Cougars caught killing donkeys in Death Valley, and decoding the nose
On this week’s show: Predators may be indirectly protecting Death Valley wetlands, and mapping odorant receptors  First up this week on the podcast, News Intern Katherine Irving joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the first photos of cougars killing feral donkeys in Death Valley National Park. They also discuss the implications for native animals such as big horn sheep, and plans to remove donkeys from the park. Also this week on the show, Paul Feinstein, professor of biology in the department of biological science at Hunter College, discusses a Science Signaling paper on a new approach to matching up smell receptor...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - August 11, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Invasive grasses get help from fire, and a global map of ant diversity
On this week’s show: A special issue on grass, and revealing hot spots of ant diversity This week’s special issue on grasses mainly focuses on the importance of these plants in climate change, in ecosystems, on land, and in the water. But for the podcast, Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about their dark side: invasive grasses that feed fires and transform ecosystems. Also this week on the show, Evan Economo, a professor in the biodiversity and biocomplexity unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, joins Sarah to discuss his Science Advances paper on creating ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - August 4, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Probing beyond our Solar System, sea pollinators, and a book on the future of nutrition
On this week’s show: Plans to push a modern space probe beyond the edge of the Solar System, crustaceans that pollinate seaweed, and the latest in our series of author interviews on food, science, and nutrition After visiting the outer planets in the 1980s, the twin Voyager spacecraft have sent back tantalizing clues about the edge of our Solar System and what lies beyond. Though they may have reached the edge of the Solar System or even passed it, the craft lack the instruments to tell us much about the interstellar medium—the space between the stars. Intern Khafia Choudhary talks with Contributing Correspondent Rich...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 28, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Possible fabrications in Alzheimer ’s research, and bad news for life on Enceladus
On this week’s show: Troubling signs of fraud threaten discoveries key to a reigning theory of Alzheimer’s disease, and calculating the saltiness of the ocean on one of Saturn’s moons Investigative journalist Charles Piller joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles brought to light by a neuroscientist whistleblower. Next, researcher Wan Ying Kang talks with Sarah about Saturn’s bizarre moon Enceladus. Kang’s group wrote in Science Advances about modeling the salinity of the global ocean tucked between the moon’s icy shell and solid core. Their findings spell b...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 21, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

The Webb Space Telescope ’s first images, and why scratching sometimes makes you itchy
On this week’s show: The first images from the James Webb Space Telescope hint at the science to come, and disentangling the itch-scratch cycle After years of delays, the James Webb Space Telescope launched at the end of December 2021. Now, NASA has released a few of the first full-color images captured by the instrument’s enormous mirror. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss these first images and what they mean for the future of science from Webb. Next on the podcast, Jing Feng, principal investigator at the Center for Neurological and Psychiatric Research and Drug Discovery at the Chinese A...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 14, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Running out of fuel for fusion, and addressing gender-based violence in India
On this week’s show: A shortage of tritium fuel may leave fusion energy with an empty tank, and an attempt to improve police responsiveness to violence against women First up this week on the podcast, Staff Writer Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new hurdle for fusion: not enough fuel. After decades of delays, scientists are almost ready to turn on the first fusion reactor that makes more energy than it uses, but the fast-decaying fuel needed to run the reactor is running out. Also this week, we highlight an intervention aimed at increasing police responsiveness to gender-based violence in India. Sandi...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 7, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Former pirates help study the seas, and waves in the atmosphere can drive global tsunamis
On this week’s show: A boost in research ships from an unlikely source, and how the 2022 Tonga eruption shook earth, water, and air around the world For decades, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society caused controversy on the high seas; now it’s turning its patrolling ships into research vessels. Online News Editor David Grimm discusses how this change of heart came about with host Sarah Crespi. Also this week, how atmospheric waves can push tsunamis around the globe. Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Emily Brodsky, an earthquake physicist at University of California, Santa Cruz, about data from a multitude of sens...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 30, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Using waste to fuel airplanes, nature-based climate solutions, and a book on Indigenous conservation
On this week’s show: Whether biofuels for planes will become a reality, mitigating climate change by working with nature, and the second installment of our book series on the science of food and agriculture First this week, Science Staff Writer Robert F. Service talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about sustainable aviation fuel, a story included in Science’s special issue on climate change. Researchers have been able to develop this green gas from materials such as municipal garbage and corn stalks. Will it power air travel in the future? Also in the special issue this week, Nathalie Seddon, a professor of biodivers...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 23, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

A look at Long Covid, and why researchers and police shouldn ’t use the same DNA kits
On this week’s show: Tracing the roots of Long Covid, and an argument against using the same DNA markers for suspects in law enforcement and in research labs for cell lines Two years into the pandemic, we’re still uncertain about the impact of Long Covid on the world—and up to 20% of COVID-19 patients might be at risk. First on the podcast this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to share a snapshot of the current state of Long Covid research, particularly what researchers think are likely causes. Also this week, Debra Mathews, assistant director for science programs in th...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 16, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Saving the Spix ’s macaw, and protecting the energy grid
Two decades after it disappeared in nature, the stunning blue Spix’s macaw will be reintroduced to its forest home, and lessons learned from Texas’s major power crisis in 2021 The Spix’s macaw was first described in scientific literature in 1819—200 years later it was basically poached to extinction in the wild. Now, collectors and conservationists are working together to reintroduce captive-bred birds into their natural habitat in northeastern Brazil. Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt discusses the recovery of this highly coveted and endangered parrot with host Sarah Crespi. Also this ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 9, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

The historic Maya ’s sophisticated stargazing knowledge, and whether there is a cost to natural cloning
On this week’s show: Exploring the historic Maya’s astronomical knowledge and how grasshoppers clone themselves without decreasing their fitness First this week, Science contributing correspondent Joshua Sokol talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about the historic Maya’s sophisticated astronomical knowledge. In recent decades, researchers have set out to understand how city structures relate to astronomical phenomena and decipher ancient texts. Now, collaboration between Western scholars and living Indigenous people hopes to further illuminate the field. Also this week, Mike Kearney, a professor at the ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 2, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Saying farewell to Insight, connecting the microbiome and the brain, and a book on agriculture in Africa
What we learned from a seismometer on Mars, why it’s so difficult to understand the relationship between our microbes and our brains, and the first in our series of books on the science of food and agriculture First up this week, freelance space journalist Jonathan O’Callaghan  joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the retirement of NASA’s Mars InSight lander. After almost 4 years of measuring quakes on the surface of the Red Planet, the  lander’s solar panels are getting too dusty to continue providing power. O'Callaghan  and Crespi look back at the insights  that InSight has give...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 26, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Seeing the Milky Way ’s central black hole, and calling dolphins by their names
On this week’s show: The shadow of Milky Way’s giant black hole has been seen for the first time, and bottlenose dolphins recognize each other by signature whistles—and tastes  It’s been a few years since the first image of a black hole was published—that of the supermassive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy came about in 2019. Now, we have a similar image of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way—our very own galaxy. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why these images look so much alike, even though M87’s black hole is 1600 times lar...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 19, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Fixing fat bubbles for vaccines, and preventing pain from turning chronic
On this week’s show: Lipid nanoparticles served us well as tiny taxis delivering millions of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, but they aren’t optimized—yet, and why we might need inflammation to stop chronic pain The messenger RNA payload of the mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is wrapped up in little fatty packets called lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). These fat bubbles were originally designed for something much different—carrying molecules into cells to silence genes. But they were useful and we were in a hurry, so not much was changed about them when they were pressed into service against COVID-19. ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 12, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts

Staking out the start of the Anthropocene, and why sunscreen is bad for coral
On this week’s show: Geoscientists eye contenders for where to mark the beginning of the human-dominated geological epoch, and how sunscreen turns into photo toxin We live in the Anthropocene: an era on our planet that is dominated by human activity to such an extent that the evidence is omnipresent in the soil, air, and even water. But how do we mark the start? Science Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how geoscientists are choosing the one place on Earth that best shows the advent of the Anthropocene, the so-called “golden spike.”   Also this week, Djordje Vuckovic, a P...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 5, 2022 Category: Science Authors: Science Magazine Source Type: podcasts