05 December, 2018 – Episode 698 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


CRISPR Babies Update, You, Me, Uterus!, Placenta In A Dish, Not Our Tools, Not A Dolphin, Uno Dos of Trace, New Species!, A Neuromorphic Synapse?, Galileo GPS Relativity, Going Greenland, No Heart Stem Cells, And Much More…

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they’re pretty much everywhere.
The following program is geared towards humans
Humans make up most of the listening audience.
The stories are mostly retold by humans,
Based on scientific work done by other humans.
There are humans helping record, edit, and rebroadcast the show.
There are humans who support the financial needs of the show.
There are even humans who visit the show from time to time.
But oddly, the actual content of the show is rarely directly about humans.
It’s one of the wonderful things about science;
Unlike most anything else we humans talk about…
Science allows us to focus our minds on things not human.
And as it turns out,
there’s a lot more going on in the universe than us!
And we’re going to talk all about it here on
This week in science,
Coming up Next…

CRISPR Babies Update
Apparently, the researcher who reported the first births of two gene-edited babies is now missing. Also, are we discussing the edited CCR5 gene, which according to research in individuals given CCR5 blockers ass part of HIV treatment is involved in learning and memory. So, tell us who was only interested in disease and NOT enhancement?

You, Me, Uterus!
The Lancet reports the first instance of a live birth from a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor.

Placenta In A Dish
Researchers in the UK have successfully created healthy placental organoids from donated placental tissue, which could lead to a platform for studying placenta-based disease in the lab.

Ancient mystery hominins somewhat discovered
Whose tools have we found?

If it walks like a dolphin…
it still isn’t a dolphin. It might be an Ichthyosaur!

A Conversation w/ Trace Dominguez! Find him at Uno dos of Trace.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi Everyone,
Long time listener (Eric-in-AK in the chatroom)
What has science done for me lately?

Well, on November 30, 2018 my home, Anchorage Alaska was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The epicenter was 7 miles from town. In other places an earthquake that big and that close has been devastating and deadly.

However, Alaska is earthquake country. We have a large percentage of the world’s earthquakes. So we have some history.

On March 27, 1964, Anchorage and South-Central Alaska suffered a mind-boggling magnitude 9.2 quake. This quake, known as the Good Friday Earthquake for the day it happened, caused significant damage and a large loss of life.

In 1964, after the arrival of relief workers and disaster supplies came scientists. They studied the ground that had been moved by the quake. They looked at buildings. They talked with eyewitnesses and in the end, they came away with a better understanding of earthquakes.

The ground movement offered confirmation of the then new theory of plate tectonics. The damage assessments lead to new tough building codes used throughout earthquake prone regions. And the rescue and relief operations lead to new and updated procedures to react to such a quake.

So, what has science done for me lately? Because of the scientific work done in the aftermath of the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, my home of Anchorage just rode through a potentially devastating 7.0 earthquake with some, but not a lot of damage, no fatalities and only a few injuries.

Thank you, science.
(personal note, the quake was a wild ride)
–Eric Knapp”

Seven spiders spinning, four wiggly eels, three sneaky sharks, two water bears, a seahorse, and a liverwort plant…
New species for the holidays!

A Neuromorphic Synapse?
Are we on the path to artificial brains? A new study suggests nanowires with memristor abilities might finally be up to the task.

Galileo GPS system confirms Einstein’s Relativity!
Galileo satellites were poorly launched in 2014, their elliptical orbit allowed them to measure time dilation due to their change in distance from earth’s mass.

Greenland is going, going…
Melting due to climate change is happening at a much accelerated rate.

No Heart Stem Cells
To address the controversy surrounding the existence of stem cells in the heart, a recent study traced the paths of dividing mouse heart cells after induced myocardial infarction to see if any of them became new heart muscle. The result? While cells propagated new blood vessels, immune cells, and scar tissue, no new heart muscle was found.

OSIRIS-REx At Bennu!
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at the asteroid called Bennu this week, and is preparing to (technical term here) “boop” the chunk of space gravel to grab a piece and bring it back to Earth.

LIGO Virgo Catalog
The gravitational wave detector teams have released a full catalog of observations, which contain four additional black hole mergers based on deeper analysis of the data. The next observation season begins in Spring 2019.

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