10 October, 2018 – Episode 691 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


The Bad News, Cassini’s Last Word, Galactic Archaeology, Smelly Fruit, Disturbing Mouse Calls, Neandertals Now & Then, Brains & Nerves & Things, New Vesuvius View, Fish Hook Ethics, Is Hubble Safe?, And Much More…

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Imagine for a moment that something you think you know is wrong.
Not just any old tid-bit of information,
but something big…
Something fundamental to your understanding of other things that you know and believe.
You wake up one morning to breaking news headlines to learn that:
The sun is actually orbiting around the earth.
Now that would be a tremendous change to how you understand the solar system to operate.
And, if you are sufficiently skeptical,
slightly scientifically informed even…
You will likely doubt that this new information is true.
You may wonder why this is obviously incorrect idea is being propagated.
Yes, the experts and reporters are all exclaiming the evidence
of the recent research that has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt
that it is true…
The sun orbits the earth,
and it was just a poor understanding of the past that lead us to believe otherwise…
But you wouldn’t believe it.
How could you?
It makes no sense,
goes against all you know and learned.
Goes against how much the people you trusted knew more than you…
actually knew.
You will not be swayed by any form of false evidence to the contrary.
The world may have gone mad,
but you alone will maintain the reasonable assumption
that the Earth is in orbit around the Sun and NOT the other way round.
And you are correct.
But if instead of this,
you had learned that global warming is not happening.
That climate science is a hoax.
That everyone you trusted as a source of information about the world was wrong…
You can no doubt imagine the reaction you might have to waking up one morning to…
This Week in Science
Coming Up next…

The Bad News
The IPCC issued a report this week recommending world governments take a drastic and unprecedented change of tack to meet a highly conservative global warming goal of only 1.5 degree Celsius in part through yearly reductions of more than 1 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions globally over the next decade, and ending all coal-power by 2050.

Cassini’s Last Word
It’s a tale of ice and dust, rings, and magnetic spin that will leave you wanting to know more.

Galactic archaeology
Digging up the past with telescopes.

It’s all in a smell
Fruit is fruit, so that it will smell. So thanks, rotten apples, and you’re welcome.

Happy home is a healthy home.
Mice work through troubles and make better parents when using soothing, less agressive tones. SO LOWER YOUR VOICE LINDA, I JUST WENT FOR A WALK, OK??

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Another one for what has science done for me lately.
Listening to podcasts this one included, has prepared me for a little sideline, advocating vaping as a stop smoking aid. I have read the science, helped by the podcasts I listen to (mostly this week in virology) where I learned to read scientific papers. This means I have been able to filter the science for the public, provide references and facts to them. I’ve done my part to help save potentially millions of lives, by switching smokers to vaping.
None of this would be possible without science.
Thanks for all the work you do.
I switched to vaping years ago, and knew it was better than smoking, but science proves it to me (and others). How cool is that?!”

Ancient Neander health care
Community was key.

Modern Neander health care
Viruses were good for you and me.

Brain-sided Movements
Contrary to popular neuroscience evidence, researchers found that ipsilateral electrical activity in the brain could predict movement of a body limb. To date, animal and human research suggested movement instructions came from the opposite side of the body.

Painful Touch
A protein called Piezo2 was found to be responsible for sensitized pain responses after injury in two studies, suggesting that targeted therapies could be used to reduce pain.

New Vesuvius View
Would you rather suffocate or die instantly, burned alive? According to new research in PLoS One, volcanic victims may not have had a choice, and were likely killed by the intense heat from the pyroclastic flows.

Catch and release isn’t so harmless after all.
That hole left in a fish’s mouth spells bad news, in the end. But is it really worse than ending up on a dinner plate??

Is Hubble Safe?
For the time being, Hubble is in safe mode while engineers try to figure out what to do about a gyro.

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.