17 February, 2016 – Episode 554 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


Gravitation Makes Waves, Beating Cancer, We Did It, Selective Elective?, Whooping Whoops?, Rabbit Bye-Bye, Birdie Blood Cell, Your Bacterial Home, Print And Grow, Virgin Mouse Preferences, And Much More!

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Gravitational Waves
Last week, it was announced that the upgraded LIGO detector confirmed detection of the merger of two black holes approximately 1.3 billion years in the past.

Beating Cancer
Preliminary and unpublished results were reported last week at AAAS for a study involving genetic manipulation of immune cells in terminally ill leukemia patients. The results look very promising, which is why they were reported, but the technique still leads to a very high mortality and dangerous side-effect rate.

Birds do it, bees do it, even 100,000 year old humans and neandnerthals do it…
DNA links human neander hanky panky to much earlier date nights

South Africa revives extinct zebra through selective breeding
But is that OK? Is it a good thing? Is this better/worse/the same as cloning a mammoth? Does it even matter?

Whooping cranes thrive in their old habitat, thanks to some uncharacteristic hunting behaviors
Does this make it OK to reintroduce species that are no longer suited? Is this one in the win column for conservation, or will there be unforseen consequences?

Taming The Bunnies
A rabbit virus was introduced in Australia to control the runaway European rabbit problem that caused decline in native populations of mammals and vegetation. Turns out, the virus is doing just what people hoped, and native species seem to be making a comeback as the rabbits dwindle.

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Birds hold the cure!
Specialized white blood cell found in birds can destroy a potentially fatal fungal infection which affects more than one million people every year.

Your Bacterial Home
An analysis of rural and urban homes shows dramatic differences in microbial populations, which could have implications for urban healthcare and recommendations.

Print And Grow
Wake Forest researchers have managed to print and grow multiple cell types together to grow muscle, ears, and bone.

Researchers reported efforts to create tiny brains from skin cells to study drug effects and brain disorders.

Virgin males would rather watch videos with violence than sex…
At least that’s how it is in mice!

Would you like to regrow teeth and never have to floss again??
Sharks may hold the key.

Pigging Out Perpetuates
A study looking at the brains of mice found that one exposure to high fat, sweet food led to more activity in the reward-seeking areas of the brain for a significant time after suggesting that messing up on your diet can be hard to bounce back from.

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