13 June, 2018 – Episode 675 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

June 14th, 2018

Scientific Mistakes, Breathy Biodiversity, Sky Diamonds, Volcanic Warming, Pandoraviruses, Illegitimate Chicks, Vets And Dogs, Sketching God, AI Senses, Fatherhood Is Good, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

Humans are the most accomplished life-form on planet earth.
Accomplishing amazing things is what they will be remembered for
by whichever life-form takes sentient center stage in far flung future.
The first thing to remember about anything you try to accomplish…
Is that failure is imminent.
Failure, the art of getting it wrong,
is how all good discovery is made.
Thomas Edison didn’t just have a bright idea for a working light bulb.
He invented a thousand dimly lit bulbs that fizzled out
until one day he failed to get it wrong.
James Dyson didn’t come up with a brilliant new idea for a vacuum cleaner on a whim…
He came up with over 5000 prototypes for vacuum cleaners that didn’t suck
until one day he failed to get it wrong.
And for every accomplishment that seems to show greatness…
or genius…
We must remember that this is the result of a tremendous embrace of failure.
That any accomplishment casts a long shadow,
is only because of how late in the day we are seeing it.
Embracing failure,
learning from mistakes,
and pressing on isn’t just the sort of thing that some great inventers do…
It’s what we all celebrate together each time we tune into…
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Scientific Mistakes
These strengthen science, contrary to public opinion…

Biodiversity: helping you breathe
Greener neighborhoods mean healthier children!

Lucy in the sky with diamonds…
and microwaves

Volcanic past…
shows global warming future

Giant Pandas may die out
…but, giant pandoraviruses will live forever.

Older birds father more “illegitimate” chicks than younger birds.
It isn’t their experience though, it would appear to be their sperm doing the work.

Veterans are healthier with dogs
Service dogs actually improve physiology of veterans with PTSD. A testament to animals and the power of emotional support!

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I love dogs and I have a pack of dogs living with me and my kids. One of the wonderful things about science are all of the amazing types of medicine we have developed for our furry friends. There are vaccinations, pest control and more. Also, the fact that dogs are one species and so different from one another in size, color, furriness, etc, always blows my mind. I enjoy thinking about how they’ve been with us for so long (as scientists discovered by looking at the genetic clock) and how we’ve most likely influenced each others’ lives. Taking my dogs to the vet means that I get to spend even more quality time with my canines. ?

Thanks for your awesome show! I love what each of you brings and how you have unique voices and perspectives!
–Susan Barnum”

Scientists discover what god looks like
To a select group of people in North Carolina.

AI senses bodies through walls
Researchers urge that this could lead to better health care, but all I see is Big Brother watching me through walls…

AI helps count and track endangered species
So I guess they aren’t all bad?

Fathers are doin’ it for themselves!
Fatherhood roles are shifting in society, and it would appear to be for the better!

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


06 June, 2018 – Episode 674 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

June 7th, 2018

Interview about Pluto w/ Dr. Jason Cook, Ghost Particles, Charged Dark Matter, Carbon Dating Nuances, Inconsistent Expansion, Dark Eyed Guppies, Weta Legs, The AMAZING Sea Cucumber!, TWITEOTW, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

There are things that we know…
And there are things we do not know.
We can,
for a moment,
condense the world into these two categories.
Knowledge and the lack of it.
But as we drill down,
the picture can become murky.
Of the things we do not know,
there are things we know we do not know.
We often refer to this as the unknown.
Like a mechanism for gravity,
or what existed before the big bang,
or where all of our missing socks have gone…
There is another category of unknowns that are far more irksome.
Unknowns that we think we know.
Things that we think we know,
but actually know nothing,
or at least have noticeably wrong.
And what makes this most irksome is that most of human knowledge
may actually fall into this category.
And while most of humanity gets by relying on a knowing
about things that they do not actually know about…
We will endeavor to keep you as much in the know
of newly known things as your noodle can navigate.
For nothing makes us more knowledgeable as a species…
Than This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Interview with Dr. Jason Cook
A Planetary Astronomer & Research Scientist, he focuses on the composition and atmospheres of icy bodies, such as Pluto, Triton, Charon, Kuiper belt objects, comets and other icy satellites, using spectroscopy, or wavelengths of light, to learn about the composition of each object. He received his PhD from Arizona State University, and recently published a paper that used New horizons data to investigate the moons of Pluto.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“What has science done for me lately? It might not be the positive story but I thought I’d send anyway now some time has passed. However science allowed my vet to conduct the biopsy of my cats lesion on his tongue. To complete the histopathology to give me the information to know his diagnosis and to know what treatment was possible and what was futile. This allowed me and my vet to provide the right care to my cat and to not put him through unnecessary chemotherapy for a tumor known thanks to research to not respond to this. Science allowed me to research this inoperable tumor and ask my vet about a treatment with a small study showing positive results. ( Although small the main thing was the limited negative side effects and we went ahead.) Nutrition studies gave me the right diet to keep him healthy. The years of study of my vets allowed them to know when this was not working and the science of euthanasia allowed me to give the gift of release from pain in a comfortable environment. Overall science has let me know I was able to do all I could and use all the knowledge of all the professionals involved to give a voice to my cat.”
–Melissa Hall

Ghost Particles
The miniBooNE experiment has detected evidence of a “sterile” neutrino, a particle not included in the standard model of physics.

Charged Dark Matter
Could dark matter be structured like atoms with some small proportion of particles being electrically charged?

Dark Matter Fusion
Why couldn’t dark matter interact with itself?

Carbon dating…
do carbon profiles reveal their real age?

The universe is expanding…
but the data is inconsistent.

Dark eyed guppies are lookin’ for a fight
Guppies have been shown to change their eye color to black when they are agressive, and ready to fight, but only when they are the larger of the two.

Sea cucumbers are amazing and important!!
Healthy ocean ecosystems depend on these little blorps. Maybe they need better protection than being able to barf up their guts!!

A male who protects his mate during sex – romantic, or evolutionarily advantageous?
For cave wetas, it’s both! Awwww……

Death To Birds
Starvation due to climate change is the likely culprit in the unprecedented mass death of Cassin’s auklets off the US west coast.

Lab Prions
The mis-folded protein particles that are thought to cause mad cow and other brain-wasting diseases have been synthetically created in a lab.

Doggy Vectors
Dogs are awash in flu viruses.

…Hot in here.

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


30 May, 2018 – Episode 673 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 31st, 2018

Ups And Downs, 3D Eyes, Cosmochemical Start, Adaptable Zombie Ants, Too Many Women?, Feathered Friends, No Regrets, Pass Along Stress, Olive Older, Robot Muscles, Killing the Electric Car, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

This show is for you.
Not just any you, but the ideal you.
And not just any ideal you…
Your Ideal you.
The you, you always wanted to you be.
The best you.
You may or may not be your ideal self right now…
If you are, congratulations.
If you aren’t, don’t worry…
Chances are if you were your ideal self right now…
…it would only be because you lack imagination.
Whichever you you happen to be at the moment…
The following hour of programming is designed to make it easier
for you to understand the world you are in,
the world you are from,
and the world you are in for…
with the latest progress reports from…
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Ups And Downs
The current decline in the Great Barrier Reef isn’t its first. A new study suggests the reef died and came back 5 times over the past 30,000 years.

3D Eyes
In a technology first, researchers have shown proof-of-concept for 3D printing corneas.

Cosmochemical Start
Even though it’s not a true planet anymore, Pluto came from somewhere. Researchers with SWRI using data from ESA’s Rosetta and NASA’s New Horizon’s missions think it took the combining of a billion comets or equivalent Kuiper belt objects.

Zombie Ants find climate change solution
It’s all in what they decide to bite.

A world with too many women?
Once, it seemed like women outnumbered men to a radical degree, but thanks to some computations now we know the genders of that time and place were more balanced.

Birds know each other, even across species!
Fairy wrens can tell each other apart, even when they aren’t the same species! This way, they can tell friend from foe.

Alarm calls from feathered friends keep the neighborhood safe
Antshrikes in the Amazon are a keystone species, allowing for other birds to venture out in the open.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hey! I’ve been listening to your show for years and I’ve decided to send in a “what has science done for me latelyyyyyyyy”
In 2015 my mum was diagnosed with very late stage 3 ovarian cancer, and the various scans she had made the surgery relatively safe, and the following PET scans allowed close monitoring of future growths. As well as this, advances in chemotherapy and blood tests have allowed my mothers medical oncologist to keep a close eye and tailor her treatment depending how her body reacts. Thank you to advances in medical science.
–Aidan Jeffes”

A life without regret…
Is really no life at all.

Pass Along Stress
A Tufts University study showed two miRNA molecules found in the sperm of both mice and humans that correlate to stress in early life. In mice, these miRNA are passed to offspring for several generations.

Olive Older
The oldest oil ever found…

Robot Muscles
Scientists at the University of Tokyo are giving real muscles to robots.

Killing the Electric Car
In Scandinavia, an undercover shopper study found that car sales people were to blame for directing shoppers away from electric vehicles.

Chewing Gum
Can you walk and chew gum? If you’re trying to lose weight, maybe you should.

The more we learn, the less special we are…
Muscles considered “uniquely human” are actually quite commonplace in the ape family. Surprise surprise…

What does a stick insects and a strawberry have in common?
They both benefit from animals eating them. Maybe…

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


23 May, 2018 – Episode 672 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 24th, 2018

Interstellar Headlines, Dose Of Sunshine, Could You Iceman?, Nanotubes For All, Octopus Stories, Loch Ness Science, Turdigrades, End Of The World, Regrowing Brains, Raccoon Lizard Cat, Let’s Talk Worms, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

Imagine for a moment if you will…
Contact with an alien species.
A voyaging spacecraft colony of creatures
who would like to live peacefully here with us on earth.
They had to leave their own planet behind because it became too inhospitable…
What with the pollution,
pervasive hazardous chemicals,
unstable atmospheric climate changes,
and an ecosystem in complete free fall…
they just had to head for the stars,
and their ship
was nearly out of plutonium when they happened by earth.
And so with open arms
and bit of uncertainty about whether we really have a choice…
we let the aliens live amongst us.
Soon we discover that the new arrivals have voracious appetites,
and an affinity for resources that rivals even our own.
After only a week,
they improve oil extraction to the point where there is no more oil to drill for…
Two weeks in and there seems to be a distinct lack of trees where once there were many…
Three weeks in and somehow they manage to catch and eat nearly all the fish in the sea…
By week four and there isn’t a four legged creature over four pounds that hasn’t disappeared down their bellies…
And at the end of just a month the air is unfit to breathe,
the oceans are acidified and the ecosystem is in complete free fall…
And as the aliens depart in search of more fertile planets to plunder…
The humans take a moment to ponder…
This must be what we look like to those weirdos that listen to
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Interstellar Headlines
Is 2015 BZ509 an interstellar alien object? Maybe, maybe not, but the headlines and researchers are jumping to conclusions on this one.

Dose Of Sunshine
Chinese researchers showed that in mice exposure to UV light increased concentrations of a compound called urocanic acid in the brain, linked the compound to glutamate production, and showed improvements in memory compared to control animals.

Could You Iceman?
An MRI study suggests that ‘The Iceman’, Wim Hof, has learned how to hack his physiology to produce a stress response that allows him to perform feats in extreme environments.

A solution for every problem.
Global warming, unbreakable pants, space elevator… all of it, solved

Octopuses are not aliens
No matter how bad we want them to be, they are simply fantastical, amazing creatures born from our own planet. Sawwy…

What’s hiding in Loch Ness?
Is it a fish? a dinosaur? a monster? we’ll know this summer! And, we might actually make some cool real life discoveries, too.

Do Tardigrades poop?
Boy howdy, yes they do!

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Being a TWIS fan, I herewith submit my TWIStiment to the role of science in my life. Though no scientist nor having training beyond college courses, I totally rely on science as a practicing visual artist, as do all creatives whether recognized or not. Geometry, geology, mineralogy, engineering and physics et al are required to make and maintain the machinery and tools to work steel and wood, fiber, stone, paint and clay; likewise the role of chemistry and atmospherics in the mastery of pigments and finishes, all, via the artisan empower the object itself, its life expectancy and interaction with light and space. Science, like art animates the what if, spurs possibilities, teaches by mistake and demands we build upon, and with, truth.
–Walter Gunn”

……Gonna die.
Dodging disaster from climate change
We just need to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celcius… somehow… no prob, right???

Regrowing Brains
UCLA researchers used a hydrogel to help mouse brains recover from stroke.

Raccoon lizard cat
…tells tale of Pangaea

Let’s Talk Worms
Predatory hammerhead flatworms have invaded France.

Mossie Spit Take
Looks like mosquito spit DOES cause an immune reaction in some people, sometimes lasting for DAYS. This might not answer why you get bitten, but it might tell you a bit about why some of you swell up more than others.

Thanks you, Chris Lee, from ArsTechnica for bring a smile to my face today. Magic space unicorns aren’t going to take us to the cosmos.

The shortest route is not always the fastest

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


16 May, 2018 – Episode 671 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 18th, 2018

Interview w/ Ron Naveen, Water Plumes, Under Pressure, Mini Neanderthal Brains?, Homo Naledi’s Brain, Memory Transfer?, Turtle Sex, Birds Of Pay, Change Your Sheets, Ice Records, Cure The Cold?, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

There are many things we humans take for granted…
And often we do this without much thought or introspection.
Like, when’s the last time you raveled anything?
We plot, we plan, we schedule…
never do we ravel.
Raveling of things must take place all the time,
otherwise nothing could ever unravel.
We assume that we exist…
reasonably enough…
Because if we did not exist it would be difficult to consider
how we might be able to pose the question of our own existence to begin with.
And while we wander through life leaving unasked questions everywhere
There is one simple question that can lead us to the end of our assumptions
Why this and not that?
Why here and not there?
Why did it happen and why did it not?
Why is such a simple looking word,
and yet without it would be difficult to consider how we could have
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Interview with Ron Naveen
Ron Naveen is the founder and president of Oceanites, a US-based, nonprofit science and educational organization, that got its start in 1987. He also began the Antarctic Site Inventory project in 1994, the only nongovernmental, publicly supported, scientific research project working in Antarctica and the only project monitoring penguin population changes across the entirety of the Antarctic Peninsula. He is a professional penguin counter.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi, Dr. Kiki! We met very briefly ages ago when you were a judge for the ChemChamps competition at the ACS meeting in San Francisco. I only recently started listening to TWiS. Though science has done a lot for me for a long time starting with a fascinating undergrad life in wildlife ecology (I kind of want to be Blair when I grow up) to recently benefiting from new treatments for a rare autoimmune disease, I wanted to share what TWiS has done for me lately. I had an episode playing in the car when I picked up my 8-year-old son for his gymnastics class. I was about to switch to the radio when he told me to stop, he wanted to keep listening. He was highly intrigued by the slave ants story. TWiS has now become our thing when it’s just the two of us trekking between activities. So, thank you (and Blair and Justin) for giving me an easy way to fill at least one of my kids’ heads with science. 🙂
–Rachel Pepling”

Water Plumes
Old data tells new tales on Europa.

Under Pressure
Protons pressure at their core is higher than neutron stars.

Mini Neanderthal Brains?
Svante Paabo wants to grow brain organoids containing neanderthal DNA to see how they grow compared to human mini-brains.

Homo naledi’s brain
Might have been very human-like.

Memories can be transferred between organisms

Sex determination in turtles gets a clue
But strangely leaves more questions than it answers…

You want jobs?? Hire some kestrels!
Tiny birds of prey could save the economy. Or, at least, the sweet-fruit economy of the midwest… But that’s something!

Cure The Cold?
Researchers may have created a compound that combats rhinovirus.

Have you changed your sheets lately?
Whether you have or not, a chimp’s bed is likely to be cleaner than yours…

History in an ice core

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


09 May, 2018 – Episode 670 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 10th, 2018

Interview w/ Dr. Carin Bondar, Outlier US, NASA’s InSight, Cloudless Skies, ExoLife, Swedish Wood, Earthquakes & Elephants, Fishy Smart Skin, Polygamous Owls, Bad Tourist, Fast Benefits, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

In a world that is constantly evolving
and revolving at about a thousand miles per hour…
It is easy to get lost in the constant motion and commotion
of being a hairless ape in the type of race designed for furry rats…
Just how to make satisfying sense of it all…
How to get a half way decent understanding of everything…
So that you can know what to expect, see what’s coming next.
Should I bring an umbrella,
how do black holes form,
can I safely swallow gum,
can I still chew gum while being swallowed by a black hole…
Answering the important day to day questions…
This is what the hairless ape brain wants to do more than anything…
But how?
Yes, the modern hairless ape could just google the world one question at a time…
Or we could delve directly into the deep end of human knowledge
and learn the questions we never thought to ask here on
This Week In Science
Coming Up Next…

Interview with Dr. Carin Bondar
Making a return appearance on TWIS, is our guest tonight, Dr. Carin Bondar. Carin is a biologist, author and TV/Web Host. She is a psychotherapist, jungle explorer, glass artist, former ballerina, TED speaker and mother of 4. She does it all, and in addition is a wild mom… no, wait, she wrote a book that’s just out called ‘Wild Moms-Motherhood in the animal kingdom’.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I think my story is a little bit different than what you usually read, but I hope you will appreciate it nonetheless. I grew up in a small town of about 2,600 people. Yes, you read that number right. It is a tiny little town in the northern panhandle of Idaho. Growing up, I didn’t exactly have the best access to a quality scientific education. As you can imagine, in a town like that, they tend to frown upon “that evolution stuff” and only teach it because it is mandated by the state. However, after high school, I did manage to get out of that small town and into the local community college. Boy, was that a shock. Needless to say, I did not fare well at first. I ended up dropping out and going to work as a welder. After a few years I began to get curious about things. I started to look up answers to the questions that puzzled me. As I came to find out, much of what I assumed to be true, was blatantly false. The more books I read, and the more research I did, I came to fall in love with science. Programs like TWIS also helped drastically. Against the odds, I decided to go back to school and chase a degree in mechanical engineering. I am almost finished with my associates, and will soon be going after my bachelors. Science has given me the opportunity to better myself, my career, and my understanding of the world as it really is, and not as I wanted it to be. I just want to end by saying thank you for the work you do here on TWIS and for the work of all science communicators, your efforts truly do pay off.
Thank you,

Outlier US
According to new research into political identities and likelihood of subscribing to conspiracy theories, the US stands alone… especially with respect to views on climate change.

NASA’s InSight
Currently on its way to the red planet, NASA’s InSight mission will investigate the interior of Mars; hopefully, telling us more about the formation of rocky planets.

Cloudless Skies
A gas-giant called WASP-96b has been discovered allowing scientists to probe it’s interior and ask questions about gaseous planets.

Swedes propose making more things out of wood…
And, created a new, strong cellulose nanofiber for the job.

Before we find life on other planets,
we need a way to find life on other planets…

What do earthquakes have to do with elephants?
Seismographic equipment could aid in tracking and protecting these enormous, graceful animals.

Smart Skin is for the fishes
A new technology could pave the way for non-invasive tracking of marine animals.

Polygamy in Great Horned Owls
Two females and one male made an unlikely parenting team in an observation that is the first of its kind.

Don’t Be A Tourist
Science says you’re bad for the environment.

One Gene
Is it enough to define a species for conservation?

Fast Benefits
24 hours of fasting is enough to induce regeneration in intestinal stem cells.

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


02 May, 2018 – Episode 669 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 3rd, 2018

Native American History, Thirsty Skeeters, Jeepers Creepers!, Camo Works!, Meet The Dino-Bird, DNA Methods, Quiet Bats, Hawking Ideas, WORLD’S OLDEST SPIDER, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

This Week in Science,
Coming up next…

Native American history
DNA evidence suggests that the original founding population of Americans who migrated from Siberia to North America was made up of 250 individuals.

Mosquitoes so parched, they’re looking for BLOOD.
Female mosquitoes are thought to drink blood to make eggs, but they might just be thirsty…

Jeepers Creepers!
Mantis shrimp eyeballs are up to some crazy stuff. How can they even see???

Camouflage works even when animals are spotted!
Disruptive coloration makes it hard to tell what predators are looking at, even once they figure out there’s someone hiding!

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi TWIS gang,
I am a relatively new listener, I’ve only been listening to the podcast for a few months. But I love listening and I really appreciate the variety of stories you share. As a biology nut it’s great hearing stories from outside my usual field.
I really enjoy listening to the ‘what has science done for me lately’ segment and it always gets me thinking, what would I share?
I thought about the medical advancements that have helped me or my family and friends, but I don’t have any spectacular stories like others have.
Then I thought about the fact that I work with animals, and the constant research that improves my ability to look after my animals, and even look after animals in the wild.
Then I thought about the technological advancements helping us to protect the environment and maybe even mitigate climate change and other issues.
But none of those things seemed enough. None of them really shares what science does for me and why I love science. Then I realised, I love science!
I love learning new things, understanding new things – and everyday things.
I love the ‘huh!’ and ‘wow!’ moments you get in science. I love that with science we will never stop learning.
What has science done for me lately? Everyday, science makes me happy! And I think that should count for something.
From Perth, Western Australia”

Missing link… Found!
Meet the Dino-Bird

Ancient human mitochondrial DNA
A new method for dating archaeological evidence.

Bats go quiet during mating season
So how important is echolocation, really? And are there bats hiding in the dark? This changes EVERYTHING!!

Hawking Lives On
His last idea on the universe.

It’s not enough to be terrifying, now they also live super long! Spider recorded at 43 years old passed away this week. Yikes…

Plotting the course

That horse knows what you’re up to, and he’s not impressed.

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


25 April, 2018 – Episode 668 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

April 26th, 2018

Interview w/ Sarita Menon, Uranus Stinks, Galaxies Old And New, Black holes Everywhere, Sweaty Trees, Male Moths Matter, Fruit Fly Rewards, Latrine Fly Bubbles, Telomerase Structure, Strong Kids, Warm Cells, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
There are certain things in this world that you should keep in mind…
Interesting things…
Exciting things…
Things that fill you with wonder…
Wonderful things that you keep in mind when facing the difficult,
the daunting,
or even the most monstrously monotonous of challenges…
You need something that inspires you.
And while that something may not inspire me…
And my something may not inspire you…
We all live a little more electric lives when we find our somethings.
And there is always a little something for everyone to found here on
This Week In Science
Coming Up Next!

Interview with Sarita Menon, PhD
Dr. Menon got her PhD in cancer biology from the University of Iowa, and spent several years working as a post-doctoral researcher and adjunct faculty before making the jump from research to science education. She started a science enrichment program in the Houston area a few years back, and just last year launched her current endeavor, Smore magazine, with a Kickstarter.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hello TWiS Team,
I’ve been really enjoying your “”What has science done for me”” segment and I thought I’d share my own story.
A little over a year ago my wife and I mentioned to my three year old son’s pediatrician he had been experiencing headaches when waking up from his naps. She suggested we see a neurologist just to rule things out. The neurologist said it probably wasn’t a big deal, but scheduled an MRI for us just to again, rule things out.
The MRI revealed a brain tumor. His specific type of tumor is called a craniopharyngioma. It’s a really rare, noncancerous tumor that is most often diagnosed in children. It impacts the pituitary and optic nerves among other things.
Over the next several weeks we had a flurry of appointments. Eventually we found ourselves in the ER and then ICU awaiting his surgery due to the tumor’s progression. Shortly after that he underwent neurosurgery to remove the tumor.
His neurosurgeon and her team were able to remove most of the tumor. He has no neurological or sight impairments, but the tumor calcified his pituitary which has an incredibly important job. He spent the better part of two weeks in the hospital recovering from his surgery.
He is now on a number of daily medications to replace what his pituitary would normally do and we will be starting growth hormone injections soon.
We still have monitoring MRIs to check for regrowth and have to manage his condition with medications and keep an eye on him. But the thing is, he’s now a normal four year old boy. He doesn’t experience headaches like he used to. He goes to school and after school activities, has friends, plays with lego and everything that a normal four year old would do.
Truth be told, he went to summer camp several weeks after his surgery and was running around, blowing bubbles and running in sprinklers with his friends. You can’t even see his craniotomy scar anymore. No one even knows about his ordeal unless we tell them. To everyone he’s just like every other four year old.
It amazes me that medical science has advanced to such a point where my son could have a very normal life, despite needing to have such a critical part of his brain removed. Less than a hundred years ago he would have suffered immeasurably and probably wouldn’t have seen adulthood.
We owe his life to a huge team of medical professionals, from his pediatrician to his neurosurgeon, to his neuro-oncologist and endocrinologist, all of the amazing nurses, support staff and the summation of modern medical knowledge. All of this gave us our little boy back and for that we are profoundly grateful.
I know my story is a little long and it’s okay if you guys don’t use it (or its entirety) in the show. 🙂 I just wanted to add my story to the pile.
Keep up the great work,
Ed Godbois”

Uranus Stinks
…like rotton eggs. Thank you, science!

Galactic Shape
The shape of a galaxy is linked to its age. A new analysis finds that rounder galaxies are older than flat ones,

Galactic Collision
14 galaxies are colliding in the distant past, and scientists don’t really understand how it is possible.

Black holes Everywhere
There could be lots of them just in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Sweaty Trees
Trees expire and move water from the ground to the air. Should California cull their trees to save ground water?

Males could save us from climate change
In moths, a male-heavy population means increased resilience to climate change. OK boys, that’s one you’re good for – genetic variation!

Male fruit flies like to… ummm…
Research was able to isolate an ejaculation trigger in fruit flies, and identified that it was indeed pleasurable for them. What’s more, they were less likely to indulge in alcohol!

Awww… EWWWW!
Latrine flies blow bubbles to cool off! Awww! When they are living inside corpses… Eww…..

Telomerase Structure
The elucidation of telomerase’s structure will allow intelligent drug design, and potentially lead to drugs to combat both telomere-related disease and aging.

Why Kids Don’t Get Tired
Kids have muscles like adult endurance athletes.

It’s those GD T-cells
The cells you want to stay trim and healthy.

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.

Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!