29 July, 2015 – Episode 525 – This Week in Science


Space Update Madness, EmDrive Maybe? Auroras In Space, Synchronizing Pendulums, Supersymmetry, Powerful Laser, Why Be Viking?, AI Warfare, Compulsory College, Scientist Makers, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer!
The recent news of another earth like planet being found in
the galaxy should come as no surprise…
We have been expecting this for some time, and have been
predicting it for even longer…
The current estimation of the number of such planets is
orbiting at around 40 Billion.
That’s 40 billion right size, right distance from the right
type of star…
40 Billion earth like planets, in the Milky Way galaxy alone…
The Milky Way is of course just one Galaxy, there are a
hundred, if not hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe
So with several sextillions of earthlike planets being
It was just a matter of time and science before we found a
second one…
And now that we have we must begin to ask ourselves…
Is there a chance… is it possible… could it be…
that our twin is…
The prettier one…
The athletic one…
The one others gravitate towards at a party…
The one that knows how to time the punch-line of a joke properly
And what if they are in fact…
the Smarter one…
With so many distractions on an earth like planet,
So many ways to spend the days,
it’s easy to assume that they,
if there is a they there,
are as taken by pop sports culture and couch potato chip
dipping as we are…
If this is the case, we’re doing just fine by comparison,
But if not, we could all do with a few extra mental sit ups
here on
This week in Science… coming up next…

Kepler Update!
Kepler 452b,a viable contender for the title of Earth-twin, was discovered orbiting around a sun-like, yet older star 1400 light years away from Earth. It’s study could give us a peek into the future of our own solar system.

Pluto Update!
Flowing ice and hazy skies??? That’s what the LORRI instrument on New Horizons detected when aimed back at the little planetoid. The haze seems to be double-layered, and the ice flows indicate recent geologic activity.

EM Drive Update!
German scientists known for troubleshooting announced at a scientific meeting that they had tested the EM Drive, it works, but they still don’t know why.

Auroras in spaaaaace…
Aurora failed-star-ialous.

And, The Physics Girl brought us…
Synchronizing Pendulums
Powerful Laser

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Why be a viking…
It’s for the plunder.

AI Warfare
Big names in science and technology came out against the devlopment of AI for warfare this week saying that such an arms race would be a threat to humanity.

AI Questions
However, some argue that armed AI robots are inevitable, don’t we have an ethical imperative to make them the best they can be since they will reduce the loss of human life during combat.

Compulsory K through 14
More schooling = better job creators. What’s your opinion on this?

Making Protein Makers
A study in Nature this week describes the successful creation of a synthetic ribosome, the organelle responsible for assembling RNA into proteins. The ribosome differs from the natural cellular component in that its two subunits are tethered permanently together. Yet, it does not seem to pose a problem as the synthetic ribosome kept bacteria lacking the natural organelle alive.

Supercomputer Simulation
A single photosynthetic chromatophore made up of more than 100 million atoms has been simulated by the Titan supercomputer.

Roadside Animal Detection
Sensor systems along roads to detect animals may be useful to avoid impacts between car and animal.

Making Hamsters Happy
Give hamsters an enriched life, and they will be more open to trying new things suggests a recently published study.

TRex Teeth
An extra feature of TRex teeth has been discovered, and likely made them even better for tearing into meat.

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