20 December, 2017 – Episode 650 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


NASA’s Dark Matters, NASA Picks New Winners, Photosynthesis History, Life Is Old, A Savage Justice, Birds Conserving Mass, Poo Policy, Memory And Survival, Sperm for Women!, Not So Rainy Pain, Teach For Sharks!, Orwellian Science, And Much More…

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As we near the end of another year…
We can take a moment to look back…
Not on the year passing,
though we will get around to that next week…
But we take a moment to reflect on the whole of earthling history.
This once humble rock spinning lifelessly in space…
Without an atmosphere to call its own…
Has come quite a long way in the last past 4.5 billion-ish years…
So as we gather around the yule logs this season…
Remember that as long as there is an earth…
Or as long as there are earthlings,
should we one day shuttle off this earthly coil…
We are all in this together…
From our humble beginnings to our futures yet unknown…
The story of the earthlings is yours to be told…
And nowhere else is your story told in as vivid detail as right here on…
This week in science,
coming up next…

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I’m alive because of science. I was born premature. In years past, I probably would not have made it. Only bad part is I can’t truthfully say, “I was born ready.”
–Steve Zweidinger”

NASA’s Dark Matters
Does dark matter absorb and emit x-rays?

NASA Picks New Winners
Who gets the next round of New Horizons funding?

Photosynthesis History
Photosynthesis is old.

Life is really, really old…
4 billion years or so old

Chimps and children have a savage sense of justice.
Both chimps and human children had an inherent desire to see justice served to those who have done wrong. Is this a fixation with cause and effect? Or some moral compass?

African grey understands conservation of mass better than most human toddlers
Despite a change in shape, these smart parrots aren’t fooled by misleading cues on what food source is more plentiful.

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Dr. Justin’s (not a real doctor) poo pill policy predicament…
The FDA may begin regulating poo transplants.

Memory And Survival
Is our memory better for things related to evolutionary success?

Sperm for Women!
Or, at least, for cancer!

Not So Rainy Pain
An analysis of insurance claims and rainy days doesn’t support the common claim that aches and pains increase on rainy days.

Teach for sharks!
The science is in, and the more people know about sharks and their behavior, the less dangerous they seem. Go figure!!

Orwellian Science
What words are acceptable within politicized areas of science? The CDC has made recommendations on words that should be avoided in budget requests?

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I'm the host of this little science show.