08 January, 2020 – Episode 753 – 2020 Science Vision!


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Predictions Past, Predictions Future, Localizing FRBs, Ancient Scientists, Brain Organoid Tumors, Insect Screens, Bear Necessities, Flying Guts, Cuttlefish In Glasses, Noodle News, Predated Brains, And Much More…

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There are few things upon which you can always rely.
Change is one of those,
The steady friend throughout a life,
The birth of a new year, the death of an old idea…
The steady ticking off of moments that make up the dull day.
A new job, a new love, a new pair of multi pocketed cargo shorts, a brand new car!
New obstacles, new challenges, new insights and new discoveries.
Even the old and familiar, the routine and the run of the mill,
Might begin to hum to a different drum

There are so many ways in which to encounter change
that it is often much more difficult to identify the things that have stayed the same.

One thing that has not changed much over the past ten years is
The passion and persistence of scientists
Shaking shadows to see what secrets shakes loose
providing us with plenty of nonfiction pulp upon which to present
a podcast full of unpredictable change.
Your steady friend throughout life,
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

How did we do on 2019 Predictions?

Justin’s predictions for 2019 were rather extreme, so he went 0/4. But, Kiki and Blair did better than chance, correctly predicting approximately 6 out of 9 prognostications.

What do we predict for 2020?

In 2020,
Justin predicts… 2020 is the year…

An object in space will be discovered hurtling towards the earth! And while we are powerless to stop it, it will still be ok… as this sort of thing happens every day. But will be the first time an object so small has been tracked so well.

2020 is the year everybody has to start saying that hindsight is 3020

2020 is the year we finally agree to eliminate the word “therefore” from the english language…
“furthermore”… will become a criminal offence..

The year 2020 will be referred to as “double deuce naught”… exactly once

In 2020 the wealthiest of the world warm up to the idea that climate change might only be a poor people problem…
But the idea quickly erodes… along with most beach front properties

In 2020 people will become aware that google has still been developing wearable computer glasses…
when tens of thousands are forced to wear them as part of new gig economy jobs.
Where instead of training you get glasses that tell you what you are supposed to be doing.
This will only last for a portion of 2020 as everyone wearing them gets pop up ads for better jobs.

In the year 2020 people who watch the show “ancient aliens” will become slightly more informed about actual ancient history…
By watching a cooking show instead.

2020 will go down in history… as long as we make it to 2021…

Blair predicts…
-Someone will write a short story with Justin’s predictions
-Microscopic life in outer space!
-We’ll find out we are treating lab mice wrong… again…
-Another HIV patient cured!
-Climate Change will be discussed in the presidential debates. It will be… one-sided…
-More species will be found to be shrinking from climate change.
-A new cephalopod species will be discovered.
-We will reach the $2000 a month goal on Patreon!
-Baby Yoda will be (at least temporarily) evil,
-Scientists will attempt to create a black hole in a lab… and destroy all life. Oops.

Kiki predicts…
– Dark matter experiments in Japan and the US will successfully go live, but report no evidence of the WIMPs they seek in 2020.
– The Japanese gravitational wave detector will add to the resolution of the current LIGO/VIRGO collaboration allowing triangulation of even smaller merger events in the universe.
– SpaceX and Boeing will both successfully launch crewed missions to space.
– India will return to the moon for another attempt at landing on the surface.
– Artificial Intelligence will beat humans at the game of life.
-Self-driving cars will take over more roads leading to many taxi selfies on the internet.
– More robots will leave Earth heading to Mars, leaving behind millions of jealous humans.
– Organoids, CRISPR, and gene drive will be in the news more due to sensationalist scaremongering than real research advances. TWIS will have to calm things down.
– Xenotransplantation involving CRISPR will be successful and lead to a pig to human experiment.
– Stem cell trials will see successes this year for macular degeneration, retinopathy, Parkinson’s, and others.
– In November, California’s CIRM will succeed in renewing its funding mandate from the public to pursue stem cell research efforts.
– Pressured by their constituents, countries around the world will increase their efforts to combat climate change by reducing emissions even further than currently promised.
– The climate will continue warming even as the grand solar minimum begins further disproving claims of solar influence in current climactic trends
– All of us will have to work more diligently to recognize fake news, pictures, and video.
– This year is going to take patience and kindness and compassion… and SCIENCE
– More interviews, more live shows, and more TWIS in 2020!!!

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Now, let’s continue with the SCIENCE!…

Localizing FRBs
The origin of a repeating fast radio burst discovered in 2019 has been reported in Nature. The mysterious quirk of nature is located some 500 million light years from Earth in what is considered a run-of-the-mill spiral galaxy, and has been unable to shed light on the possible cause.

Ancient scientists
Ancient hominids sought out specific rocks for certain tools.

Brain Organoid Tumors
Using brain organoids, UCSF researchers have grown glioblastomas in the lab enabling study into the causes of this brain cancer.

Insects screened for new viruses
How many viruses lurk in insect hosts? We might soon know the answer thanks to a new database.

It’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!

Bears have much to teach us when it comes to lying around.
Grizzlies may hold the key to preventing muscle atrophy in humans with restricted movement.

Birds and bats have a lot in common
And it’s not just their wings, it’s their guts, too!

Some quick stories to finish the show…

’nuff said.

Noodle News
Mechanical engineers from UC Berkeley have modeled the shape of cooked spaghetti.

Predated Brains
More predators means more brain cells for a fish species.

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