28 February, 2018 – Episode 660 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


It’s Alive!!!, Dry Life, Wet Life, Neanderthal Art, Flopper Ants, Dog Poo Eating, Ancient Smokers, Body Language, Seeing Thru Dust, Ciao Alcoholism!, Big Nose Monkeys, And Much More…

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The longer we wait for something
The more we either appreciate it
Or resent it for making us wait so long
Or long for it more for making us appreciate
how much we would otherwise be resentful
But obviously aren’t in this case
as here we are waiting for whatever it might be..
And whatever it is that you are waiting for…
Hopefully you will find right here on
This Week In Science,
coming up next…

It’s Alive!!!
Or, is it? Giant viruses having the genetic machinery to make all 20 amino acids deemed necessary for life blur the definition of “living”.

Dry Life
Microbes in the Atacama desert suggest life could be possible on Mars.

Wet Life
A species of methanogen extremeophile normally found near deep sea vents was able to thrive in lab conditions simulating the oceans of Enceladus.

Neanderthal Art
Cave paintings suggest Neanderthals were arty before Homo sapiens.

Why do dogs eat poop, and how can we stop them from doing it??
Well, a recent study suggests the only correlated factor is access to poop. So, there is an easy fix. The why is a bit more complicated…

Flopper Ant & Paramedic Ant: the unlisted Aesop’s Fable
African Matabele Ants not only care for their fallen comrades in battle, but they also only treat those that could make a full recovery! Now that is smart Iif a little cruel) military management.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
I just started listening to your show and I LOVE IT. ?
My only wish is that you shorten the “”Disclaimer”” part… It’s irritatingly long haha.
But on to the actual message.
What has science done for me lately?
Well, it allows my daughter to progress in her lack of muscle and neurological growth. My daughter, who is now three suffers from hypo-thyroidism and has since age one when we were shocked to find out her diagnosis. After several years of therapy and regular oral thyroid doses, I’m proud to say she can now speak a little over 10 words clearly and is able to get around the house by scooting her butt across the floor (the cutest thing you will ever see).
So in conclusion, my daughter would not be where she is today without the help of modern medicine and physical therapy. She’s my sweet little angel and I only wish the best for her.
P.S. – Here’s hoping she’s able to walk independently by the age of five. ?
Thanks again for an awesome show. Keep up the good work.
Jordan Uhl”

Batty language skills
Deaf humans can become highly skilled echolocators.

Sex Sells
At least, sex sells to monkeys.

Tracking smokers back in time
Using dental plaques from ancient teeth tells a tale of culture over time.

Body Language
An analysis of Bonobo and Chimpanzee gestures found a preponderance of similarities suggesting that the two species could understand one another.

Seeing Thru Dust
Using infrared radiation and polarized light, astronomers are visualizing the magenetic field lines of the the Milky Way Galaxy.

Ciao, Alcoholism!
Genetic studies suggest we may be weeding out this nasty disease in our DNA.

Is it true what they say about a big nose?
That it is an indicator of testicular mass? For proboscis monkeys it is…

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.