17 July, 2014 – Episode 473 – This Week in Science


CDC Messiness, Toxo Cures Cancer, Eating Elephants, Google Warming, 8000 Year Old Brains, Squirrel Urbanity, Baboon Schedules, Fish Memories, Dead Animals Tell Tales, What Ladies Wear, Baby Talk, Wisdom Of The Confident, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
We live in a world of leaders. People who make decisions on the behalf of
others and in doing so, shape the world we live in…
This is either a good system or a terrible one, but since it
is the only system we have ever known we have nothing to compare it to.
Yes we can point to this leader or that, this era of world
leaders or that and rate them as good, bad or mildly indifferent to the time in
which they led…
Even then it may matter more who is doing the judging of the
behavior than what the behavior is…
Genghis Khan was both a great leader and a bad neighbor,
depending on who you asked.
Hitler was unquestionably a ruthless genocidal Dictator with
a face only a Nazi mother could love… but oh how they loved him…
And so it goes right
down the line of human history and even today… nobody fights because they think
they are in the wrong, if anything WAR is an acronym for We Are Right!
But what if there were another way to run the world? A way that didn’t require leaders or armies
or warfare…
a world in which the most basic needs of humanity are met,
and the standards for civilized society are spelled out and complied with by
This world, this brave new civilization of un ending peace
and prosperity is much closer than you think.
I speak of course of the coming age of world robot
And when the day comes for our future robot masters to take control
of the mess mankind has made, I hope they take special notice of one segment of
humanity that has always worked the hardest to make the world a better place
for robot kind…
The scientists, the engineers, the programmers and of course
This week in science… coming up next

CDC Mess Ups
Oops, the Atlanta CDC lab accidentally contaminated a mild strain of flu with H5N1 (bird flu), and sent it to a low security agricultural lab.

CDC And Congress
CDC fesses up that they need to work on their “security”.

Toxo Cures Cancer
In the lab, a mutated version of T. gondii cures mice of cancer.

Clovis People Ate Elephants

Google Warming

8000 year old brains?!?!

Squirrel Life
Is urbanization a good thing or a bad thing for squirrels?

Baboons are on a tight schedule
The wily baboon starts picking nits early.

Fish have memory
And a really good one at that.

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What do kiwi, dodo, elephant birds and green pigeons have in common?

What Ladies Wear
Being scantily clad and wearing red makes other women like you less.

babies can talk
Or, at least, they know what we are saying long before they start talking.

Wisdom Of The Confident
Neuroscientists have discovered that wisdom of the crowd breaks down based on how biased individuals in the crowd are. Independent, “confident”, individuals lead to wiser crowds.

Mapping Ocean Plastic
A survey of plastics in the oceans has resulted in detailed maps of the distribution of such plastics, and understanding that not all plastics entering the oceans is accounted for.

Dry Ice Martian Gullies
Dry ice is responsible for gully-like geological formations that appear to be the consequence of flowing liquid water.

Pandas Eat Two
kinds of bamboo, that is.

Kudzu Is Bad News
The invasive plant drops material that is much easier for microbes to digest, so that less carbon-rich plant material degrades and is locked away, resulting in a net release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.