29 April, 2015 – Episode 512 – This Week in Science


Editing Peeps, Himalayan Shakes, A Batwinged Dino, Better-Off Neanderthal, Mammoth Sequences, Winey Vino, The Beetle Field, Meds Muck Fish, African Gut Swap, MS Remyelination?, World Penguin Day, Marine Light Pollution, Cave-Climbing Catfish, And Much More…

Editing People
A study published last week in the journal Protein & Cell described the mixed results of Chinese scientists to use the Cas-9/CRISPR gene-editing technique to edit preimplantation stage human embryonic cells. The study highlights the lack of specificity of the technique, and the problems inherent in trying to edit the human genome. Additionally, it has increased the conversation around the ethics of human genetic modification.

Himalayan Earthquake Science
Researchers are struggling to understand just why the Nepalese earthquake that occured this past week did so where, when, and how it did. The region is known for earthquakes being at the boundary of crustal plates that have pushed the Himalayas into dramatic being, but predictability is still lacking. Scientists looking into the history of the region’s earthquakes are focusing on gaps in the seismic record for clues.

A Batwinged Dino!
A new dinosaur species has been described, called Yi qi, or “strange wing”, for its combination of bat-like wings and feathers.

Two Mammoths fully sequenced…
Thousands of years separating two mammoth fossils show that genetic diversity declined as populations dwindled.

It’s good to play the field, but not too much
Promiscuous female beetles get men who up their game, but if they’ve seen too much action, suitors give up trying.

Diabetes meds are mucking up fish
We were worried about birth control and antidepressants, but apparently that was the least of fishes’ troubles.

Get a free audiobook at Audible.com!

Support us on Patreon!

African Gut Swap
Reseachers swapped the diets of 20 African Americans and 20 rural Africans, and found that cancer-risk profiles switched as well. Eating a diet high in fiber and low in fat and protein might be better for the gut.

No better than a Neanderthal
We were both low tech. So, we probably didn’t dominate with our mental prowess.

Remyelination For MS?
A new mouse study suggests that two drugs are potent activators of stem cells, and initiate differentiation and myelin production, suggesting that human tests should follow.

A wine by any other name is not so sweet
Marketing works differently for different personality types, so it is not always cut and dried.

How did we celebrate World Penguin Day?
By Spying on them and releasing the photos… Secret lives of penguins revealed!!

Light pollution changes marine ecosystems, too!

Cave-Climbing Catfish!
A species of catfish was filmed climbing the walls of a cave in Ecuador.

Antarctic Martian Water
Well, because everything that happens in Antarctica has to be related to Mars… there’s microbes in that there sub-glacial water flow!

If You love TWIS, please consider making a donation below.
Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!


About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.