22 May, 2019 – Episode 722 – What Can We Learn from History?


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Civil War Cures, Historical Color, Fire Good, Bonobo Moms, Lazy Tiger Sharks, CFC Source!, Cranky Corvids, Praying For Rain, Pogo Bot, Plastic Promise, Coffee Guts, Old Bedbugs, And Much More…

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Everything looks a bit grim at the moment…
If you happen to be on earth that is.
Rising CO2, record high temperatures, massive winter storms, failing ice sheets and melting glaciers…
Sea levels creeping higher…
Seasonal patterns shifting, leaving living creatures in the lurch…
Species disappearing now at mass extinction rates
And the political will to do something about it…
is still struggling to find politicians who comprehend the scale of the trouble we are in.
Yes it’s all looking pretty grim.
But thankfully there is a solution!
And that solution is 100% available to us right now.
In something called…
the future.
It turns out all the things that cause the problems we face today
Are things that created them in the past.
We didn’t make this mess,
people who came before us made their future this way.
So, if in our future we do things differently than they did them in the past…
The problems we now face will also be in the past.
Not only that…
but, in the future we can do things so differently than they have done them in the past
That we could actually go beyond solving the next immediate crisis,
And live in a world where we are making active improvements to our standard of living
and the health of our ecosystem.
And, all it will take to get there is moving into a future of our own making
And another episode of
This Week in Science
Coming Up Next…

First up, some science news!

Civil War Cures
Natural products used in the Civil War to fight infections were found to successfully combat antibiotic resistant bacteria strains.

Historical Color
X-Ray Synchrotron imaging and color chemistry are allowing a better picture of ancient animals thanks to well-preserved fossils.

Fire good
New evidence of its use by early humans has been unearthed!

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

Ever brought your mom on a date?
If you were a bonobo, that might actually help your chances…

Tiger shark, more like couch potato shark!
These fierce predators turn out to favor the path of least resistance. Didn’t anyone tell them they are savage, feared, killing machines??? I guess not.

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

“Hypothetical Science Study
(sung to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen)
Lyrics by Emma Moulton

Is this the real life? Is this just theology?
How does the brain work? Are we neurons and electricity?
Look through the lens, put on your lab coat and see… where is planet
nine? Is Pluto one of us?
Life is tricky come, easy go, very large and micro.
Everywhere humans go, so does all of our knowledge… knowledge.

Gamma, just killed a cell. A tumour in the head, blast radiation now
it’s dead.
Gamma, life had just begun, but now you’ve gone and thrown it all
Science ohh ooh oooooh, didn’t mean to make you cry, when I said
you wouldn’t get all of your funding. Study on, study on. Because it
really matters!

Too soon, my time has come, no asteroids today, it’s all climate
Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go, maybe get my DNA, before I’m
Science, ooh ooh oooooh (where the carbon goes), I don’t wanna rise,
because that will cause ocean acidification!!!

*[Guitar solo]*.
I see a hybrid human offspring,
Name’s Denny, name’s Denny.
Mum was a Nean-der-thaaal?
First-ancient human hybrid, very very exciting!
Quantum level! Quantum level. Quantum level! Quantum level.
Quantum level! String theory.
Oh oh oh oh oh oh…

I’m just a panda, large and cuddly. I eat bamboo with a sore stomach.
Spare me this life from my evolution!

Species come species go, let the mammoth go!
Justin, will not let you go!
Let it go!
Justin Will not let you go!
Let it go!
Justin, Will not let you go!
Let it go
(Will not let you go!) Let it go
(Never, never let it go)
Let it go, never let it go
Oh oh! No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
Oh-coral-reefs, oh-coral-reefs,
Coral reefs let me go.
CRISPER cas-9 has edited a gene for me! For me, for meeee!

*[Guitar solo 2]*
So you think you can help me find planet nine?
Why am I still conscious with only half a brain?
Ohhh science.
I’ve got so many questions, just got so many, just got so many
Oh oh yeah, oh oh yeah
Science really matters,
Anyone can see,
Science really matters,
Science really matters,
For me.

Anyway the carbon blows.”

Let’s continue with Some Science News From This Week in Science

Who smelt it ain’t who dealt it…
The chlorofluorocarbon mystery is close to being solved.

Cranky Corvids
Ravens seem to pick up on the bad moods of pessimistic pals.

Praying for rain
Faith and entrepreneurship don’t make most people wealthy.

Pogo Bot
UC Berkeley engineers have created a bouncing baby robot.

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

Plastic Promise
Microbes can survive off of the carbon found in plastics.

Coffee Guts
Coffee stimulates the intestine to contract and reduces bacterial concentrations with and without caffeine.

Bedbugs are over 100 million years old, which means they were ruining hotel rooms back when T Rex roamed the earth. So avoid that Demetradays Inn at all cost.

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