22 February, 2017 – Episode 607 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 24th, 2017
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Interview w/ Dr. Greg Cunningham RE: Olfaction in Penguins, The TRAPPIST-1 System, Left Vs Right, Cute Lemur Faces, Mosquito ID Tech, Guts Need Nerves, Hair Cell Breakthrough!, Ancient Cave Bacteria!, Cat Apologies, And Much More…

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Just this week, in a solar system not so far away
As far far as other solar systems go…
7 planets,
rocky in nature and
all within the zone of habitability
Sparked the imagination of NASA.
Imagine a solar system so tightly wound
that from the surface of any planet
You can see the others with the naked eye…
So close that if it were ours,
we could colonize them all…
As they may all be wet with water…
Yes, an astronomer’s wet dream,
an unconstrained cornucopia of science fiction scenarios.
And what better way to begin the day than with the knowledge that
There are 7 more planets in our galaxy that may hold the potential for life to flourish.
But before you pack your bags and hitch your wagon to this star
There are a few things you ought to be prepared for upon arrival.
All this and more, on This Week in Science…
Coming Up Next.

Interview w/ Dr. Greg Cunningham about olfaction in penguins.
Dr. Cunningham is an Associate professor at St. Johns Fisher College where he studies behavior, ecology, and physiology of birds. Much of his research has focused on how and what birds smell, specifically Antarctic sea birds who have to locate food over vast stretches of open ocean. In 2015, he went to live with King penguins for a month, and joined TWIS this week to tell us a bit about what he found out while he was there.

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The TRAPPIST-1 System
Looks like we might have new neighbors with NASA’s announcement of seven earth-like planets orbiting the system’s red dwarf star.

Left vs. Right… which is more creative?
You don’t have to choose because the answer is both!

Identifying cute lemurs for their own good!
Facial recognition technology helps idenitfy individual lemurs within the rainforest to better protect the species. Neat!

Killing bad mosquitoes: no, they’re not all bad!
New technology helps kill bad mosquitoes and save good ones. Yes, some are good, remember??

Hair Cell Breakthrough!
Stem cell researchers have succeeded in developing a small-molecule drug cocktail that expands the population of hair cell progenitor cells in the inner ear. This suggests that repairing hair cell related hearing loss could be treated as easily as we treat ear infections one day.

Guts Need Nerves
A study published in PLoS Biology this week found that the enteric nervous system is important for the proper management of microbial gut populations.

Ancient Cave Bacteria!
They could be tens of thousands of years old, and were found in stasis, like Superman, which has implications for the idea of panspermia.

Cats need your apology right meow.
Cat ownership is not linked to any mental illness, though you should still use caution when handing kitty litter.

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15 February, 2017 – Episode 606 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 16th, 2017
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Guiding Human Editing, CRISPR Patent Ruling, Real Live Malaria, Terrible Headed Lizard, Fly Wing Semaphore, Tough Kids Rule, Monkey In Mirror, Video Game Chemistry, Five Day Fast, Stress Is Good, Low Crime Immigrants, Ant Butt Beetles, And Much More…

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It’s time to wake up…
There’s a whole big wide world out there just waiting to be explored…
And you can’t get there while your brain is napping
Sleep has benefits,
But snoring is too boring
When there is still have so much to learn…
And the world you know is the world you live in…
Your wide open spaces,
your mountains and valleys,
your oceans and seven seas,
your horizons,
and your solar system,
galaxy and universe beyond…
All are limited or expanded by what you learn…
Your education means your world to you…
It is as much the ground upon which you stand
As the Earth beneath your feet
And we want to be your neighbor
Here on This week in science…
Coming up Next…

Guiding Human Editing
The National Academy of Sciences and The National Academy of Medicine have issued a report with guidelines for the future of human genome editing, and they basically say “go for it… within reason”.

CRISPR Patent Ruling
The victor in this round of the patent battle for CRISPR supremacy between UC Berkeley and MIT’s Broad Institute is… the Broad Institute.

Real Live Malaria
The newest malaria vaccine on the block is just malaria.

Terrible Headed Lizard
This ling-necked lizard was discovered with an embryo in its abdomen.

A tough childhood gives you that smoulder
That slow burn, to make you live longer. But, it doesn’t necessarily increase your fitness…

When the sun hits your wings just right, you know you’ve got it going on…
If you’re a fly, that is. Female flies convey all sorts of information to potential mates with a quick flutter of wings in the sunlight.

Once again, we underestimate animal intelligence because we design tests for humans.
It turns out monkeys may have a lot more self-awareness than we thought, the problem before being that we didn’t train monkeys how mirrors work…

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Better Chemistry through playing video games…
Check out the Minecraft based chemistry world of Polycraft!

Five Day Fast
A study out of the University of Southern California shows that mimicking-fasting for five days a month can dramatically improve health markers that influence longevity.

Stress Is Good
Maybe a sauna a week is good for you! Worms exposed to heat stress increased cellular autophagy, which cleans up aggregating proteins, and influenced lifespan.

Immigrants bring crime…
rates down.

Ant Butt Beetles
A newly described and named species of beetle hitches a ride on Army ant abdomens, and possibly pretends to be their butt.

French Initiative
French people cross against red lights more often than people in Japan.

Algae Survive Space
A species of hardy Norweigian algae survived 530 days on the outside of the ISS only to return home and start reproducing as if they had never left Earth.

Dad’s Diet Endures
What fruit fly dad’s eat influences sperm competition in their sons.

The media is controlling what we know about conservation.
But is it based on ratings? On celebrity endorsements? On legal stance? What can we do to stay properly informed?

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08 February, 2017 – Episode 605 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 10th, 2017
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USDA Problems, Fukushima Don’t Worry, Another Zika Vaccine, Childhood Memes, Climate Science Sex, Sea Lamprey Sex, Empathetic Dogs, Monkey Contraception?, Jekyll Hyde Head, Carnivorous Plant Genes, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
Despite everything you may have heard…
Global warming is a hoax…
A vast left wing communist conspiracy to defraud major energy companies…
And to slow down the American economic system to give unfair advantages to China…
In alt-fact, the climate is cooling considerably right now over the northern hemisphere…
Ice caps are growing…
Coral reefs are rebounding…
Rain-forests are resplendent…
Major flooding is at an all time low…
Weird weather is nothing new…
And not only are extinctions a thing of the past…
New species are showing up all the time!
Why, things are looking so good for the environment these days,
serious consideration should be given to reducing public lands
before nature encroaches any further on what precious little developed land we have left…
And while all this good news in jest will likely be reported with sinister like sincerity by the EPA soon…
Science will continue to march…
On this week in Science…
Coming Up Next

USDA Problems
Last Friday the USDA removed animal welfare records from its website. Resulting outcry from individuals and organizations interested in animal welfare led the USDA to respond.

Fukushima Don’t Worry
It’s bad, but not suddenly worse than it has been.

Another Zika Vaccine
This vaccine is made from RNA, and worked in mice and monkeys.

Childhood Memes
Personality traits might be contagious among children.

Climate scientists should think more about sex.
Less than 4% of climate change research has invoved how variables affect sex and gender differences. As the basis of life, it may be worth looking at…

I’ll have what that sea lamprey is having!
Female lampreys “fake it” when they have a choice in who will fertilize their eggs – is it to spare their feelings?

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Empathetic Dogs
Dogs are just dogs.

Monkey Contraception?
How to stop monkeys from monkeying around? You don’t, but you can stop their sperm from playing the game.

Jekyll and Hyde are both in your head!
Astrocytes, a kind of glial cell, are both good and bad for neurons.

Carnivorous Plant Genes
Turns out carnivorous plants around the world have evolved separately, but adapted the same genes to the purpose of digestion.

Astronaut Health
NASA has released preliminary data bout how being in space affects astronaut health.

Fact: birds love peppermint
…when they have learned to associate it with food…

Longest freshwater swim… ever…
The dorado catfish swims over 7,000 miles to find a good spot to have its babies. How many dams could there be in their way??

Google Brain Zoom
Google Brain software uses two neural networks to artificially let you zoom into an image and enhance what ever is there. Our movie dreams have come true!

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01 February, 2017 – Episode 604 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

February 3rd, 2017
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Human-Pig Chimeras!, The Science Curious, Just Peoples, Pom Pom Crabs, Zombie Hamsters, Vanishing Peoples, Insect Love Hormone, Really Old Cow, Artificial Communication, Splendid Seeing Spiders, Bat-Bot, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
As we watch government leadership roles be replaced by new individuals
We must keep certain things in mind…
Knowledge in medicine,
Cannot be replaced with a spoonful of sugar
Without expecting a different result.
Just as…
An antidote for a poisonous snake bite
Cannot be successfully substituted with a snarky anecdote.
And, as everyone listening already knows…
You can’t substitute science with
Anything that isn’t science…
And that’s why, no matter the politics of the day
We won’t substitute the contents of this show with anything else…
We will always bring you…
This week In Science
Coming up next…

Human-Pig Chimeras!
They are finally here! Kind of…

The Science Curious
Kudos to all who enjoy TWIS! For you are the science curious. Turns out science curiosity can beat out partisan thinking.

Ancient peoples, modern peoples…
just peoples.

Pom pom crabs! Need I say more??
They steal their anemones from one another, and then unceremoniously rip them in half to make perfect, matching, cloned pom poms. They take the cheerleading captainship a bit too seriously i think…

Zombie hamsters
Cannibalizing terrifying hamsters a result of too much corn in their diet, and consequently not enough vitamin B… Guess I better put down these chiaaaaps…..

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Vanishing Peoples
Was it climate change that led them away, and how does it apply to today?

Insect Love Hormone
By adding a chemical modification, Viennese scientists are hoping an insect love hormone will prevent premature births in humans.

Really Old Cow
Old art found in a cave.

Artificial Communication
A new study has created artificial cells that are capable of chemically communicating with bacteria.

Jumping spiders…
and their fabulous color vision that is better than Blair’s.

Bat Bot!
The newest bot to hit the scene is taking to the skies and flying like a bat!

Science March
April 22nd in a city near you…

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25 January, 2017 – Episode 603 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

January 30th, 2017
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Political Science, Fresh Water Oceans, Fish Baby Babies, Ladies Know Stress, Interview w/ James Weatherall Author of ‘Void’, Canadian Fossil Jackpot, Get Your Sleep, Amber Alien, Fairy Rings, And Much More…

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It’s twilight in America…
An America in which the powerful wield ignorance as strength…
In order to tear truth to shreds and string lies together as policy…
It’s twilight in America…
An America which will be run by people opposed to democratization of education and healthcare…
An America opposed to clean energy, clean water, and breathable air…
An America that will turn its back on human rights around the world…
and at home…
An America that will surrender its environmental safety
in favor of fiscal windfalls for a fortunate few…
It’s Twilight in America…
If you want a picture of our future,
imagine an oil pipeline pouring into a pristine water way…
Or a bonfire of research papers from a thousand clear eyed scientists…
Or a boot stamping on a sick elderly woman’s face — for ever.
It’s twilight in America…
An America in which publicly funded science is censored…
And web sites raising awareness of environmental risk go dark…
And when there is no public light to read by…
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
Here on This Week in Science
Coming up next…

USDA Rescinds Memo
Despite a possible gag order, publication of research will continue at the USDA.

EPA Silenced
A freeze on grants and contracts as well as a communications gag order have been instated on the EPA by the new Trump administration. Additionally, this morning the EPA climate website was to be removed, but is now being reviewed page by page to determine what can legally be taken down.

This Is Normal
Communications and grants freezes are normal during Presidential transitions.

Or Is It?
It’s possible that EPA scientists will have their research reviewed by politicians before being released to the public, according to communications director Douglas Ericksen.

Fresh Water Oceans
Thar be trouble ahead.

Alaskan fish babies having babies
Up north fish respond quickly to waters warming much faster than elsewhere on the planet by having babies younger and sooner in the year. What does this mean for the species? For the habitat? For the ecosystem? FOR THE WORLD???

She can tell if you had a rough upbringing
Bullied in school? Social pressure got to you bad? Well then you’d better scramble to the top, and fast, or you will be unlikely to find love (if you are a male rat).

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Our guest today is James Owen Weatherall. He is a physicist, mathematician, and philosopher. He holds a position as Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also a member of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Science. He previously authored The Physics of Wall Street, and his most recent book is called, Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing, was published in November, 2016 by Yale University Press, and is a big book about nothing.

More science news…
Jackpot fossil find in Canada
It really is quite a big discovery.

Get Your Sleep
It really is good for your brain.

Oh yeah…
we found an alien encased in amber…

Fairy rings
Maybe termites? Or plants? Or both? Or neither?? But definitely not fairies… Or dragons… Right…?

Get Some Muscle
Researchers in Sweden have integrated fabric threads and electronics to create electrically activated fabric, which can actually lift a weight.

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19 January, 2016 – Episode 602/21+ – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

January 29th, 2017
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Live from SF Sketchfest! Predatory Mice, Ark Time!, Work Life Balance, Moth Parts, Clymatia, Mother Mary Shark!, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
Those that do not believe in science…
Do not believe because they lack education on how shit works…
Those that do not believe in science…
Often do believe that aliens visit the planet in flying saucers and frequently abduct people with tractor beams of light…
Which is ironic because that would take a shit ton of science on the part of the aliens…
Those that do not believe in science…
Sometimes prefer supernatural explanations for things…
On the 700,000th day the flying spaghetti monster did create hi speed wifi…
Those that do not believe in science…
Don’t always replace it with something else…
Because, as they might tell you, they aren’t scientists…
And while there are many who would like to repeal science when it does not suit their interests…
There is no replacement for reality…
The following hour of programming is not intended turn you into a scientist
Or even teach you science
But the stories we bring can keep you informed…
And we do believe in that…
here on
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

Predatory Mice
Yup, scientists have figured out the neural pathways for predatory behavior in mammals, and can turn it on and off at will in mice.

Warning: time to build an ark
There is a rising tide coming sooner than we would like.

Work life balance is important for ants, too
Ants’ energy expenditure decreases as colony size increases, but it isn’t laziness, it’s for the greater good!

Moth named for a particular fella has some interesting attributes
This moth has been given the name of the 45th president due to its hairstyle. Some news outlets characterized motivations differently than others…

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As bad as it is…
it could be worse…

Mother Mary Shark!
Two female zebra sharks in an aquarium somehow decided to become asexual and have babies by themselves.

Scheduling leisure time makes it less fun.
So, let’s hang out next weekend, I mean, if you think it would be fun, but only if you think it would, and only if we don’t plan anything… Wait… Forget it…

Drink Coffee
Science says! Caffeine might actually reduce inflammation.

Watch Your Sushi!
Aside from salmon the majority of fish tested in an analysis of sushi in the LA area was not what it said it was.

Drink Tequila!
It’s good for bats!

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18 January, 2017 – Episode 602 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

January 23rd, 2017
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Cultural Effects, Live Long Don’t Eat, Earlier Americans, Parasites Lost, Teen Worm Drama, Prehistoric Pet Rock?, Killer Whale Menopause, Positive Persistant Infections, An Eel Story, Antibiotic Spider Silk?, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
Throughout the ages mankind has sought to acquire many things…
Land, loot, notoriety and the luxury of free time…
But in all of our pursuits,
there is one that has made us the most distinctly dominant creature the world has ever seen…
Our desire and drive to acquire knowledge…
And as we have acquired it we have at times shared it, and kept it secret…
We have horded it in libraries and archived it online…
We created institutions dedicated to teaching what we have learned to the next generation of seekers…
And we made these institutions free…
to democratize education…
We did this as a nation founded by educated people because we knew that knowledge
Above all other pursuits
Would make this nation strong…
And while the political talk has begun about un-democratizing our education…
Knowledge in the information age remains free…
And as we acquire it here,
it will be shared with you as always…
For as long as you seek it…
We will help you find it…
This Week in Science
Coming Up Next…

Cultural Effects
A new analysis of genes and epigenetic effects found that culture leaves a physical mark on DNA.

Live Long Don’t Eat
A reanalysis of two primate studies on the effects of caloric restriction on longevity that had originally contradicted one another finds that not eating is good for a long life with some caveats.

Earlier Americans…
The first humans arrived in North America a lot earlier than believed

Parasites lost
Climate change may bring the end of the world by driving parasites to extinction long before it directly affects animal species…

Teen worms couldn’t care less about uncle Phil’s retirement party, Dad!
Worms go through the characterisctic ennui of not knowing what life even is, man! So, like, cut teens a break, mmk?

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Prehistoric Pet Rock?
Rock hounds might have gotten their start a very long time ago.

Killer Whale Menopause
It comes down to competition.

Why persistent infections ain’t all bad
It might have to do with activating the immune system.

An Eel Story
Thanks to tagging technology, the mysterious migration of European eels is being eelucidated.

Antibiotic spider silk??
Yes, please!

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11 January, 2017 – Episode 601 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

January 16th, 2017
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New Life!, Spider Silk Spinning, Retro Virus Age, Avian Relations, Suburban Bird Divorce, Mouse Vision, Baboon Vowels, Glial Age, The Appendix, Predictions In Spaaaace!, Pitty Orchids, Superhero Side-effects, And Much More…

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A funny thing happened on the way to modern world…
Evolution.
We are the result of evolution…
It is the process of life that led up to the natural world.
But Evolution is not just a thing that happened…
And it is not just the process of natural things…
Evolution is taking place in the modern world as well…
Evolution is everywhere in our societies, cultures and economies…
Evolution plays out in our technology, art, and engineering…
Evolution is the process of trial and error
The process of learning and remembering…
Evolution is life, in all its endeavors…
And science is at once the study of evolution…
And the act of evolving…
The current state of our evolution depends more on science, than it does on natural selection…
Yet natural selection is the prototype that science was built on…
Make no mistake, we are evolving right now, and faster than ever before…
And nowhere else is the act of evolving now talked about more than right here on…
This Week in Science
Coming Up Next…

New Life!
A group of Archae bacteria called the Asgard archae have been discovered through genetic analysis, and might lead us to understanding the evolution of complex eukaryotic life.

Spider Silk Spinning
Scientists use pH to set spider fibers to spinning.

More retro than retro…
retro virus age

Terns tough it out for the kids… Er… for the stability… er… for the finances??
Terns stay together whether or not it makes sense to, potentially just because everyone else their age is already taken. Talk about a catch-22!

Suburban sprawl breeds divorce
Birds that avoid people get pushed away by suburban sprawl, and this conflict often brings divorce, loneliness, and less chicks.

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Three blind… Two bli…
One more mouse can see!

Baboon Vowels
More evidence that primates have been primed for speech since well before humans hit the scene.

The Importance of Glia
Glia, not neurons, are most affected by brain aging.
Turnover of the cells, called microglia, is 10 times faster than thought.

The Appendix
A cross-species analysis adds to the proof that it does indeed serve a purpose.

Predictions In Spaaaace!
Researchers studying a binary star system about 1800 light years from the sun predict that the stars will merge in about 5 years giving us a bright red spot to observe in the sky.

Pitty Orchids
Would a rose that smelled like gym socks still be called a rose? These orchids mimic human stench to attract unlikely pollinators: mosquitoes.

Superhero Side-effects
Kids don’t always take the good parts of superheroes, but rather are more likely to latch onto aggression.

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