24 July, 2019 – Episode 731 – Archaeology From Space


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Dr. Sarah Parcak, Stimulating Seeing, Parenting Brain, LOCKR, Changing Brains, Egg Vibrations, An Apple A Day, Hot Headed Haggling, Shrinking Birds, And Much More…

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The following acts of communication are all in your head
Nothing you are hearing now is happening now…
Not even the sound of this voice, saying these words
The person most often associated with the sound of this voice
is not actually saying this right now
If fact, his lips may not even be moving
What you are listening to now is a recording of a voice
A voice that in a short while will be accompanied by other voices
All telling you about amazing things that are happening now
Or happened long ago
Or might happen in the future
As we speak these voices are taking up residence in your head,
Re wall papering the interior of your skull
Setting up subtle sciencey subroutines in your subconscious mind
Navigating your every third thought in the direction of
This Week in Science
Coming up next!

First up, an interview!

Our guest in this episode is Dr. Sarah Parcak, a space archaeologist. Dr. Parcak is professor of Anthropology and director of the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. An expert in using satellites for remote sensing, and in archaeology and Egyptology, she is a National Geographic Explorer and a TED Senior Fellow. She won the 2016 $1 million TED prize, which she used to launch GlobalXplorer, a citizen science platform that “aims to bring the wonders of archaeological discovery to everyone”. She also has a book out now called, “Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past.”

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

“Hello TWiS team!

Here’s my “What Has Science Done for Me Lately?” entries:

Entry #1: Years ago after learning of the TWiS podcast I was fortunate enough to hear a suggestion to use a salt as an abrasive to rub burnt-on food from pots and pans. The next day we had one such event and sure enough it worked well! We continue to use it to this day on our cast-iron pans – using dish-soap on cast iron is a big no-no apparently (removes too much of the oil ‘seasoning every time).

Entry #2: Related to WHSDfML, there was a segment a few weeks ago talking about how much non-homo-sapiens had actually invented that we take for granted. You asked for ideas of things that were invented well after that point that us homo-sapiens could call “”ours””. I propose that modern “”Ice Cream”” is that invention – it required the domestication of cattle for milk, cultivation of specific plants for sugar, as well as the free time to churn the freezing mixture for extended periods of time, not to mention the ability to do this in non-freezing climates by harvesting ice and keeping that into the summer. I can’t provide facts backing this up, but I’d like to think it was “”ours””. 🙂


Let’s continue with some science news…

Stimulating Seeing
Neuroscientists used optogenetics to trigger small populations of visual neurons and simulate real visual input leading mice to perform a trained behavior. Is this method recreating real vision within the brain?

Parenting In The Brain
Looks like parental behaviors in mammals might share a lot in common with frogs… at least based on brain activation.

LOCKR: A Programmable synthetic protein in a living cell
Will it be as influential a tool as CRISPR?

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

And the female brain goes to…
In clownfish, or anemonefish, the gonads follow the brain, and not the other way around. Maybe that’s just another difference between women and men.

Screaming at your baby in utero might not be a great idea… unless you are a gull.
Chicks exposed to warning calls while still in their eggs showed marked physical and behavioral differences once they emerged, ready for a tougher, more dangerous existence.

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

An Apple A Day
Gives you lots of bacteria! Apparently, a 240 gram apple harbors over 100 million bacteria with most of those residing in the seeds and skin.

Hot heads get breads
Higher temperatures make people more combative when it comes to money.

I like big birds and I cannot lie.
So climate change has me pretty bummed, overall.

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I'm the host of this little science show.