08 November, 2017 – Episode 644 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


Transgenes For Skin, Renewed Explosions, Murdering of Cells, Clumsy Male Mammoths, Speedy Salmon Sperm, Human Height, Rejuvenation Of Cells, Artificially Sweet Septic, Helpful Bonobos, An Awful Death, Who’s Baaaaaaaaaad?, Rod-Cones!, And Much More…

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Tonight’s show is not for the feint of heart…
Although Halloween has passed…
There are still plenty of things going bump in the night…
What exactly is making the sounds you hear outside your window in the dark?
Could it be an undead supernova…
stirring in its starry grave?
Or maybe it’s a mindless mammoth meandering after midnight?
Are you frozen out of fear?
Or because a frightful fungus is forcing you not to flee?
And while there may be a killer or two out there…
Wait til you hear about one lurking much nearer…
But not to worry,
it’s not all the stuff of night mares ahead…
We have science stories,
all sorts…
On This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Science gave us science teachers! I was homeless for a time in high school resulting in a myriad of issues jumping from school to school. By junior year I was sick of being placed in remedial classes due to administration not willing to determine what the different transcripts were saying about my class rank. I went to this new school asking anyone who would listen that I needed to be placed into AP Chemistry. The amazing Mrs Ward led the charge to let me take the class which eventually led me to pursue my PHD in physical chemistry.”
–Veronica Hayes

Transgenes For Skin
Doctors and scientists successfully transplanted skin created from transgenic autologous stem cells onto a Syrian child in Germany who had lost almost the entirety of his epidermis due to a severe case of a disease called junctional epidermolysis bullosa. The transplantation is successful even 2 years later.

Renewed Explosions
Observations of a supernova by the Palomar Observatory have deemed the dying star incredibly unusual because instead of exploding just once, it apparently exploded multiple times, with the earliest record possibly dating back to 1954.

Ancestral Changes
Height and weight evolved at different speeds in the bodies of our ancestors

Male mammoths died of clumsiness
These “lone wolf” lone mammoths are found most often because they lacked the ability to look where they stepped, new research suggests…

Hold on to your hats and glasses, cause this here is the fastest sperm in the wilderness!
Salmon can adjust the speed of their sperm to beat rivals to the egg, within as little as 48 hours, by changing the composition of their seminal fluid. Now THAT’S an evolutionary arms race!!

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Murdering of Cells
Researchers have caught killer cells red-handed, observing them as they systematically killed three strains of bacteria

Rejuvenation Of Cells
Old skin cells treated with resveratrol analogues that act as what are known as “splicing factors” seemed to become ‘youthful’ again: their telomeres expanded, the cell cycle renewed, and they started dividing.

Artificially sweetened septic tanks?
Artificial sweeteners have become a marker for septic system leakage in Canada.

Helpful Bonobos
Bonobos helped strangers to get food, and yawned in response to stranger’s yawns suggesting that trust of strangers, or xenophilia, is a new commonality shared by humans and our closest relatives.

An Awful Death
It was discovered that a parasitic fungus that causes insects to immobilize themselves by grabbing onto a surface with their mandibles doesn’t act via brain control, but rather takes over their periphery. So, in effect, if the insect were aware, it would be aware of not being able to stop itself from putting on its own handcuffs.

Name A World
The New Horizons team is holding a naming contest for the object at the edge of the solar system that will be visited on Jan.1, 2019.

Who’s Baaaaaaaaaad?
Sheep were taught to recognize the faces of celebrities from pictures alone, and responded likewise to pictures of their human caretakers. What’s next? Will shepherds have to buy their flock a subscription to US weekly??

not rods… not cones… rod-cones!

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.