15 May, 2019 – Episode 721 – Understanding Antarctic Ice

May 16th, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview on Antarctic Ice with Dr. Christina Hulbe, Moon Science, Good Whale Genes, Toothy Human History, Sticky Scandinavians, The STD Advantage, Learning Rewards, Artificial Number Sense, Plastic Proof, Faster Walker, Catapult Spiders, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

When wondering through the world take note.
Because everything you see is noteworthy in some way.
Yes yes, there is too much to information all at once to pay attention to everything.
But eventually you may find yourself focusing in on something of interest.
And if you pursue this interest it can with time and study make you an expert on the subject.
This of course does not mean that you will know it all,
but your knowledge will not be alone…
An ecologist might not know much about psychology,
but know a great deal about the woodland creatures that inhabit a forest.
The geologist may not see the forest for the trees,
but have insights on the history of the region and the dynamics of the dirt beneath the roots and leaves.
If the astronomer seems moody on a sunny day,
it’s just because they are waiting Impatiently for a better view of the milky way.
The physicist can appear an unlikely sort of explorer,
staying inside hunched over a keyboard eyes glued to a screen for several hours…
But they might be adventuring anywhere
from the big bang to the tiniest traces of subatomic particles escaping a super-collider.
And while the psychologist might not know much about quantum micro gravity
They might understand ways in which an ecologist might better communicate to their spouse.
And at some point,
when enough of us have pursued our interests to the point of expertise…
We can share our insights with each other.
And when that day comes we will all know more about the world around us
than any one of us had time to take notice of alone…
Because we are never alone as along as we have
This Week In Science
Coming Up Next…

First up, an interview with Dr. Christina Hulbe!

Dr. Hulbe is a geophysicist who studies how and why polar ice sheets change over time. She is Professor and Dean of Surveying at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the programme lead for an investigation into the Vulnerability of the Ross Ice Shelf in West Antarctica to the influences of a warming world.

Check out the Ross Ice Shelf Programme Instagram page!

And, here is Dr. Hulbe’s Ted Talk!

Support us on Patreon!

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

“Hi Dr. Kiki, Justin, and last but not least, Blair,
As always, I enjoy every week with you.
My reason for writing again is scary, but mostly happy!
A few weeks ago my fiance had a medical emergency. We were at home and she had gone unconscious and stopped breathing. I heard something odd before she collapsed.
I called 911 immediately on my cell phone.
Cell phone technology meant I could stay with her, and talk to the operator at the same time.
Even with first aid training it helped to have the extra medical help, provided by many years of medical science talking me through it.
Thanks science!
EMT showed up still would not have been as quick a response without science!
She woke up and got taken to the hospital to have many tests, which got us a diagnosis. While it was not the greatest of news there are many treatments thanks to science!
All I can say is science saved her life literally!
Thank you for continuing the great work you all do.
Good science too you.
–Ben Bignell”

Let’s continue with Some Science News From This Week in Science

MoonQuakes
A cooling moon and the Earth’s gravitational influence combine to create lunar seismic quakes and fault lines.

MoonMantle
The Chinese lunar lander might have detected soil made up of material representing the composition of the lunar mantle.

Good Whale Genes
A study out of Arizona State University discovered that whales evolved specific genetic cancer-risk reducing adaptations that differ from the mechanism evolved by elephants.

Neandertal teeth
A toothy analysis sharpens our view of divergence with current humans pushing it further into the past.

Sticky Swedish Study
Ancient chewing gum illuminated 10,000 year old DNA!

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

Do you have a sexually transmitted infection, or are you just happy to see me?
Having an STI and giving it to your mate could be an advantageous methodology for some males. Great, yet another reason for women to fear sex…

Learning and achieving rewards are related but not linked.
For the same reason a smart student could flunk a test, testing animals in learned behavior with rewards present could be misleading.

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

Artificial Number Sense
An AI neural network developed “number sense” that closely matches neural activity in monkeys.

Plastic Proof
A prominent photosynthetic bacteria species was shown to reduce its oxygen production when exposed to plastic leachates suggesting plastic in the oceans could influence atmospheric oxygen availability.

Faster is better…
When we are walking.

Holy Catapulting Spider, Batman!
Just when you thought spiders couldn’t get any more terrifying…

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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08 May, 2019 – Episode 720 – How to Stop the Extinctions

May 9th, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Looming Extinctions, Black Hot Ice, The Modern Phage, Logical Wasps, Sexy Flies, Cambrian Fuel, Collapsar Stars, Human Origin Letdown, Heart Repair, Blood Brain Test, Pokemon Brain, Pandas And Bamboo, A Lost Stash, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

Okay…
When the world around you seems to have lost its mind.
When up is down, left is right
In is out and forward is a bowl of tuna salad
It doesn’t mean that you are wrong.
Despite the fact that those around you might think that you are…
A recent make-ity up poll,
which despite being make-ity up did include a data set of all humans…
found the average human only to be of average intelligence…
Capable of average insight
They were also of average height,
weight,
And had average inseams.
Made average points and counter points in conversation,
Experienced just the average levels of serotonin when hugged,
And, most strikingly, had only an average knowledge of science.
And, while the average person may think that you wrong about something,
Keep in mind that they have a below average understanding of what is going on in your mind.
Because your mind is an outlier…
You have beaten the averages…
enough so as to make the average analyst question your data point
And you have done so in the most extraordinary way imaginable…
by tuning into
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

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

Looming Extinctions
There is still time to fix things, but our procrastination is putting over 1 million species at risk of extinction. Should they go, our future becomes more precarious.

Black Hot Ice
A form of ice only theorized before researchers shot a laser and x-rays at a drop of water to induce extreme internal pressure and temperuture has finally been seen. Called superrionic Ice, it is thought to be the most common form of water in the universe, and it’s weird. It’s hot, dense, and black.

The modern phage of anti-biotics
A young woman has been successfully treated for an anti-biotic resistant bacterial infection with gene edited phage therapy.

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

Sex makes female flies get serious
The act of sex make female flies consider no other, whether she got what she needed or not.

Wasps know logic
Wasps may be jerk bees, but they are also smart bees. So there? I guess?

Support us on Patreon!

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

“What has Science done for me lately.
Third submission!
6 months ago I had to take a Toyota Prius to the dealership to get a headlight assembly replacement. I had to leave the car there as the maintenance staff explained that it was about a 5 hour job.
Fast forward 6 months.

Yesterday a close family friend went into surgery. He has been battling brain tumors for a while now, undergoing traditional treatments as well as Gamma Knife. Last week he became numb on his left side and started exhibiting signs of a possible stroke. After going into the hospital he was told that a right hemesphere brain tumor had increased in size so suddenly that it was impairing his motor functions and a surgery would have to be performed as soon as possible. Possible side effects were partial to total paralysis on the left side.

He went into surgery yesterday afternoon, placed under general anesthesia, had his skull removed in the area, tumor removed and in recovery in 4.5 hours. As of last night he was still unable to speak clearly but had movement on his left side and was able to tell with sign language that he was ok and signed “”I love you”” to his wife.
The man was in and out of a successful brain surgery faster than the local car dealership could fix my head light.
What a time to be alive!
–Dale Moore”

Let’s continue with Some Science News From This Week in Science

Finally, a human origin story Justin doesn’t like
Statistics say it’s unlikely that Australopithecus sediba is the direct ancestor to our genus, Homo

Collapsar Stars
These special collapsing stars might be what seeded the universe in gold.

Room to breathe… evolution style
Oxygen might have allowed for rapid pulses in species evolution during the Cambrian Period.

A Heart Fix
A microRNA molecule stimulated cellular repair after cardiac arrest in pig hearts. The only problem is that it caused uncontrolled cell proliferation and led to eventual death by arrhythmia.

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

Blood Brain Test
An new blood test for Alzheimer’s disease when paired with an additional assay of spinal fluid can provide 97% accurate results. This could allow early detection of Alzheimer’s as much as 8 years before symptoms arise.

Pokemon Brain
People who played Pokemon as a child have a part of the brain dedicated to recognizing Pokemon characters.

Bamboo – the other other white meat.
It turns out, the giant panda’s diet might not be so stupid afterall.

Lost stash
Archaeologists searching the Andes found the largest stash of ancient hallucinogens ever discovered.

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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01 May, 2019 – Episode 719 – What Makes A Superhero?

May 2nd, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Wobbly Jets, Alzheimer’s Prions, Dating Denisovans, Snake Life, DEET Legs, Super Unhealthy?, Geomagnetic Jerks, Danish Unicorn Diversity, Space Water, Toxo Heart Drug, Ban The Bags, Snoot Booping Canines, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

Everything you could have ever hoped for is closer than you think…
Cures for diseases, energy and environmental sustainability…
Mental health and economic stability…
Prolonged longevity and an end to food insecurity…
The end of many menial tasks and the taking on of tasks once thought to be intimidating too tame…
Are all closer than you think.
In fact…
Peace, prosperity, good health, and human happiness on a global scale are not just idealistic goals…
They are achievable benchmarks in our evolution.
We have developed a knowledge base through science that makes all of these accomplishments…
highly likely,
if not entirely inevitable…
The path set by research over the last hundred years has birthed much positive change to our existence so far…
And is poised to do so again with cumulative magnitudes of magnificent results in the millennia to come
For it to do so we need only protect the foundations upon which our scientific principles are founded.
To follow facts were they lead us…
and, by fostering future findings through the funding of fledgling ideas…
Science is at the very heart of everything we humans have done to improve our lives.
And nothing else we do is nearly as important to our survival as a species…
Except perhaps for
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

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

Wobbly Jets
Using the Very Long Baseline Array, researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research were able to determine that a variable binary system black hole called V404 Cygni isn’t lined up quite right, and is spinning at 60% the speed of light, which has led it to express a wobbly jet.

Alzheimer’s Prions
For years we have known that amyloid beta plaques and tau tangles are involved in Alzheimer’s disease. But, now, thanks to new bioassays developed at UCSF, we know that AB and tau are self-propogating prions, and that we may have been focusing on the wrong stage of disease development. Clearing out the plaques and tangles is action taken too late for the brain. Researchers are now looking at treatments that can address the prions themselves or mechanisms to help the brain clear the rogue proteins from cells more effectively.

[Watch our interview with Dr. Donnelly on his work to understand ALS and fronto-temporal dementia here!]

New Denisovan Discovery
An old jawbone found in a 40 year old archaeological collection was determined to belong to a Denisovan, placing the ancient people on the Tibetan plateau about 160,000 years ago.

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

Why do women live longer?
The answer is in males’ tendency to punch each other…

Why is DEET so effective?
It’s surprisingly, all in their gams.

Support us on Patreon!

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

“Well, since I don’t think I have a good definition of what exactly “lately” means, I’m going to try to tell what science has been doing for me for the last 14 plus years. I guess this period will include “lately” as well. -:) I think I had an interest to science as far back as I can remember, but since I began listening to your show I believe my interest became more organized.

In my life, like in all our lives, there are ups and downs. I have these moments when I’m exhausted, depressed, jaded. Turning your TWIS episode on works like the best anti-depressant I can think of. It allows me to jump out the train of these negative emotions that you feel when you’re depressed.

Speaking of depression, it’s one of the emotional states that, thanks to science, I realize the chemistry of hormones is partly responsible for. Realizing why I feel this way or another helps me to get back on track and calm down. It’s not bullet proof; the more ancient part of the brain that’s responsible for emotions is still there in my skull -:) but. at least with my neural-cortex I can think it through and “fix” myself.

Again, I wouldn’t have a slightest idea of what’s going on if not your show that I’ve been listening to since 2005, and which set me towards reading a lot of great books about science. Like “Consciousness Explained”, “From Bacteria to Bach and Back”, “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived”, “Grooming, Gossip and Evolution of Human Language” and many more.

I’ve just finished reading yet another one – “Mistakes were made – but not by me”. Well, I’m not sure how much I can actually follow the authors suggestions, given that so many people around me don’t and won’t follow these. But I will try to factor them in anyway to enhance my communication abilities and just be a better human being -:)

I heard Neil Degrass Tyson once said that science is first of all the way of thinking and then the rest is what people usually associate with it. This is what I value about science the most – how this way of thinking helps me process the world and make sense of it. Or when it’s about some “brutal fact” that doesn’t provide an answer on the question “how come?” and it’s just the way it is, without explanation we all are always looking for everything around us, I just accept it as such thing.

So, even though I’m not a scientist, and my current work as a content editor for an online publication has nothing to do with a degree in Methodology I got in the university back in late 90s – science has a huge role in my life. For me this is the way to make through this life with issues that it throws at me.

Sometimes when I listen to you talking on the podcast about something very enthusiastically I wonder that perhaps you may have some issue in your life at the moment too but talking about science for you is the best way to get over it, it’s like an anchor. So I’m with you, this is my cure too.
–Minion Artyom”

Let’s continue with Some Science News From This Week in Science

The real super power of super heroes
Why are comic book superheroes drawn they way they are? It has to do with being supernormal! And, not necessarily healthy representations of the human form.

Geomagnetic Jerks
Based on data from the ESA’s SWARM satellites, researchers are modeling the Earth’s magnetic field in the hopes of being able to predict future changes.

Narwhal Diversity
The unicorns of the sea are surprisingly homogeneous when it comes to their DNA.

Water From Space
analysis of samples from asteroid Itokawa were unexpectedly rich in water , suggeting that half of all water on Earth could have come from asteroid impacts.

Titan’s Ice
A new analysis of imagery data of Titan’s surface revealed a vast stretch of exposed bedrock water ice that do far defies explanation.

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

Drug For Toxo?
Could an old drug for high blood pressure reduce symptoms of Toxoplasmosis infection in people?

YOU HAD ONE JOB…
Despite their label, biodegradable bags failed to break down after 3 years in soil or water. So just bring your canvas bags already!

Wolves vs Dogs
On the question of which is more pro social, wolves win.

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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24 April, 2019 – Episode 718 – Inside Project Drawdown

April 25th, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Dr. Jonathan Foley on Project Drawdown, Hereditary Heights, Hearing Voices, Penguin Warming, Seaweed For Deer, Clean Mouse Houses, Glowing Gonopods, Lots Of Earthquakes, Ancient Beer, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

You only live once!
A phrase often accompanied by a decision to do something bold, or indulgent or short sighted…
Such as a tattoo that says “You only live once”
when the acronym YOLO would have sufficed and taken up less space on your neck…
But is that really true? Do we all live just once?
As anyone with a neck tattoo might tell you,
no… it is not.
We live every day which is each our own personal forever…
and only die once.
But try encouraging your friends to do the bold, or indulgent, or short sighted thing
by shouting
You only die once!
And you will likely get less takers…
Humans have for many generations been treating the planet
as if all that could possibly matter is that which immediately matters to them…
As if humanity only lived once, and to heck with the consequences…
And now…
the consequences are setting in like a YOLO neck tattoo at a job interview.
(Nothing against neck tattoos by the way just, if you are going to get one, maybe don’t base it on a meme)
And so we current humans,
living at the current height of histories consequences have choices…
We can make the changes needed to build a better future…
Or…
we all get neck tattoos that say…
This week in science,
Coming Up Next…

First up, and interview with Dr. Jonathan Foley

Dr. Jonathan Foley, the Executive director of Project Drawdown, is a world-renowned environmental scientist, sustainability expert, author, and public speaker. His work is focused on understanding our changing planet, and finding new solutions to sustain the climate, ecosystems, and natural resources we all depend on.

Take the Project Drawdown quiz on the CNN website! How did you do? Let us know, and what surprised you!

Here is the link to the eco-friendly solid refrigerant replacement that is being developed by materials scientists. Fingers crossed this can help us get on the right track!

Send your questions about Project Drawdown and its solutions to Dr. Foley on Twitter!

Support us on Patreon!

And, if you are interested, support the PDX Broadsides Kickstarter!

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

“What has science done for me lately?

Well, it grabbed me up short and forced me to re-evaluate my perceptions. Your interview with Dr. Helm was fascinating. I was hooked at the get go since she is from Home of Pluto too (and yes, all of us here still consider it a planet). I was drawn in deeper as I had never heard of the neuston, and the whole topic was terribly fascinating. But then…we got to marine debris.

For the last 17 years, I’ve had the good fortune to work with Native American environmental professionals across the country on waste management and other related issues. I have, shall we say, rather strong feelings when it comes to waste of various types, and the effects it has on our land, waters, and communities. The conversation took some unexpected turns for me that led to my stopping as I walked home and saying out loud “WTF?!” But then the scientist on my shoulder said “Whoa buddy. Shut your mouth, open your ears, and pay attention to where the studies are leading.”

It wasn’t a comfortable experience by a long shot. But it has led me to read more, to question my assumptions, and to remember that when it comes to things being black and white – well, those are penguins; not situations in real life. Once again, Science reminded me to not get too comfortable and to follow the facts. — Todd Barnell”
[Watch our interview with Dr. Helm here!]

Let’s continue with Some Science News From This Week in Science

Hereditary Heights
How did you get to be so tall? A question often asked of children as they grow. But, until now, the question hasn’t had an exact answer. Although we know height is hereditary, specific genes responsible for the variation have remained undiscovered. A recent whole-genome analysis of over 21,000 people found many rare gene variants that might pinpoint how and why we grow to a certain height.

Hearing Voices
In a new advance toward brain-computer interfaces that will one day let brains speak without need of a mouth, UCSF researchers have designed a device that translates full sentences from neural activity within the motor cortex that are understood 43% of the time.

Global warming bad for baby penguins
Leaving the nest is always hard, but changing temperatures are making it even harder for some.

Reindeer are turning to seaweed for survival
Climate change has affected food availability, and the animals are turning to novel sources of nutrition.

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

A clean mouse home is a happy mouse home
Mice seem to prefer to keep waste away from where they sleep. Go figure!!

Are your gonopods glowing, or are you just happy to see me?
Glowing millipede genitals identify species! That’s a weird sentence… I love science!!

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

Lots Of Earthquakes
Southern California experiences an earthquake approximately once every 174 seconds… or just about every three minutes. They are just so small nobody feels them.

Marsquake!
The first recording of what was possibly a rumble from within Mars was recorded by the InSight lander. More to come, but it suggests there is activity within the red planet that can tell us about its interior.

Spidey Desensitization
Exposing subjects to seven seconds of a spider scene from Spiderman 2 or an ant scene from AntMan reduced their respective spider or ant phobias by 20%.

Ancient peruvian beer festival…
500 years of beer might have played an influential role in supporting the ancient society.

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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17 April, 2019 – Episode 717 – Keeping Science Alive!

April 18th, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

First Heart?, Only Mostly Dead!, CBD Cures, Microbial Bowels, Fire Ant Soap Opera, Sea Spider Legs, Coral Reef Screens, Exoplanet Life, Baby Molecule, Deep AI, Bio Machines, Pond Life, Ancient Pee, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

The following science news program is brought to you by people like you…
More specifically by people like Andy Grow.
People who not just enjoy learning about science, but understand the importance of it to our everyday lives…
People like Andy Grow.
People who support science based shows and science based policy making…
People like Andy Grow.
And while we have lots of choices to make when it comes to how, when and where we spend our time in this life…
we here at TWiS are always happy to spend that time with you…
And Andy Grow…
Here on This Week in Science,
Andy Grow edition,
Coming Up Next…

And, NOW, Some Science News From This Week in Science

First Heart?
Bioprinting is full of promise for future medical needs, and that future might be rapidly on its way. Researchers in regenerative engineering in Tel Aviv have successfully bioprinted the world’s first 3-dimensional, vascularized human heart using a patient’s cells. The only problems are that it is only about as big as a rabbit’s heart, and the cells don’t beat together like they should.

Only Mostly Dead!
Yale researchers report keeping pig brains alive several hours after decapitation the the journal Nature using their BrainEx perfusion system.

CBD Trojan Horse
A possible path past the blood-brain barrier with cannabidiol.

Irritable bowel microbiome correlation
The condition is 80% predictable based on bacteria that are present in the gut.

Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

Fire ant society is complicated…
There can be one queen, or many, but the girls know what’s best in either case.

Sea spider legs are like swiss cheese
No, they aren’t nutty and creamy (I mean, they might be, I’ve never tasted one…), but they are full of holes.

Support us on Patreon!

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

“So my doctor recently said that I needed to talk to a cardiologist. He said that I needed to get an angiogram to find out if I had any heart blockages. I was in and out within 8 hours and went to work the next day. The results of the angio said that we probably need to go in and do a triple bypass. So, we’re setting up everything with my insurance company to take care of the triple bypass.
I work part-time at minimum wage and I absolutely do not have a company health plan. And while medical science is doing all the heavy lifting there is another kind of science is paying for it. Thanks to the affordable health care plan I have medical insurance for one of the few times in my life. Thanks to the state of California I have Medi-Cal because my income isn’t sufficient to warrant me paying for insurance. And say what you like about it I find the coverage is vastly superior to every other medical plan I’ve ever had.
So, what has political science done for me lately? In the stroke of a pen I’ll be able to get my heart repaired and recover and even work casually because of medical science and have it all paid for through the taxes I’ve been putting in all my life.
–Tedward”

Let’s continue with Some More Science News From This Week in Science

Coral reef quick screening via environmental DNA
Just a cup full of water can relate important ecological information.

Radiating Life
Researchers looking at potential radiation exposure on the likeliest exoplanet candidates for life found that life could definitely abide what is being dealt by the frequent flares from the stars they orbit.

Earth-Sized Exoplanet
NASA’s TESS satellite has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet along with a sub-Neptune-sized gas giant orbiting a star called HD21749. The system lies about 53 light years from Earth.

Tatooine Planet Finding
A new planet orbiting the Kepler 47 binary star system otherwise known as Tatooine was confirmed.

The universe’s first baby molecule has been found
HeH

AI For Folding, AI For Fusion
AI deep learning networks hold promise for numerous scientific areas.

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

Biological Machines
Using DNA as a base material, Cornell researchers are creating machines with life-like properties.

More like the primordial amuse bouche?
Life is likely to have originated in ponds, not the ocean.

Archeology… of ancient pee

Sharks are afraid of orcas, elephant seals win

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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10 April, 2019 – Episode 716 – Seeing the Hole Thing

April 11th, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Seeing A Hole, Autism Treatment Success?, More New Humans!, Screwy Sperm, Cricket Aging, Batty Lives, Chinese Monkey Brains, Metal Asteroids, What You Eat, Cat Understanding, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

Caution!
It’s that thing you use when crossing a busy intersection.
That instinct to look both ways.
That native navigator in your head that whispers warnings when the future seems uncertain
Ignore it for a moment…
Because ahead there are certainties that no amount of caution can prevent.
Ahead there is a journey, an adventure and a mystery to be un-veiled…
That no amount of hesitation can predict.
Ahead there is only discovery.
Discovery that will change everything you thought you knew about the future and the past…
Discovery that will challenge who we think we are and what we thought we were capable of…
The sort of life changing discovery that is never temporary and yet only possible in the present moment…
And caution free discovery is just the sort of thing we promise provide here on…
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

And, NOW, Some Science News From This Week in Science

Seeing A Hole
An international collaboration networked telescopes from around the world to create a virtual telescope the size of the Earth with sufficient resolution to image a black hole. That image of M87 was released today.

Autism Treatment Success?
Two years after treating a cohort of autistic children with fecal transplants to improve their gut microbiomes, the children are still seeing improvements in their symptoms and showing a change from their original microbial make-up.

More new humans!
Bones found in a cave in the Philippines might represent another species of early hominid.

Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

“Getting screwed” takes on a whole new meaning
Screw shaped sperm swim better and faster, but appear to be more susceptible to damange, which explains why we don’t see this shape in all sperm. More research is needed!

“You make me feel so young…”
Crickets age slower when females are plentiful. Is it because sex is good for you? Because males are too busy to fight? Or because there is simply less competition?

Support us on Patreon!

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

“My wife often tells me to shorten my time in the shower, but I enjoy a
nice shower. Her theory is that we shouldn’t waste energy, but my
supposition is that if I’m enjoying it maybe it’s not a waste?

It’s hard to know how to feel without data though.

A friend of mine told me that I should just look at my gas meter and see
how much gas I was using. I did that, but knowing how many cubic meters
of natural gas I burned didn’t give me any intuition about if it was a
lot or not.

(Apologies for the metric measurements here. It’s certainly easier for
calculations. Also I live in the Netherlands, where we use a civilized
measurement system instead of camel-force per cubit or however you
measure natural gas at residences in the USA these days.)

Quick Internet searching was not super helpful, but I did find out that
natural gas is mostly methane and has a mass of about 0.7 to 0.9 kg per
m³. I realized that I remembered enough high school chemistry to figure
out that methane (CH?) has a mass of about 16 and carbon dioxide (CO?)
about 44, so I could do some simple multiplication and figure out how
many kilograms of carbon dioxide I was emitting per shower.

A little more math and it turns out that when I shower daily it emits
about 210 kilograms of CO? in a year. Putting that into perspective,
that’s about the same as burning 105 liters of gasoline (or, as Justin
would say, “”about 105 thousand milliliters of gasoline””; something like
28 gallons for Americans).

Anyway, thanks to science I can now shower guilt-free, without a care
for my carbon footprint. Well, if not exactly guilt-free, at least with
an amount of guilt put into the proper perspective.

And that’s what science has done for me lately.

Cheers,
–Shane”

Let’s continue with Some More Science News From This Week in Science

How to be of the planet
Native American inscriptions found in Alabama cave shed light on Cherokee people affected by American colonization.

Stimulating Memories
Non-invasive brain stimulation makes old brains as good at remembering information as young brains. Sign me up!

Living longer
It’s a batty idea.

Chinese Monkey Brains
Researchers in China have edited human genes for brain development into monkeys, and the results suggest that it made the monkeys a bit smarter.

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

Metal Asteroids
New research suggests that they might have volcanoes, and we’re sending a mission to an asteroid called Psyche that could determine whether this is true.

What You Eat
May impact the effectiveness of your immune system.

Cats hear you, and understand you.
They just don’t care…

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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03 April, 2019 – Episode 715 – Live From The Alberta Rose in Portland!

April 9th, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Fishy Fossils, Music Against Mosquitoes, Sweat Secrets, Fish Mucus Medicine, Denisovans Did It, Skinky Brethren, Slumber Parties!, Interview with Dr. Allison Coffin, A Metric Poo Ton, Deadly Bird Cities, Animal Relaxation, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

Humans.
We’ve all seen them.
Delightful and despicable as the hairless apes may be…

It’s difficult to imagine the world of today without them.

Yes, they are the ones responsible for global warming, deforestation, de-speciation,
and are the second most prolific polluters the planet has ever produced…

First prize of course going to the microbes which introduced the toxin Oxygen to the environment…
And in such quantities as to bring about the neoproterozoic oxygenation event
AKA the first mass extinction of life on earth as well as bring about a common mainstay in modern respiration…

And though a 2.5 billion year old end of the world event…
was not the end of the world.

We currently living hairless apes should take heed!

While we may consider the earth a safe place, a settled argument,
a steady rock upon which to colonize our civilization…
It is not.
Eventually there comes a change.
And change isn’t a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just change…

But being that mostly hairless apes mostly have an interest in prolonging a changeless existence
we bring you a few of the lessons we have learned over the last 2.5 billion years here on

This week in science
Coming up next…

And, NOW, Some Science News From This Week in Science

Fishy Fossils
A paper out in PNAS reports evidence found in North Dakota of what might have happened in the hours following the Chixulub asteroid impact 65 million years ago tat wiped out 75% of life on land.

Music Against Mosquitoes
Turns out they don’t like Skrillex.

Sweat Secrets
Another study discovered that lactic acid in our sweat is what they really like.

Turning fish mucus into medicine
The slimy coating has antimicrobial properties that could benefit people, too!

Denisovans did it with humans…
way more recently than we might have thought

Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

The oddest of brethren
One brother was live born, the other from an egg. No, it’s not an Aesop’s fable, it’s nature! So weird…

Slumber parties for pups
helter dogs show a significant drop in stress from just one weekend away. so… DON’T MIND ME IMMA JUST ADOPT A MILLION SHELTER PUPPIES SHUT UP KAREN STOP LOOKING AT ME.

Support us on Patreon!

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

This week, we asked for audience members at our live theater show to share what science has done for them lately on 3×5 cards. We picked a few and read them aloud. The real-time interaction and diversity of responses was illuminating. Thanks to all who passed a card forward!

Who did we interview this week?

Our guest this week was Dr. Allison Coffin!
Dr. Coffin is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Washington State University, Vancouver. She uses fish to study the causes of hearing loss with the goal that it will lead to future treatments. She loves to talk about science and help others improve how they communicate their research so much that she helped found an organization for professional science communicators called Science Talk.

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

A Metric Poo Ton
Actually, 66 tons of human poo may soon be released on the tallest North American mountain, Denali in Alaska, thanks to warming temperatures. Add this to the corpses on Everest, and extreme hiking is turning into a house of horrors.

Deadly Bird cities
Chicago is among the top three cities in North America for bird deaths: Combine the facts that it lies along a major migratory flyway, is a big population center, and has lots of lights, and you get a recipe for disaster for birds.

Why does a dog sit, and a pig lay? How do you relax?
The answer may have to do with your size (if we were all different species, of course).

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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27 March, 2019 – Episode 714 – What is the End?

March 28th, 2019
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Dr. Katie Mack On Astrophysics, Brain Cells For Bob?, Exercise Factors, 5-Year Plan, Babysitter Benefits, Scuba Diving Lizards, Big Ol T Rex, Lamb Bag Update, Over-Interpretation Hallucination, Evolution Constraints, Cancer Trees, And Much More…

Want to listen to a particular story from TWIS, the This Week in Science podcast? You can do that here. Just look for the time-code link in the description.

DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER, DISCLAIMER!!!

The following program is not for the weak of mind,
The bereft of imagination,
Or the willfully ignorant.
If you consider yourself to be amongst any of those groups…
You probably are not…
as they never would be so self aware as to think so…
If you are the adventuring sort…
an adventure here awaits!
As we go exploring into the unknown…
Following in intrepid footsteps of scientists the world over…
and occasionally wandering off the path into the wilds of speculation of unknowns yet unknown.
There are few destinations we have not dared to delve into
Subjects from Astronomy to zoology
Why the number of knowledge navigations we have neglected to navigate number in the…
Well it’s still a really big number…
there’s more to know then can fit in a human skull…
And on every extro-skullular adventure we venture together…
Here on This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next!

Who did we interview this week?

Interview with Dr. Katie Mack:
Dr. Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies the universe from beginning to end, focusing on a number of questions in topics like dark matter, galaxy formation, cosmic strings, and more. She is working on a book that is due to be published in 2020, called The End of Everything, and she recently published a study on micro-black holes.

Support us on Patreon!

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

“What has Science done for me lately?
I could not sleep at all Sunday night/Monday morning. Back itched. At 5:30
AM, went on line to see if I could make an appointment. I did with my
regular doctor as their website said he had a 9:30am opening. The
amount of technology behind that simple transaction from my computer,
the router, the modem, hundreds or more miles of infrastructure, their
server, their appointment database and its connection to the public web
SECURELY (i hope), and all the myriad of protocols needed to do that,

So, I went to the doctor and took the time to ask if the itching on the back
of my skull was related as I assumed it was. Nope, he uses a $64 dollar
word that I can’t remember and said my follicles are infected. I walked
out of there with a pill prescription for the itch as I am NOT going to
turn into a contortionist to apply cream on my back. I didn’t even have
to ask him as he figured that out immediately. I also got another pill
and this weird shampoo for the scalp. All in less then five or so hours
of deciding to see him.

Even five years ago, I probably would have had to spend an hour or two
on the phone trying to get an appointment or just go to the expensive
emergency room. When it works, Technology is great.

Science drives technology which drives science which drives technology
which drives ….

In the Lab I work for, nearly every major machine is a
robot of some sort and has been for decades. The GC machines self
inject all the samples, clean the needles, etc all by themselves. GC is
Gas chromatography and the only time you ever hear that is when someone
is explaining what GC means. Without the robots there, you’d
need three times the people, have 20 times the mistakes humans are not
consistent, and run three shifts a say to do what we do now. All that
tech does science. And science is what led directly to all that tech
being created.

We have at least half a dozen of these going all the time in our Durham
office but we print to a PDF file these days, not a dot matrix printer.
–David Eckard”

And, NOW, Some Science News From This Week in Science

Brain Cells For Bob?
A new study looks at several methods of human brain preservation and finds evidence of neurogenesis depends on how tissue was stored after death. While far from the final evidence needed to confirm whether or not human brains continue to grow new brain cells throughout life, this study could at least create standards for future research.

Exercise Factors
And, a mouse study finds that factors released by platelets stimulate neurogenesis at low levels. Could such factors be at play in people, too?

Mike Pence thinks he is smarter than NASA
And, told them to get back to the moon in 5 years.

Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

You won’t help me with the kids? You’re killing me here!
Assistance in raising offspring could extend life expectancy in birds. So that’s another reason to pick the kids up from school and let mom take the afternoon off.

Scuba Diving Lizard
No tank or certification required.

Big Ol T Rex
He’s a big, mean, eatin’-machine – and it only took 20 years to figure that out! Because he was also dirty…

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

Lamb Bag
Update A synthetic womb shown previously to support late-term fetal sheep, was recently domonstrated to maintain pre-term sheep equivalent to a 24-week old human fetus.

Over-Interpretation Hallucination
Lack of information reaching the visual cortex might be responsible for the brain over-interpreting what it does receive and creating hallucinations.

Evolution of the youngest
The younger a species the more opportunity for evolution.

Cancer Trees
Cancer doesn’t grow on trees, but maybe trees can tell us things about cancer.

If You love TWIS, and all the science news we bring you each week, please consider making a donation to the This Week in Science podcast.

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