15 September, 2021 – Episode 842 – Science For Inspiration


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

This Week: IgNobel Awards!, Martian Rocks, Pulse Connection, Under Pressure, Mammoth Solution?, COVID-19 Update, Toilet-Trained Cows, Cannibal Butterflies, Tiny Anchors, Protein Aging, Hearing Hope, KidneyX Prize, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!

The following program contains controversial subjects such as
Facts supported by science
If you are one of those people
Who somehow feel threatened by facts supported by science
Know that you are not alone.
Many people in the past have had irrational fears of the known.
The earth was known to be round since before the days of ancient greece.
A Greek astronomer who would be a household name
if not for having a name that is nearly unpronounceable,
estimated the Earth’s circumference to within 15 percent in 240 BC
His major flaw? Assuming the earth was a perfect sphere.
We’re bulgy round the middle and we like it that way.
Ancient sailors before this time likely understood that the earth was round
as ships at a distance have a habit of sinking into the horizon.
Yet, some people more than 2000 years later still have trouble accepting that the earth is round.

Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei could both attest to the fact that the earth orbits the sun,
and not the other way round…
And yet, this made men who like to wear robes to work feel less special,
and so they had to be imprisoned, murdered, or forced to recant.
So being afraid of facts supported by science has a long history.
The question is, what do you do about it?

The best thing to do when faced with fear of the known
Is to simply learn more about it yourself.
Take some basic science classes, watch a few documentaries on the subject,
or read books written by scientists involved in the work you are fearful of.

If learning isn’t your thing, that’s ok, I get that.
But then I have a question.
When did this happen?
You can no doubt tie your shoes, maybe drive a car and possibly hold down a job.
So learning must creep into your life on occasion.
And if you try it…
With science.
You might just find that learning isn’t so bad after all…
And if there’s one thing we know for sure that we don’t ever need to fear,
It’s This Week in Science
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with some quick science news

IgNobel Awards!
Who received the awards that celebrate the unusual, and make people think this year???

Martian Rocks
Recent rock samples hint at a watery past on Mars.

Are you listening to me?
Let me check your pulse.

Under Pressure
Do black holes exert pressure on the universe?

Fighting global warming with herds of mammoths
George Church is involved in a start-up to do just this.


Want a COVID Update?

1 in 500 Americans have died from COVID-19.

Common Colds
SARS viruses make the leap from animals to humans more often than you’d think.

Want to learn more about bats?
The research of our guests Angelique Corthals & Liliana Davalos is featured in a PBS special now available online.

Fertility Findings
Vaccines do not affect male or female fertility (or swell the testicles), while COVID-infection can do all of the above AND has decreased European & US baby-making.

Covid has been using social media filters
(it’s not that pretty after all)

Just Good News (I promise this time)
Covid Edition

More Good News
The media is overselling the controversy, and social media is bad for society.

Do you have COVID-19 related questions? Let us know!


It’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner?

Toilet training cows
It’s more than just charming, it could help the planet!

Soul-sucking, baby-eating…… butterflies?!
Butterflies feed on the young of their own species to increase their fitness. But, was it really worth it?? Seems like yes.

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What science news does Justin have?

Thousands of tiny anchors keep our cells in place
And, now we know how.


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

Protein Aging
An increase in errors during protein translation might underlie limited longevity. Could we tweak a gene to live longer lives?

Hearing Hope
Cochlear organoids could lead to new treatments for hearing loss.

KidneyX Prize
UCSF team created a prototype implantable kidney-like device that could help those on dialysis and waiting for transplants.

This Week in Science Questions!

Ok. What do you think about de-extinction of mammoths? Mammoths have been extinct for about 10,000 years, but we have enough of their DNA that researchers and now entrepreneurs want to attempt to revive it in living organisms. Should we spend money on creating elephant-mammoth hybrids that may or may not positively impact the environment and climate? Will this become a scientific boondoggle or will it really kick-start technologies that will assist us in conserving species and ecosystems before they go extinct? There are a lot of ethical conversations that need to take place before we allow the fruits of this well-funded project into the wild. But, let us know what YOU think.

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!

What were we discussing at this time last year? Listen to our episode that was full of science news about life on other planets, defensive Orcas, DNA information transfer in worms, venomous plants, and time perception. I mean really, is this pandemic over yet? Curious about it all? Listen to the show!

This one from 2011 included science news about Kepler discoveries, crow intelligence (they ROCK the marshmallow test!), inorganic life made progress, the Arctic was shockingly ice-free (Ha! if we could see us now), and much more. Check it out!

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I'm the host of this little science show.