10 July, 2014 – Episode 472 – This Week in Science


The Planet That Wasn’t, Neand-Ear-Man, How Did We Come to Be, Birds Aren’t Dinos?, Revisiting Archaeopteryx, Bees Can Shout, Pesticides Affect Bee Foraging, It’s Not Just Bees, Spider Re-Animation, Your Skin Smells, Silence Or Shock?, No Mutants, Frameshifting Genes, Snapshots From Leaves, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
The world you are living in is the world of today.
It is not the world you were born into, and with some luck,
it is not the world you will die in.
In this day and age of here and now we have inherited a past
filled with innovation and ignorance…
As a people we have mastered nature, technology and
information as tools to increase our health wealth and knowledge…
On the shoulders of giants, we pioneered from the moon to
mars to beyond the solar system, we broke the genetic code, can carry the
library of Alexandria on a thumb drive, and in our pockets is a communication
device more powerful than anything every placed in the hands of individuals…
At the same time we have polluted our atmosphere to the
point of altering the climate to disastrous future consequence…
Our role in the present, the actions we take today will
reverberate out through the future timelines of our species…
No pressure…
It thankfully won’t take all of us to make a difference… but
will take you.
Because you, more so than most humans, are informed. You know the issue, the stakes and the
solution… and besides… you’ve seen who your neighbors are, and it isn’t them
the future is relying on
And you know this is right because right now you are
listening to This Week in Science…
Coming up next…

The Planet That Wasn’t
Gliese 581g turns out to be a misinterpreted blip in the data after closer scrutiny.

Inner ear bones indicative of neanderthal lineage were found in an early-human skull.

How Did We Come to Be
It was the climate and a diversity of traits that allowed Homo to spread around the globe.

Birds are birds?
Not flying Dino’s?

Revisiting Archaeopteryx
Feathers on a recent specimen indicate that feathers evolved first for insulation and communication, and secondarily for flight in theropod dinosaurs.

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Bees Can Shout
Talking about favored places to dine, animals usually whisper. But, this study finds some bee species shout the news of a great diner so that increased visits by friends will ward off visits by strangers.

Pesticides Affect Bee Foraging
Neonicitinoid pesticides were found to decrease the number of foraging bees and change the preference for forage choice.

It’s not just bees
Neonics also linked to declining bird populations in the Netherlands.

Spider Re-Animation
Scientists used cross-sections of a fossilized 410 million year old arachnid ancestor to graphically determine how it might have walked.

Smelling with your skin
You can do it. There are olfactory receptors in your skin.

Would you rather sit quietly or shock yourself?
More men than women like to shock themselves.

No Mutants!!!
Stem cells undergoing targeted gene replacement experience no more mutations than normal cells, easing fears that manipulating cells increases the mutation risk.

Frameshifting The Genes
Researchers found a messenger RNA that frameshifts an important immune respone gene about 10-15% of the time that the gene is transcribed, resulting in genetic gobbeldy-gook that gets thrown out with the cellular trash. It’s thought this is an important part of modulating the immune system’s inflammatory respone.

Snapshots from the edge
Using femto-second crystallography researchers have taken snapshots of photosynthesis in process, and aim to make a molecular movie in the near future.

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I'm the host of this little science show.