21 November, 2013 – Episode 440 – This Week in Science


The Flippin’ Sun, Catching Neutrinos, Mountain Sparrow Monogamy, Lady Nursery Ants, Gorilla Tools, Interview And Songs From Monty Harper, Dirty Bacteria, Fungal Flu Friend, Kids Have Brains, Battery Heal Thyself, And Much More…

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This Week in Science… coming up next

The Sun Is Flipping Out!
Well, it’s flipping its poles. This happens once every 11 years, and should occur within the next couple of weeks according to astronomers. In the meantime, expect interesting solar flare news.

Neutrinos Spotted At South Pole!
28 high energy neutrinos were reported by the IceCube Collaboration in Science this week. Two of the events, named Bert and Ernie, were particularly energetic at

Blair’s Animal Corner
A Female Ant’s Place is in the Home
Ants, bees, and wasps are sexist. They bank on the fact that females are better at caring for offspring, and so they have more daughters. The males, on the other hand, I don’t know what they’re doing… Probably watching Ant football while the females raise their children…

Sparrow promiscuity depends on location
Sparrows are more promiscuous at higher latitudes and more monogamous at higher elevations. It is most likely due to the fact that the harshest habitats require more parental care, and daddy is less likely to take care of his mate’s offspring if he is cuckolded. Makes sense.

Gorillas use tools!
Yet another wild animal has been spotted using tools. This is the third time Mountain Gorillas have been seen using tools in the wild, but it appears as though they use them a bit different from how chimps do.

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GUEST: Monty Harper: creating a science-themed music album for kids, using Kickstarter to fund it.

Bacteria Found In Clean Rooms!
Not one, but two clean rooms separated geographically by thousands of miles harbor the same bacteria. First, it’s astounding that this bug survives the techniques used to get clean rooms clean. Second, that it’s found in clean rooms across the globe from each other is amazing.

Kid Brains!
They Get Anxious
fMRIs of 76 kids found that more anxious children had larger and more connected amygdalas, specifically the region called the basolateral amygdala, which connects to higher cognitive centers for attention.
They Need Sleep
More evidence that kids brains need sleep to wire.

And, not brainy but kid related…
Kids are getting slower.

End of The World
Sea ice in the artic is on a massive decline according to algal rocks.
Sea urchins have to eat more in more acidic waters, which could have far reaching ecological effects.

Battery… Heal Thy Self!
A new doping method makes high-capacity silicon-lithium batteries potentially cheaper and allows them to recharge significantly more times by creating a self-healing electrode.

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