14 November, 2018 – Episode 695 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


Bad Desert Rain, Climate Change Sperm, Slow Your Roll, Primates Of The Caribbean, Neander-Lungs, Insect Pollution Punch, Plastic Poop, Reap And Soy, Scorpion Tales, Greenland Space Landing, Air Filter For Health, And Much More…

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Perspective is everything.
That said, and with some authority,
I will now state with an equally authoritative voice that…
Perspective is not everything…
It is true that there is a proper perspective for most situations that allows those things being perceived to be more manageable, more positive, more insightful, more inspiring or simply more informative…
And of course the opposite is true as well.
But a glass half empty or half full, contains the same amount of water regardless of your perspective.
A petri dish left out over a weekend could be perceived as sloppy lab work…
Following this perspective could lead to countless meetings on the best way to prevent such things from happening in the future, maybe followed by some dirty looks from fellow folks in lab coats for making them attend such meetings through no fault of their own…
Or, it could be seen as an experiment all unto itself.
What happens when you leave a plate of bacteria out overnight in the lab?
What were the results of this mistake-speriment?
This is of course the perspective that Alexander Flemming assumed when he discovered that something had attacked a bacterial sample mistakenly left out in his lab…
Regardless of the perspective that Flemming had happened to don that day…
The occurrence of a soil fungus finding its way to that sample would have been the same.
But because the proper perspective was assumed for the situation, the hundreds of millions of human lives were saved by the anti-bacterial properties of penicillin.
And while the following program promises to make you smarter, wiser, faster, taller, more tuned in, yet with an air of being a comfortably tuned out human,
all the while secretly developing within your inner fish brain a telekinetic ability to astral project your mind to a quantum dimension of synergistically organic yet digitally disruptive string of nonsense words…
that we like to call
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

Raining in the desert – it’s a bad thing.
Shifting climates cause odd flows of water, causing crazy things like heavy rain in the desert. That might sound like a good thing, but in fact desert microbes have much to fear from getting wet!

Your sperm hate climate change
Maybe climate change is finally hitting humans where it hurts? Right in the sperm!

It’s time to slow your carbon output.
The stock market may depend on it.

Primates of the Caribbean


Pollution creating a real 1-2 punch for insects
The molecules in air pollution are giving some plants a boost in their insecticidal tendencies, devastating insect populations. And that’s a bad thing…

Plastic poop
Plastic fibers found in fur seal poop, as a first in the wild. Can’t say it’s surprising, but it’s a good thing we’re working on it!

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi TWIS! I’ve written in before but wanted to share recently not only what science has done for me lately, but what TWIS has done for me lately! As an ecology student science does a lot for me every day. It’s the core of all of my course work and therefore I am constantly immersed in all of it’s awesomeness. Recently, I was given an assignment to give an oral presentation on any scientific topic of my choice. I was elated (as any nerdy scientists should be), as I ran home to play one of the more recent TWIS episodes for inspiration! As a wildlife ecologist, Blair’s animal corner is my favorite part of the show and I was especially intrigued by her stories about Sea Star Wasting Disease. I was even more intrigued when I heard that the most recent study discussed was conducted by UVM marine biologist Melissa Pespeni, because UVM is where I hope to do my graduate work! So, I found the perfect topic for my oral presentation. I dove deep into the world of Sea Star Wasting disease and learned all kinds of new and important information that I might never have stumbled upon had it not been for TWIS. So thanks TWIS, for inspiring my most recent assignment topic; and thanks science, for teaching me new things about the world every day!
Best wishes and good science,
Minion Carlee ?”

You reap what you Soy.

Scorpion venom tells tales
The shape of the molecules give us a clue into scorpion familial relations!

It came from space!
And landed in Greenland.

A cheap air filter for your ticker
An inexpensive air filter may make all the difference for a healthy heart!

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.