22 July, 2020 – Episode 783 – Why the Earth Isn’t Flat

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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Batting 1000, Nanostars!!!, Pig Vs. Dog, Hot In Here, Gonzalo Breaks Record, Creature Connectivity Correlation, Baby Picture!, COVID Update, Human Arrival, Good Plants, Brain Benefits, Feelings, Voice Matters, Outfox The Ferrets, Cube Earth, And Much More…

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Check it out the full episode on our YouTube channel. You can do that here.

Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!
I’m about to give you some advice…

The following advice is just a bunch of words being said by someone who
Very rarely gives good advice and seldom if ever has followed any.

And yet, somehow there remains a desire to do one thing above all else.
And that is,
Not Look Like An Idiot.
At least not in public
And especially not in a recorded format like this
where people can watch you be an idiot over and over again…
Believe me, I’ve done it, I know…

Three things you can do to avoid looking like an idiot in public
1 – Know what you are talking about.
Know at least the basic facts…
and more is better.
It may require reading or even listening to others,
but the more you know about a thing that you are talking about,
the less of an idiot you will seem.

2 – If you say some stuff that you say might not, or for pretty sures, definitely isn’t true
Do not ask to be fact checked on the spot!!!
Unless you genuinely want to know the truth.

C – When faced with facts
that you yourself asked for
that refute what you previously said…
Remember that most of the people watching are not on your payroll.
And if you stick to the, now proven very wrong, thing that you said…
They will all openly and mercilessly mock you for being an idiot

And 4 – Do not base the credibility of your intellect
on a test designed to look for cognitive impairment.
Smart people never brag about being smart,
especially after taking a cognitive impairment test…
that’s what idiots do.

And remember, while not being an idiot isn’t everything,
It is something you’ll be able to achieve simply by listening to
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with some quick science news stories…

Batting 1000
As part of an effort called Bat1k, the genomes of 6 bat species were sequenced and compared with other species. The results suggest that bats as a group might share a common ancestor with horses and whales, AND that they have always had an amazing immune system. Remains of viruses found in their genomes indicate infections that were thought to only affect birds. They have replications of many antiviral genes, and unique mutations in others that might explain the strength of the bat immune system. The researchers hope to be able to sequence 27 more genomes next year.

Silver Coated Golden Nanostars!!!
They might predict your health future.

That pig is less dependent than your dog
Pigs and dogs both solicited interaction from humans, but when it comes to problem solving, pigs tried substantially longer without asking for help.

Hot In Here
A new analysis of climate sensitivity, the measure of just how much the climate will heat up with a doubling of CO2, updated the previous estimate calculated back in 1979. Weaving together three separate lines of evidence, an international team of climate scientists produced a 66% confidence interval of 2.6-3.9 degrees C. The 90% confidence interval is 2.3-4.7 degrees C. This means there is virtually no chance we can keep warming below 2 degrees. Good job, people!

Record breaking tropical storm
The first of many?

Mouse brain? Human brain? What’s the difference??
A study on 130 species of mammalian brains shows equal connectivity and information travel efficiency. So size, nor species, appear to matter here.

Baby Picture!
For the first time, we have taken a picture of planets orbiting a star. Very much like our sun, the 17 million year old star called TYC 8998-760-1 and its two gas giants (6 and 14 times the mass of Jupiter) exist about 300 light years away, and were observed using the SPHERE instrument on the VLT from the southern hemisphere. The two planets orbit extremely far from the star, 320 and 160 astronomical units out.

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Now for the weekly COVID-19 Update!

COVID Update
Globally, total numbers of cases are increasing at an accelerating rate, indicating a lack of overall control of the situation. The US is number 4 is per capita daily incidence behind Brazil, Bahrain, and Oman. Goldman Sachs estimates that a national US mask mandate would increase mask use in public by 15%, which could reduce the need for more restrictive social distancing measures, and save the economy $1trillion dollars.

This Week in Science Questions!
“If a vaccine is just dead virus then why is it so hard to create a covid 19 vaccine?” – Paul Riley from our Facebook messages

Vaccine Progress
Multiple vaccines have stimulated immune responses, and are heading toward Phase 3 clinical trials. The U.S. has agreed to pay Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE nearly $2 billion to secure 100 million doses of their experimental Covid-19 vaccine to provide to Americans free of charge. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) have formed a committee that will develop an overarching framework to assist policymakers in the U.S. and global health communities in planning for equitable allocation of vaccines against COVID-19.

HCQ Doesn’t Work
Another study adds to the evidence that hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work.

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

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Tell us a story Justin!

Native Americans arrival into the Americas has been pushed back to 30,000 years!
… again

Plants are good for waterways
In many, many ways, natural vegetation benefits waterways and surrounding ecosystems.

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Dr. Kiki’s got some science for you!

Brain Benefits
Exercise is good for the brain… of another old mouse, according to this study recently published in Science.

Feelings
Using spinal stimulators, researchers are trying to simulate sensation in a prosthetic arm.

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It’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!

The loudest voice isn’t always the most agreeable.
Being “assertive” or having a “strong voice” might be good for leadership, but not so much for bringing consensus.

Out-foxing a ferret
Invasive ferrets and hedgehogs smell their way to disaster, and new research on how they categorize smell could help us save those native prey animals from a grizzly fate.

This Week in Science Questions!

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