22 July, 2015 – Episode 524 – This Week in Science (TWIS)

July 24th, 2015

New Horizons w/ Emily Lakdawalla, Listening For Aliens, Solar Heartbeat, Old Americans, Aged Damselfly Doings, Spotted! Black Leopard, Print Your Horn, Undersea Farmers, Space Skin, Space Foam, Boa Deaths, Losers Harass Ladies, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The following hour of programming contains scientifically
addictive information that may become habit forming to all audiences…
In a highly concentrated form, Science news has been known
to cause hypnotic waking states.
“The Listeners” or “Minions”
as the junkies sometimes refer to themselves…
Often report euphoric sensations of awe, bewildered awakenings
of wonder, and delightful dalliances of discovering new things…
They also report experiencing terrifying trips, of creatures
too terrible to be true… only to find they really do exist…
This the junkie calls “Cornering”
The most extreme cases are referred to as being “Baz-wacked”,
where the “The Listener” can’t un-learn a disturbing fact of the animal world…
It is almost always administered in the presence of a
Doctor, who may or may not approve of the dose you receive…
If at any point during the trip you begin to feel like the
world you know if vanishing before your eyes…
Try to picture yourself as a river flowing, cutting through
mountains, winding through valleys until at some point you reach a lake and can
go no further… it’s nice here, it’s calm… but you know that if you stay too
long you will stagnate… you can stay if you like, or allow yourself to
evaporate into the winds of new knowledge and rise and fall until you once
again become a river of
This week in science…
Coming up next

New views from New Horizons
Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society joined us to discuss science findings from NASA’s New Horizon’s mission.
Pictures at the Planetary Society website
More pictures of Pluto from NASA

Listening For Aliens
The new Breakthrough Listen project to expand operations listening for signs of alien life in space might also lead to other space findings.

Solar Heartbeat
Will we see solar activity reduced to ‘Little Ice Age’ levels in 2030?

fourscore and 23,000 years ago…
People were in America 11,000 years earlier than previously thought.

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Elderly damselflies still get it on
Damselflies are able to copulate with the same exuberance and sequence for their entire lives. What’s more, their promiscuous past has no relation to their life span.

That black leopard has spots!!
A new technique for camera traps has discovered black leopards’ spots for the first time, which means we can now identify individuals – so the science can begin!!

3D printed rhino horn
Will this curb rhino poaching? Or will it make it all worse??

23,000 year old undersea farming community
A receding lakeshore unearthed evidence that farming began much earlier than we thought.

Space Skin
According to a report, the epidermal layer of astronauts’ skin was found to thin by 20% during 6 months in space, while the lower collagen-producing tissue experienced expansion.

Metal Space Foam?
A metal foam blocks gamma radiation. Perhaps it could be used to shield astronauts while travelling in space.

White nose syndrome licked in the lab
The yeast with the potential to cure white nose syndrome is looking good – next step is to try and innoculate wild bats!

Carbon emissions are mucking up carbon dating
“At the rate fossil fuel emissions are currently increasing, by 2050 a new T-shirt would have the same radiocarbon date as a robe worn by William the Conqueror a thousand years earlier.”

Alzheimer’s Drug?
A drug developed by Eli Lilly, solanezumab, has been shown to reduced cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients with mild dementia by about 30% over several years, not enough to be noticeable behaviorally, but potentially significant in the long-term.

Bionic Eye Implants!
An implant currently approved for treating retinosis pigmentosa is undergoing trials for macular degeneration, and was successfully implanted in an 80-year old British man.

Is Philae Silent?

Diamond Star
Really, it’s probably a diamond.

How to die from a Boa
You’re going to pass out.

Losers Harass Ladies
In a study observing Halo 3 online game-players published in PLoS this week, scientists confirmed that less successful males are more likely to harass female players than males who win at the game.

Dark Matter discovery tool…

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15 July, 2015 – Episode 523 – This Week in Science (TWIS)

July 17th, 2015

New Horizons At Pluto w/ Alan Boyle, Meanwhile on Mars, Pentaquark?!?, Think With Genes, Panda Survival, Spider Home-Wreckers, Tiny Bee Transmitters, Food Futures, Coffee Bugs, Monkey Brained Togetherness, And Much More…

We made it, and we are learning so much. NBC Digital Senior editor and author of “The Case for Plutio” joins us to discuss the news from the dwarf planet.

Meanwhile On Mars
The Martian crust is similar in composition to early Earth’s.

CERN’s LHCb experiment has produced evidence of a quark with 5 parts, or a pentaquark. This is the first conclusive evidence of this configuration of sub-atomic particles since it was first proposed in 1969.

Thinking with your Genes
A gene linked to memory and information processing speed has been discovered in humans.

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Panda’s are built to survive…
That’s one way to look at it. They could also be sleepwalking through life.

Home-wrecking male spider ruins female’s web during courtship
No, this isn’t a headline from a trashy spider tabloid, black widow males destroy females’ webs during courtship to reduce the number of rival males showing up, and females may even appreciate the effort.

Tiny transmitters may help us save bees
Researchers studied what infected, but not dead, honeybees did all day. This could help us understand what happens leading up to colony collapse disorder.

Reinventing food and plants for a less hungry future
Lab-grown meat, 3D printing pizzas, and fancy photosynthesis for corn…

Coffee Bugs
Without helpful gut microbes, the coffee berry borer beetle (say hat three times fast) wouldn’t be able to live inside the toxic coffee bean. Researchers are Berkeley National Lab are trying to discover if there is a persticide that might disrupt the gut of this insect, and save coffee crops around the world from devastation.

Monkey Brained Together
Scientists have networked brains, and they work better together than on their own.

Mountain Lions spotted in San Francisco
Do not run!!!

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08 July, 2015 – Episode 522 – This Week in Science (TWIS)

July 10th, 2015

In Pluto’s Shadow, Go FermiLab!, Dolphin Brains, Mammoth Matters, Quick Squirrels, Squirrel Disease, Sailing Spiders!, Mongoose Breeding Update, Aging And Immunity, Wherefore AR, Revealing Black Holes, World Robot Domination, Lady Domination, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer!
Science is ever pushing the boundaries of what we know about
the world.
Further and further, more and more, greater and still
greater advances we see each day
New developments in technology
New insights into genetics
New findings in cosmology
New results in treating medical woes
New understanding of the evolution of life
New clues to animal behavior and comprehension
New leads to pursue in preserving our environmental peace
New this, new that, new new new new new…
So much new news is available to us each day on the
scientific front that it is sometimes alarming how little news reporting is
done upon the subjects of science…
A wealth of knowledge is fueling our future, and most people
will never know where it is taking us…
And while this will remain true for most of the planet’s
population, you have found a way to keep up with the present push of scientific
So now that you are here, let’s get right to the new
knowledge the world is newly not knowing about with
This Week in Science…
Coming Up Next!

In Pluto’s Shadow
As we get ready for New Horizons to reach Pluto next week, another experimental craft here on Earth known as SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) flew through the shadow of Pluto as it occulted a distant star to find out about Pluto’s atmosphere.

Go FermiLab!
FermiLab set a neutrino beam world recor this past week with the most powerful beam ever, 521 Kilowatts, which surpasses CERN’s efforts.

Dolphin Brains
Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) of preserved dolphin brains suggests that the cetacean neural pathways for hearing are much more complex than thought. In fact, the pathways in the brain look similar to other distantly related echolocating mammals, bats, implying that convergent evolution might play a role here.

Mammoth Matters
Genetic analysis of mammoth DNA compared to modern elephants shows several places mutations changed proteins and led to new physiological adaptations.

Smart Squirrels
Squirrels not only remember where food is hidden, but also learn ways to be more efficient at finding hidden food. Basically, there is a reason they are in parks around the world. Squirrels are smart.

…And they will kill us all…
Squirrels are vectors for Lyme disease. Don’t feed the squirrels.

Sailing Spiders!
Spiders that fly thorugh the air, or “balloon,” use their legs as sails and silk as an anchor when they land on water. THE SPIDERS ARE EVERYWHERE – WE CAN’T ESCAPE THEM!

Mongoose breeding update
Mongooses may have taken a clue from Shakespeare (or visa versa)? The mongoose plot thickens this week…

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Age-related cognitive decline tied to immune-system molecule
Mice without B2M, a major-histocompatibility complex related compound, lived longer with less age-related cognitive decline. When injected with B2M the mice began to experience problems with their memories. Will this lead to a drug to combat human mental deterioration with aging?

Wherefore Art Thou AR?
Our brains might not be set up for all the information that heads-up displays can offer. What kinds of information are useful versus distracting? Which aid us in rapid decision-making or hinder our thought process?

Supermassive black holes revealed
With new eyes in the skies looking for x-ray signatures, these giants hidden from our view by cosmic dust clouds will hide no longer.

No Dutch Humanoids
Turns out the robot revolution in the Netherlands will not take a human form. The Dutch want the distinction between man and bot to be clear.

AI ‘Sees’ Galaxies
Using a techniques called unsupervised machine learning computer scientists at the University of Hertfordshire have taught a machine (i.e. developed an algorithm) to discriminate images of distant galaxies.

AI Finds Radiation
And, machine learning has also allowed the development of a system that can differentiate radioactive signals from benign ones more accurately than traditional methods.

Why did the seahorse have a square tail?
Not the beginning of a joke, but the newest finding in nature, and soon robotics! A square jointed tail is stronger, more durable, and graspier (is that a word?).

Go Ladies!
Women in academia are patenting at a faster rate than their couterparts in industry or individuals.

How Well Do We Smell?
A study once estimated the human ability to discriminate odors at 10 Trillion. Is this possible? A recent analysis suggests not.

Cat Urine Kills…

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01 July, 2015 – Episode 521 – This Week in Science (TWIS)

July 3rd, 2015

Add A Second, Cometary Sinkholes, Another Blowup, Neander-Human Hybrid!, Another DNA Base?, Tropical Wyoming?, Pew Pew Pew, Fruit Fly Sex, Invertebrate Self-Love?, The Sex Difference, Epigenetic Brain, Cats!, Babblers, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The past week made history, as all weeks that pass do…
But of the weeks that pass, the last may live in memory
longer than most
For it is this week in which the American healthcare system
moved closer to first world status
Allowing the hard work of medical researchers to reach the patients
the work was intended for,
Improving quality of life…
The past week made federal law the civil right of marriage… overdue
as it may be, we now live on the right side of a historically discriminatory practice
Allowing for all citizens to be wed…
Improving quality of life…
And the past week we shot a rocket into the air and watched
as it landed there,
And there and there and all over over-there…
Proving that the theme of the past week still holds for the
future, that there is always room for improvement…
And while last week proved us to be improvable as a society
Nowhere else is the
improbability of proof more profound than what we find provided by the progress
of science each and every week right here on
This Week in Science…
Coming Up Next

Add A Second
We added a leap second last night, the fourth since the year 2000, to adjust for the discrepancy between our atomic clock and a slowing of the Earth’s rotation.

Cometary Sinkholes
There are massive sinkholes on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Geramisenko, which are thought to have formed due to heating from the sun.

Another Blowup
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded shortly after liftoff this past week.

Neander-Human Hybrid!
A 40,000 year old human fossil was unearthed in Romania with twice the amount of Neanderthal DNA as found in modern humans. The find suggests that the individual was removed from their Neanderthal ancestor by only 4-6 generations.

Another DNA Base?
Cambridge University scientists discovered a form of cytosine, called 5-formylcytosine (5fC), thought to be a transient epigenetic modification is actually stable in mouse tissues. The finding suggests that 5fC might be a 5th nucleotide used within the genome for regulation of gene expression.

Tropical Wyoming?
What once was may be again. Evidence suggests that the Wyoming climate was once balmy and wet. Will increases in CO2 lead our climate down this path again?

Epigenetic mechanism revealed in brain cells
More evidence, this time in the brain of all places, as to how changes in gene expression occur during our lifetimes. This particular epigenetic control system allows new synaptic connections between nerve cells and could influence changes in our behavior.

Female fruit flies can be too hot
Some females are so attractive that they spend so much energy fending off suitors that their reproductive success is forfeited. So maybe you can be too attractive…

The ins and outs of fruit fly sex
New research with fruit flies gives insight into the mating process, the mechanics, and chemical reactions involved.

Mass Extinction paved the way for our fishy future
Fossilized fish teeth indicate that ray-finned fished thrived after the meteor-caused mass extinction, and turned the ocean into the fish-dominated landscape we now see below the waves.

Invertebrate Self-Love?
Hermaphroditice flatworm uses “hypodermic insemination” to inject its own head with semen when no other worms are around for mating.

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Pew Pew Pew research poll…
So many statistics about how we view science and science-based political issues. Turns out education plays a significant role.

The Sex Difference
Researchers have found differences between male and female mice in the pain sensitivity pathway. Males utilize microglia to trasfer signals about nerve pain, whereas females use B or T immune cells. This signalling pathway is influenced by testosterone, but it’s not yet clear whether other species have a similar physiological difference.

More Aggressive
Statins were found to increase aggression in older women, whereas the picture is more complex in men. The importance of gender studies like this should be highlighted as we work to understand the physiological and behavioral effects of the drugs we use for specific therapeutic outcomes.

Human Evolution in the present day
Genetic diversity makes taller smarter humans

Babbling Birds
Australian Babblers don’t really babble at all. It seems they use a form of language.

Cats go where Coyotes aren’t
Cat owners are in denial
Both these stories help us assess how to control wildlife fatalities due to cats.

Saber-toothed Sabers
They grew throughout a cat’s life, and took years to grow.

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24 June, 2015 – Episode 520 – This Week in Science (TWIS)

June 26th, 2015

Heading to Europa!, Parrot Mimicry Core, Counting Crows, Moth Tricks, Monkeys Wolfing Around, Hopping Lefties, Olfactory Fingerprinting, Baby ERV’s, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer!
The following hour of science broadcasting will be delivered solely by female voices this evening. The good doctor and I are aware of stereotypes for females in our field, and we ask you to check them at the door. Not only for women of science, but for those in the media.

You may find yourself upset by our “uptalk,” use of “vocal fry,” colloquialisms like “like,” or distracted by our hair, makeup, or our “valley girl laugh.” You may jump to the conclusion that when we get passionate about a topic, we are “uppety” or “mouthy,” and confuse confidence for rudeness. You might find us #distractinglysexy. Even worse, you may think we are quite articulate and smart, for women.

Then again, you may just see us as scientists, as passionate advocates for the scientific method, truth, and debate. You may see us as hosts of your weekly dose of science, who do hours of research to bring you objective information, with a bit of opinion tacked on at the end. Even better, you may see us as intelligent, quick-witted, entertaining, and maybe even a little bit funny.

And so, TWIS listeners, we make an oath to you today, to check our preconceived notions about your possible presumptions at the door, if you in turn check your stereotypes, assumptions, and categories there, too. For after-all, we’ve come here tonight to discuss the news. The science news. So join us now, won’t you?

For This Week in Science! Coming up next…

Heading to Europa!
NASA has laid out its plan for a mission to the Jovian moon Europa, which might be the most likely location to support life in the solar system aside from Earth. Expect a launch sometime in the 2020’s.

Parrot Mimicry Core
Bird researchers have found a previously unidentified region in the song-production system that is correlated to the incredible mimicry abilities of parrots.

Counting Crows
Crows neurons work just like ours when numbers of objects are involved, suggesting that the ancestor of birds and mammals could count, too.

Ethiopian wolves collaborate with gelada monkeys to catch rodents
Gelada monkeys could easily be attacked by wolves, and should thus scamper off when they are nearby, but the two species have learned to coexists for reciprocal gain.

Finally, the key to pigeon navigation has been found! …In a worm…
Researchers have discovered a sensor responsible for detection of the Earth’s magnetic field for the very first time, in a roundworm. However, since it was found in such a “basal” creature, it may be the key to most navigation of this type in the animal kingdom!

Museum tricks moths into homosexual behavior
London’s Natural History Museum has decided to use a rather unconventional form of pesticide to rid their collections of moths. Wax with female moth pheromones once rubbed onto males cause mating behaviors to be aimed at the wrong sex, hopefully ridding the space of these pests within a few generations.

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Olfactory Fingerprinting
Turns out that people who describe odors in a similar way have similar genetic profiles.

Kangaroos are lefties
The discovery of “handedness” in kangaroos and wallabies show us that most of these animals prefer their left hand (or paw), despite lacking the neural circuit that links the left and right hemispheres in their brain.

Baby ERVs
Endogenous retroviruses incorporated into our genomes throughout evolution are activated during developmental stages in the human embryo. What these elements do is still unknown.

Camo Tech Update
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed an ultra-thin flexible full-color microdisplay that has major implications for mobile devices and fashion.

Weed Labeling
Your weed is probably mis-labeled.

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17 June, 2015 – Episode 519 – This Week in Science

June 22nd, 2015

Philae Awakens!, Opto-CRISPR Future, Stress Babies, Neander-teeth, Dense Old Brains, The Amazing Seastar, No Mongoose Inbreeding, Otolith rosetta Organs, European Nation, Flexible Injectibles, Bath Power Ahoy!, Dogs Hate Rudeness, Papal Pronouncement, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer!!!
There are worse things in this world than sexism…
Though few that affect as many people…
And through a grand scale of time and location across the globe and throughout history,
it can be argued that no other practice of man has done as much damage to the society that harbored it,
than sexism…
Societies that value the abilities and contributions of women,
benefit from them.
Those societies that set limits on what women can contribute, limit themselves.
A snap shot of the last hundred years will find that nations which do not educate their women,
do not prosper.
The poorest nations on the planet are likely so, and likely to remain so,
because of the limits they put on educating 50% of their workforce…
and 100% of their mothers.
So when a nobel-prize winning scientist made disparaging remarks about women in science this past week,
it is understandable that anyone who understands the alternative, spoke out harshly against his words…
And while the alternative to educated women in science may have escaped this man of science,
it undoubtedly did not escape his wife’s…
Who just happens to be a scientist herself.
Proving perhaps that it’s never too late to learn new things,
but the sooner you do,
the better off you will be with
This Week in Science…
Coming up next

Philae Awakens!
We weren’t sure if the plucky little lander would wake up, but it did and till has data to send back to Earth via Rosetta. The ESA is working to get the Rosetta craft into a new orbit that puts it into more and better contact with the lander to fulfill further science on the comet.

Japanese researchers have combined light activation with the CRISPR/CAS-9 system, in effect creating a way to edit the genomes of cell with greater accuracy and temporal on-off control.

Stress Babies
Maternal stress influences mother’s and baby’s microbiota.

More information on the complexity of our neanderthal cousins.

Seastars may hold the greatest secrets to regeneration and immortality
Seastars removed foreign bodies from their insides without appearing to disrupt any internal organs or processes. Perhaps Wolverine should have been called “Starfish man”?

Mongoose inbreeding is a fine science
Mongooses go out of their way to keep the gene pool expansive despite living in tight family groups

Otoliths: the fishy rosetta stone
Scientists have studied how otoliths look based on a variety of variables and should now be able to draw conclusions about a fish’s previous record based on the tiny ear bone.

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European History
You’re all Asian.

Flexible Injectibles
Scientists have developed flexible mesh electronics that are injectible and compatible with human tissue. What does this mean for the future of biomonitoring?

Bath Power
Engineers harnessed bacterial swelling and humidity to make a power generating device that could run a small toy car.

Dogs snub people rude to their owners
This study lacks a lot of details and the science is a bit shakey, but it is an interesting prospect!

Papal Pronouncement
The Pope is set to tell everyone to be better stewards of the Earth. Think it will change things?

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10 June, 2015 – Episode 518 – This Week in Science

June 12th, 2015

World Robot Domination Challenge, FasterBetterStronger, We Never Learn, Dino Teeth, Irish Gold, Bird Inspired Color, Prosocial Is New Normal, Run Rabbit, Test For Infections, Sleep On It, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer
The following hour of programming contains
cutting edge science
You don’t need to be a scientist to listen, but
if you listen long enough you may begin to see the world as a scientist sees it…
For the world of a scientist is a world of
endless questioning.
The pursuit of answers is a scientific pursuit,
but it inevitably leads to more questions, and more often than not the more
questions part is the thing that drives scientists to do more science…
There are likely things you have never questioned,
questions it simply never occurred to you to ask
or questions it could not have occurred to you
to ask because you didn’t know there was a something there to ask questions
In this show we offer up a fresh batch of
questions posed by science.
Some with answers, some without, but all with the
ability to help you begin forming questions of your own…
The more you question, the more scientific your
brain becomes until one day you wake up to find yourself scientifically minded…
At which point you will have no choice but to
tune into the best source for formulating more science minded question lovers…
This week in Science…
Coming up next!

World Robot Domination Challenge
The South Korean robotics team took home the gold at the DARPA Robotics Challenge in Pomona, CA this past week. However, we have little reason to worry about robot domination just yet.

The military is testing an exoskeleton called MAXFAS that was developed to help stroke victims recover walking ability for use in training soldiers to shoot more accurately.

We Never Learn
A Nobel prize winning scientist at a luncheon for female scientists last week made comments about how difficult it is to do science with women because, “Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.” He has since apologized for what he intended as “light-hearted” comments.

Dino teeth
Investigation into dino teeth

Irish Gold
Ancient gold trade route

Why do we help those in need?
A new study shows that we and other animals participate in behavior to help others when it makes no difference to us if we do or we don’t – but why?

How to make a color without pigment
Would you like an outfit that never fades? Or a car that doesn’t need touchups? Would you like to change the color of your bicycle anytime without paint? Bird feathers may have the answer.

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Rabbit virus vs cancer
Looks like a rabbit virus might have cancer on the run.

Test For Infections
A new simple blood test could inform people what viruses have interacted with their immune systems over the course of their lives. However, it’s not ready for mass use yet as it is plagued by false positives, and not entirely accurate.

Sleep On It
Research suggests that people might be able to unlearn implicit biases while we sleep. Using a technique called targeted memory activation, which has been shown useful in strengthening factual, action-based, and emotional memories, people’s biases were decreased for up to a week after training.

Hellboy Dino
A Triceratopsian dinosaur was discovered!

Camel Urine…
Don’t Drink It!

Canadian Camel Fossil
Hopefully, this fossil will help paleontologists understand the demise of the North American camel.

Website can ID a bird from a pic
Thank you Cornell Bird Lab!

Box jellies are basically terrifying
They lure in their prey with colorful lights.

Blow The Chute
NASA’s LDSD test last week resulted in a blown parachute, but the project director says it taught them a lot.

Brain Eating Good
Strangely, there is an upside to brain-eating.

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03 June, 2015 – Episode 517 – This Week in Science

June 9th, 2015

Drain Holes In Brains, Epigenetic Evidence, Evolution News, Rough Rubbers, Local Burning, Fruit Fly Clocks, Bluffing Birdies, Yawning Budgies, Sonic Screw Driver, Fake Chocolate News, Pluto’s Moon, Robo-Cheetah Jumps!, Oversexy Extinction Risk, Pillbugs, Kitties, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer
The problems of a world rich with scientific
Are the kinds of problems you want…
Yes global warming is happening and being denied
and yet,
Thanks to science, we know it is occurring.
Yes a government lab accidentally sent
potentially live anthrax samples via regular mail to over 50 labs across the
country and around the world…
But thanks to scientists sending potentially
deadly samples of bacteria safely around the world, we no longer face the
prospects of having them send themselves via us human to human transfer…
Yes there is fierce debate over which direction
we should go in the applying the knowledge we have gained from the decoding of
the genome…
But we have decoded the genome! And will bring
about the next round of evolution thoughtfully… scientifically and occasionally
The future will be full of discovery and
occasional blunder
Not unlike…
This Week in Science
Coming up Next

Drain Holes In Brains
Physiologists have found lymphatic vessels in the meninges of the brain suggesting a mechanism by which some brain disorders might develop.

Epigenetic Evidence
Turns out that epigenetic heritability of traits results from local control of specific genetic factors via the chromatin. An interesting open access study teased various factors apart using fluorescent proteins.

Evolution News
A new 4-legged fossil has paleontologists rethinking the emergence of land animals. Additionally, a new look at dinosaurs suggests that feathers were likely a bird-specific adaptation.

It’s got flashy feathers…
for an early bird.

Rough Rubbers
For making copies of fossils, having the right rubber makes a difference in the accuracy of the replica.

Local burning, Global Warming
Turns out that carbon based energy source you’re using has even more of an effect on the Greenhouse effect than thought.

Fruit flies tell time!
Flies knew which scent led to sugar, depending on the time of day. They could do this in the dark or on a normal light cycle, but were confused when it was perpetually bright out.

Bluffing birds fool potential predators
Brown thornbill mimics fake alarm calls of other species to scare off lesser foes.

Budgies yawn just like us
Parakeets have been shown to yawn contagiously, just like us and our dogs!

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Sonic screw driver
Scientists use sound to swirl water.

Pluto’s moons are crazy
They experience a chaotic orbital dance that works just right for them to avoid destroying one another.

Fake News For You!
A science journalist faked a scientific study on the health benefits of chocolate for a German documentary. We discuss the situation and the fallout for science in general.

This week in World Robot Domination, we bring you a hurdle-jumping robot cat.

Haptic Handshake
In a world first, an astronaut on the International Space Station virtually shook hands with a person on Earth.

Kitty Microbiome Kickstarter
Thanks to Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis for this one! Let’s find out what kittehs are made of!

Pillbugs For Climate!
Turns out that the little balls of fun reduce the prevalence of a greenhouse gas releasing fungus in the detritus layer.

Oversexed marsupials are in danger of extinction
Their unusual method of reproduction makes them extremely vulnerable to current population pressures – but what can we do to stop them?

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