18 October, 2017 – Episode 641 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

October 19th, 2017

Neutron Star Smash!!!, AIs Rule Go, Salty Science, Saltier Science, Smother Mothers, Venom Variation, Eruption And Famine, No Easter In Argentina, Reproductive Bacteria, Breast Cancer Awareness, Octopus Camouflage, Spider Labyrinths, And Much More…

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A great poet once said something deeply revealing of the human condition…
And spoke it so plainly,
in such a simple string of otherwise ordinary words…
That everyone who heard it felt changed from that day forward…
They were more bold,
and self-assured…
Yet more empathetic and dedicated to the betterment of all…
They all found great happiness and success in their endeavors because of this perspective…
Though unfortunately,
while setting off brightly into their futures,
nobody took the time to write it down.
And, while I have no idea what was said then,
partly because I made it up,
we all can imagine that there is a short and simple string of words
that could invoke our better natures…
I offer you mine here…
Once upon a long ago time…
On a planet near as near can be…
A creature was born that bore a striking resemblance to you and me…
It looked around and wondered…
Is this all there is to see?
This child of evolution,
this beast of biology’s past
Looked around and wondered…
Am I really up to the task?
With feet not quite made for walking…
And eyes pitch blind at night.
It stood up late one evening
And walked clear out of sight.
And where was this primitive child of history headed?
You may have already guessed.
This Week In Science,
Coming up next…

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I’m a resident of Houston, Texas and in mid-August I had some minor surgery in my arm which left me pretty-much home-bound for the following two weeks. Unfortunately during those two weeks, Hurricane Harvey decided to show up. However, I had science on my side. Due to advances in climatology, meteorology, hydrology, and computer science I was able to stay up to date on the path of the storm, including receiving real time alerts for flooding, heavy rain, and even tornadoes. Thanks to the advances in telecommunications, I was able to stay in touch with the friend who was going to evacuate me, though thankfully it never came to that point. Thanks to the engineers and material scientists I was able to stay warm and dry in my apartment throughout the storm. Thanks to the advances in the sciences of food preparation and stabilization, I was able to stay fed throughout the storm and recovery without having to go to the grocery store repeatedly. Though Harvey was a disaster for Texas, without science it would have been a lot worse.”
–Jay Schneiderman

Neutron Star Smash!!!
The LIGO/VIRGO collaboration announced the detection of the merging of two neutron stars in a specific region of space, and the observation by various telescope arrays of the light signals resulting from that merger.

AIs Rule Go
Google’s DeepMind AI initiative, which has succeeded at beating human masters of the game Go, developed a new AI competitor that was trained by other AIs. With 3 days of training, it consistantly beat human-trained AI predecessors.

Salty Science
Salts might be the future of batteries.

Saltier Science
New desalination process for brackish waters.

Scorpions adjust their venom accordingly
Scorpions can adjust their arsenal to protect, kill, or both. Yikes!

Guppy mothers take (s)mothering to a whole new level
Guppy gestation lasts longer when food is scarce, and shorter when predators loom. Mom sure knows how to give her DNA investment just what it needs. Awww….

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Eruption And Famine
Researchers made a connection between volcanic ash in ice cores and records of unrest in ancient Egypt.

No Easter in Argentina
It’s not in the genes.

Reproductive Bacteria
A study of the female reproductive tract found that the microbiota of the system is complex and varies in correlation with several factors.

Breast Cancer Awareness
Breast cancer cells use ammonia as a source of nitrogen to fuel growth. This understanding could lead to new treatments.

Future soldiers will blend in better with seaweed and squid.

Dampeners… now with more spiders!

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11 October, 2017 – Episode 640 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

October 12th, 2017

What Matter?, Dark Matter, Marsigrades?, Bacteria For Youth, Good Neighbors, Noise Problems, Corn Futures, Memory At Altitude, Turbo Charged Brain, Museum Storage Finds, Schizophrenic Blood Vessels?, Rings Around Haumea, Bees For Coal, And Much More…

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The modern world as we know it…
will end.
This is not a warning of terrible things to come…
Nor is it a call to action to repent,
throw caution to the wind,
or give up on long term goals…
The message,
the modern world as we know it will end…
Will not be followed up with an advertisement
urging you to purchase
a year’s supply of dehydrated foods,
or small coin semi precious metals to be used as future currency…
In fact, the modern world as we know it…
will just end…
as it has many,
many times in the past,
With a new,
more modern world in its place…
Because we always live in the most modern of worlds…
Shedding off old worlds of modernity
as easily as updating to the latest version of an operating system…
And to that process of increased knowledge and understanding…
To the patterns of progress and discovery…
To the clear eyed steady pace of science and technology…
There is no end of new insights in sight…
Only new beginnings…
And nothing could put this into more convincing context
Than This Week in Science…
Coming up next…

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I have gardened all of my adult life, but only lately, with the invention of the internet, have I come to use and appreciate science in the garden. I must understand how vegetation decays in order to have a working compost pile. When our trees, vegetables and flower plants are attacked by pests and diseases I research insects, caterpillars, viruses, fungi, and bacteria and try to use the most environmentally friendly solutions. Plants also need the proper amount of sunlight, water, the right pH and soil nutrients, all of which I test for. I must know the ways plants pollinate and who the pollinators are. To predict harvest times and adverse pressures, I keep track of growing-degree days. In processing the harvest I make sure I’m canning and freezing safely. The use of charts, graphs, and journals help me apply scientific methods. So, for the work of entomologists, soil scientists, botanists, chemists, computer scientists, biologists, and many others, including thousands of citizen scientists, I am most grateful. The beauty and wonder of a garden is a great romance, but it’s science that provides the answers to the most puzzling of nature’s marvels.
–(Stefanie Grote, Pennsylvania)”

What matter?
New analyses of the webbing between galaxies suggests that it might contain a significant amount of what is considered “missing” baryonic matter in the form of diffuse gas.

Dark Matter
There are more experiments on the table to find the elusive dark matter particle. Whether they will, is still unknown, and hotly debated.

Mars Vents
Did researchers just find evidence of hydrothermal vents on Mars, and if so, what does that mean?

Ageing well with microbiota
This is definitely a chicken/egg situation.

Like a good neighbor?
Good neighbors, known neighbors, or related neighbors could prolong your life, according to a new study, if you are a bird.

Noise pollution could be ghastly for gobies.
Male gobies purr to get their lady in the mood. So what happens when my speedboat drowns him out??

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Building a better world… with corn
Genetic modification of corn to add an essential amino acids could affect cattle ranching and our ability to feed the world.

Memory At Altitude
A nootropic drug called oxiracetam improved climbers memories possibly by increasing blood flow to cognitive regions of the brain.

Turbo Charged Brain
Transcranial stimulation that’s tuned to the user’s brainwaves boosts brain operation.

Museum storerooms across the country re-examined…
found a new species of Ichthyosaur.

Birds Of A Feather
Soot from bird feathers tells a tale of pollution through the Industrial era.

New mechanism for the development of schizophrenia?
Could it be in the blood vessels?

Ring Around Haumea
In a complete surprise, astronomers have detected a ring around dwarf planet Haumea.

Environmentalists tell coal miners to buzz off…
To bee keeping school! This program could give new skills to former coal workers, while paying homage to the region’s deep history.

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04 October, 2017 – Episode 639 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

October 6th, 2017

Nobel Intent 2017, Clone Editing!, Jumping Herpes, Old People, Aesop’s Raccoons, Tsunami Stowaways, Woven Links, Brain Drain, Hydrogen From Sunlight, Tabby’s Star Update, Universal Flu Vaccine Trial, And Much More…

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We here at show headquarters understand that science news may not be for everyone…
The stories here typically begin with phrases like:
Resent research into “fill in the blank” reveals…
According to a new FMRI study on “insert cephalopod here”…
Unearthed fossils found of previously unknown “fill in thing you never knew existed” …
An interesting discovery from NASA just beyond the “insert in somewhere spacey”…

Only some people in our society want to hear stories like these…
So we don’t do the show for everyone…
We do this…
just for you…
Because you…
are one of us…
One of us who find the discoveries in science…
not just informative, but exciting, and inspiring…
One of us,
who revel in knowing,
thirst for more data,
hungers after every study for further research.
And while the news world at large continues to pander to popular pulp,
keeping science news far off in peoples peripheral…
You are one of us…
here to fill in the blanks for This Week in Science…
Coming Up Next

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“In 2012 I was diagnosed with Melanoma.Even with treatment by early 2014 it had metastasized and the prognosis was bad.. After 4 treatments of Yarvoy followed by 36 bi-weekly treatments of Opdivo, I have had a complete response. NO Signs of the cancer for 10 months.
That’s what science has done for me lately!!!????
–Tom McKaig”

Nobel Intent 2017
The all male science review of the year! While the scientific achievements of the awardees are impressive and worthy, once again we see a lack of female representation. Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 for their development of an effective method for generating three-dimensional images of the molecules of life using cryo-electron microscopy. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was divided, one half awarded to Rainer Weiss, the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017 was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm”.

Clone Editing!
Chinese researchers used a modified CRISPR technique to edit recessive single base pair mutations in early cloned embryos suggesting a potential use for preventing beta-thalassaemia.

Jumping Herpes
Humans did not carry genital herpes with us from our chimpanzee ancestors. Oh no… we re-acquired it from a human ancestor.

Modern humans, older than we think
New data to place modern humans further back in time.

Raccoons solve an ancient puzzle, but is it due to brains or chance?
Raccoons learn to displace water to get a treat, but don’t always pick the best method for doing it. Do they get it? Or are they just really good at grabbing morsels??

Tsunami stowaways
In an unexpected and unintentional ocean-wide experiment, species have rafted across the entire pacific following the 2011 tsunami. How did they do it, and what does this mean for coastal ecosystems?

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Early Italian Celtic links
Historical connections made through a web of clothing fibers.

Brain Drain
MRI studies suggest that the lymphatic system is connected to the nervous system across mammalian species contrary to previous beliefs. This evidence might lead to new perspectives on auto-immune neurodegenerative disorders.

Hydrogen from sunlight
A new catalyst might make things cheaper and easier to implement.

Tabby’s Star Update
It’s probably just dust.

Universal Flu Vaccine Trial
A new vaccine against Influenza A will be tested in the UK this winter.

Stop bullying scientists for doing their job!
Alleged killers asked citizen science to trap wasps in beer traps for a scientific study. And suddenly NOW everyone cares about insects?!

Million dead birds a day
Thanks, cats!

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27 September, 2017 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

September 28th, 2017

The 17%, LIGO VIRGO GO!, Bird Beak Beginnings, Sleepy Jellies, Multitasking Pigeons, Growing Up Neanderthal, A Memory Molecule, Secrete Life Of Finger Tips, World Robot Domination, More Old Life, And Much More…

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We live in interesting times…
Too interesting in some ways…
It’s nothing like the old days…
Ah the good old boring days…
Back before the smart phone…
Back before the internet…
Back before television, radio and the printing press…
Back before the pulley, the lever and the invention of the wheel…
Back further still, before the written alphabet, before the domestication of animals…
Before socks…
because I’m pretty sure socks predate all those other inventions…
I’m talking about way way back…
Early man sitting gathered together round a fire at the entrance of a cave…
Some pondering the images within the flickering shadows at the back of the cave wall…
Others carefully gauging the distance at which feet can be held from the fire to give warmth…
yet not cook like mammoth steaks…
Some speculating about the meaning of the migration of the twinkling lights in the night sky…
While others knap away, hoping to make the worlds best stone axe…
in preparation for the next hunt..
And while we may think of these evenings of early humans as boring by todays standards…
They did hold great promise for the curious minded…
For so much interesting new knowledge was waiting out there for these early humans…
Knowledge that we now take for granted in our interesting times…
Though chances are…
if we run the clock of humanity forward…
we won’t need to go thousands of years into the future, but maybe just a few hundred…
We may find that the humans of today have much more in common with cave men gathered round a fire…
Than with the humans of tomorrow…
Who will look back at our simpler times…
with a vast landscape of discoveries still ahead of us and say…
These humans had it so easy,
why they even had This Week in Science…
coming up next…

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“As a technophile I surround myself with technology news, technology trends and technology futurism fully on a daily basis.
Technology is the real world application of scientific principles.
It is from the work of electrical engineering, the material sciences, quantum mechanics and many other disciplines working together that we live in this world of connectivity and mobile and cloud computing. The full power of data centers and super computers has gone from the ivory tower to my pocket. ??
Science and technology work in a virtuous spiral. Science gives us better technology, better technology gives us more precise ways to do better science and so on. It is for this reason that I look forward to the future. I do so with anticipation for what new thing, what new discovery is right around the corner.
One fan of many,
Dale Moore”

The 17%
If you are a TWIS minion, you are the 17%… the 17% of Americans who actively seek out science. Thanks for joining us.

Together, three gravitational wave detectors confirmed the detection of a binary black hole collision.

How’d that happen?
Bird Beaks explained

Tarnation! I’m as sleepy as an upside-down jelly on a descending mesh tube!
Jellies have shown, as the first animal without a brain, to sleep, according to new research. What’s more, they pay for it when they miss out on their downtime.

Bird Brain Indeed!
You may fancy yourself a multitasking expert, but you’ve got nothing on pigeons.

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Growing up Neanderthal
Less talking, more walking!

A Memory Molecule
More evidence supports the idea that a calcium modulating molecule in the synapses of neurons is responsible for long-term memory.

Secrete life of finger tips
They do what they want.

Neuron Chips
Not a tasty snack, but a potential method for creating neuron-mimicking computer chips.

Nunchuks For Robots?
In a demonstration of a new intuitive learning technique researchers describe how they taught their robot to use nunchuks. We are doomed.

More Old Life
Do the Saglek block rocks of Labrador hold evidence for the earliest life ever discovered?

Giant coconut cracking rat

Billionare looks to build electric car…
Good luck with that.

Pluto’s Knives
Pluto has blade-like structures made of methane ice at high elevations near its equator thanks to climate variation that sublimates the methane.

Cute But Deadly
Smilodon kittens started out ready to pounce.

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20 September, 2017 – Episode 101 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

September 21st, 2017

IgNobels 2017!!!, Bacteria And Cancer, Alzheimer’s Progress, TWITEOTW, The Ultimate Sacrifice, All Hail Beelzebufo!, Easter Island People, Black Planet?, Blue Eggs, Why Blue?, No Sleep For Depression, DeColorizing Butterflies, Fake Skin!, Plastic Eating Problem?, VaJayJay Science, And Much More…

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Since the dawn of time…
humans haven’t been around since the dawn of time
Since the dawn of somewhat recent events maybe…
Science has been humanities greatest accomplishment…
There have been a few other accomplishments along the way…
But really too few to mention…
Mostly having to do with figuring out what is and isn’t edible,
trial and error type things.
Without science we would know nothing reliable about the past…
We would know precious little about the present…
And the future would reliably include cycles of famine, war and pestilence…
Worse still, dishes and laundry would all be done by hand.
And long distance communication would require a lot of walking…
While humans continue to build upon the best thing they ever came up with
We continue to report upon their progress
In the hope that through better understanding of the greatest accomplishments
We can understand where humanity has been
And where it is headed.
And while not all humanity seems headed in the same direction…
You are certainly headed for a bright future as you walked into another episode of
This Week in Science…
coming up next

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hey guys!
First, we love your show, and we listen together on a weekly basis. And, that’s a good segue…
You’ll note I said “”we.””
“”We”” has changed a lot for my wife and I over the past year, and that’s what science has done for us lately.
You see, a little over a year ago we were told by our doctors to talk to a reproductive endocrinologist – the short story is that it appeared there was no way we could have children naturally. My wife and I both have issues on our own that make having a child difficult. Combine these issues together, it just couldn’t happen.
But science to the rescue!
Thanks to a whole slew of different scientific fields, we were able to bring our daughter home last month.
Science gave us :
The work of Patrick Steptoe and nobel winner Richard Edwards who developed in vitro fertilization.
It gave us our reproductive endocrinologist whose specialization in hormones was able to trick our bodies into working right long enough to put the parts together to make a baby.
It gave us the geneticists who performed genetic screening for us, to ensure that there were no genetic problems that could make an embryo incompatible with life.
It gave us embryologists who could select the embryos that were most likely to survive the IVF process and make it to full term.
It gave us the pharmaceutical scientists to develop the epidural to limit my wife’s pain over 22 hours of labor, and the anesthesiologists to administer it.
It gave our daughter the vaccinations to prevent disease, it gave her vitamin k shots to prevent bleeding, and eye drops to prevent blindness.
There are hundreds more ways that science helped this whole thing happen, but this email has to end at some point.
So really, what I am saying is – what has science done for me lately? Science gave my wife and I this beautiful little girl, Ada Marie.
My wife and I owe our family to science. And for that, we are eternally grateful.
That’s what science has one for us lately.
Thank you again for everything you guys do, and keep fighting the good fight to spread the light of science over the land.
– Matty and Jen Sarro

PS: Ada (Lovelace) Marie (Curie), because we’re nerds like that ”

IgNobels 2017!!!
Who was recognized for improbable research this year?

Bacteria And Cancer
In some tumors, anaerobic bacteria hangout and consume chemotherapy drugs. New research suggests that in these cases treating cancer patients with anti-biotics concurrently with chemotherapy is more successful.

Alzheimer’s Progress
A study being called “seminal” by leading Alzheimer researchers brings together the worlds of amyloid plaques and tau tangles to tell a more complete story that can potentially lead to more effective treatments.

Predicting the end of the world with math or… the end is pi
How long do we have before we tip the balance and trigger a mass extinction?

Aunt of the year goes to the spider who lets her nieces and nephews devour her alive
Velvet spiders, some of the only communal spiders, allow babies to eat them to survive, even if they aren’t their (or anyone else’s) mother. Yikes.

All hail Beelzebufo!
By studying horned frogs, aka pacman frogs, researchers conclude that the now extinct beelzebufo was able to eat dinosaurs. Now that is a version of pacman I’d like to play!

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Easter Islands Population Problem…
There were quite a few people on those islands.

Black Planet?
Or a black body planet that glows kind of red or yellow? Someone answer me this question!!!

Blue Eggs
Thanks to molecular chemistry paleontologists have discovered a world of color in dinosaur eggs.

Why Blue?
The naming of colors come from cultural need, and an isolated Amazonian tribe has less need to describe cool colors like blue.

No Sleep For Depression
A meta-analysis found that about 50% of patients respond positively to acute-sleep deprivation treatment for depression symptoms. However, most report return of symptoms within days or weeks.

DeColorizing Butterflies
Using CRISPR to delete genes, researchers are able to identify which are responsible for the beautiful colors that differentiate them from moths.

One step closer to terminator…
New aritficial skin can sense the difference between hot and cold. What’s next??

Plastic-eating caterpillar may be bunk.
Study released in April about potential for plastic-degrading enzymes from caterpillars may need some revisiting.

The right way to touch a vajayjay…

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13 September, 2017 – Episode 636 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

September 14th, 2017

Interview w/ Emily Lakdawalla on Cassini Mission, Viking Warrior Wonderings, Voynich Not Much, To Sit Or Not?, Water Moon, Sleep-Deprived Sex Flies, Octo Origins, Squirrel Chunking, Stem Cell Conversion, Long Range Low power, And Much More…

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There is more to the world you live in…
Then the world you are living on.
There are things o’plenty to occupy your time with here, it’s true…
And much can be learned about the nature of stuff
and the complicated organization of reality without ever looking up…
But there is much more going on than can be answered if we do not…
Up there, over there, way way way out there…
The rest of the universe is waiting to be explored…
And thankfully, some of us are up to the task.
“We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.”
That is the vision statement of NASA…
As they lift their gaze to those new heights,
they lift all of ours, freely sharing what is learned…
at the same time they have us looking up, and out…
they are constantly looking back…
Reveling the unknown here on Earth as well…
And if revealing the unknown here on Earth or elsewhere is something you’re into…
You’ve landed at the right location because it’s time for
This Week In Science…
coming up next.

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi there! My name is Tina Penman and I met you at the Science Communication Conference in January. Thanks for TWIS! I started listening to the podcasts last week and I really enjoy them so far.
Here’s what science has done for me:
A couple weekends ago, I completed the 2017 Seattle to Portland bike ride with my friends Anna Diedesch and Nathan Pearson. 203 miles in 2 days! If it weren’t for the inventors of the bicycle (which is up for debate, by the way) and science, I would not have been able to pedal on an actual bike from Seattle to Portland. If it weren’t for the gears on my bike, I would not have been able to climb the rolling hills and glide back down at full speed, using gravity to my advantage. If it weren’t for my understanding of physics and pace lines, I would have been trudging into the wind at 15-18 mph out in the open by myself. If it weren’t for our understanding of food, nutrition, and the impact it has on energy levels, we may have improperly refueled during the long ride. Thanks to science, we were able to conquer the ride together!
Ride on,”
–Minion Tina Penman
Portland, OR

Interview with Emily Lakdawalla, the Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society, to discuss the Cassini Mission and its impending end.

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Viking Warrior Wonderings
Did she play games??? Who was she? The identification of a skeleton found in a Viking burial ground as female has set off a firestorm of debate as to whether or not the individual was or was not a warrior.

Voynich Not Much
A historian said he translated the Voynich mansuscript, and that it’s a gynecological text. However, other historians have taken issue with the published article.

To Sit Or Not?
A recent study concludes that sitting will kill you, but how trustworthy are the results?

Water Moon
We now have a map of water on the moon.

What do sex, fruit flies, and sleep deprivation have to do with understanding the human brain?
Male fruit flies, when exposed to virgin females, skipped sleep for the night, and showed no sign of needing extra or deeper sleep the next night. This opens the door to many more questions about our need for sleep!

Cephalopod color-changing super powers may have strange origin
Much like Peter Parker was bit by a radioactive spider, octopuses and other cephalopods may have horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to thank for their color-changing abilities. Just instead of a spider it’s a bacterium, instead of a bite it’s HGF, and instead of crime-fighting it’s crab-eating…

Squirrel Chunking
Squirrels use a memory technique to organize food items for long-term storage in certain situations.

Stem Cell Conversion
Researchers successfully converted skin cells directly into motor neurons.

It’s safe to take Hormone replacement therapy for up to 7 years according to a new study in JAMA!

Long-range near-zero-power devices
This could change so many things!

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06 September, 2017 – Episode 635 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

September 8th, 2017

CRISPR Debate, Zika For Cancer, Long Lived Evolution, Ancient Crete Feet, Ancient Americans, Keeping It Clean, Bird Nose Necessity, Vampires Are Real?, Finding Holes, Cultural Wife Swapping, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

There comes a point, when it’s time to get out.
When the fire alarm goes off…
When the forest is full of smoke…
When the ship is sinking…
It’s time to get out.
When the flood waters are rising…
When a hurricane is headed in your direction…
When downtown is ten feet underwater…
It’s time to get out.
And for those who have doubted the predictions of global warming…
Who doubted the data, the scientists and the studies…
Who have bunkered down in denial…
It is time to get out.
We have seen the heroic efforts to rescue neighbors,
evacuate neighborhoods in Texas and Florida…
We see the destroyed homes and billions of dollars in damages…
And this is just the beginning of what climate change has in store…
And while no expense will be spared to save lives on the day a hurricane hits…
We could spend much less and do much more to protect those lives…
Simply by listening to scientists…
Speaking of listening to scientists, it’s time to get out
This Week In Science…
Coming Up Next.

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Good science, Dr. Kiki, Blair and Justin!
Science does a lot for me every day, from giving me my cell phone to my thyroid medicine, to better insulation in my house. But today I’d like to give a shout-out to veterinary science & medicine.
My cat Henry is just over a year old, but his first year of life has been pretty eventful in a medical sense.
First, he had a wicked, long lasting (around 2 months) case of conjunctivitis. His vet worked with me and helped me keep him as comfortable as possible while also preventing any secondary infections. When he finally got over that, he had several months without any problems, but then he came down with an epic case of stomatitis.
Apparently poor Henry’s immune system was fiercely attacking his teeth. It was so bad that the vet didn’t think there was any way to save any of his teeth, and all indications after the fact point to that diagnosis having been completely correct.
The vet thought she’d have to do three or four surgeries to remove his teeth, but when she got in there she discovered that his teeth were so degraded that they came out really easily. Because of that, she got almost all of his teeth in one surgery, and was able to take the rest out during the second surgery.
During the surgeries, the vet did many, many x-rays (yay science!) to make sure that she got every piece of every tooth out, so that his body wouldn’t just keep attacking whatever bits got left behind.
Henry was given antibiotics (yay science!) to prevent any infection and pain killers (yay science!) to keep him comfortable while he healed.
Thanks to science and veterinary medicine, Henry is healing up really well. Better, in fact, than expected. He can even eat dry food now, though I make sure he has plenty of wet food, since it’s obviously easier.
Henry is an incredibly sweet cat, and I’m so glad that science and veterinary medicine have been able to help him, as well as so many other injured and ill animals.
Here is picture of Henry napping with his “sister” Bess. Bess is the Siamese giving Henry, who is grey, a hug.
P.S. Bess and Henry are indoor cats, so they aren’t killing any birds.”
-Minion Joni Waldrup

Did a recent study actually fix a deleterious mutation carried by sperm that causes heart disease?

Zika For Cancer
A recent study supports the idea that Zika might be used to defeat brain cancer.

Long Lived Evolution
A study in PLoS finds possible evidence that natural selection is getting rid of mutations that shorten lifespan.

Ancient Crete Feet
Who were these ancient people???

Ancient Americans
DNA evidence from 13,000 years ago!

Keeping it clean gets a whole new meaning!
Testosterone for cleanliness.

The bird nose knows, ya know??
Birds rely more on smell than magnetism to navigate.

Support us on Patreon!

Vampires are real?

Finding Holes
Did researchers find a mid-sized black hole near the center of our galaxy?

Jupiter’s Aurora
NASA’s Juno mission has given scientists new insights about aurora formation.

Cultural wife swapping
The Germans got wives from everywhere.

Sneezy Decisions
Wild dogs use sneeze quorums to make group decisions.

Dog Awareness
A new twist on the mirror test for self-awareness finds evidence in dogs.

Lady Cuckoo Deception
Female cuckoos mimic the sounds of hawks after visiting a target nest.

Everyone calm the heck down about Fukushima
and just eat some sushi already!

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30 August, 2017 – Episode 634 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)

August 31st, 2017

Ancient Math, Human Variation, Mass Extinctions Suck, Probable Meteoroids, Whale Teeth Tales, Four Flippers Flipping, Bones For Brains, Microbial Messages, Moth Dating Games, Drink More Coffee, Promising Biomedicine, And Much More…

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Whenever a natural disaster hits…
And we witness tragic loss of life and home and livelihood…
I am reminded that there is no such thing as a natural disaster…
Only man made ones.
The events…
Whether in Texas or India or elsewhere,
While unprecedented in scale…
Were not unpredicted…
That they were not prepared for,
is no act of nature…
But our own damn fault…
We have known for some time that with global warming,
would come greater sea levels…
Larger storms…
With greater precipitation…
And greater flooding…
We have heard the dire predictions of scientists…
And we have seen many recent examples of those predictions proving true…
What remains now is a choice.
To continue to ignore reality,
and endure devastation after devastation as a natural part of life…
Or take charge of our future…
take charge of our leadership…
take charge of our own protection…
And in doing so live in a world made stronger, safer, and more secure.
A world built on the foundation of This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi Kirsten, Blair and Justin,
My story goes two fold – my work and learning English as my second language.
Back in the fall of 2005, after our daughter Liza was born, my second cousin was about to fly from Canada to Ukraine to see a new member in the family and he asked me what present would I want to. I was thinking about what I’ll be doing during long walks with the baby carriage and iPod Mini came to my mind. Ever since I began listening podcasts in English and TWIS was the first one (yes, I’m kind of veteran-listener -:) )
So kudos to clever engineers and iTunes platform builders for giving me a a great way of listening stuff that I deeply interesting in English and therefore helping me to polish my English more and more. TWIS was only the beginning, than I began listening wonderful StarTalk with Neil Degrassi Tyson, Life Scientific with Jim Al-Khalili, Orbital Path many others. All those podcasts helped me to grow my horizons and learn the language tremendously and continue to feed my curiously daily.
As to my work, without science, not a chance that I would be able to work from home on a U.K.-based online publication as an editor and have a real freedom to work from wherever I want, having my laptop, Wifi and yes – ??-:) next to me.
If you think hard enough about what makes such work style and language learning possible, you’ll name dozens and dozens of technologies that collectively make it possible. Without science it would not be possible. Period.”
–minion Artyom Dogtyev

Ancient Math
Well, not only did the Babylonians bring the world the first printed language, it turns out they also did complex math. An analysis of an ancient tablet revealed that the Babylonians practiced a form of trigonometry that is superior to the modern style in many ways.

Human Variation
Different groups of humans have very different and specific patterns of methylation, which could indicate adaptability, according to a recent study of human epigenetic variation.

Mass Extinctions Suck
A model of soot in the atmosphere at the K-T extinction estimates that about 99% of the light from the sun would have been blocked, and the effects would have lasted 6 years.

House size meteoroid hits earth
It’s really not as bad as it could be.

Plesiosaurs can’t swim?
That’s just silly.

From The Stacks
Another incredible fossil discovery was made when a researcher started looking at museum collections – the largest known Ichthyosaurus specimen ever was misidentified and had been given the tail of another species for display purposes.

Whales with teeth
From whence they came.

Hormone reverses age-related memory loss in mice
A protein made by our bones influences our brain function. Who knew?

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Let me hear your biota talk…
The bacteria are talking to your cells.

Moth Dating Games
Sexy female moths increase the chances of plains Janes getting a shot at the dating game. It turns out proximity to sexy plays a big role in helping the less attractive females reproduce.

Drink More Coffee
Live longer…

Promising Biomedicine
Researchers use a drug called dibezazepine is able to block Notch signalling and turn white fat cells into brown fat cells, which are metabolically more efficient.
Transplants of IPSCs into the brains of monkeys lacking dopaminergic neurons integrated successfully and reduced Parkinson’s-like symptoms over the study period.
A study in PNAS finds that small molecules called indoles that are produced by symbiotic bacteria increase the healthspan of worms, flies, and mice.

CAR-T Approval
It’s a go for the first CAR-T cancer therapy in the US, but the potential recipients are few.

Salmon Run
An Atlantic fish farm in Washington State failed this past week releasing over 3 million pounds of fish that have now spread some 60 miles. Fishermen are being given open license to take as many as they can in order to limit the damage to the ecosystem and natural Pacific salmon populations.

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