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


TWIS logo orange square

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.


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.


About the Author

I'm the host of this little science show.