Beget Less Stress
Birds with larger brains relative to body size had a significantly lower amount of stress hormone. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed out, stop, because it means you’re stupid.

Lasers And Robots To Beat Cancer
Recent technological developments have created a system to detect cancer at the microscopic level, which will allow surgeons to tell cancerous tissue from non-cancerous that much more easily. That said, now there are robo-maggots to eat your tumors. Put them together, and what have you got? Exactly.

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