24 January, 2018 – Episode 655 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


Baby Clone Monkeys, Humanity Is In The Brain, Arctic Archaeology, Shrinking Birds, The Bee Buzz, Supplemental News, Smart Contact Lenses, BPA Won’t Go, God Helmet Placebo, Curry FTW!, Space Disco, And Much More…

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There is a way of looking at the world in which you can ignore the details…
A vision of everything based on how you assume it.
Just read the headlines,
you’ll get the drift…
Think something you know nothing about works a certain way?
That’s exactly how it works…
The label on the bottle claims to do this or that?
Good enough reason to end all further inquiry…
Why every day is a brand new opportunity to know what the whole wide world is doing…
Without even giving it a first look…
And while this way of existing in a world bereft of thought…
Is exactly how I imagine most of the people of the earth are going about things…
I haven’t really looked into it
as I’ve been far too busy getting excited to hear what’s new on
This Week In Science,
Coming up Next…

Baby Clone Monkeys
The first primate clones have been produced in China – two cutie-pie rhesus macaques.

Humanity Is In The Brain
An analysis of human fossil brain shape and size determined that shape is probably an indicator of cognitive development.

Arctic Archeology
It goes way back…

Bee metropolises aren’t buzzing
Bee colonies get quieter as they grow, contrary to expectation. If only we could harness the quiet for ourselves!

The birds are shrinking!
Climate change is the likely cause of smaller birds. so add that to the list of weird side effects …

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This Week in What Has Science Done For Me Lately
“Hey, dr. Kiki

Ever since you created this new segment, I’ve been wanting to write about something science has done for me lately. However, I couldn’t think of anything but the obvious: technology/medicine/everything science-y surrounding me and most of your audience at home. And then today, as I was going through my morning ritual, it hit me.

I have a long-running career in IT, and for the past seven I’ve had a great job at a worldwide tech company. I’m not rich, but I have a pretty comfortable life. Around four years ago I decided to study drawing and painting as a hobby. This year I started selling art as a side thing, and I’m planning on expanding it in 2018. Overall, things are doing just fine, and I believe I can be considered a successful person.

Here’s the plot twist, though: I suffer from type two bipolar disorder. When I was diagnosed in my early twenties, it had been crippling me for years. I wasn’t able to do anything for longer than a couple of months. Relationships, jobs, plans, college, anything I started went down the drain after a short period. And when the depression part of the cycle hit, it hit hard. I didn’t know I had a diagnose, I just thought I was a failure, and I was on the edge of becoming an alcoholic more than once just trying to cope with not being able to function. All the things I mentioned above – having a long-running career, studying, even planning for the future – were unthinkable back then.

This was sixteen years ago. Then I got diagnosed and treated, and once the medication was adjusted and started to kick in, things started to get better. It was a long process, but I’ve been stable and free of episodes for the past ten years. And that because of my morning ritual – wake up, have breakfast and take an affordable little pill that keeps my brain working properly. I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t even notice it anymore and take it for granted. I shouldn’t, though.

So, what has science done for me lately? Well, I have neuroscientists, doctors, therapists, SCARY BIG PHARMA and a small pill to thank for pretty much my entire adult life. Science kept me going lately, it kept me going in the past 16 years and it will keep me going in the future. That’s kind of a big deal.

Have a great new year,

Whatchya taking there?
New resources from NIH cut the confusion on dietary supplements.

Smart Contact Lenses
Soft, smart contact lenses have been developed for non-invasive glucose sensing in diabetics.

BPA’s not yet gone away
It’s in your receipts.

God Helmet Placebo
It’s not the alcohol, but personal spirituality that predicts a placebo effect of weird mental experience with use of the ‘God Helmet’ at a music festival.

Curry For The Win!
A study out of UCLA gave curcumin supplements to 40 50-90 year olds who complained of minor memory issues, but did not have dementia. Over the course of 18 months, memory improved across the board as did measures of tangles and plaques indicative of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Space Disco
A New Zealand space company put a disco ball in space. Of course they did.

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.