06 April, 2016 – Episode 561 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


More Info From LIGO, Not So Fast, Not Star Stuff, Not Scottish Deer, Fiddler Poker Crabs, Agro Salmon, Cyborg DNA?, Getchyer Veggie Genes!, Bouncy Metal Glass, Juice Those Cells, Nightmare Juice, Few Human Cuckoos, Do Robots Turn You On?, And Much More!

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Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer!
The world loves a mystery…
And perhaps more than a good mystery, the world loves to solve mysteries…
Of all the mysteries out there, one seems to always be lurking in the darkness…
On the edges of our understanding…
In the peripheral of our perception…
Further out than our furthest most fathomable faculties can affirm…
Just barely beyond the best guesses of our most brilliant scientific minds…
And that edgy, peripherally unfathomed, lurking mystery has a name…
Because there is not really one mystery lurking out there…
Just the next one…
And with each mystery we solve another takes its place…
And another… and another…
So many that there will likely never come a day when we don’t have reason enough to say
This week in Science
Coming up … Next.

More Info From LIGO
After finding evidence of the first gravitational wave, scientists from LIGO are using the information gleaned from their single data point to estimate future balck hole merger findings, which they think will be pretty common and easy to pick up with our instruments in about 3-4 years.

Not So Fast
Turns out last year’s fast radio burst finding, which researchers thought had an extended afterglow that helped them to pinpoint the burst’s galaxy of origin, didn’t actually have a glow. New analysis find the glow to emanate from a supermassive black hole in a distant active galactic nucleus.

Not Star Stuff
A computer simulation of the formation of super-massive black holes finds that they do not and cannot form from the merger of stellar black holes, but are different beasts entirely. What kind is as yet unknown.

Scottish Deer, not so Scottish after all
But, where the come from is unclear.

Fiddler crabs would be good at poker
Expert bluffers, they can intimidate competitors despite being less than a whole original crab.

Agro salmon
Salmon act more agressive in lighter-colored tanks. This could help aquaculture in a big way. But could it also tell us something about ourselves??

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Building a cyborg from the DNA up…
This story isn’t really about cyborgs, but new diodes made from DNA that might just help us exceed Moore’s Law.

Getchyer Veggie Genes!
Drinking milk is not the only dietary pressure that seems to have influenced human genetic variation. A recent study from Cornell found a high likelihood that a specific segment of DNA has made its way into lineages of vegetarians, while it is missing from that of Inuit fish eaters.
This study was also an example of This Week in Totally Getting It Wrong
Many outlets in the mainstream media got this news wrong. At least, the headline writers did, and suggested that eating a vegetarian diet would lead to changes in individual genomes OR that having the so-called vegetarian allele would make you more prone to cancer and heart disease. The first is totally untrue, while the second is mostly untrue.

BMG = Bouncy Metal Glass
Is this the new transparent aluminum we have been waiting for?

Juice Those Cells
Preliminary research with rats suggests that microvessicles extracted from stem cells can protect brains from injury.

Nightmare Juice
Nightmarish larvae ward off bacteria by being extremely pokey. Now, how can we use this info to our advantage??

White nose on the west coast
…It finally happened… Will we beat it in time??

Few Human Cuckoos
Turns out guys know when they are raising someone else’s kid.

Do Robots Turn You On?
Science says yes.

Hope for Florida yet…
Kind of.

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I'm the host of this little science show.