14 April, 2021 – Episode 820 – Is it Time Yet???


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

FermiLab Followup, Almost Astronauts, How Do You Scream, Moving Fish, Magic Mood Mushroom, Crazy Light, Monkey Speed Bumps, COVID Update, It’s A Yawn, Bird Blood Heaters, Halfway To Zero, Imprinting Autism?, Facial Phrenology?, Gar Brains, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!

All of the content from all of the platforms in which content is contained
On whatever new device that streams into our consciousness
Cannot compare to simple beauty of a having your favorite beverage
outside under the bright blue sky of sunny southern California springtime…
Or a crowded café bookstore in cloudy sweater weather Portland
Or a bustling New York Deli, with everyone bagels to briskets wanting what she’s having
Or even mingling with masses in the fragrant fish markets of foggy San Francisco
As the world begins to emerge, albeit too soon,
from a half-masked attempt to divert a pandemic
It’s those simple things we’ve been missing, once taken for granted,
that we will relish with tremendous glee once everything begins to get back to normal
Going out in public…
to places not inside our own homes…
will be amazing.

But before we go full on post pandemic COVID complacency
Let us keep in mind that while almost there…
we ain’t there yet.
So sit back, stay home and tune into the electronic void just a little longer with
This Week in Science
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with the science news

Fermi Lab Followup: Is the Standard Model complete?
A group of theorists have published their supercomputer calculation of the value discovered by the Muon g-2 study we discussed from Fermi Lab last week. While the experimental approach showed a massive discrepancy between the Standard Model and their result, this new calculation finds minimal difference. So who is right? The theorists or the experimentalists? The jury is definitely still out on this one.

Blue Origin space launch
It was a successful launch with some almost astronauts

Why do screams scare us? Human screams are saying something:
Screams don’t just mean fear, and that’s what makes us special

Moving Fish
Fish are leaving the equator, and this could spell trouble for species overall.

Psilocybin For Depression?
A recent study found that it is as good or better than a commonly used anti-depressant.

Crazy Light
A particular class of light called scattering-invariant light can pass through opaque objects and emerge on the other side opening up a whole world of investigation through imaging.

Speed bumps save lives
And in this case, endangered primate lives.


Are you ready for a COVID Update?

COVID Update
With winter, our 3rd wave of COVID abating in North America, AND vaccinations on the rise globally, many might be feeling carefree and optimistic about the virus that has killed almost 3 million people around the world since last year. However, data suggests that a fourth wave is on the rise – cases and deaths are increasing in general even though some locales might be holding rather steady. So, what’s going on? What do we know? What don’t we know?

There are now over 17 million vaccine doses being administered per day according to reports from 172 countries. The rate of increase is 18% per week. In the Unites States, 29% of adults are fully vaccinated, and 47% are at least partially vaccinated. 62% of people 65 and older are fully covered. This is especially exciting as all US adults will be able to get in line to get vaccinated as of April 19th.

The one-dose Johnson&Johnson vaccine has been put on hold in the US after 6 people (all women) were diagnosed with blood clots. This one in a million event is exceedingly rare, but as the vaccine is under Emergency Use Authorization and has not been fully authorized, AND the Astra-Zeneca vaccine (similarly an adenovirus-based vaccine) reported blood clots, there are questions that need to be answered. The good news is that doctors know what symptoms to look for and not to use heparin to break up the clots. Also, this appears to be a very rare immune reaction that occurs in people with low platelet counts.

Pfizer For Kids!
Pfizer completed a clinical trial of kids 12-18 that was 100% effective at reducing severe disease, and has applied for EUA with the FDA.

Mask Up!
Remember to wear your mask. Vaccines plus masks means faster freedom from COVID.


It’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!

Why do we yawn? Yawns are doing more than we thought
Yawns wake us up, and are contagious, but also may cue in other common behaviors among comrades.

Birds give warm blooded a new meaning
Blood may be heating little birds otherwise left out in the cold, due to the mighty mitochondria!

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What does Justin have to say about science this week?

Halfway to zero
In 2005 researchers thought the US was going to keep emitting carbon, but it looks like we are actually in decline.

Imprinting autism?
While the autism angle might be a stretch, researchers have discovered molecules involved in managing the olfactory imprinting process in mice.


Let’s finish strong with science from Dr. Kiki!

Gar Brains
Some really old fish have something new to teach us about evolution.

Facial Phrenology?
You might think so, but the genes that connect the shape of your face and brain, are not actually involved in brain function.

This Week in Science Questions!

Do you have questions that you want us to answer? Send us your questions! We will do our best to have answers!

Leave us a message on our Facebook page, OR email Dr. Kiki!

Check out this episode of TWIS with Crazy Aunt Lindsey from last April. She talked with Dr. Kiki & Blair about her new STEM educational endeavor that took off with the pandemic.

Then there was also this one from 2011 when Dr. Kiki came back to show from maternity leave to discuss birds, dinosaurs, gravity, and world-changing science with Justin.

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