21 September, 2016 – Episode 585 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

September 22nd, 2016
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Tardigrade Protection Secret, Standard Model Spin, Tectonic Life, Island Murder Mystery, Can Pigeons Read?, Bite The Cow, Camouflaged Dinosaurs, Finish This Sentence, Out Of Africa, Ciliary Stroke, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!
The best thing you can do for your brain is use it…
But that advice, however true it may seem, is not complete…
There is more to having a brain than simply taking it out for a thought once in a while…
You have to feed your brain…
and not just anything…
Good quality ideas…
otherwise your brain may become listless and gassy…
You must care for your brain…
Bathe it in oxygen rich blood…
Train it to do tricks, like math, language and art…
Teach it to get along well with other brains…
And remember…
How well you care for your brain today…
Will determine how well your brain will care for you tomorrow…
Yes the best thing you can do for your brain is use it…
But the best thing you can do for yourself, is use it wisely…
And wisely your brain has brought you here,
so that together the two of you can enjoy yet another episode of…
This Week in Science
Coming up next…

Tardigrade Protection Secret
Tardigrades have a gene that protects them from radiation. Researchers call it Dsup, and when they inserted it into human DNA it reduced radiation damage by 40%. Will future space explorers be part tardigrade to better survive the trip?

Standard Model Spin
The visible mass in spiral and irregular galaxies predicts the acceleration of the rotation curves. Dark matter seems to play no role. This poses a problem for the current model to explain.

Tectonic Life
The release of hydrogen from tectonic impacts between rocks here on Earth suggests that Mars could potentially produce enough hydrogen to support bacterial life in certain locations.

Island Murder mystery solved
Or, how shrew was the shrew?

Can Pigeons Read??
Well, no actually, but they can recognize the difference between real english words and gibberish, which is more than some humans can do!

Engineering mosquitoes to bite cows instead of us
…but shouldn’t we just kill them all…?

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Camouflaged Dinosaurs
The picture of how dinosaurs looked gets ever so much more interesting.

Finish This Sentence
According to new research, the hippocampal area of the brain might help you understand language by synchronizing neurons with memories related to aspects of sentences you hear.

Out of Africa again, but only once…
And, it appears the migration was to the south a long, long time ago.

Ciliary Stroke
Korean scientists have created the first microrobots that swim like paramecia… but, these use magnet-powered cilia!

New Teleportation Feat
The quantum teleportation of 17 photons per minute over 6.2km in a straight line was achieved in Canada, while the Chinese were able to teleport 2 photons per hour over 7 km. Both achievements are important because they were done using real optical fiber communications networks, which suggests that quantum security for such networks is not far off.

Animals And Alcohol
Beer is like dogs, and wine is like cats… or, at least, the yeasts are…

Feed A Fever
The old adage might have found some support with a recent study. The findings suggest that glucose metabolism can help animals stave off viral infections, while ketolysis that comes from fasting might help with bacterial infections.

Wireless Emotion Detector
Researchers from MIT have created a wireless emotion detection technology that can read the waveforms of the human heart.

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14 September, 2016 – Episode 584 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

September 16th, 2016
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Gaia Mapping, Crustal Current, Semi-Synthetic Consequences, Space-Age Fabric, Ancient Jeans, Lots Of Giraffes, Roundworm Reproduction, Pluto Paints Charon, Virus Inside Us, Tiny Pterosaurs, Moon Stress, Sleepy Lemurs, Drunk People, And Much More…

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Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The wisdom that comes from a life well lived is worth its weight in years…
And living life well,
as subjective a subject as this may be…
Must in this humble opinion,
be a life lived in inquiry…
An examined existence…
Not just in the know thy self sort of way…
But in a
– know the world around you –
scenario…
Because if you don’t understand anything beyond your own shadow…
If you know nothing of the world beyond your cave walls…
What can you claim to have lived?
Throw yourself out of your self…
Get up and get out there…
where the people are…
the makers and the doers are busy making and doing…
Where the investigations are,
where the experiments are,
where the learning is happening now…
Turn on,
tune in,
open the door and have a look around…
See what’s out there…
Or…
at the very least just listen for the sound of…
To This Week In Science,
Coming up Next…

It’s HUUUGE!
The Gaia star-mapping mission has discovered 400 million more stars in the Milky Way Galaxy with the potential for even more discoveries as it continues to map the galaxy thru 2019.

Potential Power Crash
Due to a unique combination of sedimentary and igneous rock layers, the Mid-western US could be prone to a massive power grid disruption from solar storms.

Semi-synthetic Consequences
It turns out that adding new letters to the alphabet of life isn’t all that helpful. Semi-synthetic organisms created using additional nucleoside bases suffer from phototoxicity, and fail to grow.

Infrared Emperors new clothes
A space-age fabric that bends light to appear opaque might be the insulation of the future.

The origin of the blue jean
A 6200 year old piece of fabric is the earliest evidence of indigo-dyed cotton.

Long necks, and substantially different genomes!
Giraffes appear to make up four distinct species, despite their morphological similarities. They don’t interbreed over these lines in the wild, and have the same degree of genetic difference as brown bears vs. polar bears. This will greatly affect their conservation status – but should their genetic difference matter this much in deciding a population’s fate??

Males only want one thing…
Male chemistry in roundworms prime females for reproduction no matter what stage of life they are in, but at a great cost.

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Painting a moon…
Pluto’s moon Charon has a red-tinted pole thanks to Pluto’s atmospheric spray.

Virus Inside Us
A viral protein might be partially responsible for the increased muscle mass carried by males.

Tiny Pterosaurs
Cute, little pterosaur fossils have been discovered.

Moon Stress
Bigger earthquakes might occur due to the pull of the moon.

How Drunk Are You?
People are often wrong in self-assessment of their drunkeness, and tend to judge their state based on others around them. Additionally, it seems people base their assessment on the most sober person in a group rather than the most drunk.

Dwarf lemurs sleep during hibernation
Previously, sleep and hibarnation were distinct states that would not overlap, but this little lemur can transition from one to the other – most likely due to the fact that they live in a warmer climate.

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07 September, 2016 – Episode 583 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

September 8th, 2016
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Interview w/ Dr. James O’Donoghue, EmDrive Rumors, FDA Finally Bans, Magnets In Brains, Milky Pockets, Core Carbon Concerns, Conservation Balance, Social Neurons, Philae Found, Maya codex, Bad Early Spring, And Much More!!!

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!
Space…
The final frontier…
Or so it may have once seemed,
But we now find it to be just one of many frontiers that science finds before it…
With rovers and probes and telescopes investigating the solar system and beyond…
We have other frontiers we are pursuing much closer to home
Like understanding the inner workings of matter,
which when considering distances of scale,
is a much more distant journey than anywhere in our galaxy…
And how our ancestrally allocated assortments of DNA and RNA help to make us who we are…
And understanding the fundamental role bacteria play in our health…
And understanding how the changing climate will make living on our own planet seem as foreign as a new frontier…
And of course…
Space…
We are at the forefront of our knowledge in every category of science…
Boldly going where no scientists have gone before…
With a few exceptions of really brilliant scientists
who got there before we were really sure there was a there to be boldly going towards…
But like a scientist ahead of their time,
you will be in the knowledge before it is common…
Because you are boldly going to listen to yet another episode of…
This Week In Science
Coming up next!

Interview with Dr. James O’Donoghue
A planetary scientist at Boston University, Dr. O’Donoghue specializes in astronomy of gas giant planets. He uses ground-based observatories to view the upper atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, and is mostly interested in aurorae, Saturn’s “ring rain” and the atmosphere above Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, which appears to be rather hot. He recenly published an article in Nature on the heating of the atmosphere above the great red spot.

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EmDrive Rumors
The hotly debated EmDrive is going to space on a CubeSat, and it’s rumored that a paper authored by NASA’s secret project lab on the technology has passed peer review and will be published.

FDA Finally Bans
After years of reports by TWIS (jk)… scientific evidence against the usefulness of antibacterial agents in soaps, the FDA voted to ban 19 specific substances giving manufacturers a year to phase them out of products.

Magnets In Brains
Magnetite nanoparticles produced by the body have previously been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, but a new study found that similar particles from the environment are somehow entering the brain and getting into neurons. Many questions arise from this study.

Milky Way mash up
It seems an old bit of galaxy is all mixed in with a new bit of galaxy. We thought it was all the same, but it’s not.

It came from space
Does Earth’s core contain more than Iron??? Levels of planetary carbon suggest that an ancient impact might have given us an elemental edge.

Social Neurons
Researchers recording electrical activity from the brains of epilepsy patients discovered that an area called the rostral Anterior Cingulate Cortex might be responsible for monitoring expectations when it comes to the behavior of others.

Two Steps Forward
Positive news this week declares the giant panda is no longer considered critically endangered.
Also, many humpback whales around the world are doing better, too.

Two Steps Back
But, African savannah and forest elephants are losing ground due mainly to poaching.

Philae Found!
Finally imaged by Rosetta, researchers now confirm the landing location of the Philae lander.

Fake codex found fundamental

Early spring bad for ag

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31 August, 2016 – Episode 582 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

September 2nd, 2016
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Interview w/ Carl Zimmer, A Signal, Solar System Bodies, Monkey Guts, Blood-Thirsty Brains, Tasmanian Evolution, Whisker Feels, counting Cuttlefish, Oldest European, Oldest Tree, Toxo V. Cancer, And Much More…

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Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The wonderful thing about being alive is that it’s happening now…
Yes yes yes, it’s great that great-great gramps and nana lived lovely lives,
but no matter how you look at it,
they are long since departed,
and even that which passed through the belly of a worm has long turned to dust…
But not you, oh no… you are alive now…
in the moment in which you can do…
And what wonderful life living things you can do!!!
It almost doesn’t matter what it is you are doing…
Being alive is an amazing thing all by itself…
Certainly we can rate quality of life…
good, better best day vs the occasional worst day ever…
But always remember to step outside your day to day, push pull, ups and downs and focus…
Even if just for a few fleeting moments…
On the wonder it is to be alive, here and in the now…
And while every moment may not be as incredible as the one that passed before…
Having another moment with which to do something…
is always the best place to be…
And what better way to spend the next moments of your incredible existence than with
This Week In Science,
Coming up next…

Interview with Carl Zimmer about his recent series on STAT
Carl Zimmer is a science writer of a multitude of books and articles with a history of digging into interesting subjects like parasites, evolution, and most recently his own genes. Working with STAT news, he has released a multimedia series about his investigations into the human genome. The star of this series is his genome as it is poked, prodded, digitized, and anazlyzed to tell Carl who he really is and why.

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What Is It?
Short answer? We don’t know. Don’t go jumping to conclusions.

More Bodies!
Looking for Planet X has added to the number of known objects in the outer solar system!

Creating monkeys with human guts!!
Well, at least testing how fiber affect the monkey gut microbiome.

Blood thirsty brains!
As more powerful human brains have evolved, so has the need for a larger blood supply.

Tasmanian Devils have a chance for survival!
And as usual, it comes down to evolution. Will the beneficial genes win out fast enough to save the species??

Whiskers feel air flow, not just obstacles
Rats trained to follow air to a treat had trouble after their whiskers were trimmed, indicating that perhaps those twitchers have more to do than look adorable!

1…2…3…. 3 shrimp! Ah ah ah…
Cuttlefish can count, or at least judge quantities, and make judgements depending on their current state.

Toxo For Cancer!
A new technique using a genetically modified version of T. gondii led to the development of antitumor immunity in mice with an agressive form of ovarian cancer, and improve survival rates.

Oldest living european…
older than you think.

Oldest dead earthling…
older than we thought.

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24 August, 2016 – Episode 581 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

August 26th, 2016
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Interview w/ NASA Scientist Walt Meier, Plan-et B!, Getting There, Cool Your Buffer Gas, Gay Termites, Acid Sperm, Patent Settlement, Possum Panic, Octobot!!, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer!
Historic perspective is against us!!!
And I don’t mean to suggest that people of bygone olden ages would judge us harshly…
It’s possible they would…
We wear revealing clothes, rarely kill wild animals with tools we made ourselves,
and spend far too little time sacrificing sheep…
But when we introduce them to the little things our modern ways have contributed to the day to day being on the planet…
Like Indoor light, the mobile phone, the dishwasher and toilet paper…
It’s likely they’d give up whatever god of hunting gathering and dishwashing they had invented and would be overjoyed even with single ply…
What I do mean to suggest is that at no point of looking backwards do we see a time in which people looking forward really knew what the future would bring…
We humans are eternally optimistic and pessimistic, hopeful and apathetic…
But the lesson from the ages is that regardless of what we think we know,
time will transform our understanding…
and one day the day will come where much of what we believe about the future will turn out not to be the future…
So a Historic perspective should make us leery of any concrete belief in things to come,
having seen so many of them crumble…
However… there are exceptions…
despite the fact that the historic perspective is against us,
one thread of history has weaved through the ages to connect observations to experimentation to a kind of knowledge that seems to tie the past to the present in a natural progression…
Science.
Yes science changes too, but It broadens, becomes more complex and comprehensive, it strengthens…
And while the predictions we make now may defy history…
There will likely be things to come we still cannot imagine…
In fact the only thing we can be absolutely certain of is
This Week in Science…
Coming up next!

Interview with Walt Meier
Walt Meier is a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory. His research focuses on remote sensing of sea ice, development of new sea ice products and sea ice climate data records, and analyzing changes in the Arctic sea ice cover.

Ice-free Northwest Passage
A southern route between Amundsen and Boffin Bays is almost clear, allowing cruise liners to make expeditions along the Northwest Passage.

Monitoring Sea Ice
As the ice in the Arctic decreases, NASA is using new methods to track the extent of the loos and make better predictions.

Ice Flows Game
A game to teach how ice sheet melt is affected by various factors… and it has penguins!!!

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Plan-et B!
If we destroy this planet, maybe there’s a Plan B for humanity! The ESO reported finding an exoplanet within the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri… the closest star to Earth aside from the sun.

Getting There
An analysis of the physical dangers to the StarShot campaign suggests that craft planning to accelerate to 20% the speed of light require special shielding and design considerations since they will even be damaged by impacts with atoms.

Huge find in buffer-gas cooling
It’s not the thermodynamic equilibrium we thought it was.

Gay Termites
Playing house protects the unmated males.

Acidified sperm play by different rules
Urchin sperm behaves differently at different pHs. This could have major implications for sea ecosystems as ocean acidification increases.

Patent Settlement
Nanopore gene sequencing is a new technology that will revolutionize the sequencing of DNA making it faster and cheaper, but its future has been uncertainly wrapped up in a patent dispute between Oxford Nonopore Technologies and Illumina, Inc. However, the companies recently came to an agreement based on the specifics of their patented nanopore designs that will allow both companies to continue offering their products to researchers.

Possums can flee in their sleep
But they can only wake up to run if it is warm enough outside.

Octobot!!!
Harvard engineers have created a soft bodied robotic octopus from silicone that relies on chemical reactions within pneumatic chambers to flex its many arms rather than wires and batteries.

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17 August, 2016 – Episode 580 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

August 19th, 2016
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Hawking Radiation Evidence?, Force Of Nature, Contrails Not Chemtrails, Gutting Ahead, Choosy Fish, Bully Fish, Fish Pee, Marsupial Lion Elbows, Talking About Life, Salty Beaches, Precision Targeting, The Light!, And Much More…

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Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The world you are living in has NOT,
I repeat NOT been all figured out yet.
Sure a lot of the major hurdles have been handled…
We can control electricity…
Harness it to do work and that work produces amazing advantages to being on the planet…
Like the light bulb, the computer, and the greatest of all inventions…
the dishwasher…
We have solved complex riddles of living things…
Giving us protections and treatments that manage disease and prolong our life spans…
We have delved into the atomic world that once seemed so small,
only to delve deeper and discover an even tinier world of subatomic particles…
We can manipulate this world to great effect despite having hands that are too large and clumsy for the job…
We have been to the moon and Mars and all the major bodies in our solar system…
Sent probes hurtling outside our solar system,
And have taken photos of other solar systems by the billions with Hubble…
These terrestrial eyes of ours have gazed upon galaxies that never could be seen or even imagined without our scientific advancements…
And despite all this…
The world we are living in has NOT been all figured out…
There are still greater mysteries out there…
Far further depths to delve into
And while nothing we have yet to accomplish may out awesome the invention of the dishwasher…
Anything new from here on out will be building on all past human knowledge,
And you will hear it first on
This Week In Science…
Coming Up Next…

Hawking Radiation Evidence?
Does a lab-made black hole simulation provide evidence that Hawking radiation is real? The story is compelling, but still just a simulation.

Force Of Nature
An update of this ongoing story, UC Irvine researchers have published a second paper providing evidence for their model of a protophobic X boson, a carrier of a proposed fifth fundamental force of physics.

Contrails Not Chemtrails
A survey of atmospheric scientists provides evidence against the existence of chemtrails. But, is a survey enough for the conspiracy theorists?

Go with your gut, or use your head…
They both influence each other, and not only through neural networks. Recent research implicates the immune system as well.

Female fish are choosy
Despite their fertilization being external, females can still favor the best fathers!

Male fish are bullies or cowards
Wimpy fish would rather take their chances with a predator than face up to the bully fish. How pathetic…

Fish pee deserves your thanks
Fish pee is what keeps coral reefs healthy. No, not your pee… NO, STEVE, STAY OUT OF THE REEF AND USE THE OUTHOUSE!

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Marsupial Lions?!?!
Elbow says not quite.

Recreating The Beginning
Scripps Institute researchers have evolved a ribozyme that can replicate short lengths of RNA and transcribe compex RNA structures. The development will help us investigate the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis that RNA preceeded DNA in biology.

Life Got Started
Maybe it was never a soup. Maybe it was a vent!

Salty Beaches
Increasing ocean salinity is increasing beach salinity, which might have dire consequences for intertidal life.

Precision Targeting
A species of bacteria that uses both magnetic and oxygen-level information to navigate was harnessed to deliver drug-filled nanoliposomes to low-oxygen areas of cancerous tumors.

The Light!
We may not need fluorescent markers to image DNA any longer. A new discovery found that at the correct stimulation frequency, DNA does naturally fluoresce.

Stay Healthy – Stay Home
Clock genes that fluctuate naturally on a daily and seasonal schedule might influence your immune system’s ability to protect itself from certain viruses.

Nothing can replace a mother cat’s love.
Or at least, when the kittens are in peril, it takes a female cat to save the day!

Going Borg
In an unexpected turn, virtual reality and brain-computer interfaces are changing the diagnoses of paralyzed patients.

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10 August, 2016 – Episode 579 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

August 12th, 2016
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IT’S NOT ALIENS, Canyons On Titan, Old Tool News, Breathy Bees, Sharing Spiders Die, Firefly Buzzkill, Iceworm!!!, Back to Behavior, A Whale Ears, A Lotta No, DNA Everywhere, X-Prize AI, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer!!!
The world of man is the world of stories…
Stories forge our religions, form our ethics, frame our political leanings and foster our imaginations…
It is how we read and write our history.
Story telling is the power behind the urban and the legend, from Gilgamesh to camp fire ghosts.
It is the fuel our media runs on…
Books, movies, music, news, poetry, paintings, photographs, social media posts, sports, video games and even 20 second commercials…
are all telling us a story of the world…
In many ways each of us is living in a fable,
Stitched together by the stories that surround us…
And then, there are some stories that speak to us about a world beyond…
Beyond the ideological barn yard,
Past the pools of poetry and pontification,
Trending lightly over the latest hashtag hill,
And sitting there just outside the gates of fairytale town…
There is Science.
And the stories told by science can not only teach us our history beyond the fortunes and failings of its human inhabitants…
But teach us the history of our planet, our solar system and our universe…
As well as teach us ways we can write our own future…
And righting the course of future human history is exactly what we’ve come to expect from
This Week In Science…
Coming Up Next.

IT’S NOT ALIENS!
But, a new analysis of light from the star cum Dyson sphere cum star found that it has been steadily dimming over the past four years.

Canyons On Titan
Cassini has found evidence that there are liquid hydrocarbons flowing through a canyon system on Saturn’s moon Titan.

Really old tools found…
Thank goodness they weren’t very clean.

Bees work together to “breathe” as what is basically a super-organism!
This is some next level stuff. Bees ventilate the colony by directing air through the group of individuals. Even a marching band isn’t that well coordinated!

Sharing isn’t always caring
Spiders that overshare starve, so THAT’S WHY I DON’T WANT TO GIVE YOU A BITE OF MY LUNCH, KAREN!

Firefly buzzkill
Your porch light could be ruining a firefly’s sex life, so consider that before you ruin their summertime ambiance!

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Iceworm
It’s not really a worm, but climate change will expose it.

Back To Behavior
New research on an expanded population of New Caledonian crows suggests that Betty the crow (who was lauded for innovative tool-making) may have been simply following a behavioral routine.

Whale Ears
Fossils tell the tale of hypersonic hearing in early whales.

A Lotta No
This is the week of let-downs in physics! CERN researchers report that the hints of a graviton particle were just blips, and disappeared with more data. That’s not to say another version of the particle doesn’t exist at different energy level, but this particular particle most likely doesn’t exist at the point they analyzed.
The OMEGA Laser facility used laser power to investigate the nucleosynthesis of lithium during the Big Bang, and came up short — less lithium-6 than expected. Now, the question is whether the Standard Model is accurate with respect to atomic formation.
Finally, the IceCube neutrino detector project reports no evidence of sterile neutrinos. This result is disappointing to some because sterile neutrinos would be evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model, but regardless, it also helps put stricter limits on future experiments.

X-AI-Prize
A new X-Prize $5 million competition in partnership with IBM’s Watson pits groups against one another “to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful AI technologies to tackle the world’s grand challenges.”

That’s quite the DNA test!
eDNA test could help us discover which species live in nearby water without ever seeing or catching any individuals.

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03 August, 2016 – Episode 578 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

August 5th, 2016
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Plants And Parasites, Malarial Mechanisms, Zika Update, Orangutan Mimic, Sea Lion Beats, Wolfie Questions, Oily Palms, Frost On Io, First Private Moon, New Lasers, Neurons Line Up, Don’t Smoke ‘Em, Challenge Success, Theranos Still Going, ISS Design Challenge, Fungus Lichens Yeast, Junco Telomeres, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer!!!
There is possibility
And then there is probability
It is possible to win the lottery…
But if you buy the ticket you will most probably lose…
It’s possible to jump off the golden gate bridge and survive…
But a large majority of those that launch themselves off most probably end up as lunch for all manner of fishy eaters…
It is possible to be struck by lightning while hitting a hole-in-one on the 7th at Pebble Beach…
But your golf buddy probably just said he saw it go in because that’s what buddies do when riding in ambulances with friends who have just been struck by lightning…
It is possible that the government is secretly working with a an alien race of dinosaur people
To first enslave and later to eat all of mankind
in order to take over the planet… which would explain global warming
and the chem trails and why the show firefly was canceled
and why there is always somebody, whenever you are out in public, who seems to be watching you… following you… and how else would they know that you alone have figured it all out…
Why, they even know your name is Ed… Run Ed, run for the hills, they’re on to you!
But unless your name is Ed… this is most probably not true…
And while everything and anything may seem possible,
the improbable more often than not is improbable because it is not possible…
What is always possible and becoming increasingly probable, unless your name is Ed and I mean it Ed you’ve got to go now, is that you are about to enjoy yet another episode of
This Week in Science,
Coming up Next…

Plants And Parasites
Two studies out this week report on the finding of a proliferation mechanism derived from plants in both Malaria and Toxoplasmosis. The discovery offers the possibility of treatments with fewer side effects compared to those currently available.

Malarial Mechanisms
And, last week, another study determined that when the malaria parasite mutates to avoid an antimalarial called chloroquine, it actually opens itself up to attack by other antimalarial drugs. Such a discovery could enable the lengthening of antimalarial lifetimes if incorporated properly into treatment regimes.

Zika Update
The NIH is beginning its stage 2 trial of a DNA vaccine for Zika virus, which essential will test for safety and proof of concept in healthy volunteers. Of concern are reports from the Obama administration that funds are running low for such research, which will delay the research and production process. Additionally, Zika has now been reported in over 40 US military members and their dependants, and in many cities across the US.

Colorful Dinosaurs
Turtle eye oils tell of an ancient origin that implies the dinosaurs saw and were quite colorful.

Is that orangutan making fun of me?
Or is he just learning to speak? I don’t know which would be more upsetting… But the ape may have a clue in the story of the development of human language.

…And that sea lion is a better dancer than me!
The sea lion that was taught to keep a beat in 2013 has some new insight for us in the story of music.

Should we save hybrid species?
All wolves in North America may be one species. So do they really need our help? And do we want to preserve weird wolf/coyote hybrids??

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Oily Palms
Palm oil demand is driving growing production in continents around the globe. With that production comes the need for more farm area, and so deforestation in sensitive areas is becoming a major issue. The question is whether consumer demand for sustainable palm oil sources will force the market to shift in that direction. For information on products that contain palm oil click this link.

Frost On Io
The atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Io gets turned to frost for about 2 hours out of every 42 as the moon passes through Jupiter’s shadow.

First Private Moon
Moon Express just received federal approval to put a coffee table sized lander on the moon.

New Lasers
Not just new, but VORTEX Lasers!!!

Neurons Line Up
In a landmark study of neuronal synapse structure, researchers have shown that some proteins on the sending side of a synapse are more likely to be localized together, and when they are they are more likely to be involved in neurotransmitter vesicle formation. Not only this, but the proteins on the sending side line up with proteins on the receiving side of the synapse.

Don’t Smoke ‘Em
E-cigarettes are harmful, just not as harmful as regular cigarettes.

Challenge Success
The Ice Bucket Challenge funded collaborations between researchers that culminated in the discovery of a gene variant that is present in 3% of ALS sufferers.

Theranos Still Going
The CEO of Theranos presented a new device, the miniLab for running assays, at a chemistry conference this week; again, presenting only internal data, and nothing that had been externally verified, and making grand promises.

ISS Design Challenge
It’s a contest for engineers/designers to team up with Grant Imihara to design a part for the ISS and 3D printed in space! Started by Mouser Electronics, the contest teams up with Made in Space to get useful 3D printable design into space.

Three isn’t always a crowd!
Yeast joins in the party with fungus and algae, and it turns out it was there all along…

The longer the flight, the shorter the telomeres
Uh oh. Maybe I shouldn’t be quite such the frequent flyer…?

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