08 May, 2019 – Episode 720 – How to Stop the Extinctions


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Looming Extinctions, Black Hot Ice, The Modern Phage, Logical Wasps, Sexy Flies, Cambrian Fuel, Collapsar Stars, Human Origin Letdown, Heart Repair, Blood Brain Test, Pokemon Brain, Pandas And Bamboo, A Lost Stash, And Much More…

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When the world around you seems to have lost its mind.
When up is down, left is right
In is out and forward is a bowl of tuna salad
It doesn’t mean that you are wrong.
Despite the fact that those around you might think that you are…
A recent make-ity up poll,
which despite being make-ity up did include a data set of all humans…
found the average human only to be of average intelligence…
Capable of average insight
They were also of average height,
And had average inseams.
Made average points and counter points in conversation,
Experienced just the average levels of serotonin when hugged,
And, most strikingly, had only an average knowledge of science.
And, while the average person may think that you wrong about something,
Keep in mind that they have a below average understanding of what is going on in your mind.
Because your mind is an outlier…
You have beaten the averages…
enough so as to make the average analyst question your data point
And you have done so in the most extraordinary way imaginable…
by tuning into
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

First up, the top science news stories of the week!

Looming Extinctions
There is still time to fix things, but our procrastination is putting over 1 million species at risk of extinction. Should they go, our future becomes more precarious.

Black Hot Ice
A form of ice only theorized before researchers shot a laser and x-rays at a drop of water to induce extreme internal pressure and temperuture has finally been seen. Called superrionic Ice, it is thought to be the most common form of water in the universe, and it’s weird. It’s hot, dense, and black.

The modern phage of anti-biotics
A young woman has been successfully treated for an anti-biotic resistant bacterial infection with gene edited phage therapy.

And, now it’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

Sex makes female flies get serious
The act of sex make female flies consider no other, whether she got what she needed or not.

Wasps know logic
Wasps may be jerk bees, but they are also smart bees. So there? I guess?

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?

“What has Science done for me lately.
Third submission!
6 months ago I had to take a Toyota Prius to the dealership to get a headlight assembly replacement. I had to leave the car there as the maintenance staff explained that it was about a 5 hour job.
Fast forward 6 months.

Yesterday a close family friend went into surgery. He has been battling brain tumors for a while now, undergoing traditional treatments as well as Gamma Knife. Last week he became numb on his left side and started exhibiting signs of a possible stroke. After going into the hospital he was told that a right hemesphere brain tumor had increased in size so suddenly that it was impairing his motor functions and a surgery would have to be performed as soon as possible. Possible side effects were partial to total paralysis on the left side.

He went into surgery yesterday afternoon, placed under general anesthesia, had his skull removed in the area, tumor removed and in recovery in 4.5 hours. As of last night he was still unable to speak clearly but had movement on his left side and was able to tell with sign language that he was ok and signed “”I love you”” to his wife.
The man was in and out of a successful brain surgery faster than the local car dealership could fix my head light.
What a time to be alive!
–Dale Moore”

Let’s continue with Some Science News From This Week in Science

Finally, a human origin story Justin doesn’t like
Statistics say it’s unlikely that Australopithecus sediba is the direct ancestor to our genus, Homo

Collapsar Stars
These special collapsing stars might be what seeded the universe in gold.

Room to breathe… evolution style
Oxygen might have allowed for rapid pulses in species evolution during the Cambrian Period.

A Heart Fix
A microRNA molecule stimulated cellular repair after cardiac arrest in pig hearts. The only problem is that it caused uncontrolled cell proliferation and led to eventual death by arrhythmia.

And, finally, Some Quick Science News Stories To End The Show

Blood Brain Test
An new blood test for Alzheimer’s disease when paired with an additional assay of spinal fluid can provide 97% accurate results. This could allow early detection of Alzheimer’s as much as 8 years before symptoms arise.

Pokemon Brain
People who played Pokemon as a child have a part of the brain dedicated to recognizing Pokemon characters.

Bamboo – the other other white meat.
It turns out, the giant panda’s diet might not be so stupid afterall.

Lost stash
Archaeologists searching the Andes found the largest stash of ancient hallucinogens ever discovered.

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