22 November, 2017 – Episode 646 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


Interstellar Visitor, Kill Switches & A Driving Debate, Poo & You!, Dolphin Gifts, Sinister Loving Snails, Another Genome?, Gut Brain Effects, Prion Skinny, Turkey Trouble, Science Take Down!, And Much More…

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The thankful season is once again upon us…
And while the President has plenty of turkeys he would like to pardon…
We should pause here a moment to consider giving thanks
To a creature that has done more than just fill our bellies in a feast.
A creature that has nourished our minds
and propelled us into a more healthy and prosperous future…
The heroes behind many of our Nobel Prize winning humans…
Living lives dedicated to science…
And while our whiskered cousins may not claim credit for their results…
The modern era of science, medicine and psychology would not have been possible…
Without their bold and bountiful contributions…
Their model metabolisms,
And their stoic, steadfast equivalence of our emotional equilibrium,
So to the Lab Rat and Research Mouse alike,
We offer you our heat felt thanks this season… here on
This Week In Science…
Twisgiving edition…
Coming up next…

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“What has science done for me? drugs that simultaneously fixed my depression and my insulin resistance.
–Tedward LeCouter”

Interstellar Visitor
Oumuamua is the name of the first detected visitor to our solar system from another star.

Engineered Kill Switch
Synthetic biologists have developed a “kill switch” for bacteria to ensure potential safety for future environmental applications.

Gene Drive Debate
Will gene drives ever be safe for release into the wild?

Things that make you go poo…
Microbiome and tissue contractions that are indispensable for healthy bowel functions

What do spiders and dolphins have in common?
They know the value of a good present to sweeten-up a lady. Dolphins bring high-quality sponges to potential mates, to increase their chances of getting the “yes.”

Sinister snails find love easier than expected
Snails with torsion (twisting) in the “wrong way” have been found to reproduce with classically twisted snails. This has cascading consequences for any species of snail characterized by their torsion.

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3rd external genome?
Bacteriophage Transcytosis?!?

Gut Brain Effects
Several abstracts presented last week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting discussed the interplay between the microbiome and neurodegenerative disease according to an article in The Scientist.

Yet another reason to wash your hands…
NIH scientists and collaborators find prion protein in skin of CJD patients

Turkey Trouble
Happy Thanksgiving. Wild turkey populations are in decline in the US for the first time in decades.

Using science to take down poachers!
As though a modern-day tricorder, new on-the-spot DNA scanning technology will help federal agents identify trafficked animal products at the moment of entry into the US!

Bats Fall For Surfaces
Acoustic properties of flat, smooth surfaces might confuse bats and lead to collisions.

Chorus Microburst Energy!
NASA’s Van Allen probes got a boost from the FIREBIRD II cubesat when observations provided more evidence that chorus waves in the Van Allen belts lead to high energy electron emissions into our upper atmosphere.

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.