22 June, 2016 – Episode 571 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

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CRISPR For Cancer, Cas9 Versus Mutations, High Life, Source Of Rice, Oldest Farmers, Tricky Crab Traps, Dating Advice From Fish, Interview w/ Britt-Marie Hermes re: naturopathy vs. medicine, Smart Little Kakas, Undead Genes, Zika Vaccine, Placebo Brain Games, Quasi-Satellite, Robot Brains, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!
Nothing you have experienced will prepare you for what you are about to hear
That is unless you have been listening for awhile
In which case your mind is fully prepared to encounter the unknown
To delve brain first into the abyss of human knowledge
And step out the other side wet with insights into the inner workings of nature…
To the untrained brain, the journey may seem wrought with hidden dangers
The landscapes unfamiliar, and destination uncertain, the weather at once carefree and whimsical
And also wrought, if I can use wrought again here without seeming to over embellish…
Weather wrought with a wild foreboding…
and a willful wrath for whimsical ways…
It is as if…
everything we learn could in some way be turned against us…
It is not knowledge of the unknown that makes this so…
But knowledge of ourselves…
And in knowing the ways that man can hurl hardships at his fellow human
We pause…
we hesitate to speak what truths we know…
what mysteries we have lain bare…
What new knowledge we have now wrought forth from the abyss
(There I’ve used it again)
For fear…
fear it could be used against us…
But do not fear.
For fear is the most formidable force that can be used against you…
Never greater than when it finds you without the knowledge to understand…
never give into fear…
Instead listen…
to the carefree and whimsical voices as they guide you through yet another episode of…
This Week In Science…
Coming Up Next

CRISPR For Cancer
Researchers at U of Pennsylvania are working on developing a CRISPR treatment for cancer involving T cells, which has been approved for human testing by a federal biosafety and ethics panel. The experimental treatment still needs approval from the medical centers that would run the study and the FDA.

Cas9 Versus Mutations
The Church lab published a paper in the BioArchiv last week that describes a novel system for inhibiting point mutations in organisms using the Cas9 genetic editor. The paper suggests that this system could potentially be used to prevent antibiotic resistance in bacterial species as well as creating oncogenic mutation prevention systems or even preventing the spread of undesired traits in plants.

Highland East Asian origin for prehistoric Himalayan populations
They’ve been high a long time.

A Source
For rice.

The world’s oldest farmers
Are termites

How some fish keep the magic alive
This is probably true in most relationships, but in a certain hermaphroditic fish, you get what you give.

Crabs trick the ladies into coercion
By literally trapping them inside their homes. Now, that isn’t very gentlemanly!

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Interview with Britt Marie Hermes, a Master’s of Science student in Medical Life Sciences at the University of Kiel. Her research interests include inflammatory and genetic diseases, like psoriasis and Crohn’s. She is also interested in studying medical ethics and epidemiology. A former naturopathic doctor and “natural health expert”, she received a degree in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University, held a one-year residency, and worked as a naturopathic doctor for three years before deciding that naturopathy is not based in science, is ineffective, and dangerous. She started a petition with change.org to ask the government to end state naturopath licensure and insurance reimbursement.

Aaaand, more science…
They were right all along about old dogs… Or was it kakas?
Except that these are birds… Young-uns do better with new challenges than their elders.

Undead Genes
The amazingly fascinating science of cellular activity after organismal death finds hundreds of genes become more activated in death.

Zika Vaccine
An experimental DNA vaccine for Zika has gotten FDA approval to begin Phase-1 trails. Luckily, this vaccine is not the only one in the works as the US NIAID is hoping to be ready to start trials on theirs in August.

Placebo Brain Games
A new study and review of old literature on brain-training for improving intelligence found that previous positive results may have been due to a placebo effect stemming from personal bias of the volunteers.

Quasi-Satellite
Earth has a little friend in space.

Robot Brains

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About the Author

I’m the host of this little science show.