20 May, 2020 – Episode 774 – What’s in an Octopus’ Garden

May 21st, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Chad King on Octopus Gardens, COVID Update, Pain In The Brain, Fungis On Twitter, Bird Spys, Eyes On, Irreproducible Results, Dr. Google, Funny Penguin Poop, And Much More…

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The world is close
Closer than you think perhaps
to opening up, unlocking, to just not staying home…

But are we ready?

The answer, I can assure you,
Is maybe at best, And most likely,
no.

Yes, we have social distanced and it has been working.
Yes we are washing hands, wearing masks,
avoiding handshakes, and distancing in public places.

But now we have millions out of work,
in a system that heavily relies on workplace insurance.

And while the advice from public health officials is sound:
“If you think you have symptoms, consult your primary physician.”
More people lack a primary physician than ever before in the history of this nation.
Look it, that is a fact, most likely.
Not everywhere in the world, but definitely here in the United States this is the case

If we learn no other lesson from this epidemic,
let this at least be the take away:
Employer based healthcare fails in an emergency.

What if 911 emergency services only operated during bankers hours?
Or paramedics only carried solar powered defibrillators?
It’s like a fire extinguisher with an automatic shut off valve if it detects smoke.

And the thing is, it’s already a system that has been like this for anyone who gets sick and can’t work so…

We need a better way to care for ourselves than being dependent on sectors of industry that may or may not exist in a crisis situation.

Of course the only way to truly avoid crisis dependent situations,
is to tune into another episode of
This Week in Science,
Coming Up
Next…

Let’s start with an interview!

Interview with Chad King
Chad King is a Marine Biologist at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We last spoke with Chad 6 years ago about a shipping container at the bottom of Monterey Bay. And, he has been involved in some more amazing deep sea discoveries over the past few years involving octopuses and whales falls.

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Let’s start with COVID-19 Update!

COVID Update
The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for May 19 reports 4.73 million confirmed cases (112,637 new) and 316,169 deaths. The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 1.53 million US cases and 92,149 deaths as of 12:30pm on May 20.

COVID Tracking
The COVID Tracker managed by The Atlantic published a massive, volunteer-based effort to identify discrepancies between the national CDC database (which was only made public this month) and reporting from the States themselves over the past three-months.

Reinfection Relief
Tests of South Koreans infected twice by SARS CoV2 showed that while they had viral DNA in their airways, all had antibodies in their bloodstream and none were infectious.

Gym Rats
A study published in the CDC journal of Emerging Infectious Disease based on a contact tracing survey of South Korean individuals recommends minimizing vigorous exercise in enclosed spaces while the threat of the outbreak still lingers.

The pandemics silver lining
COVID-19 crisis causes 17% drop in global carbon emissions

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

New species discovered on twitter
Who says you can’t do research from your couch??

Tits eavesdrop with specificity
These birds can recognize specific alarm calls, and keep an eye out for that specific warning. Are these birds multilingual??

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What science news does the end of the show hold???

Eyes On
A synthetic eye with features to challenge natural human sight has been created. Will we see artificial eyes being used by people within the next decade?

Irreproducible Results
When 70 teams around the globe were given the same brain imaging data to test the same seven hypotheses, they mostly came up with differing results.

Dr Google knows all….
Not.

Penguin poop drives scientists mad
Nitrous oxide emissions from penguin poop are off the charts!

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13 May, 2020 – Episode 773 – K9 COVID Angst

May 14th, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

COVID19 Update, Vagina Science, Turtle Moms Throw Sand, Angsty K9s, Creating Chimeras, Hidden Human Migration, T-rex Legs, Tools Of Self-Control, Night Pollinators, Tully Monster Chemistry, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!

The following hour of programming has not been peer reviewed

For that to be possible, there would need to be another science news podcast that could be considered this podcasts peer.

At best, there might be a slick pre-recorded post-editing published show or two that can be considered in our wheelhouse.

But since there are no other live science news conversations being brought direct to the public within the week that the science breaks…

We simply cannot be peer reviewed.

But we can bring you the findings of scientists.
We can bring you papers that have been peer-reviewed.
Sourced from institutions that are dedicated to the scientific process.

And while we may wander about the subject matter with our own wonderings aloud of what these stories mean,
how they might impact the world, and where they might go next…
We encourage you to do the same, to actively participate in this conversation about the world you live in…
Because your review of the stories we talk about is the only reason that
This Week in Science
Is coming up next…

Let’s start with COVID-19 Update!

The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for May 12 reports 4.09 million confirmed cases and 283,153 deaths. The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 1.38 million US cases and 82,806 deaths as of 12:30pm on May 13.

Moderna Fast-Track
The FDA has given Moderna the greenlight to fast-track testing of its mRNA vaccine.
AntiVax Science
A Nature paper describes the effective spread of antivax messages and sentiment through online networks, and explains the current advantage over pro-vaccine public health efforts.
Plandemic Problem
Let’s fact check, shall we?
Cats And COVID
They get it, and spread it to other cats.
COVID & miRNA
Does micro-RNA help defend against COVID-19? A new study suggests it might, but that defense might lessen with age.

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

Here is some more SCIENCE!

A New View On Vaginas
Despite what your gynecologist might have told you, lesions are actually pretty dang common. And, this is good news.

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Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

Mama turtles say, “nothing to see here!”
Turtle moms spend extra time out in the open to create decoy nesting sites, helping their little ones have a leg up in growing up to run for the sea themselves.

Teen dogs have angst
Dogs in their “adolescence” might show a rebellious streak, leading to misunderstandings and potentially a drop off at the shelter, in some cases.

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What has science done for you lately?

Write in to let us know what science has done for you lately. What does it do for you every day?
Leave us a message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/ThisWeekinScience
OR email Dr. Kiki at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com

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What science news does the second half of the show hold???

Creating Chimeras
Researchers report an advance in chimera creation with mouse-human embryos containing up to 4% human cells thanks to a new procedure involving resetting cellular clocks.

Human Migrations
Revealed by hidden islands and underwater archeology.

T-rex wasn’t much of a runner
More of a long-distance walker.

Tools of Self-Control
Did the advent of hand-carved tools indicate the development of self-control?

Let’s finish strong with some quick stories!

Night Pollinators
Moths are major pollinators, but didn’t we already know that?

Tully monster had a backbone
This squid-muppet hybrid fossil likely was a vertebrate, according to new chemical analysis.

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06 May, 2020 – Episode 772 – Celebrate the Science Teachers

May 7th, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

COVID19 Update, SMART Research, Dolphin Voices, Salmon Magnets, Neighborhood Black Hole, Hydrogen Worlds, Wireless Power, Mushrooms For Jet-Lag, Murder Hornet Mayhem, Sleeping Memory, Koala Licks, And Much More…

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Science
It’s the one thing upon which the world is now relying to make civilization possible again.

While there have been significant advances in all areas of science over the past several decades….
While technology can cross continents and oceans to keep loved ones in contact
While new medicines can slow, prevent and even cure illnesses that once were swift and deadly
While we have discovered new planets, unraveled mysteries of human origin and learned so much about how our natural world functions…
While the fundamental way in which the physics of the universe is constructed continues to tell us stories through supercolliders, super novas and super cool space probes…

The one thing we could not do is remain vigilant to a threat that, while novel, is anything but new.
Our current predicament was not unimaginable, it was imagined, warned about, and not for nothing, because this has happened before.

We humans rely so much on science that we have gotten to a point where we simply take it for granted…
As if discovery were just a natural progression of time, bound to happen if we simply wait long enough.
As if there is a separate world where scientists are adulting full time, running worst case scenarios and attempting to anticipate threats to humanity with all the resources they need to complete the research required to avert tragedy.
And in a way, that’s true, except for the funded research…

If we take any lesson from this threat,
it is that research, not rhetoric creates makes this country great
That academic insight not just military might can keep our borders safe
And that This Week in Science
Is coming up next…

Let’s start with COVID-19 Update!

Beware The PrePrint!
PrePrints are a wonderful way for the scientific community to start wider conversations about their works that hopefully makes for better eventual publications. Unfortunately, wider media report Preprints as peer-reviewed publications, or underplay the fact that they aren’t vetted, resulting in potential social trauma due to hyping of cures , treatments, or tests for COVID. A recent publication on BioArxiv was sold by the LA Times as evidence that mutations are making it more infectious. This is still not known, and there are many problems with the interpretation. However, a peer-reviewed study in Science finds several mutations that we should definitely watch carefully.

French December
Playing into the question of just how long COVID 19 has been around, a new study describes a French patient who upon retrospective analysis is now diagnosed as having had the disease. There are so many issues with this study. Let’s not cherry-pick our data.

Antibody Accuracy
As we discussed last week, serology continues to be a big issue. There are a growing number of tests for SARS-CoV2 antibodies that would indicate whether one had been infected, and a growing number of analyses are finding that there is huge variablity in the accuracy of the tests. Until more of these test perform at an acceptable level, we will not be able to adequately use them at the individual level and potentially even at the population level.

CRISPR Test?
Publishing in Nature researchers described a microwell array system using CRISPR-Cas9 called CARMEN to diagnose a variety of disease, including COVID-19.

SMART research aimed at making viruses more effective
Anti-phage mechanism discovered

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

Here is some SCIENCE!

SMART research aimed at making viruses more effective
Anti-phage mechanism discovered

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Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

So long, and thanks for all the fish
Pretty soon, we could be able to identify and track individual dolphins by their voice.

What do pigeons and salmon have in common?
No, it’s not their presence on a dinner plate, it’s their use of magnetic fields to get around!

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What has science done for you lately?

“Dear Kirsten, Justin and Blair,
What has science done for me lately.

Well, by lately, I mean most of my life. Starting about age 11 (this was in 1957), I discovered science and was hooked.

I remember lying in my bed at night as a boy, earpiece in my ear as I listened to my crystal radio. How I marveled that this little coil and crystal with no battery, no power, could bring me voices from all over the world.

Over the years my parents were victims of a merciless barrage of requests for science-y things: chemistry set, geology set, rock collecting expeditions, microscope set, ham radio, telescope, space for a laboratory at home – it only stopped when I moved out. I think the last straw was when I built a nuclear reactor in the back yard, and my dad had to check to when he got home from work so the neighborhood wouldn’t blow up.

They did their best to keep up, and with their encouragement, I eventually went to college. I was torn between astronomy and engineering, but eventually chose the one with the greater employment potential. However, I have always kept astronomy as my favorite interest. My wife can attest to the time and money invested!

Science has given me a logical foundation for discovering the world. It has given me hobbies, passions and a career. It has given me a profound sense of awe at the universe we live in. It has kept me up at 2 AM to observe the stars or watch Voyager sail by Saturn. It has given me things to say when people ask me “so what?” about our investments in science. It has allowed me to follow fields such as astrophysics, mathematics and quantum mechanics in a way that helps me deeply appreciate the complexities of our world.

Science has also added many happy and productive years to my life by helping me battle cancer, as I mentioned in a letter to a while back. But perhaps more importantly, it has brought me great joy in so many ways.

And lately, it has brought me to TWIS.

Science brings just as much excitement now, at age 73 as it did when I was 11. Few things in life can do that!

Thank you for your engaging show. I can’t wait to hear each new episode.

Yours truly,

Selden McCabe”

Write in to let us know what science has done for you lately. What does it do for you every day?
Leave us a message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/ThisWeekinScience
OR email Dr. Kiki at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com

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What science news does the second half of the show hold???

Neighborhood Black Hole
Only 1,000 light years away, the stars that orbit this black hole are viewable by the naked eye.

Hydrogen Worlds
Should we be looking for life on worlds with hydrogen dominated atmospheres?

Wireless power
Could wireless electric cars be in our future.

Mushrooms For Jet-Lag
The active compound in a mushroom known for increasing libido might also help with jet-lag.

Let’s finish strong with some quick stories!

Murder Hornet Mayhem
Don’t panic.

Sleeping Memory
Evidence that memories are replayed during sleep.

Koalas take a licking
Lapping up water from tree trunks is a prior unknown method for koalas to get water.

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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29 April, 2020 – Episode 771 – How to Read Tree Rings

April 30th, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Dr. Valerie Trouet on Tree Story, COVID-19 Update, Matriarchal Neanderthals?, Viral Bee Behavior, Spider Combs!, Underwater Bones, Core Conundrum, Dope Shrews, Toothy Teenagers, Swimming Spinosaurus, City Found, Danger Place, And Much More…

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Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!

There is a bee shortage in America…
When a bee stings somebody it’s stinger falls off and the bee dies…
So why not glue them back on so the bee doesn’t die?
Then we would have plenty of bees again.

When a child comes up with a solution to a problem, it’s adorable.
And no matter how silly that solution may be,
we can encourage that child to keep coming up with creative ideas…
It’s a form of curiosity and a sign of self motivated learning

When the leader of a nation
with a million people afflicted with a respiratory virus
With over 60,000 dead already
Believes that, after months of access to doctors, researchers and experts in disease control…
Suggests that maybe injecting disinfectants into the lungs
or massively irradiating people with ultraviolet light could help…
It is not adorable.
It shows a lack of curiosity in the basics of how a human body works.
Let alone anything he could have learned by listening to and asking questions
of the experts at his disposal.
This is a form of narcissistic ignorance and is the sign of an incompetent idiot
With less than a high-school biology student’s understanding of the human body.
I’m sorry, less than junior high understanding even…

Thankfully…
the idiot is not actually in control of the country’s research.
And as the researchers continue to rely on scientific method
There is a treatment at the end of the tunnel
And that treatment is here
On this week in science
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with an interview!

Our guest this week is Dr. Valerie Trouet. She is a dendroclimatologist, using the rings in trees to study the climate of the past and how it has influenced ecosystems and human history. Additionally, she is Associate Professor in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, and has written, ‘Tree Story’, a book about tree rings, climate history, and human history.

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What has science done for you lately?

Write in to let us know what science has done for you lately. What does it do for you every day?
Leave us a message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/ThisWeekinScience
OR email Dr. Kiki at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com

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Now for our COVID-19 Update!

Remdesivir Standard?
The first controlled trial of Remdesivir is making the news as a treatment for COVID19 as Fauci, Gilead, and the NIAID tout its early success.

Oxford Vaccine Potential
NY Times reported on the early success of a vaccine trial on non-human primates at the University of Oxford, but the research lab doesn’t like the press, and is asking for us to consider the reality of the timeline.

CRISPR for COVID
It’s in research.

Social distancing Work
And, closing schools is good for the overall outcome according to a study looking at Wuhan and Shanghai.

No COVID Immunity?
A study looking at four other coronaviruses found that people were often reinfected, sometimes several times, within the course of the cold and flu season.

Stop Comparing
There is no comparing flu to COVID 19. a new data dredge found that the flu kills many fewer people. We’ve apparently been overstating the numbers and using predictions for years.

This is just a really good review article about COVID and how it works.

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

What science news does the second half of the show hold???

Matriarchal neanderthals?
Are genes telling us that women ruled the roost?

Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

Infected bees welcomed with open antennae
Virus harboring honeybees get through security at strange hives all too easily…

Spider combs!
Comb structures on the legs of spiders could help us design better tools for handling nanofibers!

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Let’s finish strong with some quick stories!

Underwater Bones
Scientists might be able to use proteins to determine how long bones have been submerged.

Core Conundrum
Does the Earth’s outer core contain more than iron?

Toothy teenagers
Ancient sharks were big.

Dope Shrews
Hero shrews’ dense spine might have a weird purpose.

Swimming with Spinosaurus
It’s tail made the motion possible.

Lost fort!
Found in lost city of the Colusa suggesting a storyline to the disappearance of the tribe.

Most Dangerous Place
A Saharan fossil bed might have been the most deadly place on the planet at one time in history.

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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22 April, 2020 – Episode 770 – Is there life beyond Earth?

April 27th, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Kevin Peter Hand on Alien Oceans & Life Beyond Earth, Life Value, FOX Experiment, Toxo Zoos, Evolution Stinks, Cool Bird Beaks, Indoor CO2, Hungry Robots, Two Comfort Bugs, Spider Pain Venom, Amazonian Agriculture, Food Waste, And Much More…

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The day the earth-day stood still…
as humans everywhere in the world limit their activities
As economies are paused
As plain and train and automobile traffic is slowed
And oil futures fell to negative numbers…

As the human world suffers and death continues to haunt the public spaces
As we wait for a vaccine that will allow us to resume our human-y ways
Earth Day happened
And while we were not able to celebrate Earth Day as we have in days past
It was, in many ways, the best earth day yet.
It may not be the sort of celebration we would have thought of
But if every Earth Day, humans just stopped everything they were doing
Let the planet catch its breath for a day
It would be a sincere gesture of thanks for a planet we often take for granted

Speaking of things we might often take for granted…
It’s time for
This Week in Science
Coming up next…

Let’s start with an interview!

On this 50th Earth Day, our guest, Kevin Peter Hand, is an astrobiologist and planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has served as deputy chief scientist for solar system exploration and is leading an effort to land a spacecraft on the surface of Europa. He has helped lead expeditions to the glaciers of Kilimanjaro, the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, and the sea ice of the North Pole. He has written a book called Alien Oceans: The Search for Life in the Depths of Space.

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What has science done for you lately?

Write in to let us know what science has done for you lately. What does it do for you every day?
Leave us a message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/ThisWeekinScience
OR email Dr. Kiki at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com

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Now for our COVID-19 Update!

Value Of Lives
It’s more cost effective to save lives through social distancing than to do nothing.

No Patterns
We get viruses everywhere.

FOX Experiment
Hannity versus Carlson. Which FOX host cost more lives?

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

What science news does the second half of the show hold???

Toxoplasma Gondii and Zoos
Spanish zoo animals have a lot of toxo.

Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

Evolution Stinks
If you are a lizard… In just 4 generations, lizard smells adjusted to new populations and ecosystems!

Bird beaks are cool!
Birds can cool their beaks in response to food scarcity, proving once and for all that they are dinosaurs.

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Let’s finish strong with some quick stories!

Indoor CO2
It’s bad for your brain.

Hungry Robots
They make their own power!

Small additions to industry robots could save species
Oil industry robots could boost ocean discoveries, with a slight alteration. Or, perhaps, scientists could buy oil robots and easily modify them, considering the day’s news on oil??

Two comfort bugs
Two bugs could reduce allergy suffering in millions around the world.

Tarantula Venom Pain-relief
A powerful pain-killer has been found in tarantula venom.

Amazing amazon
A discovery pushes back the onset of agriculture in the Americas.

Food Waste
We waste a lot.

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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15 April, 2020 – Episode 769 – Going Crazy for Science!

April 17th, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Crazy Aunt Lindsey of The Fab Lab, COVID Science, Potential For Violation, Alien Breakup, Turtle Sex, Rhino Guards, Carbon Cutting, Evolving AI, Space Brain, Flamingo friends!, Breakfast Chocolate, And Much More…

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Want to watch this on YouTube? You can do that here.

Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!

At a time like this,
with civilization reorganizing itself around a particularly pernicious pandemic.
We are all awaiting the ultimate “What has science done for me… lately?” moment.
A vaccine, a treatment, an immunity, a cure, a path back to normal life.
The way to do it is through the funding of science because

Science – Saves – Lives

Polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox and the Spanish flu have been eliminated.
The Spanish flu alone killed nearly 700,000 Americans in 1918…
50 million lost their lives world wide.
HIV has killed about 32 million people world wide.
Today, around 38 million people on this planet have HIV.
If treated properly, they have the same life expectancy as anyone without HIV.

Science – Saves – Lives

It’s just one of the wonderful things that science does…
but, it’s a really important one.
Almost as important as…
This Week in Science,
Coming up next…

Let’s start with an interview!

Our guest, Lindsey Murphy, is the creator, Executive Producer, and host of The Fab Lab With Crazy Aunt Lindsey, the award winning kids science web series on YouTube that takes everyday science concepts and turns them into fabulous DIY projects.

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What has science done for you lately?

Write in to let us know what science has done for you lately. What does it do for you every day?
Leave us a message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/ThisWeekinScience
OR email Dr. Kiki at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com

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Now for our COVID-19 Update!

Cases continue to increase globally with the US still leading the world in new cases and deaths. However, we might have reached a daily peak in cases this week, and conversations have turned to plans for relaxing strict social distancing measures and lock-downs. That said, the situation will continue to shift as more information is added to our arsenal of prevention and treatment options. A peak in cases is not the end of the pandemic, and several models show us experiencing social impacts through at least 2021 if not into 2022 or beyond. But, dont despair! There is good news! While some argue about models, researchers are organizing volunteer efforts to make sure papers get reviewed and tests get tested. A study looking at Remdesivir’s mechanism of action suggests it acts as a direct anti-viral against COVID-19 that inhibits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. A new symptom to look out for is loss of taste and smell. AND, the Folding@Home project to investigate the sstructure of the SARS coV2 virus is now more powerful than current day supercomputers.

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

What science news does the second half of the show hold???

Potential For Violation
A neutrino experiment in Japan might have discovered a symmetry violation that explains why there is more matter than anti-matter in our universe.

Alien Breakup
Oumuamua might be the product of a bad breakup.

Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

Telling boy turtles from girl turtles
Since turtles exhibit temperature dependent sex determination, it was pretty hard to identify changing sex ratios in the wild. A new technique allows for better monitoring, which could help with turtle conservation!

Oxpeckers have their eyes out for danger.
Black rhinos have infamously bad vision, but it looks like they have a feathered copilot that helps them avoid humans who may have it out for them.

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Let’s finish strong with some quick stories!

Carbon Cutting
Stop driving, eat more veggies, and get some solar panels on our house.

Evolving AI
They are figuring out things all by themselves.

Space Brain
Space affects astronauts brains permanently.

Flamingo friends!
Flamingos form strong friendships, with many members of the flock!

Breakfast Chocolate
It does a circadian clock good.

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 April, 2020 – Episode 768 – Her Brain is SO Crafty!

April 10th, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Vanessa Hill of BrainCraft, Quick COVID Update, Better Brain Implants, Heart Off The Shelf, Mouse Looks, Charismatic Invasives, Healthy Horseshoe Crabs, Toilet Scans, Interstellar Dropoff?, Panda Mating, And Much More…

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Want to watch this on YouTube? You can do that here.

Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!

The World Health Organization is too China-centric…
According to one world leader.

And it’s true, the World Health Organization has been focused on China lately,
Which does make sense since southeast Asia has half the world’s population.
And, China has been at the epicenter of several emerging pandemics,
Including the current outbreak,
Which is still underway,
And if you want to know what to do next,
it can be helpful to learn what has already taken place.

So, it is a bit like saying doctors are currently being too patient-centric,
Or scientists are too vaccine research-centric,
What would be nice is to have a leader more leadership-centric.

And yet, this same world leader suggests that the United States
will look into cutting our funding to the World Health Organization in response…
To the World Health Organization, doing it’s job to protect world health…
In the midst of a global pandemic.

If there were a joke here, this is where I would be delivering the punch line.
But I can’t come up with one.
This isn’t funny.
I can’t even do a proper facepalm because…
We’re not supposed to touch our faces anymore.

So instead, it’s time for another episode of
This Week in Science,
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with an interview!

Our guest, Vanessa Hill, is an award-winning science educator, host, and an IF/THEN Ambassador and STEM advocate. She hosts and produces the PBS digital Studios show BrainCraft, and holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Science Communication from Australian National University.

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What has science done for you lately?

Write in to let us know what science has done for you lately. What does it do for you every day?
Leave us a message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/ThisWeekinScience
OR email Dr. Kiki at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com

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Now for our COVID-19 Update!

According to Johns Hopkins University:
“The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for April 7 reported 1,279,722 confirmed COVID-19 cases (68,766 new) and 72,614 deaths (5,020 new). The US CDC reported 374,329 cases (43,438 new) and 12,064 deaths (3,154 new) on April 7. These are both a substantial increase over the previous day; however, it is potentially the result of delays in reporting over the weekend. As of yesterday, 14 states have reported more than 5,000 cases (1 new), and 30 states have reported widespread community transmission (1 new). The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 401,166 US cases and 12,936 deaths as of 10:30am on April 8. There is growing concern that the number of reported COVID-19 deaths is underestimating the scale and severity of the pandemic, in particular due to limited testing and a focus on the most severe cases. Reports are emerging from around the world that many potential COVID-19 patients may be dying without a proper diagnosis. In Chicago, African American residents have approximately a 6 times higher mortality rate than Caucasian residents. Additionally, 68% of COVID-19 deaths have been reported in African Americans, despite only representing 30% of the population. The distribution of cases and death from COVID-19 highlights differential access to resources and poignant inequities between communities. Wuhan, China, the city where the novel coronavirus outbreak was first documented, lifted travel restrictions today, removing some of the most restrictive measures implemented during the city’s widely publicized “lockdown” that started more than 2 months ago.”

Cats (Big & Small) Get COVID

Don’t smoke em if you got em!
Why covid-19 effects smokers worse.

Doctors with bad data
… Can’t make good choices

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

What science news does the second half of the show hold???

Better Brain Implants
Encased in silicon dioxide, a new flexible brain implant sporting more than 1000 electrodes could last up to 6 years in the human body.

Heart Off The Shelf
Or, at least a patch that can repair broken hearts might be on the way.

Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

Is that mouse looking at me weird?
New research could allow us to answer this age-old question with ease!

Charismatic Invasives have it easier
I don’t care how cute that squirrel is Karen, YOU CAN’T TAKE HIM HOME WITH US HE WILL DESTROY THE ECOSYSTEM!

How to Keep Horseshoe Crabs Healthy
New aquaculture technique could make our use of these sea spider/crab thingies with blue blood more sustainable.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A TWIS SHIRT OR MUG OR OTHER ITEM OF TWIS MERCHANDISE, CLICK ON THE ZAZZLE LINK IN THE HEADER TO BROWSE OUR STORE.

Let’s finish strong with some quick stories!

Toilet Scans
A new toilet design identifies users by their unique anal print in order to assess health markers in the urine and feces.

Interstellar Dropoff?
A comet-like interstellar traveler has apparently lost a bit of itself.

Panda Mating
It happened.

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 April, 2020 – Episode 767 – April Fools Is Cancelled

April 3rd, 2020
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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

COVID-19 Update, Magic Brain Decoder Ring, Antarctic Rainforest, Orchestral Squid in the Dark, Ant Traffic, Bacterial Photosynthesis, Fishy Calusa, Matchy Microbiomes, Nuclear Reprogramming 4Eva, Musical Creativity, Mantis Mimic, And Much More…

Support us on Patreon!

Want to watch this on YouTube? You can do that here.

Disclaimer, Disclaimer, Disclaimer!!!

With all of the efforts to contain the spread of the dreaded novel coronavirus
Humans have isolated themselves from regular human contact
They are taking on strange behaviors like
Frequent hand washing
Not touching everything
Working from home
Or not working from home
Day drinking
Spending time with family
Or spending time all alone

There are silver linings in this crisis…

For one, we may wind up saving lives
All of these efforts are in response to a single strain of virus
But what about all the other pathogens?
How will the common cold survive in a world of social distancing and hand washing?
How will std’s propagate without bars and clubs open?

Another is that we are technically still a part of the Paris accord
And we’ve got a great chance of meeting our reduction in greenhouse gasses this year.

And most importantly of all,
Despite all the changes that have taken place
There is one thing which remains the same.

This Week In Science,
Coming Up Next…

Let’s start with a COVID-19 UPDATES!

CASES:
The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for March 31 reported 750,890 confirmed COVID-19 cases (57,610 new) and 36,405 deaths (3,301 new) globally. The US CDC reported 163,539 cases (22,635 new) and 2,860 deaths (455 new) on March 31.

How long do we need to keep up the social distancing measures?
It depends on how well our government responds, but we are looking at about 2 months to get past this first wave of infections.

How does it infect?
IT is a respiratory disease that infects via the ACE2 receptor using spike proteins on its surface to recognize and grab hold of cells, gaining entry. The most dominant infection route is through inhalation through the nose and airways where the cells with ACE2 receptors live. This is why food isn’t such a big concern – our digestive system has far fewer ACE2 receptors AND has caustic acids that destroy the virus.

Who does it infect?
It can infect anyone, but people with pre-existing health conditions like heart disease, COPD, diabetes, asthma, to name a few are more likely to become severely ill. This is also why the CDC is considering recommending that everyone wear masks when leaving the house. Young, healthy individuals who become infected are more likely to be asymptomatic and spread the disease without meaning to. Masks will reduce the potential transmission of the virus from infected individuals for a variety of reasons.

How did corona get here?
Bats, via pangolins. Most likely…

LET US KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE, OR INFORM US ON ANY REGIONAL UPDATES, BY EMAILING KIRSTEN@THISWEEKINSCIENCE.COM.

Now for some other science news!

Magic Brain Decoder Ring
Researchers from UCSF published a study in Nature Neuroscience describing their success in creating a system for decoding neural signals into English sentences.

Antarctic Rainforest
90 million years ago the south pole was a rainforest.

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Is it time for Blair’s Animal Corner???

How Squids Talk in the Dark
With very subtle, flashing light, all over their bodies of course!

When we are all driving to work again, ants might have an answer to those daily traffic jams.
You guessed it, it’s adjusting to the speed of the other drivers, not speeding up to slam on your brakes, Karen!

Support us on Patreon!

What has science done for you lately?

Write in to let us know what science has done for you lately. What does it do for you every day?
Leave us a message on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/ThisWeekinScience
OR email Dr. Kiki at kirsten@thisweekinscience.com

What science news does the second half of the show hold???

Bacterial Photosynthesis
Berkeley researchers have improved on their design using bacteria paired with conductive nanowires to recreate the process of photosynthesis. By packing bacteria more densly, they were able to achieve a record 3.6% conversion of CO2 into acetate, on par with some highly efficient plants.

Calusa culture was fishy
They had aquaculture thousands of years ago!

Fish microbiomes
They match around the world!

Nuclear Reprogramming 4Eva
Scientists erased hallmarks of aging in old human cells.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A TWIS SHIRT OR MUG OR OTHER ITEM OF TWIS MERCHANDISE, CLICK ON THE ZAZZLE LINK IN THE HEADER TO BROWSE OUR STORE.

Let’s finish strong with some quick stories!

Musical Creativity
Jazz musician’s brains have something to tell us about creativity.

Robot mimics mantis shrimp force
How interesting, that some of our greatest breakthroughs in robotics are simply being able to match the splendor of the animal world!

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.

Support us on Patreon!

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