17 July, 2019 – Episode 730 – What is a Constant?


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Dr. Lukas Pasteka, Another Constant?, Neuralink Tech, Ancient Breastfeeding, Zombie Ant Fungus, Eat Bugs, Bugs In Pain, Rubik’s AI, Antarctic Snow Blowers, Radioactive islands, Runner’s Elbow, And Much More…

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Small statured humans, young in age and high in energy.
They like sugar, playing with things, being curious about everything…
And, they have visions of the future!
Sometimes these visions are very different than the futures they actually encounter upon growing up…
The world it seems only needs so many cowboy-princess-astro-pirates
What the world does need of course is science…
And lots of it.
Science is a field for the curious
Science is all about playing with things.
And, science runs on visions of the future like a hopped up 7 year old with a fist full of pixie stix.
If there is one thing you can inspire the next generation with that they can relate to the most
It is science.
Because, at its core,
it is a childlike curiosity,
an active imagination…
And above all else,
a drive to prove that those who came before
didn’t really know everything after all.
And, nowhere else is that more a parent than
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

First up, an interview!

We spoke with Dr. Lukas Pasteka, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia about his work investigating the fundamental constants of the universe.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?

“I didn’t die (or go blind, or have my bones twisted, or become sterile) from Polio, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, or influenza today. Yay!
–Mae Harmon Archer”

Let’s continue with some science news…

Another Constant?
Rather than be a tie-breaker, a third estimate of the Hubble constant has delivered a THIRD value provocatively between other values previously estimated for the expansion of our universe.

Neuralink Tech
Another Musk endeavor, a company called Neuralink is making waves this week with a presentation and paper detailing their efforts to improve BMI technology, and get to human trials within the year.

Australopithecus africanus mothers breastfed their infants
Teeth tell the tale of nutrition for our ancient ancestors.

Secrets of a zombie ant fungus revealed!
It’s all in the muscles, not the mind.

And, now it’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

Eat a bug, it’s good for you!
Antioxidant levels look great in edible invertebrates. That, combined with the reduced carbon footprint, mean eating bugs could be in our future – and perhaps should be.

But… it turns out they can feel chronic pain
Bugs in pain could give us clues on chronic pain in humans. Thanks, fruit flies! Now lemme get you an Advil…

And, finally, Some Quick Science News Stories To End The Show

Rubik’s Solved By AI
A deep learning algorithm has solved the Rubik’s cube puzzle using the least number of moves.

Antarctic Snow Blowers
I’m all for solutions, but this one is just dumb.

Radioactive islands
The Marshall Islands are more radioactive than Fukushima or Chernobyl.

What’s in a ‘bow?
Why do we walk with arms out straight, but run with arms bent?? We may never know…

Netflix and Chimp
Chimpanzees like each other more after hanging out and watching movies.

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