12 October, 2016 – Episode 588 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


Interview on Libraries & STREAM, Nation-Space, Water On ProximaB, In Search Of, Space Brain, Hard-Working Ladies, Male Spider Martyrs, Supply And Demand, Mind-Reading Apes, Wild Wolbachia, And Much More…

Take our audience survey!!!

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer!!!
False beliefs…
can come in many forms…
Most can be corrected with knowledge…
False beliefs that cannot be refuted by facts…
Is a frightful form of madness…
And to remain willfully ignorant in the face of facts…
is a maddening form of politics.
Telling when others hold false beliefs is thought to be an important aspect human cognitive development.
It helps us choose which advice to follow…
Which to ignore…
It’s useful in predicting what future behavior of others will be…
And if you are really good at it,
you can read minds…
Now, I know what you’re thinking…
But I am ignoring it because it has nothing to do with what I’m about to say…
Apes, it turns out, have this ability also!
And while we humans can continue to think that we are more advanced in many mental respects to our ape cousins…
The purely human trait of Theory of Mind…
is all in our heads…
And before much longer so will be a bunch of science-y goodness
because it’s time once again for
This Week In Science
Coming Up Next…

An interview!!!

With Connie Strittmatter, Coordinater of Children’s and Teen Services at the Harford County Public Library in Maryland.

You can catch all sorts of STEM fun at the Maryland public libraries during the Maryland STEM Festival! And, don’t forget that you will be able to come join TWIS LIVE at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD on Nov. 4th!

Now for the science news…
A Russian-led group is creating a new nation in space called Asgardia with the core values of “knowledge, science, and intelligence”, a philosophical mission of serving all humanity and digitalizing the noosphere, a legal mission of creating “Universal law” to benefit all humanity, and a scientific mission of “peace, access, and protection.” Become a citizen at asgardia.space.

Water On ProximaB
Simulations have determined that there is likely to be liquid water on ProximaB. How much is up for debate, but if there’s any it increases the chances for an atmosphere and life.

In Search Of
More Earth-like planets in the Alpha Centari system. Anyone up for a crowdfunded space telescope?

Space Brain
Charged particle irradiation results in robust and persistent deficits in recognition and temporal order memory 12 weeks later.

Female squirrels have more work ethic, and in turn males get eaten.
Male squirrels in Alaska spend more time lolling about, and this in turn gets them predated upon more often.

Males allow themselves to be cannibalized for the good of their children
When male dark fishing spiders curl up afer sex, essentially accepting their fate as a post-coital snack, their offspring emerge more fit. Who ever said males don’t help with the children??

In coucals, it’s all about supply and demand.
In one species, the males do all the work while the female gallivants about mating with other males, who also do all the work in raising a nest. In another species, they form monogamous pairs. The key is all in the ratio of males to females, proving that even in love, it’s all about supply and demand.

Support us on Patreon!

Apes can read minds…
A new study using eye-direction shows that apes know when tricks are afoot, and supports the ‘Theory of Mind’ hypothesis for our close relatives.

Nesting Doll Genes
There was an old virus that swallowed a gene… then a bacterium who swallowed the virus… and a spider who swallowed the the bacterium… don’t ask me why. But, in the end it is rather interesting.

More Wolbachia
The strain of bacteria living within a host can influence host survival rates and evolution in response to viral infection.

Green Beer
Using waste water from breweries might make for sustainable batteries.

New Dwarf Planet?
Called 2014 UZ224, was discovered by students challenged to find new objects in the solar system. It is half the size of Pluto, and lives in the Kuiper Belt some 14 billion kilometers from Earth.

Beer helps ease pain in snails
Should we be concerned with the physical stress of euthanizing invertebrates in a lab? If so, beer may help bring dignity and peace to snails about to meet their maker.

Climate Change could be the biggest threat to frogs
As indicator species, amphibians usually serve as canaries in the coal mine, so does that mean climate change will be our largest threat as well?

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.
Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.