28 June, 2017 – Episode 625 – This Week in Science Podcast (TWIS)


Planet 10?, Planet 9?, Warmer Oceans, Rising More Rapidly, Archaea On You!, Bird Beats, Hot Hungry Rats, Neander-dentistry, Chimp Strength, Sleepers For The Sleeping, Cancelling Chronic Pain, Family Beds, SpaceX Double Hitter, Butts For Birds, And Much More!!!

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Humans live in an interesting world…
Bound on one side by the actual physical world…
That physical world that all living things,
and all non-living things…
exist in and interact with
and by doing so constitute the universe and everything in it…
And then we humans have another side by which we are bound…
The world within our brains…
And while it has been shown that the world within the human brain
can accomplish amazing things on the outside of the human brain…
It is also amazing just how susceptible that brain is to control…
Control can come in many forms,
from a catchy advertising jingle and a light bit of product placement
that encourages an impulse purchase…
To a conformity of ideology,
connecting the brain’s love of family to something completely unrelated…
In short, our brains are often susceptible and subject to false realities…
The best way to be sure your own brain isn’t harboring false realities
is to take it out once in a while…
I don’t mean out of the skull,
that really ends badly…
but out of its perspective…
Compare the world as it can be studied to the one constructed between your ears…
If you practice this,
become proficient at it,
you just might find…
This Week in Science
Coming up next…

This Week in What Has Science Done For Me Lately…
“I had a video conference call with nearly a dozen other people. Some where in Chicago, others in Florida, one in Poland, and myself in Seattle. We shared documents in near real-time using the power of internet protocols, routers, servers, and collaboration software. All made possible by scientific advancement in semi-conductors, algorithms, distributed systems, route optimization, and much, much more.”
— Minion David Larson

Planet 10?
An investigation of the orbital inclination of Kuiper belt objects discovered that there might be a Mars sized object somewhere beyind Neptune.

Planet 9?
The Outer Solar System Origins Survey has found a few more distant solar system objects, but without the clustering that would be necessary to support the existence of a giant Planet 9 in the outer solar system.

Warmer Oceans
No matter how it has been measured, ocean temps are going up.

Rising More Rapidly
Over just two decades the rate of sea level rise has increased by 50%, in large part due to melting ice sheets.

What’s on your skin?
Archaea, that’s what.

Sure, he can play the drums, but he’s no palm cockatoo!
Palm cockatoos may give us clues into the evolution of music!

Hot rats go hungry
Desert woodrats have declining liver function as temperatures rise, meaning they are unable to enjoy their favorite toxic treat.

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More evidence of Neandertal skills.

Chimp Strength
Muscle fibers taken from chimpanzees were dominated by fast-twitch types as compared to human fibers which are mainly slow-twitch. Did energy conservation in muscle help drive our brain enlargement as we became increasingly bipedal?

Meeting vegetative states half way…
With sleeping pills.

Cancelling Chronic Pain
Modulatory interneurons might be the root cause of chronic pain from peripheral nerve damage. A recent study pre-emptively activating somatostatin interneurons in the sensory cortex blocked chronic pain from developing in mice.

Co-sleeping isn’t such a bad idea, after-all.
Sharing your sleeping space with friends, family, and fur-babies may not be so bad for you!

SpaceX Double Hitter
Two successful launches with first-stage booster recoveries for SpaceX this past weekend!

Butts For Birds
Urban house finches in Mexico are possibly using cigarette butts to repel parasites like ticks from their nests.

Panda Positivity
Protecting panda habitat also benefits humans and other species.

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.