26 September, 2018 – Episode 689 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast


Genie In The Lab, The Sixth Sense, Not So Brutal, Sickness Smells, Vegetarian Sharks, Mantis Fishers, Nasal Influence, Retroviral Addiction, Microbial Trash Cans, Synthetic Cellular Circuits, And Much More…

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Chances are…
just that, things that happen by chance…
The unexpected meeting between two people
that otherwise would never have met if not for circumstances in which, unintentionally…
they do meet, they talk and…
Chances are that’s all they do.
Talk and for a few passing moments,
enjoy each other’s company and go their separate ways.
But there’s also a smaller chance that the conversation leaves a lasting impression on one of them.
And, though the probability becomes slimmer still.
There’s a chance that the conversation leaves a lasting impression on both of them.
So much so that they might decide that this conversation,
the one they just happened upon by chance,
should continue…
that it in fact,
should never end.
Science is a lot like that…
conversations started long ago,
often by chance,
that no one has tired of having…
Because it’s just too damn interesting to walk away from…
Just like This Week in Science,
Coming up next…

Genie In The Lab
A CRISPR-based gene drive to destroy reproductive ability in female mosquitoes was successful in the lab.

The Sixth Sense
Just like our other senses, there is a fast-acting sensory system in the gut that communicates with the brain by way of the vagus nerve.

Brutal people of the past
Weren’t so brutal.

Sniff sniff… Is your roommate sick??
We’ve known for some time that sickness carries a certain scent, but now just being near someone ill could give you the mark of illness. Is that why everyone left once I sat down at the table? I hope that’s it…

Mantises don’t only prey on the spineless…
They eat fish! Talk about yikes…

Vegetarian sharks
Say what? Bonnethead sharks eat lots of algae – changing the way we categorize these fish… Maybe…

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I know you and Blair had some concerns about the whole vaping thing a listener mentioned on the recent “”What Has Science Done for Me Lately””. But….
I got turned on to your podcast about six months ago by a friend and now TWIS, Science for the People, and Story Collider are highlights of my week. And, for 35 years I’ve loathed my addiction to nicotine. (Oh if I could go back and smack the 15 year old me up side the head…) I’ve spent the last two years especially trying everything out there with no luck. And then I heard the latest podcast. There was no way I was going to join the annoying hipsters with their idiotic vaping sticks – until I listened to you read that guy’s comments. So I went to my tobacconist and, all red-faced, told him I was thinking of trying vaping as a way to quit. He grinned and said “”Dude! That is how I quit a year ago! Let me set you up.”” And now I have massively reduced my nicotine intake. I can feel my body slowly weening itself off in a way I can handle. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And hell, even if it takes a while I am vaping – not sucking on non-filtered cigarillos, so that has to be a win. And in a week I saved $20. So I just sent that to you all. (And the store manager added TWIS to his podcast list by the way!)

Thanks for an amazing podcast. Thanks for filling my brain with amazing, beautiful, inspiring things every week. And thanks for turning me on to a tool that just make help me in other ways.
Todd Barnell”

The nose has it
Bacteria are linked to severity of colds.

Blame The Virus
An ancient retrovirus could be to blame for your drug addiction.

Mitochondrial Editing
Scientists are curing mice of disorders caused by mutations in their mitochondrial DNA with gene editing… will humans be next?

Microbial trash cans
Microbes have a way of taking out the metabolic trash.

Synthetic Cellular Circuits
Researchers developed proof of concept synthetic cellular components that fit together like a circuit to achieve various purposes inside cells.

Another Missing Link
A 127 million year old fossil was discovered in China that fills in another gap in the story of how dinosaurs became birds.

Biggest Bird Ever
Vorombe titan weighed in at over 1700 pounds.

Jellyfish and quinoa – dinner of the future!!
Quinoa has proven well suited for saline soils, more likely as sea level rise and local droughts linger on our radar.

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.