24 October, 2018 – Episode 693 – This Week in Science (TWIS)


Interview w/ Dr. Daniel Holz, Brainy Birds, Liquid Land, Extra-Fast Internet, Momma Chimp Knows, Better Beetle Babies, Moss Medicine, Stressful Stink, Do Lizards Dream?, And Much More…

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Interview w/ Dr. Daniel Holz,
Professor at the University of Chicago, in the Enrico Fermi Institute, the Department of Physics, the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. He studies gravitational waves, and is a member of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. Follow him on Twitter!

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Dr. Sanford,
First I want to say how much I enjoy TWIS. I listen to several science podcasts — Naked Scientists and Guardian Science from the UK, Quirks and Quarks from the CBC, Science Friday (of course) & Undiscovered, Science from the AAAS, Science Talk from Scientific American, plus a couple of 60-120 second science sound bites. TWIS is my favorite. I hope you will have more interviews, and I would like to suggest that you create a separate collection of the interviews on the site to make it easier for listeners to find them and listen to them over again.

Over the years of listening (I remember when you were a doctoral candidate and podcasting from UC Davis), I have learned a great deal about multiple scientific subjects. One that particularly concerns me is my health. I am 72 years old and am fortunate in that I have no serious health problems so far. I am doing everything I can to keep my health for as long as possible.

I am particularly concerned about Alzheimer’s Disease. My mother was dying from it when she was my age now, and she died at 75. Last January on TWIS I heard about a study that showed that Tumeric taken in food (not as a pill) may be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s and curing early stages of the disease. Since then I have been doing myself daily by the simple method of adding it to my food at meals, including putting it on my morning toast. I also do calisthenics, inspired by studies that show that this can help with brain health, and I take long walks (5 miles plus) several times a week on the steep hillside I live on, during which I listen to TWIS and other podcasts.

The only problem I have with the tumeric is it gets on my clothes and stains them yellow. Now if science could develop a savfe, eco-friendly stain remover that would get those stains out I would be happy.

All the best to you, Jason, & Blair, and keep up the great work you are doing educating the rest of us about the latest progress in science.
Bert Latamore”

Brainy Birds
New Caledonian crows have done it again. Showed off their impressive avian intelligence by creating compound tools made of smaller components to solve a food-acquisition task. This ability arose late in human evolution, and is expressed in children around 5-years of age.

New clues about what killed the dinosaurs
Liquid land might have played a part after the meteor impact.

Extra-super-fast-ultra-broadband internet on the way…
Researchers have figured out how to untwist twisted light with a smaller device, making faster internet a near-term possibility.

Two parents are better than one
But mom often gets the short end of the stick…

Momma knows best
Mother chimps know which males they can trust, and which they should steer clear of. That’s a mother’s intuition!

Moss Medicine
Maybe moss will be better than weed for medical uses. A species of liverwort contains a compound similar to THC that binds to cannabinoid receptors, acts to reduce inflammation, and has less of a psychoactive effect.

Stressful Stink
People apparently release a compound called isoprene into the air when stressed, and it could be used as a metric to determine group stress level… and maybe movie ratings.

Do lizards dream?
Yes, but not quite the same as we do.

What’s brown, sticky, and terrifying? If you’re a bird, sticks are scarier than snakes, because their movement is just spooky…

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.