Trying to find the mind in the brain, and why adults are always criticizing ‘kids these days’
We don ’t know where consciousness comes from. And we don’t know whether animals have it, or whether we can detect it in patients in comas. Do neuroscientists even know where to look? A new competition aims to narrow down the bewildering number of theories of consciousness and get closer to finding its biological signs by pitting different theories against each other in experimental settings. Freelance journalist Sara Reardon talks with host Sarah Crespi about how the competition will work. In our second segment, we talk about how we think about children. For thousands of years, adults have comp lained about t...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - October 17, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Fossilized dinosaur proteins, and making a fridge from rubber bands
Have you ever tried to scrub off the dark, tarlike residue on a grill? That tough stuff is made up of polymers —basically just byproducts of cooking—and it is so persistent that researchers have found similar molecules that have survived hundreds of millions of years. And these aren’t from cook fires. They are actually the byproducts of death and fossilization. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel about how these molecules can be found on the surface of certain fossils and used as fingerprints for the proteins that once dwelled in dinos. And Sarah talks with Zunfeng Liu,...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - October 10, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

An app for eye disease, and planting memories in songbirds
Host Sarah Crespi talks with undergraduate student Micheal Munson from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, about a smartphone app that scans photos in the phone ’s library for eye disease in kids.  And Sarah talks with Todd Roberts of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, about incepting memories into zebra finches to study how they learn their songs. Using a technique called optogenetics—in which specific neurons can b e controlled by pulses of light—the researchers introduced false song memories by turning on neurons in different patterns, with longer or shorter note ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - October 3, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Privacy concerns slow Facebook studies, and how human fertility depends on chromosome counts
On this week ’s show, Senior News Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis talks with host Sarah Crespi about a stalled Facebook plan to release user data to social scientists who want to study the site’s role in elections. Sarah also talks with Jennifer Gruhn, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Copenh agen Center for Chromosome Stability, about counting chromosomes in human egg cells. It turns out that cell division errors that cause too many or too few chromosomes to remain in the egg may shape human fertility over our reproductive lives. Finally, in this month’s book segment, Kiki Sanford ta lks...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - September 26, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Cooling Earth with asteroid dust, and 3 billion missing birds
On this week ’s show, science journalist Josh Sokol talks about a global cooling event sparked by space dust that lead to a huge shift in animal and plant diversity 466 million years ago. (Read the related research article in Science Advances.) And I talk with Kenneth Rosenberg, an applied conservation scien tist at Cornell University, about steep declines in bird abundance in the United States and Canada. His team estimates about 3 billion birds have gone missing since the 1970s. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; KiwiCo.com Listen to previous podcast...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - September 19, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Studying human health at 5100 meters, and playing hide and seek with rats
In La Rinconada, Peru, a town 5100 meters up in the Peruvian Andes, residents get by breathing air with 50% less oxygen than at sea level. International News Editor Martin Enserink visited the site with researchers studying chronic mountain sickness —when the body makes excess red blood cells in an effort to cope with oxygen deprivation—in these extreme conditions. Martin talks with host Sarah Crespi about how understanding why this illness occurs in some people and not others could help the residents of La Rinconada and the 140 million peo ple worldwide living above 2500 meters. Sarah also talks with Annika S...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - September 12, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Searching for a lost Maya city, and measuring the information density of language
This week ’s show starts with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade, who spent 12 days with archaeologists searching for a lost Maya city in the Chiapas wilderness in Mexico. She talks with host Sarah Crespi about how you lose a city—and how you might go about finding one. And Sarah talks with Christoph e Coupé, an associate professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Hong Kong in China, about the information density of different languages. His work, published this week in Science Advances, suggests very different languages—from Chinese to Japanese to English and French—...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - September 5, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Where our microbiome came from, and how our farming and hunting ancestors transformed the world
Micro-organisms live inside everything from the human gut to coral —but where do they come from? Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the first comprehensive survey of microbes in Hawaii’s Waimea Valley, which revealed that plants and animals get their unique microbiomes from organisms below them in the food chain or the wider envi ronment. Going global, Meagan then speaks with Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about a project that aggregated the expertise of more than 250 archaeologists to map human land ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - August 29, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Promising approaches in suicide prevention, and how to retreat from climate change
Changing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK) to a three-digit number could save lives —especially when coupled with other strategies. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Greg Miller, a science journalist based in Portland, Oregon, about three effective methods to prevent suicides—crisis hotlines, standardizing mental health care, and restricting lethal means. Greg’s feature is part o f a larger package in Science exploring paths out of darkness. With more solutions this week, host Sarah Crespi speaks with A. R. Siders, a social scientist at the Disaster Research Center at the U...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - August 22, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

One million ways to sex a chicken egg, and how plastic finds its way to Arctic ice
Researchers, regulators, and the chicken industry are all united in their search for a way to make eggs more ethical by stopping culling —the killing of male chicks born to laying hens. Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel talks with host Sarah Crespi about the many approaches being tried to determine the sex of chicken embryos before they hatch, from robots with lasers, to MRIs, to artificial intelligence, to gene editing wit h CRISPR. Also this week, Sarah talks with Melanie Bergmann, a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, about finding microp...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - August 15, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Next-generation cellphone signals could interfere with weather forecasts, and monitoring smoke from wildfires to model nuclear winter
In recent months, telecommunications companies in the United States have purchased a new part of the spectrum for use in 5G cellphone networks. Weather forecasters are concerned that these powerful signals could swamp out weaker signals from water vapor —which are in a nearby band and important for weather prediction. Freelance science writer Gabriel Popkin joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the possible impact of cellphone signals on weather forecasting and some suggested regulations. In other weather news this week, Sarah talks with Pengfei Yu, a professor at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, about his grou...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - August 8, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Earthquakes caused by too much water extraction, and a dog cancer that has lived for millennia
After two mysterious earthquake swarms occurred under the Sea of Galilee, researchers found a relationship between these small quakes and the excessive extraction of groundwater. Science journalist Michael Price talks with host Sarah Crespi about making this connection and what it means for water-deprived fault areas like the Sea of Galilee and the state of California. Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Adrian Baez-Ortega from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom’s Transmissible Cancer Group about the genome of a canine venereal cancer that has been leaping from dog to dog for about 8000...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - August 1, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Breeding better bees, and training artificial intelligence on emotional imagery
Imagine having a rat clinging to your back, sucking out your fat stores. That ’s similar to what infested bees endure when the Varroa destructor mite comes calling. Some bees fight back, wiggling, scratching, and biting until the mites depart for friendlier backs. Now, researchers, professional beekeepers, and hobbyists are working on ways to breed into bees these mite-defe ating behaviors to rid them of these damaging pests. Host Sarah Crespi and Staff Writer Erik Stokstad discuss the tactics of, and the hurdles to, pesticide-free mite control. Also this week, Sarah talks to Philip Kragel of the Institute of Cognit...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 25, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors, and the secret to dark liquid dances
Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors? Studies of behavior and biomarkers have suggested the stress of harsh conditions or family separations can be passed down, even beyond one ’s children. Journalist Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a possible mechanism for this mode of inheritance and mouse studies that suggest possible ways to reverse the effects. Spiky, pulsating ferrofluids are perpetual YouTube stars. The secret to these dark liquid dances is the ma nipulation of magnetic nanoparticles in the liquid by external magnets. But when those outside forces are removed, the dance ends. Now, research...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 18, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

The point of pointing, and using seabirds to track ocean health
You can learn a lot about ocean health from seabirds. For example, breeding failures among certain birds have been linked to the later collapse of some fisheries. Enriqueta Velarde of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what these long-lived fliers can tell us about the ocean and its inhabitants. Also this week, Sarah and Cathal O’Madagain of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris discuss pointing—a universal human gesture common to almost all children before age 1. They discuss why pointing matters, and how thi...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 11, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Converting carbon dioxide into gasoline, and ‘autofocal’ glasses with lenses that change shape on the fly
Chemists have long known how to convert carbon dioxide into fuels —but up until now, such processes have been too expensive for commercial use. Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about using new filters and catalysts to close the gap between air-derived and fossil-derived gasoline.   Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Nitish Pad manaban of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, about replacing bifocals with “autofocals.” These auto-focusing glasses track your eye position and measure the distance to the visual target before adjusting the thickness of their liqu...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - July 4, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Source Type: podcasts

Creating chimeras for organ transplants and how bats switch between their eyes and ears on the wing
Researchers have been making animal embryos from two different species, so-called “chimeras,” for years, by introducing stem cells from one species into a very early embryo of another species. The ultimate goal is to coax the foreign cells into forming an organ for transplantation. But questions abound: Can evolutionarily distant animals, like pigs and humans, be mixed togeth er to produce such organs? Or could species closely related to us, like chimps and macaques, stand in for tests with human cells? Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the research, the regulations, and the growing ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 27, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

The why of puppy dog eyes, and measuring honesty on a global scale
How can you resist puppy dog eyes? This sweet, soulful look might very well have been bred into canines by their intended victims —humans. Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Meagan Cantwell about a new study on the evolution of this endearing facial maneuver. David also talks about what diseased dog spines can tell us about early domestication—were these marks of hard work or a gentler old age for our doggy dom estics? Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Michel Marechal of the University of Zurich in Switzerland about honesty around the globe. By tracking about 17,000 wallets left at hotel...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 20, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Better hurricane forecasts and spotting salts on Jupiter ’s moon Europa
We ’ve all seen images or animations of hurricanes that color code the wind speeds inside the whirling mass—but it turns out we can do a better job measuring these winds and, as a result, better predict the path of the storm. Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how a microsa tellite-based project for measuring hurricane wind speeds is showing signs of success—despite unexpected obstacles from the U.S. military’s tweaking of GPS signals.    Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Samantha Trumbo, a Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at the Californi...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 13, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

The limits on human endurance, and a new type of LED
Cheap and easy to make, perovskite minerals have become the wonder material of solar energy. Now, scientists are turning from using perovskites to capture light to using them to emit it. Staff Writer Robert Service joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about using these minerals in all kinds of light-emitting diodes, from cellphones to flat screen TVs. Read the related paper in Science Advances. Also this week, Sarah talks with Caitlin Thurber, a biologist at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, about a hard limit on human endurance. Her group used data from transcontinental racers—who ran 957 kilometers o...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - June 6, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Grad schools dropping the GRE requirement and AIs play capture the flag
Up until this year, most U.S. graduate programs in the sciences required the General Record Examination from applicants. But concerns about what the test scores actually say about potential students and the worry that the cost is a barrier to many have led to a rapid and dramatic reduction in the number of programs requiring the test. Science Staff Writer Katie Langin joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about this trend and how it differs across disciplines. Also this week, Sarah talks with DeepMind’s Max Jaderberg in London about training artificial agents to play a video game version of capture the flag. The agents p...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 30, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

New targets for the world ’s biggest atom smasher and wood designed to cool buildings
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built with one big goal in mind: to find the Higgs boson. It did just that in 2012. But the question on many physicists ’ minds about the LHC is, “What have you done for me lately?” Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about proposals to look at the showers of particles created by its proton collisions in new ways—from changing which events are recorded, to changing how the data are analyzed, even building more detectors outside of the LHC proper—all in the hopes that strange, longer-lived particles are being generated but missed by the curre...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 23, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Source Type: podcasts

Nonstick chemicals that stick around and detecting ear infections with smartphones
The groundwater of Rockford, Michigan, is contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals found in everything from nonstick pans to dental floss to —in the case of Rockford—waterproofing agents from a shoe factory that shut down in 2009. Science journalist Sara Talpos talks with host Meagan Cantwell about how locals found the potentially health-harming chemicals in their water, and how contamination from nonstick chemicals isn’t limited t o Michigan. Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Shyamnath Gollakota of the University of Washington in Seattle about his work diagnosing ear inf...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 16, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Probing the secrets of the feline mind and how Uber and Lyft may be making traffic worse
Dog cognition and social behavior have hogged the scientific limelight for years —showing in study after study that canines have social skills essential to their relationships with people. Cats, not so much. These often-fractious felines tend to balk at strange situations—be they laboratories, MRI machines, or even a slightly noisy fan. Online News Editor David Grimm joins h ost Sarah Crespi to discuss several brave research labs that have started to work with cats on their terms in order to show they have social smarts comparable to dogs. So far, the results suggest that despite their different ancestors and p...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 9, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

The age-old quest for the color blue and why pollution is not killing the killifish
Humans have sought new materials to make elusive blue pigments for millennia —with mixed success. Today, scientists are tackling this blue-hued problem from many different angles. Host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt about how scientists are looking to algae, bacteria, flowers—even minerals from deep under Earth’s crust—in the age -old quest for the rarest of pigments. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Andrew Whitehead, associate professor in the department of environmental toxicology at the University of California, Davis, about how the Atlantic ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - May 2, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Race and disease risk and Berlin ’s singing nightingales
Noncancerous tumors of the uterus —also known as fibroids—are extremely common in women. One risk factor, according to the scientific literature, is “black race.” But such simplistic categories may actually obscure the real drivers of the disparities in outcomes for women with fibroids, according to this week’s guest. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Jada Benn Torres, an associate professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, about how using interdisciplinary approaches— incorporating both genetic and cultural perspectives—can paint a more complete picture of how...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - April 25, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

How dental plaque reveals the history of dairy farming, and how our neighbors view food waste
This week we have two interviews from the annual meeting of AAAS in Washington D.C.: one on the history of food and one about our own perceptions of food and food waste.   First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Christina Warinner from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, about the history of dairying. When did people first start to milk animals and where? It turns out, the spread of human genetic adaptations for drinking mil k do not closely correspond to the history of consuming milk from animals. Instead, evidence from ancient dental plaque suggests people from all over t...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - April 18, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

A new species of ancient human and real-time evolutionary changes in flowering plants
The ancient humans also known as the “hobbit” people (Homo floresiensis) might have company in their small stature with the discovery of another species of hominin in the Philippines. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about what researchers have learned about this hominin from a jaw fragment, and its finger and toe bones and how this fits in with past discoveries of other ancient humans. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Florian Schiestl, a professor in evolutionary biology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, about his work to understand the rapid evolutio...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - April 11, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

A radioactive waste standoff and science ’s debt to the slave trade
A single factory in Malaysia supplies about 10% of the world ’s rare earth oxides, used in everything from cellphones to lasers to missiles. Controversy over the final resting place for the slightly radioactive byproducts has pushed the plant to the brink of closure. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with freelance writer Yao Hua Law about calls to ship the waste back to where it was originally mined in Australia, and how stopping production in Malaysia would mean almost all rare earth production would take place in China.  In another global trade story, host Sarah Crespi talks with freelance writer Sam Kean about clo...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - April 4, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Mysterious racehorse injuries, and reforming the U.S. bail system
Southern California ’s famous Santa Anita racetrack is struggling to explain a series of recent horse injuries and deaths. Host Meagan Cantwell is joined by freelance journalist Christa Lesté-Lasserre to discuss what might be causing these injuries and when the track might reopen. In our second segment, researchers are racing to understand the impact of jailing people before trial in the United States. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the negative downstream effects of cash bail—and what research can tell us about other options for the U.S. pretrial justice system....
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - March 28, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Vacuuming potato-size nodules of valuable metals in the deep sea, and an expedition to an asteroid 290 million kilometers away
Pirate ’s gold may not be that far off, as there are valuable metals embedded in potato-size nodules thousands of meters down in the depths of the ocean. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about the first deep-sea test of a bus-size machine designed to scoop up these nodules, and it s potential impact on the surrounding ecosystem. In an expedition well above sea level, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Ryugu last month. And although the craft won’t return to Earth until 2020, researchers have learned a lot about Ryugu in the meantime. Meagan speaks with S eiji Sugita, ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - March 21, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Mysterious fast radio bursts and long-lasting effects of childhood cancer treatments
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Daniel Clery about the many, many theories surrounding fast radio bursts —extremely fast, intense radio signals from outside the galaxy—and a new telescope coming online that may help sort them out. Also this week, Sarah talks with Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel about her story on researchers’ attempts to tackle the long-term effects of pediatric cancer trea tment. The survival rate for some pediatric cancers is as high as 90%, but many survivors have a host of health problems. Jennifer’s feature is part of a special section on pediatric cancer. This...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - March 14, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Clues that the medieval plague swept into sub-Saharan Africa and evidence humans hunted and butchered giant ground sloths 12,000 years ago
New archaeological evidence suggests the same black plague that decimated Europe also took its toll on sub-Saharan Africa. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about diverse medieval sub-Saharan cities that shrank or even disappeared around the same time the plague was stalking Europe. In a second archaeological story, Meagan Cantwell talks with Gustavo Politis, professor of archaeology at the National University of Central Buenos Aires and the National University of La Plata, about new radiocarbon dates for giant ground sloth remains found in the Argentine archaeological site C ampo Labord...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - March 7, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Measuring earthquake damage with cellphone sensors and determining the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau
In the wake of a devastating earthquake, assessing the extent of damage to infrastructure is time consuming —now, a cheap sensor system based on the accelerometers in cellphones could expedite this process. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about how these sensor systems work and how they might assist communities after an earthquake. In another Earth-shaking study, sci entists have downgraded the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau. Most reconstructions estimate that the “rooftop of the world” reached its current height of 4500 meters about 40 million years ago, but a ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - February 28, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Spotting slavery from space, and using iPads for communication disorders
In our first segment from the annual meeting of AAAS (Science ’s publisher) in Washington, D.C., host Sarah Crespi talks with Cathy Binger of University of New Mexico in Albuquerque about her session on the role of modern technology, such as iPads and apps, in helping people with communication disorders. It turns out that there’s no killer app, but some de vices do help normalize assistive technology for kids. Also this week, freelance journalist Sarah Scoles joins Sarah Crespi to talk about bringing together satellite imaging, machine learning, and nonprofits to put a stop to modern-day slavery. In our month...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - February 21, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

How far out we can predict the weather, and an ocean robot that monitors food webs
The app on your phone tells you the weather for the next 10 days —that’s the furthest forecasters have ever been able to predict. In fact, every decade for the past hundred years, a day has been added to the total forecast length. But we may be approaching a limit—thanks to chaos inherent in the atmosphere. Staff writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi t o talk about how researchers have determined that we will only be adding about 5 more days to our weather prediction apps. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell interviews Trygve Fossum from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondhe...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - February 14, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Source Type: podcasts

Possible potato improvements, and a pill that gives you a jab in the gut
Because of its genetic complexity, the potato didn ’t undergo a “green revolution” like other staple crops. It can take more than 15 years to breed a new kind of potato that farmers can grow, and genetic engineering just won’t work for tackling complex traits such as increased yield or heat resistance. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Wri ter Erik Stokstad about how researchers are trying to simplify the potato genome to make it easier to manipulate through breeding. Researchers and companies are racing to perfect an injector pill—a pill that you swallow, which then uses a tiny needle ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - February 7, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Treating the microbiome, and a gene that induces sleep
Orla Smith, editor of Science Translational Medicine joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what has  changed in the past 10 years of microbiome research, what’s getting close to being useful in treatment, and how strong, exactly, the research is behind those probiotic yogurts. When you’re sick, sleeping is restorative—it helps your body recover from nasty infections. Meagan Cantwell speaks with Amita Sehgal, professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland, about the process of discovering a gene in fruit flie...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - January 31, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Pollution from pot plants, and how our bodies perceive processed foods
The “dank” smelling terpenes emitted by growing marijuana can combine with chemicals in car emissions to form ozone, a health-damaging compound. This is especially problematic in Denver, where ozone levels are dangerously high and pot farms have sprung up along two highways in the city. Host Sarah C respi talks with reporter Jason Plautz about researchers’ efforts to measure terpene emissions from pot plants and how federal restrictions have hampered them. Next, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University, about how processed foods are perc...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - January 24, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Peering inside giant planets, and fighting Ebola in the face of fake news
It ’s incredibly difficult to get an inkling of what is going on inside gas giants Saturn and Jupiter. But with data deliveries from the Cassini and Juno spacecraft, researchers are starting to learn more. Science Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about new gravity measurements fr om Cassini’s last passes around Saturn. Using these data, researchers were able to compare wind patterns on Saturn and Jupiter and measure the mass and age of Saturn’s rings. It turns out the rings are young, relatively speaking—they may have formed as recently as 10 million years ago, after d inosaurs ...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - January 17, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

A mysterious blue pigment in the teeth of a medieval woman, and the evolution of online master ’s degrees
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free lectures and assignments, and gained global attention for their potential to increase education accessibility. Plagued with high attrition rates and fewer returning students every year, MOOCs have pivoted to a new revenue model —offering accredited master’s degrees for professionals. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Justin Reich, an assistant professor in the Comparative Media Studies Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, about the evolution of MOOCs and how these MOOC professional progr ams may be reaching a different audience tha...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - January 10, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Will a radical open-access proposal catch on, and quantifying the most deadly period of the Holocaust
Plan S, an initiative that requires participating research funders to immediately publish research in an open-access journal or repository, was announced in September 2018 by Science Europe with 11 participating agencies. Several others have signed on since the launch, but other funders and journal publishers have reservations. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Contributing Correspondent Tania Rabesandratana about those reservations and how Plan S is trying to change publishing practices and research culture at large. Some 1.7 million Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis in the 22 months of Operation Reinhard (1942&nd...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - January 3, 2019 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

End of the year podcast: 2018 ’s breakthroughs, breakdowns, and top online stories
First, we hear Online News Editor David Grimm and host Sarah Crespi discuss audience favorites and staff picks from this year ’s online stories, from mysterious pelvises to quantum engines. Megan Cantwell talks with News Editor Tim Appenzeller about the 2018 Breakthrough of the Year, a few of the runners-up, and some breakdowns. See the whole breakthrough package here, including all the runners-up and breakdowns. And i n her final segment for the Science Podcast, host Jen Golbeck talks with Science books editor Valerie Thompson about the year in books. Both also suggest some last-minute additions to your holiday sh...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - December 20, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ turns 50, and how Neanderthal DNA could change your skull
In 1968, Science published the now-famous paper “The Tragedy of the Commons” by ecologist Garrett Hardin. In it, Hardin questioned society’s ability to manage shared resources, concluding that individuals will act in their self-interest and ultimately spoil the resource. Host Meagan Cantwell revisits this classic paper with two experts: Ti ne De Moor, professor of economics and social history at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and Brett Frischmann, a professor of law, business, and economics at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. They discuss how premodern societies dealt with common resourc...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - December 13, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Where private research funders stow their cash and studying gun deaths in children
A new Science investigation reveals several major private research funders —including the Wellcome Trust and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—are making secretive offshore investments at odds with their organizational missions. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with writer Charles Piller about his deep dive into why some private funders choose to invest in these accounts. In the United States, gun injuries kill more children annually than pediatric cancer, but funding for firearm research pales in comparison. On this week’s show, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Meredith Wadman and emergency phys...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - December 6, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

The universe ’s star formation history and a powerful new helper for evolution
In a fast-changing environment, evolution can be slow —sometimes so slow that an organism dies out before the right mutation comes along. Host Sarah Crespi speaks with Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about how plastic traits—traits that can alter in response to environmental conditions—could help life catch up. Also on this week’s show, host Me agan Cantwell talks with Marco Ajello a professor of physics and astronomy at Clemson University in South Carolina about his team’s method to determine the universe’s star formation history. By looking at 739 blazars, supermassive black holes at t...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - November 29, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

Exploding the Cambrian and building a DNA database for forensics
First, we hear from science writer Joshua Sokol about his trip to the Cambrian —well not quite. He talks with host Megan Cantwell about his travels to a remote site in the mountains of British Columbia where some of Earth’s first animals—including a mysterious, alien-looking creature—are spilling out of Canadian rocks.   Also on this week’s show, host Sarah Crespi talks with James Hazel a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings at Vanderbilt University in Nashville about a proposal for creating a universal forensic DNA database. H...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - November 22, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Source Type: podcasts

The worst year ever and the effects of fasting
When was the worst year to be alive? Contributing Correspondent Ann Gibbons talks to host Sarah Crespi about a contender year that features a volcanic eruption, extended darkness, cold summer, and a plague. Also on this week’s show, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Andrea Di Francesco of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland, about his review of current wisdom on fasting and metabolism. Should we start fasting—if not to extend our lives maybe to a t least to give ourselves a healthy old age?  In a special segment from our policy desk, Deputy Editor D...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - November 15, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

A big increase in monkey research and an overhaul for the metric system
A new report suggests a big increase in the use of monkeys in laboratory experiments in the United States in 2017. Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss which areas of research are experiencing this rise and the possible reasons behind it. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell talks with staff writer Adrian Cho about a final push to affix the metric system’s measures to physical constants instead of physical objects. That means the perfectly formed 1-kilogram cylinder known as Le Grand K is no more; it also means that the meter, th e ampere, and other units of measure are now derived usin...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - November 8, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts

How the appendix could hold the keys to Parkinson ’s disease, and materials scientists mimic nature
For a long time, Parkinson ’s disease was thought to be merely a disorder of the nervous system. But in the past decade researchers have started to look elsewhere in the body for clues to this debilitating disease—particularly in the gut. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Viviane Labrie of the Van Andel Institute in Grand R apids, Michigan, about new research suggesting people without their appendixes have a reduced risk of Parkinson’s. Labrie also describes the possible mechanism behind this connection. And host Sarah Crespi talks with Peter Fratzl of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in...
Source: Science Magazine Podcast - November 1, 2018 Category: Science Authors: Science Tags: Scientific Community Source Type: podcasts