03 December, 2014 – Episode 492 – This Week in Science


Photonic Radiative Cooling! What?!?, Atmospheric Annihilation, Dried Up Dwarves, Radiation Station, Smarter Mice, Worms Eat Plastic, Drill Bugs Drill, King Richard Remains, Odor Me This, Panda Flexibility, Reef Sounds, Ceasing Smoking, Seeing The Unseeable, And Much More…

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The world is full of details…
Innumerable levels of complexity from every size to every scale
There’s a something to see, where ever you look…
Some of it is even alive!
And with all this complexity abounding we then add humanity…
Sentient humanity with all of its conceptual complexity
Making laws out of rational and irrational thoughts alike
Peering back in time thousands, millions and billions of years…
And sometimes denying that any of it ever existed
We built science as a tool of knowledge to separate
the rational from the irrational, and have seen it wielded it as a weapon against tyranny…
And we have seen it wielded by tyrants…
As a result, sentient humanity with all of its conceptual complexity can fall into two categories…
Those who trust in the scientific method and those who do not
While both sides of this divide have their reasons for choosing where they stand
If you look up at a starry night and all you see is lights
You are missing the view of the Milky Way, and a billion suns burning bright
Here on This Week in Science… Coming up next!!!

Photonic Radiative Cooling! What?!?
Stanford researchers have developed a device for our rooftops that passively cools up to 5 degrees below ambient temperature and beams the excess heat into space.

Atmospheric Annihilation
MIT scientsists have calculated the probability of Earth losing its atmosphere due to the impacts of many small objects, and found it quite high.

Radiation Station
The MATROSHKA mission discovered that astronauts might not receive as much radiation as estimated.

Dried Up Dwarves
Old M-class dwarf stars might have burned too brightly early on in their planetary system development cycle to allow water-based life to form on so-called Goldilocks planets.

Smarter Mice
Adding human glial cells to developing mouse brains resulted in smarter mice.

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Worms Eat Plastic
Researchers discovered that a species of worm harbors gut bacteria that eat plastic. Might be good news for degrading plastics in the environment.

Drill Bugs Drill
Studies of how microbes attack cells have shown that they mechanically drill through the cell membrane to gain access to the cell interior.

King Richard’s Remains
They were found in a parking lot… well, under a lot being constructed that is.

Odor Me This
Kittiwakes likely use odor to choose mates. Scientists found that preen gland scents resemble genetic factors for immunity.

Panda Flexibility
Wish Blair was here for this one! Pandas can live more places than thought!

Reef Sounds
Coral reefs impacted by human activity and climate change are quiter than healthy reefs. This can impact all sorts of aspects of life on the reef.

Ceasing Smoking
Changes in brain activity in specific brain areas predict success in smoking cessation, and potentially point toward development of better approaches to the challenge.

Seeing The Unseeable
Technology to produce 3-dimensional shapes in middair that can be felt has been developed using ultrasound.

Infrared Vision
When pulsed properly, human eyes can see infrared light even though it is supposed to be outside our frequency range.

Ebola Update
Ebola continues to spread through Sierra Leone with death tolls rising.

Less Virulent HIV?
Adaptation of HIV to human immunity factors might be reducing its virulence.

Let’s Go To Mars!
Make sure to check out the results of tomorrow’s important Orion capsule launch.

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I'm the host of this little science show.