14 September, 2016 – Episode 584 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

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Gaia Mapping, Crustal Current, Semi-Synthetic Consequences, Space-Age Fabric, Ancient Jeans, Lots Of Giraffes, Roundworm Reproduction, Pluto Paints Charon, Virus Inside Us, Tiny Pterosaurs, Moon Stress, Sleepy Lemurs, Drunk People, And Much More…

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Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The wisdom that comes from a life well lived is worth its weight in years…
And living life well,
as subjective a subject as this may be…
Must in this humble opinion,
be a life lived in inquiry…
An examined existence…
Not just in the know thy self sort of way…
But in a
– know the world around you –
scenario…
Because if you don’t understand anything beyond your own shadow…
If you know nothing of the world beyond your cave walls…
What can you claim to have lived?
Throw yourself out of your self…
Get up and get out there…
where the people are…
the makers and the doers are busy making and doing…
Where the investigations are,
where the experiments are,
where the learning is happening now…
Turn on,
tune in,
open the door and have a look around…
See what’s out there…
Or…
at the very least just listen for the sound of…
To This Week In Science,
Coming up Next…

It’s HUUUGE!
The Gaia star-mapping mission has discovered 400 million more stars in the Milky Way Galaxy with the potential for even more discoveries as it continues to map the galaxy thru 2019.

Potential Power Crash
Due to a unique combination of sedimentary and igneous rock layers, the Mid-western US could be prone to a massive power grid disruption from solar storms.

Semi-synthetic Consequences
It turns out that adding new letters to the alphabet of life isn’t all that helpful. Semi-synthetic organisms created using additional nucleoside bases suffer from phototoxicity, and fail to grow.

Infrared Emperors new clothes
A space-age fabric that bends light to appear opaque might be the insulation of the future.

The origin of the blue jean
A 6200 year old piece of fabric is the earliest evidence of indigo-dyed cotton.

Long necks, and substantially different genomes!
Giraffes appear to make up four distinct species, despite their morphological similarities. They don’t interbreed over these lines in the wild, and have the same degree of genetic difference as brown bears vs. polar bears. This will greatly affect their conservation status – but should their genetic difference matter this much in deciding a population’s fate??

Males only want one thing…
Male chemistry in roundworms prime females for reproduction no matter what stage of life they are in, but at a great cost.

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Painting a moon…
Pluto’s moon Charon has a red-tinted pole thanks to Pluto’s atmospheric spray.

Virus Inside Us
A viral protein might be partially responsible for the increased muscle mass carried by males.

Tiny Pterosaurs
Cute, little pterosaur fossils have been discovered.

Moon Stress
Bigger earthquakes might occur due to the pull of the moon.

How Drunk Are You?
People are often wrong in self-assessment of their drunkeness, and tend to judge their state based on others around them. Additionally, it seems people base their assessment on the most sober person in a group rather than the most drunk.

Dwarf lemurs sleep during hibernation
Previously, sleep and hibarnation were distinct states that would not overlap, but this little lemur can transition from one to the other – most likely due to the fact that they live in a warmer climate.

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About the Author

I’m the host of this little science show.