13 September, 2017 – Episode 636 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


Interview w/ Emily Lakdawalla on Cassini Mission, Viking Warrior Wonderings, Voynich Not Much, To Sit Or Not?, Water Moon, Sleep-Deprived Sex Flies, Octo Origins, Squirrel Chunking, Stem Cell Conversion, Long Range Low power, And Much More…

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There is more to the world you live in…
Then the world you are living on.
There are things o’plenty to occupy your time with here, it’s true…
And much can be learned about the nature of stuff
and the complicated organization of reality without ever looking up…
But there is much more going on than can be answered if we do not…
Up there, over there, way way way out there…
The rest of the universe is waiting to be explored…
And thankfully, some of us are up to the task.
“We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.”
That is the vision statement of NASA…
As they lift their gaze to those new heights,
they lift all of ours, freely sharing what is learned…
at the same time they have us looking up, and out…
they are constantly looking back…
Reveling the unknown here on Earth as well…
And if revealing the unknown here on Earth or elsewhere is something you’re into…
You’ve landed at the right location because it’s time for
This Week In Science…
coming up next.

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi there! My name is Tina Penman and I met you at the Science Communication Conference in January. Thanks for TWIS! I started listening to the podcasts last week and I really enjoy them so far.
Here’s what science has done for me:
A couple weekends ago, I completed the 2017 Seattle to Portland bike ride with my friends Anna Diedesch and Nathan Pearson. 203 miles in 2 days! If it weren’t for the inventors of the bicycle (which is up for debate, by the way) and science, I would not have been able to pedal on an actual bike from Seattle to Portland. If it weren’t for the gears on my bike, I would not have been able to climb the rolling hills and glide back down at full speed, using gravity to my advantage. If it weren’t for my understanding of physics and pace lines, I would have been trudging into the wind at 15-18 mph out in the open by myself. If it weren’t for our understanding of food, nutrition, and the impact it has on energy levels, we may have improperly refueled during the long ride. Thanks to science, we were able to conquer the ride together!
Ride on,”
–Minion Tina Penman
Portland, OR

Interview with Emily Lakdawalla, the Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society, to discuss the Cassini Mission and its impending end.

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Viking Warrior Wonderings
Did she play games??? Who was she? The identification of a skeleton found in a Viking burial ground as female has set off a firestorm of debate as to whether or not the individual was or was not a warrior.

Voynich Not Much
A historian said he translated the Voynich mansuscript, and that it’s a gynecological text. However, other historians have taken issue with the published article.

To Sit Or Not?
A recent study concludes that sitting will kill you, but how trustworthy are the results?

Water Moon
We now have a map of water on the moon.

What do sex, fruit flies, and sleep deprivation have to do with understanding the human brain?
Male fruit flies, when exposed to virgin females, skipped sleep for the night, and showed no sign of needing extra or deeper sleep the next night. This opens the door to many more questions about our need for sleep!

Cephalopod color-changing super powers may have strange origin
Much like Peter Parker was bit by a radioactive spider, octopuses and other cephalopods may have horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to thank for their color-changing abilities. Just instead of a spider it’s a bacterium, instead of a bite it’s HGF, and instead of crime-fighting it’s crab-eating…

Squirrel Chunking
Squirrels use a memory technique to organize food items for long-term storage in certain situations.

Stem Cell Conversion
Researchers successfully converted skin cells directly into motor neurons.

It’s safe to take Hormone replacement therapy for up to 7 years according to a new study in JAMA!

Long-range near-zero-power devices
This could change so many things!

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I'm the host of this little science show.