11 July, 2018 – Episode 678 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

July 12th, 2018
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Driving Genes, Fixing CRISPR, Ancient Chinese Secret, Dark Matter Hunt, Longer Native Story, Dogs Of America, Snorting Horses, Better Brains, Oxygen Teeter Totter, African Origins, Asteroidal Planetoids, HIV Vaccine, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
The following program is has been constructed entirely out of scientific materials.
No corporate, industry, government, philosophy, religion or other special interest lobbying effort was involved in its creation.
Sponsorship of the show is generated by a community of its listeners who have no control over the content.
The hosts themselves have only the vaguest recollection of volunteering to be hosts, and were not selected to do so by anyone but themselves.
None of them need your vote, your money, your trust or your time and you will not need to click agree to any form of end user agreement in order to enjoy the content.
The stories you will hear are real accounts from the publications of lab and field notes of scientists engaged in research and discovery.
The only filters between you and the subject matters discussed are the education of the experts generating the information, and the cadences of the hosts delivery in relating that information to you.
If at any point while listening you begin to think too freely, feel free to find a more conventional format of public consumption upon which to dull your senses.
For we have no time for that sort of nonsense here on…
This week in Science, coming up next.

Driving Genes
A research team from UCSD reported the first demonstration of successful gene drive in mammals.
Fixing CRISPR
Chemists might have discovered why CRISPR makes mistakes.

Ancient Chinese secret…
Human ancestors might have lived in Asia far earlier than previously assumed.

Dark Matter Hunt
A scientist wants to look at minerals to find dark matter traces.

Ever more evidence for a longer native American history
Ancient tools suggest humans were active in the Americas up to 16,000 years ago.

Dogs Of America
They weren’t from America.

Snorting horses be happy horses
Pretty much all there is to it.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hello Dr. Kiki, Blair and Justin. Science has been doing a lot for me lately. Multiple sclerosis has been prevalent in my family. I recently had gone to see a neurologist at Mayo Clinic and they checked to see if I indeed have multiple sclerosis myself because I had been exhibiting a fair amount of symptoms. I am still awaiting the test results but I know that science has made progress in the understanding of multiple sclerosis and it is not quite as scary as it once had been so even if I do have it I will be okay because I believe in science allowing me to live a normal life nevertheless with the help of immunosuppressive therapies and so on.
–Logan Fette”

15 minutes to a better brain
Exercise post learning leads to better learning.

Oxygen Teeter Totter
Apparently, oxygen levels did some adjusting prior to reaching levels that were conducive to the explosion of life on the planet.

African origins were a multi cultural affair
It was a truly braided stream of humans.

Asteroidal Planetoids
The asteroid belt might be the remnants of 5 planets.

HIV Vaccine
One of 5 HIV vaccines has successfully completed a Phase 1 safety trial. Next step is to test efficacy of protection.

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27 June, 2018 – Episode 677 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

June 28th, 2018
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Polio Against Cancer, Stellarator Update, Clean Signals, Rat Ticklers, Parasite Molecules, Organic Enceladus, Bloodhound Robot, Wolfie Genes, Prosthetic Foot, Beaver Bot, Hayabusa 2!, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
As we approach the anniversary of independence in what some call “the greatest country,”
It is important to remember to look back, and look forward.
It is also important to address the present, but keep it in perspective.
The United States is a nation of immigrants, a nation of freedom.
A nation of mutual respect, and of newfound friends.
This nation helped humankind explore the deepest reaches of the oceans,
as well as the outer limits of our solar system.

But none of that would be possible without the inclusion of all people who ever wondered. Whether they were newcomers to our land,
those that were here before us,
or people who were once not even considered people.

Whether they were men, women, black, brown, familiar, unfamiliar,
or something we had never seen before,
progress depended and will continue to depend on everyone
near, far, similar, different, human, mouse, or extra terrestrial.
Science, technology, and the continuation of life on this planet is for and by every one of us.

So let’s hear what newfound knowledge we all now share…
on This Week in Science!
Coming up next.

Polio Against Cancer
In a Phase I clinical trial, a modified polio virus was successfully used to treat glioma.

Stellarator Update
The Wendelstein 7-X stellarator fusion donut advanced the maximum plasma temerature and length of time it could produce it according to a recent study published in Nature.

To be a good partner, you gotta speak the same language.
Cleaner shrimp signal their intentions, and fish in turn let them know they won’t be eaten.

What do you do? I’m a rat-tickler.
Tickled rats are happy rats, which is important at home and in the lab.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“The saga, of how the collective publication of scientific and medical Open Access
research has “literally” rescued me. Medically, physically, and psychologically. But this
evolving story isn’t over yet just yet.

More than 20 years ago I started having medical issues, where when I ate certain foods
I would begin have severe cramping and an obvious immunological response. I sought
the help from my medical plan practitioners but they could offer no advice as to what
this “food intolerance” was or even what could be causing it. I had been tested for food
“allergies” (e.g IgE mediated immune response) and all antigen samples tested negative
for any “food allergy”, and the immunologists were done with me. Over time this immune
response both worsened in intensity, duration, and the number of foods I was able to
eat without problems slowly dwindled over time.

I was then diagnosed as having Sarcoidosis[1]. This condition is usually the immune systems last
ditch effort to combat some hard to kill invading organism like tuberculosis. I was
serologically tested, CAT-scanned, PET scanned, and finally biopsied on the operating table. The result? Yes, they confirmed I had sarcoidosis, but without attribution to any causative agent. They had no clue as to why, but the sarcoid condition eventually passed on its own. The doctors never gave the cause any thought, but the food intolerance not only persisted, but continued to get worse.

All was not lost because I could still think clearly, and I had Science. Not just science,
but a really really deep passion for understanding everything around me, and I had the
Open Access research on the Internet. I began by searching the Internet for the same
unique patterns of a seemingly diverse set of unrelated symptoms, and matching them to the set of all known human diseases, and kept notes. I began pulling research papers from across all the various fields of the medical and biological sciences. I used Google Scholar? for fine grained search, Google Alerts? to find real time updates as they were made available online, Wikipedia
for cross indexing basic fundamental definitions and concepts, Mendeley Desktop? to
store and organize the plethora of related scientific papers by topic and shared across
my work and home desktops, and even podcasts for getting ideas on the current
scientific breakthroughs (TWIV?, TWIP?, TWIM?, and of course we all know TWIS, ?and
finally a new addition the “Immune?” podcast ).

Through doing the comparatives for each disease, and through the long process of
elimination, the list of possible causes kept growing smaller over time. The trail of
evidence eventually lead me systematically towards a certain set of helminth parasitic
diseases, as it is well established that most all successful stealthy parasites will directly
retune their hosts immune defenses in order to remain unseen for years, and my
immune system was absolutely going crazy. This mystery disease is a subcutaneous
parasitic disease? called Dirofilaria[2], despite it being called a “pulmonary” disease in the US. There are 27 known species world wide, but you likely know one of them by the common term “Dog Heartworm”. It is spread by arthropod vectors which are required to complete its life cycle. The CDC will tell you it is only spread by mosquitoes, but it has also been documented as being spread by black flies (Simuliidae?), and horse flies (Tabanidae?) as well. I had personally
been bitten by a horse fly the summer before all my troubles started, and I had removed
a skin nodule from my leg where I had been bitten. The CDC says this disease is not a problem?, yet there is no viable clinical test to tell you if you? even have it?. To make things worse, the disease is said to be ?asymptomatic in humans?.

Absent any medical available test I could purchase, I instead purchased my own lab
equipment as I assessed it from descriptions in the various clinical case study
publications. A 1600x microscope, overkill for this, with a CCD camera, blank slides,
materials, reagents, chemicals, and all important H&E [5] stain – the suggested stain for
visual microfilaria diagnostics.

I set up shop in my home office, drew my own blood, prepared the slides, applied the
stains. Bingo, there it is. And another, and another, and another… I now have many
photographs of the microfilaria, from a disease that I can not possibly have.

This story is not over yet, and I’m not out of the woods. I have now seen the mugshot of
my nemisys, and I have read up on what needs to be done. My goal is to not just to survive this ordeal, but then to also do everything I can to correct the “official protocol”, and push for a more compassionate approach to the diagnosis and treatment of potential victims of this disease.
–Steve Coleman”

Parasite Molecules
Chemists have created a chemical system in which molecules parasitize other molecules in order to replicate demonstrating that parasitism could have evolved before life.

Organic Enceladus
Complex organic molecules were discovered in ice grains emanating within the vapor plumes from Enceladus strengthening the idea that the distant moon could harbor life.

Hayabusa 2!
The Japanese craft is in orbit around an asteroid.

Prosthetic Foot
MIT researchers have developed a low-cost prosthetic foot.

Beaver Bot
Operating similarly to dam-building beavers, scientists have developed an autonomous robotic system that can navigate rough terrain.

Bloodhound Robot
OK, that’s the last straw, robots. Replacing dogs?? Too far…

When is a wolf a wolf?
When the DNA says so, that’s when.

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20 June, 2018 – Episode 676 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

June 26th, 2018
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NIF Update, Life For Mars?, The Venusian Spin, Microbial Motivations, Flying Spiders, Stressed Out Bees, Drug Beliefs, Coffee For Diabetes, Glial Pruning Shears, Light Tissue Origami, Nutrition News, VR Learning, Night Animals, Polite Dinos, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
The world is safe.
Well…
not safe maybe, but…
The world is not nearly as dangerous at it imaginably could be…
Picture for a moment a supernatural earth
One in which vampires are real.
And not the shiny, well-mannered sophisticated type vampires full of charm and biting wit.
But, a world in which intelligent immortal blood thirsty fiends
begin hunting humans as soon as the sun goes down…
In this world,
working the late shift might have more consequences
than the ill effects of a disrupted circadian rhythm…
Day drinking would be the norm,
as bars and clubs close at dusk,
to avoid the additional dangers of Draculas with high blood alcohol levels…
And even fairy tales would have new twists,
as Cinderella hurries home
not to avoid turning into a pumpkin…
But to avoid being torn limb from limb by plasma pounding predators.
Yes, the world could be much less safe than it is…
if such monsters were real.
Or worse, it could be less intelligent!
If it wasn’t for This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

NIF Update
Did you forget about NIF? Researchers have been incrementally improving their methods to get to energy producing fusion. They aren’t there yet, but they’ve made a big step forward.

Life For Mars?
Red chlorophyll is essential to low-light photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, which could have the ability to survive on Mars. Hello, terraforming?

The Venusian Spin
The quickly churning atmosphere of Venus actually pushes the planet around faster.

Microbes And Mood
The little buggers may contribute to depression.

Mayo clinic microbes
A cure for constipation?

Protein shakes are for chickens
Researchers suggest bacteria as space food for cows.

Holy flying spiders, Batman!
Flying spiders, or to be more accurate, wind-surfing spiders, can asses weather conditions for a grand day out. Now THAT’S a weatherman a person can trust!

Bees get stressed, just like you.
Did you have a crazy day at work? Did you find that your ability to complete tasks went down as your stress went up? Bees are just like us!!

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I have a hearing loss. It was discovered when I was 6 in 1966 and struggled to learn to read. I also didn’t talk much then. My first grade teacher told my mother that I was retarded. She didn’t believe that for a moment because I have done things retarded children just don’t do. So off to the doctors we went. I don’t remember much of the visit. I do remember hearing in great fascination the noises coming from a sample hearing aid that was over the ear and had no mold so it whistled a lot.
The family moved that year to State College and I repeated first grade. This time WITH a hearing aid. From my second time in first grade through eighth grade, I also got speech therapy in Penn States back yard. They, at that time, had a terrific hearing center. To this day, I often get noted for good eye contact. The truth is, there is NO eye contact. I am watching your lips as that therapy was a lot of lipreading. A four inch difference.
I wore several analog hearing aids through that time and had a new mold for the ear about every six months (growing up you know, a loose mold allows a lot of feedback or whistling).
Not that it solved all my problems. I was picked on relentlessly till I got to high school. Like a hearing loss kid is going to be normal. The worst years were junior high. Teachers listening to this, pay attention. Just about EVERY child in my grade at that school could EASILY tell you what my problems were but in my case, none of the teachers were willing to listen.
Over the decades, I never stopped wearing aids. Went from one over the left ear to a pair of in ear as the technology advanced. The quality improved significantly. Then about 4 years ago, moved on to an over the ear pair that is essentially a computer that shapes sound. The amplifier is in a tiny module that has a rubber cone on it that sits in the ear. A wire runs from the computer to the amp.
The amp in this link for the top picture in this link is that tiny module where the clear rubber cone is. They pick colors based on your hair color so mine are brown. Those rubber cones are disposable. Mine also have not one but three mikes allowing them to eliminate some of the noise.
Expensive too. ($5590 for the pair, ouch). If I could afford it and wanted it, the dealer as a new model that improves understanding by another 30% or so they say but that is another five grand. NO INSURANCE for this. Vocational Rehab once bought me a pair. The cheapest hunks of junk they could get their hands on (they were marginal too.) I have no clue how society can get insurance and decent quality electronics for all. This problem should be insured.
So, science solves some of my hearing loss. For the record, it is around 50%, both ears. While growing up, it was %60 / %40 left / right. so wore aid in the left ear Most of the loss is in the high frequencies. High frequencies are where 90% of your speech understanding is.
Try this experiment if you can. make a sound filter that lowers frequencies 1000 hz and up by at least 50% and see if you can understand speech.
–David Eckard”

Strong religious beliefs stay away from weed
…but pop opioid pills just the same.

Coffee For Diabetes
Researchers controlled blood sugar in mice using caffeine.

Glial cells make you smarter…
or forgetful.

Light Tissue Origami
Researchers are folding biological tissue with light!

BPA Miscommunication
BPA creates communication problems for mice.

Mediterranean Diet
It’s still good, just how good is in question.

Eels On Cocaine
Cocaine contaminated waters are likely having an effect on sea life.

Triclosan Mutations
Yup, triclosan leads to anti-bacterial resistance mutations.

VR – maybe not so bad after all…
People learn better through VR than a laptop or tablet. But might they learn even better in REAL LIFE??

This brings the cold shoulder to a whole new level.
Animals are avoiding us so hard they are turning noctural. Ouch.

Dinos were polite

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13 June, 2018 – Episode 675 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

June 14th, 2018
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Scientific Mistakes, Breathy Biodiversity, Sky Diamonds, Volcanic Warming, Pandoraviruses, Illegitimate Chicks, Vets And Dogs, Sketching God, AI Senses, Fatherhood Is Good, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
Humans are the most accomplished life-form on planet earth.
Accomplishing amazing things is what they will be remembered for
by whichever life-form takes sentient center stage in far flung future.
The first thing to remember about anything you try to accomplish…
Is that failure is imminent.
Failure, the art of getting it wrong,
is how all good discovery is made.
Thomas Edison didn’t just have a bright idea for a working light bulb.
He invented a thousand dimly lit bulbs that fizzled out
until one day he failed to get it wrong.
James Dyson didn’t come up with a brilliant new idea for a vacuum cleaner on a whim…
He came up with over 5000 prototypes for vacuum cleaners that didn’t suck
until one day he failed to get it wrong.
And for every accomplishment that seems to show greatness…
brilliance…
or genius…
We must remember that this is the result of a tremendous embrace of failure.
That any accomplishment casts a long shadow,
is only because of how late in the day we are seeing it.
Embracing failure,
learning from mistakes,
and pressing on isn’t just the sort of thing that some great inventers do…
It’s what we all celebrate together each time we tune into…
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Scientific Mistakes
These strengthen science, contrary to public opinion…

Biodiversity: helping you breathe
Greener neighborhoods mean healthier children!

Lucy in the sky with diamonds…
and microwaves

Volcanic past…
shows global warming future

Giant Pandas may die out
…but, giant pandoraviruses will live forever.

Older birds father more “illegitimate” chicks than younger birds.
It isn’t their experience though, it would appear to be their sperm doing the work.

Veterans are healthier with dogs
Service dogs actually improve physiology of veterans with PTSD. A testament to animals and the power of emotional support!

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“I love dogs and I have a pack of dogs living with me and my kids. One of the wonderful things about science are all of the amazing types of medicine we have developed for our furry friends. There are vaccinations, pest control and more. Also, the fact that dogs are one species and so different from one another in size, color, furriness, etc, always blows my mind. I enjoy thinking about how they’ve been with us for so long (as scientists discovered by looking at the genetic clock) and how we’ve most likely influenced each others’ lives. Taking my dogs to the vet means that I get to spend even more quality time with my canines. ?

Thanks for your awesome show! I love what each of you brings and how you have unique voices and perspectives!
–Susan Barnum”

Scientists discover what god looks like
To a select group of people in North Carolina.

AI senses bodies through walls
Researchers urge that this could lead to better health care, but all I see is Big Brother watching me through walls…

AI helps count and track endangered species
So I guess they aren’t all bad?

Fathers are doin’ it for themselves!
Fatherhood roles are shifting in society, and it would appear to be for the better!

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06 June, 2018 – Episode 674 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

June 7th, 2018
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Interview about Pluto w/ Dr. Jason Cook, Ghost Particles, Charged Dark Matter, Carbon Dating Nuances, Inconsistent Expansion, Dark Eyed Guppies, Weta Legs, The AMAZING Sea Cucumber!, TWITEOTW, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
There are things that we know…
And there are things we do not know.
We can,
for a moment,
condense the world into these two categories.
Knowledge and the lack of it.
But as we drill down,
the picture can become murky.
Of the things we do not know,
there are things we know we do not know.
We often refer to this as the unknown.
Like a mechanism for gravity,
or what existed before the big bang,
or where all of our missing socks have gone…
There is another category of unknowns that are far more irksome.
Unknowns that we think we know.
Things that we think we know,
but actually know nothing,
or at least have noticeably wrong.
And what makes this most irksome is that most of human knowledge
may actually fall into this category.
And while most of humanity gets by relying on a knowing
about things that they do not actually know about…
We will endeavor to keep you as much in the know
of newly known things as your noodle can navigate.
For nothing makes us more knowledgeable as a species…
Than This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Interview with Dr. Jason Cook
A Planetary Astronomer & Research Scientist, he focuses on the composition and atmospheres of icy bodies, such as Pluto, Triton, Charon, Kuiper belt objects, comets and other icy satellites, using spectroscopy, or wavelengths of light, to learn about the composition of each object. He received his PhD from Arizona State University, and recently published a paper that used New horizons data to investigate the moons of Pluto.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“What has science done for me lately? It might not be the positive story but I thought I’d send anyway now some time has passed. However science allowed my vet to conduct the biopsy of my cats lesion on his tongue. To complete the histopathology to give me the information to know his diagnosis and to know what treatment was possible and what was futile. This allowed me and my vet to provide the right care to my cat and to not put him through unnecessary chemotherapy for a tumor known thanks to research to not respond to this. Science allowed me to research this inoperable tumor and ask my vet about a treatment with a small study showing positive results. ( Although small the main thing was the limited negative side effects and we went ahead.) Nutrition studies gave me the right diet to keep him healthy. The years of study of my vets allowed them to know when this was not working and the science of euthanasia allowed me to give the gift of release from pain in a comfortable environment. Overall science has let me know I was able to do all I could and use all the knowledge of all the professionals involved to give a voice to my cat.”
–Melissa Hall

Ghost Particles
The miniBooNE experiment has detected evidence of a “sterile” neutrino, a particle not included in the standard model of physics.

Charged Dark Matter
Could dark matter be structured like atoms with some small proportion of particles being electrically charged?

Dark Matter Fusion
Why couldn’t dark matter interact with itself?

Carbon dating…
do carbon profiles reveal their real age?

The universe is expanding…
but the data is inconsistent.

Dark eyed guppies are lookin’ for a fight
Guppies have been shown to change their eye color to black when they are agressive, and ready to fight, but only when they are the larger of the two.

Sea cucumbers are amazing and important!!
Healthy ocean ecosystems depend on these little blorps. Maybe they need better protection than being able to barf up their guts!!

A male who protects his mate during sex – romantic, or evolutionarily advantageous?
For cave wetas, it’s both! Awwww……

Death To Birds
Starvation due to climate change is the likely culprit in the unprecedented mass death of Cassin’s auklets off the US west coast.

Lab Prions
The mis-folded protein particles that are thought to cause mad cow and other brain-wasting diseases have been synthetically created in a lab.

Doggy Vectors
Dogs are awash in flu viruses.

It’s…
…So…
…Hot in here.

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30 May, 2018 – Episode 673 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 31st, 2018
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Ups And Downs, 3D Eyes, Cosmochemical Start, Adaptable Zombie Ants, Too Many Women?, Feathered Friends, No Regrets, Pass Along Stress, Olive Older, Robot Muscles, Killing the Electric Car, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
This show is for you.
Not just any you, but the ideal you.
And not just any ideal you…
Your Ideal you.
The you, you always wanted to you be.
The best you.
You may or may not be your ideal self right now…
If you are, congratulations.
If you aren’t, don’t worry…
Chances are if you were your ideal self right now…
…it would only be because you lack imagination.
Whichever you you happen to be at the moment…
The following hour of programming is designed to make it easier
for you to understand the world you are in,
the world you are from,
and the world you are in for…
with the latest progress reports from…
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Ups And Downs
The current decline in the Great Barrier Reef isn’t its first. A new study suggests the reef died and came back 5 times over the past 30,000 years.

3D Eyes
In a technology first, researchers have shown proof-of-concept for 3D printing corneas.

Cosmochemical Start
Even though it’s not a true planet anymore, Pluto came from somewhere. Researchers with SWRI using data from ESA’s Rosetta and NASA’s New Horizon’s missions think it took the combining of a billion comets or equivalent Kuiper belt objects.

Zombie Ants find climate change solution
It’s all in what they decide to bite.

A world with too many women?
Once, it seemed like women outnumbered men to a radical degree, but thanks to some computations now we know the genders of that time and place were more balanced.

Birds know each other, even across species!
Fairy wrens can tell each other apart, even when they aren’t the same species! This way, they can tell friend from foe.

Alarm calls from feathered friends keep the neighborhood safe
Antshrikes in the Amazon are a keystone species, allowing for other birds to venture out in the open.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hey! I’ve been listening to your show for years and I’ve decided to send in a “what has science done for me latelyyyyyyyy”
In 2015 my mum was diagnosed with very late stage 3 ovarian cancer, and the various scans she had made the surgery relatively safe, and the following PET scans allowed close monitoring of future growths. As well as this, advances in chemotherapy and blood tests have allowed my mothers medical oncologist to keep a close eye and tailor her treatment depending how her body reacts. Thank you to advances in medical science.
–Aidan Jeffes”

A life without regret…
Is really no life at all.

Pass Along Stress
A Tufts University study showed two miRNA molecules found in the sperm of both mice and humans that correlate to stress in early life. In mice, these miRNA are passed to offspring for several generations.

Olive Older
The oldest oil ever found…

Robot Muscles
Scientists at the University of Tokyo are giving real muscles to robots.

Killing the Electric Car
In Scandinavia, an undercover shopper study found that car sales people were to blame for directing shoppers away from electric vehicles.

Chewing Gum
Can you walk and chew gum? If you’re trying to lose weight, maybe you should.

The more we learn, the less special we are…
Muscles considered “uniquely human” are actually quite commonplace in the ape family. Surprise surprise…

What does a stick insects and a strawberry have in common?
They both benefit from animals eating them. Maybe…

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23 May, 2018 – Episode 672 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 24th, 2018
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Interstellar Headlines, Dose Of Sunshine, Could You Iceman?, Nanotubes For All, Octopus Stories, Loch Ness Science, Turdigrades, End Of The World, Regrowing Brains, Raccoon Lizard Cat, Let’s Talk Worms, And Much More…

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DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
Imagine for a moment if you will…
Contact with an alien species.
A voyaging spacecraft colony of creatures
who would like to live peacefully here with us on earth.
They had to leave their own planet behind because it became too inhospitable…
What with the pollution,
pervasive hazardous chemicals,
unstable atmospheric climate changes,
and an ecosystem in complete free fall…
they just had to head for the stars,
and their ship
was nearly out of plutonium when they happened by earth.
And so with open arms
and bit of uncertainty about whether we really have a choice…
we let the aliens live amongst us.
Soon we discover that the new arrivals have voracious appetites,
and an affinity for resources that rivals even our own.
After only a week,
they improve oil extraction to the point where there is no more oil to drill for…
Two weeks in and there seems to be a distinct lack of trees where once there were many…
Three weeks in and somehow they manage to catch and eat nearly all the fish in the sea…
By week four and there isn’t a four legged creature over four pounds that hasn’t disappeared down their bellies…
And at the end of just a month the air is unfit to breathe,
the oceans are acidified and the ecosystem is in complete free fall…
And as the aliens depart in search of more fertile planets to plunder…
The humans take a moment to ponder…
This must be what we look like to those weirdos that listen to
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Interstellar Headlines
Is 2015 BZ509 an interstellar alien object? Maybe, maybe not, but the headlines and researchers are jumping to conclusions on this one.

Dose Of Sunshine
Chinese researchers showed that in mice exposure to UV light increased concentrations of a compound called urocanic acid in the brain, linked the compound to glutamate production, and showed improvements in memory compared to control animals.

Could You Iceman?
An MRI study suggests that ‘The Iceman’, Wim Hof, has learned how to hack his physiology to produce a stress response that allows him to perform feats in extreme environments.

A solution for every problem.
Global warming, unbreakable pants, space elevator… all of it, solved

Octopuses are not aliens
No matter how bad we want them to be, they are simply fantastical, amazing creatures born from our own planet. Sawwy…

What’s hiding in Loch Ness?
Is it a fish? a dinosaur? a monster? we’ll know this summer! And, we might actually make some cool real life discoveries, too.

Do Tardigrades poop?
Boy howdy, yes they do!

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Being a TWIS fan, I herewith submit my TWIStiment to the role of science in my life. Though no scientist nor having training beyond college courses, I totally rely on science as a practicing visual artist, as do all creatives whether recognized or not. Geometry, geology, mineralogy, engineering and physics et al are required to make and maintain the machinery and tools to work steel and wood, fiber, stone, paint and clay; likewise the role of chemistry and atmospherics in the mastery of pigments and finishes, all, via the artisan empower the object itself, its life expectancy and interaction with light and space. Science, like art animates the what if, spurs possibilities, teaches by mistake and demands we build upon, and with, truth.
–Walter Gunn”

We’re…
all
……Gonna die.
Dodging disaster from climate change
We just need to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celcius… somehow… no prob, right???

Regrowing Brains
UCLA researchers used a hydrogel to help mouse brains recover from stroke.

Raccoon lizard cat
…tells tale of Pangaea

Let’s Talk Worms
Predatory hammerhead flatworms have invaded France.

Mossie Spit Take
Looks like mosquito spit DOES cause an immune reaction in some people, sometimes lasting for DAYS. This might not answer why you get bitten, but it might tell you a bit about why some of you swell up more than others.

WTF-Thruster
Thanks you, Chris Lee, from ArsTechnica for bring a smile to my face today. Magic space unicorns aren’t going to take us to the cosmos.

The shortest route is not always the fastest
SO STOP LISTENING TO YOUR GPS AND BELIEVE ME, KAREN!

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16 May, 2018 – Episode 671 – This Week in Science (TWIS) Podcast

May 18th, 2018
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Interview w/ Ron Naveen, Water Plumes, Under Pressure, Mini Neanderthal Brains?, Homo Naledi’s Brain, Memory Transfer?, Turtle Sex, Birds Of Pay, Change Your Sheets, Ice Records, Cure The Cold?, And Much More…

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Want to listen to a particular story from the show? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!
There are many things we humans take for granted…
And often we do this without much thought or introspection.
Like, when’s the last time you raveled anything?
We plot, we plan, we schedule…
never do we ravel.
Raveling of things must take place all the time,
otherwise nothing could ever unravel.
We assume that we exist…
reasonably enough…
Because if we did not exist it would be difficult to consider
how we might be able to pose the question of our own existence to begin with.
And while we wander through life leaving unasked questions everywhere
There is one simple question that can lead us to the end of our assumptions
Why?
Why this and not that?
Why here and not there?
Why did it happen and why did it not?
Why is such a simple looking word,
and yet without it would be difficult to consider how we could have
This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Interview with Ron Naveen
Ron Naveen is the founder and president of Oceanites, a US-based, nonprofit science and educational organization, that got its start in 1987. He also began the Antarctic Site Inventory project in 1994, the only nongovernmental, publicly supported, scientific research project working in Antarctica and the only project monitoring penguin population changes across the entirety of the Antarctic Peninsula. He is a professional penguin counter.

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This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?
“Hi, Dr. Kiki! We met very briefly ages ago when you were a judge for the ChemChamps competition at the ACS meeting in San Francisco. I only recently started listening to TWiS. Though science has done a lot for me for a long time starting with a fascinating undergrad life in wildlife ecology (I kind of want to be Blair when I grow up) to recently benefiting from new treatments for a rare autoimmune disease, I wanted to share what TWiS has done for me lately. I had an episode playing in the car when I picked up my 8-year-old son for his gymnastics class. I was about to switch to the radio when he told me to stop, he wanted to keep listening. He was highly intrigued by the slave ants story. TWiS has now become our thing when it’s just the two of us trekking between activities. So, thank you (and Blair and Justin) for giving me an easy way to fill at least one of my kids’ heads with science. 🙂
–Rachel Pepling”

Water Plumes
Old data tells new tales on Europa.

Under Pressure
Protons pressure at their core is higher than neutron stars.

Mini Neanderthal Brains?
Svante Paabo wants to grow brain organoids containing neanderthal DNA to see how they grow compared to human mini-brains.

Homo naledi’s brain
Might have been very human-like.

Memories can be transferred between organisms
Maybe…

Sex determination in turtles gets a clue
But strangely leaves more questions than it answers…

You want jobs?? Hire some kestrels!
Tiny birds of prey could save the economy. Or, at least, the sweet-fruit economy of the midwest… But that’s something!

Cure The Cold?
Researchers may have created a compound that combats rhinovirus.

Have you changed your sheets lately?
Whether you have or not, a chimp’s bed is likely to be cleaner than yours…

History in an ice core

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Don’t forget to tell a friend about TWIS, and to check out our Patreon page!

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