Science Magazine Podcast

By Science Magazine

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Subscribers: 3104
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
Can wolves form close bonds with humans, and termites degrade wood faster as the world warms
1514

On this week’s show: Comparing human-dog bonds with human-wolf bonds, and monitoring termite decay rates on a global scale

First up on the podcast this week, Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Sarah Crespi about the bonds between dogs and their human caretakers. Is it possible these bonds started even before domestication?

Also this week, Sarah talks with Amy Zanne, professor and Aresty endowed chair in tropical ecology in the Department of Biology at the University of Miami. They discuss a global study to determine whether climate change might accelerate the rate at which termites and microbes break down dead wood and release carbon into the atmosphere.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Christina Hansen Wheat; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: Björk, a female wolf, with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade9777 

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 22, 2022
Testing planetary defenses against asteroids, and building a giant ‘water machine’
1602

On this week’s show: NASA’s unprecedented asteroid-deflection mission, and making storage space for fresh water underground in Bangladesh

First up on the podcast this week, News Intern Zack Savitsky joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the upcoming NASA mission, dubbed the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, that aims to ram a vending machine–size spacecraft into an asteroid and test out ideas about planetary defense.

Also this week, Sarah talks with Mohammad Shamsudduha, an associate professor in humanitarian science at University College London’s Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. He explains how millions of individual farmers in Bangladesh are creating the “Bengal water machine,” a giant underground sponge to soak up fresh water during monsoon season.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: SW Photography/Getty; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: photo of agricultural fields and a big river at sunset in the city of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Zack Savitsky

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade8885 

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 15, 2022
Why the fight against malaria has stalled in southern Africa, and how to look for signs of life on Mars
1413

On this week’s show: After years of steep declines, researchers are investigating why malaria deaths have plateaued, and testing the stability of biosignatures in space

First up on the podcast this week, freelance science journalist Leslie Roberts joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why malaria deaths have plateaued in southern Africa, despite years of declines in deaths and billions of dollars spent. Leslie visited Mozambique on a global reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center where researchers are investigating the cause of the pause.

Also this week, producer Kevin McLean talks with astrobiologists Mickael Baqué and Jean-Pierre de Vera of the German Aerospace Center. They discuss their Science Advances paper about an experiment on the International Space Station looking at the stability of biosignatures in space and what that means for our search for life on Mars.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: enhanced-color image of Mars’ Jezero crater was taken by NASA’s Perseverance with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Leslie Roberts; Kevin McLean

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade7839

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 08, 2022
Using free-floating DNA to find soldiers’ remains, and how people contribute to indoor air chemistry
2385

On this week’s show: The U.S. government is partnering with academics to speed up the search for more than 80,000 soldiers who went missing in action, and how humans create their own “oxidation zone” in the air around them

First up on the podcast this week, Tess Joosse is a former news intern here at Science and is now a freelance science journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. Tess talks with host Sarah Crespi about attempts to use environmental DNA—free-floating DNA in soil or water—to help locate the remains of soldiers lost at sea.

Also featured in this segment:

Also this week, Nora Zannoni, a postdoctoral researcher in the atmospheric chemistry department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, talks about people’s contributions to indoor chemistry. She chats with Sarah about why it’s important to go beyond studying the health effects of cleaning chemicals and gas stoves to explore how humans add their own bodies’ chemicals and reactions to the air we breathe.

In a sponsored segment from Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for Custom Publishing, interviews Benedetto Marelli, associate professor at MIT, about winning the BioInnovation Institute & Science Prize for Innovation and how he became an entrepreneur.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Jeremy Borrelli/East Carolina University; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: a scuba diver underwater near a World War II wreck off Saipan with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Tess Joosse

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade6771

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 01, 2022
Chasing Arctic cyclones, brain coordination in REM sleep, and a book on seafood in the information age
2045

On this week’s show: Monitoring summer cyclones in the Arctic, how eye movements during sleep may reflect movements in dreams, and the latest in our series of books on the science of food and agriculture.

First up on the podcast this week, Deputy News Editor Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the first airborne campaign to study summer cyclones over the Arctic and what the data could reveal about puzzling air-ice interactions. 

Next on the show, Sarah talks with Yuta Senzai, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, about his paper on what coordinated eye movement and brain activity reveal about the neurology of rapid eye movement sleep.

Also on the show this week, a fishy installment of our series of books on the science of food and agriculture. Host Angela Saini interviews writer and editor Nicholas Sullivan about his latest book The Blue Revolution: Hunting, Harvesting, and Farming Seafood in the Information Age.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using VIIRS data; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: photo from space of an epic 2012 Arctic cyclone with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Eric Hand; Angela Saini

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade5525

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 25, 2022
Monitoring a nearby star’s midlife crisis, and the energetic cost of chewing
1489

On this week’s show: An analog to the Maunder Minimum, when the Sun’s spots largely disappeared 400 years ago, and measuring the energy it takes to chew gum

We have known about our Sun’s spots for centuries, and tracking this activity over time revealed an 11-year solar cycle with predictable highs and lows. But sometimes these cycles just seem to stop, such as in the Maunder Minimum—a 70-year period from 1645 to 1715 with little or no sunspot activity. News Intern Zack Savitsky joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a nearby star that appears to have entered a similar quiet period, and what we can learn from it about why stars take naps.

Also this week on the show, Adam van Casteren, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Manchester, joins Sarah to talk about measuring how much energy we use to chew up food. Based on the findings, it appears humans have turned out to be superefficient chewers—at least when it comes to the gum used in the study—with less than 1% of daily energy expenditure being spent on mastication.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA/SDO; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: photo of the largest sunspot from our latest solar cycle with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Zack Savitsky

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade4241

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 18, 2022
Cougars caught killing donkeys in Death Valley, and decoding the nose
1408

On this week’s show: Predators may be indirectly protecting Death Valley wetlands, and mapping odorant receptors 

First up this week on the podcast, News Intern Katherine Irving joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the first photos of cougars killing feral donkeys in Death Valley National Park. They also discuss the implications for native animals such as big horn sheep, and plans to remove donkeys from the park.

Also this week on the show, Paul Feinstein, professor of biology in the department of biological science at Hunter College, discusses a Science Signaling paper on a new approach to matching up smell receptors with smells—a long-standing challenge in olfaction research.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Angel Di Bilio/iStock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: photo of a burro on a hillside near Death Valley with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Katherine Irving

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade3366 

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 11, 2022
Invasive grasses get help from fire, and a global map of ant diversity
1448

On this week’s show: A special issue on grass, and revealing hot spots of ant diversity

This week’s special issue on grasses mainly focuses on the importance of these plants in climate change, in ecosystems, on land, and in the water. But for the podcast, Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about their dark side: invasive grasses that feed fires and transform ecosystems.

Also this week on the show, Evan Economo, a professor in the biodiversity and biocomplexity unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, joins Sarah to discuss his Science Advances paper on creating a worldwide map of ant diversity. Such maps help us better understand where vertebrate and invertebrate diversity do and don’t overlap and what this means for conservation. If you want to explore the data, you can see them at antmaps.org

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NTPFES; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: grassland fire in Northern Australia with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Warren Cornwall  

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade2512

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Aug 04, 2022
Probing beyond our Solar System, sea pollinators, and a book on the future of nutrition
2315

On this week’s show: Plans to push a modern space probe beyond the edge of the Solar System, crustaceans that pollinate seaweed, and the latest in our series of author interviews on food, science, and nutrition

After visiting the outer planets in the 1980s, the twin Voyager spacecraft have sent back tantalizing clues about the edge of our Solar System and what lies beyond. Though they may have reached the edge of the Solar System or even passed it, the craft lack the instruments to tell us much about the interstellar medium—the space between the stars. Intern Khafia Choudhary talks with Contributing Correspondent Richard Stone about plans to send a modern space probe outside the Solar System and what could be learned from such a mission.

Next up on the show, Myriam Valero, a population geneticist at the evolutionary biology and ecology of algae research department at Sorbonne University, talks with host Sarah Crespi about how a little crustacean might help fertilize a species of algae. If the seaweed in the study does use a marine pollinator, it suggests there may have been a much earlier evolutionary start for pollination partnerships.

Finally, we have the next in our series on books exploring the science of food and agriculture. This month, host Angela Saini talks with biochemist T. Colin Campbell about his book The Future of Nutrition: An Insider’s Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting It Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right.

 

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

 

[Image: Johns Hopkins APL/Mike Yakovlev; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

[alt: illustration of an interstellar probe crossing the boundary of the heliosphere with podcast symbol overlay]

 

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Rich Stone; Angela Saini; Khafia Choudhary

 

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LINKS FOR MP3 META

 

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade1292  

 

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 28, 2022
Possible fabrications in Alzheimer’s research, and bad news for life on Enceladus
2522

On this week’s show: Troubling signs of fraud threaten discoveries key to a reigning theory of Alzheimer’s disease, and calculating the saltiness of the ocean on one of Saturn’s moons

Investigative journalist Charles Piller joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles brought to light by a neuroscientist whistleblower.

Next, researcher Wan Ying Kang talks with Sarah about Saturn’s bizarre moon Enceladus. Kang’s group wrote in Science Advances about modeling the salinity of the global ocean tucked between the moon’s icy shell and solid core. Their findings spell bad news for potential habitability on Enceladus.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: Enceladus as viewed from Cassini with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Charles Piller

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade0384

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 21, 2022
The Webb Space Telescope’s first images, and why scratching sometimes makes you itchy
2025

On this week’s show: The first images from the James Webb Space Telescope hint at the science to come, and disentangling the itch-scratch cycle

After years of delays, the James Webb Space Telescope launched at the end of December 2021. Now, NASA has released a few of the first full-color images captured by the instrument’s enormous mirror. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss these first images and what they mean for the future of science from Webb.

Next on the podcast, Jing Feng, principal investigator at the Center for Neurological and Psychiatric Research and Drug Discovery at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’s Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, discusses his Science Translational Medicine paper on why scratching sometimes triggers itching. It turns out, in cases of chronic itch there can be a miswiring in the skin. Cells that normally detect light touch instead connect with nerve fibers that convey a sensation of itchiness. This miswiring means light touches (such as scratching) are felt as itchiness—contributing to a vicious itch-scratch cycle.

Also this week, in a sponsored segment from Science and the AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for the Custom Publishing Office, interviews Paul Bastard, chief resident in the department of pediatrics at the Necker Hospital for Sick Children in Paris and a researcher at the Imagine Institute in Paris and Rockefeller University. They talk about his work to shed light on susceptibility to COVID-19, which recently won him the Michelson Philanthropies & Science Prize for Immunology. This segment is sponsored by Michelson Philanthropies.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA; ESA; CSA; STSCI; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: James Webb Space Telescope image of image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.add9123

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 14, 2022
Running out of fuel for fusion, and addressing gender-based violence in India
1832

On this week’s show: A shortage of tritium fuel may leave fusion energy with an empty tank, and an attempt to improve police responsiveness to violence against women

First up this week on the podcast, Staff Writer Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new hurdle for fusion: not enough fuel. After decades of delays, scientists are almost ready to turn on the first fusion reactor that makes more energy than it uses, but the fast-decaying fuel needed to run the reactor is running out.

Also this week, we highlight an intervention aimed at increasing police responsiveness to gender-based violence in India. Sandip Sukhtankar, an economist at the University of Virginia, talks about creating dedicated spaces for women in local police stations, staffed by trained officers. The presence of these “help desks”—when staffed by women officers—increased the recording by police of crimes against women, opening up access to social services and possibly a path to justice.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE SOURCE; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: The interior of the ITER fusion megareactor (artist’s concept) with podcast overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.add8229 


About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 07, 2022
Former pirates help study the seas, and waves in the atmosphere can drive global tsunamis
1256

On this week’s show: A boost in research ships from an unlikely source, and how the 2022 Tonga eruption shook earth, water, and air around the world

For decades, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society caused controversy on the high seas; now it’s turning its patrolling ships into research vessels. Online News Editor David Grimm discusses how this change of heart came about with host Sarah Crespi.

Also this week, how atmospheric waves can push tsunamis around the globe. Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Emily Brodsky, an earthquake physicist at University of California, Santa Cruz, about data from a multitude of sensors showing how waves in the air drove the fast-moving tsunamis that raced around the planet after the January Hunga eruption in Tonga.

Read the related papers:

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA Earth Observatory; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai eruption as seen from space with podcast overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; David Grimm

Episode page: https://www.science.org/content/podcast/former-pirates-help-study-seas-and-waves-atmosphere-can-drive-global-tsunamis

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 30, 2022
Using waste to fuel airplanes, nature-based climate solutions, and a book on Indigenous conservation
2550

On this week’s show: Whether biofuels for planes will become a reality, mitigating climate change by working with nature, and the second installment of our book series on the science of food and agriculture

First this week, Science Staff Writer Robert F. Service talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about sustainable aviation fuel, a story included in Science’s special issue on climate change. Researchers have been able to develop this green gas from materials such as municipal garbage and corn stalks. Will it power air travel in the future?

Also in the special issue this week, Nathalie Seddon, a professor of biodiversity at the University of Oxford, chats with host Sarah Crespi about the value of working with nature to support the biodiversity and resilience of our ecosystems. Seddon emphasizes that nature-based solutions alone cannot stop climate change—technological approaches and behavioral changes will also need to be implemented.

Finally, we have the second installment of our series of author interviews on the science of food and agriculture. Host and science journalist Angela Saini talks to Jessica Hernandez, an Indigenous environmental scientist and author of Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science. Hernandez’s book explores the failures of Western conservationism—and what we can learn about land management from Indigenous people.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: USDA NCRS Texas; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: cows in a forest]

Authors: Meagan Cantwell; Robert Service, Sarah Crespi, Angela Saini

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.add6320

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 23, 2022
A look at Long Covid, and why researchers and police shouldn’t use the same DNA kits
2339

On this week’s show: Tracing the roots of Long Covid, and an argument against using the same DNA markers for suspects in law enforcement and in research labs for cell lines

Two years into the pandemic, we’re still uncertain about the impact of Long Covid on the world—and up to 20% of COVID-19 patients might be at risk. First on the podcast this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to share a snapshot of the current state of Long Covid research, particularly what researchers think are likely causes.

Also this week, Debra Mathews, assistant director for science programs in the Berman Institute of Bioethics and associate professor of genetic medicine at Johns Hopkins University, talks with Sarah about why everyone using the same DNA kits—from FBI to Interpol to research labs—is a bad idea. 

Finally, in a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for custom publishing, interviews Bobby Soni, chief business officer at the BioInnovation Institute (BII), about what steps scientists can take to successfully commercialize their ideas. This segment is sponsored by BII.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: A. Mastin/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: illustration of potential causes for Long Covid ]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.add4887

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 16, 2022
Saving the Spix’s macaw, and protecting the energy grid
1788

Two decades after it disappeared in nature, the stunning blue Spix’s macaw will be reintroduced to its forest home, and lessons learned from Texas’s major power crisis in 2021

The Spix’s macaw was first described in scientific literature in 1819—200 years later it was basically poached to extinction in the wild. Now, collectors and conservationists are working together to reintroduce captive-bred birds into their natural habitat in northeastern Brazil. Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt discusses the recovery of this highly coveted and endangered parrot with host Sarah Crespi.

Also this week, in an interview from the AAAS annual meeting, Meagan Cantwell talks with Varun Rai, Walt and Elspth Rostow professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, about how to prepare energy grids to weather extreme events and climate change.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: PATRICK PLEUL/PICTURE ALLIANCE VIA GETTY IMAGES; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: two blue Spix’s macaws with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kai Kupferschmidt; Meagan Cantwell

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.add3733

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 09, 2022
The historic Maya’s sophisticated stargazing knowledge, and whether there is a cost to natural cloning
1609

On this week’s show: Exploring the historic Maya’s astronomical knowledge and how grasshoppers clone themselves without decreasing their fitness

First this week, Science contributing correspondent Joshua Sokol talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about the historic Maya’s sophisticated astronomical knowledge. In recent decades, researchers have set out to understand how city structures relate to astronomical phenomena and decipher ancient texts. Now, collaboration between Western scholars and living Indigenous people hopes to further illuminate the field.

Also this week, Mike Kearney, a professor at the school of biosciences at the University of Melbourne, chats with host Sarah Crespi about a species of grasshopper that can reproduce asexually. After studying the insect’s genetics, Kearney and his group didn’t find harmful mutations—or traits that made the grasshopper better adapted to its environment than the two species of grasshopper it hybridized from. Kearney and his team suggest this way of reproducing might not be rare because it’s harmful, but because most animal have safeguards in place to prevent asexual reproduction from arising.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Sergio Montúfar/pinceladasnocturnas.com—Estrellas Ancestrales “Astronomy in the Maya Worldview”; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Authors: Meagan Cantwell; Joshua Sokol; Sarah Crespi

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.add3058 

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 02, 2022
Saying farewell to Insight, connecting the microbiome and the brain, and a book on agriculture in Africa
2263

What we learned from a seismometer on Mars, why it’s so difficult to understand the relationship between our microbes and our brains, and the first in our series of books on the science of food and agriculture

First up this week, freelance space journalist Jonathan O’Callaghan  joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the retirement of NASA’s Mars InSight lander. After almost 4 years of measuring quakes on the surface of the Red Planet, the  lander’s solar panels are getting too dusty to continue providing power. O'Callaghan  and Crespi look back at the insights  that InSight has given us about Mars’s interior, and they talk about where else in the Solar System it might make sense to place a seismometer.

Also this week, we have a special issue on the body’s microbiome beyond the gut. As part of the special issue, John Cryan, principal investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork, wrote a commentary piece  on tightening the connections research has made between microbes and the brain—the steps needed to go from seeing connections to understanding how the microbiome might be tweaked to change what’s happening in the brain.

Finally this week, we have the first installment of our series of author interviews  on the science of food and agriculture. In this inaugural segment, host and science journalist Angela Saini talks to Ousmane Badiane, an expert on agricultural policy and development in Africa, and a co-author of Food For All In Africa: Sustainable Intensification for African Farmers, a 2019 book looking at the possibilities and reality of sustainable intensive farming in Africa.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Illustration: Hannah Agosta; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: overlapping drawings of microbial populations]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jonathan O’Callaghan; Angela Saini

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.10.1126/science.add1406

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 26, 2022
Seeing the Milky Way’s central black hole, and calling dolphins by their names
2477

On this week’s show: The shadow of Milky Way’s giant black hole has been seen for the first time, and bottlenose dolphins recognize each other by signature whistles—and tastes 

It’s been a few years since the first image of a black hole was published—that of the supermassive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy came about in 2019. Now, we have a similar image of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way—our very own galaxy. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why these images look so much alike, even though M87’s black hole is 1600 times larger than ours. We also discuss what’s next for the telescope that captured these shots.

Also this week, we take to the seas. Bottlenose dolphins are known to have a “signature whistle” they use to announce their identity to other dolphins. This week in Science Advances, Jason Bruck and colleagues write about how they may also recognize other dolphins through another sense: taste. Jason, an assistant professor in the department of biology at Stephen F. Austin State University, talks with Sarah about what this means for dolphin minds.

In a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor, interviews Gary Michelson, founder and co-chair of Michelson Philanthropies, about the importance of supporting research in the field of immunology—and where that support should be directed. This segment is sponsored by Michelson Philanthropies.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Dolphin Quest ; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: bottlenose dolphin peeking its head out of the water with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.add0515

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 19, 2022
Fixing fat bubbles for vaccines, and preventing pain from turning chronic
1649

On this week’s show: Lipid nanoparticles served us well as tiny taxis delivering millions of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, but they aren’t optimized—yet, and why we might need inflammation to stop chronic pain

The messenger RNA payload of the mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is wrapped up in little fatty packets called lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). These fat bubbles were originally designed for something much different—carrying molecules into cells to silence genes. But they were useful and we were in a hurry, so not much was changed about them when they were pressed into service against COVID-19. Science journalist Elie Dolgin talks with host Sarah Crespi about ongoing efforts to improve LNPs as a delivery system for mRNA vaccines and therapeutic treatments.

Next on the show, we hear about “pain chronification.” Have you ever thought about chronic pain? What happens in the body when it heals—no specific thing is broken—but the pain never subsides? Sarah chats with Luda Diatchenko, professor on the faculties of medicine and dentistry at McGill University, about her Science Translational Medicine paper on the need for inflammation to prevent pain chronification

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: V. Altounian/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: lipid nanoparticle illustration with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Elie Dolgin

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adc9455

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

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May 12, 2022
Staking out the start of the Anthropocene, and why sunscreen is bad for coral
1288

On this week’s show: Geoscientists eye contenders for where to mark the beginning of the human-dominated geological epoch, and how sunscreen turns into photo toxin

We live in the Anthropocene: an era on our planet that is dominated by human activity to such an extent that the evidence is omnipresent in the soil, air, and even water. But how do we mark the start? Science Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how geoscientists are choosing the one place on Earth that best shows the advent of the Anthropocene, the so-called “golden spike.”

 

Also this week, Djordje Vuckovic, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, joins Sarah to talk about how sunscreen threatens coral reefs. Reefs are under a lot of stress these days, from things like warming waters, habitat destruction, and the loss of their fishy friends to voracious fishermen. Another suspected stressor is chemical sunscreens, which drift off swimming tourists. It turns out that common chemicals in sunscreen that protect skin from the Sun are modified by sea anemones and corals into a photo toxin that damages them when exposed to the Sun’s rays.

 

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

 

[Image: Amanda Tinoco; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

[alt: photo of healthy corals at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia with podcast symbol overlay]

 

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen

 

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May 05, 2022
Using quantum tools to track dark matter, why rabies remains, and a book series on science and food
2539

On this week’s show: How physicists are using quantum sensors to suss out dark matter, how rabies thwarts canine vaccination campaigns, and a kickoff for our new series with authors of books on food, land management, and nutrition science

Dark matter hunters have turned to quantum sensors to find elusive subatomic particles that may exist outside physicists’ standard model. Adrian Cho, a staff writer for Science, joins host Sarah Crespi to give a tour of the latest dark matter particle candidates—and the traps that physicists are setting for them.

Next, we hear from Katie Hampson, a professor in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, about her work contact tracing rabies in Tanzania. Her group was able to track rabies in a population of 50,000 dogs over 14 years. The massive study gives new insight into how to stop a virus that circulates at superlow levels but keeps popping up, despite vaccine campaigns.

Finally, we launch our 2022 books series on food and agriculture. In six interviews, which will be released monthly for the rest of the year, host and science journalist Angela Saini will speak to authors of recent books on topics from Indigenous land management to foods that are going extinct. This month, Angela talks with Lenore Newman, director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, who helped select the books for the series.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Suzanne McNabb; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: Dogs in Tanzania with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Angela Saini, Adrian Cho

Episode page: https://www.science.org/content/podcast/using-quantum-tools-track-dark-matter-why-rabies-remains-and-book-series-science-and

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Apr 28, 2022
Protecting birds from brightly lit buildings, and controlling robots from orbit
2279

On this week’s show: Saving birds from city lights, and helping astronauts inhabit robots

First up, Science Contributing Correspondent Josh Sokol talks with host Sarah Crespi about the millions of migrating birds killed every year when they slam into buildings—attracted by brightly lit windows. New efforts are underway to predict bird migrations and dim lights along their path, using a bird-forecasting system called .

Next, we hear from Aaron Pereira, a researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and a guest researcher at the human robot interaction lab at the European Space Agency. He chats with Sarah about his Science Robotics paper on controlling a robot on Earth from the International Space Station and the best way for an astronaut to “immerse” themselves in a rover or make themselves feel like it is an extension of their body. 

In a sponsored segment from Science and the AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for custom publishing, interviews Alberto Pugliese, professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the University of Miami, about a program he leads to advance research into type 1 diabetes. This segment is sponsored by the Helmsley Charitable Trust and nPod (the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes).

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: M. Panzirsch et al., Science Robotics (2022); Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: remote-controlled rover with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Josh Sokol

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abq5907

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 21, 2022
Desert ‘skins’ drying up, and one of the oldest Maya calendars
1480

On this week’s show: Climate change is killing critical soil organisms in arid regions, and early evidence for the Maya calendar from a site in Guatemala

Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how climate change is affecting “biocrust,” a thin layer of fungi, lichens, and other microbes that sits on top of desert soil, helping retain water and create nutrients for rest of the ecosystem. Recent measurements in Utah suggest the warming climate is causing a decline in the lichen component of biocrust, which is important for adding nitrogen into soils.

Next, Sarah talks with Skidmore College anthropologist Heather Hurst, who directs Guatemala’s San Bartolo-Xultun Regional Archaeological Project, and David Stuart, a professor of art history and director of the Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas, Austin, about their new Science Advances paper. The study used radiocarbon dating to pin down the age of one of the earliest pieces of the Maya calendar. Found in an archaeological dig in San Bartolo, Guatemala, the character known as “seven deer” (which represents a day in the Maya calendar), was dated to 300 B.C.E. That early appearance challenges what researchers know about the age and origins of the Maya dating system.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Heather Hurst; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: Ixbalamque painting from San Barolo, Guatemala, with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Liz Pennisi

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abq4848

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

 

 

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Apr 14, 2022
A surprisingly weighty fundamental particle, and surveying the seas for RNA viruses
1439

On this week’s show: A new measurement of the W boson could challenge physicists’ standard model, and an abundance of marine RNA viruses

Staff Writer Adrian Cho joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new threat to the standard model of particle physics—a heavier than expected measurement of a fundamental particle called the W boson. They chat about how this measurement was taken, and what it means if it is right.

Next, Sarah talks about the microscopic denizens of Earth’s oceans with Ahmed Zayed, a research scientist in the department of microbiology at Ohio State University, Columbus. They talk about findings from a global survey of marine RNA viruses. The results double the number of known RNA viruses, suggesting new classifications will be needed to categorize all this viral diversity.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: A. Mastin/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: illustration of three RNA viruses with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Adrian Cho

Episode page:  https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abq3391

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 07, 2022
Probing Earth’s mysterious inner core, and the most complete human genome to date
1513

On this week’s show: A journey to the center of the center of the Earth, and what was missing from the first human genome project

Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the many mysteries surrounding the innermost part of our planet—from its surprisingly recent birth to whether it spins faster or slower than the rest of the planet.

Next, Sarah chats with Adam Phillippy about the results from the Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) Consortium, an effort to create a complete and detailed read of the human genome. Phillippy, a senior investigator and head of the Genome Informatics Section at the National Human Genome Research Institute, explains what we can learn by topping up the human genome with roughly 200 more megabases of genetic information—practically a whole chromosome’s worth of additional sequencing.

See all the T2T papers.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: V. Altounian/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: An array of the human chromosomes showing newly sequenced parts from the Telomere-to-Telomere Consortium with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abq1885

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 31, 2022
Scientists become targets on social media, and battling space weather
1629

On this week’s show: Why it’s tougher than ever to be a researcher on Twitter, and a highlight from this year’s AAAS Annual Meeting

First up, Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady talks with host Sarah Crespi about the harassment that COVID-19 researchers are facing and a survey conducted by Science that shows more media exposure is linked to higher levels of abuse.

Next, producer Meagan Cantwell shares another interview from this year’s AAAS Annual Meeting. She talks with Delores Knipp, a research professor in the Ann and H.J. Smead aerospace engineering sciences department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, about what happens when our well-behaved Sun behaves badly.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: SkyLab 4/NASA; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: solar flare image taken from Skylab 4]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Cathleen O'Grady

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adb2091

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 24, 2022
The challenges of testing medicines during pregnancy, and when not paying attention makes sense
1671

On this week’s show: Getting pregnant people into clinical trials, and tracking when mice aren’t paying attention

First up, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how scientists can overcome the lack of research on drug safety in pregnancy.

Next, Nikola Grujic, a Ph.D. student at the Institute for Neuroscience at ETH Zürich, talks about rational inattention in mice and how it helps explain why our brains notice certain things—and miss others.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Stefan Rotter/iStock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: rodent peering out of a hole]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adb2037

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 17, 2022
Monitoring wastewater for SARS-CoV-2, and looking back at the biggest questions about the pandemic
1841

On this week’s show: We have highlights from a special COVID-19 retrospective issue on lessons learned after 2 years of the pandemic

First up, Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what scientists have learned from scanning sewage for COVID-19 RNA. And now that so many wastewater monitoring stations are in place—what else can we do with them? 

Next, we have researcher Katia Koelle, an associate professor of biology at Emory University. She wrote a review on the evolving epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2: What have been the most important questions from epidemiologists over the course of the pandemic, and how can they help us navigate future pandemic threats?

Check out the full COVID-19 retrospective issue on lessons learned from the pandemic.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Stephan Schmitz/Folio Art; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: partially constructed bridge over water filled with giant SARS-CoV-2 viral particles]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Gretchen Vogel

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adb1867

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 10, 2022
A global treaty on plastic pollution, and a dearth of Black physicists
1164

On this week’s show: The ins and outs of the first global treaty on plastic pollution, and why the United States has so few Black physicists

First up, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the world’s first global treaty on plastics pollution–and the many questions that need answers to make it work. Read a related Policy Forum here.

Up next, we hear from some of more than 50 Black physicists interviewed for a special news package in Science about the barriers Black physicists face, and potential models for change drawing on a 2020 report that documents how the percentage of undergraduates physics degrees going to Black students has declined over the past 20 years.

In his excerpt, Willie Rockward, chair and professor of physics at Morgan State University, describes how a study group dubbed the “Black Hole” provided much-needed support for him and four colleagues who were part of the first cohort of Black graduate physics students at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Next, Fana Mulu-Moore, a physics and astronomy instructor at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, explains her ‘life-changing’ transition from research to teaching, and how it has given her a sense of purpose.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Carl Campbell/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: sheaves of plastic wrap photographed against a black background]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Erik Stokstad

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adb1765

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 03, 2022
Securing nuclear waste for 100,000 years, and the link between math literacy and life satisfaction
1882

On this week’s show: Finland puts the finishing touches on the world’s first high-level permanent nuclear repository, and why being good at math might make you both happy and sad

First up, freelance science journalist Sedeer El-Showk joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his visit to a permanent nuclear waste repository being built deep underground in Finland, and the technology—and political maneuvering—needed to secure the site for 100,000 years.

Also this week, Pär Bjälkebring, a senior lecturer in the department of psychology at the University of Gothenburg, talks with Sarah on the sidelines of the 2022 annual meeting of AAAS (publisher of Science) about the link between numeracy—math literacy—income, and life satisfaction. Bjälkebring took part in the AAAS panel Decision-Making with Large Numbers and Its Underlying Psychological Mechanisms on 19 February. Learn more about the 2022 AAAS meeting here.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Tapani Karjanlahti/TVO; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: photograph of a digging machine inside a giant cave]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Sedeer El-Showk

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ada1534

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 24, 2022
COVID-19’s long-term impact on the heart, and calculating the survival rate of human artifacts
1434

On this week’s show: A giant study suggests COVID-19 takes a serious toll on heart health—a full year after recovery, and figuring out what percentage of ancient art, books, and even tools has survived the centuries 

First up, Staff Writer Meredith Wadman talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new study that looked at more than 150,000 COVID-19 patient records and found increases in risk for 20 different cardiovascular conditions 1 year after recovery.

Also this week we have Mike Kestemont, an associate professor in the department of literature at the University of Antwerp, talking about an estimate of how much of antiquity has endured

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: illuminated manuscript page showing a giant R, plus a person and some writing]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meredith Wadman

Episode page:  https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ada1311

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 17, 2022
Merging supermassive black holes, and communicating science in the age of social media
1641

On this week’s show: What we can learn from two supermassive black holes that appear to be on a collision course with each other, and the brave new online world in which social media dominates and gatekeeps public access to scientific information

First up, Staff Writer Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about the possibly imminent merger of two supermassive black holes in a nearby galaxy. How imminent? We might see a signal as early as 100 days from now. 

Also, this week we have a special section on science and social media. In her contribution, Dominique Brossard, professor and chair in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, talks about the shift in the source of scientific information away from traditional publishers, newspapers, etc. to social media platforms, and what it means for the future of science communication.

Finally, we share some tweets about the relationship of social media and science communication submitted by young readers in our Letters section. You can read our picks here or check out all the submissions on Twitter at #NextGenSci.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA’S GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: simulation of a pair of supermassive black holes on the cusp of merging]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

Episode page:  https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ada1028

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 10, 2022
Building a green city in a biodiversity hot spot, and live monitoring vehicle emissions
1200

On this week’s show: Environmental concerns over Indonesia building a new capital on Borneo, and keeping an eye on pollution as it comes out of the tailpipe

First up this week, Contributing Correspondent Dennis Normile talks with host Sarah Crespi about Indonesia’s plans for an ultragreen new capital city on the island of Borneo. Despite intentions to limit the environmental impact of the new urban center, many are concerned about unplanned growth surrounding the city which could threaten rare plants and animals.  

Also this week, John Zhou, professor of environmental engineering at the University of Technology Sydney talks with Sarah about his Science Advances paper on reducing pollution from cars and trucks by live monitoring vehicle emissions using remote sensors.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Malinda Rathnayake/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: cars on the road in a city at sunset]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Dennis Normile

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Feb 03, 2022
Fecal transplants in pill form, and gut bacteria that nourish hibernating squirrels
1430

On this week’s show: A pill derived from human feces treats recurrent gut infections, and how a squirrel’s microbiome supplies nitrogen during hibernation

First up this week, Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss putting the bacterial benefits of human feces in a pill. The hope is to avoid using fecal transplants to treat recurrent gut infections caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile.

Also this week, Hannah Carey, a professor in the department of comparative biosciences within the school of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, talks with Sarah about how ground squirrels are helped by their gut microbes during hibernation.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: illustration of two 13-lined ground squirrels]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kelly Servick

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ada0494

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Jan 27, 2022
    A window into live brains, and what saliva tells babies about human relationships
    1645

    On this week’s show: Ethical concerns rise with an increase in open brain research, and how sharing saliva can be a proxy for the closeness of a relationship

    Human brains are protected by our hard skulls, but these bony shields also keep researchers out. With brain surgeries and brain implants on the rise, scientists are getting more chances to explore living brains. Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the ethics of doing research on patients undergoing intense medical procedures, and the kinds of research being done.

    Also this week, Ashley Thomas, a postdoctoral researcher in the brain and cognitive science department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks about the meaning behind sharing saliva. Spend any time with a baby lately? Were you in awe—eager to cuddle, kiss, even change a diaper? Or were you slightly horrified by the drool and other fluids seeping out of this new human? Your feelings on the matter might depend on your closeness with the baby and—as Thomas and colleagues write this week in Sciencethe baby may notice which way you feel. According to their results, babies, like adults, seem to recognize sharing saliva—like sharing food and utensils or kissing—as a signal of close relationships.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Onfokus/Getty/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: baby chewing on a cellphone]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kelly Servick

    Episode page: http://www.science.org/content/podcast/window-live-brains-and-what-saliva-tells-babies-about-human-relationships 

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Jan 20, 2022
    Cloning for conservation, and divining dynamos on super-Earths
    1695

    On this week’s show: How cloning can introduce diversity into an endangered species, and ramping up the pressure on iron to see how it might behave in the cores of rocky exoplanets

    First up this week, News Intern Rachel Fritts talks with host Sarah Crespi about cloning a frozen ferret to save an endangered species.

    Also this week, Rick Kraus, a research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, talks about how his group used a powerful laser to compress iron to pressures similar to those found in the cores of some rocky exoplanets. If these super-Earths’ cores are like our Earth’s, they may have a protective magnetosphere that increases their chances of hosting life.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Kimberly Fraser/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: three baby black-footed ferrets being held by gloved hands]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Rachel Fritts

    Episode page:  https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.acz9974

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Jan 13, 2022
    Setting up a permafrost observatory, and regulating transmissible vaccines
    1661

    On this week’s show: Russia announces plans to monitor permafrost, and a conversation about the dangers of self-spreading engineered viruses and vaccines

    Science journalist Olga Dobrovidova joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about plans to set up a national permafrost observatory in Russia.

    Then Filippa Lentzos, senior lecturer in science and international security in the department of war studies and in the department of global health and social medicine, and co-director for the center for science and security at King’s College London, joins Sarah to discuss her Science commentary on the dangers of transmissible vaccines for controlling invasive species and viruses found in wildlife.  

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Евгений Ерыгин/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: person walking on snow at night in city of Norilsk, Russia]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Olga Dobrovidova

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Jan 06, 2022
    Top online stories, the state of marijuana research, and Afrofuturism
    2526

    On this week’s show: The best of our online stories, what we know about the effects of cannabinoids, and the last in our series of books on race and science

    First, Online News Editor David Grimm brings the top online stories of the year—from headless slugs to Dyson spheres. You can find out the other top stories and the most popular online story of the year here.

    Then, Tibor Harkany, a professor of molecular neuroscience at the Medical University of Vienna’s Center for Brain Research, talks with host Sarah Crespi about the state of marijuana research. Pot has been legalized in many places, and many people take cannabinoids—but what do we know about the effects of these molecules on people? Tibor calls for more research into their helpful and harmful potential. 

    Finally, we have the very last installment of our series of books on race and science. Books host Angela Saini talks with physician and science fiction author Tade Thompson about his book Rosewater. Listen to the whole series.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Biodiversity Heritage Library/Flickr/Public Domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: illustration of a wombat]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm; Angela Saini

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Dec 23, 2021
    The Breakthrough of the year show, and the best of science books
    1838

    Every year Science names its top breakthrough of the year and nine runners up. Online News Editor Catherine Matacic joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what Science’s editors consider some of the biggest innovations of 2021.

    Also this week, Books Editor Valerie Thompson shares her list of top science books for the year—from an immunology primer by a YouTuber, to a contemplation of the universe interwoven with a close up look at how the science sausage is made.

    Books on Valerie’s list:

    Listen to last year’s books round up.

    List of this year’s top science books for kids.

     

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Valerie Altounian/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: golden protein confetti]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Catherine Matacic; Valerie Thompson

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Dec 16, 2021
    Tapping fiber optic cables for science, and what really happens when oil meets water
    1355

    Geoscientists are turning to fiber optic cables as a means of measuring seismic activity. But rather than connecting them to instruments, the cables are the instruments. Joel Goldberg talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about tapping fiber optic cables for science.

    Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Sylvie Roke, a physicist and chemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, and director of its Laboratory for fundamental BioPhotonics, about the place where oil meets water. Despite the importance of the interaction between the hydrophobic and the hydrophilic to biology, and to life, we don’t know much about what happens at the interface of these substances.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Artography/Shutterstock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: oil droplets and water]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen; Joel Goldberg

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.acx9771

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Dec 09, 2021
    The ethics of small COVID-19 trials, and visiting an erupting volcano
    1454

    There has been so much research during the pandemic—an avalanche of preprints, papers, and data—but how much of it is any good? Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the value of poorly designed research on COVID-19 and more generally. 

    In September, the volcano Cumbre Vieja on Spain’s Canary Islands began to erupt. It is still happening. The last time it erupted was back in 1971, so we don’t know much about the features of the past eruption or the signs it was coming. Marc-Antoine Longpré, a volcanologist and associate professor at Queens College, City University of New York, discusses the ongoing eruption with Sarah and what today’s sensors tell us about what happens when this volcano wakes up.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Eduardo Robaina; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: The eruption of Cumbre Vieja, September 2021]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Cathleen O’Grady

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Dec 02, 2021
    Why trees are making extra nuts this year, human genetics and viral infections, and a seminal book on racism and identity
    2563

    Have you noticed the trees around you lately—maybe they seem extra nutty? It turns out this is a “masting” year, when trees make more nuts, seeds, and pinecones than usual. Science Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the many mysteries of masting years. 

    Next, Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Jean-Laurent Casanova, a professor at Rockefeller University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, about his review article on why some people are more vulnerable to severe disease from viral infections. This is part of a special issue on inflammation in Science.

    Finally, in this month’s book segment on race and science, host Angela Saini talks with author Beverly Daniel Tatum about her seminal 2003 book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: LensOfDan/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: Pile of acorns]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Angela Saini

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    Nov 25, 2021
    Wildfires could threaten ozone layer, and vaccinating against tick bites
    1199

    Could wildfires be depleting the ozone all over again? Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the evidence from the Polarstern research ship for wildfire smoke lofting itself high into the stratosphere, and how it can affect the ozone layer once it gets there.

    Next, we talk ticks—the ones that bite, take blood, and can leave you with a nasty infection. Andaleeb Sajid, a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute, joins Sarah to talk about her Science Translational Medicine paper describing an mRNA vaccine intended to reduce the length of tick bites to before the pests can transmit diseases to a host.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Janice Haney Carr/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: digitally colorized scanning electron microscopic image of a grouping of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the causative agent of Lyme disease]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen

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    Nov 18, 2021
    The long road to launching the James Webb Space Telescope, and genes for a longer life span
    1413

    The James Webb Space Telescope was first conceived in the late 1980s. Now, more than 30 years later, it’s finally set to launch in December. After such a long a road, anticipation over what the telescope will contribute to astronomy is intense. Daniel Clery, a staff writer for Science, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what took so long and what we can expect after launch.

    You might have heard that Greenland sharks may live up to 400 years. But did you know that some Pacific rockfish can live to be more than 100? That’s true, even though other rockfish species only live about 10 years. Why such a range in life span? Greg Owens, assistant professor of biology at the University of Victoria, discusses his work looking for genes linked with longer life spans.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Tyson Rininger; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: Sebastes caurinus, the copper rockfish ]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

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    Nov 11, 2021
    The folate debate, and rewriting the radiocarbon curve
    1732

    Some 80 countries around the world add folic acid to their food supply to prevent birth defects that might happen because of a lack of the B vitamin—even among people too early in their pregnancies to know they are pregnant. This year, the United Kingdom decided to add the supplement to white flour. But it took almost 10 years of debate, and no countries in the European Union joined them in the change. Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the ongoing folate debate.

    Last year, a highly anticipated tool for dating ancient materials was released: a new updated radiocarbon calibration curve. The curve, which describes how much carbon-14 was in the atmosphere at different times in the past 55,000 years, is essential to figuring out the age of organic materials such as wood or leather. Sarah talks with Tim Heaton, senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sheffield, and Edouard Bard, a professor at the College of France, about how the curve was redrawn and what it means, both for archaeology and for our understanding of the processes that create radiocarbon in the first place—like solar flares and Earth’s magnetic fields.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Andrew Shiva/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: close-up photograph of layers in volcanic tephra]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meredith Wadman

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    Nov 04, 2021
    Sleeping without a brain, tracking alien invasions, and algorithms of oppression
    2387

    Simple animals like jellyfish and hydra, even roundworms, sleep. Without brains. Why do they sleep? How can we tell a jellyfish is sleeping? Staff Writer Liz Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what can be learned about sleep from these simple sleepers. The feature is part of a special issue on sleep this week in Science.

    Next is a look at centuries of alien invasions—or rather, invasive insects moving from place to place as humans trade across continents. Sarah talks with Matthew MacLachlan, a research economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, about his Science Advances paper on why insect invasions don’t always increase when trade does.

    Finally, a book on racism and the search algorithms. Books host Angela Saini for our series of interviews on race and science talks with Safiya Umoja Noble, a professor in the African American Studies and Information Studies departments at the University of California, Los Angeles, about her book: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image:  marcouliana/iStock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: brown marmorated stink bug pattern]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Liz Pennisi, Angela Saini

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    Oct 28, 2021
    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

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    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 Science special 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

     

     

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    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

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    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]

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    [Image: C. Bickel/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: folded RNA 3D structures]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Rachel Fritts

     

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    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

     

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    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

     

     

     

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    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.

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    [Image: Marquette LaForest/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Martin Enserink

     

     

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    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.

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    [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.

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    [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.

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    [Image: Irfan Rashid, Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Joel Goldberg; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

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    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.

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    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Holden Thorp; Valerie Thompson

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    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.

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    [Image: Aleth Lorne; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    ++

    Authors: Joel Goldberg; Sam Kean; Meagan Cantwell

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    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.

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    [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.

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    [Image: Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Belur Math/Amphan Cyclone Relief Services; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Sofia Moutinho

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    Jun 17, 2021
    Finding consciousness outside the brain, and using DNA to reunite families
    1562

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    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.

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    [Image: Bill Douthitt/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Ian Graber-Stiehl

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    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.

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    [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.

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    [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.

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    [Image: Samantha Dellaert/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Erik Stokstad; Sarah Crespi

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    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.

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    [Image: Caption: New Safe Confinement structure built over Chernobyl ruins; Credit: URBEX Hungary/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Rich Stone; Sarah Crespi

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    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.

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    [Image: Tracy Hall/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Cathleen O’Grady; Sarah Crespi

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    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.  

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    [Image: Shannon Dosemagen/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Warren Cornwall; Sarah Crespi

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    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.

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    [Image:Lewis Kelly/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Adrian Cho; Sarah Crespi

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    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.

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    [Image: (Text) Sculptor galaxy; (Image) ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA; Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Joshua Sokol; Sarah Crespi

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    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.

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    [Image: christopherhu/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Joel Goldberg; Meagan Cantwell

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    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. 

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    [Image:TerriAnneAllen/Unsplash ; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Yao Hua Law; Meagan Cantwell

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    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.

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    [Image: Singapore Esplanade/Travis/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kelly Servick

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    Mar 18, 2021
    Next-generation gravitational wave detectors, and sponges that soak up frigid oil spills
    1455

    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.

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    [Image: VLCC tanker Amoco Cadiz oil spill/Collection of Doug Helton/NOAA/NOS/ORR/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Adrian Cho

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    Mar 11, 2021
    The world’s oldest pet cemetery, and how eyeless worms can see color
    1167

    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.

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    [Image: HINRICH SCHULENBURG; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm

     

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    Mar 04, 2021
    Measuring Earth’s surface like never before, and the world’s fastest random number generator
    1344

    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.

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    [Image: Kyungduk Kim/Yale; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Julia Rosen

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    Feb 25, 2021
    All your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered, and a new theory on forming rocky planets
    1733

    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.

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    [Image: European Space Agency/Stuart Rankin/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jon Cohen

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    Feb 18, 2021
    Building Africa’s Great Green Wall, and using whale songs as seismic probess
    1312

    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.

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    [Image: Holly Gramazio/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Rachel Cernansky

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    Feb 11, 2021
    Looking back at 20 years of human genome sequencing
    2064

    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.

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    [Image: Holly Gramazio/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

     

    Authors: Sarah Crespi;

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    Feb 04, 2021
    Calculating the social cost of carbon, and listening to mole-rat chirps
    1343

    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.

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    [Image: Smithsonian’s National Zoo/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen

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    Jan 28, 2021
    Counting research rodents, a possible cause for irritable bowel syndrome, and spitting cobras
    1670

    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.

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    [Image: Rushen/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

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    Jan 21, 2021
    An elegy for Arecibo, and how our environments may change our behavior
    1405

    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.

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    [Image: University of Central Florida; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

     

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    Jan 14, 2021
    The uncertain future of North America’s ash trees, and organizing robot swarms
    1445

    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.

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    [Image: Donald Macauley/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

     

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Gabriel Popkin

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    Jan 07, 2021
    Areas to watch in 2021, and the living microbes in wildfire smoke
    1504

    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.

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    [Image: Christopher Michel/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Meagan Cantwell; Ann Gibbons; Jeffrey Mervis, Paul Voosen

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    Dec 31, 2020
    Breakthrough of the Year, top online news, and science book highlights
    2525

    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.

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    [Image: ISS Expedition 7 Crew/EOL/NASA; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm; Catherine Matacic; Valerie Thompson

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    Dec 17, 2020
    Making ecology studies replicable, and a turnaround for the Tasmanian devil
    1376

    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.

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    [Image: The Mammals of Australia, John Gould, 1804-1881/Biodiversity Library/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Cathleen O’Grady

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    Dec 10, 2020
    How the new COVID-19 vaccines work, and restoring vision with brain implants
    1303

    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?

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    Dec 03, 2020
    Keeping coronavirus from spreading in schools, why leaves fall when they do, and a book on how nature deals with crisis
    2383

    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.

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    [Image: Joe Cheng/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jennifer Couzin-Frankel

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    Nov 26, 2020
    Fish farming’s future, and how microbes compete for space on our face
    2316

    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. 

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    [Image: Erik Christensen/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook, Podington Bear]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Erik Stokstad

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    Nov 19, 2020
    How the human body handles extreme heat, and improvements in cooling clothes
    1418

    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.

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     ++Meta

     

    [Image: J. Bartlett Team Rubicon/BLM for USFS/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

     

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Elizabeth Pennisi

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    Nov 12, 2020
    What we can learn from a mass of black hole mergers, and ecological insights from 30 years of Arctic animal movements
    1683

    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.

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    [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

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    Nov 05, 2020
    Taking the politicians out of tough policy decisions; the late, great works of Charles Turner; and the science of cooking
    2646

    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.

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    Oct 29, 2020
    Early approval of a COVID-19 vaccine could cause ethical problems for other vax candidates, and ‘upcycling’ plastic bags
    1420

    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.

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    [Image: Zeev Barkan/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Jon Cohen

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    Oct 22, 2020
    Making sure American Indian COVID-19 cases are counted, and feeding a hungry heart
    1318

    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

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     ++Meta

    [Image OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Lizzie Wade

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    Oct 15, 2020