06 July, 2016 – Episode 574 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


Juno You Know, Extremophile Culture!, Fungi farming, Paper Wasps Misrepresentin’, Bonobo Lady Wiles, The American Ostrich, Faulty fMRIs, Beetle Penises, Matching Genomes, Octopus Eyes, Martian Moons, Titan Life?, And Much More…

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[Justin had a really good one this week, but he didn’t put it in the show notes…]
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Juno You Know
Successfully performing a brilliant entry into orbit around Jupiter, the tank-like spacecraft named after Jupiter’s wife begins its science mission.

Extreme-ophile Culture!
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Lab have succeeded in growing nanoarchaebacteria in the lab. These organisms survive in the crazy acidic hot springs in Yellowstone, and have eluded culturing before now. Thanks to genomic sequencing, the researchers were able to determine the metabolic needs of the bacteria, and design appropriate culture conditions… made to order!

Fungi farming
Plant growth responses to high carbon dioxide depend on symbiotic fungi.

Misleading bonobo ladies use their feminine wiles to keep the peace
Bonobo females conveniently swell at times only occasionally signaling their actual ovulation. This takes the decision of when to mate out of the male’s hands, and into the female’s. Clever girls…

Wasps would be poor sports at poker
Paper wasps aggressively punish rivals that misrepresent their strength and skill – sounds like a lose-lose to me…

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The American Ostrich
A fossil find proposes a possible North American ostrich relative.

Faulty fMRIs
More data is in suggesting that fMRI studies may not be giving us the information about our brains that we had hoped. Statistical software packages delivered false positives up to 70% of the time for cluster inferences that predict whether certain brain areas are active simultaneously.

How to have sex with a hyper-long penis (if your a beetle)
The mechanics might help with creating tiny syringe needles!

Matching Genomes
It turns out that a little mismatch between genomes is good when it comes to mitochondria and the nucleus. A recent study using mice found that those with greater ancestral mismatch were healthier overall despite experiencing increased oxidative stress.

Martian Moons
The two Martian moons might be relics from an ancient moon impact.

Titan Life?
Hydrogen cyanide polymers might provide support structures for the evolution of life on Titan.

Octopus eyes are full of odd-shaped surprises!
Cephalopods appear at first glance to only see in black and white, but why, then, do they signal eachother in fantastic displays, or how then, can they camouflage so well? This new research may have the answer, and it has to do with their odd-shaped pupils.

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