07 February, 2018 – Episode 657 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


Falcon Launch Success, TRAPPIST-1 Planets, Outside The Galaxy, Dead Vikings, Blue Malaria Urine, Barter Rats, Woodpecker Brain Damage, India Antibiotic Trouble, Urine Isn’t Sterile, Thermometers For Everyone, Naked Mole Bat, And Much More…

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The greatest discovery…
Might be hiding right under your nose.
No, it’s not a mustache, lips or even an adorable chin…
But it could be that some of our greatest scientific finds,
are already well within our grasp…
Just waiting for us to notice them…
And when we do, we often wonder why we didn’t before.
So much of what we discover seems obvious in retrospect,
that we often forget how much work went in to making is so…
But that’s what science does…
An endless pursuit of the obvious
Confounded at every turn by a universe that makes no sense
Until, by keen observation, it obviously does…
And the result of a billion keen observations is what the modern age is made of…
That and…
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Falcon Heavy Launch Success
February 6th, 2018, SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket into space, and jettisonned its cargo – a spacesuit driving a Tesla – into a tragectory that will end up in the asteroid belt past Mars. Regardless of the folly involved in putting a car in space, the launch demonstrated the feasibility of private missions to the asteroid belt and possibly beyond for the first time, and put space well within our grasp.

TRAPPIST-1 Planets
The consensus is that the planets within the habitable zone likely have atmospheres dominated by heavier gases, which is promising for the existence of water.

Outside The Galaxy
A technique called microlensing has allowed astronomers to make what they say is the first extra-galactic observations of exoplanets.

The Viking Great Army
Radiocarbon dating suggests buried bones are Viking.

Cell Culture Dye
Kills malaria parasites at speed not seen before

What do rats and sororities have in common?
They pay for their friends: Rats that have shared food are more likely to receive grooming behavior from a food recipient. How is this different from payment? How is it like reciprocation? How is it both… or neither? WHAT IS MONEY, ANYWAY???

Woodpecker brain damage
Woodpeckers have evidence of what looks like brain damage throughout their family. But then why do they peck, or is it brain damage at all? And what does this mean for the superbowl??

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I have what used to be called Asperger’s and is now known as High Functioning Autism. One of my conditions is I have a lot of issues with directions, my wife called me Directionally Challenge. I must stop and think before I know my left from my right. When it comes to travel, I need to travel a path several times before I learn how to get there on my own. GPS has been a great advantage to me, helping me get to work, home and many other places without a personal navigator. Thanks to GPS, I have been able to see Gettysburg, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. –Brian Von Wert”

Antibiotic Trouble
How India is brewing the next wave of patient zeros

Urine Isn’t Sterile
In fact, it’s teeming with life and the viruses that go along with it.

Thermometers for everyone
Melting permafrost might unleash a toxic supply of mercury into the world.

Cancer & Mole Rats
They just don’t really get it, but why?

Long-lived bats
It’s in the telomeres.

Cloned Crayfish
It’s an invasion of clones!

Uh oh… We’re boned.
Plastic pollution is prevalent on land, not just in the ocean. And it’s far worse than we thought. At what point will I become more plastic than human? Am I already?? AHHHH!!!!

Old Fish…
found dead

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.