29 March, 2012 – This Week in Science


Cancer Cures For Mice, Fetus Brains, Booze It Up, Fly Little Birds!, Unsolved Science Mystery, Titanium Moon, Driving Blind, Guest Host Scott Sigler, Author of Nocturnal, And Much More…

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Here on this week in science…
Coming up next.

Cancer cured! In mice… again.
Is there a single drug cure-all for cancer? Perhaps. Scientists have made a drug that inhibits CD47, a protein found in cancer cells. Mice using this drug remained cancer-free for months after treatment. But, the big question is, will it be as effective in humans?

Fetus Brains
Genes and proteins that promote growth and development in embryos have been found in adult brains. A study of roundworms reveals that these proteins stay dormant and are reactivated when alterations in signal pathways and receptors are needed. This study could lead to treatment of mental illnesses if we can learn how turn these proteins on and off ourselves.

Want to be creative? Science says: “Booze it up!”
Getting a buzz from booze may boost creativity. Men who drank themselves tipsy solved more problems demanding verbal resourcefulness in less time than sober guys did.

Can birds outfly global warming?
Birds’ ranges have shifted in direct relation to changing temperatures, but it has taken them quite a while to relocate, over three decades, in fact. If birds, who can maneuver from one habitat to another so easily, are having trouble moving in relation to climate change, what chance do less-mobile species have?

Get a free audiobook at Audible.com!

Are you reading along with the TWIS Bookclub? This month, check out Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery

Let’s talk a bit about Scott’s book…
Nocturnal – Scott describes his “tribute to 80’s cop movies” as “Lethal Weapon meets Hellboy.”It’s a fun mix of action, science, horror, mystery, and science-fiction – check it out!

Unsolved Science MysteriesPine Mouth
A syndrome called “Pine Mouth” occurs one to two days after eating pine nuts and causes a bitter metallic taste in your mouth for a few days up to two weeks, but what causes it? Researchers have found that only a specific species, Pinus armandii cause this syndrome, but they don’t yet know why or how. Unfortunately pine nuts usually comes in a mix of species, and therefore it is difficult to avoid.

Titanium Moon
Analysis of Moon titanium indicates that the Earth was the soul parent of our orbiting “child.” Different celestial bodies, even asteroids, have a wide variety of titanium isotopes, but the Moon only contains isotopes found on Earth. It would seem that there was a “virgin birth” billions of years before we had thought.

Blind and hungry? Science says: Drive to Taco Bell!
Google’s autonomously driving vehicle allowed a blind man to drive… to Taco Bell. while we might be able to think of better places to go, the technology behind such a feat is mind-boggling.

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.