10 April, 2019 – Episode 716 – Seeing the Hole Thing


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Seeing A Hole, Autism Treatment Success?, More New Humans!, Screwy Sperm, Cricket Aging, Batty Lives, Chinese Monkey Brains, Metal Asteroids, What You Eat, Cat Understanding, And Much More…

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It’s that thing you use when crossing a busy intersection.
That instinct to look both ways.
That native navigator in your head that whispers warnings when the future seems uncertain
Ignore it for a moment…
Because ahead there are certainties that no amount of caution can prevent.
Ahead there is a journey, an adventure and a mystery to be un-veiled…
That no amount of hesitation can predict.
Ahead there is only discovery.
Discovery that will change everything you thought you knew about the future and the past…
Discovery that will challenge who we think we are and what we thought we were capable of…
The sort of life changing discovery that is never temporary and yet only possible in the present moment…
And caution free discovery is just the sort of thing we promise provide here on…
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

And, NOW, Some Science News From This Week in Science

Seeing A Hole
An international collaboration networked telescopes from around the world to create a virtual telescope the size of the Earth with sufficient resolution to image a black hole. That image of M87 was released today.

Autism Treatment Success?
Two years after treating a cohort of autistic children with fecal transplants to improve their gut microbiomes, the children are still seeing improvements in their symptoms and showing a change from their original microbial make-up.

More new humans!
Bones found in a cave in the Philippines might represent another species of early hominid.

Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

“Getting screwed” takes on a whole new meaning
Screw shaped sperm swim better and faster, but appear to be more susceptible to damange, which explains why we don’t see this shape in all sperm. More research is needed!

“You make me feel so young…”
Crickets age slower when females are plentiful. Is it because sex is good for you? Because males are too busy to fight? Or because there is simply less competition?

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

“My wife often tells me to shorten my time in the shower, but I enjoy a
nice shower. Her theory is that we shouldn’t waste energy, but my
supposition is that if I’m enjoying it maybe it’s not a waste?

It’s hard to know how to feel without data though.

A friend of mine told me that I should just look at my gas meter and see
how much gas I was using. I did that, but knowing how many cubic meters
of natural gas I burned didn’t give me any intuition about if it was a
lot or not.

(Apologies for the metric measurements here. It’s certainly easier for
calculations. Also I live in the Netherlands, where we use a civilized
measurement system instead of camel-force per cubit or however you
measure natural gas at residences in the USA these days.)

Quick Internet searching was not super helpful, but I did find out that
natural gas is mostly methane and has a mass of about 0.7 to 0.9 kg per
m³. I realized that I remembered enough high school chemistry to figure
out that methane (CH?) has a mass of about 16 and carbon dioxide (CO?)
about 44, so I could do some simple multiplication and figure out how
many kilograms of carbon dioxide I was emitting per shower.

A little more math and it turns out that when I shower daily it emits
about 210 kilograms of CO? in a year. Putting that into perspective,
that’s about the same as burning 105 liters of gasoline (or, as Justin
would say, “”about 105 thousand milliliters of gasoline””; something like
28 gallons for Americans).

Anyway, thanks to science I can now shower guilt-free, without a care
for my carbon footprint. Well, if not exactly guilt-free, at least with
an amount of guilt put into the proper perspective.

And that’s what science has done for me lately.


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

How to be of the planet
Native American inscriptions found in Alabama cave shed light on Cherokee people affected by American colonization.

Stimulating Memories
Non-invasive brain stimulation makes old brains as good at remembering information as young brains. Sign me up!

Living longer
It’s a batty idea.

Chinese Monkey Brains
Researchers in China have edited human genes for brain development into monkeys, and the results suggest that it made the monkeys a bit smarter.

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

Metal Asteroids
New research suggests that they might have volcanoes, and we’re sending a mission to an asteroid called Psyche that could determine whether this is true.

What You Eat
May impact the effectiveness of your immune system.

Cats hear you, and understand you.
They just don’t care…

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