19 June, 2019 – Episode 726 – Can Plants Sneeze?


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Light In The Dark, Earth Twins Activate!, Cool Zebra Stripes, Emotional Support Fish, Dog Expressions, Hyena Travel Plan, Information Gluttony, Sneezing Plants?, Mind Control, Heart Alexa, SMELLY DINOS, And Much More…

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The tides go in and out,
the world goes round and round,
and we try to predict what will happen each new day…
But sometimes, there are unexpected events that take us by surprise…
What we do with those surprises defines who we are, and what we will be tomorrow.
Tonight’s surprise is that Justin is somewhere in America where there still is no Wi-Fi…
So, with that surprise we will bring what science we can,
and what spirited discussion we may.
So pull up a chair,
relax and listen to this very special episode of…
This Week in Science! Coming up next…

First up, some science news!

Light In The Dark
UC Davis geneticists have mapped the notoriously hard-to see portion of DNA called the centromere discovering ancient genes that go back hundreds of thousands of years.

Earth Twins Activate!
Two exoplanets of approximately Earth-size have been discovered orbiting a small red dwarf star at what we think is within the habitable zone.

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

The zebra stripe plot thickens!
As does their black hair in the heat! Temperature regulation may have something to do with those stripes after all. We may never know why a zebra has stripes at this rate!!

Where’s my emotional support human??
Being separated from your preferred mate could cause you to act more pessimistic, if you are a fish…

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

“Thank you for your wonderful show. When I discovered it by accident on a radio station I began to tune your show on my School Bus. Your show has helped me spread the joy of science to children while transporting children around my school district. Many of the children I transport are not in programs geared toward teaching STEM.

My current Summer School Bus radio does not pick up the radio station you are broadcasted on weekly, but I will be overcoming this problem and plan to replay your podcasts on my bus’s archaic equipment for my kids! I just wanted you guys to know your show has led to children; often discouraged openly from developing an interest in science or math; to discussing and even researching on their own science subjects that sparked their curiosity! Thank you so much for your show!
–Laura Mumma”

Let’s continue with some more science news…

Dog Expressions
We probably made dogs who they are.

Hyena Travel Plan
How did Hyenas get from Asia to America? A toothy find suggests the last ice age might have given them a bridge.

Information Gluttony
Your brain reacts to information in the same way as it does to food, money, and drugs according to a new study out of Berkeley.

Sneezing Plants?
Water droplets that catapult due to surface tension might be capable of spreading disease.

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

Mind Control
Carnegie Mellon engineers have improved the accuracy of non-invasive brain-computer-interfaces in controlling a robotic arm.

Heart Alexa
University of Washington researchers have made it possible for in-home systems like Alexa to respond to a specific type of breathing that occurs during cardiac arrest.

Dinosaurs likely had a great sense of smell! And they would have told you to put on deodorant, too, Karen!

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