31 July, 2019 – Episode 732 – Are You Ready to Science?


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

TESS Findings, Salty Battery, Probiotic Cures?, Hot Wings, Ant Protection, Old Parents, Baby Bacteria, Mosquito Love, Regeneration Paths, CRISPR Test, Cockroach Bot!, Cuttlefish Bugs, PE Tests, And Much More…

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Picture for a moment if you will…
Large spinning saucer shaped spaceships…
The wobbly, erratically flying 49 Ford hubcap looking things
And really big, like several city blocks, or a cool country mile big…
with lights flashing different colors
Hovering over all the capitols of the world…
And suddenly, everywhere at once, on every kind of device…
A message…
On the radio, the television, via text messages, in chat rooms, streaming via netfix, on the web-tubes,
and yes, if you pick up that land line that’s ringing you’ll hear it there too…
“Humans of Earth be warned!”
“The future of your world is in danger!”
“You are at critical levels of carbon in your atmosphere.”
“If you fail to reduce your carbon emissions now…”
“Life on your planet will be destroyed!”
“You have been warned!”
“And oh by the way here’s cures for several cancers, hundreds of other diseases and a technology that turns sunlight directly into electricity.”
And then, just like that…
they were gone.
Would humanity take seriously the words of these mysterious alien visitors?
With their superior technology, and generous sharing of cures to human misfortune?…
It seems plausible that humans might take such a warning seriously…
But then…
why is it that they don’t heed the advice of earth scientists?
Who have made the same warnings, backed by evidence mind you, cured many cancers, ended a thousand human diseases, and developed technologies that offer alternatives to fossil fuels?
Why are they ignored?
Because people like a show.
And the show people like most is
This Week in Science!
Coming Up Next…

First up, the BIG science news stories of the week!

TESS Findings
The NASA-managed Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite otherwise known as TESS is in the news this week with a variety of findings being reported at the first TESS science conference. Among them are a super-Earth, a hot Neptune, and a trio of exoplanets.

Salty Battery
A new twist on using saltwater as the basis for a battery is being tested as a way to power wastewater treatment plants. The method relies on “blue energy”, the electrochemical gradient between salty and fresh (or waste) water to generate current.

Curing cancer with probiotics?
Is IBS on its way out?

And, now it’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

You are the brown beneath my wiiiiings
Believe it or not, the color of a bird’s feathers might have something to do with aerodynamics.

Ants, they’re like family. And family take care of each other.
You know, you’re on your way home with a nice seed, and you get stuck in a spider web! Good thing your sisters are here to cut you out and take you home to clean you off.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?

“You did say haiku…
You didn’t say good haiku:

Vibrating bass strings
Transistors and vacuum tubes
Electrify all

When I plug in my bass, magnets convert string vibrations to electricity. The electric signal is wirelessly transmitted to my pedal board and on to tubes and transistors that electronically amplify the signal. That signal is mixed with similar signals from my Sugar Buzz bandmates and amplified further on to some really big magnets that convert the electricity back into sound waves that push a whole lot of air past peoples ear drums. Rock on!

Larry Cox
Longtime listener and Patreon patron”

Let’s continue with some science news…

Kids with older parents…
Parental age might improve kids behavior.

Baby Bacteria
A new study suggests that there might not be bacteria in the placenta after all, and that previous studies probably reported contamination as a real signal.

For the love of mosquitoes
Mosquito larvae might give us a way to fight all sorts of emerging infectious diseases.

RNA and Stem Cells
Hydra might have a few things to teach us about regeneration. Also, it is possible that cells with regenerative stem cell-like properties might exist within the liver according to a new study in Nature Communications.

And, finally, Some Quick Science News Stories To End The Show

Editias has begun a clinical trial to study the use of CRISPR to fix retinal deterioration in people.

Cockroach Bot!
Withstanding the weight of a human, able to run as fast as a real cockroach, and able to carry a peanut, UC Berkeley engineers have created the world’s first robotic cockroach!

The cuttlefish microbiome is astounding!
Astoundingly small, that is. Just two species…. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??

Remember PE tests?
Data suggests they are a waste of time

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About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.