11 May, 2016 – Episode 566 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


Kepler Finds More Planets!, Martian Oxygen???, Earth’s Thin Atmosphere, Oldest Axe Ever, Loud Moths, Interview w/ Josiah Zayner re: Microbiome Transplantation, Lizard Tail Tales, Deadly Reptiles, Conservation By Kids, Sea Star Resurgence?, Memory Genes, Sleep Science, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!
You are what you eat…
so the old saying goes,
or so the old saying once went…
And in many respects this tidbit of condensed wisdom remains true enough
Yet most old sayings,
despite all of their condensable wisdom,
are woefully lacking in details…
But that’s part of being an old saying…
keep it short,
make it true-ish,
and move on to other half truths that get you through the day…
Science is a tester of truths,
the older the better….
And half truths in the eyes of science are like half cooked meals or half read books…
Unsatisfying in unfinished form,
and anything but wise to proceed as if they were…
In the example of You are what you eat,
yet keeping with condensable form we have updated the saying slightly to say…
You are the microflora in your gut,
and should feed them accordingly…
And as far as new sayings go,
it lacks detail and is only half true at best…
So in order to give greater context to this tidbit of wisdom we offer you
This Week in Science…
Coming up next…

Kepler Finds More Planets!
Over 1200 exo-planets were announced by the Kepler team this week bringing the total to more than 2300. Of these, nine exist within their star’s habitable zone.

Martian Oxygen???
Discovered by a 747 here on Earth.

Earth’s Thin Atmosphere
New data collected from bubbles in lava confirm that early Earth’s atmosphere was less than half as thick as it is now. This result raises questions about how the Earth stayed above freezing.

New oldest axe ever found
The Northern Australians had it figured out around 50,000 years ago.

…Yelled the moth to the bat…

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Interview with Josiah Zayner, Ph.D, about his personal microbiome transplant experiment. Josiah transplanted someone else’s microbiome into and onto his body. Yes, he ate poop pills, and smeared his skin with microbe samples. Why? When? How? And… how’d it turn out? Listen to the show! (Here’s the link to The Verge article referenced in the show. Also, the Reddit AMA where Josiah posted the graphs of his data.)

And, More SCIENCE!!!
A telling tale of the lizards tail
Learning how lizards re-grow limbs, may help us do the same one day.

Favorite reptiles are also the most deadly
Is it any surprise that reptiles get a bad rap? The most popular reptiles searched for on the web are also the most dangerous…

Kids are good judges of conservation priorities
Children polled on which conservation issues should get hypothetic funding were surprisingly different from adults, but even more surprisingly, right in line with scientists’ views.

Sea Star Resurgence?
With high survival rates in this year’s sea star population, scientists wonder if wasting disease will be on the wane.

Memory genes
Genes related to memory consolidation might help with treating Alzheimer’s.

Sleep Perchance To Science
New wearable tech and time-shifting apps have given scientists access to sleep data from people around the world, allowing them to confirm lab studies of sleep habits and find new trends.

(And, just because it was awesome…) John Oliver On Science Reporting
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I'm the host of this little science show.