19 September, 2018 – Episode 688 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


Interview w/ Dr. Kathryn Matthews from Oceana, 2018 IgNobel Awards, Alzheimer’s Discovery, Touchy Sea Otters, Love Hate Relations, Early Birds, Cold Case Ivory, Star Trek Exoplanet, Sandalwood For Hair, Antidepressants And Antibacterials, Robotic Skins, And Much More…

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The world is big and complicated and full of noise…
Not just the buzzing, humming, tire screeching, siren squealing, clickety-clack type noise…
But informational noise of all sorts.
The news you read today,
the conversations you had,
conversations you didn’t have but over heard in passing…
advertisements, road signs, the temperature of the air,
thoughts you only half formed,
How you look in a mirror,
the feeling of your feet when putting on shoes,
And how often it is you put on shoes compared to
how infrequently you reflect on how nice it feels to take them off…
And at the center of all the complicated informational noise going on around you…
is your brain.
Some of the noise is interesting,
some of it isn’t,
what’s a brain to do…
A few things to keep in mind at all times,
wherever you are and whatever your brain happens to be doing…
Anything can be interesting if you ask the right question…
Every question has an answer…
And every moment is an opportunity to ask the right question…
And with that in mind,
we bring you a few moments of people asking the right questions
on a variety of interesting subjects here on
This Week in Science,
Coming up next…

Interview with Dr. Kathryn Matthews
Dr. Kathryn Matthews is Deputy Chief Scientist at Oceana. She trained as a coral biogeochemist, and spent some time in the Arctic, but eventually transitioned through the years into science policy, working as a AAAS science and technology fellow for the US Congress, then for the Office of Marine Conservation in the U.S. State Department. She also worked with the the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and with The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she ran a marine conservation and sustainable fisheries grantmaking program.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hey Dr. Kiki
Newer listener but I have caught up on the last year of shows! New patreon sponsor as well happy to be part of the TWIS family.
Science is so important to me, not just for my job as a hazardous waste tech/ transporter.
To the tests we use to identify harmful chemicals! So that we can take the proper precautions to protect ourselves, so I can go home to my three kids! One who has autism
Too some people this phrase is not a good thing, I started the same way but my wife being who she is recognized the symptoms!
To his pediatric doctor who specialized in developmental disabilities! To the specialized school that he went to at 2 1/2!!! His insatiable need for knowledge at 5 is astounding I.e. Periodic table, human physiology, all the countries and capitals. As with many who are on the spectrum he was lacking in social skills but speech therapy and his school have made leaps and bounds!
So science has altered mine and my family’s life
Thanks for all you do
–Ben Bignell”

2018 IgNobel Awards
As hard as it is to beieve another year has gone by… it is time once again for the IgNobel awards; awarded to science that makes people paugh, and then makes them think. The 2018 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded at the 28th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, on Thursday, September 13, 2018, at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. The winners are…

Catching Alzheimer’s Early
Discovery could explain failed clinical trials for Alzheimer’s, and provide a solution.

Sea otters are touchy
These weasels can tell minute differences in texture by touch alone, with their paws or whiskers, helping to explain how they can hunt and search in murky waters.

Why do we like bees and hate wasps?
Once again, it all comes down to fear of the unknown.

Spring is coming earlier every year, it seems.
But that shift is not uniform among regions, and migration shifts are also off-kilter. This could be bad news for ecosystems.

CSI cold case Ivory
DNA helps to finger illegal ivory trade networks.

First TESS Images
The new NASA exoplanet mission, TESS, is up and running, and has returned its first images of the first sector of the southern sky it is to scan looking for planets transiting stars 30-300 light years from Earth.

Is Vulcan Real?
Astronomers think they have found a planet around 40 Eridani A, or Keid, which was the star around which the planet Vulcan orbited in Star Trek. The star is less than 17 light years from Earth, and about twice the size of Earth, although whether it is gaseous or rocky is as of yet unknown. TESS will be observing this star system beginning in November of this year.

Synthetic Sandalwood Saves Hair
Researchers found that synthetic sandalwood decreases rates of follicular cell death and increases the amount of growth factor released.

Antidepressants And Antibacterials
Prozac influences bacterial mutations and leads to antibiotic resistance through activation of efflux channels.

Robotic Skins
Yale roboticists have developed skins with embedded actuators that can turn just about anything into robots.

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