Science Magazine Podcast

By Science Magazine

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Subscribers: 2904
Reviews: 4

Anders
 Jul 13, 2020

Kas Pi
 Nov 10, 2018
Half of the program is basically an NSA hiring campaign. Bring science to the nerds in order to lure them into surveillance crime. Terrible program, really.

Harald Clark
 Oct 28, 2018
Good and quick glimpses into scientific fields. I find the sponsor adverts irritating, but overall well produced podcast.

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 27, 2018

Description

Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

Episode Date
Soil science goes deep, and making moldable wood
2470
There are massive telescopes that look far out into the cosmos, giant particle accelerators looking for ever tinier signals, gargantuan gravitational wave detectors that span kilometers of Earth—what about soil science? Where’s the big science project on deep soil? It’s coming soon. Staff Writer Erik Stokstad talks with host Sarah Crespi about plans for a new subsoil observatory to take us beyond topsoil. Wood is in some ways an ideal building material. You can grow it out of the ground. It’s not very heavy. It’s strong. But materials like metal and plastic have one up on wood in terms of flexibility. Plastic and metal can be melted and molded into complicated shapes. Could wood ever do this? Liangbing Hu, a professor in the department of materials science and engineering and director of the Center for Materials Innovation at the University of Maryland, College Park, talked with Sarah about making moldable wood in a new way. In a sponsored segment from Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for the Custom Publishing office, interviews Michael Brehm, associate professor at UMass Chan Medical School Diabetes Center of Excellence, about how he is using humanized mouse models to study ways to modulate the body’s immune system as a pathway to treating type 1 diabetes. This segment is sponsored by the Jackson Laboratory.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Xiao et al., Science 2021; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text:  honeycomb structure made from moldable wood] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Erik Stokstad See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 20, 2021
The ripple effects of mass incarceration, and how much is a dog’s nose really worth?
1799
This week we are covering the Sciencespecial issue on mass incarceration. Can a dog find a body? Sometimes. Can a dog indicate a body was in a spot a few months ago, even though it’s not there now? There’s not much scientific evidence to back up such claims. But in the United States, people are being sent to prison based on this type of evidence. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Peter Andrey Smith, a reporter and researcher based in Maine, about the science—or lack thereof—behind dog-sniff evidence. With 2 million people in jail or prison in the United States, it has become incredibly common to have a close relative behind bars. Sarah talks with Hedwig Lee, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis, about the consequences of mass incarceration for families of the incarcerated, from economic to social.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image:  Adrian Brandon; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: illustration from the special issue on mass incarceration by Adrian Brandon. He writes: “This illustration shines a light on the structural role of the prison system and how deeply embedded it is in the fabric of this country.”] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Peter Andrey Smith     See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 14, 2021
Swarms of satellites could crowd out the stars, and the evolution of hepatitis B over 10 millennia
1653
In 2019, a SpaceX rocket released 60 small satellites into low-Earth orbit—the first wave of more than 10,000 planned releases. At the same time, a new field of environmental debate was also launched—with satellite companies on one side, and astronomers, photographers, and stargazers on the other. Contributing Correspondent Joshua Sokol joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the future of these space-based swarms. Over the course of the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, different variants of the virus have come and gone. What would such changes look like over 10,000 years? Arthur Kocher, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, talks with Sarah about watching the evolution of the virus that causes hepatitis B—over 10 millennia—and how changes in the disease’s path match up with shifts in human history. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Rafael Schmall; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: Starlink satellites moving across the sky in a long-exposure photograph of the star Albireo in Cygnus] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Josh Sokol See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 07, 2021
Whole-genome screening for newborns, and the importance of active learning for STEM
1930
Today, most newborns get some biochemical screens of their blood, but whole-genome sequencing is a much more comprehensive look at an infant—maybe too comprehensive? Staff Writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the ethical ins and outs of whole-genome screening for newborns, and the kinds of infrastructure needed to use these screens more widely. Sarah also talks with three contributors to a series of vignettes on the importance of active learning for students in science, technology, engineering, and math. Yuko Munakata, professor in the department of psychology and Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis, talks about how the amount of unstructured time and active learning contributes to developing executive function—the way our brains keep us on task. Nesra Yannier, special faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and inventor of NoRILLA, discusses an artificial intelligence–driven learning platform that helps children explore and learn about the real world. Finally, Louis Deslauriers, senior preceptor in the department of physics and director of science teaching and learning at Harvard University, laments lectures: why we like them so much, why we think we learn more from lectures than inquiry-based learning, and why we’re wrong. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Jerry Lai/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: newborn baby feet] [Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jocelyn Kaiser] See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 30, 2021
Earliest human footprints in North America, dating violins with tree rings, and the social life of DNA
2565
Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss fossilized footprints left on a lake shore in North America sometime before the end of Last Glacial Maximum—possibly the earliest evidence for humans on the continent. Read the research. Next, Paolo Cherubini, a senior scientist in the dendrosciences research group at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, discusses using tree rings to date and authenticate 17th and 18th century violins worth millions of dollars. Finally, in this month’s installment of the series of book interviews on race and science, guest host Angela Saini interviews Alondra Nelson, professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, about her 2016 book The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome. Note on the closing music: Violinist Nicholas Kitchen plays Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chaconne on the violin “Castelbarco” made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy, in 1697. Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Bennet et al., Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: human footprints preserved in rock] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Lizzie Wade; Angela Saini See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 23, 2021
Potty training cows, and sardines swimming into an ecological trap
1020
Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the health and environmental benefits of potty training cows. Next, Peter Teske, a professor in the department of zoology at the University of Johannesburg, joins us to talk about his Science Advances paper on origins of the sardine run—a massive annual fish migration off the coast of South Africa. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Steven Benjamin; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: sardines in a swirling bait ball] Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 16, 2021
Legions of lunar landers, and why we make robots that look like people
1382
Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about plans for NASA’s first visit to the Moon in 50 years—and the quick succession of missions that will likely follow.  Next, Eileen Roesler, a researcher and lecturer at the Technical University of Berlin in the field of human-robot automation, discusses the benefits of making robots that look and act like people—it’s not always as helpful as you would think.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Virginie Angéloz/Noun Project; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: three robot drawings that look like people to different degrees] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 09, 2021
Pinpointing the origins of SARS-CoV-2, and making vortex beams of atoms
1649
Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the many theories circulating about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and why finding the right one is important. Next, Ed Narevicius, a professor in the chemical and biological physics department at the Weizmann Institute of Science, talks with Sarah about creating vortex beams of atoms—a quantum state in which the phase of the matter wave of an atom rotates around its path, like a spiral staircase.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Alon Luski et al./Science 2021; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: vortex beams showing holes in the center of the beam] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jon Cohen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 02, 2021
New insights into endometriosis, predicting RNA folding, and the surprising career of the spirometer
2183
News Intern Rachel Fritts talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new way to think about endometriosis—a painful condition found in one in 10 women in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows on the outside of the uterus and can bind to other organs. Next, Raphael Townshend, founder and CEO of Atomic AI, talks about predicting RNA folding using deep learning—a machine learning approach that relies on very few examples and limited data. Finally, in this month's edition of our limited series on race and science, guest host and journalist Angela Saini is joined by author Lundy Braun, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and Africana studies at Brown University, to discuss her book: Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: C. Bickel/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: folded RNA 3D structures] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Rachel Fritts   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 26, 2021
Building a martian analog on Earth, and moral outrage on social media
1593
Contributing Correspondent Michael Price joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the newest Mars analog to be built on the location of the first attempt at a large-scale sealed habitat, Biosphere 2 in Arizona. Next, William Brady, a postdoctoral researcher in the psychology department at Yale University, talks with Sarah about using an algorithm to measure increasing expressions of moral outrage on social media platforms. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. About the Science Podcast Listen to previous podcasts. Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Kai Staats; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: lettuce plants being tended in a Mars analog] [Caption: Lettuce plants being tended in a Mars analog] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Mike Price   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 19, 2021
A risky clinical trial design, and attacks on machine learning
1764
Charles Piller, an investigative journalist for Science, talks with host Sarah Crespi about a risky trial of vitamin D in asthmatic children that has caused a lot of concern among ethicists. They also discuss how the vitamin D trial connects with a possibly dangerous push to compare new treatments with placebos instead of standard-of-care treatments in clinical trials. Next, Birhanu Eshete, professor of computer and information science at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, talks with producer Joel Goldberg about the risks of exposing machine learning algorithms online—risks such as the reverse engineering of training data to access proprietary information or even patient data. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. About the Science Podcast [Image: Filip Patock/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: Bottle of Vitamin D pills] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Joel Goldberg; Charles Piller       See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 12, 2021
A freeze on prion research, and watching cement dry
1897
International News Editor Martin Enserink talks with host Sarah Crespi about a moratorium on prion research after the fatal brain disease infected two lab workers in France, killing one. Next, Abhay Goyal, a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University, talks with intern Claire Hogan about his Science Advances paper on figuring out how to reduce the massive carbon footprint of cement by looking at its molecular structure. Finally, in a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders interviews Ansuman Satpathy, assistant professor in the department of pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine and 2018 winner of the Michelson Prize for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research, about the importance of supporting early-career research and diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math. This segment is sponsored by Michelson Philanthropies. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Marquette LaForest/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Martin Enserink     See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 05, 2021
Debating healthy obesity, delaying type 1 diabetes, and visiting bone rooms
2757
First this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the paradox of metabolically healthy obesity. They chat about the latest research into the relationships between markers of metabolic health—such as glucose or cholesterol levels in the blood—and obesity. They aren’t as tied as you might think. Next, Colin Dayan, professor of clinical diabetes and metabolism at Cardiff University and senior clinical researcher at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, joins Sarah to discuss his contribution to a special issue on type 1 diabetes. In his review, Colin and colleagues lay out research into how type 1 diabetes can be detected early, delayed, and maybe even one day prevented. Finally, in the first of a six-part series of book interviews on race and science, guest host Angela Saini talks with author and professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Samuel Redman, about his book Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums. The two discuss the legacy of human bone collecting and racism in museums today. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Jason Solo/Jacky Winter Group; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel; Angela Saini See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 29, 2021
Blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease, and what earthquakes on Mars reveal about the Red Planet’s core
1439
First this week, Associate Editor Kelly Servick joins us to discuss a big push to develop scalable blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease and how this could advance research on the disease and its treatment. Next, Amir Khan, a senior scientist at the Physics Institute of the University of Zurich and the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zürich, talks with multimedia intern Claire Hogan about marsquakes detected by NASA’s InSight lander—and what they can reveal about Mars’s crust, mantle, and core. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: C. Bickel/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kelly Servick; Claire Hogan See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 22, 2021
Science after COVID-19, and a landslide that became a flood
1370
First this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new series on how COVID-19 may alter the scientific enterprise and they look back at how pandemics have catalyzed change throughout history.  Next, Dan Shugar, associate professor of geoscience and director of the environmental science program at the University of Calgary, talks with producer Joel Goldberg about a deadly rock and ice avalanche in northern India this year and why closely monitoring steep mountain slopes is so important for averting future catastrophes. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Irfan Rashid, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Joel Goldberg; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 15, 2021
Scientists’ role in the opioid crisis, 3D-printed candy proteins, and summer books
2344
First this week, Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp talks with author Patrick Radden Keefe about his book Empire of Pain and the role scientists, regulators, and physicians played in the rollout of Oxycontin and the opioid crisis in the United States. Next, Katelyn Baumer, a Ph.D. student in the chemistry and biochemistry department at Baylor University, talks with host Sarah Crespi about her Science Advances paper on 3D printing proteins using candy.  Finally, book review editor Valerie Thompson takes us on a journey through some science-y summer reads—from the future of foods to a biography of the color blue. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). Authors: Sarah Crespi; Holden Thorp; Valerie Thompson See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 08, 2021
Preserving plastic art, and a gold standard for measuring extreme pressure
2205
First this week, Contributing Correspondent Sam Kean talks with producer Joel Goldberg about techniques museum conservators are using to save a range of plastic artifacts—from David Bowie costumes to the first artificial heart.  Next, Dayne Fratanduono, an experimental physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about new standards for how gold and platinum change under extreme pressure. Fratanduono discusses how these standards will help researchers make more precise measurements of extreme pressure in the future. Finally, in a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders interviews Laura Mackay, professor and laboratory head at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne and 2018 winner of the Michelson Prize for Human Immunology and Vaccine Research, about the importance of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math. This segment is sponsored by the Michelson Foundation. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Aleth Lorne; Music: Jeffrey Cook] ++ Authors: Joel Goldberg; Sam Kean; Meagan Cantwell See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 01, 2021
Does Botox combat depression, the fruit fly sex drive, and a series on race and science
1796
First this week, Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady talks with host Sarah Crespi about controversy surrounding the use of Botox injections to alleviate depression by suppressing frowning. Next, researcher Stephen Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses his Science Advances paper on what turns on the fruit fly sex drive. Finally, we are excited to kick off a six-part series of monthly interviews with authors of books that highlight the many intersections between race and science and scientists. This week, guest host and journalist Angela Saini talks with Keith Wailoo, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, who helped select the topics about the books we will be covering and how they were selected. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Tomasz Klejdysz/Shutterstock; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Cathleen O’Grady; Angela Saini See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 24, 2021
Keeping ads out of dreams, and calculating the cost of climate displacement
1264
First this week, News Intern Sofia Moutinho joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss scientists concerns about advertisers looking into using our smart speakers or phones to whisper ads to us while we sleep.  Next, Bina Desai, head of Programs at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva, discusses how to predict the economic impact of human displacement due to climate change as part of a special issue on strategic retreat. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Belur Math/Amphan Cyclone Relief Services; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Sofia Moutinho See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 17, 2021
Finding consciousness outside the brain, and using DNA to reunite families
1562
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 10, 2021
Cicada citizen science, and expanding the genetic code
2149
First this week, freelance journalist Ian Graber-Stiehl discusses what might be the oldest community science project—observing the emergence of periodical cicadas. He also notes the shifts in how amateur scientists have gone from contributing observations to helping scientists make predictions about the insects’ schedules. Next, Jason Chin, program leader at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, discusses how reducing redundancy in the genetic code opens up space for encoding unusual amino acids. His group shows that eliminating certain codes from the genome makes bacteria that are resistant to viruses and that these edited codes can be used to program the cells to make complicated molecules.  In a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp talks with Gary Michelson, founder of the Michelson Medical Research Foundation and co-chair of Michelson Philanthropies, about the best ways to support early-career scientists, including through prizes such as the new Michelson Philanthropies and Science Prize for Immunology. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: Bill Douthitt/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Ian Graber-Stiehl See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 03, 2021
Cracking consciousness, and taking the temperature of urban heat islands
1512
First this week, Lucia Melloni, a group leader in the department of neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, talks with host Sarah Crespi about making the hard problem of consciousness easier by getting advocates of opposing theories to collaborate and design experiments to rule in or rule out their competing theories. Next, TC Chakraborty, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, shares his Science Advances paper on why it’s important to measure air temperature on the ground rather than from satellites when trying to understand urban heat islands—how cities heat up more than the surrounding countryside. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Joe Wolf/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 27, 2021
Ecstasy plus therapy for PTSD, and the effects of early childhood development programs on mothers
1310
Staff Writer Kelly Servick talks with host Sarah Crespi about the pairing of a specific type of psychotherapy with the drug MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Also this week, Pamela Jakiela, an economics professor at Williams College, discusses the importance of knowing how early childhood development interventions like free day care or parenting classes have an effect on caregivers, particularly mothers. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Graham Crouch/World Bank; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Kelly Servick; Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 20, 2021
Cutting shipping air pollution may cause water pollution, and keeping air clean with lightning
1950
News Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss possible harms from how the shipping industry is responding to air pollution regulations—instead of pumping health-harming chemicals into the air, they are now being dumped into oceans. Also this week, William Brune, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, talks about flying a plane into thunderstorms and how measurements from research flights revealed the surprising amount of air-cleaning oxidants created by lightning. In a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders interviews Manfred Kraus, senior director and head of in vivo pharmacology oncology at Bristol Myers Squibb, about the impact of humanized mice on preclinical research. This segment is sponsored by the Jackson Laboratory. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Samantha Dellaert/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Erik Stokstad; Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 13, 2021
Chernobyl’s ruins grow restless, and entangling macroscopic objects
1658
Rich Stone, former international news editor at Science and current senior science editor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Tangled Bank Studios, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about concerning levels of fission reactions deep in an inaccessible area of the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Though nothing is likely to come of it anytime soon, scientists must decide what—if anything—they should do tamp down reactions in this hard-to-reach place. Also on this week’s show, Shlomi Kotler, an assistant professor in the department of applied physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, joins Sarah to discuss the quantum entanglement of macroscopic objects. This hallmark of quantum physics has been confined—up until now—to microscopic items like atoms, ions, and photons. But what does it mean that two drums, each the width of a human hair, can be entangled? Read a related insight. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Caption: New Safe Confinement structure built over Chernobyl ruins; Credit: URBEX Hungary/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Rich Stone; Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 06, 2021
Storing wind as gravity, and well-digging donkeys
1176
Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a company that stores renewable energy by hoisting large objects in massive “gravity batteries.” Also on this week’s show, Erick Lundgren, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University, talks about how water from wells dug by wild horses and feral donkeys provides a buffer to all different kinds of animals and plants during the driest times in the Sonora and Mojave deserts. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Tracy Hall/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Cathleen O’Grady; Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 29, 2021
Rebuilding Louisiana’s coast, and recycling plastic into fuel
1507
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall about a restoration project to add 54 square kilometers back to the coast of Louisiana by allowing the Mississippi River to resume delivering sediment to sinking regions. Also on this week’s show, Dion Vlachos, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Delaware, Newark, and director of the Delaware Energy Institute, joins Sarah to talk about his Science Advances paper on a low-temperature process to convert different kinds of plastic to fuels, like gasoline and jet fuel.   This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Shannon Dosemagen/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Warren Cornwall; Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 22, 2021
Why muon magnetism matters, and a count of all the Tyrannosaurus rex that ever lived
2266
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about a new measurement of the magnetism of the muon—an unstable cousin of the electron. This latest measurement and an earlier one both differ from predictions based on the standard model of particle physics. The increased certainty that there is a muon magnetism mismatch could be a field day for theoretical physicists looking to add new particles or forces to the standard model.   Also on this week’s show, Charles Marshall, director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology and professor of integrative biology, joins Sarah to talk about his team’s calculation for the total number of Tyrannosaurus rex that ever lived. In a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders interviews Imre Berger, professor of biochemistry at the University of Bristol, about his Science paper on finding a druggable pocket on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and how the work was accelerated by intensive cloud computing. This segment is sponsored by Oracle for Research. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image:Lewis Kelly/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Adrian Cho; Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 15, 2021
Magnetar mysteries, and when humans got big brains
1536
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Joshua Sokol about magnetars—highly magnetized neutron stars. A recent intense outburst of gamma rays from a nearby galaxy has given astronomers a whole new view on these mysterious magnetic monsters. Also on this week’s show, Christoph Zollikofer, a professor of anthropology at the University of Zurich, talks about the evolution of humanlike brains. His team’s work with brain-case fossils suggests the complex brains we carry around today were not present in the early hominins to leave Africa, but later developed in the cousins they left behind. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: (Text) Sculptor galaxy; (Image) ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA; Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Joshua Sokol; Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 08, 2021
Fighting outbreaks with museum collections, and making mice hallucinate
1573
Podcast Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Pamela Soltis, a professor and curator with the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida and the director of the University of Florida Biodiversity Institute, about how natural collections at museums can be a valuable resource for understanding future disease outbreaks. Read the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. This segment is part of our coverage of the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting. Also on this week’s show, Katharina Schmack, a research associate at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, joins producer Joel Goldberg to talk about giving mice a quiz that makes them hallucinate. Observing the mice in this state helps researchers make connections between dopamine, hallucinations, and mental illness. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: christopherhu/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Joel Goldberg; Meagan Cantwell See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 01, 2021
Social insects as models for aging, and crew conflict on long space missions
1740
Most research on aging has been done on model organisms with limited life spans, such as flies and worms. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to science writer Yao-Hua Law about how long-living social insects—some of which survive for up to 30 years—can provide new insights into aging.  Also in this episode, host Sarah Crespi talks with Noshir Contractor, the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, about his AAAS session on keeping humans in harmony during long space missions and how mock missions on Earth are being applied to plans for a crewed mission to Mars.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast [Image:TerriAnneAllen/Unsplash ; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Yao Hua Law; Meagan Cantwell See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 25, 2021
COVID-19 treatment at 1 year, and smarter materials for smarter cities
1545
Science News Staff Writer Kelly Servick discusses how physicians have sifted through torrents of scientific results to arrive at treatments for SARS-CoV-2. Sarah also talks with Wesley Reinhart of Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Institute for Computational and Data Science, about why we should be building smart cities from smart materials, such as metamaterials that help solar panels chase the Sun, and living materials like self-healing concrete that keep buildings in good shape. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: Singapore Esplanade/Travis/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kelly Servick See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 18, 2021
Next-generation gravitational wave detectors, and sponges that soak up frigid oil spills
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Science Staff Writer Adrian Cho joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about plans for the next generation of gravitational wave detectors—including one with 40-kilometer arms. The proposed detectors will be up to 10 times more sensitive than current models and could capture all black hole mergers in the observable universe. Sarah also talks with Pavani Cherukupally, a researcher at Imperial College London and the University of Toronto, about her Science Advances paper on cleaning up oil spills with special cold-adapted sponges that work well when crude oil gets clumpy. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: VLCC tanker Amoco Cadiz oil spill/Collection of Doug Helton/NOAA/NOS/ORR/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Adrian Cho See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 11, 2021
The world’s oldest pet cemetery, and how eyeless worms can see color
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Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a 2000-year-old pet cemetery found in the Egyptian city of Berenice and what it can tell us about the history of human-animal relationships. Also this week, Dipon Ghosh, a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks about how scientists missed that the tiny eyeless roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, which has been intensively studied from top to bottom for decades, somehow has the ability to detect colors. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: HINRICH SCHULENBURG; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 04, 2021
Measuring Earth’s surface like never before, and the world’s fastest random number generator
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First up, science journalist Julia Rosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about a growing fleet of radar satellites that will soon be able to detect minute rises and drops of Earth’s surface—from a gently deflating volcano to a water-swollen field—on a daily basis. Sarah also talks with Hui Cao, a professor of applied physics at Yale University, about a new way to generate enormous streams of random numbers faster than ever before, using a tiny laser that can fit on a computer chip. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Kyungduk Kim/Yale; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Julia Rosen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 25, 2021
All your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered, and a new theory on forming rocky planets
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Science Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to take on some of big questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, such as: Do they stop transmission? Will we need boosters? When will life get back to “normal.” Sarah also talks with Anders Johansen, professor of planetary sciences and planet formation at the University of Copenhagen, about his Science Advances paper on a new theory for the formation of rocky planets in our Solar System. Instead of emerging out of ever-larger collisions of protoplanets, the new idea is that terrestrial planets like Earth and Mars formed from the buildup of many small pebbles. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: European Space Agency/Stuart Rankin/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jon Cohen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 18, 2021
Building Africa’s Great Green Wall, and using whale songs as seismic probess
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Science journalist Rachel Cernansky joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about progress on Africa’s Great Green Wall project and the important difference between planting and growing a tree. Sarah also talks with Václav Kuna, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, about using loud and long songs from fin whales to image structures under the ocean floor. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Holly Gramazio/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Rachel Cernansky See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 11, 2021
Looking back at 20 years of human genome sequencing
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This week we’re dedicating the whole show to the 20th anniversary of the publication of the human genome. Today, about 30 million people have had their genomes sequenced. This remarkable progress has brought with it issues of data sharing, privacy, and inequality. Host Sarah Crespi spoke with a number of researchers about the state of genome science, starting with Yaniv Erlich, from the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science and CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics, who talks about privacy in the age of easily obtainable genomes. Next up Charles Rotimi, director of the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health at the National Human Genome Research Institute, discusses diversity—or lack thereof—in the field and what it means for the kinds of research that happens. Finally, Dorothy Roberts, professor in the departments of Africana studies and sociology and the law school at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about the seemingly never-ending project of disentangling race and genomes. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF).   [Image: Holly Gramazio/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 04, 2021
Calculating the social cost of carbon, and listening to mole-rat chirps
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On its first day, the new Biden administration announced plans to recalculate the social cost of carbon—a way of estimating the economic toll of greenhouse gases. Staff Writer Paul Voosen and host Sarah Crespi discuss why this value is so important and how it will be determined.  Next up, Alison Barker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, talks with Sarah about the sounds of naked mole-rats. You may already know naked mole-rats are pain and cancer resistant—but did you know these eusocial mammals make little chirps to identify themselves as colony members? Can these learned local dialects make naked mole-rats a new research model for language learning? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Smithsonian’s National Zoo/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 28, 2021
Counting research rodents, a possible cause for irritable bowel syndrome, and spitting cobras
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Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a controversial new paper that estimates how many rodents are used in research in the United States each year. Though there is no official number, the paper suggests there might be more than 100 million rats and mice housed in research facilities in the country—doubling or even tripling some earlier estimates. Next, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with Sarah about a new theory behind the cause of irritable bowel syndrome—that it might be a localized allergic reaction in the gut. Sarah also chats with Taline Kazandjian, a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre for Snakebite Research & Interventions in Liverpool, U.K., about how the venom from spitting cobras has evolved to cause maximum pain and why these snakes might have developed the same defense mechanism three different times. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: Rushen/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 21, 2021
An elegy for Arecibo, and how our environments may change our behavior
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Science Senior Correspondent Daniel Clery regales host Sarah Crespi with tales about the most important work to come from 57 years of research at the now-defunct Arecibo Observatory and plans for the future of the site. Sarah also talks with Toman Barsbai, an associate professor in the school of economics at the University of Bristol, about the influence of ecology on human behavior—can we figure out how many of our behaviors are related to the different environments where we live? Barsbai and colleagues took on this question by comparing behaviors around finding food, reproduction, and social hierarchy in three groups of animals living in the same places: foraging humans, nonhuman mammals, and birds. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: University of Central Florida; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 14, 2021
The uncertain future of North America’s ash trees, and organizing robot swarms
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Freelance journalist Gabriel Popkin and host Sarah Crespi discuss what will happen to ash trees in the United States as federal regulators announce dropping quarantine measures meant to control the emerald ash borer—a devastating pest that has killed tens of millions of trees since 2002. Instead of quarantines, the government will use tiny wasps known to kill the invasive beetles in hopes of saving the ash. Sarah also talks with Pavel Chvykov, a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about the principles for organizing active matter—things like ant bridges, bird flocks, or little swarms of robots.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Donald Macauley/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Gabriel Popkin See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 07, 2021
Areas to watch in 2021, and the living microbes in wildfire smoke
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We kick off our first episode of 2021 by looking at future trends in policy and research with host Meagan Cantwell and several Science news writers. Ann Gibbons talks about upcoming studies that elucidate social ties among ancient humans, Jeffrey Mervis discusses relations between the United States and China, and Paul Voosen gives a rundown of two Mars rover landings. In research news, Meagan Cantwell talks with Leda Kobziar, an associate professor of wildland fire science at the University of Idaho, Moscow, about the living component of wildfire smoke—microbes. The bacteria and fungi that hitch a ride on smoke can impact both human health and ecosystems—but Kobziar says much more research is needed. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Christopher Michel/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Meagan Cantwell; Ann Gibbons; Jeffrey Mervis, Paul Voosen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 31, 2020
Breakthrough of the Year, top online news, and science book highlights
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Our last episode of the year is a celebration of science in 2020. First, host Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about some of the top online news stories of the year—from how undertaker bees detect the dead to the first board game of death. (It’s not as grim as it sounds.) Sarah then talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the Breakthrough of the Year, scientific breakdowns, and some of the runners-up—amazing accomplishments in science achieved in the face of a global pandemic. Finally, Book Review Editor Valerie Thompson joins Sarah to discuss highlights from the books section—on topics as varied as eating wild foods to how the materials we make end up shaping us. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: ISS Expedition 7 Crew/EOL/NASA; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm; Catherine Matacic; Valerie Thompson See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 17, 2020
Making ecology studies replicable, and a turnaround for the Tasmanian devil
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The field of psychology underwent a replication crisis and saw a sea change in scientific and publishing practices, could ecology be next? News Intern Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the launch of a new society for ecologists looking to make the field more rigorous. Sarah also talks with Andrew Storfer, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University, Pullman, about the fate of the Tasmanian devil. Since the end of the last century, these carnivorous marsupials have been decimated by a transmissible facial tumor. Now, it looks like—despite many predictions of extinction—the devils may be turning a corner. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: The Mammals of Australia, John Gould, 1804-1881/Biodiversity Library/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Cathleen O’Grady See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 10, 2020
How the new COVID-19 vaccines work, and restoring vision with brain implants
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Staff Writer Meredith Wadman and host Sarah Crespi discuss what to expect from the two messenger RNA–based vaccines against COVID-19 that have recently released encouraging results from their phase III trials and the short-term side effects some recipients might see on the day of injection. Sarah also talks with researcher Xing Chen, a project co-leader and postdoctoral scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, about using brain stimulation to restore vision. Researchers have known for about 70 years that electrical stimulation at certain points in the brain can lead to the appearance of a phosphene—a spot of light that appears not because there’s light there, but because of some other stimulation, like pressing on the eyeball. If electrical stimulation can make a little light appear, how about many lights? Can we think about phosphenes as pixels and draw a picture for the brain? How about a moving picture? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 03, 2020
Keeping coronavirus from spreading in schools, why leaves fall when they do, and a book on how nature deals with crisis
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Many schools closed in the spring, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Many opened in the fall. Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what was learned in spring about how coronavirus spreads in schools that might help keep children safe as cases surge once again. Also this week: What makes leaves fall off deciduous trees when they do—is it the short, cold nights? Or is the timing of so-called “leaf senescence” linked to when spring happens? Sarah talked to Constantin Zohner, a lead scientist at the Institute of Integrative Biology at ETH Zurich, about his tree leaf timing study. Sarah also spoke with commentary author Christy Rollinson, a forest ecologist at the Morton Arboretum, about how important these trees and the timing of their leaf drop is for climate change. In the books segment, host Kiki Sanford talks with Ruth DeFries about her book, What Would Nature Do? A Guide for Our Uncertain Times. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Joe Cheng/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 26, 2020
Fish farming’s future, and how microbes compete for space on our face
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These days about half of the protein the world’s population eats is from seafood. Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how brand-new biotech and old-fashion breeding programs are helping keep up with demand, by expanding where we can farm fish and how fast we can grow them. Sarah also spoke with Jan Claesen, an assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, about skin microbes that use their own antibiotic to fight off harmful bacteria. Understanding the microbes native to our skin and the molecules they produce could lead to treatments for skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis and acne. Finally, in a segment sponsored by MilliporeSigma, Science’s Custom Publishing Director and Senior Editor, Sean Sanders, talks with Timothy Cernak, an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Chemistry at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, about retrosynthesis—the process of starting with a known chemical final product and figuring out how to make that molecule efficiently from available pieces.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: Erik Christensen/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook, Podington Bear] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Erik Stokstad See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 19, 2020
How the human body handles extreme heat, and improvements in cooling clothes
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This week the whole show focuses on keeping cool in a warming world. First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Senior News Correspondent Elizabeth Pennisi about the latest research into how to stay safe when things heat up—whether you’re running marathons or fighting fires.  Sarah also talks with Po-Chun Hsu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, about the future of cooling fabrics for everyday use. It turns out we can save a lot of energy and avoid carbon dioxide emissions by wearing clothing designed to keep us cool in slightly warmer buildings than we’re used to now. But the question is, will cooling clothes ever be “cool”? Visit the whole special issue on cooling. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).    ++Meta   [Image: J. Bartlett Team Rubicon/BLM for USFS/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Elizabeth Pennisi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 12, 2020
What we can learn from a mass of black hole mergers, and ecological insights from 30 years of Arctic animal movements
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First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about new gravitational wave detections from the first half of 2019—including 37 new black hole mergers. With so many mergers now recorded, astrophysicists can do different kinds of research into things like how new pairs of black holes come to be and how often they merge. Sarah also talks with Sarah Davidson, data curator at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, about results from an Arctic animal tracking project that includes 3 decades of location information on many species, from soaring golden eagles to baby caribou taking their first steps. The early results from the Arctic Animal Movement Archive show that researchers can use the database as a baseline for future Arctic investigations and to examine the effects of climate on ecosystems in this key region. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: N. Fischer, H. Pfeiffer, and A. Buonanno/Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics/Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) Collaboration; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Adrian Cho See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 05, 2020
Taking the politicians out of tough policy decisions; the late, great works of Charles Turner; and the science of cooking
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First up, host Sarah Crespi talks to News Intern Cathleen O’Grady about the growing use of citizens’ assemblies, or “minipublics,” to deliberate on tough policy questions like climate change and abortion. Can random groups of citizens do a better job forming policy than politicians? Next, we feature the latest of a new series of insight pieces that revisit landmark Science papers. Sarah talks with Hiruni Samadi Galpayage Dona, a Ph.D. student at Queen Mary University of London, about Charles Turner, a Black zoologist who published multiple times in Science in the early 1900s. Despite being far ahead of his time in his studies of animal cognition, Turner’s work was long overlooked—due in large part to the many difficulties facing a Black man in academia at the turn of the century. Finally, in our monthly books segment, host Kiki Sanford chats with author Pia Sorensen about her new book: Science and Cooking: Physics Meets Food, From Homemade to Haute Cuisine. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 29, 2020
Early approval of a COVID-19 vaccine could cause ethical problems for other vax candidates, and ‘upcycling’ plastic bags
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First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Jon Cohen about some tricky ethical questions that may arise after the first coronavirus vaccine is authorized for use in the United States. Will people continue to participate in clinical trials of other vaccines? Will it still be OK to give participants placebo vaccines? Next, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Bert Weckhuysen, a professor at Utrecht University, about a process for taking low-value plastic like polyethylene (often used for packaging and grocery bags) and “upcycling” it into biodegradable materials that can be used for new purposes. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Zeev Barkan/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Jon Cohen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 22, 2020
Making sure American Indian COVID-19 cases are counted, and feeding a hungry heart
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First up, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of the Urban Indian Health Institute and chief research officer for the Seattle Indian Health Board. Echo-Hawk shares what inspired her journey in public health and explains the repercussions of excluding native people from health data. This story was originally reported by Lizzie Wade, who profiled Echo-Hawk as part of Science’s “voices of the pandemic” series. Next, host Sarah Crespi interviews Danielle Murashige, a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania, about her Science paper that attempts to quantify how much fuel a healthy heart needs.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).  ++Meta [Image OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Lizzie Wade See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 15, 2020
Visiting a once-watery asteroid, and how buzzing the tongue can treat tinnitus
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First up, Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to the asteroid Bennu. After OSIRIS-REx’s up-close surveys of the surface revealed fewer likely touchdown points than expected, its sampling mission has been rejiggered. Paul talks about the prospects for a safe sampling in mid-October and what we might learn when the craft returns to Earth in 2023. Sarah also talks with Hubert Lim, from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Neuromod Devices Limited, about his Science Translational Medicine paper on a new treatment for tinnitus. The team showed that bimodal stimulation—playing sounds in the ear and buzzes on the tongue—was able to change the brain and turn down the tinnitus in a large clinical trial. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Extra audio credits: Tinnitus sound samples courtesy of the American tinnitus Association. Treatment samples courtesy of Neuromod Ltd. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Stuart Rankin/Flickr/NASA/Goddard; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 08, 2020
FDA clinical trial protection failures, and an AI that can beat curling’s top players
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Investigative journalist Charles Piller joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his latest Science exclusive: a deep dive into the Food and Drug Administration’s protection of human subjects in clinical trials. Based on months of data analysis and interviews, he uncovered long-term failures in safety enforcement in clinical trials and potential problems with trial data used to make decisions about drug and device approvals. Sarah also talks with Klaus-Robert Müller, a professor of machine learning at the Technical University of Berlin, about an artificial intelligence (AI) trained in the sport of curling—often described as a cross between bowling and chess. Although AI has succeeded in chess, Go, and poker, the constantly changing environment of curling is far harder for a nonhuman mind to adapt to. But AIs were the big winners in competitions with top human players, Müller and colleagues report this week in Science Robotics. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).    ++Meta   [Image: Cory Denton/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Charles Piller   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 01, 2020
How Neanderthals got human Y chromosomes, and the earliest human footprints in Arabia
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Contributing Correspondent Ann Gibbons talks with host Sarah Crespi about a series of 120,000-year-old human footprints found alongside prints from animals like asses, elephants, and camels in a dried-up lake on the Arabian Peninsula. These are the earliest human footprints found so far in Arabia and may help researchers better understand the history of early hominin migrations out of Africa. Continuing on the history of humanity theme, Sarah talks with Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, about her team’s efforts to fish the elusive Y chromosome out of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA. It turns out Y chromosomes tell a different story about our past interbreeding with Neanderthals than previous tales told by the rest of the genome. Read a related Insight article. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Stuart Rankin/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Ann Gibbons See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 24, 2020
Performing magic for animals, and why the pandemic is pushing people out of prisons
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Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how jail and prison populations in the United States have dropped in the face of coronavirus and what kinds of scientific questions about public health and criminal justice are arising as a result. Also this week, Elias García-Pelegrín, a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge, talks with Sarah about his article on watching animals watch magic tricks. Do animals fall for the same illusions we do? What does it say about the way their minds work? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 17, 2020
Alien hunters get a funding boost, and checking on the link between chromosome ‘caps’ and aging
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First up this week, Senior Correspondent Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Breakthrough Listen—a privately funded initiative that aims to spend $100 million over 10 years to find extraterrestrial intelligent life—has changed the hunt for alien intelligence-link.  And as part of a special issue on the Genotype-Tissue Expression  (GTEx) Project, Brandon Pierce, a professor in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, joins Sarah to discuss his group’s work on variation in the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. The gradual shortening of these caps, also known as telomeres, has been associated with aging.  Read more from the GTEx special issue. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: V. Altounian/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Dan Clery See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 10, 2020
Fighting Europe’s second wave of COVID-19, and making democracy work for poor people
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First up this week, Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about rising numbers of coronavirus cases in Europe. Will what we’ve learned this summer about how the virus is transmitted and treated help prevent a second peak? Read all of our coronavirus news coverage.  And as part of a special issue on democracy, Rohini Pande, a professor in the department of economics at Yale University, joins Sarah to discuss her review that asks the question: Can democracy work for poor people? Read more from the special issue on democracy. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Mattias Berg/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kai Kupferschmidt See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 03, 2020
Arctic sea ice under attack, and ancient records that can predict the future effects of climate change
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Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Arctic sea ice is under attack from above and below—not only from warming air, but also dangerous hot blobs of ocean water. Next, Damien Fordham, a professor and global change ecologist at the University of Adelaide, talks about how new tools for digging into the past are helping catalog what happened to biodiversity and ecosystems during different climate change scenarios in the past. These findings can help predict the fate of modern ecosystems under today’s human-induced climate change. And in our books segment, Kiki Sanford talks with author Carl Bergstrom about his new book: Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 27, 2020
Wildlife behavior during a global lockdown, and electric mud microbes
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First up this week, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how wildlife biologists are taking advantage of humanity’s sudden lull. Scientists are launching studies of everything from sea turtles on suddenly quiet beaches to noise-averse birds living near airports to see how animal behavior changes when people are a little less obtrusive. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here. Next, as part of our special issue on mud—yes, wet dirt— Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Pennisi talks about her story on electric microbes that were first found in mud and are now found pretty much everywhere. Why do bacteria need to move electrons around and what does it mean that they do it all over the planet? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). Image: Lars Riis-Damgaard and Steffen Larsen; Music: Jeffrey Cook Authors: Sarah Crespi; Liz Pennisi; Erik Stokstad See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 20, 2020
A call for quick coronavirus testing, and building bonds with sports
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Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about a different approach to COVID-19 testing that might be useful in response to the high numbers of cases in the United States. To break chains of transmission and community spread, the new strategy would replace highly accurate but slow polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests with cheaper, faster tests that are less accurate but can be administered frequently. Such tests cost between $1 and $3 compared with more than $100 for diagnostic PCR tests and give results in less than 30 minutes instead of days. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here. Also this week, Salma Mousa, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, joins Sarah to talk about an experiment that added Muslim players to teams in a Christian soccer league in northern Iraq. The goal of the study was to see whether this type of social contact would change how the Christians—a threatened minority in the region—behaved toward Muslims, on and off the field. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Kate Brady/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Robert Service See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 13, 2020
Why COVID-19 poses a special risk during pregnancy, and how hair can split steel
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Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the risk of the novel coronavirus infection to pregnant women. Early data suggest expectant women are more likely to get severe forms of the infection and require hospitalization. Meredith describes how the biology of pregnancy—such as changes to the maternal immune system and added stress on the heart and lungs—might explain the harsher effects of the virus. Also this week, Sarah talks with Gianluca Roscioli about his experiments with commercial razor blades and real human hair. By using a scanning electron microscope, he was able to show how something relatively soft like hair is able to damage something 50 times harder like stainless steel. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: G. Roscioli et al., Science 2020; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meredith Wadman Episode page: https://www.sciencemag.org/podcast/why-covid-19-poses-special-risk-during-pregnancy-and-how-hair-can-split-steel   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 06, 2020
Fighting COVID-19 vaccine fears, tracking the pandemic’s origin, and a new technique for peering under paint
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Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his editorial on preventing vaccine hesitancy during the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the current crisis, fear of vaccines had become a global problem, with the World Health Organization naming it as one of the top 10 worldwide health threats in 2019. Now, it seems increasingly possible that many people will refuse to get vaccinated. What can public health officials and researchers do to get ahead of this issue? Also this week, Sarah talks with Science Senior Correspondent Jon Cohen about his story on Chinese scientist Shi Zhengli, the bat researcher at the center of the COVID-19 origins controversy—and why she thinks President Donald Trump owes her an apology. Finally, Geert Van der Snickt, a professor in the conservation-restoration department at the University of Antwerp, talks with Sarah about his Science Advances paper on a new process for peering into the past of paintings. His team used a combination of techniques to look beneath an overpainting on the Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck—a pivotal piece that showed the potential of oil paints and even included an early example of painting from an aerial view. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: van der Snickt et al., Science Advances 2020; Music: Jeffrey Cook] See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 30, 2020
How Hiroshima survivors helped form radiation safety rules, and a path to stop plastic pollution
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Contributing Correspondent Dennis Normile talks about a long-term study involving the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Seventy-five years after the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the two cities in Japan, survivors are still helping scientists learn about the effects of radiation exposure. Also this week, Sarah talks with Winnie Lau, senior manager for preventing ocean plastics at Pew Charitable Trusts about her group’s paper about what it would take to seriously fight the flow of plastics into the environment.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: MPCA Photos/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Dennis Normile   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 23, 2020
Reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking the heat out of crude oil separation
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Contributing correspondent Gretchen Vogel talks about what can be learned from schools around the world that have reopened during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, few systematic studies have been done but observations of outbreaks in schools in places such as France or Israel do offer a few lessons for countries looking to send kids back to school soon. The United Kingdom and Germany have started studies of how the virus spreads in children and at school, but results are months away. In the meantime, Gretchen’s reporting suggests small class sizes, masks, and social distancing among the adults at school are particularly important measures.      Read all our coronavirus news coverage.   Also this week, Sarah talks with Kirstie Thompson, a Ph.D. student in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, about increasing the efficiency of petroleum processing. If all—or even some—petroleum processing goes heat free, it would mean big energy savings. Around the world, about 1% of all energy use goes to heating up petroleum in order to get useful things such as gas for cars or polymers for plastics. These days, this separation is done through distillation, heating and separating by boiling point. Kirstie describes a heat-free way of getting this separation—by using a special membrane instead.   Read a related Insight.   This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF)  ++   [Image: Kurt Bauschardt/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Gretchen Vogel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 16, 2020
A fast moving megatrial for coronavirus treatments, and transferring the benefits of exercise by transferring blood
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Contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about the success of a fast moving megatrial for coronavirus treatments. The UK’s RECOVERY (Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) trial has enrolled more than 12,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients since early March and has released important recommendations that were quickly taken up by doctors and scientists around the world. Kai discusses why such a large study is necessary and why other large drug trials like the WHO’s SOLIDARITY trial are lagging behind. Also this week, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Saul Villeda, a professor in the Department of Anatomy at University of California, San Francisco, about transferring the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain from an active mouse to a sedentary mouse by transferring their blood. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: eyesplash/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Kai Kupferschmidt See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 09, 2020
An oasis of biodiversity a Mexican desert, and making sound from heat
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First up this week, News Intern Rodrigo Pérez-Ortega talks with host Meagan Cantwell about an oasis of biodiversity in the striking blue pools of Cuatro Ciénegas, a basin in northern Mexico. Researchers have published dozens of papers exploring the unique microorganisms that thrive in this area, while at the same time fighting large agricultural industries draining the precious water from the pools. David Tatnell, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Exeter, talks with host Sarah Crespi about using heat to make sound, a phenomenon known as thermoacoustics. Just like the sound of fire or thunder, sudden changes in temperature can create sound waves. In his team’s paper in Science Advances, Tatnell and colleagues describe a thermoacoustic speaker that uses thin, heated films to make sound. This approach cuts out the crosstalk seen in mechanical speakers and allows for extreme miniaturization of sound production. In the ultrasound range, arrays of thermoacoustic speakers could improve acoustic levitation and ultrasound imaging. In the hearing range, the speakers could be made extremely small, flexible, and even transparent.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast  ++ [Image: David Jaramillo; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Meagan Cantwell; Rodrigo Pérez-Ortega, Sarah Crespi See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 02, 2020
Stopping the spread of COVID-19, and arctic adaptations in sled dogs
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Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies how ocean waves disperse virus-laden aerosols, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how she became an outspoken advocate for using masks to prevent coronavirus transmission. A related insight she wrote for Science has been downloaded more than 1 million times. Read Science’s coronavirus coverage. Mikkel Sinding, a postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin, talks sled dog genes with Sarah. After comparing the genomes of modern dogs, Greenland sled dogs, and an ancient dog jaw bone found on a remote Siberian island where dogs may have pulled sleds some 9500 years ago, they found that modern Greenland dogs—which are still used to pull sleds today—have much in common with this ancient Siberian ancestor. Those similarities include genes related to eating high-fat diets and cold-sensing genes previously identified in woolly mammoths. In this month's book segment, Kiki Sanford talks with Rutger Bregman about his book, Humankind: A Hopeful History which outlines a shift in the thinking of many social scientists to a view of humans as more peaceful than warlike. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Episode page: https://www.sciencemag.org/podcast/stopping-spread-covid-19-and-arctic-adaptations-sled-dogs See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 25, 2020
Coronavirus spreads financial turmoil to universities, and a drone that fights mosquito-borne illnesses
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Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how universities are dealing with the financial crunch brought on by the coronavirus. Jeff discusses how big research universities are balancing their budgets as federal grants continue to flow, but endowments are down and so is the promise of state funding. Read all our coronavirus coverage. Mosquito-borne infections like Zika, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya cause millions of deaths each year. Nicole Culbert and colleges write this week in Science Roboticsabout a new way to deal with deadly mosquitoes—using drones. The drones are designed to drop hundreds of thousands of sterile male mosquitoes in areas with high risk of mosquito-borne illness. The idea is that sterile male mosquitoes will mate with females and the females then lay infertile eggs, which causes the population to decline. They found this drone-based approach is cheaper and more efficient than other methods of releasing sterile mosquitoes and does not have the problems associated with pesticide-based eradication efforts such as resistance and off-target effects. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). Episode page: https://www.sciencemag.org/podcast/coronavirus-spreads-financial-turmoil-universities-and-drone-fights-mosquito-borne-illnesses   ++ [Image: Muhammad Mahdi Karim/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jeffrey Mervis See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 18, 2020
The facts on COVID-19 contact tracing apps, and benefits of returning sea otters to the wild
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Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the ins and outs of coronavirus contact tracing apps—what they do, how they work, and how to calculate whether they are crushing the curve.   Read all our coronavirus coverage.   Edward Gregr, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, talks with Sarah about the controversial reintroduction of sea otters to the Northern Pacific Ocean—their home for centuries, before the fur trade nearly wiped out the apex predator in the late 1800s. Gregr brings a unique cost-benefit perspective to his analysis, and finds many trade-offs with economic implications for fisheries For example, sea otters eat shellfish like urchins and crabs, depressing the shellfishing industry; but their diet encourages the growth of kelp forests, which in turn provide a habitat for economically important finfish, like salmon and rockfish. Read a related commentary article.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 11, 2020
Why men may have more severe COVID-19 symptoms, and using bacteria to track contaminated food
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First up this week, staff writer Meredith Wadman talks with host Sarah Crespi about how male sex hormones may play a role in higher levels of severe coronavirus infections in men. New support for this idea comes from a study showing high levels of male pattern baldness in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.  Read all our coronavirus coverage. Next, Jason Qian, a Ph.D. student in the systems biology department at Harvard Medical School, joins Sarah to talk about an object-tracking system that uses bacterial spores engineered with unique DNA barcodes. The inactivated spores can be sprayed on anything from lettuce, to wood, to sand and later be scraped off and read out using a CRISPR-based detection system. Spraying these DNA-based identifiers on such things as vegetables could help trace foodborne illnesses back to their source.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 04, 2020
A rare condition associated with coronavirus in children, and tracing glaciers by looking at the ocean floor
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First up this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with host Sarah Crespi about a rare inflammatory response in children that has appeared in a number of COVID-19 hot spots. Next, Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and professor of physical geography at the University of Cambridge, talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about tracing the retreat of Antarctica's glaciers by examining the ocean floor. Finally, Kiki Sanford interviews author Danny Dorling about his new book, Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration―and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).   [Image: Scott Ableman/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel; Kiki Sanford See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 28, 2020
How scientists are thinking about reopening labs, and the global threat of arsenic in drinking water
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Online news editor David Grimm talks with producer Joel Goldberg about the unique challenges of reopening labs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Though the chance to resume research may instill a sense of hope, new policies around physical distancing and access to facilities threaten to derail studies—and even careers. Despite all the uncertainty, the crisis could result in new approaches that ultimately benefit the scientific community, and the world.   Also this week, Joel Podgorski, a senior scientist in the Water Resources and Drinking Water Department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the global threat of arsenic in drinking water. Arsenic is basically present in all rocks in minute amounts. Under the right conditions it can leach into groundwater and poison drinking water. Without a noticeable taste or smell, arsenic contamination can go undetected for years. The paper, published in Science, estimates that more than 100 million people are at risk of drinking  arsenic contaminated water and provides a guide for the most important places to test.   This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF)  ++   [Image: Ian Aiden Relkoff/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Joel Goldberg; David Grimm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 21, 2020
How past pandemics reinforced inequality, and millions of mysterious quakes beneath a volcano
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Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade talks with host Sarah Crespi about the role of inequality in past pandemics. Evidence from medical records and cemeteries suggests diseases like the 1918 flu, smallpox, and even the Black Death weren’t indiscriminately killing people—instead these infections caused more deaths in those with less money or status. Also this week, Aaron Wech, a research geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, joins Sarah to talk about recordings of more than 1 million earthquakes from deep under Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, which hasn’t erupted in 4500 years. They discuss how these earthquakes, which have repeated every 7 to 12 minutes for at least 20 years, went undetected for so long. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).  ++   [Image: Ian Aiden Relkoff/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Lizzie Wade See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 14, 2020
Making antibodies to treat coronavirus, and why planting trees won’t save the planet
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Staff writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about using monoclonal antibodies to treat or prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2. Many companies and researchers are rushing to design and test this type of treatment, which proved effective in combating Ebola last year. And Karen Holl, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, joins Sarah to discuss the proper planning of tree planting campaigns. It turns out that just putting a tree in the ground is not enough to stop climate change and reforest the planet. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) [Image: Ian Dick/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jon Cohen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 07, 2020
Blood test for multiple cancers studied in 10,000 women, and is our Sun boring?
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Staff Writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins Sarah to talk about a recent Science paper describing the results of a large study on a blood test for multiple types of cancer. The trial’s results suggest such a blood test combined with follow-up scans may help detect cancers early, but there is a danger of too many false positives. And postdoctoral researcher Timo Reinhold of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research joins Sarah to talk about his paper on how the Sun is a lot less variable in its magnetic activity compared with similar stars—what does it mean that our Sun is a little bit boring?   This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Solar Dynamic Observatory/NASA; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jocelyn Kaiser See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 30, 2020
From nose to toes—how coronavirus affects the body, and a quantum microscope that unlocks the magnetic secrets of very old rocks
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Coronavirus affects far more than just the lungs, and doctors and researchers in the midst of the pandemic are trying to catalog—and understand—the virus’ impact on our bodies. Staff writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what we know about how COVID-19 kills. See all Science news coverage of the pandemic here, and all research papers and editorials here. Also this week, staff writer Paul Voosen talks with Sarah about quantum diamond microscopes. These new devices are able to detect minute traces of magnetism, giving insight into the earliest movements of Earth’s tectonic plates and even ancient paleomagnetic events in space. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Episode page: https://www.sciencemag.org/podcast/nose-toes-how-coronavirus-affects-body-and-quantum-microscope-unlocks-magnetic-secrets-very Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF)  [Image: Meteorite ALH84001/NASA; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meredith Wadman; Paul Voosen See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 23, 2020
How countries could recover from coronavirus, lessons from an ancient drought, and feeling tactile waves in the hand
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Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about countries planning a comeback from a coronavirus crisis. What can they do once cases have slowed down to go back to some sort of normal without a second wave of infection? See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. As part of a drought special issue of Science, Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins Sarah to talk about water management and the downfall of the ancient Wari state. Sometimes called the first South American empire, the Wari culture successfully expanded throughout the Peruvian Andes 1400 years ago. Also this week, Yon Visell of the University of California, Santa Barbara, talks with Sarah about his Science Advances paper on the biomechanics of human hands. Our skin’s ability to propagate waves along the surface of the hand may help us sense the world around us. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF) Authors: Sarah Crespi; Lizzie Wade; Kai Kuperferschmidt See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 16, 2020
Does coronavirus spread through the air, and the biology of anorexia
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On this week’s show, Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new National Academy of Sciences report that suggests the novel coronavirus can go airborne, the evidence for this idea, and what this means for the mask-wearing debate. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. Also this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins Sarah to talk about a burgeoning understanding of the biological roots of anorexia nervosa—an eating disorder that affects about 1% of people in the United States. From genetic links to brain scans, scientists are finding a lot more biology behind what was once thought of as a culturally driven disorder. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Episode page: https://www.sciencemag.org/podcast/does-coronavirus-spread-through-air-and-biology-anorexia Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 09, 2020
How COVID-19 disease models shape shutdowns, and detecting emotions in mice
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On this week’s show, Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about modeling coronavirus spread and the role of forecasts in national lockdowns and other pandemic policies. They also talk about the launch of a global trial of promising treatments. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here.   Also this week, Nadine Gogolla, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, talks with Sarah about linking the facial expressions of mice to their emotional states using machine learning.   This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF)   [Image: Damien Roué/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kai Kupferschmidt See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 02, 2020
Why some diseases come and go with the seasons, and how to develop smarter, safer chemicals
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On this week’s show, host Joel Goldberg gets an update on the coronavirus pandemic from Senior Correspondent Jon Cohen. In addition, Cohen gives a rundown of his latest feature, which highlights the relationship between diseases and changing seasons—and how this relationship relates to a potential coronavirus vaccine. Also this week, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting in Seattle, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Alexandra Maertens, director of the Green Toxicology initiative at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, about the importance of incorporating nonanimal testing methods to study the adverse effects of chemicals.    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast    ++  [Image: Let Ideas Compete/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]    Authors: Joel Goldberg; Jon Cohen; Meagan Cantwell   Listen to previous podcasts http://www.sciencemag.org/podcasts    About the Science Podcast http://www.sciencemag.org/about/podcast  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 26, 2020
Ancient artifacts on the beaches of Northern Europe, and how we remember music
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On this week’s show, host Joel Goldberg talks with science journalist Andrew Curry about recent archaeological finds along the shores of Northern Europe. Curry outlines the rich history of the region that scientists, citizen scientists, and energy companies have helped dredge up.   Also this week, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Elizabeth Margulis, a professor at Princeton University, about musical memory. Margulis dives into several music cognition studies, as well as her own study on how Western and non-western audiences interpret the same song differently.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Download a transcript (PDF)   Listen to previous podcasts   About the Science Podcast [Image: Sebastian Reinecke/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Meagan Cantwell, Joel Goldberg, Andrew Curry See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 19, 2020
Science’s leading role in the restoration of Notre Dame and the surprising biology behind how our body develops its tough skin
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On this week’s show, freelance writer Christa Lesté-Lasserre talks with host Sarah Crespi about the scientists working on the restoration of Notre Dame, from testing the changing weight of wet limestone, to how to remove lead contamination from four-story stained glass windows. As the emergency phase of work winds down, scientists are also starting to use the lull in tourist activity to investigate the mysteries of the cathedral’s construction.   Also this week, Felipe Quiroz, an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering department at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, talks with Sarah about his paper on the cellular mechanism of liquid-liquid phase separation in the formation of the tough outer layer of the skin. Liquid-liquid phase separation is when two liquids “demix,” or separate, like oil and water. In cells, this process created membraneless organelles that are just now starting to be understood. In this work, Quiroz and colleagues create a sensor for phase separation in the cell that works in living tissue, and show how phase separation is tied to the formation of the outer layers of skin in mice. Read the related Insight.   This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF).   [Image: r. nial bradshaw/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Christa Lesté-Lasserre See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 12, 2020
Dog noses detect heat, the world faces coronavirus, and scientists search for extraterrestrial life
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On this week’s show, Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how dogs’ cold noses may be able to sense warm bodies. Read the research. International News Editor Martin Enserink shares the latest from our reporters covering coronavirus. And finally, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Jill Tarter, chair emeritus at the SETI Institute, about the newest technologies being used to search for alien life, what a positive signal would look like, and how to inform the public if extraterrestrial life ever were detected. Episode page: https://www.sciencemag.org/podcast/dog-noses-detect-heat-world-faces-coronavirus-and-scientists-search-extraterrestrial-life This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 05, 2020
An ancient empire hiding in plain sight, and the billion-dollar cost of illegal fishing
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This week on the podcast, Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a turning point for one ancient Mesoamerican city: Tikal. On 16 January 378 C.E., the Maya city lost its leader and the replacement may have been a stranger. We know from writings that the new leader wore the garb of another culture—the Teotihuacan—who lived in a giant city 1000 kilometers away. But was this new ruler of a Maya city really from a separate culture? New techniques being used at the Tikal and Teotihuacan sites have revealed conflicting evidence as to whether Teotihuacan really held sway over a much larger region than previously estimated.   Sarah also talks with Rashid Sumaila, professor and Canada research chair in interdisciplinary ocean and fisheries economics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. You may have heard of illegal fishing being bad for the environment or bad for maintaining fisheries—but as Sumaila and colleagues report this week in Science Advances, the illegal fishing trade is also incredibly costly—with gross revenues of between $8.9 billion and $17.2 billion each year.    In the books segment this month, Kiki Sanford interviews Gaia Vince about her new book Transcendence How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF).  ++   [Image: Christian Hipólito; Music: Jeffrey Cook] See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 27, 2020
Brickmaking bacteria and solar cells that turn ‘waste’ heat into electricity
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On this week’s show, staff writer Robert F. Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about manipulating microbes to make them produce building materials like bricks—and walls that can take toxins out of the air.   Sarah also talks with Paul Davids, principal member of the technical staff in applied photonics & microsystems at Sandia National Laboratories, about an innovation in converting waste heat to electricity that uses similar materials to solar cells but depends on quantum tunneling.   And in a bonus segment, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with online news editor David Grimm on  stage at the AAAS annual meeting in Seattle. They discuss how wildfires can harm your lungs, crime rates in so-called sanctuary states, and how factors such as your gender and country of origin influence how much trust you put in science.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 20, 2020
NIH’s new diversity hiring program, and the role of memory suppression in resilience to trauma
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On this week’s show, senior correspondent Jeffrey Mervis joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant program that aims to encourage diversity at the level of university faculty with the long-range goal of increasing the diversity of NIH-grant recipients.   Sarah also talks with Pierre Gagnepain, a cognitive neuroscientist at INSERM, the French biomedical research agency, about the role of memory suppression in post-traumatic stress disorder. Could people that are better at suppressing memories be more resilient to the aftermath of trauma?   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 13, 2020
Fighting cancer with CRISPR, and dating ancient rock art with wasp nests
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On this week’s show, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a Science paper that combines two hot areas of research-link—CRISPR gene editing and immunotherapy for cancer—and tests it in patients.   Sarah also talks with Damien Finch, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, about the Kimberly region of Australia and dating its ice age cave paintings using charcoal from nearby wasp nests. Episode page  This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 06, 2020
A cryo–electron microscope accessible to the masses, and tracing the genetics of schizophrenia
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Structural biologists rejoiced when cryo–electron microscopy, a technique to generate highly detailed models of biomolecules, emerged. But years after its release, researchers still face long queues to access these machines. Science’s European News Editor Eric Hand walks host Meagan Cantwell through the journey of a group of researchers to create a cheaper, more accessible alternative.   Also this week, host Joel Goldberg speaks with psychiatrist and researcher Goodman Sibeko, who worked with the Xhosa people of South Africa to help illuminate genetic details of schizophrenia. Though scientists have examined this subject among Western populations, much less is known about the underlying genetics of people native to Africa.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 30, 2020
Getting BPA out of food containers, and tracing minute chemical mixtures in the environment
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As part of a special issue on chemicals for tomorrow’s Earth, we’ve got two green chemistry stories. First, host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Warren Cornwell about how a company came up with a replacement for the popular can lining material bisphenol A and then recruited knowledgeable critics to test its safety.   Sarah is also joined by Beate Escher of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the University of Tübingen to discuss ways to trace complex mixtures of humanmade chemicals in the environment. They talk about how new technologies can help detect these mixtures, understand their toxicity, and eventually connect their effects on the environment, wildlife, and people.   Read more in the special issue on chemicals for tomorrow’s Earth.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast   Download a transcript (PDF) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 23, 2020
Researchers flouting clinical reporting rules, and linking gut microbes to heart disease and diabetes
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Though a U.S. law requiring clinical trial results reporting has been on the books for decades, many researchers have been slow to comply. Now, 2 years after the law was sharpened with higher penalties for noncompliance, investigative correspondent Charles Piller took a look at the results. He talks with host Sarah Crespi about the investigation and a surprising lack of compliance and enforcement. Also this week, Sarah talks with Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University Of British Columbia, Vancouver, about an Insight in this week’s issue that aims to connect the dots between noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and the microbes that live in our guts. Could these diseases actually spread through our microbiomes? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: stu_spivack/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 16, 2020
Squeezing two people into an MRI machine, and deciding between what’s reasonable and what’s rational
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Getting into a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine can be a tight fit for just one person. Now, researchers interested in studying face-to-face interactions are attempting to squeeze a whole other person into the same tube, while taking functional MRI (fMRI) measurements. Staff news writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the kinds of questions simultaneous fMRIs might answer.  Also this week, Sarah talks with Igor Grossman, the director of the Wisdom and Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo, about his group’s Science Advances paper on public perceptions of the difference between something being rational and something being reasonable. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast [Image: Amanda/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Authors: Kelly Servick, Sarah Crespi Transcript link:  https://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/SciencePodcast_200110.pdf See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 09, 2020
Areas to watch in 2020, and how carnivorous plants evolved impressive traps
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We start our first episode of the new year looking at future trends in policy and research with host Joel Goldberg and several Science News writers. Jeffrey Mervis discusses upcoming policy changes, Kelly Servick gives a rundown of areas to watch in the life sciences, and Ann Gibbons talks about potential advances in ancient proteins and DNA. In research news, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Beatriz Pinto-Goncalves, a post-doctoral researcher at the John Innes Centre, about carnivorous plant traps. Through understanding the mechanisms that create these traps, Pinto-Goncalves and colleagues elucidate what this could mean for how they emerged in the evolutionary history of plants. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast [Image: Eleanor/Flickr] ++ Authors: Joel Goldberg, Jeffrey Mervis, Kelly Servick, Ann Gibbons, Meagan Cantwell See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 02, 2020
Breakthrough of the Year, our favorite online news stories, and the year in books
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As the year comes to a close, we review the best science, the best stories, and the best books from 2019. Our end-of-the-year episode kicks off with Host Sarah Crespi and Online News Editor David Grimm talking about the top online stories on things like human self-domestication, the “wood wide web,” and more.   News Editor Tim Appenzeller joins Sarah to discuss Science’s 2019 Breakthrough of the Year, some of the contenders for breakthrough, also known as runners-up, and the breakdowns—when science and politics just didn’t seem to mix this year.   Finally, Science books editor Valerie Thompson brings her favorites from the world of science-inflected media. She and Sarah talk about some of the best books reviewed in Science this year, a food extinction book we should have reviewed, a pair of science-centric films, and even an award-winning birding board game.   For more science books, films, and games, visit the books et al blog at blogs.sciencemag.org/books.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; Lightstream; KiwiCo   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast      ++   [Image: Roots, Craig Cloutier/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm; Tim Appenzeller; Valerie Thompson See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 19, 2019
Hunting for new epilepsy drugs, and capturing lightning from space
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About one-third of people with epilepsy are treatment resistant. Up until now, epilepsy treatments have focused on taming seizures rather than the source of the disease and for good reason—so many roads lead to epilepsy: traumatic brain injury, extreme fever and infection, and genetic disorders, to name a few. Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with host Sarah Crespi about researchers that are turning back the pages on epilepsy, trying to get to the beginning of the story where new treatments might work.   And Sarah also talks with Torsten Neurbert at the Technical University of Denmark’s National Space Institute in Kongens Lyngby about capturing high-altitude “transient luminous events” from the International Space Station (ISS). These lightning-induced bursts of light, color, and occasionally gamma rays were first reported in the 1990s but had only been recorded from the ground or aircraft. With new measurements from the ISS come new insights into the anatomy of lightning.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; Lightstream; KiwiCo   Download a transcript (PDF)   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast   [Image: Gemini Observatory; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 13, 2019
Debating lab monkey retirement, and visiting a near-Earth asteroid
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After their life as research subjects, what happens to lab monkeys? Some are euthanized to complete the research, others switch to new research projects, and some retire from lab life. Should they retire in place—in the same lab under the care of the same custodians—or should they be sent to retirement home–like sanctuaries? Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss recently penned legislation that pushes for monkey retirements and a new collaboration between universities and sanctuaries to create a retirement pipeline for these primates. Sarah also talks with Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) and a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, about the latest news from the asteroid Bennu. Within 1 week of beginning its orbit of the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx was able to send back surprising images of the asteroid ejecting material. It’s extremely rocky surface also took researchers by surprise and forced a recalculation of the sample return portion of the craft’s mission. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: McDonalds; Parcast’s Natural Disasters podcast; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 05, 2019
Double dipping in an NIH loan repayment program, and using undersea cables as seismic sensors
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The National Institutes of Health’s largest loan repayment program was conceived to help scientists pay off school debts without relying on industry funding. But a close examination of the program by investigative correspondent Charles Piller has revealed that many participants are taking money from the government to repay their loans, while at the same time taking payments from pharmaceutical companies. Piller joins Host Sarah Crespi to talk about the steps he took to uncover this double dipping and why ethicists say this a conflict of interest.   Sarah also talks with Nate Lindsey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, about turning a 50-meter undersea fiber optic cable designed to move data into a sensor for activity in the ocean and the land underneath. During a 4-day test in Monterey Bay, California, the cable detected earthquakes, faults, waves, and even ocean-going storms.   For this month’s books segment, Kiki Sandford talks with Dan Hooper about his book At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds.   You can find more books segments on the Books et al. blog.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Ads on this week’s show: McDonalds; Salk’s Where Cures Begin podcast   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 28, 2019
Building a landslide observatory, and the universality of music
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You may have seen the aftermath of a landslide, driving along a twisty mountain road—a scattering of rocks and scree impinging on the pavement. And up until now, that’s pretty much how scientists have tracked landslides—roadside observations and spotty satellite images. Now, researchers are hoping to track landslides systematically by instrumenting an entire national park in Taiwan. The park is riddled with landslides—so much so that visitors wear helmets. Host Sarah Crespi talks with one of those visitors—freelance science journalist Katherine Kornei—about what we can learn from landslides. In a second rocking segment, Sarah also talks with Manvir Singh about the universality of music. His team asked the big questions in a Science paper out this week: Do all societies make music? What are the common elements that can be picked out from songs worldwide? Sarah and Manvir listen to songs and talk about what love ballads and lullabies have in common, regardless of their culture of origin. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; KiwiCo; McDonalds Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Martin Lewinson/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 21, 2019
How to make an Arctic ship ‘vanish,’ and how fast-moving spikes are heating the Sun’s atmosphere
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The Polarstern research vessel will spend 1 year locked in an Arctic ice floe. Aboard the ship and on the nearby ice, researchers will take measurements of the ice, air, water, and more in an effort to understand this pristine place. Science journalist Shannon Hall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about her time aboard the Polarstern and how difficult these measurements are, when the researchers’ temporary Arctic home is the noisiest, smokiest, brightest thing around. After that icy start, Sarah talks also with Tanmoy Samanta, a postdoctoral researcher at Peking University in Beijing, about the source of the extreme temperature of the Sun’s corona, which can be up to 1 million K hotter than the surface of the Sun. His team’s careful measurements of spicules—small, plentiful, short-lived spikes of plasma that constantly ruffle the Sun’s surface—and the magnetic networks that seem to generate these spikes, suggest a solution to the long-standing problem of how spicules arise and, at the same time, their likely role in the heating of the corona. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Shannon Hall; Music: Jeffrey Cook] See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 14, 2019