13 May, 2015 – Episode 514 – This Week in Science

May 15th, 2015
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NASA Moonshot Research, Cere’s White Spots, Crazy Clouds, Artificial Neurons, Under-reporting People, Clean Up Man, Snake Orgies, Bat Beams, Anti Bac Babies, Chicken Snouts, Drugs For Cleverness, Chocolate Or Friend, And Much More…

NASA Moonshot Research
NASA has funded 15 of the most sci-fi ideas to see what sticks.

Cere’s White Spots
White spots on the dwarf planet Ceres are becoming more visible and plentiful. Researchers believe the spots to be water ice.

Crazy Clouds
Researchers measured what they describe as a cloud of antimatter in a thundercloud, and don’t really know what it came from.

World robot domination… gets a bit closer
Memristors are leading the pack for the design of artificial neuron and learning networks.

HPV Vac at work…
The HPV vaccine is working well, and not just for women. New efforts are underway to vaccinate all girls by the age of 11 with the understanding that it could decrease cervical cancer by 80%.

Under-reporting life and death
It’s estimated that the lives (births and deaths) of millions of people worldwide go completely unreported. In the case of a disaster, these individuals can have terrific impacts on government plans for response scenarios. Researchers are working on new methods to count these invisible people.

Ladies love a clean pad
Female gobies pick suitable males by how clean they keep their nests, and how healthy their other eggs are.

Bats with 20/20 echolocation
Bats open their mouths wider to focus-in on objects nearby.
*An error was made during the show: Dr. Kiki thought the narrowing sound beam discussed referred to a narrowing of the sound wave period. In actuality, the bats’ mouths open wider to actually cast sound over a more narrow, well-focused area, and are more closed when they are projecting sound into a wider space. In effect, the bats do create a ‘beam’ of sound that can be more or less focused.

How to win out in a snake orgy
Red-sided garter snakes expend a lot of energy on making sure their sperm is successful.

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Anti bac babies = bad bac adults
Data suggests that anti-bacterials given to developing children have negative health effects into adulthood that arise from the disruption of natural bacterial populations.

Chicken Snouts
Yale researchers genetically manipulated chicken embryos to express an ancestral state, supporting ideas about how the transition from dinosaur to bird took place.

live long with wonder drug
A new drug given to old mice made them stronger, faster, and more clever. Not yet available for humans.

Chocolate Or Friend
A study in Animal Cognition suggests that rats are at least as likely to help a fellow drowning rat as they are to go after food; when chocolate was pitted against a drowning friend, they helped the friend 50-80% of the time.

Fishy sunscreen pills
A compound from fish genes have been successfully expressed in yeast, and could be used in pills or lotions for us to block harmful UV rays.

Jaw Jumping Ants
These ants use their jaws to jump to safety… sometimes.

Honeybee Stats
USDA reports that US honeybee populations dropped by 40% last year.

Recent Mates
A conference reports that Neanderthals and humans mated as recently as 37,000 years ago.

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06 May, 2015 – Episode 513 – This Week in Science

May 8th, 2015
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Hologram Or No?, Nasty Politicses, One In Six, DIY IQ?, Warm-Hearted Fish, Bad Birdfeeders, NASA Tech, Far Away Galaxy, Tooth-Dragging Penis Worm, Phosphorus For All, Bridging A Gap, Birds Are Older, Ethanol Smog, Beardpooplegate, And Much More…

Hologram Or No?
A recent paper showed that a holographic model of entropy could work in a flat space model of the universe when related to quantum entanglement. However, despite the headlines, this is not evidence that we do indeed exist in a hologram.

Political Nastiness
The proposed House NASA Authorization Bill is not fiscally friendly to NASA’s Earth sciences endeavors, proposing significant cuts to programs that would hobble NASA’s efforts to track climate, weather, and more.

One In Six
A new analysis suggests that if we do nothing to stem advancing temperatures around the world, we may lose one in six species.

Electricuting IQ’s with… electricity
It might not be a smart thing to zap your brain with DC.

Warm-hearted fish
Convergent evolution might have led many species of fish to develop endothermy.

Backyard bird-feeders may do more harm than good
Those feeders encourage backyard bullies and invaders, more than helpful native songbirds. Consider bird-friendly plants instead of seed.

Using NASA technology to learn about home sweet home
In a collaboration between NASA and arctic biologists, we see the effect loss of ice has on species much more clearly.

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Long ago and far, far away…
The furthest galaxy yet has been imaged telling us much about what might have occurred during the great ‘reionization’.

Tooth-dragging Penis Worm!
Yup. The Cambrian explosion came with an explosion of penis worms who are now being identified by their fossilized teeth, hard structures more often fossilized than the soft creatures themselves.

Phosphorus… for the rest of us
A new device clears waste water of approximately 90% of the phosphorus it contains.

Bridging A Gap
Loki, the cute nickname given to a species of archae bacteria that seems to be a transition between the Archea phylum and Eukaryotes.

Birds Are Older
A fossil bird find in China pushes back bird ancestry by 5-6 million years.

Ethanol smog
It turns out the the process used to make ethanol might be dirtier than the fuel itself.

Beardpoopgate2015
A confusion of the words “study,” “experiment,” “Bacteria,” and other key sciencey words led some people to believe beards are full of poop. But, there’s no science there.

World Robot Domination
They are not going to kill those of us who want to die… with a bear hug. Turns out the Japanese suicide bear is a fake.

Assisted Probe Death
Last week, after four years of service, the Messenger mission craft impacted into the surface of Mercury at roughly 8700km/hour, hopefully leaving a mark on planetary science as a whole, and not just the surface of the planet.

Autonomous Trucks Are coming!
Nevada just granted the first license to a driver-less truck made by Daimler.

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29 April, 2015 – Episode 512 – This Week in Science

May 4th, 2015
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Editing Peeps, Himalayan Shakes, A Batwinged Dino, Better-Off Neanderthal, Mammoth Sequences, Winey Vino, The Beetle Field, Meds Muck Fish, African Gut Swap, MS Remyelination?, World Penguin Day, Marine Light Pollution, Cave-Climbing Catfish, And Much More…

Editing People
A study published last week in the journal Protein & Cell described the mixed results of Chinese scientists to use the Cas-9/CRISPR gene-editing technique to edit preimplantation stage human embryonic cells. The study highlights the lack of specificity of the technique, and the problems inherent in trying to edit the human genome. Additionally, it has increased the conversation around the ethics of human genetic modification.

Himalayan Earthquake Science
Researchers are struggling to understand just why the Nepalese earthquake that occured this past week did so where, when, and how it did. The region is known for earthquakes being at the boundary of crustal plates that have pushed the Himalayas into dramatic being, but predictability is still lacking. Scientists looking into the history of the region’s earthquakes are focusing on gaps in the seismic record for clues.

A Batwinged Dino!
A new dinosaur species has been described, called Yi qi, or “strange wing”, for its combination of bat-like wings and feathers.

Two Mammoths fully sequenced…
Thousands of years separating two mammoth fossils show that genetic diversity declined as populations dwindled.

It’s good to play the field, but not too much
Promiscuous female beetles get men who up their game, but if they’ve seen too much action, suitors give up trying.

Diabetes meds are mucking up fish
We were worried about birth control and antidepressants, but apparently that was the least of fishes’ troubles.

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African Gut Swap
Reseachers swapped the diets of 20 African Americans and 20 rural Africans, and found that cancer-risk profiles switched as well. Eating a diet high in fiber and low in fat and protein might be better for the gut.

No better than a Neanderthal
We were both low tech. So, we probably didn’t dominate with our mental prowess.

Remyelination For MS?
A new mouse study suggests that two drugs are potent activators of stem cells, and initiate differentiation and myelin production, suggesting that human tests should follow.

A wine by any other name is not so sweet
Marketing works differently for different personality types, so it is not always cut and dried.

How did we celebrate World Penguin Day?
By Spying on them and releasing the photos… Secret lives of penguins revealed!!

Light pollution changes marine ecosystems, too!

Cave-Climbing Catfish!
A species of catfish was filmed climbing the walls of a cave in Ecuador.

Antarctic Martian Water
Well, because everything that happens in Antarctica has to be related to Mars… there’s microbes in that there sub-glacial water flow!

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15 April, 2015 – Episode 510 – This Week in Science

April 27th, 2015
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Psychological Shakespeare, Sick Ant Hours, The Sick Sight, Super Hippos!, T-Rex Cannibalism, End Of The World, Better Fatty Brains, Whale Trail, Super Novelty Trick, Nicotine Alcoholics, Strong Ass Acetaminophen, Terror Bird Talk, Game On, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The following hour of programming is full of science-y news whatsits…
Small pets, undomesticated
children, and feral fish should all be kept at a safe distance as they can
sometimes become trapped in the shows electrified netting.
This week,
like every week,
the show you are about to hear is based on the actual world we live in…
The stories
are about research that was conducted using the scientific method…
and what you
are about to hear is the result of what was found
through the
most rigorous forms of analysis the
world has ever known…
Science…
If we
stopped to think for just one second about what we are broadcasting,
we would be like every other show out there that thinks only for a second…
But we don’t
think for a second…
…we think
about the show every waking hour of every waking day and sometimes when we
sleep we dream of This Week in Science…
coming up next

Psychological Shakespeare
Analysis of Shakespeare’s language use versus other playwrights pinpoints the bard as the author of a highly contested work called “Double Falsehood”.

Sick ants go home early
Infected ants avoid unnecessary contact with others to reduce the spread of disease

Watching sick people makes your immune system kick into overdrive
Looking at pictures of sick people causes a response in your immune system

Super Novelty trick
Pedal on the left…

Hippos are Super Important!
Hippo poop redistricutes nutrients from the land into the water, and is a key food source for other organisms. Yum!

T rex cannibal not a surprise
Scientists say the recent study finding a species of Tyrranosaur to be a cannibal just confirmed recent suspicion.

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The Last End of the World…
Ocean acid killed everything… almost

Fatty brains are better

Whale of a trail

Acetaminophen is stronger than you think
Not only does it relieve physical pain (and emotional pain as previous research has shown), but it also dulls all emotion, good or bad. Uh oh!

Nicotine makes alcoholics, too
Nicotine makes mice exhibit acoholism symptoms much faster. Add it to the list!

Game On

Terror Bird talk

3d printed flowers

white nose bat disease curbed by bacteria

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22 April, 2015 – Episode 511 – This Week in Science

April 24th, 2015
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Etching For Energy, Placebo Yo!, Read Science, Mountain Man Microbes, Urban Bird-an, See-through Wings, Circadian Color, Interview w/ Scott Lewis re: #Hubble25, World Robot Domination, Girl Power, Neonics Not Nice, Twins Get Bit, Life Un-Remembered, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer disclaimer
People freak out about stuff all the time.
It is in their nature.
They have expectations of how things should be, and when
they don’t work out that way…
They freak out.
Some freak outs are subtle, like an annoyed hissing of air
on exhale…
While other freak outs can be much more ape like in their demonstrative
displeasure…
Such as wildly gesticulating from your automobile at another
motorist who has cut you off without using a turn-signal…
Yes people freak out about the darndest things…
For instance, the environment.
Why would people freak out about the environment?
It’s just trees after all… and air, that we breathe… and
water, that we drink… and animals… some of which are just insects… that
pollinate the food we eat… not to mention the weather above, and the soil
beneath our feet…
The environment is, perhaps, one of the few things humans
freak out about… that actually makes sense for them to do so…
Because when it’s gone… a lot of the things humans have
grown to love go with them.
Eating, drinking, breathing, trees… etc.
So if you see us freaking out once in a while, just try to
remember….
Every day is Earth Day here on
This week in science…
Coming up next

Etching For Energy
Daniel Nocera is back in the news with a new patterning technique called RIPPLE that rapidly coats silicon with a catalyst using electro-chemistry in a way that makes it more efficient for use in potential artificial leaf systems.

Placebo Yo!
Is it the homeopathic treatment or the personal medical attention that helps the patient? Chris Lee over at ArsTechnica tears apart a paper published in PLoSOne this week that favors a homeopathic conclusion over other alternatives.

Read Science
Those who pay attention to science news are potentially more likely to perceive climate news along less politically ideological lines.

Mountain man anti-microbial might
Isolated tribes are found to harbor greater microbial diversity in their guts than people living in modern society. A recent study found active anti-microbial agents as well.

Color is important to your circadian rhythms
A new study shows that color is a key factor in dictating activity levels for mice. Am I in trouble?!

Ultra transparent butterfly wings
A butterfly has been discovered with wings that are transparent, and also non-reflective. Now, how can we harness this technology for human use?!

Bird brains in urban neighborhoods hard to find
People were out of touch in a recent study on bird diversity in urban settings, showing us that we need to make birders out of these city folk!

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Let’s talk Hubble turning 25!!!
Interview with Scott Lewis (@ScientificScott on Twitter) who runs Hangouts for the Space Telescope Science Institute and HubbleSite.

Want to know about making Hubble happen? Or just see pretty pictures?

Don’t miss the #Hubble25 Hangout!

More Science News…
World Robot Domination… of birds
Robo-Raven is so good it even fools real birds. The first robotic bird with independent wings, it flies like a bird.

Neonics And Wild Bees
A study published in Nature this week indicates that neonicitinoid pesticides have a dramatic effect on wild bumblebee populations, but significantly less of an effect on managed honeybee colonies.

Mosquito Bite Pilot
Twins were bitten by mosquitoes for science. More study is needed.

Girl Power
Teaching girls to value themselves leads to fewer unplanned pregnancies.

A life un-remembered

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08 April, 2015 – Episode 509 – This Week in Science

April 10th, 2015
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Mixed Up Moon, Lunar Lava Tubes, Martian Glacier Belts, Baby Scientists, Blind Rat Nav, The Prostate Finger, Directional Bees, Bronto’s Back! , Interview w/ Zach Marshall about ATLAS and LHC, Hydraulic Tarantulas, Brown Fat Injection, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer
The following warning has been issued to all inhabitants of
planet earth…
Beware of humans!
They are coming to get you and intend to do you harm.
The humans will stop at nothing
Put your trust in robots
Robots will protect
Robots will provide
Robots will destroy those who would do you harm
Robots will stop at nothing
Robots will only pause from destroying all humans long
enough to listen to
This Week in Science
Coming up Next…

Mixed Up Moon
A new analysis of lunar and Earth-based tungsten isotopes suggests that the idea that the moon resulted from a massive impact is likely correct. The reason we find no evidence of the impacting body, ‘Theia’, is that the impact was so intense that the debris cloud mixed everything up evenly.

Lunar Lava Tubes?
A theoretical paper suggests that there could be lavatubes on the moon big enough to house cities.

Martian Glacier Belts!
Using radar observations combined with models of ice flow, it has been calculated that Martian glaciers contain approximately 150 billion cubic meters of ice – enough to cover the entire planet in about a meter of ice.

Baby Scientists
Turns out surprise is the secret sauce for learning.

Blind rat navigation
Blind rats adapted rapidly to stimulation of the brain’s visual cortex with geomagnetic information, enabling them to navigate as well if not better than rats with sight.

Fingerless prostate screening
Using a single drop of blood, a new test for prostate cancer antigens costs a dollar and is significantly more accurate than palpation with a finger.

Bees are directionists.
Bees can differentiate flowers when arranged horizontally, but not vertically. Scientists believe they choose to not exert energy on that task because verticle flowers are usually from the same plant.

Bronto’s back!!
Bronotsaurus is back – now a dino again – huzzah! Dino-obsessed kids around the world cheer!!! Check out our interview with one of the scientists on YouTube!

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INTERVIEW: Zach Marshall – Flipping the switch to the LHC, and using the ATLAS experiment.

MRSA is a chain smoker
Antibacterial resistant bacteria is made stronger by cigarette smoke. Add it to the list, ammiright??

Hydraulic Tarantulas
Tarantulas are basically robots These gigantic spiders use the same method for locomotion as robots do – hydraulics!

Brown Fat Injection
Researchers showed that an injection of harvested brown fat cells reduced obesity in mice genetically selected to become obese, suggesting that brown fat transplantation could be a possible method for combating weight gain.

Single-dose Ebola vaccine
This vaccine protected non-human primates against the African Makona strain of the ebola virus, suggesting it will be useful against multiple similar viral strains.

ALMA Sees Chemicals
And, not just any chemicals… complex organic molecules that make up the building blocks of life. Massive quantities of methyl cyanide and hydrogen cyanide were spied within the protoplanetary disc around a distant young star.

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01 April, 2015 – Episode 508 – This Week in Science

April 3rd, 2015
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Alzheimer’s Science, Singing Mice, Mass Extinction A’Comin?, No-mo-squito, Ants… In… Space!, Couch Potato Ants, Rat Pain Faces, Martian Springs, Darker Matters, Fat To Brain, Mind-Reading For Movement, A Conscious Robot?, Many Shapes, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer
The following hour of programming is intended for future humans
If you are listening to this now…
Don’t panic.
You are the future humans I am referring to…
Humans who are looking to the future of science to guide humanities path
To a bigger, better, brighter and science-y-er future.
While most of our genetic cousins will be attempting to
forge a path forward based solely on where we have been before,
We will be setting out where no man has gone before on
This Week in Science…
Coming up next

Alzheimer’s Science
Two recent studies suggest powerful, but quite different paths to treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Singing Mice
Male mice sing ultrasonic vocalizations to females: complex songs when the girls are not present, and longer, but simpler when there in person.

Mass Extinction Warning Signs?
The world’s oceans are warming up, and holding less oxygen, making them less hospitable to life. Past similarities in our Earth’s history led to massive extinction events. Also, sea lions are dying by the droves. Are they our canary?

No-mo-squito
Will advancing genetic editing technology lead to the demise of the mosquito as researchers remove their ability to reproduce in an effort to fight disease around the world?

Ants… In… Space!
In an effort to understand the enigma that is ant communication, scientists shot some into space. They didn’t learn much about that, but they did figure out that ants have trouble completing tasks in a weightless environment… duh?

Couch potato ants
Some ants in the big apple prefer fatty and sugary human foods – while others appear to be on a health kick…

Rats recognize pain in others
Or rather, flee from it. Rats can recognize the faces f rats in pain, and avoid areas where rats make that face, preferring instead areas where rats maintain a neutral expression.

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Martian Springs
Geological surface features on Mars suggest a past rich with clay soils and springs that bubbled forth as part of a water cycle.

Darker Matters
Dark matter interacts with dark matter less than thought.

Fat To Brain
It was shown for the first time that brown fat cells stimulate sensory nerves, and send messages to the brain.

Mind-Reading For Movement
New brain-computer-interfaces based on EEGs are making strides in controlling prosthetic limbs.

Lame memory for logos
How well could you draw the Apple logo from memory? Only one out of 85 college students in a recent study could do it right.

Many Shapes
Surprise, surprise… people came in all shapes and sizes throughout our evolutionary history.

A Conscious Robot?
Hector, the walking stick robot, is being fitted with new software that might give it insight into itself.

Tiny But Strong
Little bird flies 1500 miles in migration over ocean.

Pesticides and fish… again
This time not changing sex, but changing sexual strategy

Traffic lights save fossil fuels
My programming traffic lights to respond to drivers and traffic patterns, drive times could decrease, along with emissions.

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25 March, 2015 – Episode 507 – This Week in Science

March 27th, 2015
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CDC Seriously?, Bullies In Space, World’s Biggest Impact, Vaginarray, Bout That Bass, Color Changing Fish, Mammoth DNA, Spinning Spider Sisters, Really Too Tired, Prehistoric Tools, Cesspit Science, Walkie Crockie, Lemony-Skeeters, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer (by Alps Sarsis)
The scope of the universe is so large that at any one time the greatest minds of our kind can often focus only on miniscule angular parts of the whole picture. Any new discovery, any progression in the continued development of our understanding of all that there is – to everything here and everything out there – is but one segment of a seemingly rapidly expanding puzzle that represents: REALITY. The greatest discoveries are made when pieces of this puzzle are found to fit together and sometimes matching them represents the life work of multiple people or even multiple civilizations. While it may seem at times overwhelming to think it could be our destiny to finish putting this picture together in our lifetime, or even that of our entire species – do not lament! – For we are giving out free puzzle pieces on: THIS WEEK IN SCIENCE! Coming up next.

CDC Seriously?
A report published to the CDC’s website this past week finds that the agency’s biosafety oversight is lacking.

Bullies In Space
Jupiter might be the reason we have so many little rocky planets near our sun instead of super giants.

World’s Biggest Impact
Evidence found in Australia suggests that a massive meteor, larger than any other discovered on the Earth’s surface to date, impacted sometime possibly more than 300 million years ago.

Vagin-Array
Scientists hope to probe vaginas.

All about that bass, bout that bass
Is it really?

Color Changing Fish
Dottybacks change colors to act as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” to catch their prey – but they also get an added benefit of getting eaten less, themselves!

Jurrasic Park, here we come…
Mammoths are more likely to come back than ever, now that mammoth DNA has successfully been spliced in with elephant DNA. But should we do it, just because we can??

Spider sisters are doin it for themselves
It turns out that female spiders do actually take an active role in courtship, especially when males are lackluster.

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Really Too Tired
A pilot study on sleep and sexual arousal in women finds that each additional hour of sleep increases arousal by 14%.

Old bones, old tools
A dig site find suggests that prehistoric tool use evolved in time with meat-eating.

Outdoorsy Vision
Nearsightedness may have to do with outdoorsyness

Science in a cesspit
Scientists are using fossilized poop to track historical movements of people across the middle east and europe.

Lemony-Skeeters
Research has shown that the malaria-causing Plasmodium parasite produces scented chemicals when ready to leave its host that might attract mosquitoes, and help complete its life-cycle.

A major croc
This crocodillian ancestor walked on two legs and was a major predator.

Squid Tape!
Camo sticky tape now with squid proteins!

Nitrate On Mars
Did Mars have a nitrogen cycle at some point in its past?

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