Science Vs

By Gimlet

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Category: Science & Medicine

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Subscribers: 10884
Reviews: 39


 Apr 5, 2020

Ev
 Mar 6, 2020
awesome show! the host is great, love the accent and point of view, balanced and super informative, I get news from the show, and listening to the older episodes not only holds up and the citations and facts are legit


 Nov 19, 2019


 Nov 16, 2019


 Nov 15, 2019

Description

There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to. This season we tackle football concussions, heartbreak, 5G networks, sleep, free healthcare, police use of force, asteroids and more.

Episode Date
Coronavirus: Is It Airborne?
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We’re hearing conflicting things about how the coronavirus spreads — is it through coughs and sneezes only? Or could it be floating in the air, infecting us as we walk down the street or go grocery shopping? We ask Dr. Rachael Jones, an industrial hygienist, and Dr. Zhi Ning, an environmental engineer.  Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/3aI1kAE This episode was produced by Rose Rimler, Wendy Zukerman, Michelle Dang, Meryl Horn, Sinduja Srinivasan, Laura Morris, and Meg Driscoll. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A big thanks to all the researchers that we got in touch with for this episode, including Prof. Natasha Crowcroft, Prof. Linsey Marr, Dr. Stephanie King, and Noah Miller. And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Apr 03, 2020
Coronavirus: Are Young People Safe?
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From the early days of this coronavirus outbreak, it’s looked like the disease is way worse for older people. But now we’re hearing more stories of younger folks getting really sick. What’s going on? Is this virus scarier for younger people than we thought? We hear from a Gen-Xer who landed in the hospital with Covid-19, and we talk to immunologist Professor Vincent Racaniello. Also: THE HIGHEST MOUSE! We’ve set up a voicemail to collect all of your questions about coronavirus. Or if you’re a healthcare worker with a personal story you want to share, please call ‪(774) 481-1238‬ and leave us a message. Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/3dILR5i  And you can check out the video of the mouse that breaks the record for high-altitude living: https://go.unl.edu/f8tx. This episode was produced by Michelle Dang, Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn, Laura Morris, Meg Driscoll and Sinduja Srinivasan. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Lexi Krupp. Mix and sound design by Haley Shaw. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A big thanks to all the researchers that we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Helen Petousis-Harris. Thanks also to Anna and Daniel Schuchman, Lauren Dulay, Maggie Kaltwasser, Adria Mallett, Holly Ryan, and Ash Tilbury. And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 31, 2020
Coronavirus: Will Chloroquine Save Us?
1522
President Trump says an anti-malarial drug could be a “gift from god” for treating Covid-19. Does it really work? And is it dangerous? We talk to toxicologist Professor Daniel Brooks, infectious disease specialist Dr. Matthew Pullen, and microbiologist Professor Karla Satchell. Also: VAMPIRE BATS! We’ve set up a voicemail to collect all of your questions about Coronavirus. Or if you’re a healthcare worker with a personal story you want to share, please call ‪(774) 481-1238‬ and leave us a message. Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/2xu4ER8 This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, Michelle Dang, Laura Morris, Meg Driscoll and Sinduja Srinivasan. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Eva Dasher. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. Thanks to the NBC News Archives. A big thanks to all the researchers that we got in touch with for this episode, including Professor Thomas Doerner, Dr Hue, Professor David Boulware, Dr. Anne Melzer. And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 27, 2020
Coronavirus: Unmasking the Facts and Ibuprofen Scares
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Healthcare workers across the U.S. are saying they don’t have enough protective gear to keep them safe against the coronavirus. They’re having to reuse masks, and they’re worried that they may have to resort to homemade cloth masks. Is all this safe? Plus, reports are saying that ibuprofen, the stuff in Advil, is making people with coronavirus sicker. But what does the science say? To find out we spoke to infectious disease expert Professor Raina MacIntyre, industrial hygienist Dr. Rachael Jones, public health researcher Professor Carlos Del Rio, and cardiologist Dr. Yogendra Kanthi.  Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/3agVF4i Selected References The best study we could find on cloth masks: https://bit.ly/3bmRHaI  Study showing that N95 masks are best for healthcare workers: https://bit.ly/2xfvKLT  The Lancet letter theorizing about why ibuprofen might be risky: https://bit.ly/2QEDFt6    This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, Michelle Dang, Laura Morris and Sinduja Srinivasan. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Lexi Krupp. Mix and sound design by Catherine Anderson. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A big thanks to all the researchers and healthcare workers that we got in touch with for this episode, including Professor Paul Little, Dr Kirsty Short, Siyab Panhwar, and Ayman Saeyeldin. And special thanks to Meg Driscoll, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 24, 2020
Coronavirus: A Story From the Front Lines
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As Covid-19 cases rise in the U.S., healthcare workers are already struggling to keep up. In a different kind of episode, we bring you an interview with Dr. Antoinette Ward, who is leading Covid-19 testing at a major hospital in Atlanta — and finding ways to treat the rapidly increasing number of patients. This interview comes from iHeartRadio’s The Women. For more stories from those on the front lines, listen here: http://bit.ly/TheWomenPodcast Here’s a link to the transcript: https://bit.ly/3bczJHW   This episode was mixed by Adriene Lilly and Peter Leonard. Special thanks to Sonya Green, Gail Reid, and Jen Shipon. Fact checking by Lexi Krupp.
Mar 19, 2020
Coronavirus: What Should You Do Now?
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The coronavirus pandemic is here, and in the U.S., this is starting to get very real. We talk to people in South Korea and Italy to see what life has been like for them. And we find out what the problem was with America’s tests — are they fixed now? And now that social distancing is on everyone’s mind, do we have evidence that it will really “flatten the curve”? We speak to public health expert Prof. Josh Sharfstein, virologist Prof. Vincent Racaniello, and epidemiologist Prof. Elizabeth Radin. UPDATE 3/17/20: An earlier version of this episode said that Hong Kong had zero deaths, but according to figures on Friday from WHO 4 people died. We've updated the episode. Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/2QmpJUf  Selected references: A look at what’s happening in Italy: https://bit.ly/3d56AA4 Josh’s paper on the testing debacle: https://bit.ly/2x3oT84  How different cities reacted to the 1918 flu pandemic: https://bit.ly/2waLYWk  This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, Michelle Dang, Meryl Horn, Sinduja Srinivasan, and Rose Rimler. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Lexi Krupp. Mix and sound design by Sam Bair. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A big thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr Neeltje van Doremalen, Prof. Nigel McMillan, Prof. Jeffrey Shaman, and Prof. Stephen Morse.   And special thanks to Salvatore Incontro, Gabriella Doob, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 16, 2020
More Science Vs Coming Right Up
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Science Vs is back March 19th. Fact you next week.
Mar 12, 2020
Coronavirus: Fears and Facts
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The new coronavirus continues to spread around the world, and it’s already killed several people in the U.S. People are starting to worry that this will turn into a full-blown pandemic. So how many of us could ultimately get infected — and is it time to prepare for the worst? To find out, we talk to epidemiologists Dr. Cécile Viboud and Prof. Marc Lipsitch. Here’s a link to our transcript: https://bit.ly/2IjUqW0 and our Hand Washing Song: https://player.gimletmedia.com/7osxva Selected references: CDC’s FAQ Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html NEJM Editorial: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387 Big report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://bit.ly/32S4e2H This episode was produced by Michelle Dang, Wendy Zukerman, Meryl Horn, and Rose Rimler. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, with editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking help from Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. Translation by Lisa Wang. A big thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Catharine Paules, Dr. Miriam Haviland, Professor Matthew R. McKay, Dr. Jason McLellan, Daniel Wrapp, Professor William Arthur Petri, Professor Li Min, Professor Xiaokun Li, and Professor Raina MacIntyre. And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 04, 2020
Coronavirus Outbreak: How Scared Should You Be?
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A new virus showed up in China late last year, and it’s making its way to other countries too. So what do scientists know about the virus so far? And how worried should we be? To find out we talk to infectious disease researchers Dr. Kristian Andersen and Dr. Catharine Paules, physician Dr. Hui, and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci. We did an episode on a *fictional* pandemic, which you can find here: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/49hok3/pandemic  Check out the full transcript here: https://bit.ly/2S7JwXN Selected references: The WHO and the CDC are maintaining information centers that update regularly: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html  Scientific journals The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine have taken down the paywall for papers related to the outbreak: https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus and https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus  This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Lexi Krupp. Mix and sound design by Sam Bair. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A big thanks to Dr. Paul Delamater, Dr. Vittoria Colizza, and Shan Li. Recording assistance from Margot Wohl and Randy Scott Carroll. Translation by Yuan Xue, John Deng, and Chiung H Chuang. And special thanks to Bobby Lord, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Jan 31, 2020
How to Stop A Killer Asteroid
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This week — asteroids. Could a space rock really slam into us and destroy the world? And if we did spot one heading straight for us, is there anything we could do to stop it? We speak with asteroid researcher Dr. Alan Harris, astrophysicist Dr. Sergey Zamozdra, computational physicist Dr. Cathy Plesko, and physicist Dr. Andy Cheng.  Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2MrW1vp  Selected references:  Overview of Chelyabinsk impact and risk from asteroids: http://bit.ly/2ECSRQQ  How many asteroids are out there? http://bit.ly/34EhyHl  DART mission overview: http://bit.ly/2SkBBZ1  Ways to stop asteroids: https://bit.ly/2sJqGgv  Credits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman along with Lexi Krupp with help from Michelle Dang, Meryl Horn and Rose Rimler. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording assistance from Verónica Zaragovia, Sofi LaLonde, Lawrence Lanahan, and Kevin Caners. Translation help from Andrew Urodov and Dmitriy Tuchin. Thanks to all the scientists we spoke to: Dr. Carrie Nugent, Dr. Mark Boslough, Dr. David Kring, Dr. Daniel Durda, Dr. Kelly Fast and the other Dr. Alan Harris. A big thanks to Carl Smith at The Australian Broadcasting Corporation for suggesting this topic - Carl did a podcast series on a bunch of the Apocalypse scenarios! You can find it at the podcast Science Friction and search for the Apocalypse series. And thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Dec 20, 2019
Healthcare: How Do We Fix It?
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American healthcare has big problems. Some say the solution is Medicare For All: one government plan for everybody. But others say government healthcare would be worse than what we already have. Who’s right? And how did things get this bad? We talk to health policy researchers Prof. Harold Pollack and Robin Osborn.  Check out the full transcript here: https://bit.ly/38ye0cY  Selected references:  Paper from last year on why American healthcare spending is so high: https://bit.ly/2t8gkqB  Report from Robin’s group that compares the US, the UK, and many other countries: https://bit.ly/2qRh7vy A WHO report on healthcare cost control: https://bit.ly/38AEHxl Big Lancet report on the health of countries around the world: https://bit.ly/2RLJB4N  Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Lexi Krupp along with Wendy Zukerman, Michelle Dang, and Meryl Horn. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord, and Marcus Bagala. Recording assistance from Sofi LaLonde, David DesRoches, Dennis Maler, and James Delahoussaye. A huge thanks to all of the people with diabetes we spoke with-- thanks so much! Also big thanks to Dr. Irene Papanicolas, Prof. Steven Woolf, Dr. Kasia Lipska, Elizabeth Pfiester, Professor Kevin Schulman, Dr. Eric Schneider, Dr. Chris Pope, Cynthia Cox, Lois Rogers, and everyone else we spoke to for this episode. And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Dec 13, 2019
Ants: Tales from the Underground
2019
On today’s show, three f-ant-astic stories of survival, friendship and courage about some of the most underrated creatures in the animal queendom. Produced with our friends at Every Little Thing, another Gimlet podcast. We spoke with behavioral ecologist Dr. István Maák, biologist Dr. Erik Frank, entomologist Dr. Christina Kwapich, and biologist Prof Derrick Brazill.  Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/38cDgoU  Selected references:  István’s study on ants surviving in a nuclear bunker: http://bit.ly/2rkR2Fb  Erik’s study on ants helping each other in a termite hunt: http://bit.ly/2YlH6Y9  Christina’s study on ants destroying spider webs: http://bit.ly/2RnOMrt  Review on “dicty”- the amoeba we talk to Derrick about: http://bit.ly/2DQFoVk  Credits: Science Vs is produced by Wendy Zukerman along with Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler, Michelle Dang, and Lexi Krupp. Every Little Thing’s piece was produced by Gabby Bulgarelli, Emily Forman, Phoebe Flanigan, Annette Heist and Flora Lichtman. This episode was edited by Caitlin Kenney and Jorge Just. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Nicole Pasulka. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard and Dara Hirsch. Music written by Dara Hirsch, Dan Brunelle, Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord and erm, Wendy. A big thanks to Dr. Nathalie Stroeymeyt, Dr. Gema Trigos-Peral, Dr. Jack Neff, and recording help from Wojciech Oleksiak And special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Dec 05, 2019
Police Shootings: The Data and the Damage Done
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It’s been five years since the high profile shootings of several unarmed black teenagers and men launched the Black Lives Matter movement. Since then, police departments have been doing all kinds of things to respond to the deaths and protests. But do any of them work? To find out we speak with social psychologist Prof. Jennifer Eberhardt, psychologist Prof. Phillip Atiba Goff, public policy expert Dr. David Yokum, criminologists Dr. Lois James, and Dr. Stephen James.  Check out the full transcript transcript here: http://bit.ly/2D23jAR  Selected references:  Jennifer’s study on respectful language during traffic stops, and her book on implicit bias: http://bit.ly/2XGHobN  Phil’s study on bias and the Las Vegas policy changes: http://bit.ly/2O8Ndf3  David’s study on whether body cameras reduce police use of force: http://bit.ly/2pJj5gU  Credits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler, Michelle Dang, Lexi Krupp, and Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney and Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard with help from Cedric Wilson. Music written by Peter Leonard, Benny Reid, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A big thanks to Professor Lawrence Sherman, Dr. Joe Cesario, Dr. Sam Walker, Chuck Wexler, Dr. Peter Moskos, Dennis Flores, Hawk Newsome, Professor William Terrill, Dr. Arne Nieuwenhuys, Professor Franklin Zimring, Dr. Joan Vickers, and Dr. Justin Nix. Thanks to all police officers we spoke to- we really appreciate your help. And special thanks to Amber Davis, Chuma Ossé, Daniel Domke, Christina Djossa, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Nov 22, 2019
When a Hospital becomes The Butcher Shop
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A group of teenagers and college kids were fed up with the lousy healthcare in their neighborhood. So they decided to fight the system head on—a fight that still resonates today. Sid Davidoff, Mickey Melendez, and Cleo Silvers share their story.  Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/33QhYKX Selected references:  Mickey Melendez's Book: http://bit.ly/34Ww1ik  Interview with Cleo Silvers: http://bit.ly/2Xcg58S  Article about lead testing in the 1970s: http://bit.ly/2qTJSqN   To hear more on lead poisoning prevention today: http://bit.ly/2Qh3MXK  Pacifica Radio Archives: pacificaradioarchives.org
Nov 15, 2019
Sleep: All Aboard the Snooze Cruise!
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Not sleeping enough turning you into a monster? Cutting-edge science helps us understand why. And we sort through the fads to find out, what really works to get more ZZZs. We speak with lab coordinator Pam De Young, sleep researcher Dr. Brady Riedner, and circadian scientist Prof. Russell Foster.  Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2Ns26Zt  Selected references:  Consensus on the optimal amount of sleep: http://bit.ly/2Nu33Rc  Local sleep review: http://bit.ly/33rXWGL  Drunk study: http://bit.ly/33sN1wo  Melatonin review: http://bit.ly/2WXC1EW  E-reader study: http://bit.ly/2NU67EY  Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler and Lexi Krupp with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Michelle Dang, Meryl Horn and Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord, and Bach. Recording assistance from Dave Drexler, Tim Peterson, Zoe Sullivan, and Martin Wiggins. Sonification of EEG data came from Dr. Gerold Baier and Dr. Thomas Hermann. A big thanks to Dr. Amandine Valomon, Prof. James Krueger, Dr. Ari Shechter, Dr. Jade Wu, Dr. Bei Bei, Dr. Connor Sheehan, Dr. Jennifer Ailshire, Dr. Agostinho Rosa, and everyone else we spoke to for this episode, especially our frustrated sleepers. Thanks for calling in! And special thanks to Chuma Ossé, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Nov 08, 2019
5G: Welcome to the Revolution?
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How should we feel about 5G? Is it a breakthrough technology that will revolutionize our world, or in a bid to get new gadgets, are we risking our health? To find out, we spoke with electrical engineer Prof. Jeff Andrews, biologist Prof. Henrik Mouritsen, radiology safety expert Prof. Chris Collins, and psychologist Prof. Rodney Croft.  Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2qd2MIR  Selected references:  Jeff’s paper on the future of 5G: http://bit.ly/36ob7tW  Chris's review on 5G’s safety: http://bit.ly/336losL  Henrik's article on the effect of electromagnetic radiation on migratory birds: https://go.nature.com/338t3Xy  Review on symptoms associated with electromagnetic waves: http://bit.ly/2JF7C8V  Credits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn with help from Wendy Zukerman, Lexi Krupp, Michelle Dang and Rose Rimler. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Lexi Krupp, and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard and Bobby Lord. Music written by Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording assistance from Olivia Aldridge, Beth McMullen, and Mirjam Steger. A huge thanks to all the people we spoke to for this episode including: Dr. Sarah Loughran, Dr. Stefano Cucurachi, Professor Muriel Médard, Dr. Harish Krishnaswamy, Dr. Christopher Labos, Dr. Jordan Gerth, Dr. Arno Thielens, Prof. David Carpenter, Dr. Jerrold Bushberg, Dr. Patrick Mineault, Norman Carreck and ARPANSA. Extra thanks to Kaitlyn Sawrey, Shahzad Ahsan, Rachel Ward, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Oct 31, 2019
Vaping: What the Hell is Going On?!
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Vaping is all the rage in the U.S., but young people are turning up at hospitals barely able to breathe. Over a thousand vapers have gotten sick⁠—34 are dead⁠—and no one knows why. We investigated the case of the mysterious vaping disease with help from Geri Sullivan, pulmonologist Dr. Louella Amos, lab director Iniobong Afia, inhalation toxicologist Prof. Ilona Jaspers and researcher Dr. Jamie Hartmann-Boyce.  Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/33VzzRi Selected references:  CDC Outbreak Page: http://bit.ly/2PheKvO  Case reports from 53 vaping patients who got sick over the summer: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1911614 “Chemical burn” analysis of patients’ lungs: https://bit.ly/2oexalC Jamie’s review “Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation”: https://bit.ly/32GTN14 Credits:  This episode was produced by our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey and producer Michelle Dang, with help from me, Wendy Zukerman, Lexi Krupp, Rose Rimler and Meryl Horn. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. A huge thanks to all the people we spoke to for this episode including: Dr Yasmeen Butt, Dr Sean Callahan, Dr Travis Henry, Professor Irfan Rahman, Christopher Harvel, Alex Sandorf, Dr James Pankow, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, Professor Lorraine Martin, Professor Moon-Shong Tang, Dr. Kevin Davidson and Myron Ronay. Extra thanks to Conor Duffy, Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Oct 25, 2019
PANDEMIC!!!
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If a pandemic ripped across the world, how bad would it really get? You’ve heard the horror stories, but you’ve never heard one like this. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who advises the President on emerging infectious diseases, helps us out. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2M4Tlnt  Selected references:  The CDC’s history of the 1918 Pandemic: http://bit.ly/2AXiGJP  Time-lapse tracking the transmission and evolution of H7N9: http://bit.ly/2B1nYnG  CDC’s Pandemic Influenza Plan: http://bit.ly/2pVroFZ  Institute for Disease Modeling’s flu pandemic death toll simulation: http://bit.ly/2M2ymSj  Credits: This episode was produced by our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Michelle Dang, Lexi Krupp, Rose Rimler and Meryl Horn. Special thanks to Frank Lopez. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney and Blythe Terrell. Extra writing help from Kevin Christopher Snipes. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord and Marcus Thorne Bagala. Comments and thoughts from Dr. Eric Toner, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, Beth Maldin Morgenthau, Dr. Melvin Sanicas, Professor Michael Osterholm, Dr. Patrick Saunders Hastings, Rosemary Gibson, Thomas Bollyky, Dr. Ashleigh Tuite, Professor Stephen Morse, Dr. Lalitha Sundaram, Professor David N. Fisman, Lynette Brammer, Dr. Mohamed Naguib, Dr. Yeulong Shu, Dr. Dan Jernigan, Dr Kirsty Short, and special thanks to Bess Davenport at CDC. Death toll modeling came from the Institute for Disease Modeling, with valuable guidance from Dr. Mandy Izzo and Dr. Kurt Frey.  Thanks to all our actors: Annabelle Fox as Mindy Tuckerman Casey Wortmann as Dr Rosie Morales William Dufris as Dr Uzdienski Dani Cervone as Dr Emily Ragus  Jordan Cobb as the Triage Nurse Alice Kors as the distressed Mum Robin Miles as the Nurse Jonathan Woodward as Voiceover, 911 Operator, and Police Officer Ian Lowe as Emergency Services Officer Matt Lieber as the Politician Newscasters include: Kaitlyn Sawrey, Renita Jablonski and Gabriel Lozada Plane landing voice over: Peter Leonard Directed by William Dufris with help from Wendy Zukerman, Kaitlyn Sawrey and Fred Grenhalgh. Recording by Fred Greenhalgh and Peter Leonard. Also thank you to all the Gimlet people who performed various drafts including Chad Chenail, Gabe Lozada, Jasmine Romero and MR Daniel. And a huge thank you to everyone who listened and gave comments - especially the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. Finally, a huge thank you to Jorge Just, Stevie Lane, Phoebe Flanigan, Chris Giliberti, Justin McGolrick and Katie Pastore.
Oct 11, 2019
Heartbreak: Why does it hurt so bad?
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We’ve all been dumped, but some of us have felt physically sick from a heartbreak -- sometimes really sick. Neuroscientist Prof. Lucy Brown explains how pangs from a heartache might not just be in our heads. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2OhEIi9 Selected references: Lucy’s FMRI study of the rejected in-love college students: http://bit.ly/355Xz5B The social/physical pain overlap in the brain: https://bit.ly/2IkRQiVHow psychological stress affects the immune system: https://bit.ly/333CsiS Credits: This episode was produced by Michelle Dang, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Lexi Krupp. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney and Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Professor Larry Young, Professor Tiffany Field, Professor Ethan Kross, Professor Sandra Langeslag, and Professor Naomi Eisenberger. A special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Oct 03, 2019
Football: Should We Cancel It?
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America’s favorite pastime seems to be plagued by tragedy. Former NFL players have come forward to say they’re suffering from a serious brain disease. Others have ended their lives. So we wanted to know: how risky is playing football? Cornerback Isiah Swann, neuroscientist Dr. Kevin Bieniek, neurosurgeon Prof. Bob Cantu, and neurologist Dr. Ira Casson weigh in. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2mWkuyR Note: In this episode we discuss depression and suicide. Please take care when listening to the show. National Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Selected references: The preliminary criteria for diagnosing CTE agreed upon in 2016: http://bit.ly/2m4YzW9  Kevin’s brain bank study: http://bit.ly/2mYNm9I The 99% study: http://bit.ly/2lVRyah The Lancet: Neurology letter: http://bit.ly/2lrugbQ and a response: http://bit.ly/2lnmU9c A survey of former NFL players to see how they’re doing: http://bit.ly/2n62JNr  Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Lexi Krupp. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Dennis Maler. A big thanks to Prof. Adam Finkel, Prof. Rudy Castellani, Assistant Prof. Robert Lynall, Dr. Eckhard Mandelkow, David Chalmers, Buddy Teevens, and many more. Plus a special thanks to Jim Grau, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Sep 27, 2019
Exercise: Fat Buster or Belly Flop?
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Lots of people hit the gym to shed unwanted pounds, but they don’t always see results on the scale. This week, we tackle the power of exercise and why you should bother. We speak with obesity expert Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, psychiatrist Dr. Gary Cooney, neuroscientist Prof. Wendy Suzuki and urologist Dr. Stacey Kenfield. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2kqreUR UPDATE 10/31/19: An earlier version of this episode said that exercise isn’t a reliable treatment for depression. Some scientists reached out to us about clinical trials we missed. These newer trials found that exercise can help with depression. And we now think the research in this space is stronger than we made it sound. We’ve updated the episode. Selected references: The study which looked at the effect of exercising 5 days a week for a year on weight: http://bit.ly/2mitPR8Gary's Cochrane review on the benefits of exercise for depression: http://bit.ly/2kqrGCxThe study which found that exercise is linked to a lower risk of getting dementia: http://bit.ly/2mj9qeL Stacey's study on exercise and prostate cancer: http://bit.ly/2kuPwgu  Credits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Lexi Krupp. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney and Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Joel Cox, Andrea Rangecroft, Natalie Jones, and Mark Totti. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Professor Virginia Berridge, Professor James Blumenthal, Professor Kirk Erickson, Dr. Tara Walker, Dr. Shannon Halloway, Professor Steven Petruzzello, Dr. Kristine Beaulieu, Dr. Aric Sudicky and many others! A special thanks to the Emmanuel Dzotsi, Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Sep 19, 2019
Let's...science...AGAIN!
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Science Vs is back September 19th. Fact you next week.
Sep 12, 2019
The Dinosaur Explosion
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Why are there so many new, weird dinosaurs? Friend of the show Joel Werner goes down the rabbit hole, and finds a surprising answer. He speaks to paleontologists Dr. Steve Brusatte and Dr. Jonathan Tennant. Listen to Joel’s podcast The Sum Of All Parts here:  https://ab.co/2YujtzU. Check out the transcript here: http://bit.ly/2Ts169i Science Vs will be back in September with a brand new season! UPDATE 8/13/19: We removed some lines suggesting that the reason that Joel and other people growing up in the 80s don't know about some dinosaurs, such as Spinosaurus and Edmontosaurus is because of the "Dino Explosion" in the 1990s. In fact, Spinosaurus was introduced in the scientific literature in 1915 and Edmontosaurus in 1917.  Credits: This story came from the podcast the Sum of All Parts which is produced and hosted by Joel Werner. Jonathan Webb is their science editor, sound design by Joel Werner and Mark Don. Additional fact checking by Lexi Krupp and additional music and engineering by Peter Leonard.
Aug 08, 2019
SHARKS!!!
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Are sharks the super-predators we think they are? Or have we been baited with great white lies? To find out, we interviewed shark researchers Dr. Taylor Chapple, Dr. Tricia Meredith and Dr. Chris Pepin-Neff, along with surfer Mike Wells. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/34hG3ug UPDATE 6/14/19: We removed a line from the episode implying that if you’ve eaten any takeaway fish and chips in the UK, there's a good chance you’ve unknowingly eaten shark meat. In fact, shark meat is not always sold surreptitiously. In the UK and in Australia shark meat it is often labeled flake, rock or huss. Selected references: Tricia’s shark smelling study: https://bit.ly/2F4OsqrChris’s book “Flaws”: https://bit.ly/2IGKe9BTiger shark study here: https://bit.ly/2Q0S94M and video here: https://bit.ly/2XFHj7o This paper on sharks and rays at risk of extinction: https://bit.ly/31wauMB This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. A huge thanks to the amazing team of musicians who helped us with Flaws and our Snark Week music: Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord, Emma Munger, and Marcus Thorne Bagala. Recording assistance from Caroline Perryman, Shannon Cason, Sam Turken, Beth McMullen, and Jesse Wentzloff. A big thanks to George Burgess, Peter Pyle, Dr. David Shiffman, Professor Peter Klimley, Prof. Jelle Atema, Prof. Stephen Kajiura, Dr. Blake Chapman, Nynke de Haas and others. Plus a special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Jun 14, 2019
How Bad Science Killed A President
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When President Garfield was shot by an assassin in 1881, the best and brightest in medicine and science did everything they could to save him - and turned the President into a human guinea pig. But they missed something big, that could have saved him. To find out what it was, we spoke to surgeon and medical historian Dr Ira Rutkow, and Sara Murphy - collections manager at the National Museum of American History. To find out more about this story, read Dr Ira Rutkow’s book - James A. Garfield: The American Presidents Series. Check out the transcript, with all the citations here: http://bit.ly/33EMVl7 This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, extra editing help from Caitlin Kenny. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Emma Munger, Peter Leonard, and Bobby Lord. Thanks to the National Museum of American History, Dr Howard Markel, Prof. Charles Rosenburg and Candice Millard.
Jun 06, 2019
Peanuts: Public Enemy No. 1?
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Peanut allergy in children has been on the rise since the 1990s. What’s to blame? We find a clue in a very unexpected place, and talk to pediatric allergist Prof. Gideon Lack. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2rkEcqL Selected References: Gideon’s landmark 2015 study: https://bit.ly/2QsvOMvThe mouse rash study: https://bit.ly/2Mf6hZVCDC’s report on rising skin and food allergies (1997-2011): https://bit.ly/2XgjGlJ This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Emma Munger, Peter Leonard, and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Andrea Rangecroft. A big thanks to Dr. Andrew Dang, Professor Scott Sicherer, Dr. Marshall Plaut, Dr. Kristin Sokol, Dr. Robert Boyle, and others. As well as the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
May 30, 2019
The Abortion Underground
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Before Roe v. Wade, there were thousands of illegal abortions in the U.S. every year. Some of these were incredibly dangerous; women would use knitting needles or coat hangers to end pregnancies. This, and other illegal methods, could lead to injury or death. In the 1970s, one group of women got fed up and decided to take women's health into their own hands. We talk to “self-helpers” Carol Downer and Francie Hornstein, who led a movement for safe abortions and education for women by women. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2sfqhlB Selected references: “Back alley” abortions before Roe v. Wade (See chapter 3) https://bit.ly/2JA6gObA study documenting the techniques used for illegal abortions in the 60s https://bit.ly/2VLKl8eA Woman's Book of Choices by Dr. Rebecca Chalker (PhD) and Carol Downer https://bit.ly/2K5MbP4 This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler, and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney, Kaitlyn Sawrey, Sruthi Pinnemanni, Jorge Just, Lulu Miller and Chris Neary. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Anny Celsi. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr Sara Matthiesen, Professor Verta Taylor, Professor John DeLancey, Professor Carole Joffe, Professor Johanna Schoen, and Dr. Denise Copelton. And special thanks to Michele Welsing and the team at Southern California Library, Dr Becky Chalker, Jonathon Roberts, Jim Aspholm, Odelia Rubin, Alice Kors, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. Women's Liberation Day: New York, San Francisco and Berkeley rallies of August 26, 1970 was used courtesy of the Pacifica Radio Archives.
May 23, 2019
Placebo: Can the Mind Cure You?
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Could fake medicine actually take away your pain or treat a disease? We dig into the science of placebos to find out more about the power of the mind to heal. We speak to medical researcher Prof. Ted Kaptchuk, neuroscientist Prof. Fabrizio Benedetti and medical psychologist Prof. Manfred Schedlowski. UPDATE 5/13/19: We changed a few things in this episode to clarify facts. An earlier version of this episode implied that the placebo surgery for knee and back pain was really effective in itself. In fact, these studies found that some placebo surgeries work as well as real surgeries. In other words, patients reported less pain after both the real surgery and the placebo surgery. We also said that Pavlov’s studies used a bell to condition dogs. Whether Pavlov himself used a conventional bell is debated in the literature. Some say this was an early translation error from Russian to English. Later studies by his colleagues definitely used a bell. Finally! We have added a caveat into placebo research more generally to highlight that this research is early and that we don’t have many have long-term studies into placebos, so we don’t know how long the placebo effect can last. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2Pug4tK Selected References:  Great summary paper on placebo: https://bit.ly/30cFSzd Cure: A journey into the science of mind over body https://jomarchant.com/cure Ted’s IBS “open label” placebo study with Linda…: https://bit.ly/2E2O4Zk Fabrizio’s high altitude headache study: https://bit.ly/2vMZj3z Manfred’s first immunosuppression study with the green drink: https://bit.ly/2VXPDll Credits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn, and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Fabian Mirko May, Mary Dooe and Maggie Penman. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Diletta Barbiani, Dr. Cynthia McRae, Dr. J Bruce Moseley, Professor Apkar Apkarian, Professor Jon Stoessl, and others. And special thanks to Lynda McKenzie, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
May 09, 2019
Vaccines: Time for a Booster Shot [Rebroadcast]
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Autism, seizures, and overloaded immune systems - could these really be side effects of vaccines? From the archives, we bring back our dive into the science to find out how safe vaccines really are. We spoke to public health researchers Prof. Dan Salmon and Prof. Amy Kalkbrenner and neurologist Prof. Ingrid Scheffer. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2IVgabd Selected References: The National Academies (aka Institute of Medicine) report on vaccine safety A report on the genetic underpinnings of epilepsyThis study looked for neurologic disorders after the MMR shot in half a million kidsThis one looked at all children born in Denmark between 1991 and 1998 Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, and Shruti Ravindran. Production help from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited this week by Blythe Terrell and Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with help from Rose Rimler. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke with Dr. Saad Omer, Dr. Neal Halsey, Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Frank DeStefano, and Prof. Alison Buttenheim. And an extra thanks to Bonnie Stanway, Ivona Stamatoska, Reese and Walter Ludwig, the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and - of course! - Leo Rogers.
May 02, 2019
Fertility Cliff: Is It Real?
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We’re often told to have kids quickly, before our biological clock strikes and we fall off the fertility cliff. This week we find out if that’s true for women or men. And if the cliff is real, can you do anything about it, like freezing your eggs? Plus, the sperm-aggedon! We speak to epidemiologist Prof. Lauren Wise, reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Mary Sabatini, and andrologist Prof. Allan Pacey. UPDATE 7/10/19: A previous version of this episode incorrectly identified the nationality of a character in Indiana Jones. The episode has been updated accordingly. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/35DfLE8 Selected references:  Lauren’s two studies looking at the fertility cliff. Click here if you want to be in one of her studies!  Two studies looking at success rates of freezing eggs at different ages Review of the effect of paternal aging on the health of the offspringThe 2017 meta-analysis which shows the drop in sperm counts in several parts of the world Credits:  This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, with help from Wendy Zukerman, as well as Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelley. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Mary Dooe and Andy Short. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Richard Lea, Dr. Hagai Levine, Professor Jens Peter Ellekilde Bond, and others. And special thanks to everyone at Gimlet who listened to the episode, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. And a huge thanks to Christopher Suter.
Apr 25, 2019
Race: Can We See It In Our DNA?
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For decades, we've heard that race is a social and cultural idea — not scientific. But with the changing world of genetics, is race science back? We speak to sociologist Prof. Dorothy Roberts, evolutionary biologist Prof. Joseph L. Graves Jr. and psychological methodologist Prof. Jelte Wicherts. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2nTDU8w Selected references:  Dorothy’s book on the history of scientific racism One of Joseph’s books unpacking raceThe 2005 paper on population structureA handy FAQ from a population geneticistA paper on the knowns and unknowns about genes and the environment on IQ Credits:  This episode was produced by Rose Rimler, with help from Wendy Zukerman, as well as Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Meryl Horn, and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Botte Jellema and Shani Aviram. A huge thanks to Stillman Brown, Morgan Jerkins, Amber Davis, Cedric Shine, Emmanuel Dzotsi, and to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Noah Rosenberg, Rasmus Nielsen, Mark Shriver, Garrett Hellenthal, Sarah Tishkoff, Kenneth Kidd, John Protzko, Dan Levitis, and others. Finally, thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Apr 19, 2019
DNA Kits: Can You Trust Them?
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Millions of people are sending off their DNA to companies like Ancestry.com and 23andme to find out where they come from, and what diseases they might get. But how much can you trust these DNA kits? To find out, we speak to anthropologist Prof. Jonathan Marks and geneticist Dr Adam Rutherford. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2OSICOD Selected references: This academic paper on genetic ancestry testingAncestry.com’s white paper The genetics of Alzheimer DiseaseA perspective piece on genetic privacy Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler, with senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey… with help from Wendy Zukerman, Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Frank Lopez, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Cole del Charco, Madeline Taylor, Carmen Baskauf, Ian Cross and [Mareek] Marijke Peters. A huge thanks to everyone who spat in a tube for us, especially Toni Magyar and Alex Blumberg, and to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Wendy Roth, Dr Deborah Bolnick, Dr Celeste Karch, Professor Nancy Wexler, Dr. Robert Green, Dr Catharine Wang, and others. Thanks also to the teams at Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and MyHeritage. Thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Apr 12, 2019
Pets on Planes: Are Emotional Support Animals Legit?
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Can petting Fluffy or Fido help with anxiety on planes? Or are emotional support animals a load of croc? We talk to psychologist Prof. Hal Herzog to find out if science has anything to say on whether these pets should fly high or be grounded. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2MD2lPC Selected references: Hal’s critical review on whether pets can improve mental health Study showing that blankets worked just as well as dogs to reduce anxiety in childrenHere’s a good article describing the differences between emotional support animals and service animals A couple reviews on the evidence that animal-assisted therapy can help with psychiatric illnesses Credits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Molly Crossman, Dr. Karen Thodberg, Cassie Boness, Dr. Rob Young, and Dr. Helen Louise Brooks. Also thanks to the Zukerman Family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Apr 04, 2019
Fasting Diets: What's the Skinny?
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Fasting diets are all the rage right now and health-fluencers claim it can help you lose weight, live longer and even fight cancer. So what does the science say? We speak to nutrition researchers Dr Krista Varady and Dr Courtney Peterson, as well as cancer researcher Professor Valter Longo. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/35FYJoP Selected references: Krista’s study comparing alternate day fasting with regular dieting, which found they had similar weight loss after one year.Courtney’s study which measured metabolic changes after time-restricted feeding without weight loss.Valter’s paper summarizing the studies in fasting and cancer.  Credits:This episode was produced by our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey and Wendy Zukerman with help from Michelle Dang, Rose Rimler, and Meryl Horn. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, with extra editing help from Caitlin Kenney and Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Eva Dasher and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode including Dr Peter Chisnell, Dr Mikkel Holm Vendelbo, Dr Jiahong Lu, Dr Dorothy Sears, Prof. Mark Mattson, Dr James D Dvorak, Dr Calloway Scott, Professor Richard Billows, Professor Nancy Worman, Dr Barbara Kowalzig and the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Also thanks to the Kimmie Regler, Helen Zaltman Zukerman Family, Frank Lopez and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 29, 2019
Science's Rotten Underbelly
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During a golden age for scientific progress, a group of scientists were given free rein to do whatever they wanted to their human lab rats. We got new drugs, and learnt exciting new things. But some researchers took it too far... And what seemed like a scientific fantasy turned into one of the largest American science scandals. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2MLBX6u Selected references: The 1976 report from the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research Allen Hornblum’s book Acres of Skin (1998)2007 report from the Institute of Medicine Committee on Ethical Considerations for Research The Experimental Scurvy in Man 1969 study  Credits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman with help from Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode including Professor Karen Lebacqz, Michael Yesley. Also thanks to Sruthi Pinnamaneni, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 22, 2019
Alcohol: A Pour Decision?
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For decades we’ve been told that having a glass or two of wine is good for you. But recently there’ve been reports that even a little bit of booze is bad for you. So what is going on? Is just a bit of alcohol dangerous? To find out we talk to epidemiologist and nutritionist Prof. Eric Rimm, psychologist Prof. Tim Stockwell, and cancer researcher Dr. Susan Gapstur. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/31p8pk5 Selected references: Eric’s study of drinking and heart attacks in over 40,000 men Tim and Kaye’s meta-analysis critiquing the heart benefit hypothesisMeta-analysis showing the increased risk of cancer and other diseases from drinking different amounts Credits:  This episode was produced by Meryl Horn with help from Wendy Zukerman as well as Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Thanks especially to Michelle Dang for her all her research help on this episode. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode including Dr. Arthur Klatsky, Dr. William Kerr, Dr. Tim Niami, Professor William Ghali, Dr. Wendy Chen, Max Griswold and many others. Recording help from Andrew Stelzer, Susanna Capelouto, Katie Sage, and Joseph Fridman. Also thanks to Lynn Levy, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Mar 15, 2019
We're back next week!
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Season 6 is on it's way, fellow nerds!
Mar 07, 2019
The Mystery of the Man Who Died Twice
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A dead body turns up with a stolen identity. This week, we tell the story of how a grandmother tracked down the truth — and helped create a whole new and controversial world of crime fighting. To tell this story, we talk to U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott, Dr. Margaret Press, and Phil Nichols. Check out the transcript here; http://bit.ly/33CNj3i Note: in this episode we discuss suicide and homicide. Please take care when listening to the show, and here are some resources: National Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255National Hotline for Crime Victims 1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846)  Selected references: Press Conference revealing Joseph Newton Chandler's true identity [SPOILER ALERT]Margaret Press’ DNA Doe ProjectCredits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler and our senior producer, Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman as well as Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Alex Blumberg and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the people we got in touch with for this episode including Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick at DNA Doe Project and Curtis Rogers at GEDmatch. Recording help from Selene Ross, Tana Weingartner and Daniel Robison. Also thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Dec 20, 2018
The Science Of Being Transgender
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Recently we’ve been hearing a lot about transgender identity. That made us wonder… what makes us the gender that we are? And what should you do if your kid doesn’t fit the mold? To find out, we talked with endocrinologist Dr. Joshua Safer, psychologist Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper, and psychologist Dr. Colt Keo-Meier. Check out the transcript: http://bit.ly/31k0oNk UPDATE 3/29/19 : An earlier version of this episode misinterpreted a study regarding the question of how many children who visited a gender identity clinic grow up to be trans. The episode has been updated accordingly. We've explained the change in detail in the transcript. UPDATE 1/17/19: An earlier version of this episode implied that all people who are intersex are born with indeterminate genitalia. This is incorrect and the episode has been updated. Selected references:  A paper from the 70s about shock therapy A review of the science behind the trans kids debateBest Practice Standards of Care for Trans PeopleRebecca’s podcast Trans Specific PartnershipThanks to our sponsor, Cole Haan. You can hear more of Wendy and other Gimlet hosts in conversation at ExtraordinariesOnTheMic.com, produced in partnership with Cole Haan. Credits: This episode was produced by Odelia Rubin and Meryl Horn along with Wendy Zukerman and Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editorial assistance by Rebecca Kling. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Meryl Horn and Rose Rimler. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord.   A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode - including Dr. Jack Turban, Professor Anne Fausto- Sterling, assistant professor Samantha Busa, Associate Professor Susan Stryker, Dr. Katrina Karkazis, Professor Neill Epperson, Paula Neira, Professor Michelle Forcier, and Professor Joan Roughgarden. And thanks to all the trans folks who shared their stories with us. Thank you! Also thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Dec 13, 2018
The Wank Worm: How NASA Got Hacked
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Before WikiLeaks, there was the Wank Worm. In this week’s episode, we tell you the story of how Australian hackers infiltrated NASA, just months after the country was hooked up to the internet in 1989. Joel Werner, host of Sum of All Parts, helps us tell this story, along with cybersecurity researcher Dr. Suelette Dreyfus. Check out the transcript here: http://bit.ly/35EkMw5 UPDATE 12/07/18: An earlier version of this episode stated that Galileo's engines ran on nuclear power. We've removed this line, as it was Galileo's electrical systems, not the propulsion system, which ran on nuclear power. Selected references: The original Sum of All Parts episode about Phoenix and Electron Suelette’s book, written with the help of Julian Assange, about the early Australian hacking movement, UndergroundAn in-depth reference on Hacktivism Thanks to our sponsor, Cole Haan. You can hear more of Wendy and other Gimlet hosts in conversation at ExtraordinariesOnTheMic.com, produced in partnership with Cole Haan. Credits: Original story produced by Joel Werner, for Sum of All Parts, from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Science Vs is Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Mixed and sound designed by Emma Munger. Music written by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Our fact checker is Michelle Harris. A huge thanks to Alex Goldman, Jason Scott, Chris Avram, Professor Graham Farr, Barbara Ainsworth, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Dec 06, 2018
Ancient Aliens: Who Really Built the Pyramids?
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Is it possible that the pyramids were built with a helping hand... from aliens? If not, how on Earth did the Egyptians built them without modern technology? To get to the bottom of this, we speak to author Erich von Däniken, paleoanthropologist Dr. Shelby Putt, Egyptologist Dr. Mark Lehner, and archaeologist Prof. David S. Anderson. Check out the transcript here: http://bit.ly/2P6tvl9 Selected references: This paper about the evolution of intelligence. Mark’s article about the canal system...with diagrams! Mark’s book about pyramid building-- along with this book and this one, too. David’s book about pseudoarchaeology. Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to the team at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, as well as Professor Pierre Tallet, Roland Enmarch, Jens Notroff, Professor Erin L. Thompson and everyone else who spoke to us for this episode...thanks for your help. A special thanks to Sarah Hendricks, Jake Finnicum, Frank Lopez, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and the Zukerman Family.
Nov 29, 2018
7 Minute Workout: Fit or Fad?
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The 7 Minute Workout is all the rage, but can working out for just 7 minutes really do anything? To figure out whether this fitness trend is a load of crock, we speak to exercise scientist Prof. Jeff Coombes. Plus, Wendy gives it a go. Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/32qS7IO Selected references: The original 7 minute workout Jeff’s review paper on short intense workouts and weight lossOther reviews about heart health, diabetes, and fitness in healthy peopleThe study on really, really, really short workouts Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Jack McDonnell. For this episode we also spoke to Martin Gibala, Chris Jordan, Kathryn Weston, Dan Schmidt, and others. Thank you so much for your help.
Nov 21, 2018
CBD: Weed Wonder Drug?
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CBD mania is in full swing and people are using it for just about anything, but what is this chemical in cannabis? In this week’s episode, we tell you unlikely origin story of CBD and if the science backs up the hype. We speak to Paige Figi, neuroscientist Prof. Kent Hutchison, clinical researcher Dr. Mallory Loflin, and Josh and Joel Stanley. Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/2OVCfub Selected references: Mallory’s study showing most CBD products are labeled inaccurately and 1 out of 5 has some THCReview discussing all the possible things CBD is binding to in the brainNational Academy of Sciences report on cannabis and cannabinoids Clinical trial showing CBD reduces seizures for treatment-resistant epilepsy  Credits: This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, with help from Caitlin Kenny. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to Professor Elizabeth Thiele, Professor Cinnamon Bidwell, Professor Celia Morgan, Associate Professor Ziva Cooper, and Associate Professor Didier Jutras-Aswad, as well as Sindu Gnanasambandan, Mathilde Urfalino, Frank Lopez, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and the Zukerman Family.
Nov 15, 2018
Election Special: Immigration
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In the final installment of our election series, we tackle immigration: the #1 concern of Americans as they head to the polls. It's been a huge focus for President Trump... and people say immigrants are stealing jobs and driving up the crime rate. But what does the research say? There have been a bunch of new studies since we published our episode on immigration, so we've updated this to reflect what's new. Check out the transcripts, with all the citations, here: http://bit.ly/2IZ6ixc
Nov 02, 2018
Election Special: Climate Change
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Recently we've been warned that climate change is scarier than ever -- and that we are to blame. Yet surveys find around half of Americans don't think climate change is caused by humans. So how does science know that? And how bad will climate change get? Science Vs has brought this episode up to date so you have the facts for next week's midterm elections. Check out the transcript with all the citations, right here: http://bit.ly/33CGgHY
Nov 01, 2018
Election Special: Abortion
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The battle over abortion is fast becoming one of the key issues of the midterm election. And in this battle you’ll hear many things about abortion: that it’s painful for the fetus, and that late-term abortions are a huge issue. But what does the science say? If you want to read our transcript, with all the citations - check it out right here: http://bit.ly/2Bn9u1i
Oct 31, 2018
Election Special: Gun Violence
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After 11 people were shot and killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend, mass shootings are back in the news. With the midterm elections happening next week, we've updated our episode on guns and are re-releasing it to give you the facts ahead of polling day. Heads up: this episode contains the sound of guns - and we’ll be discussing homicide, suicide and domestic violence. Please take care when listening to the show. If you or someone you love is struggling, there's always someone you can call at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 800-273-8255. Check out the transcript, with all the citations, here: http://bit.ly/32qXmZ4
Oct 30, 2018
Online Dating: Can Science Find You Love?
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Online dating can feel like drudgery… can science help you game the system? And do those matching algorithms actually work? To find out, we talked to psychologist Asst. Prof. Paul Eastwick, social psychologist Prof. Viren Swami, mathematician Asst. Prof. Hannah Fry, and Rose Reid. Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/2E73qLH Selected references: Paul’s primer on speed dating experiments, and the Machine Learning studyThe study with the archaeology students on physical attractivenessHannah’s book, which includes more detailed Optimal Stopping Theory mathsA thorough review paper on online dating Credits: This episode was produced by Odelia Rubin, with help from Wendy Zukerman along with Rose Rimler, and Meryl Horn. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Meryl Horn and Rose Rimler. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode - including Dr Elaine Hatfield, Dr Liesel Sharabi, Associate Prof Megan Ankerson, Assistant Prof Sarah Murray, Jennie Zhang, and the folks at okcupid. Thank you! We had recording help from Robbie MacInnes, Emma P. McAvoy Sherrie White, and David Mistich Also thanks to Frank Lopez, Erin Kelly, Matthew Nelson, Amber Davis, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson!
Oct 26, 2018
Murder Mystery: An 1850s Whodunnit
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It’s 1849, and a gruesome murder has just happened at Harvard. As body parts turn up, the science of the day is put to the ultimate test… to find out: who did it? We speak to Prof. Paul Collins, who tells us how this morbid mystery unfolds.  Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/2BntpNU Selected references: Paul Collins’ book, Blood And Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard The transcripts from the trial against John Webster Also check out our previous episodes on Forensic Science and DNA and the Smell of Death. Credits: This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, with help from Caitlin Kenny. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to Jessica Murphy and the team at the Harvard University Archives, plus Lars Trembly and Matthew Nelson, Frank Lopez, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and the Zukerman Family.
Oct 18, 2018
Gentrification: What's Really Happening?
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You’ve probably heard that gentrification changes neighborhoods for the worse: first come the hipsters and then the bankers. Soon, the neighborhood is overrun with dog spas and wine bars, and the original residents are nowhere in sight. But what does the science say? And, is there anything good about gentrification? We speak to Prof. Lance Freeman, Asst. Prof. Rachel Meltzer and Nicole Mader to find out. Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/2VQJsgp UPDATE 10/23/18: An earlier version of this episode misstated number of calls in our 311 analysis as "over 900,000." While the analysis started with over 900,000 calls, the number of calls over 6 years was a bit over 600,000. We've updated the episode to reflect that. Selected references: Lance’s study on displacement in gentrifying neighborhoodsRachel’s studies on jobs and businesses in gentrifying neighborhoods Nicole’s study on what’s happening with public schools with gentrification This study by NYU’s Furman study which has all sorts of stats on gentrifying neighborhoodsCredits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn and Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler and Odelia Rubin. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to Kurtis Melby who helped us with the 311 call analysis. For this episode we also spoke to Associate Professor Japonica Brown-Saracino, Professor Elvin Wyly, Associate Professor T. William Lester, Assistant Professor Stacey Sutton, Amy Collado, Assistant Professor Francis Pearman, Dr Miriam Zuk and, Lorena Lopez. A big thanks to Francisco Lopez, Amber Davis, the Zukerman fam and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Oct 11, 2018
Soy, Almond, Oat Milks: Are They Udder Bull?
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Moooove over, dairy milk: the alternative milk craze is here. But are they more than just a frothy fad? To find out which is best for the planet, we speak to environmental researcher Joseph Poore. Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/2P3H6c9 Selected references: Joseph’s study which has a comparison of soy and dairy milk, and his database which includes all his raw data and references Systematic review of greenhouse gases for different foods and drinks (see table 9 for milks)Lots of studies here on the water footprint of different crops and animal productsA report comparing the environmental impacts of almond, oat, rice, soy and dairy milksCredits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke to Adrian Williams, Niels Jungbluth, Frank Mitloehner, and Adam Drewnowski.
Oct 04, 2018
Vegans: Are They Right?
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Do vegans have a right to be so smug? This week we find out whether it really is better for the environment, and our bodies, to go vegan. We speak to environmental researcher Joseph Poore, historian Prof. Connie Hilliard, anthropologist Prof. Katharine Milton, and nutrition researcher Prof. Roman Pawlak. Check out the transcript right here: http://bit.ly/2OeFye7 Selected references: Joseph’s study comparing 40,000 different farmsConnie’s paper comparing countries that consume more or less dairyA big review of calcium intake and fracture riskThis report on the influence of the dairy industryKatie’s paper on the evolution of meat-eatingRoman’s work rounding up studies on a vitamin deficiency Credits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Robbie MacInnes, Paul Reece, Spencer Silva, and Hady Mawajdeh. For this episode we also spoke to Connie Weaver, Nathan H. Lents, Mark Bolland, Ambrish Mithal, Marco Springmann, Mary Beth Hall, Tara Garnett, Tom Sanders, Frederick Leroy, and others. Thank you so much for your help. And a big thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Sep 27, 2018
Essential Oils: Science or Snake Oil?
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Essential Oils - and their claims - are huge right now. But is it all hype, or is there something special about these little brown bottles? To get to the bottom of it, we dig through the studies and speak to cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Rachel Herz and psychologist Prof. Mark Moss. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2PyEsKy Selected references: Rachel Herz’s books: Why You Eat What You Eat & The Scent of DesireA review of the benefits of peppermint tea and oil A critical review of the clinical trials Mark’s two studies showing that rosemary can enhance memoryThe experiment where lavender had different effects depending on what the people expected it to do  Credits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Rose Rimler. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode - including Ryan Dalton, Elaine Elisabetsky, Belinda Hornby, Diane McKay, and Thomas Cleland. Also thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Sep 20, 2018
Plastics: The Final Straw?
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We’re back! This week we tackle the War on Straws and how worried we should be about all the plastic filling our oceans. We speak to marine biologist Christine Figgener, environmental educator Carrie Roble, physiology Prof. John Weinstein, and ecology Prof. David Barnes. Check out the full transcript here. Selected readings: The infamous turtle videoAn ambitious project that mapped the Great Pacific Garbage PatchThis paper that breaks down the sources and amount of plastic getting in the ocean John’s study on how fast microplastics formThis meta-analysis on microplastics, fish, and invertebratesA review of some of the chemicals in plastic and child health Credits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman along with Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Caitlin Kenney and Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Meryl Horn and Rose Rimler. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode - including Dr Chris Wilcox, Dr Denise Hardesty, Prof Anthony Andrady, Dr Carolyn Foley, Dr Tracy Mincer, and  Dr Laurent Lebreton. Thank you! Also thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Sep 13, 2018
We Return... With A Twist.
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Season Five of Science Vs will be in your ears next Thursday. This season we're covering plastic straws, essential oils, veganism, ancient aliens and a lot of other topics that have got the internet hot and bothered.
Sep 06, 2018
Welcome, New Listeners!
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We'll be back in your ears with season 5 of Science Vs in the Fall... but in the meantime, new listeners, here's some episode recommendations to get you started.
Jul 17, 2018
Serial Killers: Science of the Lambs
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What makes a serial killer? What drives them to kill again and again? To find out the truth about this ghastly lot, we talked to forensic psychologist Prof. Eric Hickey, criminologist Ass. Prof. Wayne Petherick, and psychiatrist Prof. Gwen Adshead. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/34aoJXG Note: in this episode we discuss homicide, and sexual violence. Please take care when listening to the show, and here are some resources: National Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). National Hotline for Crime Victims 1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846) National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) Selected readings:Dr. Mike Aamodt’s database of serial killers at Radford UniversityThis study looked at more than 1000 juvenile offenders to find out what was different about those who became killers All sorts of statistics for some of the common behaviors of serial killersThis paper digs into some of the more unusual “ritualistic” behavior of serial killers  Credits:  This Episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Wendy Zukerman. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Alex Blumberg. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Music by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Sound Design and mix by Emma Munger. A big thanks to all of the other academics who helped us out, including Dr. Mike Aamodt, Dr. Ann Burgess, Dr. Scott Lilienfeld, Dr. Devon Polaschek, Dr. Kori Ryan, Dr. Kim Rossmo, Dr. David Finkelhor, Dr. David Keatley, Dr. Jennifer Lansford, Dr. Karen Franklin, Dr. Michael Maltz, Dr. Gabrielle Salfati, Dr. Claire Ferguson, Dr. Sandra Taylor, and Katherine Ramsland. Extra thanks to Sarah McVeigh, Christopher Suter, Frank Lopez, Rose Reid, the Zukerman Family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson, and everyone at Gimlet who listened and gave thoughts.
Jun 28, 2018
UFOs: What the Government Covered Up
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Could aliens actually exist? Is there any chance they’ve visited Earth already? What really happened at Roswell? The truth... is right here. We talked to astronomers Dr. Jill Tarter, Dr. Seth Shostak, investigative journalist David Clarke, and physicist Prof. Jim Al Khalili. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2PqOHRj Selected readings: Seth’s account of that day in 1997The “Condon report”-- a 1968 effort to go through and identify all UFO sightingsThe Roswell ReportThis paper estimating how many planets are in the “Goldilocks” zoneA good read on wormholes and their history; a tough read on how we might use them to teleport Credits: This episode has been produced by our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, as well as Wendy Zukerman and Rose Rimler, with help from Shruti Ravindran and Meryl Horn. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Meryl Horn. Music by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Editing by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Caitlin Kenney. We performed this live for GimletFest - and we were joined onstage by our Aussie mate and mathematician Adam Spencer who has his own podcast you should check out ‘The Big Questions’, and astronomer Dr Emily Rice, who helps run Astronomy on Tap which brings together astronomers and beer. Check it out to see whether it runs in your city. Also thanks to Dr. Ravi Kumar Kopparapu, Dr. Craig O'Neill, Dr. Jessie Christiansen, Dr. Cameron Hummels, Dr. Phil Hopkins, Dr Avi Loeb, and the many other researchers who helped us on this.
Jun 21, 2018
Lyme Disease: How Scary Is It?
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This week, we’re entering the Lyme Wars. We’re asking: what is Lyme disease? How do you get it? How do you know you have it? And if you get infected, are you stuck with it forever? To find out we talk to neurologist Dr John Halperin, neuropsychology researcher Dr Kathleen Bechtold, and a Lyme patient we’re calling Emily. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2DZhQxo Selected readings: About the culprits behind Lyme Disease The best summary on how well the Lyme tests workKathleen's study about patients suffering from Post-Treatment Lyme Disease SyndromeA most helpful primer on Chronic LymeTwo controlled trials showing that long-term antibiotics use doesn’t help zap out lingering Lyme symptoms  Credits:  This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler and Meryl Horn. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording assistance from Daniel Woldorff, Susan Valot, Davis Land and Julian Weller. For this episode, we also spoke to Dr John Aucott, Dr Brian Fallon, Dr Allen Steere, Dr Paul Lantos, Dr Adriana Marques and Dr Alan Barbour. Thank you so much. Thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. And our favorite songstress Rachel Ward.
Jun 15, 2018
Circumcision: Why Are We Doing This?
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This week, we’re entering the foreskin firestorm. We’re asking: what are the risks of circumcision? And are there any medical benefits? To find out we talk to pediatric urologist Andrew Freedman, HIV researcher Godfrey Kigozi, and sex researcher Caroline Pukall. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/38leLWD Selected readings: The American Academy of Pediatrics technical report, which Andrew helped writeA thoughtful opinion piece from AndrewThe trial in Uganda that Godfrey co-authoredCaroline’s team’s penis-poking studyAnother paper from Caroline’s team on how men feel about their circumcisions Credits:  This episode has been produced by Rose Rimler, with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Shruti Ravindran and Meryl Horn. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Extra thanks to Soraya Shockley and Saidu Tejan-Thomas. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording assistance from Gideon Brower, Ryan Delaney, Tom Wayne Harris, and Bahizi Ignatius. For this episode, we also spoke to Dr. Jenn Bossio, Dr. Aaron Tobian, and a bunch of folks at the CDC. Thank you so much. A special thanks to the parents and circumcised men who spoke with us for this story, as well as Frank Lopez, the Zukerman Family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
May 31, 2018
How Science Created Morons
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This week, how one of the worst ideas in science got a big push from a bad study… and intellectuals of the day lapped it up. We speak to science writer Carl Zimmer and Prof. J. David Smith, whose research helped get to the bottom of this disturbing story. UPDATE 05/25/18: This episode has been updated. A previous version said that the 'good' side of the Kallikak family included someone who had signed the Declaration of Independence. It now says that the 'good' Kallikak family member married into the family with the relative who signed the Declaration of Independence. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2sak22y To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers Selected readings: Carl Zimmer's book 'She Has Her Mother's Laugh' Henry Goddard’s book about the Kallikak familyJ. David Smith’s article on the truth about Emma’s familyThe sad story of Carrie Buck and forced sterilization  This episode was produced by senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, Wendy Zukerman, Romilla Karnick with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler, and Shruti Ravindran. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, extra editing help from Alex Blumberg and PJ Vogt. An extra thanks to Phoebe Flanagan as well as Emily Ulbricht for help with German translations. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Meryl Horn. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Thanks also to Professor Peter Visscher, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
May 25, 2018
Polar Bears: A Surprising Tail
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We have this idea that polar bears are teetering on the brink of extinction. But the story isn’t that simple. To find out why, we talk to environmental lawyer Kassie Siegel, wildlife biologist Dr. Karyn Rode, and sea ice expert Dr. Ignatius Rigor. With a little help from Payton, a polar bear at the Memphis Zoo. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2qv9n1t Selected readings: This map of polar bear populations around the ArcticOn the Endangered Species Act and global warmingKaryn’s tale of two bear populationsThis paper on Arctic sea ice This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, and Heather Rogers, will help from Rose Rimler, Shruti Ravindran, and Meryl Horn. Extra help from Saidu Tejan-Thomas. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, extra editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording help from Peter Frick-Wright, Amber Cortes and Katy Sewall. A huge thanks to all of sea ice and polar bear researchers that we contacted for this story, including: Dr Walt Meier, Professor Kent Moore, Dr Ian Stirling, James Wilder, Anthony Pagano, and Dr Peter Boveng. And more thanks to Danielle Brigida, Frank Lopez, Gerald Thompson, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
May 17, 2018
Scott Kelly: How A Year in Space Changes You
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This week, something different. We speak to astronaut Scott Kelly, who went up to space a man and came back a Rhesus monkey. Just kidding, that didn’t happen at all. Listen to find out the real story. PLUS: We talk to Lynn Levy, star producer of the Gimlet show The Habitat. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2LEvaf7 Selected readings:NASA’s updated press release about Scott and MarkMore information about its Twins StudyA paper about what space does to your eyeballs This episode has been produced by Romilla Karnick, Wendy Zukerman, and senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, with help from Rose Rimler and Shruti Ravindran. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. With additional help from Lynn Levy and Peter Bresnan. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording help from Mark Bramhill. Extra thanks to Susan Bailey, Alan Hargens, Chris Mason, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
May 03, 2018
Ketogenic Diet... Is Fat Good For You?
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People who love the ketogenic diet swear it boosts their brainpower, melts their fat, and makes them better athletes. Is it true? To find out, we go keto. And, we talk to some scientists: neuroscientist Dom D’Agostino, medical researcher Eric Verdin, and nutritionist Louise Bourke. Also, Wendy’s mum drops in. Check out our full transcript here: http://bit.ly/355sUF7 Selected readings:This history of the ketogenic dietA pretty comprehensive reviewEric’s exploration of keto on the memories of miceLouise’s paper on keto and sports This episode has been produced by senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman along with Rose Rimler, Shruti Ravindran and Romilla Karnick. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional help from Eric Menell and Simone Polanen. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord. Recording help from Marissa Shieh and Mary Shedden. Extra thanks to Professor Jon Ramsey, Professor Judith Wylie-Roset, Professor Clare Collins, Dr Deirdre K Tobias, Joanna Lauder and Frank Lopez. Thanks to Jack Weinstein. And extra special thanks to Joseph Lavelle Wilson and Ingrid Zukerman.
Apr 26, 2018
Nuclear War... Total Annihilation?
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Nine countries, including North Korea, have nuclear weapons. What would happen if a nuclear bomb was dropped-- say, in New York City? We talk to nuclear historian Dr. Alex Wellerstein, nuclear engineer Dr. Tetsuji Imanaka, and epidemiologist Dr. Eric Grant. UPDATE 04/27: We've adjusted this episode to correct the elevated risk of cancer in survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs. If you survived the atomic bombs your risk of cancer is 10% higher than someone who is the same age as you. Check out our full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2salOAK Selected readings: Alex’s nuclear weapon simulation website Tetsuji’s paper calculating the radiation exposure of Hiroshima survivors This review of the Life Span Study of atomic bomb survivors This sobering report on nuclear winter To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, Rose Rimler, and Shruti Ravindran, with help from Romilla Karnick. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional thoughts from Lulu Miller. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Thanks for recording help from John Wild. For this episode we also spoke to Prof. Richard Wakeford, Dr. Richard Turco, Prof. Brian Toon, Prof. Alan Robock, Dr. Dale Preston, Dr. William Kennedy, Dr. Jonathan D. Pollack, and a bunch of other experts on North Korea and nuclear weapons. Thank you so much. Also, special thanks to Shigeko Sasamori and Kathleen Sullivan. An extra special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Apr 19, 2018
Sex Addiction: Are They Faking It?
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Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are said to have it. You probably have a friend who says they have it too. But is sex addiction the refuge of scoundrels? Or is it a real psychological problem? We speak to sex therapist Dr. David Ley, clinical psychologist Dr Shane Kraus, neuroscientist Dr. Nicole Prause, and someone we call Jeff. If you are experiencing troubles related to sex, you can look for support here. Check out our full transcript and its beautiful thickets of footnotes: http://bit.ly/2rvVfWD To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.fm/sponsors This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler, Heather Rogers and Romilla Karnick. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from PJ Vogt. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord. Recording help from Gideon Brower and Hannah Colton. For this episode we also spoke to Dr. Marc Potenza, Dr. Carl Erik Fisher, Dr. Valerie Voon, Dr. Joshua Grubbs, and Dr. Mateusz Gola. Thank you so much for your help. And an extra special thanks to Frank Lopez, Joel Werner, Joseph Lavelle Wilson, and to all the men and women who allowed us to hear their stories in meetings for sex addicts and sexual compulsives in New York. Selected readings:  Shane’s review paper on the case for sex addiction Shane’s survey on sex addiction among veteransA review paper critiquing the case for sex addictionNicole’s lab study testing whether sex addicts can control sexual response
Apr 05, 2018
Opioids: Kicking America's Addiction
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America’s got an opioid problem. So where do we go from here? What can actually help people struggling with opioid addiction? We speak to Dr. Anna Lembke, Dr. Marvin Seppala, and a patient we call Mischa. UPDATE 04/17: We’ve adjusted a couple of lines of script in this episode to clarify the role of religion in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. A previous version of this episode incorrectly implied that the 12 step philosophy considers addiction a sin and a “defect of character”. If you or someone you love is struggling with an opioid addiction, in the US you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website. Check out our full transcript: http://bit.ly/2LB4kEo To find a list of our sponsors and show-related promo codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers This episode has been produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Shruti Ravindran and Romilla Karnick. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Lulu Miller. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord. Recording help from Marissa Shieh and Julia Smith. For this episode we also spoke to Dr. Hilary Connery, Dr. Ben Davies, Prof. Linda Gowing, Dr. Laura Payne, Prof. Suzanne Nielsen, Prof. Tom McLellan, and Prof. Wayne Hall. Thank you so much for your help. And special thanks to the Rimler family, Devon Taylor, Sarah McVeigh Joseph Lavelle Wilson, and to everyone who spoke with us about their personal experiences with addiction and treatment. Selected readings: The White House report on combating drug addiction This study that followed about 150 people in NA This review on buprenorphine and other medicationsThis review on risk of death This survey that asked doctors what stopped them from prescribing buprenorphine
Mar 29, 2018
Opioids: How America Got Hooked
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More people in the U.S. died from opioids in 2016 than the peak year of the AIDS epidemic. So how did we get here? We speak to Prof. June Dahl, pain specialist Dr. David Tauben, and emergency physician Dr. Jeanmarie Perrone. If you or someone you love is struggling with an opioid addiction, in the US you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website. Check out our full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2Pq1bZk Credits:This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman with help from Rose Rimler, Heather Rogers, and Shruti Ravindran. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Alex Blumberg and Sruthi Pinnamaneni. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord. Recording help from Amber Cortes. And a huge thank you to all the researchers and doctors who spent time with us. We really appreciate it. Dr Andrew Chang, Dr Michael Vagg, Dr Andrew Kolodny, Dr Michael Von Korff, Dr Mary Lynch, Prof Gary Franklin, Prof David J. Clark, Dr Andrew Rosenblum, Frank Lopez, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. Selected Readings: The National Academies of Sciences report on the epidemic This government report on the marketing of Oxycontin The Danish study on chronic pain This review of opioids and hyperalgesia For a list of our sponsors and show related offer codes, go to gimlet.media/OurAdvertisers
Mar 23, 2018
Brand New Science Vs!
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We'll be in your ears with new episodes next week - Thursday March 22nd.
Mar 16, 2018
Obesity - Is It Your Fault?
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We’ve always been told to get off the couch and stop eating junk food if you want to lose weight - but is the obesity epidemic that simple? (Spoiler alert: it’s not.) We speak to geneticist Dr Giles Yeo, exercise physiology researcher Dr Lara Dugas, gastroenterologist Dr Jessica Allegretti, nutrition researcher Dr Pablo Monsivais and Italian radio maker Jonathan Zenti, Check out Jonathan’s podcast MEAT here. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/36jtLCo Selected reading: The 2007 study announcing the FTO gene and its link to obesityThe cute cookie studyThe paper that says ““Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity”The curious case of the poo transplantFood deserts in DetroitOn fast food advertising
Dec 14, 2017
Chiropractors
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Can they help with back pain or anything else? We talk to chiropractor Carl Cleveland III, physical therapist Anita Gross, neurophysiologist Dr. Marcello Costa...and Kaity Sawrey’s parents. Check out our full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2P3g7NW By the way… Gimlet’s doing a holiday pop up shop selling t-shirts and stickers. So show your support by getting your very own Science Vs tee shirt! Check it out at sciencevs.show/shirt. Credits: This episode has been produced by Rose Rimler, Wendy Zukerman, with help from Shruti Ravindran and Heather Rogers. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Music written by Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke to Dr. Richard Deyo, Prof. Tim Mirtz, Prof. Gregory Whitcomb, Dr. Adam Cifu, and Julie Knaak,-- Thank you for your insights. An extra big thanks to Rachel Ward, Emma Morgenstern, Christina Sullivan, Jasmine Romero and Phoebe Flanigan. As well as Alex Ward, Russell Gragg, Fiona Croall and Judy Adair. Also, a shoutout to the Sawreys! Thank you, Bill & Chris.  Selected readings:A history of DD Palmer and chiropractic, which Carl co-wroteAnita’s review on spinal manipulation and neck painThe UK evidence report on manual therapyJAMA editorial on spinal manipulation and lower back painClinical guidelines on treating lower back pain from the American College of PhysiciansAn analysis of neck manipulation and strokeAnd of course….this
Dec 07, 2017
Birth Control - The Biggest Myths
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Everyone’s got a myth or two about birth control they want cleared up. Like... is 'pulling out' AKA withdrawal really such a bad idea? Does the pill change your brain? Are IUDs safe? And why isn’t there a pill for men, already?! We ask gynecologist Dr. Amita Murthy, neuroendocrinologist Dr. Nicole Petersen, men’s health researcher Prof. Robert McLachlan and a whole roomful of experts on sex -- teenagers. UPDATE 05/12/17: We have updated this episode to further emphasize that the pre-cum studies are only very small. Use withdrawal at your own peril! Check out our full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2P5creH Selected readings:The Guttmacher report on unintended pregnanciesNicole’s research on the brainThe Nurses’ Health Study results on oral contraceptivesA history of the Dalkon ShieldThe latest on male contraception Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Shruti Ravindran, Heather Rogers and Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Extra editing help from Alex Blumberg and Eric Mennel. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Music written by Bobby Lord.  An extra thanks to Dr Aparna Sundaram at the Guttmacher Institute, Dr Sarah Prager, Prof Brittany Charlton, Dr Lisa Iversen, Prof James Trussell, Dr Sara Holton. Big thank you to Libby Shafer and all the Chicago teens, plus Jonathan Goldstein and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Nov 30, 2017
Molly - Scary Drug or Promising Therapy?
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Molly, Ecstasy, MDMA... whatever you want to call it, it's all the same thing. This week, we’re turning up the bass and checking out what does it do to your brain. Is it bad for you? Could it be a potential medicine? To find out, we talk to public health researcher Prof. Joseph Palamar, DEA special agent James Hunt, and neuroscientist Prof. Harriet de Witt. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2YEl1V2 Selected reading:Harriet’s paper on MDMA and feelings of rejectionJoseph’s paper on club kid hairThis big British report on the risks of ecstasy  Credits: This episode was produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, Shruti Ravindran and Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Rose Rimler and Ben Kuebrich. Sound design by Martin Peralta and Haley Shaw. Music written by Bobby Lord. An extra thanks to Johnny Dynell, Jesse Rudoy, Brian Earp, Prof. Jerrold S. Meyer, Prof. Niamh Nic Daéid and Dr. Carl Roberts.
Nov 16, 2017
Balding - What Actually Works?
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So... you’re losing your hair. Is there anything that can be done about it? And are the treatments dangerous -- for your or your penis? We talk to geneticist Prof. Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach and dermatologists Dr. Wilma Bergfeld and Dr. Robert Bernstein. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2Yvcrrm Extra reading:A review of balding treatmentsStefanie’s paper on balding geneticsThis research on the intersex population of the Dominican Republic Notes on hair transplants
Nov 09, 2017
The Bee-pocalypse
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What is killing the bees? And will we have enough food to eat if the bee-pocalypse becomes worse? We speak to Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology and Bumblebee ecologist at the University of Sussex, Judy Wu-Smart, Research Entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Steve Ellis, a beekeeper in Barrett, Minnesota. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2YEm0oc Extra reading Judy Wu-Smart’s study on how neonicotinoid pesticides affect queen beesDave Goulson’s round-up of the parasites that plague beesA comprehensive laundry list of all the factors that make the world inhospitable to bees
Nov 02, 2017
Vitamins & Supplements - Are They Worth It?
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Americans spend billions of dollars on vitamins and supplements, but are they worth it? We look at the science behind some of the most popular supplements with nutritional epidemiologist Prof. Katherine Tucker, neuroscientist Dr. Simon Dyall, and medical researcher Dr. Mark Bolland. Our Sponsors: G Suite | WP Engine Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, and Shruti Ravindran. Production assistance from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Blythe Terrell with help from Alex Blumberg. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Music written by Bobby Lord. An extra thanks to the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson, Chris Giliberti, Jasmine Romero, Matthew Nelson, Stevie Lane, Dr Harri Hemilä, Stephanie from the New York State Library and Dr Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam. Selected Reading:The history of fortified foodsThe Institute of Medicine Report on calcium and Vitamin DSurvey on vitamin shopping habits in the USSimon’s paper on Omega 3 and spinal cord injuries in ratsMark’s work on calciumThis whopper of a study on multivitamins Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2rlrpnZ
Oct 19, 2017
Bigfoot
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All over the world people report sightings of big, hairy, human-like beasts, so could Bigfoot really be out there... somewhere? We ask Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Prof. Bryan Sykes, Prof. Todd Disotell, and the Round Rock, Texas, Department of Parks and Recreation. CORRECTION: In a previous version of this podcast we said Dr Meldrum works at the University of Idaho. He actually works at Idaho State University. We've updated this episode with his correct title. Our Sponsors: Cole Haan | WP Engine | Sundance Now Listen to Gimlet's newest show, Uncivil wherever you get your podcasts Apple Podcasts | Overcast | Stitcher | Pocketcasts Credits: This episode has been produced by our senior producer, Kaitlyn Sawrey, as well as Wendy Zukerman, Rose Reid, Heather Rogers and Shruti Ravindran. Production assistance from Rose Rimler. Edited by Blythe Terrell and Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. And a big thank you to Dr Michael J Hickerson and Professor James L. Patton for his 7 PAGE document describing the last large mammals discovered by western scientists in North America, suffice to say, Bigfoot wasn’t on the list. Selected Reading:Paper on Bigfoot reports in North AmericaBryan’s paper on Bigfoot hairsA review of the human family treeJeff Meldrum’s book Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2LyEOQn
Oct 12, 2017
100% Renewable Energy - Can We Do It?
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We need to ditch fossil fuels. Can America go 100% renewable by 2050? Does the technology already exist? We speak to Prof. Mark Delucchi, Prof. Christopher Clack, and Prof. David Connolly. UPDATE: Since this episode was published, Tesla have unveiled a prototype of a electric semi truck. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/38ku2a4 Our Sponsors: Tushy | Wordpress.com | TuneIn Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers and Shruti Ravindran. Production help from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited this week by Blythe Terrell and Annie-Rose Strasser, with extra help from Rachel Ward. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke to Professor Vijay Modi, Professor Mark Jacobson, Dr Gorm Bruun Andresen, Professor Willett Kempton, Dr Dylan McConnell, and Dr Jane CS Long. And an extra thanks to the Zukerman family. Selected reading: Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi paper showing that the US could be run on 100 percent renewable energy.Christopher Clack and his team’s paper criticising Mark’s workSurvey published this year of more than 100 energy experts on the future of renewables.National Renewable Energy Lab’s look at Renewable Electricity Detailed report on California’s energy future
Oct 05, 2017
The Rise of Anti-Vaxxers
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Last week we explored the science behind vaccine safety. This week we try to understand where these fears came from, and why they persist. We speak to three historians: Prof. Nadja Durbach, Prof. Elena Conis, and Prof. Robert Johnston. And a concerned mom named Noelle. Check out our full transcript here: http://bit.ly/355DlZz Our Sponsors: Cotton Inc + Madewell | Spotify | Sundance Now's Riviera | Wordpress.com Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, and Shruti Ravindran. Production help from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited this week by Blythe Terrell with editorial assistance from Alex Blumberg, Annie-Rose Strasser and Lynn Levy. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with help from Rose Rimler. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke with Russ Bruesewitz, Prof. Sharon Kaufmann, Prof. Alison Buttenheim, Barbara Loe Fisher, Sally Mendelsohn, Prof. Mary Holland, Prof. Paul Jackson, Prof. Michael Willrich, Julie Livingston and Kari Christianson. Thanks to Gimlet producer Luke Malone, the whole Zukerman clan, Joseph Lavelle Wilson, and Leo Rogers. Selected references:Dr. Robert Mendelsohn’s book, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, Nadja Durbach’s book, Bodily Matters, Vaccine hesitancy paper Paul Offit’s book, Deadly Choices
Sep 21, 2017
Vaccines - Are They Safe?
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Autism, seizures, and overloaded immune systems. Could these really be side effects of vaccines? This week, we dive into the science to find out how safe vaccines really are. We also talk to public health researchers Prof. Dan Salmon and Prof. Amy Kalkbrenner and neurologist Prof. Ingrid Scheffer. Check out our full transcript: http://bit.ly/2PrqtX3 Our Sponsors:Cole Haan | Google Cloud, Maker of GSuite | Ziprecruiter | WPEngine Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, and Shruti Ravindran. Production help from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited this week by Blythe Terrell and Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with help from Rose Rimler. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke with Dr. Saad Omer, Dr. Neal Halsey, Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Frank DeStefano, and Prof. Alison Buttenheim. And an extra thanks to Bonnie Stanway,Ivona Stamatoska, Reese and Walter Ludwig, the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and - of course! - Leo Rogers. Selected References:The National Academies (aka Institute of Medicine) report on vaccine safety A report on the genetic underpinnings of epilepsyThis study looked for neurologic disorders after the MMR shot in half a million kids This one looked at all children born in Denmark between 1991 and 1998
Sep 14, 2017
Detoxing & Cleanses - Do They Work?
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Juice cleanses, fancy foods, sweat, charcoal, and colonics-- is there a scientifically proven way to ‘clean out’ your system? This week, we dig in deep to the science of detox and turn ourselves into guinea pigs for a juicing experiment. We talk to a passionate proctologist named Prof. Graham Newstead, as well as nutrition researcher Prof. Stella Volpe and toxicologist Dr. Susanne Ramm. Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2LEsSwr Our Sponsors: Cole Haan | Google Cloud, Maker of GSuite | Cotton Inc + Madewell Credits: This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Wendy Zukerman, and Heather Rogers. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with help from Rose Rimler. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Lynn Levy, the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson, Torey Armul, Dr. Naveed Sattar, and Dr. David Juurlink. Selected ReferencesOn the inability of activated charcoal to absorb wind, aka the ‘poo in a blender’ study Review paper on the dangers of colonics Why liquids don't make you feel very full An investigation of capsaicin, aka the spice in spicy food, for weight loss
Sep 07, 2017
New Season... Coming Soon!
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Science Vs is back in your ears next week! This season we're going to dissect the science behind detox diets, the safety of vaccines and whether America can run on 100% renewable energy. We also figure out whether vitamins and supplements are a waste of your money, why the bees are dying and where the heck the Male Pill is at?! Go to sciencevs.show/fall to check out Wendy's favourite episodes of other Gimlet shows coming back this Fall.  Fact you next week!
Aug 31, 2017
Artificial Sweeteners - not so sweet?
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Low calorie, no calorie and so sweet. Artificial sweeteners just seem too good to be true. Is there a catch? We dig into two big questions: Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer, and are they making us fat? We talk to Prof. John Glendinning, Prof. Susie Swithers, Dr. Kieron Rooney, and PhD student Jotham Suez about the latest research. Plus we do a fun experiment with PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman from Reply All!  Also, please sign up for our brand spanking new newsletter! We’ll share science that’s been blowing our minds, plus great content like the most amazing calculation from an academic of how much bigger 323 African Elephants are than nuclear waste. Head to: https://gimletmedia.com/newsletter/  Our Sponsors:Postmates - New customers get a $100 credit by downloading the app and entering the promo code SCIENCEWordpress - go to wordpress.com/science to get 15% off a new websiteHello Fresh - For $30 off your first week of meals go to hellofresh.com and enter the promo code SCIENCEVS30 Credits: This episode has been produced by Ben Kuebrich, Heather Rogers, Shruti Ravindran and Wendy Zukerman.Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Production assistance by Stevie Lane. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Original music and mixing by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher, Peter Bresnan, Euromonitor International and ubiome.    Selected References:Prof. Susie Swithers’s study on artificial sweeteners and feeding behavior in ratsA 2015 systematic review of the relationship between artificial sweetener consumption and cancer in humansJotham Suez’s study on artificial sweeteners and the gut microbiome
Jun 08, 2017
Nuclear Power - what are the Risks?
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Fukushima. Chernobyl. Three Mile Island. There’s been some big nuclear accidents over the past few decades, but how dangerous is nuclear power really? We take you inside the core of America’s biggest nuclear power plant and trace what went wrong at Fukushima to try to figure out: when will the next meltdown happen? And what our chances are of getting cancer from it? This week we talk to Dr. Spencer Wheatley, Dr. Jonathan Samet, and Jack Cadogan, an executive at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. UPDATE! We’ve made a couple of small changes to this episode, thank you to all the listeners who picked up on them.  1. We called the energy that comes from nuclear power a chemical reaction… it’s not. It’s a nuclear reaction. Chemical reactions involve the electrons in an atom. Nuclear reactions involve the nucleus.  2. We said that the Joker became The Joker After falling into a vat of radioactive waste. This is disputed. It seems it was a vat chemicals.. But what those chemicals were , that’s unclear. 3. A clarification: We said that the waste that nuclear power produces in the US… 2200 metric tons per year… was like 323 male African Elephants. That was a weight comparison. They weigh roughly the same… It wasn’t a three dimensional size comparison. Nuclear waste is much denser than an elephant, and so it takes up much less room. And if you want to read the most amazing calculation from an academic of how much bigger 323 African Elephants are in 3D space you’ve got to sign up to our brand spanking new newsletter! To do that head to https://gimletmedia.com/newsletter/  And FINALLY! We got a lot of feedback from that episode that listeners really wanted to hear how nuclear power compares to other energy sources: like coal, solar and wind! Now we decided that to do a fair comparison that really needs it’s own episode - it wasn’t as simple as just throwing out some numbers. So we’re working on that episode for next season. Our Sponsors: Cloudflare - To learn more visit cloudflare.com/sciencevs Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Ben Kuebrich, Shruti Ravindran and Wendy Zukerman.Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Ben Kuebrich and Heather Rogers. Original music and mixing by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Leo Rogers, Joseph Lavelle Wilson as well as Prof. Steven Biegalski, Prof. Mark Jacobson, Jussi Heinonen, and Dr. Eric Grant. Selected References:Radiation Basics Primer from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionDr. Spencer Wheatley’s paper ‘Reassessing the safety of nuclear power’National Research Council Report on Health Risks from Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation
Jun 01, 2017
Meditation
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Silicon Valley CEOs, Tibetan monks, and crunchy hippies alike describe meditation as blissful and life-changing, but what does the science say? Can it reduce stress, increase your attention, and improve mental health -- or is all this focus on breathing just a bunch of hot air?  Sit back, get comfortable, and focus your mind as we talk to Tim Ferriss, Professor Gaelle Desbordes, Dr. Clifford Saron, and Dr. Britta Hölzel. Please note: we have updated this episode. We removed a reference to Peter Thiel, the founder of Paypal. He was a guest on Tim Ferriss' show, but didn't discuss whether he meditates.  Our SponsorsEveryday Bravery - Listen to Everyday Bravery, a podcast from Prudential, by going to everydaybravery.comWordpress - go to wordpress.com/science to get 15% off a new website Credits: This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Ben Kuebrich, Heather Rogers and Wendy Zukerman. Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Ben Kuebrich. Music production and original music written by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Dr Jonathan Schooler, Dr Florian Kurth Aldis Wieble and Dr. Madhav Goyal. Selected References:CDC Report: Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2002–2012Review of Neuroimaging Studies on Meditators Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis - JAMA review of Clinical Trials with Active ControlsIntensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators - Dr. Cliff Saron’s study on telomerase activity after a meditation retreat
May 25, 2017
True Love
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What is love? With half of first time American marriages ending in divorce by the 20th anniversary, and infidelity being widespread, Science Vs asks: have we been lied to by our love songs? On today’s episode we explore: What happens to the brain when we fall in love? Is the compulsion to stay together biological? And, is monogamy really unnatural? We talk to Dr. Helen Fisher, Professor Larry Young, and Dr. Dieter Lukas about their labors of love. Our Sponsors:Everyday Bravery - Listen to Everyday Bravery, a podcast from Prudential, by going to everydaybravery.comVirgin Atlantic - Listen to their podcast, The Venture, wherever you get your podcastsZiprecruiter - try Ziprecruiter for free by going to ziprecruiter.com/sciencevs Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, Ben Kuebrich, Shruti Ravindran and Rose Reid. Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. Extra editorial help from Alex Blumberg. Production assistance from Stevie Lane. Fact checking by Ben Kuebrich. Music production and original music written by Bobby Lord. Special thanks to Joseph Lavelle Wilson, Austin Mitchell and to Professor Karen L Kramer, Professor Garth Fletcher, Dr. Alexander G. Ophir, Professor David Barash, Richard Bethleham . Check out Gail and Rose Reid's podcast Details Please.  Selected References:CDC - Data on First Marriages in the United StatesHelen Fisher fMRI Paper on Early-Stage LoveLarry Young Review Paper on the Neurobiology of Pair BondingDieter Lukas’s Paper on the Evolution of Monogamy in MammalsThe monogamy camp - review paper arguing “we evolved to be monogamous”
May 11, 2017
Antioxidants
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Are chocolate, coffee and red wine actually good for us? Reading the news it seems that one day they are helping us live longer, and the next day they are giving us heart attacks.  So what’s going on here? Host Wendy Zukerman and DJ/senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey explore the science live on stage, with interview clips from Prof. Bruce Ames, Prof. David Sinclair and author Aidan Goggins. This show was recorded live at The Bell House on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017. If you want to listen to the Q&A after the show, sign up to become a Gimlet member for $5 a month. If you sign up for a year, you can receive a Science Vs t-shirt! Our Sponsors:Cloudflare - To learn more visit cloudflare.com/sciencevsWordpress - go to wordpress.com/science to get 15% off a new websiteHello Fresh - For $30 off your first week of meals go to hellofresh.com and enter the promo code SCIENCEVS30 Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, Diane Wu, and Shruti Ravindran. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Diane Wu and Ben Kuebrich. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, and mixed by Austin Thompson.  Music written by Bobby Lord.  Extra thanks to Martin Peralta, Rachel Ward, Eric Mennel and the Bell House, and live show art by Alice Lay (which you can see at facebook.com/sciencevspodcast) Further Reading:JAMA Review - Are antioxidant supplements associated with higher or lower all-cause mortality? David Sinclair’s Study: Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie dietAlcohol and coronary heart disease: a meta-analysisCoffee Meta-analysis: Coffee consumption and mortality from all causes…Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women
May 04, 2017
Abortion: What You Need To Know
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Abortion is so taboo. People don’t talk about abortions they’ve had. Doctors don’t talk about abortions they’ve given. But it's happening a lot. Almost a million abortions happened in the US in 2014. So, what actually happens in an abortion, can the fetus feel pain and what are the risks?  To find out we visit an abortion clinic in Texas and talk to Dr. Amita Murthy, Dr. Lisa Harris, Dr. Bhavik Kumar, and Dr. Diana Greene Foster. This episode is not about being pro-choice or pro-life, but pro-facts. Credits:This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, Ben Kuebrich, Shruti Ravindran and Rachel Ward. Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser.  Fact Checking by Michelle Harris and Ben Kuebrich. Extra help with production and editorial from Alex Blumberg and Jorge Just. Music production and original music written by Bobby Lord. Thanks to Lola Pellegrino, Ronnie Shankar, Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper, Rachel Jones, Elizabeth Nash, Dr Yoon-Jin Kim, Delma Limones and Gilda Sedgh. Also thanks to Katie Bishop and Reverend David Gushee. Our Sponsors:There is no sponsor! Weirdly we couldn’t find any companies were like ‘hey yeah we want to advertise on an episode about one of the most controversial issues in America’. So… you should be our sponsor! Support quality journalism that isn’t afraid to tackle controversial topics. Become a Gimlet Member for $5 a month to support our shows and receive exclusive perks like early access to new show pilots, an invite to our member Slack, first notice about Gimlet events, and for our annual members, your choice of a newly redesigned Gimlet t-shirt (we recommend the Science VS design). Further Reading:CDC Statistics on AbortionGuttmacher Institute Report on AbortionThe Turnaway Study - Women’s Mental Health and Well-being 5 Years After Receiving or Being Denied an AbortionRoyal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - The Care of Women Requesting Induced AbortionRoyal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists - Fetal Awareness
Apr 27, 2017
GMO... OMG?
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Science Vs peels back the label on GM foods to find out whether they’re safe to eat and what impact they can have on the environment. Both sides of the debate have written impassioned songs, but what does the science say? We talk to Prof. Fred Gould, Dr. Janet Cotter, and Prof. David Douches to find out. ***Please note*** this episode has been updated. In the original version we suggested that the Bt corn that killed monarch caterpillars was taken off the market as a direct result of studies demonstrating its harm. But although the corn was eventually taken off the market, the company that made it later told us it was phased out "for business reasons", such as declining sales -- and they did not mention the dead butterflies. Credits: This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Heather Rogers, and Wendy Zukerman.  Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Production assistance by Ben Kuebrich. Our editor is Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris and Ben Kuebrich. Music production, mixing and original scoring by Bobby Lord. Thanks to Professor Elizabeth Ransom, Professor Stephen Long, Stephen Tindale, Dr Chuck Benbrook and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. Our Sponsors:Ziprecruiter - Try Ziprecruiter for free by going to ziprecruiter.com/sciencevsCloudflare - To learn more visit cloudflare.com/sciencevs Further Reading:The National Academy of Sciences report on GE cropsOur favourite youtube videos about genetically modified crops here, here and here.
Apr 17, 2017
Lemmings
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Why do four out of five dentists recommend Colgate? How many Americans really approve of Trump? This special episode is a two-parter: First, we talk to Prof. Dan Levitin, author of ‘Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era’, about some recent news stories and how to be skeptical of the statistics you see. Then, we bring you a surprise you won’t want to miss. It’s about deception, murder, and of course, ~science~. Credits:Ebay - Listen to Ebay's podcast Open For Business on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcastsWordpress - go to wordpress.com/science to get 15% off a new websiteHello Fresh - For $30 off your first week of meals go to hellofresh.com and enter the promo code SCIENCEVS30Our Sponsors: This episode has been produced by Austin Mitchell, Ben Kuebrich, Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, and Shruti Ravindran. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Our editor is Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact Checking by Ben Kuebrich. Sound engineering, music production and original scoring by Bobby Lord. The lemmings musical mega-mix was created by Austin Mitchell. Thanks to Dr. Malte Andersson, Dr. Anders Angerbjörn and Dr. Rolf Anker Ims. As well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the use of Cruel Camera.  Further Reading:Weaponized Lies by Prof. Dan LevitinA Theory on the Cause of Lemming BoomsLinking Climate to Lemming Cycles
Apr 06, 2017
Ghosts
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One third of Americans believe in ghosts, and one fifth have had a personal encounter. We go to a haunted house with some paranormal investigators and things get spooky. But, scientists aren’t scared - they have a range of explanations for why so many people encounter ghosts. We speak to Dr. Katie Mack, Baland Jalal, Dr. Shane Rogers, and Prof. Chris French and find out what ghosts are all about. Credits: This episode has been produced by Ben Kuebrich, Wendy Zukerman, Diane Wu, Heather Rogers and Shruti Ravindran. Senior Producer Kaitlyn Sawrey. Our editor is Annie-Rose Strasser. Production assistance: Audrey Quinn. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Sound engineering, music production and original scoring by Bobby Lord. Thanks to Dr. Ciaran O’Keeffe, Dr Neil Dagnall, Dr. Giulio Rognini, Raymond Swyers, Dr. Joseph Baker, Prof. Kwai Man Luk, Prof. Kin Seng Chiang, Prof. Tapan Sarkar, Prof. Maxim Gitlits, The Zukerman family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson as well as Jorge Just, Devon Taylor ...and thanks to Haley Shaw for the spooooky violins in the Science Vs theme. Our Sponsors: Meet real Subaru owners and hear their stories on MeetAnOwner.com. Selected References:Baland Jalal’s Sleep Paralysis Hallucination HypothesisReview of Folklore Surrounding Sleep ParalysisWorld Health Organization’s Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and MouldChris French’s Haunted Room Experiment
Mar 30, 2017
Climate Change... the Apocalypse?
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Less than half of Americans think climate change is caused by humans, but scientists are sure about it. So, how do they know that humans are to blame? We also look into the climate change crystal ball to figure out are we doomed? Is the apocalypse nigh? We speak to Prof. Ralph Keeling, Prof. Chris Field, and Dr. David Pierce to find out. Science Vs Live! Come see our live show on the science behind red wine, coffee and chocolate - could our favorite treats actually be good for us? Thursday 3/23 at the Bell House. Get your tickets here: http://bit.ly/2mnNNpv  Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Dr Diane Wu, Shruti Ravindran, and Heather Rogers. Senior Producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Production assistance from Ben Kuebrich. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. And a big thanks to  Eric Mennel, Pat Walters, Caitlin Kenney and Alex Blumberg. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris and Ben Kuebrich.  Sound engineering, music production and original scoring by Bobby Lord.  Even more thanks to Dr Alexander Robel, Dr. Ted Scambos, Dr Pieter Tans, Prof. Jason Box, Ass. Prof. Martha Buckley, Assoc Prof. Zanna Chase, Sarah Shackleton, and Stevie Lane. Our Sponsors: Audible Channel's Sincerely X - Go to audible.com/sincerelyx to listen. Audible and Amazon Prime members can listen for free. Selected References:David Keeling on his life’s work: “I too pondered the significance of returning a half a billion years’ accumulation of carbon to the air”.National Academy of Sciences Report on Climate Change in 1983National Academy of Science Report on Climate Change in 2014EPA Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and SinksIPCC Evaluation of Climate Models
Mar 16, 2017
Acne
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Trying to get rid of acne can feel like a science experiment with your face -- so we get to the bottom of what works and what doesn’t. We investigate the role of diet, stress and hygiene, and meet internet celebrity Dr Sandra Lee aka Dr Pimple Popper. We also speak to dermatologist Dr. Jonathan Weiss, MD and Prof. Huiying Li, PhD. Science Vs Live! Come see our live show on the science behind red wine, coffee and chocolate - could our favorite treats actually be good for us? Thursday 3/23 at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NYC. Get your tickets here.   Our Sponsors: Audible Channel's Sincerely X - Go to audible.com/sincerelyx to listen. Audible and Amazon Prime members can listen for free. Ebay's Open for Business - Season 2 returns March 16th. You can listen on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts. Credits: This episode has been produced by Senior Producer Kaitlyn Sawrey and Wendy Zukerman, as well as Heather Rogers, and Shruti Ravindran. Production assistance from Ben Keubrick. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Sound engineering, music production and original scoring by Bobby Lord. Thanks to Dr Robert Delavalle, Grand View Research and Stevie Lane, Pat Walters, Rose Reid, the Zukerman family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson. Selected References:2016 Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris2013 study on ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ strains of P. Acnes by Dr. Huiying LiDr. Pimple Popper’s ‘Blackheads for Dayzzzz’ videoCochrane Review on Light Therapy for Acne TreatmentA great summary of up to date research on acne and acne treatment.
Mar 09, 2017
Immigration
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We head to a farm in Alabama to find out what happened after thousands of immigrants left the state. Did it create more jobs for Americans and what happened to the crime rate? We speak to economists Prof. Samuel Addy, Prof. Jennifer Hunt, and Prof. Brian Bell to find out. Science Vs Live! Come see our live show on the science behind red wine, coffee and chocolate - could our favorite treats actually be good for us? Thursday 3/23 at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NYC. Get your tickets here.   Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, and Shruti Ravindran. Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. Production assistance by Ben Kuebrich. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Sound engineering, music production and original music written by Bobby Lord. Thanks to Dr Anna Piil Damm, Professor Charis Kubrin, Assistant Professor Jorg Spenkuch, Professor Kristin Butcher and Ramiro Martinez… as well as the Zukerman family. Selected References:2016 NAS report: The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration (with ‘key messages and conclusions’ starting on page 202.ACLU analysis of “Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act,” HB 562003 analysis and 2015 analysis on how immigrants affect wages Brian Bell’s 2013 study on the effect of two different immigration waves on crime in the UKFBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Database
Mar 09, 2017
New season... coming soon!
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We’ve read the studies. We’ve spoken to the experts. And now it’s time for facts. There is no alternative.  The new season of Science Vs will be out March 9th.
Feb 28, 2017
Antidepressants
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There’s an intriguing body of research that suggests the power of antidepressants doesn’t come from chemicals in the drugs, but from the power of placebo. Not everyone agrees, though. We speak to researchers and medical professionals on either side of the debate, and some wedged in-between -- Prof. Peter Kramer, psychiatrist and author of Ordinarily Well: the Case for Antidepressants; Prof. Irving Kirsch, psychologist and author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth; psychiatrist and radiologist Prof. Helen Mayberg; and psychiatrist Prof. Gregory Simon. Crisis Hotlines:US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755)US Crisis Text Line Text “GO” to 741741Australian Lifeline 13 11 14Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionOur SponsorsCasper - Get $50 towards any mattress by visiting casper.com/sciencevs and use the promo code SCIENCEVSThird Love - Go to thirdlove.com/sciencevs to start your free trialWealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.Credits This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, Shruti Ravindran, and Diane Wu. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll. Music written by Bobby Lord and Martin Peralta. Selected References2008 study suggesting that antidepressants are not much better than placebo for people suffering in severe depression.2016 study suggesting that antidepressants were way better than placebo in treating people suffering from severe depression. 2016 study on how drug companies under-report side effects in clinical trials. 2003 round-up of the most common side-effects of antidepressants. 2013 study which uses brain imaging to try to pinpoint whether patients would respond better to medication or psychotherapy.
Oct 28, 2016
DNA and the Smell of Death
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In these cases, emerging DNA evidence and the smell of death (yes, really) pushed the boundaries of what was technologically possible. But how reliable are they? To find out, we go to a body farm and talk to Assoc. Prof. Joan Bytheway, Asst. Prof. Sheree Hughes-Stamm, Matt Young, Dr. Arpad Vass, and Asst. Prof. Donovan Haines. Our Sponsors Lenovo – See how Lenovo is revolutionizing data center technology. Modcloth - Enter promo code SCIENCEVS at checkout to get $20 off an order of $100 or more! Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “SCIENCE VS” to get 10% off your first purchase. Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free. Credits This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Shruti Ravindran, Diane Wu,and Heather Rogers. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Thanks to Joseph Lavelle Wilson, Will Doolan and Beth McMullen. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll Music written by Bobby Lord. Selected References 2009 National Academy of Sciences and 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reports on forensic science. How DNA is transferred in trace evidence. Report on error rates in DNA forensic analysis. Study that showed dogs could pick up the smell of a corpse 667 days later. Call to arms on improving forensic science: editorial. Scent of death - Belgian paper that found three out of four of Dr Arpad Vass' “human specific markers” in other animals.
Oct 21, 2016
Forensic Science
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There are a slew of scientific techniques that forensic experts use to solve crimes. But how reliable are they? We’re putting forensic evidence under the microscope. To help us crack the case, we talk to Assoc. Prof. Sibyl Bucheli, attorney Chris Fabricant, former crime lab director Barry Fisher, Dr. Itiel Dror, and Assoc. Prof. Patrick Buzzini. Our Sponsors Hello Fresh – To get $35 off your first week of deliveries visit hellofresh.com and enter promo code “ScienceVS”. Frank & Oak – Go to frankandoak.com/science to get your first outfit for $79 (a pair of pants and a shirt). Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free. Credits This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Shruti Ravindran, Diane Wu, Austin Mitchell and Heather Rogers. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Music written by Bobby Lord. Selected References 2009 National Academy of Sciences and 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reports on forensic science Overview of forensic entomology Amendt et al, “Forensic entomology,” Naturwissenschaften, 2004 Study modeling precision of dating time of death from flies Faris et al, “Forensic Entomology: Evaluating Uncertainty Associated With Postmortem Interval (PMI) Estimates With Ecological Models,” Journal of Medical Entomology 2016. Review paper on bite mark analysis Clement et al, “Is current bite mark analysis a misnomer?” Department of Justice review of Brandon Mayfield case Context can change how fingerprints are read Dror et al, “Contextual information renders experts vulnerable to making erroneous identifications,” Forensic Science International, 2006. Hair microscopy can lead to incorrect matches Houck et al, “Correlation of microscopic and mitochondrial DNA hair comparisons,” Journal of Forensic Science, 2002.
Oct 07, 2016
Zika
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Since 2015 there have been Zika outbreaks reported in sixty countries. So, where did Zika come from? What happens when you get infected? How worried should you be?And why has Zika has become such a problem recently? To find out, we speak to Assoc. Prof. Desiree LaBeaud, Dr Cathy Spong, Dr Andrew Haddow, and New York Times health reporter Donald McNeil Jr. Credits This episode has been produced by Diane Wu, Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, Caitlin Kenney, and Shruti Ravindran. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta. Music written by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Our Sponsors Prudential – Download the MapMyRun app and join the Prudential 4.01K challenge. When you do, pledge to save at least 1% or more of your annual income for retirement and run and log 4.01K to be eligible to win a prize. Squarespace – The easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio or online store. Use the offer code “SCIENCE VS” to get 10% off your first purchase. Wealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free. Selected ReferencesFirst case of Zika reported in Nigerian girl N. McNamara, Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg, 1954.Donald McNeil Jr’s recent book on Zika epidemic McNeil, DG “Zika: The emerging epidemic,” W. W. Norton and Co, 2016Interactive history of Zika from the World Health OrganizationZika virus may linger in the vagina Prisant, N et al “Zika virus in the female genital tract,” The Lancet 2016Estimated risk of microcephaly if you get zika when pregnant is between one and 13% Johansson, M et al “Zika and the Risk of Microcephaly,” New England Journal of Medicine, 2016First report that Zika can be spread through sex (confirming Andrew Haddow's hunch over a beer in Senegal) Foy, BD et al “Probable Non–Vector-borne Transmission of Zika Virus, Colorado, USA,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2011U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommendations on ZikaWorld Health Organization recommendations on Zika
Sep 30, 2016
Hypnosis
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This week, we explore the science of hypnosis, and take Science Vs to the edge of consciousness. In the service of journalism, Wendy tries to get hypnotized at a comedy club and in a doctor’s office. We talk to comedian Jim Spinnato, Prof. Philip Muskin, Prof. Amanda Barnier, and Prof. Amir Raz. Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, Caitlin Kenney, Austin Mitchell, Dr. Diane Wu, and Shruti Ravindran. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta. Music written by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Thanks to Alex Blumberg for being the man that spoke pretty often in the end… and Jonathan Goldstein for being our CIA agent… and if you like his CIA agent you’ll love his new show Heavyweight. It’s out next week and you can subscribe now. Selected References2013 paper reviewing 100 journal articles on hypnosis Kihlstrom, JF, “Neuro-Hypnotism: Prospects for Hypnosis and Neuroscience,” Cortex, 2013.Is hypnotizability a genetic trait? Maybe, but it’s complicated Raz, A, et al. “Neuroimaging and genetic associations of attentional and hypnotic processes,” Journal of Physiology, 2006.Script for the Stanford test of hypnotizability Weitzenhoffer, AM and Hilgard, ER. “Stanford hypnotic susceptibility scale, Form C.” 1962.Highly hypnotizable people can be hypnotized to not recognize their own reflections Connors, MH et al. “Using hypnosis to disrupt face processing: Mirrored-self misidentification delusion and different visual media,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014.There's more to hypnosis than expectation Lifshitz, M et al. “Can expectation enhance response to suggestion? De-automatization illuminates a conundrum,” Consciousness and Cognition, 2012.Brain study of a hypnotized man responding to suggestion that his leg is paralyzed Halligan, PW et al. “Imaging hypnotic paralysis: implications for conversion hysteria,” The Lancet, 2000.1955 CIA memo on hypnosis, 1960 CIA report on hypnosis
Sep 23, 2016
The G-spot
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Join us on a hunt for the elusive G-spot. Our guides: Prof. Beverly Whipple, who introduced America to the G-spot in the 1980s, and Prof. Helen O’Connell, a urologist and expert on female sexual anatomy. CreditsThis episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, Caitlin Kenney, Austin Mitchell, and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris.Production Assistance by Dr Diane Wu & Shruti Ravindran. Extra thanks to Lola Pellegrino, Andres Montoya Castillo, Rose Reid, Radio National’s Science Show -- they make a podcast. It’s great. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord.And be sure to check out our producer Austin Mitchell’s podcast Profiles:NYC. Selected References1981 study identifying G-spot in 47 women . . . but not confirming that it leads to orgasm Perry and Whipple, “Pelvic Muscle Strength of Female Ejaculators: Evidence in Support of a New Theory of Orgasm,” The Journal of Sex Research, 1981. Note: not freely available. Report of the first modern dissection of the clitoris O’Connell et al, “Anatomical relationship between urethra and clitoris,” Journal of Urology, 1998.Everything besides the clitoris is just a shade of gray in the MRI O’Connell et al, “Clitoral anatomy in nulliparous, healthy, premenopausal volunteers using unenhanced magnetic resonance imaging,” Journal of Urology, 2005. Comprehensive account of clitoris anatomy O’Connell et al, “Anatomy of the clitoris,” Journal of Urology, 2005.Review of research on the G-Spot and cliteralurethrovaginal complex Jannini et al, “Beyond the G-Spot: clitourethrovaginal complex anatomy in female orgasm,” Nature Reviews Urology, 2014. Note: not freely available.
Sep 02, 2016
Organic Food
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People are going bonkers for organic, but what are you really getting when you buy them? Better taste? Fewer toxic chemicals? A cleaner environment? Farmers Mark, Andy, and Brian Reeves, nutritional epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Bradbury, Ass. Prof. Cynthia Curl, and Prof. Navin Ramankutty help us sort it all out. Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney, Austin Mitchell, and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Editing by Annie-Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Production Assistance by Diane Wu and Shruti Ravindran. Special thanks to Stevie Lane and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixing by Martin Peralta, Austin Thompson and Haley Shaw. Music written by Bobby Lord. Selected Resources:Organic vs conventional tomato taste test Johansson et al, “Preference for tomatoes, affected by sensory attributes and information about growth conditions,” Food Quality and Preference, 1999Nutritional analysis of organic vs organic food Smith-Spangler et al, “Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review,” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2012.2012 USDA report on pesticide residues in organic produceLargest (620,000 women) long-term (9 year) study of how eating organic food affects human health -- focusing on cancer Bradbury et al, “Organic food consumption and the incidence of cancer in a large prospective study of women in the United Kingdom”, British Journal of Cancer, 2014Biodiversity is higher on organic farms “Tuck et al, “Land-use intensity and the effects of organic farming on biodiversity: a hierarchical meta-analysis,” The Journal of Applied Ecology, 2014.Nitrogen leaching is higher per unit product on organic farms Tuomisto et al, “Does organic farming reduce environmental impacts? – A meta-analysis of European research”Crop yield on organic farms is on average 75% that of conventional farms Seufert et al, “Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture,” Nature 2012If we want to feed the world without cutting down more forests, we’re going to need more vegetarians Erb et al, “Exploring the biophysical option space for feeding the world without deforestation,” Nature Communications, 2016On combining organic and conventional farming techniques Letourneau et al, “Crop protection in organic agriculture,” Chapter 4 of Organic agriculture: a global perspective, 2006.
Aug 26, 2016
Gun Control (Pt 2)
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In last week’s episode, we learned that around 30,000 Americans die each year from guns. This week, we examine possible solutions. Do better background checks, buybacks, and gun registration lead to fewer shooting deaths? What happened in Australia after they got rid of all the guns? To find out, we talk to gun shop owner Bob Kostaras, former ATF special agent Mark Jones, Prof. Philip Alpers, and Prof. Peter Squires. Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, Caitlin Kenney, Austin Mitchell, and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Editing by Annie Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Production Assistance by Diane Wu, and Shruti Ravindran. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixing by Martin Peralta and Haley Shaw. Music written by Bobby Lord. Crisis Hotlines:US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755)US Crisis Text Line Text “GO” to 741741Australia: Lifeline 13 11 14Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionUK & Ireland: Samaritans 116 123 Selected References:Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, US Bureau of Justice, 2009 Including details on federal gun purchase regulationsIssues with the current US background check system, plus recommendations for improvement Wintemute, “Background checks for firearm transfers: Assessment and recommendations.” Violence Prevention Research Program, UC Davis. 2013. States with more comprehensive background checks, including better reporting, have lower rates of gun homicide Ruddel and Mays, “State background checks and firearms homicides,” Journal of Criminal Justice, 2005. Most prisoners incarcerated for a gun-related offense did not buy their gun from a licensed dealer Harlow, C. “Firearm use by offenders”, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, 2001. How much of violent crime in Sweden can be attributed to people with severe mental illness? About 5% Fazel and Grann. “The Population Impact of Severe Mental Illness on Violent Crime.” Am J Psychiatry, 2006A study of how gun laws in Australia changed gun homicide rates Chapman et al, “Association Between Gun Law Reforms and Intentional Firearm Deaths in Australia, 1979-2013”, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2016.
Aug 12, 2016
Guns
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We find out how many times a year guns are used in self-defense, how many times they’re used to murder someone, and what impact guns have on the crime rate. In this episode we speak with Prof. David Hemenway, Prof. Helen Christensen, Prof. Gary Kleck and New Jersey gun-range owner Anthony Colandro. Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Caitlin Kenney, Heather Rogers and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Production Assistance by Austin Mitchell. Sound design and music production by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll, music written by Bobby Lord Crisis hotlines:US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755). Online chat available.US Crisis Text Line - text “GO” to 741741Lifeline 13 11 14 (Australia). Online chat available.Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention - see link for phone numbers listed by provinceSamaritans 116 123 (UK and ROI)Selected References:2013 US Mortality Statistics - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (published 2016)Gary Kleck’s defensive gun use survey Kleck & Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun”, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1995Survey of virgin births in the US Herring et al, “Like a virgin (mother): analysis of data from a longitudinal, US population representative sample survey”, BMJ, 2013David Hemenway’s defensive gun use analysis using National Crime Victimization Survey Hemenway & Solnick, “The epidemiology of self-defense gun use: Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Surveys 2007-2011”, Preventive Medicine, 2015Analysis of suicide rates and methods in Australia Large & Nielssen, “Suicide in Australia: meta-analysis of rates and methods of suicide between 1988 and 2007”, The Medical Journal of Australia, 2010John Lott’s study on right-to-carry laws and crime rates Lott & Mustard, “Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns”, Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics, 1996National Research Academies Panel which found guns don’t increase or decrease crime Wellford, Pepper, and Petrie, editors, “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review”, The National Academies Press, 2005US Crime statistics, 1990-2009 (US Dept of Justice, FBI)
Aug 04, 2016
Attachment Parenting
2347
Judy, a mother of two young kids, practices a demanding style of child-rearing. It’s called attachment parenting, and it says you should keep your baby close at all times, breastfeed on demand, share your bed, and avoid strollers. Like many attachment parents, Judy believes the sacrifices she makes will ensure her kids will become well-adjusted, successful, happy adults. But, what does the science say? To find out, Science Vs speaks to Prof. Alan Sroufe, Prof. Jane Fisher and Reut Avinun. If you liked this episode - our friends at The Longest Shortest Time have just published a story about *eating* placentas.  Credits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers - who interviewed our attachment parent Judy - also Caitlin Kenney and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Production Assistance by Austin Mitchell and Stevie Lane. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, music written by Bobby Lord. Sponsors: For 10% off your new Squarespace site, click here and punch in Science Vs at checkout. For 15% off your first purchase at Ministry of Supply, click here.
Jul 28, 2016
Fracking
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We often hear stories about fracking that go like this: a gas company comes to a small town, starts drilling wells, and then terrible things start to happen. People get sick. Water burns from taps. Earthquakes ruin houses. And the climate will soon be destroyed. But, is fracking really a disaster unfolding? To find out, Science Vs speaks to Prof. Robert Jackson, Asst. Prof. Peter Rabinowitz and Prof. Bob Howarth. We’re also joined by Pennsylvanian resident James Hughes and Seneca Resources’ Rob Boulware and Doug Kepler.  Credits:  This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Caitlin Kenney, Heather Rogers, Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Production assistance by Austin Mitchell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Recordings from the Town Hall meeting in 2014 are from NPR's WHYY reporter Katie Colaneri, and the team at NPR’s StateImpact Pennsylvania. Thank you.  Big thanks to the Gimlet hive mind for comments, plus the Zukerman family.  Music written by Bobby Lord. Sound design and music by Matthew Boll. Engineered by Austin Thompson. Sponsors: For 10% off your new Squarespace site click here and punch in Science Vs at checkout.
Jul 27, 2016
Sneak Peek
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There are a lot of fads, a lot of strong opinions and a lot of blogs, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the new show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to. This season we'll be tackling organic food, fracking, gun control, and the G spot. The first episode premieres July 28th. Tell your mom/mum.
Jun 28, 2016