15 March, 2017 – Episode 610 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


50 Years A Model, Healthcare Science, CRISPR Update, Bad Stem Cell, Penguin Parenting, Lazy Ant Ethics, Food Say What?, Debunking The Old, Invasive American Icon, Airport Brain Scans?, Itchy Scratchy, Mars Potatoes, Spider Love, And Much More…
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The wow factor…
That thing at the end of a good sales pitch,
That makes you go:
“Yeah that’s cool… but I still don’t really need one of those.”
The wow factor is what every advertiser wants to get you excited
And movie makers want it too,
Giant space ships that take forever to clear the frame,
A herd of dinosaurs animated back to life,
A car chase involving very expensive vehicles
Or a car chase made up of dinosaurs in space ships
being pursued by advertising executives going wow wow wow…
But there is another wow factor out there…
It comes when we tune our brains to discoveries in science…
When learning something new…
When learning what we didn’t think could be true…
Or when learning about the sort of thing we wish just wasn’t true…
The wow factors in science aren’t just in the text books…
They’re arriving daily,
and being reported weekly right here on
This Week In Science.
Coming Up Next…

50 Years A Model
The first climate model paper turns 50 this year, and it predicted our current climate fairly well.

Healthcare Science
A study of people suffering from cystic fibrosis found that those in Canada live a decade longer on average than patients in the United States.

Human embryo editing by Chinese scientists kinda worked, and kinda didn’t.

Bad stem cell trial goes badly
People are blind because of an unregulated stem cell trial at a clinic in Florida.

Penguin parents have difficulty cutting the cord, too.
In times of plenty, penguin parents will continue to feed their adult offspring, proving yet again that many of our bad habits have roots in nature…

Yet another apologetic study explaining away laziness
This time, we learn that ants have “varying stimulous rates,” which means different points at which they are inspired into action. This means the whole colony does not get tired at the same time. Sure, I guess that makes sense, but that is NO EXCUSE FOR YOU TO SIT THERE KNITTING KAREN! GET TO WORK!!

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No Fat, No Sugar, No Good…
Don’t listen to the marketing words on your food’s packaging.

Debunking The Old
A new study looking at dendrites in the brain find that they are much more active, and in a more complex way than previously thought.

Researchers investigating the mechanism of anesthesia have upended the old idea that drugs primarily interact with the lipid membrane of cells with a new study that concludes anesthetics engage receptors on the membrane surface.

Invasive American Icon…
When and how did the Bison get here?

Airport Brain Scans?
A group of lawyers and neuroscientists did a study… and found the brain activity of people changes when they know they are engaged in an illicit activty.

Itchy Scratchy
Scientists have started unpacking the neural mechanisms underpinning contagious scratching.

Mars Potatoes
They aren’t on Mars yet, but scientists at the International Potato Center and NASA teamed up to build a CubeSAT containment unit to grow the terrific tubers in soil at a temperature, pressure, and daylight cycle similar to that on Mars. The spuds are doing great. Next step… SPAAAACE!

Save a spider, cause we owe them.
In honor of save a spider day, we learn that spiders eat as much biomass (in the form of bugs) as whales in our oceans. Now think of a world without spiders… ewwwww…..

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.