26 October, 2016 – Episode 590 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

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Is It Aliens?, Patient Zero History, Creepy Crawly, Parasitic Plants, How To Poison Ants, Driving Animals Crazy, Flocking Dinos, Plasticity Abides, Bug Burgers, Advancing Prostheses, And Much More…

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Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The best evidence for aliens yet…
Is that there are other planets…
Possibly inhabitable in the way that we think life may inhabit…
And that the number of these planets is not few…
And that the conditions for habitability are not unique…
Because in a universe of a hundred billion galaxies…
With 70 sextillion stars…
There are so many possibilities
That life on more than one planet is highly probable…
And while our cosmic cousins are likely out there somewhere
It doesn’t mean we should claim that they have secretly fiddled with the formation of our civilization
Just because some of people can’t comprehend how we got from knuckle dragging apes to
This Week In Science…
Coming up next

Don’t forget!!!
You can catch all sorts of STEM fun at the Maryland STEM Festival! And, don’t forget that you will be able to come join TWIS LIVE at the Opening Ceremonies at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD on Nov. 4th!

Is It Aliens?
Probably not.

Patient Zero History
Was not really the source of HIV in North America.

Creepy Crawly
400 legs, unknown goo, and four penises…

Parasitic Plants
These weeds really get into their neighbors.

Ants may jump off a bridge if their friends did it, too.
Ants believe social analysis of food items over personal expertise. Even when food carries the scent of toxicity – peer pressure wins out.

Noise could drive wild animals bonkers
Urban noise distrupted mongooses’ ability to smell predators and seak shelter, indicating that traffic sounds are enought to cause all sorts of problem-solving deficiencies. So go ahead, buy that house right by the highway… if you dare!

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Flocking Dinos
Did they live together or die together?

Where Neurons Go
Apparently, embryonic neurons integrate very well.

Plasticity Abides
An Italian study found that visual areas of the brain retained their ability to respond to light stimuli after implantation of a retinal prosthesis and years after initial damage to the retina.

Bug Burgers
Would you care for cricket or grasshopper? They are both better for you than beef.

Advancing Prostheses
Brain surface electrodes supplied haptic feedback to patients from a glove, and peripheral nerve implants in amputees start to deliver on haptic feedback that tells the difference between hard and soft touch.

Ape vs Man handedness
When did we get so handy?

Homeopaths Fight Back
Ugh.

Update On ESA Lander
It crashed.

Tasmanian devils fight back from the brink
These wiley creatures are actually fighting the cancer that has nearly wiped them out. Will it be enough? And can we use this information to help beat human cancer?

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About the Author

I’m the host of this little science show.