Science Magazine Podcast

By Science Magazine

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Subscribers: 2281
Reviews: 4

Anders
 Jul 13, 2020

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

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

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 27, 2018

Description

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

Episode Date
Taking the politicians out of tough policy decisions; the late, great works of Charles Turner; and the science of cooking
43:53
First up, host Sarah Crespi talks to News Intern Cathleen O’Grady about the growing use of citizens’ assemblies, or “minipublics,” to deliberate on tough policy questions like climate change and abortion. Can random groups of citizens do a better job forming policy than politicians? Next, we feature the latest of a new series of insight pieces that revisit landmark Science papers. Sarah talks with Hiruni Samadi Galpayage Dona, a Ph.D. student at Queen Mary University of London, about Charles Turner, a Black zoologist who published multiple times in Science in the early 1900s. Despite being far ahead of his time in his studies of animal cognition, Turner’s work was long overlooked—due in large part to the many difficulties facing a Black man in academia at the turn of the century. Finally, in our monthly books segment, host Kiki Sanford chats with author Pia Sorensen about her new book: Science and Cooking: Physics Meets Food, From Homemade to Haute Cuisine. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Oct 29, 2020
Early approval of a COVID-19 vaccine could cause ethical problems for other vax candidates, and ‘upcycling’ plastic bags
23:33
First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Jon Cohen about some tricky ethical questions that may arise after the first coronavirus vaccine is authorized for use in the United States. Will people continue to participate in clinical trials of other vaccines? Will it still be OK to give participants placebo vaccines? Next, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Bert Weckhuysen, a professor at Utrecht University, about a process for taking low-value plastic like polyethylene (often used for packaging and grocery bags) and “upcycling” it into biodegradable materials that can be used for new purposes. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Oct 22, 2020
Making sure American Indian COVID-19 cases are counted, and feeding a hungry heart
21:57
First up, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of the Urban Indian Health Institute and chief research officer for the Seattle Indian Health Board. Echo-Hawk shares what inspired her journey in public health and explains the repercussions of excluding native people from health data. This story was originally reported by Lizzie Wade, who profiled Echo-Hawk as part of Science’s “voices of the pandemic” series. Next, host Sarah Crespi interviews Danielle Murashige, a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania, about her Science paper that attempts to quantify how much fuel a healthy heart needs. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Oct 15, 2020
Visiting a once-watery asteroid, and how buzzing the tongue can treat tinnitus
23:29
First up, Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to the asteroid Bennu. After OSIRIS-REx’s up-close surveys of the surface revealed fewer likely touchdown points than expected, its sampling mission has been rejiggered. Paul talks about the prospects for a safe sampling in mid-October and what we might learn when the craft returns to Earth in 2023. Sarah also talks with Hubert Lim, from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Neuromod Devices Limited, about his Science Translational Medicine paper on a new treatment for tinnitus. The team showed that bimodal stimulation—playing sounds in the ear and buzzes on the tongue—was able to change the brain and turn down the tinnitus in a large clinical trial. Extra audio credits: Tinnitus sound samples courtesy of the American Tinnitus Association. Treatment samples courtesy of Neuromod Devices Ltd. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Oct 08, 2020
FDA clinical trial failures, and an AI that can beat curling’s top players
28:36
Investigative journalist Charles Piller joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his latest Science exclusive: a deep dive into the Food and Drug Administration’s protection of human subjects in clinical trials. Based on months of data analysis and interviews, he uncovered long-term failures in safety enforcement in clinical trials and potential problems with trial data used to make decisions about drug and device approvals. Sarah also talks with Klaus-Robert Müller, a professor of machine learning at the Technical University of Berlin, about an artificial intelligence (AI) trained in the sport of curling—often described as a cross between bowling and chess. Although AI has succeeded in chess, Go, and poker, the constantly changing environment of curling is far harder for a nonhuman mind to adapt to. But AIs were the big winners in competitions with top human players, Müller and colleagues report this week in Science Robotics. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Oct 01, 2020
How Neanderthals got human Y chromosomes, and the earliest human footprints in Arabia
21:04
Contributing Correspondent Ann Gibbons talks with host Sarah Crespi about a series of 120,000-year-old human footprints found alongside prints from animals like asses, elephants, and camels in a dried-up lake on the Arabian Peninsula. These are the earliest human footprints found so far in Arabia and may help researchers better understand the history of early hominin migrations out of Africa. Continuing on the history of humanity theme, Sarah talks with Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, about her team’s efforts to fish the elusive Y chromosome out of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA. It turns out Y chromosomes tell a different story about our past interbreeding with Neanderthals than previous tales told by the rest of the genome. Read a related Insight article. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Sep 24, 2020
Performing magic for animals, and why the pandemic is pushing people out of prisons
23:46
Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how jail and prison populations in the United States have dropped in the face of coronavirus and what kinds of scientific questions about public health and criminal justice are arising as a result. Also this week, Elias García-Pelegrín, a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge, talks with Sarah about his article on watching animals watch magic tricks. Do animals fall for the same illusions we do? What does it say about the way their minds work? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Sep 17, 2020
Alien hunters get a funding boost, and checking on the link between chromosome ‘caps’ and aging
24:07
First up this week, Senior Correspondent Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Breakthrough Listen—a privately funded initiative that aims to spend $100 million over 10 years to find extraterrestrial intelligent life—has changed the hunt for alien intelligence.  And as part of a special issue on the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, Brandon Pierce, a professor in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, joins Sarah to discuss his group’s work on variation in the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. The gradual shortening of these caps, also known as telomeres, has been associated with aging. Read more from the GTEx special issue. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: V. Altounian/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 10, 2020
Alien hunters get a funding boost, and checking on the slink between chromosome ‘caps’ and aging
24:07
First up this week, Senior Correspondent Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Breakthrough Listen—a privately funded initiative that aims to spend $100 million over 10 years to find extraterrestrial intelligent life—has changed the hunt for alien intelligence.  And as part of a special issue on the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, Brandon Pierce, a professor in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, joins Sarah to discuss his group’s work on variation in the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. The gradual shortening of these caps, also known as telomeres, has been associated with aging. Read more from the GTEx special issue. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: V. Altounian/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 10, 2020
Fighting Europe’s second wave of COVID-19, and making democracy work for poor people
29:21
First up this week, Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about rising numbers of coronavirus cases in Europe. Will what we’ve learned this summer about how the virus is transmitted and treated help prevent a second peak? Read all of our coronavirus news coverage. And as part of a special issue on democracy, Rohini Pande, a professor in the department of economics at Yale University, joins Sarah to discuss her review that asks the question: Can democracy work for poor people? Read more from the special issue on democracy. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Sep 03, 2020
Arctic sea ice under attack, ancient records that can predict the future effects of climate change, and Carl Bergstrom's Calling Bullshit
31:37
Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Arctic sea ice is under attack from above and below—not only from warming air, but also dangerous hot blobs of ocean water. Next, Damien Fordham, a professor and global change ecologist at the University of Adelaide, talks about how new tools for digging into the past are helping catalog what happened to biodiversity and ecosystems during different climate change scenarios in the past. These findings can help predict the fate of modern ecosystems under today’s human-induced climate change. And in our books segment, Kiki Sanford talks with author Carl Bergstrom about his new book: Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Aug 27, 2020
Wildlife behavior during a global lockdown, and electric mud microbes
23:57
Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how wildlife biologists are taking advantage of humanity’s sudden lull. Scientists are launching studies of everything from sea turtles on suddenly quiet beaches to noise-averse birds living near airports to see how animal behavior changes when people are a little less obtrusive. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here. Next, as part of our special issue on mud—yes, wet dirt—Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Pennisi talks about her story on electric microbes that were first found in mud and are now found pretty much everywhere. Why do bacteria need to move electrons around and what does it mean that they do it all over the planet? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Aug 20, 2020
A call for quick coronavirus testing, and building bonds with sports
27:43
Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about a different approach to COVID-19 testing that might be useful in response to the high numbers of cases in the United States. To break chains of transmission and community spread, the new strategy would replace highly accurate but slow polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests with cheaper, faster tests that are less accurate but can be administered frequently. Such tests cost between $1 and $3 compared with more than $100 for diagnostic PCR tests and give results in less than 30 minutes instead of days. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here. Also this week, Salma Mousa, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, joins Sarah to talk about an experiment that added Muslim players to teams in a Christian soccer league in northern Iraq. The goal of the study was to see whether this type of social contact would change how the Christians—a threatened minority in the region—behaved toward Muslims, on and off the field. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Kate Brady/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 13, 2020
Why COVID-19 poses a special risk during pregnancy, and how hair can split steel
27:19
Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the risk of the novel coronavirus infection to pregnant women. Early data suggest expectant women are more likely to get severe forms of the infection and require hospitalization. Meredith describes how the biology of pregnancy—such as changes to the maternal immune system and added stress on the heart and lungs—might explain the harsher effects of the virus. Also this week, Sarah talks with Gianluca Roscioli about his experiments with commercial razor blades and real human hair. By using a scanning electron microscope, he was able to show how something relatively soft like hair is able to damage something 50 times harder like stainless steel. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Aug 06, 2020
Fighting COVID-19 vaccine fears, tracking the pandemic’s origin, and a new technique for peering under paint
35:49
Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his editorial on preventing vaccine hesitancy during the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the current crisis, fear of vaccines had become a global problem, with the World Health Organization naming it as one of the top 10 worldwide health threats in 2019. Now, it seems increasingly possible that many people will refuse to get vaccinated. What can public health officials and researchers do to get ahead of this issue? Also this week, Sarah talks with Science Senior Correspondent Jon Cohen about his story on Chinese scientist Shi Zhengli, the bat researcher at the center of the COVID-19 origins controversy—and why she thinks President Donald Trump owes her an apology. Finally, Geert Van der Snickt, a professor in the conservation-restoration department at the University of Antwerp, talks with Sarah about his Science Advances paper on a new process for peering into the past of paintings. His team used a combination of techniques to look beneath an overpainting on the Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck—a pivotal piece that showed the potential of oil paints and even included an early example of painting from an aerial view. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Jul 30, 2020
How Hiroshima survivors helped form radiation safety rules, and a path to stop plastic pollution
25:54
Contributing Correspondent Dennis Normile talks about a long-term study involving the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Seventy-five years after the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the two cities in Japan, survivors are still helping scientists learn about the effects of radiation exposure. Also this week, Sarah talks with Winnie Lau, senior manager for preventing ocean plastics at Pew Charitable Trusts about her group’s paper about what it would take to seriously fight the flow of plastics into the environment. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Jul 23, 2020
Reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking the heat out of crude oil separation
25:33
Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel talks about what can be learned from schools around the world that have reopened during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, few systematic studies have been done, but observations of outbreaks in schools in places such as France or Israel do offer a few lessons for countries looking to send children back to school soon. The United Kingdom and Germany have started studies of how the virus spreads in children and at school, but results are months away. In the meantime, Gretchen’s reporting suggests small class sizes, masks, and social distancing among adults at schools are particularly important measures. Read all our coronavirus news coverage. Also this week, Sarah talks with Kiristie Thompson, a Ph.D. student in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, about increasing the efficiency of petroleum processing. If all—or even some—petroleum processing goes heat free, it would mean big energy savings. Around the world, about 1% of all energy use goes to heating up petroleum in order to get useful things such as gas for cars or polymers for plastics. These days, this separation is done through distillation, heating, and separating by boiling point. Kirstie describes a heat-free way of getting this separation—by using a special membrane instead. Read a related Insight. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: Kurt Bauschardt/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 16, 2020
A fast moving megatrial for coronavirus treatments, and transferring the benefits of exercise by transferring blood
24:23
Contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about the success of a fast moving megatrial for coronavirus treatments. The United Kingdom’s Recovery (Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) trial has enrolled more than 12,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients since early March and has released important recommendations that were quickly taken up by doctors and scientists around the world. Kupferschmidt discusses why such a large study is necessary and why other large drug trials like the World Health Organization’s Solidarity trial are lagging behind. Read Science’s coronavirus coverage. Also this week, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Saul Villeda, a professor in the Department of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco, about transferring the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain from an active mouse to a sedentary mouse by transferring their blood. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF)
Jul 09, 2020
An oasis of biodiversity a Mexican desert, and making sound from heat
20:43
First up this week, News Intern Rodrigo Pérez-Ortega talks with host Meagan Cantwell about an oasis of biodiversity in the striking blue pools of Cuatro Ciénegas, a basin in northern Mexico. Researchers have published dozens of papers exploring the unique microorganisms that thrive in this area, while at the same time fighting large agricultural industries draining the precious water from the pools. David Tatnell, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Exeter, talks with host Sarah Crespi about using heat to make sound, a phenomenon known as thermoacoustics. Just like the sound of fire or thunder, sudden changes in temperature can create sound waves. In his team’s paper in Science Advances, Tatnell and colleagues describe a thermoacoustic speaker that uses thin, heated films to make sound. This approach cuts out the crosstalk seen in mechanical speakers and allows for extreme miniaturization of sound production. In the ultrasound range, arrays of thermoacoustic speakers could improve acoustic levitation and ultrasound imaging. In the hearing range, the speakers could be made extremely small, flexible, and even transparent. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: David Jaramillo; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 02, 2020
Stopping the spread of COVID-19, and arctic adaptations in sled dogs
40:53
Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies how ocean waves disperse virus-laden aerosols, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how she became an outspoken advocate for using masks to prevent coronavirus transmission. A related insight she wrote for Science has been downloaded more than 1 million times. Read Science’s coronavirus coverage. Mikkel Sinding, a postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin, talks sled dog genes with Sarah. After comparing the genomes of modern dogs, Greenland sled dogs, and an ancient dog jaw bone found on a remote Siberian island where dogs may have pulled sleds some 9500 years ago, they found that modern Greenland dogs—which are still used to pull sleds today—have much in common with this ancient Siberian ancestor. Those similarities include genes related to eating high-fat diets and cold-sensing genes previously identified in woolly mammoths. In this month’s book segment, Kiki Sanford talks with Rutger Bregman about his book, Humankind: A Hopeful History, which outlines a shift in the thinking of many social scientists to a view of humans as more peaceful than warlike. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Jun 25, 2020
Coronavirus spreads financial turmoil to universities, and a drone that fights mosquito-borne illnesses
24:57
Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how universities are dealing with the financial crunch brought on by the coronavirus. Jeff discusses how big research universities are balancing their budgets as federal grants continue to flow, but endowments are down and so is the promise of state funding. Read all our coronavirus coverage. Mosquito-borne infections like Zika, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya cause millions of deaths each year. Nicole Culbert and colleges write this week in Science Robotics about a new way to deal with deadly mosquitoes—using drones. The drones are designed to drop hundreds of thousands of sterile male mosquitoes in areas with high risk of mosquito-borne illness. The idea is that sterile male mosquitoes will mate with females and the females then lay infertile eggs, which causes the population to decline. They found this drone-based approach is cheaper and more efficient than other methods of releasing sterile mosquitoes and does not have the problems associated with pesticide-based eradication efforts such as resistance and off-target effects. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Jun 18, 2020
The facts on COVID-19 contact tracing apps, and benefits of returning sea otters to the wild
25:59
Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the ins and outs of coronavirus contact tracing apps—what they do, how they work, and how to calculate whether they are crushing the curve. Read all our coronavirus coverage. Edward Gregr, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, talks with Sarah about the controversial reintroduction of sea otters to the Northern Pacific Ocean—their home for centuries, before the fur trade nearly wiped out the apex predator in the late 1800s. Gregr brings a unique cost-benefit perspective to his analysis, and finds many trade-offs with economic implications for fisheries For example, sea otters eat shellfish like urchins and crabs, depressing the shellfishing industry; but their diet encourages the growth of kelp forests, which in turn provide a habitat for economically important finfish, like salmon and rockfish. Read a related commentary article. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Jun 11, 2020
Why men may have more severe COVID-19 symptoms, and using bacteria to track contaminated food
25:27
First up this week, Staff Writer Meredith Wadman talks with host Sarah Crespi about how male sex hormones may play a role in higher levels of severe coronavirus infections in men. New support for this idea comes from a study showing high levels of male pattern baldness in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Read all our coronavirus coverage. Next, Jason Qian, a Ph.D. student in the systems biology department at Harvard Medical School, joins Sarah to talk about an object-tracking system that uses bacterial spores engineered with unique DNA barcodes. The inactivated spores can be sprayed on anything from lettuce, to wood, to sand and later be scraped off and read out using a CRISPR-based detection system. Spraying these DNA-based identifiers on such things as vegetables could help trace foodborne illnesses back to their source. Read a related commentary piece.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Jun 04, 2020
A rare condition associated with coronavirus in children, and tracing glaciers by looking at the ocean floor
40:34
First up this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with host Sarah Crespi about a rare inflammatory response in children that has appeared in a number of COVID-19 hot spots. Next, Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and professor of physical geography at the University of Cambridge, talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about tracing the retreat of Antarctica's glaciers by examining the ocean floor. Finally, Kiki Sanford interviews author Danny Dorling about his new book, Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration―and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
May 28, 2020
How scientists are thinking about reopening labs, and the global threat of arsenic in drinking water
22:40
Online News Editor David Grimm talks with producer Joel Goldberg about the unique challenges of reopening labs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Though the chance to resume research may instill a sense of hope, new policies around physical distancing and access to facilities threaten to derail studies—and even careers. Despite all the uncertainty, the crisis could result in new approaches that ultimately benefit the scientific community and the world. Also this week, Joel Podgorski, a senior scientist in the Water Resources and Drinking Water Department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the global threat of arsenic in drinking water. Arsenic is basically present in all rocks in minute amounts. Under the right conditions it can leach into groundwater and poison drinking water. Without a noticeable taste or smell, arsenic contamination can go undetected for years. The paper, published in Science, estimates that more than 100 million people are at risk of drinking arsenic-contaminated water and provides a guide for the most important places to test. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
May 21, 2020
How past pandemics reinforced inequality, and millions of mysterious quakes beneath a volcano
25:21
Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade talks with host Sarah Crespi about the role of inequality in past pandemics. Evidence from medical records and cemeteries suggests diseases like the 1918 flu, smallpox, and even the Black Death weren’t indiscriminately killing people—instead these infections caused more deaths in those with less money or status. Also this week, Aaron Wech, a research geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, joins Sarah to talk about recordings of more than 1 million earthquakes from deep under Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, which hasn’t erupted in 4500 years. They discuss how these earthquakes, which have repeated every 7 to 12 minutes for at least 20 years, went undetected for so long. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
May 14, 2020
Making antibodies to treat coronavirus, and why planting trees won’t save the planet
22:42
Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about using monoclonal antibodies to treat or prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2. Many companies and researchers are rushing to design and test this type of treatment, which proved effective in combating Ebola last year. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here, and all of our Research and Editorials here. And Karen Holl, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, joins Sarah to discuss the proper planning of tree-planting campaigns. It turns out that just putting a tree in the ground is not enough to stop climate change and reforest the planet. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
May 07, 2020
Blood test for multiple cancers studied in 10,000 women, and is our Sun boring?
18:20
Staff Writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins Sarah to talk about a recent Science paper describing the results of a large study on a blood test for multiple types of cancer. The trial’s results suggest such a blood test combined with follow-up scans may help detect cancers early, but there is a danger of too many false positives. And postdoctoral researcher Timo Reinhold of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research joins Sarah to talk about his paper on how the Sun is a lot less variable in its magnetic activity compared with similar stars—what does it mean that our Sun is a little bit boring? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Apr 30, 2020
From nose to toes—how coronavirus affects the body, and a quantum microscope that unlocks the magnetic secrets of very old rocks
22:35
Coronavirus affects far more than just the lungs, and doctors and researchers in the midst of the pandemic are trying to catalog—and understand—the virus’ impact on our bodies. Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what we know about how COVID-19 kills. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here, and all of our Research and Editorials here. Also this week, Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with Sarah about quantum diamond microscopes. These new devices are able to detect minute traces of magnetism, giving insight into the earliest movements of Earth’s tectonic plates and even ancient paleomagnetic events in space. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Apr 23, 2020
How countries could recover from coronavirus, and lessons from an ancient drought
32:23
Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about countries planning a comeback from a coronavirus crisis. What can they do once cases have slowed down to go back to some sort of normal without a second wave of infection? See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. As part of a drought special issue of Science, Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins Sarah to talk about water management and the downfall of the ancient Wari state. Sometimes called the first South American empire, the Wari culture successfully expanded throughout the Peruvian Andes 1400 years ago. Also this week, Yon Visell of the University of California, Santa Barbara, talks with Sarah about his Science Advances paper on the biomechanics of human hands. Our skin’s ability to propagate waves along the surface of the hand may help us sense the world around us. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Apr 16, 2020
Does coronavirus spread through the air, and the biology of anorexia
23:38
On this week’s show, Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new National Academy of Sciences report that suggests the novel coronavirus can go airborne, the evidence for this idea, and what this means for the mask-wearing debate. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. Also this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins Sarah to talk about a burgeoning understanding of the biological roots of anorexia nervosa—an eating disorder that affects about 1% of people in the United States. From genetic links to brain scans, scientists are finding a lot more biology behind what was once thought of as a culturally driven disorder. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Apr 09, 2020
How COVID-19 disease models shape shutdowns, and detecting emotions in mice
29:03
On this week’s show, Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about modeling coronavirus spread and the role of forecasts in national lockdowns and other pandemic policies. They also talk about the launch of a global trial of promising treatments. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. Also this week, Nadine Gogolla, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, talks with Sarah about linking the facial expressions of mice to their emotional states using machine learning. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF)
Apr 02, 2020
Why some diseases come and go with the seasons, and how to develop smarter, safer chemicals
30:00
On this week’s show, host Joel Goldberg gets an update on the coronavirus pandemic from Senior Correspondent Jon Cohen. In addition, Cohen gives a rundown of his latest feature, which highlights the relationship between diseases and changing seasons—and how this relationship relates to a potential coronavirus vaccine. Also this week, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting in Seattle, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Alexandra Maertens, director of the Green Toxicology initiative at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, about the importance of incorporating nonanimal testing methods to study the adverse effects of chemicals. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Let Ideas Compete/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Mar 26, 2020
Ancient artifacts on the beaches of Northern Europe, and how we remember music
23:21
On this week’s show, host Joel Goldberg talks with science journalist Andrew Curry about archaeological finds from thousands of years ago along the shores of Northern Europe. Curry outlines the rich history of the region that scientists, citizen scientists, and energy companies have helped dredge up. Also this week, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting in Seattle, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Elizabeth Margulis, a professor at Princeton University, about musical memory. Margulis explains what research tells us about how our brains process music, and dives into her own study on how Western and non-Western audiences interpret the same song differently. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Sebastian Reinecke/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Mar 19, 2020
Science’s leading role in the restoration of Notre Dame, and the surprising biology behind how our body develops its tough skin
30:40
On this week’s show, freelance writer Christa Lesté-Lasserre talks with host Sarah Crespi about the scientists working on the restoration of Notre Dame, from testing the changing weight of wet limestone, to how to remove lead contamination from four-story stained glass windows. As the emergency phase of work winds down, scientists are also starting to use the lull in tourist activity to investigate the mysteries of the cathedral’s construction. Also this week, Felipe Quiroz, an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering department at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, talks with Sarah about his paper on the cellular mechanism of liquid-liquid phase separation in the formation of the tough outer layer of the skin. Liquid-liquid phase separation is when two liquids “demix,” or separate, like oil and water. In cells, this process created membraneless organelles that are just now starting to be understood. In this work, Quiroz and colleagues create a sensor for phase separation in the cell that works in living tissue, and show how phase separation is tied to the formation of the outer layers of skin in mice. Read the related Insight. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: r. nial bradshaw/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 12, 2020
Dog noses detect heat, the world faces coronavirus, and scientists search for extraterrestrial life
30:41
On this week’s show, Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how dogs’ cold noses may be able to sense warm bodies. Read the research. International News Editor Martin Enserink shares the latest from our reporters covering coronavirus. And finally, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Jill Tarter, chair emeritus at the SETI Institute, about the newest technologies being used to search for alien life, what a positive signal would look like, and how to inform the public if extraterrestrial life ever were detected. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Mar 05, 2020
An ancient empire hiding in plain sight, and the billion-dollar cost of illegal fishing
44:33
This week on the podcast, Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a turning point for one ancient Mesoamerican city: Tikal. On 16 January 378 C.E., the Maya city lost its leader and the replacement may have been a stranger. We know from writings that the new leader wore the garb of another culture—the Teotihuacan—who lived in a giant city 1000 kilometers away. But was this new ruler of a Maya city really from a separate culture? New techniques being used at the Tikal and Teotihuacan sites have revealed conflicting evidence as to whether Teotihuacan really held sway over a much larger region than previously estimated. Sarah also talks with Rashid Sumaila, professor and Canada research chair in interdisciplinary ocean and fisheries economics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. You may have heard of illegal fishing being bad for the environment or bad for maintaining fisheries—but as Sumaila and colleagues report this week in Science Advances, the illegal fishing trade is also incredibly costly—with gross revenues of between $8.9 billion and $17.2 billion each year. In the books segment this month, Kiki Sanford interviews Gaia Vince about her new book Transcendence How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Feb 27, 2020
Brickmaking bacteria and solar cells that turn ‘waste’ heat into electricity
30:38
On this week’s show, Staff Writer Robert F. Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about manipulating microbes to make them produce building materials like bricks—and walls that can take toxins out of the air. Sarah also talks with Paul Davids, principal member of the technical staff in applied photonics & microsystems at Sandia National Laboratories, about an innovation in converting waste heat to electricity that uses similar materials to solar cells but depends on quantum tunneling. And in a bonus segment, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Online News Editor David Grimm on stage at the AAAS annual meeting in Seattle. They discuss how wildfires can harm your lungs, crime rates in so-called sanctuary states, and how factors such as your gender and country of origin influence how much trust you put in science. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Feb 20, 2020
NIH’s new diversity hiring program, and the role of memory suppression in resilience to trauma
23:58
On this week’s show, senior correspondent Jeffrey Mervis joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant program that aims to encourage diversity at the level of university faculty with the long-range goal of increasing the diversity of NIH grant recipients. Sarah also talks with Pierre Gagnepain, a cognitive neuroscientist at INSERM, the French biomedical research agency, about the role of memory suppression in post-traumatic stress disorder. Could people that are better at suppressing memories be more resilient to the aftermath of trauma? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Feb 13, 2020
Fighting cancer with CRISPR, and dating ancient rock art with wasp nests
24:39
On this week’s show, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a Science paper that combines two hot areas of research—CRISPR gene editing and immunotherapy for cancer—and tests it in patients. Sarah also talks with Damien Finch, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, about the Kimberly region of Australia and dating its ice age cave paintings using charcoal from nearby wasp nests. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Feb 06, 2020
A cryo–electron microscope accessible to the masses, and tracing the genetics of schizophrenia
20:38
Structural biologists rejoiced when cryo–electron microscopy, a technique to generate highly detailed models of biomolecules, emerged. But years after its release, researchers still face long queues to access these machines. Science’s European News Editor Eric Hand walks host Meagan Cantwell through the journey of a group of researchers to create a cheaper, more accessible alternative. Also this week, host Joel Goldberg speaks with psychiatrist and researcher Goodman Sibeko, who worked with the Xhosa people of South Africa to help illuminate genetic details of schizophrenia. Though scientists have examined this subject among Western populations, much less is known about the underlying genetics of people native to Africa. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast
Jan 30, 2020
Getting bisphenol A out of food containers, and tracing minute chemical mixtures in the environment
24:30
As part of a special issue on chemicals for tomorrow’s Earth, we’ve got two green chemistry stories. First, host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Warren Cornwell about how a company came up with a replacement for the popular can lining material bisphenol A and then recruited knowledgeable critics to test its safety. Sarah is also joined by Beate Escher of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the University of Tübingen to discuss ways to trace complex mixtures of humanmade chemicals in the environment. They talk about how new technologies can help detect these mixtures, understand their toxicity, and eventually connect their effects on the environment, wildlife, and people. Read more in the special issue on chemicals for tomorrow’s Earth. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF)
Jan 23, 2020
Researchers flouting clinical reporting rules, and slinking gut microbes to heart disease and diabetes
27:23
Though a law requiring clinical trial results reporting has been on the books for decades, many researchers have been slow to comply. Now, 2 years after the law was sharpened with higher penalties for noncompliance, investigative correspondent Charles Piller took a look at the results. He talks with host Sarah Crespi about the investigation and a surprising lack of compliance and enforcement. Also this week, Sarah talks with Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University Of British Columbia, Vancouver, about an Insight in this week’s issue that aims to connect the dots between noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and the microbes that live in our guts. Could these diseases actually spread through our microbiomes? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: stu_spivack/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 16, 2020
Researchers flouting clinical reporting rules, and linking gut microbes to heart disease and diabetes
27:23
Though a law requiring clinical trial results reporting has been on the books for decades, many researchers have been slow to comply. Now, 2 years after the law was sharpened with higher penalties for noncompliance, investigative correspondent Charles Piller took a look at the results. He talks with host Sarah Crespi about the investigation and a surprising lack of compliance and enforcement. Also this week, Sarah talks with Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University Of British Columbia, Vancouver, about an Insight in this week’s issue that aims to connect the dots between noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and the microbes that live in our guts. Could these diseases actually spread through our microbiomes? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF). [Image: stu_spivack/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 16, 2020
Squeezing two people into an MRI machine, and deciding between what’s reasonable and what’s rational
19:34
Getting into an MRI machine can be a tight fit for just one person. Now, researchers interested in studying face-to-face interactions are attempting to squeeze a whole other person into the same tube, while taking functional MRI (fMRI) measurements. Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the kinds of questions simultaneous fMRIs might answer. Also this week, Sarah talks with Igor Grossman, director of the Wisdom and Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo, about his group’s Science Advances paper on public perceptions of the difference between something being rational and something being reasonable. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Read a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast
Jan 09, 2020
Areas to watch in 2020, and how carnivorous plants evolved impressive traps
24:51
We start our first episode of the new year looking at future trends in policy and research with host Joel Goldberg and several Science News writers. Jeffrey Mervis discusses upcoming policy changes, Kelly Servick gives a rundown of areas to watch in the life sciences, and Ann Gibbons talks about potential advances in ancient proteins and DNA. In research news, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Beatriz Pinto-Goncalves, a postdoctoral researcher at the John Innes Centre, about carnivorous plant traps. Through understanding the mechanisms that create these traps, Pinto-Goncalves and colleagues elucidate what this could mean for how they emerged in the evolutionary history of plants. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast  
Jan 02, 2020
Breakthrough of the Year, our favorite online news stories, and the year in books
41:35
As the year comes to a close, we review the best science, the best stories, and the best books from 2019. Our end-of-the-year episode kicks off with Host Sarah Crespi and Online News Editor David Grimm talking about the top online stories on things like human self-domestication, the “wood wide web,” and more. News Editor Tim Appenzeller joins Sarah to discuss Science’s 2019 Breakthrough of the Year, some of the contenders for breakthrough, also known as runners-up, and a breakdown—when science and politics just didn’t seem to mix this year. Finally, Science books editor Valerie Thompson brings her favorites from the world of science-inflected media. She and Sarah talk about some of the best books reviewed in Science this year, a food extinction book we should have reviewed, a pair of science-centric films, and even an award-winning birding board game. For more science books, films, and games, visit the books et al blog at blogs.sciencemag.org/books. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; Lightstream; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast
Dec 19, 2019
Hunting for new epilepsy drugs, and capturing lightning from space
28:26
About one-third of people with epilepsy are treatment resistant. Up until now, epilepsy treatments have focused on taming seizures rather than the source of the disease and for good reason—so many roads lead to epilepsy: traumatic brain injury, extreme fever and infection, and genetic disorders, to name a few. Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with host Sarah Crespi about researchers that are turning back the pages on epilepsy, trying to get to the beginning of the story where new treatments might work. And Sarah also talks with Torsten Neurbert at the Technical University of Denmark’s National Space Institute in Kongens Lyngby about capturing high-altitude “transient luminous events” from the International Space Station (ISS). These lightning-induced bursts of light, color, and occasionally gamma rays were first reported in the 1990s but had only been recorded from the ground or aircraft. With new measurements from the ISS come new insights into the anatomy of lightning. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; Lightstream; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Gemini Observatory; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 12, 2019
Debating lab monkey retirement, and visiting a near-Earth asteroid
30:09
After their life as research subjects, what happens to lab monkeys? Some are euthanized to complete the research, others switch to new research projects, and some retire from lab life. Should they retire in place—in the same lab under the care of the same custodians—or should they be sent to retirement home–like sanctuaries? Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss recently penned legislation that pushes for monkey retirements and a new collaboration between universities and sanctuaries to create a retirement pipeline for these primates. Sarah also talks with Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) and a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, about the latest news from the asteroid Bennu. Within 1 week of beginning its orbit of the asteroid, OSIRIS-REx was able to send back surprising images of the asteroid ejecting material. It’s extremely rocky surface also took researchers by surprise and forced a recalculation of the sample return portion of the craft’s mission. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: McDonalds; Parcast’s Natural Disasters podcast; KiwiCo Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast
Dec 05, 2019
Double dipping in an NIH loan repayment program, and using undersea cables as seismic sensors
37:18
The National Institutes of Health’s largest loan repayment program was conceived to help scientists pay off school debts without relying on industry funding. But a close examination of the program by investigative correspondent Charles Piller has revealed that many participants are taking money from the government to repay their loans, while at the same time taking payments from pharmaceutical companies. Piller joins Host Sarah Crespi to talk about the steps he took to uncover this double dipping and why ethicists say this a conflict of interest.   Sarah also talks with Nate Lindsey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, about turning a 50-meter undersea fiber optic cable designed to move data into a sensor for activity in the ocean and the land underneath. During a 4-day test in Monterey Bay, California, the cable detected earthquakes, faults, waves, and even ocean-going storms.   For this month’s books segment, Kiki Sandford talks with Dan Hooper about his book At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds.   You can find more books segments on the Books et al. blog.   This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Ads on this week’s show: McDonalds; Salk’s Where Cures Begin podcast   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast
Nov 28, 2019
Building a landslide observatory, and the universality of music
37:05
You may have seen the aftermath of a landslide, driving along a twisty mountain road—a scattering of rocks and scree impinging on the pavement. And up until now, that’s pretty much how scientists have tracked landslides—roadside observations and spotty satellite images. Now, researchers are hoping to track landslides systematically by instrumenting an entire national park in Taiwan. The park is riddled with landslides—so much so that visitors wear helmets. Host Sarah Crespi talks with one of those visitors—freelance science journalist Katherine Kornei—about what we can learn from landslides. In a second rocking segment, Sarah also talks with Manvir Singh about the universality of music. His team asked the big questions in a Science paper out this week: Do all societies make music? What are the common elements that can be picked out from songs worldwide? Sarah and Manvir listen to songs and talk about what love ballads and lullabies have in common, regardless of their culture of origin. Explore the music database.  This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; KiwiCo; McDonalds Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Martin Lewinson/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 21, 2019
How to make an Arctic ship ‘vanish,’ and how fast-moving spikes are heating the Sun’s atmosphere
22:40
The Polarstern research vessel will spend 1 year locked in an Arctic ice floe. Aboard the ship and on the nearby ice, researchers will take measurements of the ice, air, water, and more in an effort to understand this pristine place. Science journalist Shannon Hall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about her time aboard the Polarstern and how difficult these measurements are, when the researchers’ temporary Arctic home is the noisiest, smokiest, brightest thing around. After that icy start, Sarah talks also with Tanmoy Samanta, a postdoctoral researcher at Peking University in Beijing, about the source of the extreme temperature of the Sun’s corona, which can be up to 1 million K hotter than the surface of the Sun. His team’s careful measurements of spicules—small, plentiful, short-lived spikes of plasma that constantly ruffle the Sun’s surface—and the magnetic networks that seem to generate these spikes, suggest a solution to the long-standing problem of how spicules arise and, at the same time, their likely role in the heating of the corona. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Shannon Hall; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 14, 2019
Unearthing slavery in the Caribbean, and the Catholic Church’s influence on modern psychology
28:22
Most historical accounts of slavery were written by colonists and planters. Researchers are now using the tools of archaeology to learn more about the day-to-day lives of enslaved Africans—how they survived the conditions of slavery, how they participated in local economies, and how they maintained their own agency. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about a Caribbean archaeology project based on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and launched by the founders of the Society for Black Archaeologists that aims to unearth these details. Watch a related video here. Sarah also talks with Jonathan Schulz, a professor in the Department of Economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, about a role for the medieval Roman Catholic Church in so-called WEIRD psychology—western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic. The bulk of psychology experiments have used participants that could be described as WEIRD, and according to many psychological measures, WEIRD subjects tend to have some extreme traits, like a stronger tendency toward individuality and more friendliness with strangers. Schulz and colleagues used historical maps and measures of kinship structure to tie these traits to strict marriage rules enforced by the medieval Catholic Church in Western Europe. Read related commentary. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Meagan Cantwell/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 07, 2019
How measles wipes out immune memory, and detecting small black holes
19:23
Measles is a dangerous infection that can kill. As many as 100,000 people die from the disease each year. For those who survive infection, the virus leaves a lasting mark—it appears to wipe out the immune system’s memory. News Intern Eva Fredrick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a pair of studies that looked at how this happens in children’s immune systems. Read the related studies in Science and Science Immunology. In our second segment this week, Sarah talks with Todd Thompson, of Ohio State University in Columbus, about his effort to find a small black hole in a binary pair with a red giant star. Usually black holes are detected because they are accruing matter and as the matter interacts with the black hole, x-rays are released. Without this flashy signal, black hole detection gets much harder. Astronomers must look for the gravitational influence of the black holes on nearby stars—which is easier to spot when the black hole is massive. Thompson talks with Sarah about a new approach to finding small, noninteracting black holes. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Bayer Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Alissa Eckert; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 31, 2019
A worldwide worm survey, and racial bias in a health care algorithm
40:17
Earthworms are easy … to find. But despite their prevalence and importance to ecosystems around the world, there hasn’t been a comprehensive survey of earthworm diversity or population size. This week in Science, Helen Philips, a postdoctoral fellow at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and the Institute of Biology at Leipzig University, and colleagues published the results of their worldwide earthworm study, composed of data sets from many worm researchers around the globe. Host Sarah Crespi gets the lowdown from Philips on earthworm myths, collaborating with worm researchers, and links between worm populations and climate. Read a related commentary here.  Sarah also talks with Ziad Obermeyer, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, about dissecting out bias in an algorithm used by health care systems in the United States to recommend patients for additional health services. With unusual access to a proprietary algorithm, inputs, and outputs, Obermeyer and his colleagues found that the low amount of health care dollars spent on black patients in the past caused the algorithm to underestimate their risk for poor health in the future. Obermeyer and Sarah discuss how this happened and remedies that are already in progress. Read a related commentary here.  Finally, in the monthly books segment, books host Kiki Sanford interviews author Alice Gorman about her book Dr. Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the Future. Listen to more book segments on the Science books blog: Books, et al. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quanmen; MEL Science Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 24, 2019
Trying to find the mind in the brain, and why adults are always criticizing ‘kids these days’
25:39
We don’t know where consciousness comes from. And we don’t know whether animals have it, or whether we can detect it in patients in comas. Do neuroscientists even know where to look? A new competition aims to narrow down the bewildering number of theories of consciousness and get closer to finding its biological signs by pitting different theories against each other in experimental settings. Freelance journalist Sara Reardon talks with host Sarah Crespi about how the competition will work. In our second segment, we talk about how we think about children. For thousands of years, adults have complained about their lack of respect, intelligence, and tendency to distraction, compared with previous generations. A new study out this week in Science Advances suggests our own biased childhood memories might be at fault. Sarah Crespi talks with John Protzko of the University of California, Santa Barbara, about how terrible people thought kids were in 3800 B.C.E. and whether understanding those biases might change how people view Generation Z today. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quanmen; Bayer; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Andrea Kirkby/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 17, 2019
Fossilized dinosaur proteins, and making a fridge from rubber bands
21:27
Have you ever tried to scrub off the dark, tarlike residue on a grill? That tough stuff is made up of polymers—basically just byproducts of cooking—and it is so persistent that researchers have found similar molecules that have survived hundreds of millions of years. And these aren’t from cook fires. They are actually the byproducts of death and fossilization. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel about how these molecules can be found on the surface of certain fossils and used as fingerprints for the proteins that once dwelled in dinos. And Sarah talks with Zunfeng Liu, a professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, about a new cooling technology based on a 100-year-old observation that a stretched rubber band is warm and a relaxed one is cool. It’s going to be hard to beat the 60% efficiency of compression-based refrigerators and air conditioning units, but Zunfeng and colleagues aim to try, with twists and coils that can cool water by 7°C when relaxed. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Twila Cheeseborough/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 10, 2019
An app for eye disease, and planting memories in songbirds
23:36
Host Sarah Crespi talks with undergraduate student Micheal Munson from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, about a smartphone app that scans photos in the phone’s library for eye disease in kids.  And Sarah talks with Todd Roberts of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, about incepting memories into zebra finches to study how they learn their songs. Using a technique called optogenetics—in which specific neurons can be controlled by pulses of light—the researchers introduced false song memories by turning on neurons in different patterns, with longer or shorter note durations than typical zebra finch songs. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; KiwiCo.com Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Jim Brendon/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 03, 2019
Privacy concerns slow Facebook studies, and how human fertility depends on chromosome counts
37:14
On this week’s show, Senior News Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis talks with host Sarah Crespi about a stalled Facebook plan to release user data to social scientists who want to study the site’s role in elections. Sarah also talks with Jennifer Gruhn, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Copenhagen Center for Chromosome Stability, about counting chromosomes in human egg cells. It turns out that cell division errors that cause too many or too few chromosomes to remain in the egg may shape human fertility over our reproductive lives. Finally, in this month’s book segment, Kiki Sanford talks with Daniel Navon about his book Mobilizing Mutations: Human Genetics in the Age of Patient Advocacy. Visit the books blog for more author interviews: Books et al. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; The Tangled Tree by David Quammen Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Jennifer Gruhn; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 26, 2019
Cooling Earth with asteroid dust, and 3 billion missing birds
26:46
On this week’s show, science journalist Josh Sokol talks about a global cooling event sparked by space dust that lead to a huge shift in animal and plant diversity 466 million years ago. (Read the related research article in Science Advances.) And I talk with Kenneth Rosenberg, an applied conservation scientist at Cornell University, about steep declines in bird abundance in the United States and Canada. His team estimates about 3 billion birds have gone missing since the 1970s. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; KiwiCo.com Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 19, 2019
Studying human health at 5100 meters, and playing hide and seek with rats
27:35
In La Rinconada, Peru, a town 5100 meters up in the Peruvian Andes, residents get by breathing air with 50% less oxygen than at sea level. International News Editor Martin Enserink visited the site with researchers studying chronic mountain sickness—when the body makes excess red blood cells in an effort to cope with oxygen deprivation—in these extreme conditions. Martin talks with host Sarah Crespi about how understanding why this illness occurs in some people and not others could help the residents of La Rinconada and the 140 million people worldwide living above 2500 meters. Sarah also talks with Annika Stefanie Reinhold about her work at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin training rats to play hide and seek. Surprisingly, rats learned the game easily and were even able to switch roles—sometimes playing as the seeker, other times the hider. Annika talks with Sarah about why studying play behavior in animals is important for understanding the connections between play and learning in both rats and humans. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste campaign Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 12, 2019
Searching for a lost Maya city, and measuring the information density of language
27:29
This week’s show starts with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade, who spent 12 days with archaeologists searching for a lost Maya city in the Chiapas wilderness in Mexico. She talks with host Sarah Crespi about how you lose a city—and how you might go about finding one. And Sarah talks with Christophe Coupé, an associate professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Hong Kong in China, about the information density of different languages. His work, published this week in Science Advances, suggests very different languages—from Chinese to Japanese to English and French—are all equally efficient at conveying information. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste campaign; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Lizzie Wade/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 05, 2019
Where our microbiome came from, and how our farming and hunting ancestors transformed the world
30:04
Micro-organisms live inside everything from the human gut to coral—but where do they come from? Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the first comprehensive survey of microbes in Hawaii’s Waimea Valley, which revealed that plants and animals get their unique microbiomes from organisms below them in the food chain or the wider environment. Going global, Meagan then speaks with Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about a project that aggregated the expertise of more than 250 archaeologists to map human land use over the past 10,000 years. This detailed map will help fine-tune climate models. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this show: Science Sessions Podcast; Kroger Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Chris Couderc/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 29, 2019
Promising approaches in suicide prevention, and how to retreat from climate change
26:41
Changing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK) to a three-digit number could save lives—especially when coupled with other strategies. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Greg Miller, a science journalist based in Portland, Oregon, about three effective methods to prevent suicides—crisis hotlines, standardizing mental health care, and restricting lethal means. Greg’s feature is part of a larger package in Science exploring paths out of darkness. With more solutions this week, host Sarah Crespi speaks with A. R. Siders, a social scientist at the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, about her policy forum on the need for “managed climate retreat”—strategically moving people and property away from high-risk flood and fire zones. Integrating relocation into a larger strategy could maximize its benefits, supporting equality and economic development along the way. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this show: KiwiCo; Kroger Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Scott Woods-Fehr/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Aug 22, 2019
One million ways to sex a chicken egg, and how plastic finds its way to Arctic ice
22:53
Researchers, regulators, and the chicken industry are all united in their search for a way to make eggs more ethical by stopping culling—the killing of male chicks born to laying hens. Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel talks with host Sarah Crespi about the many approaches being tried to determine the sex of chicken embryos before they hatch, from robots with lasers, to MRIs, to artificial intelligence, to gene editing with CRISPR. Also this week, Sarah talks with Melanie Bergmann, a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, about finding microplastic particles in snow all the way up at the Fram Strait, between Greenland and the Svalbarg archipelago in Norway. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Ads on this week’s show: Science Sessions podcast; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: fruchtzwerg’s world/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 15, 2019
Next-generation cellphone signals could interfere with weather forecasts, and monitoring smoke from wildfires to model nuclear winter
23:06
In recent months, telecommunications companies in the United States have purchased a new part of the spectrum for use in 5G cellphone networks. Weather forecasters are concerned that these powerful signals could swamp out weaker signals from water vapor—which are in a nearby band and important for weather prediction. Freelance science writer Gabriel Popkin joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the possible impact of cellphone signals on weather forecasting and some suggested regulations. In other weather news this week, Sarah talks with Pengfei Yu, a professor at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, about his group’s work using a huge smoke plume from the 2017 wildfires in western Canada as a model for smoke from nuclear bombs. They found the wildfire smoke lofted itself 23 kilometers into the stratosphere, spread across the Northern Hemisphere, and took 8 months to dissipate, which line up with models of nuclear winter and suggests these fires can help predict the results of a nuclear war. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: KiwiCo.com Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Shawn Cahill; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 08, 2019
Earthquakes caused by too much water extraction, and a dog cancer that has lived for millennia
26:15
After two mysterious earthquake swarms occurred under the Sea of Galilee, researchers found a relationship between these small quakes and the excessive extraction of groundwater. Science journalist Michael Price talks with host Sarah Crespi about making this connection and what it means for water-deprived fault areas like the Sea of Galilee and the state of California. Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Adrian Baez-Ortega from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom’s Transmissible Cancer Group about the genome of a canine venereal cancer that has been leaping from dog to dog for about 8000 years. By comparing the genomes of this cancer from dogs around the globe, the researchers were able to learn more about its origins and spread around the world. They also discuss how such a long-lived cancer might help them better understand and treat human cancers. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week’s show: Science Sessions podcast from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Carl Campbell/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 01, 2019
Breeding better bees, and training artificial intelligence on emotional imagery
39:33
Imagine having a rat clinging to your back, sucking out your fat stores. That’s similar to what infested bees endure when the Varroa destructor mite comes calling. Some bees fight back, wiggling, scratching, and biting until the mites depart for friendlier backs. Now, researchers, professional beekeepers, and hobbyists are working on ways to breed into bees these mite-defeating behaviors to rid them of these damaging pests. Host Sarah Crespi and Staff Writer Erik Stokstad discuss the tactics of, and the hurdles to, pesticide-free mite control. Also this week, Sarah talks to Philip Kragel of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado in Boulder about training an artificial intelligence on emotionally charged images. The ultimate aim of this research: to understand how the human visual system is involved in processing emotion. And in books, Kate Eichorn, author of The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media, joins books host Kiki Sanford to talk about how the monetization of digital information has led to the ease of social media sharing and posting for kids and adults. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Steve Baker/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 25, 2019
Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors, and the secret to dark liquid dances
21:11
Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors? Studies of behavior and biomarkers have suggested the stress of harsh conditions or family separations can be passed down, even beyond one’s children. Journalist Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a possible mechanism for this mode of inheritance and mouse studies that suggest possible ways to reverse the effects. Spiky, pulsating ferrofluids are perpetual YouTube stars. The secret to these dark liquid dances is the manipulation of magnetic nanoparticles in the liquid by external magnets. But when those outside forces are removed, the dance ends. Now, researchers writing in Science have created permanently magnetic fluids that respond to other magnets, electricity, and pH by changing shape, moving, and—yes—probably even dancing. Sarah Crespi talks to Thomas Russell of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst about the about the applications of these squishy, responsive magnets. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast
Jul 18, 2019
The point of pointing, and using seabirds to track ocean health
23:22
You can learn a lot about ocean health from seabirds. For example, breeding failures among certain birds have been linked to the later collapse of some fisheries. Enriqueta Velarde of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what these long-lived fliers can tell us about the ocean and its inhabitants. Also this week, Sarah and Cathal O’Madagain of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris discuss pointing—a universal human gesture common to almost all children before age 1. They discuss why pointing matters, and how this simple gesture may underlie humans’ amazing ability to collaborate and coordinate. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on the show: Kiwico.com Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: C. O’Madagain et al., Science Advances 2019; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 11, 2019
Converting carbon dioxide into gasoline, and ‘autofocal’ glasses with lenses that change shape on the fly
21:35
Chemists have long known how to convert carbon dioxide into fuels—but up until now, such processes have been too expensive for commercial use. Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about using new filters and catalysts to close the gap between air-derived and fossil-derived gasoline.   Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Nitish Padmanaban of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, about replacing bifocals with “autofocals.” These auto-focusing glasses track your eye position and measure the distance to the visual target before adjusting the thickness of their liquid lenses. The prototype glasses have an onboard camera and batteries that make them particularly bulky; however, they still outperformed progressive lenses in tests of focus speed and acuity. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast  
Jul 04, 2019
Creating chimeras for organ transplants and how bats switch between their eyes and ears on the wing
31:42
Researchers have been making animal embryos from two different species, so-called “chimeras,” for years, by introducing stem cells from one species into a very early embryo of another species. The ultimate goal is to coax the foreign cells into forming an organ for transplantation. But questions abound: Can evolutionarily distant animals, like pigs and humans, be mixed together to produce such organs? Or could species closely related to us, like chimps and macaques, stand in for tests with human cells? Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the research, the regulations, and the growing ethical debate. Also this week, Sarah talks with Yossi Yovel of the School of Zoology and the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University in Israel about his work on sensory integration in bats. Writing in Science Advances, he and his colleagues show through several clever experiments when bats switch between echolocation and vision. Yossi and Sarah discuss how these trade-offs in bats can inform larger questions about our own perception. For our monthly books segment, Science books editor Valerie Thompson talks with Lucy Jones of the Seismological Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena about a song she created, based on 130 years of temperature data, for an instrument called the “viola de gamba.” Read more on the Books et al. blog. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on the show: MagellanTV; KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: The Legend Kay/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 27, 2019
The why of puppy dog eyes, and measuring honesty on a global scale
21:46
How can you resist puppy dog eyes? This sweet, soulful look might very well have been bred into canines by their intended victims—humans. Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Meagan Cantwell about a new study on the evolution of this endearing facial maneuver. David also talks about what diseased dog spines can tell us about early domestication—were these marks of hard work or a gentler old age for our doggy domestics? Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Michel Marechal of the University of Zurich in Switzerland about honesty around the globe. By tracking about 17,000 wallets left at hotels, post offices, and banks, his team found that we humans are a lot more honest than either economic models or our own intuitions give us credit for. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on the show: MagellanTV Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Molly Marshall/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 20, 2019
Better hurricane forecasts and spotting salts on Jupiter’s moon Europa
22:31
We’ve all seen images or animations of hurricanes that color code the wind speeds inside the whirling mass—but it turns out we can do a better job measuring these winds and, as a result, better predict the path of the storm. Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how a microsatellite-based project for measuring hurricane wind speeds is showing signs of success—despite unexpected obstacles from the U.S. military’s tweaking of GPS signals.    Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Samantha Trumbo, a Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, about spotting chloride salts on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. What can these salts on the surface tell us about the oceans that lie beneath Europa’s icy crust? Download a transcript (PDF)  This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on the show: KiwiCo.com; MagellanTV Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 13, 2019
The limits on human endurance, and a new type of LED
20:28
Cheap and easy to make, perovskite minerals have become the wonder material of solar energy. Now, scientists are turning from using perovskites to capture light to using them to emit it. Staff Writer Robert Service joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about using these minerals in all kinds of light-emitting diodes, from cellphones to flat screen TVs. Read the related paper in Science Advances. Also this week, Sarah talks with Caitlin Thurber, a biologist at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, about a hard limit on human endurance. Her group used data from transcontinental racers—who ran 957 kilometers over the course of 20 weeks—and found that after about 100 days, their metabolism settled in at about 2.5 times the baseline rate, suggesting a hard limit on human endurance at long timescales. Earlier studies based on the 23-day Tour de France found much higher levels of energy expenditure, in the four- to five-times-baseline range. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on the show: KiwiCo.com Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: N. Zhou et al., Science Advances 2019; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 06, 2019
Grad schools dropping the GRE requirement and AIs play capture the flag
39:37
Up until this year, most U.S. graduate programs in the sciences required the General Record Examination from applicants. But concerns about what the test scores actually say about potential students and the worry that the cost is a barrier to many have led to a rapid and dramatic reduction in the number of programs requiring the test. Science Staff Writer Katie Langin joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about this trend and how it differs across disciplines. Also this week, Sarah talks with DeepMind’s Max Jaderberg in London about training artificial agents to play a video game version of capture the flag. The agents played approximately 4 years’ worth of Quake III Arena and came out better than even expert human players at both cooperating and collaborating, even when their computer-quick reflexes were hampered. And in this month’s book segment, new host Kiki Sanford interviews Marcus Du Satoy about his book The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads this week: KiwiCo.com Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science podcast. [Image: DeepMind; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 30, 2019
New targets for the world’s biggest atom smasher and wood designed to cool buildings
23:07
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built with one big goal in mind: to find the Higgs boson. It did just that in 2012. But the question on many physicists’ minds about the LHC is, “What have you done for me lately?” Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about proposals to look at the showers of particles created by its proton collisions in new ways—from changing which events are recorded, to changing how the data are analyzed, even building more detectors outside of the LHC proper—all in the hopes that strange, longer-lived particles are being generated but missed by the current set up. Also this week, Sarah talks with Tian Li of the University of Maryland in College Park about a modified wood designed to passively cool buildings. Starting from its humble roots in the forest, the wood is given a makeover: First it is bleached white to eliminate pigments that absorb light. Next, it is hot pressed, which adds strength and durability. Most importantly, these processes allow the wood to emit in the middle-infrared range, so that when facing the sky, heat passes through the wood out to the giant heat sink of outer space. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast
May 23, 2019
Nonstick chemicals that stick around and detecting ear infections with smartphones
22:06
The groundwater of Rockford, Michigan, is contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals found in everything from nonstick pans to dental floss to—in the case of Rockford—waterproofing agents from a shoe factory that shut down in 2009. Science journalist Sara Talpos talks with host Meagan Cantwell about how locals found the potentially health-harming chemicals in their water, and how contamination from nonstick chemicals isn’t limited to Michigan. Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Shyamnath Gollakota of the University of Washington in Seattle about his work diagnosing ear infections with smartphones. With the right app and a small paper cone, it turns out that your phone can listen for excess fluid in the ear by bouncing quiet clicks from the speaker off the eardrum. Clinical testing shows the setup is simple to use and can help parents and doctors check children for this common infection. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this show: Science Rules! podcast with Bill Nye Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Dennis Wise/University of Washington; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 16, 2019
Probing the secrets of the feline mind and how Uber and Lyft may be making traffic worse
23:31
Dog cognition and social behavior have hogged the scientific limelight for years—showing in study after study that canines have social skills essential to their relationships with people. Cats, not so much. These often-fractious felines tend to balk at strange situations—be they laboratories, MRI machines, or even a slightly noisy fan. Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss several brave research labs that have started to work with cats on their terms in order to show they have social smarts comparable to dogs. So far, the results suggest that despite their different ancestors and paths to domestication, cats and dogs have a lot more in common then we previously thought. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Greg Erhardt, assistant professor of civil engineering at University of Kentucky in Lexington about the effect of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft on traffic in San Francisco, California. His group’s work showed that when comparing 2010 and 2016 traffic, these services contributed significantly to increases in congestion in a large growing city like San Francisco, but questions still remain about how much can be generalized to other cities or lower density areas. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF)  Ads on this show: KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 09, 2019
The age-old quest for the color blue and why pollution is not killing the killifish
28:08
Humans have sought new materials to make elusive blue pigments for millennia—with mixed success. Today, scientists are tackling this blue-hued problem from many different angles. Host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt about how scientists are looking to algae, bacteria, flowers—even minerals from deep under Earth’s crust—in the age-old quest for the rarest of pigments. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Andrew Whitehead, associate professor in the department of environmental toxicology at the University of California, Davis, about how the Atlantic killifish rescued its cousin, the gulf killifish, from extreme pollution. Whitehead talks about how a gene exchange occurred between these species that normally live thousands of kilometers apart, and whether this research could inform future conservation efforts. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy Ads on this show: KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast
May 02, 2019
Race and disease risk and Berlin’s singing nightingales
28:15
Noncancerous tumors of the uterus—also known as fibroids—are extremely common in women. One risk factor, according to the scientific literature, is “black race.” But such simplistic categories may actually obscure the real drivers of the disparities in outcomes for women with fibroids, according to this week’s guest. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Jada Benn Torres, an associate professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, about how using interdisciplinary approaches— incorporating both genetic and cultural perspectives—can paint a more complete picture of how race shapes our understanding of diseases and how they are treated. In our monthly books segment, book review editor Valerie Thompson talks with David Rothenberg, author of the book Nightingales in Berlin: Searching for the Perfect Sound, about spending time with birds, whales, and neuroscientists trying to understand the aesthetics of human and animal music. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Carlos Delgado/Wikipedia; Matthias Ripp/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 25, 2019
How dental plaque reveals the history of dairy farming, and how our neighbors view food waste
24:39
This week we have two interviews from the annual meeting of AAAS in Washington D.C.: one on the history of food and one about our own perceptions of food and food waste.  First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Christina Warinner from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, about the history of dairying. When did people first start to milk animals and where? It turns out, the spread of human genetic adaptations for drinking milk do not closely correspond to the history of consuming milk from animals. Instead, evidence from ancient dental plaque suggests people from all over the world developed different ways of chugging milk—not all of them genetic. Next, Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-director of the Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement Poll, about the public’s perception of food waste. Do most people try to conserve food and produce less waste? Better insight into the point of view of consumers may help keep billions of kilograms of food from being discarded every year in the United States. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image:  Carefull in Wyoming/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 18, 2019
A new species of ancient human and real-time evolutionary changes in flowering plants
21:08
The ancient humans also known as the “hobbit” people (Homo floresiensis) might have company in their small stature with the discovery of another species of hominin in the Philippines. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about what researchers have learned about this hominin from a jaw fragment, and its finger and toe bones and how this fits in with past discoveries of other ancient humans. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Florian Schiestl, a professor in evolutionary biology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, about his work to understand the rapid evolution of the flowering plant Brassica rapa over the course of six generations. He was able to see how the combination of pollination by bees and risk of getting eaten by herbivores influences the plant’s appearance and defense mechanisms. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week's show: Kolabtree.com and Magellan TV Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Florian Schiestl; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 11, 2019
A radioactive waste standoff and science’s debt to the slave trade
23:32
A single factory in Malaysia supplies about 10% of the world’s rare earth oxides, used in everything from cellphones to lasers to missiles. Controversy over the final resting place for the slightly radioactive byproducts has pushed the plant to the brink of closure. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with freelance writer Yao Hua Law about calls to ship the waste back to where it was originally mined in Australia, and how stopping production in Malaysia would mean almost all rare earth production would take place in China.  In another global trade story, host Sarah Crespi talks with freelance writer Sam Kean about close links between the slave trade and early naturalists’ efforts to catalog the world’s flora and fauna. Today, historians and museums are just starting to come to grips with the often-ignored relationships between slavers and scientists. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: James Petiver, 1695; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 04, 2019
Mysterious racehorse injuries, and reforming the U.S. bail system
36:39
Southern California’s famous Santa Anita racetrack is struggling to explain a series of recent horse injuries and deaths. Host Meagan Cantwell is joined by freelance journalist Christa Lesté-Lasserre to discuss what might be causing these injuries and when the track might reopen. In our second segment, researchers are racing to understand the impact of jailing people before trial in the United States. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the negative downstream effects of cash bail—and what research can tell us about other options for the U.S. pretrial justice system. Last up is books, in which we hear about the long, sometimes winding, roads that food can take from its source to your plate. Books editor Valerie Thompson talks with author Robyn Metcalfe about her new work, Food Routes: Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales from the Logistics of Eating. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. *Correction, 1 April, 12 p.m.: A previous version of this podcast included an additional research technique that was not used to investigate the Santa Anita racetrack. Download the transcript (PDF)  Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Mark Smith/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 28, 2019
Vacuuming potato-size nodules of valuable metals in the deep sea, and an expedition to an asteroid 290 million kilometers away
19:10
Pirate’s gold may not be that far off, as there are valuable metals embedded in potato-size nodules thousands of meters down in the depths of the ocean. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about the first deep-sea test of a bus-size machine designed to scoop up these nodules, and its potential impact on the surrounding ecosystem. In an expedition well above sea level, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Ryugu last month. And although the craft won’t return to Earth until 2020, researchers have learned a lot about Ryugu in the meantime. Meagan speaks with Seiji Sugita, a professor at the University of Tokyo and principal investigator of the Optical Navigation Camera of Hayabusa 2, about Ryugu’s parent body, and how this study can better inform future asteroid missions. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 21, 2019
Mysterious fast radio bursts and long-lasting effects of childhood cancer treatments
23:50
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Daniel Clery about the many, many theories surrounding fast radio bursts—extremely fast, intense radio signals from outside the galaxy—and a new telescope coming online that may help sort them out. Also this week, Sarah talks with Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel about her story on researchers’ attempts to tackle the long-term effects of pediatric cancer treatment. The survival rate for some pediatric cancers is as high as 90%, but many survivors have a host of health problems. Jennifer’s feature is part of a special section on pediatric cancer. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: ESO/L. Calçada; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Mar 14, 2019
Clues that the medieval plague swept into sub-Saharan Africa and evidence humans hunted and butchered giant ground sloths 12,000 years ago
22:43
New archaeological evidence suggests the same black plague that decimated Europe also took its toll on sub-Saharan Africa. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about diverse medieval sub-Saharan cities that shrank or even disappeared around the same time the plague was stalking Europe. In a second archaeological story, Meagan Cantwell talks with Gustavo Politis, professor of archaeology at the National University of Central Buenos Aires and the National University of La Plata, about new radiocarbon dates for giant ground sloth remains found in the Argentine archaeological site Campo Laborde. The team’s new dates suggest humans hunted and butchered ground sloths in the late Pleistocene, about 12,500 years ago. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Ife-Sungbo Archaeological Project; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 07, 2019
Measuring earthquake damage with cellphone sensors and determining the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau
20:57
In the wake of a devastating earthquake, assessing the extent of damage to infrastructure is time consuming—now, a cheap sensor system based on the accelerometers in cellphones could expedite this process. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about how these sensor systems work and how they might assist communities after an earthquake. In another Earth-shaking study, scientists have downgraded the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau. Most reconstructions estimate that the “rooftop of the world” reached its current height of 4500 meters about 40 million years ago, but a new study suggests it was a mere 3000 meters high during this period. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Svetlana Botsyun, a postdoctoral researcher at Tübingen University in Germany, about her team’s new approach to studying paleoelevation, and how a shorter Tibetan Plateau would have impacted the surrounding area’s climate. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Martin Luff/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 28, 2019
Spotting slavery from space, and using iPads for communication disorders
31:43
In our first segment from the annual meeting of AAAS (Science’s publisher) in Washington, D.C., host Sarah Crespi talks with Cathy Binger of University of New Mexico in Albuquerque about her session on the role of modern technology, such as iPads and apps, in helping people with communication disorders. It turns out that there’s no killer app, but some devices do help normalize assistive technology for kids. Also this week, freelance journalist Sarah Scoles joins Sarah Crespi to talk about bringing together satellite imaging, machine learning, and nonprofits to put a stop to modern-day slavery. In our monthly books segment, books editor Valerie Thompson talks with Judy Grisel about her book Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction, including discussions of Gisel’s personal experience with addiction and how it has informed her research as a neuroscientist. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: ILO in Asia and the Pacific/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 21, 2019
How far out we can predict the weather, and an ocean robot that monitors food webs
16:53
The app on your phone tells you the weather for the next 10 days—that’s the furthest forecasters have ever been able to predict. In fact, every decade for the past hundred years, a day has been added to the total forecast length. But we may be approaching a limit—thanks to chaos inherent in the atmosphere. Staff writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how researchers have determined that we will only be adding about 5 more days to our weather prediction apps. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell interviews Trygve Fossum from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim about his article in Science Robotics on an underwater autonomous vehicle designed to sample phytoplankton off the coast of Norway. The device will help researchers form a better picture of the base of many food webs and with continued monitoring, researchers hope to better understand key processes in the ocean such as nutrient, carbon, and energy cycling. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast [Image: Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 14, 2019
Possible potato improvements, and a pill that gives you a jab in the gut
26:18
Because of its genetic complexity, the potato didn’t undergo a “green revolution” like other staple crops. It can take more than 15 years to breed a new kind of potato that farmers can grow, and genetic engineering just won’t work for tackling complex traits such as increased yield or heat resistance. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Erik Stokstad about how researchers are trying to simplify the potato genome to make it easier to manipulate through breeding. Researchers and companies are racing to perfect an injector pill—a pill that you swallow, which then uses a tiny needle to shoot medicine into the body. Such an approach could help improve compliance for injected medications like insulin. Host Meagan Cantwell and Staff Writer Robert F. Service discuss a new kind of pill—one that flips itself over once it hits the bottom of the stomach and injects a dose of medication into the stomach lining. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Michael Eric Nickel/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 07, 2019
Treating the microbiome, and a gene that induces sleep
20:02
Orla Smith, editor of Science Translational Medicine joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what has changed in the past 10 years of microbiome research, what’s getting close to being useful in treatment, and how strong, exactly, the research is behind those probiotic yogurts. When you’re sick, sleeping is restorative—it helps your body recover from nasty infections. Meagan Cantwell speaks with Amita Sehgal, professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland, about the process of discovering a gene in fruit flies that links sleep and immune function. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 31, 2019
Pollution from pot plants, and how our bodies perceive processed foods
32:12
The “dank” smelling terpenes emitted by growing marijuana can combine with chemicals in car emissions to form ozone, a health-damaging compound. This is especially problematic in Denver, where ozone levels are dangerously high and pot farms have sprung up along two highways in the city. Host Sarah Crespi talks with reporter Jason Plautz about researchers’ efforts to measure terpene emissions from pot plants and how federal restrictions have hampered them. Next, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Dana Small, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University, about how processed foods are perceived by the body. In a doughnut-rich world, what’s a body to think about calories, nutrition, and satiety? And in the first book segment of the year, books editor Valerie Thompson is joined by Erika Malim, a history professor at Princeton University, to talk about her book Creatures of Cain: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America, which follows the rise and fall of the “killer ape hypothesis”—the idea that our capacity for killing each other is what makes us human. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Wornden LY/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 24, 2019
Peering inside giant planets, and fighting Ebola in the face of fake news
23:32
It’s incredibly difficult to get an inkling of what is going on inside gas giants Saturn and Jupiter. But with data deliveries from the Cassini and Juno spacecraft, researchers are starting to learn more. Science Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about new gravity measurements from Cassini’s last passes around Saturn. Using these data, researchers were able to compare wind patterns on Saturn and Jupiter and measure the mass and age of Saturn’s rings. It turns out the rings are young, relatively speaking—they may have formed as recently as 10 million years ago, after dinosaurs went extinct. Megan Cantwell then talks to science writer Laura Spinney about how researchers are fighting conspiracy theories and political manipulation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the country’s ongoing Ebola outbreak. In a first, the government, nongovernmental organizations, and scientists are working with community leaders to fight misinformation—and they might actually be winning. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Stuart Rankin; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 17, 2019
A mysterious blue pigment in the teeth of a medieval woman, and the evolution of online master’s degrees
27:09
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free lectures and assignments, and gained global attention for their potential to increase education accessibility. Plagued with high attrition rates and fewer returning students every year, MOOCs have pivoted to a new revenue model—offering accredited master’s degrees for professionals. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Justin Reich, an assistant professor in the Comparative Media Studies Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, about the evolution of MOOCs and how these MOOC professional programs may be reaching a different audience than traditional online education. Archaeologists were flummoxed when they found a brilliant blue mineral in the dental plaque of a medieval-era woman from Germany. It turned out to be lapis lazuli—an expensive pigment that would have had to travel thousands of kilometers from the mines of Afghanistan to a monastery in Germany. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Christina Warinner, a professor of archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, about how the discovery of this pigment shed light on the impressive life of the medieval woman, an artist who likely played a role in manuscript production. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image:Oberlin.edu/Wikimedia Commons; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 10, 2019
Will a radical open-access proposal catch on, and quantifying the most deadly period of the Holocaust
18:52
Plan S, an initiative that requires participating research funders to immediately publish research in an open-access journal or repository, was announced in September 2018 by Science Europe with 11 participating agencies. Several others have signed on since the launch, but other funders and journal publishers have reservations. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Contributing Correspondent Tania Rabesandratana about those reservations and how Plan S is trying to change publishing practices and research culture at large. Some 1.7 million Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis in the 22 months of Operation Reinhard (1942–43) which aimed to eliminate all Jews in occupied Poland. But until now, the speed and totality of these murders were poorly understood. It turns out that about one-quarter of all Jews killed during the Holocaust were murdered in the autumn of 1942, during this operation. Meagan talks with Lewi Stone, a professor of biomathematics at Tel Aviv University in Israel and mathematical science at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, about this shocking kill rate, and why researchers are taking a quantitative approach to characterizing genocides. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Michael Beckwith; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 03, 2019
End of the year podcast: 2018’s breakthroughs, breakdowns, and top online stories
29:24
First, we hear Online News Editor David Grimm and host Sarah Crespi discuss audience favorites and staff picks from this year’s online stories, from mysterious pelvises to quantum engines. Megan Cantwell talks with News Editor Tim Appenzeller about the 2018 Breakthrough of the Year, a few of the runners-up, and some breakdowns. See the whole breakthrough package here, including all the runners-up and breakdowns. And in her final segment for the Science Podcast, host Jen Golbeck talks with Science books editor Valerie Thompson about the year in books. Both also suggest some last-minute additions to your holiday shopping list. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 20, 2018
‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ turns 50, and how Neanderthal DNA could change your skull
22:45
In 1968, Science published the now-famous paper “The Tragedy of the Commons” by ecologist Garrett Hardin. In it, Hardin questioned society’s ability to manage shared resources, concluding that individuals will act in their self-interest and ultimately spoil the resource. Host Meagan Cantwell revisits this classic paper with two experts: Tine De Moor, professor of economics and social history at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and Brett Frischmann, a professor of law, business, and economics at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. They discuss how premodern societies dealt with common resources and how our current society might apply the concept to a more abstract resource—knowledge. Not all human skulls are the same shape—and if yours is a little less round, you may have your extinct cousins, the Neanderthals, to thank. Meagan speaks with Simon Fisher, neurogeneticist and director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, about why living humans with two Neanderthal gene variants have slightly less round heads—and how studying Neanderthal DNA can help us better understand our own biology. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Phillip Gunz; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 13, 2018
Where private research funders stow their cash and studying gun deaths in children
24:17
A new Science investigation reveals several major private research funders—including the Wellcome Trust and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—are making secretive offshore investments at odds with their organizational missions. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with writer Charles Piller about his deep dive into why some private funders choose to invest in these accounts. In the United States, gun injuries kill more children annually than pediatric cancer, but funding for firearm research pales in comparison. On this week’s show, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Meredith Wadman and emergency physician Rebecca Cunningham about how a new grant will jump-start research on gun deaths in children. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Bernard Spragg; Music: Jeffrey Cook] *Correction, 27 December, 5 p.m.: The interview on studying gun deaths in children in the United States incorrectly says that NIH spent $3.1 million on research into pediatric gun deaths. The correct figure is $4.4 million.
Dec 06, 2018
The universe’s star formation history and a powerful new helper for evolution
25:37
In a fast-changing environment, evolution can be slow—sometimes so slow that an organism dies out before the right mutation comes along. Host Sarah Crespi speaks with Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about how plastic traits—traits that can alter in response to environmental conditions—could help life catch up. Also on this week’s show, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Marco Ajello a professor of physics and astronomy at Clemson University in South Carolina about his team’s method to determine the universe’s star formation history. By looking at 739 blazars, supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, Ajello and his team were able to model the history of stars since the big bang. Finally, in this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Christine Du Bois about her book Story of Soy. You can listen to more book segments and read more reviews on our books blog, Books et al. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Read a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 29, 2018
Exploding the Cambrian and building a DNA database for forensics
23:02
First, we hear from science writer Joshua Sokol about his trip to the Cambrian—well not quite. He talks with host Megan Cantwell about his travels to a remote site in the mountains of British Columbia where some of Earth’s first animals—including a mysterious, alien-looking creature—are spilling out of Canadian rocks.   Also on this week’s show, host Sarah Crespi talks with James Hazel a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings at Vanderbilt University in Nashville about a proposal for creating a universal forensic DNA database. He and his co-authors argue that current, invasive practices such as law enforcement subpoenaing medical records, commercial genetic profiles, and other sets of extremely detailed genetic information during criminal investigations, would be curtailed if a forensics-use-only universal database were created.     This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.   Read a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts.   About the Science Podcast  
Nov 22, 2018
The worst year ever and the effects of fasting
32:06
When was the worst year to be alive? Contributing Correspondent Ann Gibbons talks to host Sarah Crespi about a contender year that features a volcanic eruption, extended darkness, cold summer, and a plague. Also on this week’s show, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Andrea Di Francesco of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland, about his review of current wisdom on fasting and metabolism. Should we start fasting—if not to extend our lives maybe to at least to give ourselves a healthy old age?  In a special segment from our policy desk, Deputy Editor David Malakoff discusses the results of the recent U.S. election with Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis and we learn what happened to the many scientist candidates that ran and some implications for science policy. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Photo: Scott Suchman; Styling: Nichole Bryant; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   
Nov 15, 2018
A big increase in monkey research and an overhaul for the metric system
19:00
A new report suggests a big increase in the use of monkeys in laboratory experiments in the United States in 2017. Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss which areas of research are experiencing this rise and the possible reasons behind it. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell talks with staff writer Adrian Cho about a final push to affix the metric system’s measures to physical constants instead of physical objects. That means the perfectly formed 1-kilogram cylinder known as Le Grand K is no more; it also means that the meter, the ampere, and other units of measure are now derived using complex calculations and experiments.  This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Peter Nijenhuis/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Nov 08, 2018
How the appendix could hold the keys to Parkinson’s disease, and materials scientists mimic nature
27:28
For a long time, Parkinson’s disease was thought to be merely a disorder of the nervous system. But in the past decade researchers have started to look elsewhere in the body for clues to this debilitating disease—particularly in the gut. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Viviane Labrie of the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about new research suggesting people without their appendixes have a reduced risk of Parkinson’s. Labrie also describes the possible mechanism behind this connection. And host Sarah Crespi talks with Peter Fratzl of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, about what materials scientists can learn from nature. The natural world might not produce innovations like carbon nanotubes, but evolution has forged innumerable materials from very limited resources—mostly sugars, proteins, and minerals. Fratzl discusses how plants make time-release seedpods that are triggered by nothing but fire and rain, the amazing suckerin protein that comprises squid teeth, and how cicadas make their transparent, self-cleaning wings from simple building blocks. Fratzl’s review is part of a special section in Science on composite materials. Read the whole package, including a review on using renewables like coconut fiber for building cars and incorporating carbon nanotubes and graphene into composites. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Roger Smith/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 01, 2018
Children sue the U.S. government over climate change, and how mice inherit their gut microbes
27:34
A group of children is suing the U.S. government—claiming their rights to life, liberty, and property are under threat from climate change thanks to government policies that have encouraged the use and extraction of fossil fuels. Host Meagan Cantwell interviews news writer Julia Rosen on the ins and outs of the suit and what it could mean if the kids win the day.    Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Andrew Moeller of Cornell University about his work tracing the gut microbes inherited through 10 generations of mice. It turns out the fidelity is quite high—you can still tell mice lineages apart by their gut microbes after 10 generations. And horizontally transmitted microbes, those that jump from one mouse line to another through exposure to common spaces or handlers, were more likely than inherited bacteria to be pathogenic and were often linked to illnesses in people. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Bob Dass/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Oct 25, 2018
Mutant cells in the esophagus, and protecting farmers from dangerous pesticide exposure
21:59
As you age, your cells divide over and over again, leading to minute changes in their genomes. New research reveals that in the lining of the esophagus, mutant cells run rampant, fighting for dominance over normal cells. But they do this without causing any detectable damage or cancer. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Phil Jones, a professor of cancer development at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, about what these genome changes can tell us about aging and cancer, and how some of the mutations might be good for you. Most Western farmers apply their pesticides using drones and machinery, but in less developed countries, organophosphate pesticides are applied by hand, resulting in myriad health issues from direct exposure to these neurotoxic chemicals. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Praveen Vemula, a research investigator at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bengaluru, India, about his latest solution—a cost-effective gel that can be applied to the skin to limit pesticide-related toxicity and mortality. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image:Navid Folpour/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 18, 2018
What we can learn from a cluster of people with an inherited intellectual disability, and questioning how sustainable green lawns are in dry places
18:33
A small isolated town in Colombia is home to a large cluster of people with fragile X syndrome—a genetic disorder that leads to intellectual disability, physical abnormalities, and sometimes autism. Spectrum staff reporter Hannah Furfaro joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the history of fragile X in the town of Ricaurte and the future of the people who live there. Also this week, we talk about greening up grass. Lawns of green grass pervade urban areas all around the world, regardless of climate, but the cost of maintaining them may outweigh their benefits. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Maria Ignatieva of The University of Western Australia in Perth and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala about how lawns can be transformed to contribute to a more sustainable future. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Adam Kerfoot-Roberts/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 11, 2018
Odd new particles may be tunneling through the planet, and how the flu operates differently in big and small towns
18:43
Hoping to spot subatomic particles called neutrinos smashing into Earth, the balloon-borne Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) detector has circled the South Pole four times. ANITA has yet to detect those particles, but it has twice seen oddball radio signals that could be evidence of something even weirder: some heavier particle unknown to physicists’ standard model, burrowing up through Earth. Science writer Adrian Cho joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the possibility that this reading could lead to a big change in physics. Next, host Meagan Cantwell asks researcher Ben Dalziel what makes a bad—or good—flu year. Traditionally, research has focused on two factors: climate, which impacts how long the virus stays active after a sneeze or cough, and changes in the virus itself, which can influence its infectiousness. But these factors don’t explain every pattern. Dalziel, a population biologist in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Mathematics at Oregon State University in Corvallis, explains how humidity and community size shape the way influenza spreads. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Stuart Rankin/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 04, 2018
The future of PCB-laden orca whales, and doing genomics work with Indigenous people
31:57
Science has often treated Indigenous people as resources for research—especially when it comes to genomics. Now, Indigenous people are exploring how this type of study can be conducted in a way that respects their people and traditions. Meagan Cantwell talks with contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about a summer workshop for Indigenous scientists that aims to start a new chapter in genomics. We’ve known for decades that PCBs—polychlorinated biphenyls—are toxic and carcinogenic. In the 1970s and 1980s, these compounds were phased out of use in industrial and electronic applications, worldwide. But they are still in the environment—in soil and air—and in animal tissues, particularly those of killer whales. These toxic compounds start out at minute levels in tiny organisms, but as the small are eaten by the slightly larger, the PCB concentration increases—from plankton, to fish, to seals—until you are at killer whales with PCB-packed blubber. Ailsa Hall, director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St. Andrews University in the United Kingdom, talks with host Sarah Crespi about her group’s work measuring PCB levels in different killer whale populations and calculating the effect of PCBs on those populations 100 years from now. In this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Damon Centola about his book How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions. You can listen to more books segment and read more reviews on our books blog, Books et al.  This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Sep 27, 2018
Metaresearchers take on meta-analyses, and hoary old myths about science
24:14
Meta-analyses—structured analyses of many studies on the same topic—were once seen as objective and definitive projects that helped sort out conflicts amongst smaller studies. These days, thousands of meta-analyses are published every year—many either redundant or contrary to earlier metaworks. Host Sarah Crespi talks to freelance science journalist Jop de Vrieze about ongoing meta-analysis wars in which opposing research teams churn out conflicting metastudies around important public health questions such as links between violent video games and school shootings and the effects of antidepressants. They also talk about what clues to look for when trying to evaluate the quality of a meta-analysis. Sarah also talked with three other contributors to our “Research on Research” special issue. Pierre Azoulay of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Ben Jones of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and MIT’s Heidi Williams discuss the evidence for some hoary old scientific home truths. See whether you can guess who originally made these claims and how right or wrong they were: Do scientists make great contributions after age 30? How important is it to stand on the shoulders of giants? Does the truth win, or do its opponents just eventually die out? Read the rest of the package on science under scrutiny here. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Davide Bonazzi/@SalzmanArt; Show music: Jeffrey Cook; additional music: Nguyen Khoi Nguyen]
Sep 20, 2018
The youngest sex chromosomes on the block, and how to test a Zika vaccine without Zika cases
20:51
Strawberries had both male and female parts, like most plants, until several million years ago. This may seem like a long time ago, but it actually means strawberries have some of the youngest sex chromosomes around. What are the advantages of splitting a species into two sexes? Host Sarah Crespi interviews freelance journalist Carol Cruzan Morton about her story on scientists’ journey to understanding the strawberry’s sexual awakening. In 2016, experimental Zika vaccines were swiftly developed in response to the emergence of serious birth defects in the babies of infected woman. Two years after the height of Zika cases, there’s so little spread of the virus in the Americas that it has stymied vaccine trials. Researchers hope to overcome this hurdle with “human challenge experiments”—vaccinating people, then intentionally infecting them with Zika to see whether they’re protected from the virus. Meagan Cantwell talks with staff writer Jon Cohen about his news story that highlights the risks and rewards of human challenge experiments. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 13, 2018
Should we prioritize which endangered species to save, and why were chemists baffled by soot for so long?
19:57
We are in the middle of what some scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction and not all at-risk species can be saved. That’s causing some conservationists to say we need to start thinking about “species triage.” Meagan Cantwell interviews freelance journalist Warren Cornwall about his story on weighing the costs of saving Canada’s endangered caribou and the debate among conservationists on new approaches to conservation. And host Sarah Crespi interviews Hope Michelsen, a staff scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, about mysterious origins of soot. The black dust has been around since fire itself, but researchers never knew how the high-energy environment of a flame can produce it—until now. Michelsen walks Sarah through the radical chemistry of soot formation—including its formation of free radicals—and discusses soot’s many roles in industry, the environment, and even interstellar space. Check out this useful graphic describing the soot inception process in the related commentary article. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Darren Bertram/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 06, 2018
Science and Nature get their social science studies replicated—or not, the mechanisms behind human-induced earthquakes, and the taboo of claiming causality in science
27:48
A new project out of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, found that of all the experimental social science papers published in Science and Nature from 2010–15, 62% successfully replicated, even when larger sample sizes were used. What does this say about peer review? Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Kelly Servick about how this project stacks up against similar replication efforts, and whether we can achieve similar results by merely asking people to guess whether a study can be replicated. Podcast producer Meagan Cantwell interviews Emily Brodsky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, about her research report examining why earthquakes occur as far as 10 kilometers from wastewater injection and fracking sites. Emily discusses why the well-established mechanism for human-induced earthquakes doesn’t explain this distance, and how these findings may influence where we place injection wells in the future. In this month’s book podcast, Jen Golbeck interviews Judea Pearl and Dana McKenzie, authors of The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. They propose that researchers have for too long shied away from claiming causality and provide a road map for bringing cause and effect back into science. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Jens Lambert, Shutterstock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 30, 2018
Sending flocks of tiny satellites out past Earth orbit and solving the irrigation efficiency paradox
20:17
Small satellites—about the size of a briefcase—have been hitching rides on rockets to lower Earth orbit for decades. Now, because of their low cost and ease of launching, governments and private companies are looking to expand the range of these “sate-lites” deeper into space. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Deputy News Editor Eric Hand about the mods and missions in store for so-called CubeSats. And our newest podcast producer Meagan Cantwell interviews Quentin Grafton of Australian National University in Canberra and Brad Udall of Colorado State University in Fort Collins about something called the “irrigation efficiency paradox.” As freshwater supplies dry up around the world, policymakers and farmers have been quick to try to make up the difference by improving irrigation, a notorious water waster. It turns out that both human behavior and the difficulty of water measurement are plaguing water conservation efforts in agriculture. For example, when farms find they are using less water, they tend to plant ever-more-water-intensive crops. Now, researchers are trying to get the message out about the behavioral component of this issue and tackle the measurement problem, using cheap remote-sensing technology, but with water scarcity looming ahead, we have to act soon. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: John A. Kelley, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 23, 2018
Ancient volcanic eruptions, and peer pressure—from robots
19:44
Several thousand years ago the volcano under Santorini in Greece—known as Thera—erupted in a tremendous explosion, dusting the nearby Mediterranean civilizations of Crete and Egypt in a layer of white ash. This geological marker could be used to tie together many ancient historical events, but the estimated date could be off by a century. Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a new study that used tree rings to calibrate radiocarbon readings—and get closer to pinning down a date. The findings also suggest that scientists may need to change their standard radiocarbon dating calibration curve. Sarah also talks to Tony Belpaeme of Ghent University in Belgium and Plymouth University in the United Kingdom about his Science Robotics paper that explored whether people are susceptible to peer pressure from robots. Using a classic psychological measure of peer influence, the team found that kids from ages 7 to 9 occasionally gave in to social pressure from robot peers, but adults did not. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy, with help from Meagan Cantwell. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Softbank Robotics; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 16, 2018
Doubts about the drought that kicked off our latest geological age, and a faceoff between stink bugs with samurai wasps
20:12
We now live in the Meghalayan age—the last age of the Holocene epoch. Did you get the memo? A July decision by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which is responsible for naming geological time periods, divided the Holocene into three ages: the Greenlandian, the Northgrippian, and the Meghalayan. The one we live in—the Meghalayan age (pronounced “megalion”)—is pegged to a global drought thought to have happened some 4200 years ago. But many critics question the timing of this latest age and the global expanse of the drought. Staff writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the evidence for and against the global drought—and what it means if it’s wrong. Sarah also talks to staff writer Kelly Servick about her feature story on what happens when biocontrol goes out of control. Here’s the setup: U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers wanted to know whether brown marmorated stink bugs that have invaded the United States could be controlled—aka killed—by importing their natural predators, samurai wasps, from Asia. But before they could find out, the wasps showed up anyway. Kelly discusses how using one species to combat another can go wrong—or right—and what happens when the situation outruns regulators. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Melissa McMasters/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Aug 09, 2018
How our brains may have evolved for language, and clues to what makes us leaders—or followers
25:28
Yes, humans are the only species with language, but how did we acquire it? New research suggests our linguistic prowess might arise from the same process that brought domesticated dogs big eyes and bonobos the power to read others’ intent. Online News Editor Catherine Matacic joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how humans might have self-domesticated themselves, leading to physical and behavioral changes that gave us a “language-ready” brain. Sarah also talks with Micah Edelson of the University of Zurich in Switzerland about his group’s research into the role that “responsibility aversion”—the reluctance to make decisions for a group—might play when people decide to lead or defer in a group setting. In their experiments, the team found that some people adjusted how much risk they would take on, depending on whether they were deciding for themselves alone or for the entire group. The ones who didn’t—those who stuck to the same plan whether others were involved or not—tended to score higher on standardized tests of leadership and have held higher military rank. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Scaly breasted munia/Ravi Vaidyanathan; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 02, 2018
Liquid water on Mars, athletic performance in transgender women, and the lost colony of Roanoke
25:40
Billions of years ago, Mars probably hosted many water features: streams, rivers, gullies, etc. But until recently, water detected on the Red Planet was either locked up in ice or flitting about as a gas in the atmosphere. Now, researchers analyzing radar data from the Mars Express mission have found evidence for an enormous salty lake under the southern polar ice cap of Mars. Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how the water was found and how it can still be liquid—despite temperatures and pressures typically inhospitable to water in its liquid form. Read the research. Sarah also talks with science journalist Katherine Kornei about her story on changing athletic performance after gender transition. The feature profiles researcher Joanna Harper on the work she has done to understand the impacts of hormone replacement therapy and testosterone levels in transgender women involved in running and other sports. It turns out within a year of beginning hormone replacement therapy, transgender women plateau at their new performance level and stay in a similar rank with respect to the top performers in the sport. Her work has influenced sports oversight bodies like the International Olympic Committee. In this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Andrew Lawler about his book The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Next month’s book will be The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect by Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie. Write us at sciencepodcast@aaas.org or tweet to us @sciencemagazine with your questions for the authors. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Henry Howe; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 26, 2018
Why the platypus gave up suckling, and how gravity waves clear clouds
16:54
Suckling mothers milk is a pretty basic feature of being a mammal. Humans do it. Possums do it. But monotremes such as the platypus and echidna—although still mammals—gave up suckling long ago. Instead, they lap at milky patches on their mothers’ skin to get early sustenance. Science News Writer Gretchen Vogel talks with host Sarah Crespi about the newest suckling science—it turns out monotremes probably had suckling ancestors, but gave it up for the ability to grind up tasty, hard-shelled, river-dwelling creatures. Sarah also talks with Sandra Yuter of North Carolina State University in Raleigh about her work on fast-clearing clouds off the southwest coast of Africa. These immense marine layers appear to be exiting the coastal regions under the influence of gravity waves (not to be confused with gravitational waves). This finding can help scientists better model cloud behavior, particularly with respect to their influence on global temperatures. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: North Carolina State University]    
Jul 19, 2018
The South Pole’s IceCube detector catches a ghostly particle from deep space, and how rice knows to grow when submerged
24:55
A detection of a single neutrino at the 1-square-kilometer IceCube detector in Antarctica may signal the beginning of “neutrino astronomy.” The neutral, almost massless particle left its trail of debris in the ice last September, and its source was picked out of the sky by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope soon thereafter. Science News Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the blazar fingered as the source and how neutrinos from this gigantic matter-gobbling black hole could help astronomers learn more about mysterious high-energy cosmic rays that occasionally shriek toward Earth. Read the research. Sarah also talks with Cornell University’s Susan McCouch about her team’s work on deep-water rice. Rice can survive flooding by fast internodal growth—basically a quick growth spurt that raises its leaves above water. But this growth only occurs in prolonged, deep flooding. How do these plants know they are submerged and how much to grow? Sarah and Susan discuss the mechanisms involved and where they originated. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 12, 2018
A polio outbreak threatens global eradication plans, and what happened to America’s first dogs
17:58
Wild polio has been hunted to near extinction in a decades-old global eradication program. Now, a vaccine-derived outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is threatening to seriously extend the polio eradication endgame. Deputy News Editor Leslie Roberts joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the tough choices experts face in the fight against this disease in the DRC. Sarah also talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about when dogs first came to the Americas. New DNA and archaeological evidence suggest these pups did not arise from North American wolves but came over thousands of years after the first people did. Now that we know where they came from, the question is: Where did they go? Read the research. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript of this episode (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Polio virus/David Goodsell/RCSB PDB; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 05, 2018
Increasing transparency in animal research to sway public opinion, and a reaching a plateau in human mortality
32:21
Public opinion on the morality of animal research is on the downswing in the United States. But some researchers think letting the public know more about how animals are used in experiments might turn things around. Online News Editor David Grimm joins Sarah Crespi to talk about these efforts. Sarah also talks Ken Wachter of the University of California, Berkeley about his group’s careful analysis of data from all living Italians born 105 or more years before the study. It turns out the risk of dying does not continue to accelerate with age, but actually plateaus around the age of 105. What does this mean for attempts to increase human lifespan? In this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Simon Winchester about his book The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World. Read more book reviews at our books blog, Books et al. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Chris Jones/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 28, 2018
New evidence in Cuba’s ‘sonic attacks,’ and finding an extinct gibbon—in a royal Chinese tomb
19:17
Since the 2016 reports of a mysterious assault on U.S. embassy staff in Cuba, researchers have struggled to find evidence of injury or weapon. Now, new research has discovered inner-ear damage in some of the personnel complaining of symptoms. Former International News Editor Rich Stone talks to host Sarah Crespi about the case, including new reports of a similar incident in China, and what kind of weapon—if any—might have been involved. Sarah also talks with Staff Writer Gretchen Vogel about the bones of an extinct gibbon found in a 2200- to 2300-year-old tomb in China. Although gibbons were often featured in historical poetry and paintings, these bones confirm their presence and the fact that they were distinct from today’s species.   Read the research. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Pedro Szekely; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Jun 21, 2018
The places where HIV shows no sign of ending, and the parts of the human brain that are bigger—in bigger brains
23:25
Nigeria, Russia, and Florida seem like an odd set, but they all have one thing in common: growing caseloads of HIV. Science Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about this week’s big read on how the fight against HIV/AIDS is evolving in these diverse locations. Sarah also talks with Armin Raznahan of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, about his group’s work measuring which parts of the human brain are bigger in bigger brains. Adult human brains can vary as much as two times in size—and until now this expansion was thought to be evenly distributed. However, the team found that highly integrative regions are overrepresented in bigger brains, whereas regions related to processing incoming sensory information such as sight and sound tend to be underrepresented.  This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Misha Friedman; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 14, 2018
Science books for summer, and a blood test for predicting preterm birth
18:25
What book are you taking to the beach or the field this summer? Science’s books editor Valerie Thompson and host Sarah Crespi discuss a selection of science books that will have you catching comets and swimming with the fishes. Sarah also talks with Mira Moufarrej of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, about her team’s work on a new blood test that analyzes RNA from maternal blood to determine the gestational age of a fetus. This new approach may also help predict the risk of preterm birth. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: William Warby/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 07, 2018
The first midsize black holes, and the environmental impact of global food production
18:34
Astronomers have been able to detect supermassive black holes and teeny-weeny black holes but the midsize ones have been elusive. Now, researchers have scanned through archives looking for middle-size galaxies and found traces of these missing middlers. Host Sarah Crespi and Staff Writer Daniel Clery discuss why they were so hard to find in the first place, and what it means for our understanding of black hole formation. Farming animals and plants for human consumption is a massive operation with a big effect on the planet. A new research project that calculated the environmental impact of global food production shows highly variable results for different foods—and for the same foods grown in different locations. Sarah talks with one of the researchers—Joseph Poore of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom—about how understanding this diversity can help cut down food production’s environmental footprint and help consumers make better choices. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Miltos Gikas/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 31, 2018
Sketching suspects with DNA, and using light to find Zika-infected mosquitoes
27:59
DNA fingerprinting has been used to link people to crimes for decades, by matching DNA from a crime scene to DNA extracted from a suspect. Now, investigators are using other parts of the genome—such as markers for hair and eye color—to help rule people in and out as suspects. Staff Writer Gretchen Vogel talks with Sarah Crespi about whether science supports this approach and how different countries are dealing with this new type of evidence. Sarah also talks with Jill Fernandes of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, about her Science Advances paper on a light-based technique for detecting Zika in mosquitoes. Instead of grinding up the bug and extracting Zika DNA, her group shines near-infrared light through the body. Mosquitoes carrying Zika transmit this light differently from uninfected ones. If it’s successful in larger trials, this technique could make large-scale surveillance of infected mosquitoes quicker and less expensive. In our monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with author Sarah-Jayne Blakemore about her new work: Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain. You can check out more book reviews and share your thoughts on the Books et al. blog. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 24, 2018
Tracking ancient Rome’s rise using Greenland’s ice, and fighting fungicide resistance
27:06
Two thousand years ago, ancient Romans were pumping lead into the air as they smelted ores to make the silvery coin of the realm. Online News Editor David Grimm talks to Sarah Crespi about how the pollution of ice in Greenland from this process provides a detailed 1900-year record of Roman history. This week is also resistance week at Science—where researchers explore the global challenges of antibiotic resistance, pesticide resistance, herbicide resistance, and fungicide resistance. Sarah talks with Sarah Gurr of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom about her group’s work on the spread of antifungal resistance and what it means for crops and in the clinic. And in a bonus books segment, staff writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks about medicine and fraud in her review of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Wheat rust/Oregon State University; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 17, 2018
Ancient DNA is helping find the first horse tamers, and a single gene is spawning a fierce debate in salmon conservation
17:40
Who were the first horse tamers? Online News Editor Catherine Matacic talks to Sarah Crespi about a new study that brings genomics to bear on the question. The hunt for the original equine domesticators has focused on Bronze Age people living on the Eurasian steppe. Now, an ancient DNA analysis bolsters the idea that a small group of hunter-gatherers, called the Botai, were likely the first to harness horses, not the famous Yamnaya pastoralists often thought to be the originators of the Indo-European language family. Sarah also talks with News Intern Katie Langin about her feature story on a single salmon gene that may separate spring- and fall-run salmon. Conservationists, regulators, and citizens are fiercely debating the role such a small bit of DNA plays in defining distinct populations. Is the spring run distinct enough to warrant protection? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Jessica Piispanen/USFWS; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
May 10, 2018
The twins climbing Mount Everest for science, and the fractal nature of human bone
25:02
To study the biological differences brought on by space travel, NASA sent one twin into space and kept another on Earth in 2015. Now, researchers from that project are trying to replicate that work planet-side to see whether the differences in gene expression were due to extreme stress or were specific to being in space. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about a “control” study using what might be a comparably stressful experience here on Earth: climbing Mount Everest. Catherine also shares a recent study that confirmed what one reddit user posted 5 years ago: A single path stretching from southern Pakistan to northeastern Russia will take you on the longest straight-line journey on Earth, via the ocean. Finally, Sarah talks with Roland Kröger of the University of York in the United Kingdom about his group’s study published this week in Science. Using a combination of techniques usually reserved for materials science, the group explored the nanoscale arrangement of mineral in bone, looking for an explanation of the tissue’s contradictory combination of toughness and hardness. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Human bone (20X) by Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 03, 2018
Deciphering talking drums, and squeezing more juice out of solar panels
29:11
Researchers have found new clues to how the “talking drums” of one Amazonian tribe convey their messages. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the role of tone and rhythm in this form of communication. Getting poked with a needle will probably get you moving. Apparently, it also gets charges moving in certain semiconductive materials. Sarah interviews Marin Alexe of The University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., about this newfound flexo-photovoltaic effect. Alexe’s group found that prodding or denting certain semiconductors with tiny needles causes them to suddenly produce current in response to light. That discovery could enhance the efficiency of current of solar cell technologies. Finally, in our books segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Lucy Cooke about her new book The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Adam Levine/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 26, 2018
Drug use in the ancient world, and what will happen to plants as carbon dioxide levels increase
23:30
Armed with new data, archaeologists are revealing that mind-altering drugs were present at the dawn of the first complex societies some 5000 years ago in the ancient Middle East. Contributing writer Andrew Lawler joins Sarah Crespi to discuss the evidence for these drugs and how they might have impacted early societies and beliefs. Sarah also interviews Sarah Hobbie of the University of Minnesota about the fate of plants under climate change. Will all that extra carbon dioxide in the air be good for certain types of flora? A 20-year long study published this week in Science suggests theoretical predictions have been off the mark. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Public domain Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 19, 2018
How DNA is revealing Latin America’s lost histories, and how to make a molecule from just two atoms
20:59
Geneticists and anthropologists studying historical records and modern-day genomes are finding traces of previously unknown migrants to Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Asians, Africans, and Europeans first met indigenous Latin Americans. Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about what she learned on the topic at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists’s annual meeting in Austin. Sarah also interviews Kang-Keun Ni about her research using optical tweezers to bring two atoms—one cesium and one sodium—together into a single molecule. Such precise control of molecule formation is allowing new observations of these basic processes and is opening the door to creating new molecules for quantum computing. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Juan Fernando Ibarra; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Apr 12, 2018
Legendary Viking crystals, and how to put an octopus to sleep
20:27
A millennium ago, Viking navigators may have used crystals known as “sunstones” to navigate between Norway and Greenland. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about how one might use a crystal to figure out where they are. Sarah also interviews freelancer Danna Staaf about her piece on sedating cephalopods. Until recently, researchers working with octopuses and squids faced the dilemma of not knowing whether the animals were truly sedated or whether only their ability to respond had been suppressed. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image:  Nicholas Roerich, Guests from Overseas; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   
Apr 05, 2018
Chimpanzee retirement gains momentum, and x-ray ‘ghost images’ could cut radiation doses
29:45
Two of the world’s most famous research chimpanzees have finally retired. Hercules and Leo arrived at a chimp sanctuary in Georgia last week. Sarah Crespi checks in with Online News Editor David Grimm on the increasing momentum for research chimp retirement since the primates were labeled endangered species in 2015. Sarah also interviews freelancer Sophia Chen about her piece on x-ray ghost imaging—a technique that may lead to safer medical imaging done with cheap, single-pixel cameras. David Malakoff joins Sarah to talk about the big boost in U.S. science funding signed into law over the weekend. Finally, Jen Golbeck interviews author Stephanie Elizabeth Mohr on her book First in Fly: Drosophila Research and Biological Discovery for our monthly books segment. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Crystal Alba/Project Chimps; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 29, 2018
A possible cause for severe morning sickness, and slinking mouse moms’ caretaking to brain changes in baby mice
20:15
Researchers are converging on which genes are slinked to morning sickness—the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy—and the more severe form: hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). And once we know what those genes are—can we help pregnant women feel better? News intern Roni Dengler joins Sarah Crespi to talk about a new study that suggests a protein already flagged for its role in cancer-related nausea may also be behind HG. In a second segment, Tracy Bedrosian of the Neurotechnology Innovations Translator talks about how the amount of time spent being licked by mom might be slinked to changes in the genetic code of hippocampal neurons in mice pups. Could these types of genomic changes be a new type of plasticity in the brain? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Jacob Bøtter/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 22, 2018
A possible cause for severe morning sickness, and linking mouse moms’ caretaking to brain changes in baby mice
20:15
Researchers are converging on which genes are linked to morning sickness—the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy—and the more severe form: hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). And once we know what those genes are—can we help pregnant women feel better? News intern Roni Dengler joins Sarah Crespi to talk about a new study that suggests a protein already flagged for its role in cancer-related nausea may also be behind HG. In a second segment, Tracy Bedrosian of the Neurotechnology Innovations Translator talks about how the amount of time spent being licked by mom might be linked to changes in the genetic code of hippocampal neurons in mice pups. Could these types of genomic changes be a new type of plasticity in the brain? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Jacob Bøtter/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 22, 2018
How humans survived an ancient volcanic winter and how disgust shapes ecosystems
20:14
When Indonesia’s Mount Toba blew its top some 74,000 years ago, an apocalyptic scenario ensued: Tons of ash and debris entered the atmosphere, coating the planet in ash for 2 weeks straight and sending global temperatures plummeting. Despite the worldwide destruction, humans survived. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about how life after Toba was even possible—were humans decimated, or did they rally in the face of a suddenly extra hostile planet? Next, Julia Buck of the University of California, Santa Barbara, joins Sarah to discuss her Science commentary piece on landscapes of disgust. You may have heard of a landscape of fear—how a predator can influence an ecosystem not just by eating its prey, but also by introducing fear into the system, changing the behavior of many organisms. Buck and colleagues write about how disgust can operate in a similar way: Animals protect themselves from parasites and infection by avoiding disgusting things such as dead animals of the same species or those with disease. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Emma Forsber/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 15, 2018
Animals that don’t need people to be domesticated; the astonishing spread of false news; and slinks between gender, sexual orientation, and speech
40:12
Did people domesticate animals? Or did they domesticate themselves? Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about a recent study that looked at self-domesticating mice. If they could go it alone, could cats or dogs have done the same in the distant past? Next, Sinan Aral of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge joins Sarah to discuss his work on true and false rumor cascades across all of Twitter, since its inception. He finds that false news travels further, deeper, and faster than true news, regardless of the source of the tweet, the kind of news it was, or whether bots were involved. In a bonus segment recording during a live podcasting event at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Sarah first speaks with Ben Munson of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis about markers of gender and sexual orientation in spoken language and then Adrienne Hancock of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., talks about using what we know about gender and communication to help transgender women change their speech and communication style. Live recordings sessions at the AAAS meeting were supported by funds from the European Commission. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Rudolf Jakkel (CC0); Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 08, 2018
Animals that don’t need people to be domesticated; the astonishing spread of false news; and links between gender, sexual orientation, and speech
40:12
Did people domesticate animals? Or did they domesticate themselves? Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about a recent study that looked at self-domesticating mice. If they could go it alone, could cats or dogs have done the same in the distant past? Next, Sinan Aral of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge joins Sarah to discuss his work on true and false rumor cascades across all of Twitter, since its inception. He finds that false news travels further, deeper, and faster than true news, regardless of the source of the tweet, the kind of news it was, or whether bots were involved. In a bonus segment recording during a live podcasting event at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Sarah first speaks with Ben Munson of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis about markers of gender and sexual orientation in spoken language and then Adrienne Hancock of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., talks about using what we know about gender and communication to help transgender women change their speech and communication style. Live recordings sessions at the AAAS meeting were supported by funds from the European Commission. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Rudolf Jakkel (CC0); Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 08, 2018
A new dark matter signal from the early universe, massive family trees, and how we might respond to alien contact
34:23
For some time after the big bang there were no stars. Researchers are now looking at cosmic dawn—the time when stars first popped into being—and are seeing hints of dark matter’s influence on supercold hydrogen clouds. News Writer Adrian Cho talks with Sarah Crespi about how this observation was made and what it means for our understanding of dark matter. Sarah also interviews Joanna Kaplanis of the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton, U.K., about constructing enormous family trees based on an online social genealogy platform. What can we learn from the biggest family tree ever built—with 13 million members spanning 11 generations? In a bonus segment recording during a live podcasting event at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Sarah talks with Michael Varnum of Arizona State University in Tempe about what people think they will do if humanity comes into contact with aliens that just happen to be microbes. Live recordings sessions at the AAAS meeting were supported by funds from the European Commission. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/H. Hildebrandt & B. Giblin/ESO; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
Mar 01, 2018
Neandertals that made art, live news from the AAAS Annual Meeting, and the emotional experience of being a scientist
23:56
We talk about the techniques of painting sleuths, how to combat alternative facts or “fake news,” and using audio signposts to keep birds from flying into buildings. For this segment, David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with host Sarah Crespi as part of a live podcast event from the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin. Sarah also interviews Science News Editor Tim Appenzeller about Neandertal art. The unexpected age of some European cave paintings is causing experts to rethink the mental capabilities of our extinct cousins. For the monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck interviews with William Glassley about his book, A Wilder Time: Notes from a Geologist at the Edge of the Greenland Ice. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Marcus Trienke/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 22, 2018
Genes that turn off after death, and debunking the sugar conspiracy
13:18
Some of our genes come alive after we die. David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about which genes are active after death and what we can learn about time of death by looking at patterns of postmortem gene expression. Sarah also interviews David Merritt Johns of Columbia University about the so-called sugar conspiracy. Historical evidence suggests, despite recent media reports, it is unlikely that “big sugar” influenced U.S. nutrition policy and led to the low-fat diet fad of the ’80s and ’90s. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Lauri Andler (Phantom); Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 15, 2018
Happy lab animals may make better research subjects, and understanding the chemistry of the indoor environment
21:01
Would happy lab animals—rats, mice, even zebrafish—make for better experiments? David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about the potential of treating lab animals more like us and making them more useful for science at the same time. Sarah also interviews Jon Abbatt of the University of Toronto in Canada about indoor chemistry. What is going on in the air inside buildings—how different is it from the outside? Researchers are bringing together the tools of outdoor chemistry and building sciences to understand what is happening in the air and on surfaces inside—where some of us spend 90% of our time. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Austin Thomason/Michigan Photography; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 08, 2018
Following 1000 people for decades to learn about the interplay of health, environment, and temperament, and investigating why naked mole rats don’t seem to age
18:15
David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about the chance a naked mole rat could die at any one moment. Surprisingly, the probability a naked mole rat will die does not go up as it gets older. Researchers are looking at the biology of these fascinating animals for clues to their seeming lack of aging. Sarah also interviews freelancer Douglas Starr about his feature story on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study—a comprehensive study of the lives of all the babies born in 1 year in a New Zealand hospital. Starr talks about the many insights that have come out of this work—including new understandings of criminality, drug addiction, and mental illness—and the research to be done in the future as the 1000-person cohort begins to enter its fifth decade. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Tim Evanson/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 01, 2018
The dangers of dismantling a geoengineered sun shield and the importance of genes we don’t inherit
22:09
Catherine Matacic—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about how geoengineering could reduce the harshest impacts of climate change, but make them even worse if it were ever turned off. Sarah also interviews Augustine Kong of the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom about his Science paper on the role of noninherited “nurturing genes.” For example, educational attainment has a genetic component that may or may not be inherited. But having a parent with a predisposition for attainment still influences the child—even if those genes aren’t passed down. This shift to thinking about other people (and their genes) as the environment we live in complicates the age-old debate on nature versus nurture. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, Chief Scientist National Ice Center; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 25, 2018
Unearthed letters reveal changes in Fields Medal awards, and predicting crime with computers is no easy feat
23:59
Freelance science writer Michael Price talks with Sarah Crespi about recently revealed deliberations for a coveted mathematics prize: the Fields Medal. Unearthed letters suggest early award committees favored promise and youth over star power. Sarah also interviews Julia Dressel about her Science Advances paper on predicting recidivism—the likelihood that a criminal defendant will commit another crime. It turns out computers aren’t better than people at these types of predictions, in fact—both are correct only about 65% of the time.   Jen Golbeck interviews Paul Shapiro about his book, Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, in our monthly books segment.   Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Greg Chiasson/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 18, 2018
Salad-eating sharks, and what happens after quantum computing achieves quantum supremacy
18:19
David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about two underwater finds: the first sharks shown to survive off of seagrass and what fossilized barnacles reveal about ancient whale migrations. Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Adrian Cho about what happens after quantum computing achieves quantum supremacy—the threshold where a quantum computer’s abilities outstrip nonquantum machines. Just how useful will these machines be and what kinds of scientific problems might they tackle? Listen to previous podcasts.  [Image: Aleria Jensen, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 11, 2018
Who visits raccoon latrines, and boosting cancer therapy with gut microbes
17:00
David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about a long-term project monitoring raccoon latrines in California. What influence do these wild bathrooms have on the ecosystem? Sarah also interviews Christian Jobin of the University of Florida in Gainesville about his Perspective on three papers linking the success of cancer immunotherapy with microbes in the gut—it turns out which bacteria live in a cancer patient’s intestines can predict their response to this cutting-edge cancer treatment. Read the related papers: Routy et al., Gut microbiome influences efficacy of PD-1–based immunotherapy against epithelial tumors, Science 2018 Gopalakrishnan et al., Gut microbiome modulates response to anti–PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients, Science 2018 Matson et al., The commensal microbiome is associated with anti–PD-1 efficacy in metastatic melanoma patients, Science 2018 aan4236 Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: cuatrok77/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 04, 2018
Science’s Breakthrough of the Year, our best online news, and science books for your shopping list
30:55
Dave Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about a few of this year’s top stories from our online news site, like ones on a major error in the monarch butterfly biological record and using massive balloons to build tunnels, and why they were chosen. Hint: It’s not just the stats. Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Adrian Cho about the 2017 Breakthrough of the Year. Adrian talks about why Science gave the nod to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory team for a second year in a row—for the detection of a pair of merging neutron stars. Jen Golbeck is also back for the last book review segment of the year. She talks with Sarah about her first year on the show, her favorite books, what we should have covered, and some suggestions for books as gifts. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: f99aq8ove/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 21, 2017
Putting the breaks on driverless cars, and dolphins that can muffle their ears
20:12
Whales and dolphins have incredibly sensitive hearing and are known to be harmed by loud underwater noises. David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about new research on captive cetaceans suggesting that some species can naturally muffle such sounds—perhaps opening a way to protect these marine mammals in the wild. Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Jeffrey Mervis about his story on the future of autonomous cars. Will they really reduce traffic and make our lives easier? What does the science say?    Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Laura Wolf/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 14, 2017
Folding DNA into teddy bears and getting creative about gun violence research
19:20
This week, three papers came out describing new approaches to folding DNA into large complex shapes—20 times bigger than previous DNA sculptures. Staff Writer Bob Service talks with Sarah Crespi about building microscopic teddy bears, doughnuts, and more from genetic material, and using these techniques to push forward fields from materials science to drug delivery. Sarah also interviews Philip Cook of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, about his Policy Forum on gun regulation research. It’s long been hard to collect data on gun violence in the United States, and Cook talks about how some researchers are getting funding and hard data. He also discusses some strong early results on open-carry laws and links between gun control and intimate partner homicide. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: : K. WAGENBAUER ET AL., NATURE, VOL. 551, 2017; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 07, 2017
Debunking yeti DNA, and the incredibly strong arms of prehistoric female farmers
20:59
The abominable snowman, the yeti, bigfoot, and sasquatch—these long-lived myths of giant, hairy hominids depend on dropping elusive clues to stay in the popular imagination—a blurry photo here, a big footprint there—but what happens when scientists try to pin that evidence down? Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about the latest attempts to verify the yeti’s existence using DNA analysis of bones and hair and how this research has led to more than the debunking of a mythic creature. Sarah also interviews Alison Macintosh of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom about her investigation of bone, muscle, and behavior in prehistory female farmers—what can a new database of modern women’s bones—athletes and regular folks—tell us about the labor of women as humans took up farming?   Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Didier Descouens/CC BY SA 3.0; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 30, 2017
The world’s first dog pictures, and looking at the planet from a quantum perspective
27:23
About 8000 years ago, people were drawing dogs with leashes, according to a series of newly described stone carvings from Saudi Arabia. Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about reporting on this story and what it says about the history of dog domestication. Sarah also interviews physicist Brad Marston of Brown University on surprising findings that bring together planetary science and quantum physics. It turns out that Earth’s rotation and the presence of oceans and atmosphere on its surface mean it can be described as a “topological insulator”—a term usually reserved for quantum phenomena. Insights from the study of these effects at the quantum level may help us understand weather and currents at the planetary level—including insights into climate change and exoplanets. Listen to previous podcasts.
Nov 22, 2017
Preventing psychosis and the evolution—or not—of written language
24:27
How has written language changed over time? Do the way we read and the way our eyes work influence how scripts look? This week we hear a story on changes in legibility in written texts with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi also interviews Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel on her story about detecting signs of psychosis in kids and teens, recruiting at-risk individuals for trials, and searching for anything that can stop the progression.    Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Procsilas Moscas/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Nov 16, 2017
Randomizing the news for science, transplanting genetically engineered skin, and the ethics of experimental brain implants
28:25
This week we hear stories on what to do with experimental brain implants after a study is over, how gene therapy gave a second skin to a boy with a rare epidermal disease, and how bone markings thought to be evidence for early hominid tool use may have been crocodile bites instead, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi interviews Gary King about his new experiment to bring fresh data to the age-old question of how the news media influences the public. Are journalists setting the agenda or following the crowd? How can you know if a news story makes a ripple in a sea of online information? In a powerful study, King’s group was able to publish randomized stories on 48 small and medium sized news sites in the United States and then track the results.  Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Chad Sparkes/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 09, 2017
How Earth’s rotation could predict giant quakes, gene therapy’s new hope, and how carbon monoxide helps deep-diving seals
21:02
This week we hear stories on how the sloshing of Earth’s core may spike major earthquakes, carbon monoxide’s role in keeping deep diving elephant seals oxygenated, and a festival celebrating heavily researched yet completely nonsensical theories with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi interviews staff writer Jocelyn Kaiser about the status of gene therapy, including a newly tested gene-delivering virus that may give scientists a new way to treat devastating spinal and brain diseases. Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Robert Schwemmer, CINMS, NOAA; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
Nov 02, 2017
Building conscious machines, tracing asteroid origins, and how the world’s oldest forests grew
27:01
This week we hear stories on sunlight pushing Mars’s flock of asteroids around, approximately 400-million-year-old trees that grew by splitting their guts, and why fighting poverty might also mean worsening climate change with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks with cognitive neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene of the Collège de France in Paris about consciousness—what is it and can machines have it? For our monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck reviews astronaut Scott Kelly’s book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/Goddard; Music: Jeffrey Cook]​
Oct 26, 2017
LIGO spots merging neutron stars, scholarly questions about a new Bible museum, and why wolves are better team players than dogs
26:48
This week we hear stories about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s latest hit, why wolves are better team players than dogs, and volcanic eruptions that may have triggered riots in ancient Egypt with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi interviews contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. Can it recover from early accusations of forgeries and illicitly obtained artifacts? Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Public Domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
Oct 19, 2017
Evolution of skin color, taming rice thrice, and peering into baby brains
21:50
This week we hear stories about a new brain imaging technique for newborns, recently uncovered evidence on rice domestication on three continents, and why Canada geese might be migrating into cities, with Online News Editor David Grimm.   Sarah Crespi interviews Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania about the age and diversity of genes related to skin pigment in African genomes.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Danny Chapman/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 12, 2017
Putting rescue robots to the test, an ancient Scottish village buried in sand, and why costly drugs may have more side effects
18:02
This week we hear stories about putting rescue bots to the test after the Mexico earthquake, why a Scottish village was buried in sand during the Little Ice Age, and efforts by the U.S. military to predict posttraumatic stress disorder with Online News Editor David Grimm. Andrew Wagner interviews Alexandra Tinnermann of the University Medical Center of Hamburg, Germany, about the nocebo effect. Unlike the placebo effect, in which you get positive side effects with no treatment, in the nocebo effect you get negative side effects with no treatment. It turns out both nocebo and placebo effects get stronger with a drug perceived as more expensive. Read the research. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Chris Burns/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 05, 2017
Furiously beating bat hearts, giant migrating wombats, and puzzling out preprint publishing
26:14
This week we hear stories on how a bat varies its heart rate to avoid starving, giant wombatlike creatures that once migrated across Australia, and the downsides of bedbugs’ preference for dirty laundry with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks Jocelyn Kaiser about her guide to preprint servers for biologists—what they are, how they are used, and why some people are worried about preprint publishing’s rising popularity. For our monthly book segment, Jen Golbeck talks to author Sandra Postel about her book, Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: tap10/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
Sep 28, 2017
Cosmic rays from beyond our galaxy, sleeping jellyfish, and counting a language’s words for colors
23:19
This week we hear stories on animal hoarding, how different languages have different numbers of colors, and how to tell a wakeful jellyfish from a sleeping one with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic, Brice Russ, and Sarah Crespi.   Andrew Wagner talks to Karl-Heinz Kampert about a long-term study of the cosmic rays blasting our planet. After analyzing 30,000 high-energy rays, it turns out some are coming from outside the Milky Way.   Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Doug Letterman/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 21, 2017
Cargo-sorting molecular robots, humans as the ultimate fire starters, and molecular modeling with quantum computers
28:57
This week we hear stories on the gut microbiome’s involvement in multiple sclerosis, how wildfires start—hint: It’s almost always people—and a new record in quantum computing with Online News Editor David Grimm. Andrew Wagner talks to Lulu Qian about DNA-based robots that can carry and sort cargo. Sarah Crespi goes behind the scenes with Science’s Photography Managing Editor Bill Douthitt to learn about snapping this week’s cover photo of the world’s smallest neutrino detector. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Curtis Perry/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 14, 2017
Taking climate science to court, sailing with cylinders, and solar cooling
21:38
This week we hear stories on smooth sailing with giant, silolike sails, a midsized black hole that may be hiding out in the Milky Way, and new water-cooling solar panels that could cut air conditioning costs with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Sabrina McCormick about climate science in the U.S. courts and the growing role of the judiciary in climate science policy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 07, 2017
Mysteriously male crocodiles, the future of negotiating AIs, and atomic bonding between the United States and China
24:26
This week we hear stories on involving more AIs in negotiations, tiny algae that might be responsible for killing some (not all) dinosaurs, and a chemical intended to make farm fish grow faster that may be also be causing one area’s crocodile population to skew male—with Online News Editor David Grimm.   Sarah Crespi talks to Rich Stone about being on the scene for a joint U.S.-China mission to remove bomb-grade fuel from a nuclear reactor in Ghana.   Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image:Chad Sparkes; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 31, 2017
What hunter-gatherer gut microbiomes have that we don’t, and breaking the emoji code
17:02
Sarah Crespi talks to Sam Smits about how our microbial passengers differ from one culture to the next—are we losing diversity and the ability to fight chronic disease? For our books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Vyvyan Evans about his book The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Woodlouse/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 24, 2017
A jump in rates of knee arthritis, a brief history of eclipse science, and bands and beats in the atmosphere of brown dwarfs
18:57
This week we hear stories on a big jump in U.S. rates of knee arthritis, some science hits and misses from past eclipses, and the link between a recently discovered thousand-year-old Viking fortress and your Bluetooth earbuds with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Daniel Apai about a long-term study of brown dwarfs and what patterns in the atmospheres of these not-quite-stars, not-quite-planets can tell us. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
Aug 17, 2017
Coddled puppies don’t do as well in school, some trees make their own rain, and the Americas were probably first populated by ancient mariners
18:27
This week we hear stories on new satellite measurements that suggest the Amazon makes its own rain for part of the year, puppies raised with less smothering moms do better in guide dog school, and what DNA can tell us about ancient Greeks’ near mythical origins with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Lizzie Wade about coastal and underwater evidence of a watery route for the Americas’ first people. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Lizzie Wade; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 
Aug 10, 2017
The biology of color, a database of industrial espionage, and a slink between prions and diabetes
27:02
This week we hear stories on diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in chimps, a potential new pathway to diabetes—through prions—and what a database of industrial espionage says about the economics of spying with Online News Editors David Grimm and Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi talks to Innes Cuthill about how the biology of color intersects with behavior, development, and vision. And Mary Soon Lee joins to share some of her chemistry haiku—one poem for each element in the periodic table. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 03, 2017
The biology of color, a database of industrial espionage, and a link between prions and diabetes
27:02
This week we hear stories on diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in chimps, a potential new pathway to diabetes—through prions—and what a database of industrial espionage says about the economics of spying with Online News Editors David Grimm and Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi talks to Innes Cuthill about how the biology of color intersects with behavior, development, and vision. And Mary Soon Lee joins to share some of her chemistry haiku—one poem for each element in the periodic table. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 03, 2017
DNA and proteins from ancient books, music made from data, and the keys to poverty traps
27:35
This week we hear stories on turning data sets into symphonies for business and pleasure, why so much of the world is stuck in the poverty trap, and calls for stiffening statistical significance with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to news writer Ann Gibbons about the biology of ancient books—what can we learn from DNA, proteins, and book worm trails about a book, its scribes, and its readers? Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 27, 2017
Paying cash for carbon, making dogs friendly, and destroying all life on Earth
28:29
This week we have stories on the genes that may make dogs friendly, why midsized animals are the fastest, and what it would take to destroy all the life on our planet with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Seema Jayachandran about paying cash to Ugandan farmers to not cut down trees—does it reduce deforestation in the long term? Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Kerrick/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 20, 2017
Still-living dinosaurs, the world’s first enzymes, and thwarting early adopters in tech
25:41
This week, we have stories on how ultraviolet rays may have jump-started the first enzymes on Earth, a new fossil find that helps date how quickly birds diversified after the extinction of all the other dinosaurs, and a drug that may help reverse the effects of traumatic brain injury on memory with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic and special guest Carolyn Gramling. Sarah Crespi talks to Christian Catalini about an experiment in which some early adopters were denied access to new technology and what it means for the dissemination of that tech. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Michael Wuensch/Creative Commons Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 13, 2017
Odorless calories for weight loss, building artificial intelligence researchers can trust, and can oily birds fly?
19:26
This week we have stories on the twisty tree of human ancestry, why mice shed weight when they can’t smell, and the damaging effects of even a small amount of oil on a bird’s feathers—with Online News Editor David Grimm.  Sarah Crespi talks to News Editor Tim Appenzeller about a special section on how artificial intelligence is changing the way we do science.  Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: © 2012 CERN, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ALICE COLLABORATION; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 06, 2017
A Stone Age skull cult, rogue Parkinson’s proteins in the gut, and controversial pesticides slinked to bee deaths
31:42
This week we have stories on what the rogue Parkinson’s protein is doing in the gut, how chimps outmuscle humans, and evidence for an ancient skull cult with Online News Editor David Grimm. Jen Golbeck is back with this month’s book segment. She interviews Alan Alda about his new book on science communication: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? Sarah Crespi talks to Jeremy Kerr about two huge studies that take a nuanced looked at the relationship between pesticides and bees. Read the research in Science: Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees, B.A. Woodcock et al. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids reduces honey bee health near corn crops, Tsvetkov et al. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: webted/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 29, 2017
A Stone Age skull cult, rogue Parkinson’s proteins in the gut, and controversial pesticides linked to bee deaths
31:42
This week we have stories on what the rogue Parkinson’s protein is doing in the gut, how chimps outmuscle humans, and evidence for an ancient skull cult with Online News Editor David Grimm. Jen Golbeck is back with this month’s book segment. She interviews Alan Alda about his new book on science communication: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? Sarah Crespi talks to Jeremy Kerr about two huge studies that take a nuanced looked at the relationship between pesticides and bees. Read the research in Science: Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees, B.A. Woodcock et al. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids reduces honey bee health near corn crops, Tsvetkov et al. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: webted/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 29, 2017
Why eggs have such weird shapes, doubly domesticated cats, and science balloons on the rise
19:18
This week we have stories on the new capabilities of science balloons, connections between deforestation and drug trafficking in Central America, and new insights into the role ancient Egypt had in taming cats with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Mary Caswell Stoddard about why bird eggs come in so many shapes and sizes. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image:; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 22, 2017
Slowly retiring chimps, tanning at the cellular level, and plumbing magma’s secrets
20:27
This week we have stories on why it’s taking so long for research chimps to retire, boosting melanin for a sun-free tan, and tracking a mouse trail to find liars online with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Allison Rubin about what we can learn from zircon crystals outside of a volcano about how long hot magma hangs out under a volcano. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Project Chimps; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 15, 2017
How to weigh a star—with a little help from Einstein, toxic ‘selfish genes,’ and the world’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils
31:50
This week we have stories on what body cams reveal about interactions between black drivers and U.S. police officers, the world’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils, and how modern astronomers measured the mass of a star—thanks to an old tip from Einstein—with Online News Intern Ryan Cross. Sarah Crespi talks to Eyal Ben-David about a pair of selfish genes—one toxin and one antidote—that have been masquerading as essential developmental genes in a nematode worm. She asks how many more so-called “essential genes” are really just self-perpetuating freeloaders? Science Careers Editor Rachel Bernstein is also here to talk about stress and work-life balance for researchers and science students. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Chris Burns/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 08, 2017
A new taste for the tongue, ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies, and early evidence for dog breeding
23:53
This week we have stories on how we taste water, extracting ancient DNA from mummy heads, and the earliest evidence for dog breeding with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to John Travis about postsurgical cognitive dysfunction—does surgery sap your brain power? Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 01, 2017
How whales got so big, sperm in space, and a first look at Jupiter’s poles
27:12
This week we have stories on strange dimming at a not-so-distant star, sending sperm to the International Space Station, and what the fossil record tells us about how baleen whales got so ginormous with Online News Editor David Grimm. Julia Rosen talks to Scott Bolton about surprises in the first data from the Juno mission, including what Jupiter’s poles look like and a peak under its outer cloud layers. Listen to previous podcasts.  [Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 25, 2017
Preventing augmented-reality overload, fixing bone with tiny bubbles, and studying human migrations
23:45
This week we have stories on blocking dangerous or annoying distractions in augmented reality, gene therapy applied with ultrasound to heal bone breaks, and giving robots geckolike gripping power with Online News Editor David Grimm. Deputy News Editor Elizabeth Culotta joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a special package on human migrations—from the ancient origins of Europeans to the restless and wandering scientists of today. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
May 18, 2017
Our newest human relative, busting human sniff myths, and the greenhouse gas that could slow global warming
21:45
This week we have stories on ancient hominids that may have coexisted with early modern humans, methane seeps in the Arctic that could slow global warming, and understanding color without words with Online News Intern Lindzi Wessel. John McGann joins Sarah Crespi to discuss long-standing myths about our ability to smell. It turns out people are probably a lot better at detecting odors than scientists thought! Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Streluk/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
May 11, 2017
Podcast: Reading pain from the brains of infants, modeling digital faces, and wifi holograms
20:40
This week, we discuss the most accurate digital model of a human face to date, stray Wi-Fi signals that can be used to spy on a closed room, and artificial intelligence that can predict Supreme Court decisions with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Caroline Hartley joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a scan that can detect pain in babies—a useful tool when they can’t tell you whether something really hurts. Listen to previous podcasts. See more book segments.
May 04, 2017
Podcast: Where dog breeds come from, bots that build buildings, and gathering ancient human DNA from cave sediments
24:57
This week, a new family tree of dog breeds, advances in artificial wombs, and an autonomous robot that can print a building with Online News Editor David Grimm.   Viviane Slon joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a new way to seek out ancient humans—without finding fossils or bones—by screening sediments for ancient DNA.   Jen Golbeck interviews Andrew Shtulman, author of Scienceblind: Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong for this month’s book segment.    Listen to previous podcasts.   See more book segments.     Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: nimis69/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
Apr 27, 2017
Podcast: When good lions go bad, listening to meteor crashes, and how humans learn to change the world
26:47
This week, meteors’ hiss may come from radio waves, pigeons that build on the wings of those that came before, and a potential answer to the century-old mystery of what turned two lions into people eaters with Online News Editor David Grimm. Elise Amel joins Julia Rosen to discuss the role of evolution and psychology in humans’ ability to overcome norms and change the world, as part of a special issue on conservation this week in Science. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript  Transcripts courtesy Scribie.com  [Image: bjdlzx/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 20, 2017
Podcast: Watching shoes untie, Cassini’s last dive through the breath of a cryovolcano, and how human bias influences machine learning
24:29
This week, walk like an elephant—very far, with seeds in your guts, Cassini’s mission to Saturn wraps up with news on the habitability of its icy moon Enceladus, and how our shoes manage to untie themselves with Online News Editor David Grimm. Aylin Caliskan joins Sarah Crespi to discuss how biases in our writing may be perpetuated by the machines that learn from them. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 13, 2017
Podcast: Giant virus genetics, human high-altitude adaptations, and quantifying the impact of government-funded science
19:11
This week, viruses as remnants of a fourth domain of life, a scan of many Tibetan genomes reveals seven new genes potentially related to high-altitude life, and doubts about dark energy with Online News Editor David Grimm. Danielle Li joins Sarah Crespi to discuss her study quantifying the impact of government funding on innovation by linking patents to U.S. National Institutes of Health grants. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: artubo/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 06, 2017
Podcast: Killing off stowaways to Mars, chasing synthetic opiates, and how soil contributes to global carbon calculations
31:11
This week, how to avoid contaminating Mars with microbial hitchhikers, turning mammalian cells into biocomputers, and a look at how underground labs in China are creating synthetic opioids for street sales in the United States with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Caitlin Hicks Pries joins Julia Rosen to discuss her study of the response of soil carbon to a warming world. And for this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck talks to Rob Dunn about his book Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 30, 2017
Podcast: Teaching self-driving cars to read, improving bike safety with a video game, and when ‘you’ isn’t about ‘you’
24:06
This week, new estimates for the depths of the world’s lakes, a video game that could help kids be safer bike riders, and teaching autonomous cars to read road signs with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Ariana Orvell joins Sarah Crespi to discuss her study of how the word “you” is used when people recount meaningful experiences. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: VisualCommunications/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 23, 2017
Podcast: The archaeology of democracy, new additions to the uncanny valley, and the discovery of ant-ibiotics
24:39
This week, what bear-mounted cameras can tell us about their caribou-hunting habits, ants that mix up their own medicine, and feeling alienated by emotional robots with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Lizzie Wade joins Sarah Crespi to discuss new thinking on the origins of democracy outside of Europe, based on archeological sites in Mexico. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: rpbirdman/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 16, 2017
Podcast: Human pheromones lightly debunked, ignoring cyberattacks, and designer chromosomes
20:36
This week, how Flickr photos could help predict floods, why it might be a good idea to ignore some cyberattacks, and new questions about the existence of human pheromones with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Sarah Richardson joins Alexa Billow to discuss a global project to build a set of working yeast chromosomes from the ground up. Read Sarah Richardson’s research in Science. Listen to previous podcasts.   Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: Drew Gurian; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 09, 2017
Podcast: Breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier, storing data in DNA, and how past civilizations shaped the Amazon
24:55
This week, we chat about the science behind breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier, storing data in DNA strands, and a dinosaur’s zigzagging backbones with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. And Carolina Levis joins Alexa Billow to discuss evidence that humans have been domesticating the Amazon’s plants a lot longer than previously thought.   Read Carolina Levis’s research in Science.     Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Carolina Levis; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 02, 2017
Podcast: Cracking the smell code, why dinosaurs had wings before they could fly, and detecting guilty feelings in altruistic gestures
31:36
This week, we chat about why people are nice to each other—does it feel good or are we just avoiding feeling bad—approaches to keeping arsenic out of the food supply, and using artificial intelligence to figure out what a chemical smells like to a human nose with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Stephen Brusatte joins Alexa Billow to discuss why dinosaurs evolved wings and feathers before they ever flew. And in the latest installment of our monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Bill Schutt, author of Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History.   Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Todd Marshall; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 23, 2017
Podcast: Recognizing the monkey in the mirror, giving people malaria parasites as a vaccine strategy, and keeping coastal waters clean with seagrass
20:06
This week, we chat about what it means if a monkey can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, injecting people with live malaria parasites as a vaccine strategy, and insect-inspired wind turbines with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Joleah Lamb joins Alexa Billow to discuss how seagrass can greatly reduce harmful microbes in the ocean—protecting people and corals from disease. Read the research.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: peters99/iStock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 16, 2017
Podcast: Saving grizzlies from trains, cheap sun-powered water purification, and a deep look at science-based policymaking
24:44
This week, we chat about why grizzly bears seem to be dying on Canadian railway tracks, slow-release fertilizers that reduce environmental damage, and cleaning water with the power of the sun on the cheap, with Online News Editor David Grimm. And David Malakoff joins Alexa Billow to discuss a package of stories on the role of science and evidence in policymaking[link TK]. Listen to previous podcasts.  [Image: tacky_ch/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 09, 2017
Podcast: An 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein, sending oxygen to the moon, and competitive forecasting
20:59
This week, we chat about how the Earth is sending oxygen to the moon, using a GPS data set to hunt for dark matter, and retrieving 80-million year old proteins from dinosaur bones, with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Philip Tetlock joins Alexa Billow to discuss improving our ability to make judgments about the future through forecasting competitions as part of a special section on prediction in this week’s issue of Science. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 02, 2017
Podcast: Bringing back tomato flavor genes, slinking pollution and dementia, and when giant otters roamed Earth
29:10
This week, we chat about 50-kilogram otters that once stalked southern China, using baseball stats to show how jet lag puts players off their game, and a growing slink between pollution and dementia, with Online News Editor David Grimm. Also in this week’s show: our very first monthly book segment. In the inaugural segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Helen Pilcher about her new book Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction. Plus Denise Tieman joins Alexa Billow to discuss the genes behind tomato flavor, or lack thereof.   Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Dutodom; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 26, 2017
Podcast: Bringing back tomato flavor genes, linking pollution and dementia, and when giant otters roamed Earth
29:10
This week, we chat about 50-kilogram otters that once stalked southern China, using baseball stats to show how jet lag puts players off their game, and a growing link between pollution and dementia, with Online News Editor David Grimm. Also in this week’s show: our very first monthly book segment. In the inaugural segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Helen Pilcher about her new book Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction. Plus Denise Tieman joins Alexa Billow to discuss the genes behind tomato flavor, or lack thereof.   Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Dutodom; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 26, 2017
Podcast: Explaining menopause in killer whales, triggering killer mice, and the role of chromosome number in cancer immunotherapy
23:38
This week, we chat about a surprising reason why killer whales undergo menopause, flipping a kill switch in mice with lasers, and Fukushima residents who measured their own radiation exposure[link tk], with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Stephen Elledge about the relationship between chromosomal abnormalities in tumors and immunotherapy for cancer.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Copyright Kenneth Balcomb Center for Whale Research; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 19, 2017
Podcast: A blood test for concussions, how the hagfish escapes from sharks, and optimizing carbon storage in trees
20:52
This week, we chat about a blood test that could predict recovery time after a concussion, new insights into the bizarre hagfish’s anatomy, and a cheap paper centrifuge based on a toy, with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Christian Koerner about why just planting any old tree isn’t the answer to our carbon problem.    Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 12, 2017
Podcast: An ethics conundrum from the Nazi era, baby dinosaur development, and a new test for mad cow disease
29:54
This week, we chat about how long dinosaur eggs take—or took—to hatch, a new survey that confirms the world’s hot spots for lightning, and replenishing endangered species with feral pets with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Megan Gannon about the dilemma presented by tissue samples collected during the Nazi era. And Sarah Crespi discusses a new test for mad cow disease with Kelly Servick.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: NASA/flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jan 05, 2017
Podcast: Our Breakthrough of the Year, top online stories, and the year in science books
27:22
This week, we chat about human evolution in action, 6000-year-old fairy tales, and other top news stories from 2016 with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to News Editor Tim Appenzeller about this year’s breakthrough, runners-up, breakdowns, and how Science’s predictions from last year help us. In a bonus segment, Science book review editor Valerie Thompson talks about the big science books of 2016 and science books for kids.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Warwick Goble; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 22, 2016
The sound of a monkey talking, cloning horses for sport, and forensic anthropologists help the search for Mexico’s disappeared
22:48
This week, we chat about what talking monkeys would sound like, a surprising virus detected in ancient pottery, and six cloned horses that helped win a big polo match with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to news writer Lizzie Wade about what forensic anthropologists can do to help parent groups find missing family members in Mexico.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: (c) Félix Márquez; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 15, 2016
Podcast: Altering time perception, purifying blueberries with plasma, and checking in on ocelot latrines
19:27
This week, we chat about cleaning blueberries with purple plasma, how Tibetan dogs adapted to high-altitude living, and who’s checking ocelot message boards with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Joe Paton about how we know time flies when mice are having fun.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Joseph Sites/USDA ARS; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 08, 2016
Podcast: What ants communicate when kissing, stars birthed from gas, and slinking immune strength and social status
21:17
This week, we chat about kissing communication in ants, building immune strength by climbing the social ladder, and a registry for animal research with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Bjorn Emonts about the birth of stars in the Spiderweb Galaxy 10 billion years ago.   Related research on immune function and social hierarchy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Lauren Brent; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 01, 2016
Podcast: What ants communicate when kissing, stars birthed from gas, and linking immune strength and social status
21:17
This week, we chat about kissing communication in ants, building immune strength by climbing the social ladder, and a registry for animal research with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Bjorn Emonts about the birth of stars in the Spiderweb Galaxy 10 billion years ago.   Related research on immune function and social hierarchy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Lauren Brent; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 01, 2016
Podcast: Scientists on the night shift, sucking up greenhouse gases with cement, and repetitive stress in tomb builders
22:33
 This week, we chat about cement’s shrinking carbon footprint, commuting hazards for ancient Egyptian artisans, and a new bipartisan group opposed to government-funded animal research in the United States with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to news writer Sam Kean about the kinds of data that can only be gathered at night as part of the special issue on circadian biology.  Listen to previous podcasts.  [Image: roomauction/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 24, 2016
Podcast: The rise of skeletons, species-blurring hybrids, and getting rightfully ditched by a taxi
20:18
This week we chat about why it’s hard to get a taxi to nowhere, why bones came onto the scene some 550 million years ago, and how targeting bacteria’s predilection for iron might make better vaccines, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks with news writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the way hybrids muck up the concept of species and turn the evolutionary tree into a tangled web.   Listen to previous podcasts   [Image:  Raul González Alegría; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 17, 2016
Podcast: How farms made dogs love carbs, the role of dumb luck in science, and what your first flu exposure did to you
18:21
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—is Bhutan really a quake-free zone, how much of scientific success is due to luck, and what farming changed about dogs and us—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Katelyn Gostic of the University of California, Los Angeles, about how the first flu you came down with—which depends on your birth year—may help predict your susceptibility to new flu strains down the road.   Listen to previous podcasts.     [Image:monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Nov 10, 2016
Podcast: The impact of legal pot on opioid abuse, and a very early look at a fetus’s genome
20:32
This week, news writer Greg Miller chats with us about how the legalization of marijuana in certain U.S. states is having an impact on the nation’s opioid problem. Plus, Sarah Crespi talks to Sascha Drewlo about a new method for profiling the DNA of fetuses very early on in pregnancy.   [Image: OpenRangeStock/iStockphoto/Music: Jeffrey Cook] ++   Authors: Sarah Crespi; Alexa Billow
Nov 03, 2016
Podcast: A close look at a giant moon crater, the long tradition of eating rodents, and building evidence for Planet Nine
18:44
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—eating rats in the Neolithic, growing evidence for a gargantuan 9th planet in our solar system, and how to keep just the good parts of a hookworm infection—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Alexa Billow talks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Maria Zuber about NASA’s GRAIL spacecraft, which makes incredibly precise measurements of the moon’s gravity. This week’s guest used GRAIL data to explore a giant impact crater and learn more about the effects of giant impacts on the moon and Earth.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Ernest Wright, NASA/GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 27, 2016
Podcast: Science lessons for the next U.S. president, human high altitude adjustments, and the elusive Higgs bison
25:12
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—jumping spiders that can hear without ears, long-lasting changes in the human body at high altitudes, and the long hunt for an extinct bison—with Science’s Online News Intern Jessica Boddy. Plus, Sarah Crespi talks to Deputy News Editor David Malakoff about six science lessons for the next U.S. president.    [Image: Gil Menda at the Hoy Lab; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 20, 2016
Podcast: When we pay attention to plane crashes, releasing modified mosquitoes, and bacteria that live off radiation
20:25
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories -- including a new bacterial model for alien life that feeds on cosmic rays, tracking extinct “bear dogs” to Texas, and when we stop caring about plane crashes -- with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Alexa Billow talks to Staff Writer Kelly Servick about her feature story on the releasing modified mosquitoes in Brazil to combat diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. Her story is part of a package on mosquito control.  Listen to previous podcasts  [Image: © Alex Wild; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Oct 13, 2016
Podcast: Bumble bee emotions, the purpose of yawning, and new insights into the developing infant brain
21:43
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—including making bees optimistic, comparing yawns across species, and “mind reading” in nonhuman apes—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Mercedes Paredes about her research on the developing infant brain.   Listen to previous podcasts   [Image: mdmiller/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]    
Oct 06, 2016
Podcast: Why we murder, resurrecting extinct animals, and the latest on the three-parent baby
23:53
Daily news stories Should we bring animals back from extinction, three-parent baby announced, and the roots of human violence, with David Grimm.   From the magazine Our networked world gives us an unprecedented ability to monitor and respond to global happenings. Databases monitoring news stories can provide real-time information about events all over the world -- like conflicts or protests. However, the databases that now exist aren’t up to the task. Alexa Billow talks with Ryan Kennedy about his policy forum that addresses problems with global data collection and interpretation.   [Image: Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 29, 2016
Podcast: An atmospheric pacemaker skips a beat, a religious edict that spawned fat chickens, and knocking out the ‘sixth sense’
24:59
A quick change in chickens’ genes as a result of a papal ban on eating four-legged animals, the appeal of tragedy, and genetic defects in the “sixth sense,” with David Grimm.   From the magazine  In February of this year, one of the most regular phenomena in the atmosphere skipped a cycle. Every 22 to 36 months, descending eastward and westward wind jets—high above the equator—switch places. The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, or QBO, is normally so regular you can almost set your watch by it, but not this year. Scott Osprey discusses the implications for this change with Alexa Billow.   Read the research.   [Image: ValerijaP/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 22, 2016
Podcast: A burning body experiment, prehistoric hunting dogs, and seeding life on other planets
25:32
News stories on our earliest hunting companions, should we seed exoplanets with life, and finding space storm hot spots with David Grimm.  From the magazine Two years ago, 43 students disappeared from a teacher’s college in Guerrero, Mexico. Months of protests and investigation have not yielded a believable account of what happened to them. The government of Mexico claims that the students were killed by cartel members and burned on an outdoor pyre in a dump outside Cucola. Lizzie Wade has been following this story with a focus on the science of fire investigation. She talks about an investigator in Australia that has burned pig carcasses in an effort to understand these events in Mexico.   [Image: Edgard Garrido/REUTERS/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 15, 2016
Podcast: Double navigation in desert ants, pollution in the brain, and dating deal breakers
20:21
News stories on magnetic waste in the brain, the top deal breakers in online dating, and wolves that are willing to “risk it for the biscuit,” with David Grimm.   From the magazine How do we track where we are going and where we have been? Do you pay attention to your path? Look for landmarks? Leave a scent trail? The problem of navigation has been solved a number of different ways by animals. The desert-dwelling Cataglyphis ant was thought to rely on stride integration, basically counting their steps. But it turns out they have a separate method of keeping track of their whereabouts called “optic flow.” Matthias Wittlinger joins Sarah Crespi to talk about his work with these amazing creatures.   Read the research.   [Image: Rooobert Bayer /Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Sep 08, 2016
Podcast: Ceres’s close-up, how dogs listen, and a new RNA therapy
23:52
News stories on what words dogs know, an RNA therapy for psoriasis, and how Lucy may have fallen from the sky, with Catherine Matacic.  From the magazine In early 2015, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. Over the last year and a half, scientists have studied the mysterious dwarf planet using data collected by Dawn, including detailed images of its surface. Julia Rosen talks with Debra Buczkowski about Ceres’s close-up.  See the full Ceres package.
Sep 01, 2016
Podcast: Quantum dots in consumer electronics and a faceoff with the quiz master
19:56
Sarah Crespi takes a pop quiz on literal life hacking, spotting poverty from outer space, and the size of the average American vocabulary with Catherine Matacic.   From the magazine You can already buy a quantum dot television, but it’s really just the beginning of the infiltration of quantum dots into our everyday lives. Cherie Kagan is here to talk about her in depth review of the technology published in this week’s issue.   [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 25, 2016
Podcast: How mice mess up reproducibility, new support for an RNA world, and giving cash away wisely
25:05
News stories on a humanmade RNA copier that bolsters ideas about early life on Earth, the downfall of a pre-Columbian empire, and how a bit of cash at the right time can keep you off the streets, with Jessica Boddy.   From the magazine This story combines two things we seem to talk about a lot on the podcast: reproducibility and the microbiome. The big question we’re going to take on is how reproducible are mouse studies when their microbiomes aren’t taken into account? Staff writer Kelly Servick is here to talk about what promises to be a long battle with mouse-dwelling bugs.   [Image: Annedde/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 18, 2016
Podcast: 400-year-old sharks, busting a famous scientific hoax, and clinical trials in pets
28:54
News stories on using pets in clinical trials to test veterinarian drugs, debunking the Piltdown Man once and for all, and deciding just how smart crows can be, with David Grimm.   From the magazine It’s really difficult to figure out how old a free-living animal is. Maybe you can find growth rings in bone or other calcified body parts, but in sharks like the Greenland shark, no such hardened parts exist. Using two different radiocarbon dating approaches, Julius Neilsen and colleagues discovered that the giant Greenland shark may live as long as 400 years.   Read the research.   [Image: James Howard McGregor/Wikimedia Commons/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 11, 2016
Podcast: Pollution hot spots in coastal waters, extreme bees, and diseased dinos
21:08
News stories on bees that live perilously close to the mouth of a volcano, diagnosing arthritis in dinosaur bones, and the evolution of the female orgasm, with David Grimm.  From the magazine Rivers deliver water to the ocean but water is also discharged along the coast in a much more diffuse way. This “submarine groundwater discharge” carries dissolved chemicals out to sea. But the underground nature of these outflows makes them difficult to quantify.  Audrey Sawyer talks with Sarah Crespi about the scale of this discharge and how it affects coastal waters surrounding the United States.  [Image: Hilary Erenler/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 04, 2016
Podcast: Saving wolves that aren’t really wolves, bird-human partnership, and our oldest common ancestor
22:17
Stories on birds that guide people to honey, genes left over from the last universal common ancestor, and what the nose knows about antibiotics, with Devi Shastri.  The Endangered Species Act—a 1973 U.S. law designed to protect animals in the country from extinction—may need a fresh look. The focus on “species” is the problem. This has become especially clear when it comes to wolves—recent genetic information has led to government agencies moving to delist the grey wolf. Robert Wayne helps untangle the wolf family tree and talks us through how a better understanding of wolf genetics may trouble their protected status.  [Image: Claire N. Spottiswoode/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 28, 2016
Podcast: An omnipresent antimicrobial, a lichen ménage à trois, and tiny tide-induced tremors
29:07
Stories on a lichen threesome, tremors caused by tides, and a theoretical way to inspect nuclear warheads without looking too closely at them, with Catherine Matacic.   Despite concerns about antibiotic resistance, it seems like antimicrobials have crept into everything—from hand soap to toothpaste, and even fabrics. What does the ubiquitous presence of these compounds mean for our microbiomes? Alyson Yee talks with host Sarah Crespi about one antimicrobial in particular—triclosan—which has been partially banned in the European Union.     [Image: T. Wheeler/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 21, 2016
Podcast: The science of the apocalypse, and abstract thinking in ducklings
25:07
What do we know about humanity-ending catastrophes? Julia Rosen talks with Sarah Crespi about various doomsday scenarios and what science can do to save us. Alex Kacelnik talks about getting ducklings to recognize “same” and “different”—a striking finding that reveals conceptual thinking in very early life.  Read the related research. [Image: Antone Martinho/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 14, 2016
Podcast: An exoplanet with three suns, no relief for aching knees, and building better noses
17:55
Listen to stories on how once we lose cartilage it’s gone forever, genetically engineering a supersniffing mouse, and building an artificial animal from silicon and heart cells, with Online News Editor David Grimm.  As we learn more and more about exoplanets, we find we know less and less about what were thought of as the basics: why planets are where they are in relation to their stars and how they formed. Kevin Wagner joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the latest unexpected exoplanet—a young jovian planet in a three-star system.  [Image: Hellerhoff/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0;Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 07, 2016
Podcast: Ending AIDS in South Africa, what makes plants gamble, and genes that turn on after death
26:33
Listen to stories on how plants know when to take risks, confirmation that the ozone layer is on the mend, and genes that come alive after death, with Online News Editor David Grimm.   Science news writer Jon Cohen talks with Julia Rosen about South Africa’s bid to end AIDS.   [Image: J.Seita/Flickr/Music: Jeffrey Cook]  
Jun 30, 2016
Podcast: A farewell to Science’s editor-in-chief, how mosquito spit makes us sick, and bears that use human shields
29:35
Listen to how mosquito spit helps make us sick, mother bears protect their young with human shields, and blind cave fish could teach us a thing or two about psychiatric disease, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Marcia McNutt looks back on her time as Science’s editor-in-chief, her many natural disaster–related editorials, and looks forward to her next stint as president of the National Academy of Sciences, with host Sarah Crespi.   [Music: Jeffrey Cook; Image: Siegfried Klaus]
Jun 23, 2016
Podcast: Treating cocaine addiction, mirror molecules in space, and new insight into autism
27:47
Listen to stories on the first mirror image molecule spotted in outer space, looking at the role of touch in the development of autism, and grafting on lab-built bones, with online news editor David Grimm.   Karen Ersche talks about why cocaine addiction is so hard to treat and what we can learn by bringing addicted subjects into the lab with host Sarah Crespi.   [Image: Science/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 16, 2016
Podcast: Scoliosis development, antiracing stripes, and the dawn of the hobbits
22:43
Listen to stories on lizard stripes that trick predators, what a tiny jaw bone reveals about ancient “hobbit” people, and the risks of psychology’s dependence on online subjects drawn from Mechanical Turk, with online news intern Patrick Monahan.   Brian Ciruna talks about a potential mechanism for the most common type of scoliosis that involves the improper flow of cerebral spinal fluid during adolescence with host Sarah Crespi.   [Image: irin717/iStock/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 09, 2016
Podcast: Bionic leaves that make fuel, digging into dog domestication, and wars recorded in coral
18:13
Listen to stories on new evidence for double dog domestication, what traces of mercury in coral can tell us about local wars, and an update to a classic adaptation story, with online news editor David Grimm.   Brendan Colón talks about a bionic leaf system that captures light and carbon and converts it to several different types of fuels with host Sarah Crespi.   [Image: Andy Phillips/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0/Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jun 02, 2016
Podcast: The economics of the Uber era, mysterious Neandertal structures, and an octopus boom
22:07
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on underground rings built by Neandertals, worldwide increases in cephalopods and a controversial hypothesis for Alzheimer’s disease.   Glen Weyl joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss academics’ role in rising markets that depend on data and networks of people. We’re lucky to live in the age of the match—need a ride, a song, a husband? There’s an app that can match your needs to the object of your desire, with some margin of error. But much of this innovation is happening in the private sector—what is academia doing to contribute?   [Music: Jeffrey Cook; Image: Etienne Fabre / SSAC]
May 26, 2016
Podcast: Tracking rats in a city slum, the giraffe genome, and watching human evolution in action
20:27
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on finding clues to giraffes’ height in their genomes, evidence that humans are still evolving from massive genome projects, and studies that infect humans with diseases on purpose.  Warren Cornwall joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss an intense study of slum-dwelling rats. [Image: Mauricio Susin]
May 19, 2016
Podcast: Rocky remnants of early Earth, plants turned predator, and a new artificial second skin
20:46
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories how the Venus flytrap turned to the meat-eating side, a new clingy polymer film that shrinks up eye bags, and survey results on who pirates scientific papers and why.   Hanika Rizo joins Julia Rosen to discuss evidence that parts of Earth have remained unchanged since the planet formed.
May 12, 2016
Podcast: Why animal personalities matter, killer whale sanctuaries, and the key to making fraternal twins
26:27
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on a proposal for an orca sanctuary in the sea, the genes behind conceiving fraternal twins, and why CRISPR won’t be fixing the sick anytime soon.   Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss bold birds, shy spiders, and the importance of animal personality.   [Image: Judy Gallagher]
May 05, 2016
Podcast: Patent trolls, the earthquake-volcano slink, and obesity in China
29:05
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on how earthquakes may trigger volcanic eruptions, growing obesity in China’s children, and turning salty water sweet on the cheap.   Lauren Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the rise of patent trolls in the United States and a proposal for cutting back on their sizable profits.     [Image: © Alberto Garcia/Corbis]
Apr 28, 2016
Podcast: Patent trolls, the earthquake-volcano link, and obesity in China
29:05
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on how earthquakes may trigger volcanic eruptions, growing obesity in China’s children, and turning salty water sweet on the cheap.   Lauren Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the rise of patent trolls in the United States and a proposal for cutting back on their sizable profits.     [Image: © Alberto Garcia/Corbis]
Apr 28, 2016
Podcast: Sizing up a baby dino, jolting dead brains, and dirty mice
25:14
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on a possibledebunking of a popular brain stimulation technique, using “dirty” mice in the lab to simulate the human immune system, and how South American monkeys’ earliest ancestors used rafts to get to Central America.   Kristi Curry Rogers joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss insights into dinosaur growth patterns from the bones of a baby titanosaur found in Madagascar.  Read the research.   [Image: K. Curry Rogers et al./Science]
Apr 21, 2016
Podcast: Tracking Zika, the evolution of sign language, and changing hearts and minds with social science
21:48
Online news editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on the evolution of sign language, short conversations than can change minds on social issues, and finding the one-in-a-million people who seem to be resistant to certain genetic diseases—even if they carry genes for them.   Nuno Faria joins host Sarah Crespi to explain how genomic analysis can track Zika’s entry date into Brazil and follow its spread.     [Image: r.a. olea/Flickr]
Apr 14, 2016
Podcast: Spreading cancer, sacrificing humans, and transplanting organs
19:36
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on evidence for the earth being hit by supernovae, record-breaking xenotransplantation, and winning friends and influencing people with human sacrifice.   Staff news writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how small membrane-bound packets called “exosomes” might pave the way for cancer cells to move into new territory in the body.     [Image: Val Altounian/Science]    
Apr 07, 2016
Podcast: Building a portable drug factory, mapping yeast globally, and watching cliffs crumble
20:44
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on yeasty hitchhikers, sunlight-induced rockfalls, and the tiniest gravity sensor.   Andrea Adamo joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a revolutionary way of making drugs using a portable, on-demand, and reconfigurable drug factory.     [Image: Tom Evans]
Mar 31, 2016
Podcast: Battling it out in the Bronze Age, letting go of orcas, and evolving silicon-based life
26:33
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on SeaWorld’s plans for killer whales, the first steps toward silicon-based life, and the ripple effect of old dads on multiple generations.   Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a grisly find in Northern Germany that suggests Bronze Age northern Europe was more organized and more violent than thought.   [Image: ANDESAMT FÜR KULTUR UND DENKMALPFLEGE MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN/LANDESARCHÄOLOGIE/S. SUHR ]
Mar 24, 2016
Podcast: The latest news from Pluto, a rock-eating fungus, and tracking storm damage with Twitter
24:02
News intern Nala Rogers shares stories on mineral-mining microbes, mapping hurricane damage using social media, and the big takeaway from the latest human-versus-computer match up.   Hal Weaver joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss five papers from New Horizons Pluto flyby, including a special focus on Pluto’s smaller moons.   [Image: Saran_Poroong/iStockphoto]
Mar 17, 2016
Podcast: Nuclear forensics, honesty in a sea of lies, and how sliced meat drove human evolution
26:02
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on the influence of governmental corruption on the honesty of individuals, what happened when our ancestors cut back on the amount of time spent chewing food, and how plants use sand to grind herbivores‘ gears.   Science’s International News Editor Rich Stone joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his forensics story on how to track down the culprits after a nuclear detonation.   [Image: Miroslav Boskov]
Mar 10, 2016
Podcast: Glowing robot skin, zombie frogs, and viral fossils in our DNA
24:47
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on zombification by a frog-killing fungus, relating the cosmological constant to life in the universe, and ancient viral genes that protect us from illness.   Chris Larson joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new type of robot skin that can stretch and glow.   [Image: Jungbae Park]
Mar 03, 2016
Podcast: A recipe for clean and tasty drinking water, a gauge on rapidly rising seas, and fake flowers that can fool the most discerning insects
25:25
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on what we can learn from 6million years of climate data, how to make lifelike orchids with 3D printing, and crowdsourced gender bias on eBay.   Fernando Rosario-Ortiz joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how approaches to water purification differ between countries.   [Image: Eric Hunt/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0] 0]
Feb 25, 2016
Podcast: Combatting malnutrition with gut microbes, fighting art forgers with science, and killing cancer with gold
22:36
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on how our abilities shape our minds, killing cancer cells with gold nanoparticles, and catching art forgery with cat hair.   Laura Blanton joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how nourishing our gut microbes may prevent malnutrition. Read the related research in Science.   [Image: D. S. Wagner et al., Biomaterials, 31 (2010)]   Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm
Feb 18, 2016
Podcast: The effects of Neandertal DNA on health, squishing bugs for science, and sleepy confessions
20:46
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on confessions extracted from sleepy people, malaria hiding out in deer, and making squishable bots based on cockroaches.   Corinne Simonti joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss whether Neandertal DNA in the human genome is helping or hurting. Read the related research in Science.   [Image: Tom Libby, Kaushik Jayaram and Pauline Jennings. Courtesy of PolyPEDAL Lab UC Berkeley.]
Feb 11, 2016
Podcast: Taking race out of genetics, a cellular cleanse for longer life, and smart sweatbands
29:19
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on killing cells to lengthen life, getting mom’s microbes after a C-section, and an advanced fitness tracker that sits on the wrist and sips sweat.   Michael Yudell joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss an initiative to replace race in genetics with more biologically meaningful terms, and Lena Wilfert talks about drivers of the global spread of the bee-killing deformed wing virus.   [Image: Vipin Baliga/(CC BY 2.0)]
Feb 04, 2016
Podcast: Babylonian astronomers, doubly domesticated cats, and outrunning a T. Rex
24:58
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex tracks, a signature of human consciousness, and a second try at domesticating cats. Mathieu Ossendrijver joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss newly translated Babylonian tablets that extend the roots of calculus all the way back to between 350 B.C.E. to 50 B.C.E. Read the related research in Science.
Jan 28, 2016
Podcast: A planet beyond Pluto, the bugs in your home, and the slink between marijuana and IQ
17:10
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on studying marijuana use in teenage twins, building a better maze for psychological experiments, and a close inspection of the bugs in our homes. Science News Writer Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the potential for a ninth planet in the solar system that circles the sun just once every 15,000 years.  [Image: Gilles San Martin/CC BY-SA 2.0]
Jan 21, 2016
Podcast: A planet beyond Pluto, the bugs in your home, and the link between marijuana and IQ
17:10
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on studying marijuana use in teenage twins, building a better maze for psychological experiments, and a close inspection of the bugs in our homes. Science News Writer Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the potential for a ninth planet in the solar system that circles the sun just once every 15,000 years.  [Image: Gilles San Martin/CC BY-SA 2.0]
Jan 21, 2016
Podcast: Wounded mammoths, brave birds, bright bulbs, and more
15:02
In this week’s podcast, David Grimm talks about brave birds, building a brighter light bulb, and changing our voice to influence our emotions. Plus, Ann Gibbons discusses the implications of a butchered 45,000-year-old mammoth found in the Siberian arctic for human migration. Read the related research in Science. [IMG: Dmitry Bogdanov]
Jan 14, 2016
Podcast: Dancing dinosaurs, naked black holes, and more
31:24
What stripped an unusual black hole of its stars? Can a bipolar drug change ant behavior? And did dinosaurs dance to woo mates? Science's Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science's Multimedia Producer Sarah Crespi. Plus,Science's Emily Underwood wades into the muddled world of migraine research, and Jessica Metcalf talks about using modern microbial means to track mammalian decomposition.
Jan 08, 2016
The Science breakthrough of the year, readers' choice, and the top news from 2015.
38:47
Robert Coontz discusses Science's 2015 Breakthrough of the Year and runners-up, from visions of Pluto to the discovery of a previously unknown human species. Online news editor David Grimm reviews the top news stories of the past year with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard.
Dec 17, 2015
Artificial intelligence programs that learn concepts based on just a few examples and a daily news roundup
23:56
Brenden Lake discusses a new computational model that rivals the human ability to learn new concepts based on just a single example; David Grimm talks about attracting cockroaches, searching for habitable planets, and looking to street dogs to learn about domestication. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Rodrigo Basaure CC BY 2.0, via flickr]
Dec 10, 2015
How our gut microbiota change as we age and a daily news roundup
27:41
Paul O'Toole discusses what happens to our gut microbes as we age; David Grimm talks about competent grandmas, our tilted moon, and gender in the brain. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Dhinakaran Gajavarathan CC BY 2.0, via flickr]
Dec 03, 2015
Can "big data" from mobile phones pinpoint pockets of poverty? And a news roundup
27:44
Joshua Blumenstock discusses patterns of mobile phone use as a source of "big data" about wealth and poverty in developing countries; David Grimm talks about gene drives, helpful parasites, and electric roses. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: A.A. JAMES]
Nov 26, 2015
Bioengineering functional vocal cords and a daily news roundup
26:14
Jennifer Long explains how scientists have engineered human vocal cords; Catherine Matacic talks about vanquishing a deadly amphibian fungus, pigeons that spot cancer, and more. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Jaime Bosch MNCN-CSIC]
Nov 19, 2015
The consequences of mass extinction and a daily news roundup
19:26
Lauren Sallan discusses the consequences of a mass extinction event 359 million years ago on vertebrate body size; David Grimm talks about grandma's immune system, gambling on studies, and killer genes. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Robert Nicholls]
Nov 12, 2015
The evolution of Mars' atmosphere and a daily news roundup
22:13
Bruce Jakosky discusses where Mars' once-thick, CO2-ish atmosphere went and the first data from the MAVEN mission to study the Red Planet; David Grimm talks about worm allergies, fake fingerprints, and toilets for all. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: NASA]
Nov 05, 2015
The origins of biodiversity in the Amazon and a daily news roundup
30:19
Lizzie Wade discusses whether the amazing biodiversity of the Amazon Basin was the result of massive flooding, or the uplift of the Andes mountain range. David Grimm talks about microbes aboard the International Space Station, the fate of juvenile giant ground sloths during the Pleistocene, and singing classes as social glue. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: ©Jason Houston]
Oct 29, 2015
The neuroscience of reversing blindness and a daily news roundup
31:50
Rhitu Chatterjee discusses Project Prakash and the neuroscience behind reversing blindness in children, teenagers, and adults in rural India; David Grimm talks about where dogs came from, when life first evolved, and holes in the brain. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Francois de Halleux CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Oct 22, 2015
Pluto's mysteries revealed and a daily news roundup
25:00
Alan Stern discusses the first scientific results from the New Horizons July 14 flyby of Pluto, which revealed details about the dwarf planet's geology, surface composition, and atmosphere; Catherine Matacic talks about dino temps, Paleo-sleeping, and editing pig organs. Hosted by Sarah Crespi.
Oct 15, 2015
Can math apps benefit kids? And a daily news roundup
20:03
Talia Berkowitz discusses the use of a math app at home to boost math achievement at school, Catherine Matacic talks about the fate of animals near Chernobyl, a potential kitty contraceptive, and where spiders got their knees. Hosted by Sarah Crespi.
Oct 08, 2015
Safer jet fuels and a daily news roundup
24:34
Julia Kornfield discusses the design of safer jet fuel additives using polymer theory to control misting and prevent fires, David Grimm talks about building a better sunscreen, cultures that don't count past four, and does empathy mean feeling literal pain. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Image credit: Eduard Marmet/CC BY-SA-3.0]
Oct 01, 2015
3-parent gene therapy for mitochondrial diseases and a news roundup
22:20
Kimberly Dunham-Snary discusses the long-term health considerations of gene therapy for mitochondrial diseases and David Grimm talks about the smell of death, Mercury crashing, and animal IQ. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Image credit: Ben Gracewood CC BY-NC 2.0, via flickr]
Sep 24, 2015
How future elites view self-interest and equality and a news roundup
22:49
Daniel Markovits discusses the preferences for fairness and equiality among potential future US leaders and David Grimm talks about finding fluorine's origins, persistant lone wolves, and the domestiction of the chicken. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: Philip Pikart/CC BY-SA 4.0]
Sep 17, 2015
Genes and the human microbiome and a news roundup
21:21
Seth Bordenstein discusses how our genes affect the composition of our microbiome, influencing our health, and David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about the origins of the Basque language, the benefits of being raised in a barn, and how some flying ants lost their wings. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Image credit: Decaseconds/CC BY-NC 2.0, via flickr
Sep 10, 2015
The state of science in Iran and a news roundup
28:02
Rich Stone discusses science in Iran in the face of economic sanctions. David Grimm brings stories on sleep deprivation and the common cold, plastic in birds, and counting trees. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: Credit: Alessandro Marongiu / Demotix /Corbis]
Sep 03, 2015
Moralizing gods, scientific reproducibility, and a daily news roundup
34:27
Brian Nosek discusses the reproducibility of science, Lizzie Wade delves into the origin of religions with moralizing gods. David Grimm talks about debunking the young Earth, a universal flu vaccine, and short, sweet paper titles. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES]
Aug 27, 2015
Human superpredators and a news roundup
24:25
Chris Darimont discusses the impact of humans' unique predatory behavior on the planet and Catherine Matacic talks with Sarah Crespi about whistled languages, Neolithic massacres, and too many gas giants. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: Andrew S Wright]
Aug 20, 2015
Marmoset monkey vocal development and a news roundup
22:27
Asif Ghazanfar discusses how marmoset parents influence their babies' vocal development and Hanae Armitage talks with Sarah Crespi about the influence of livestock on biodiversity hotspots, trusting internet search results, and ant-like robots. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Carmem A. Busko, CC BY-2.5]
Aug 13, 2015
Effective Ebola vaccines and a daily news roundup
17:22
Andrea Marzi discusses a vaccine that is effective against Ebola in monkeys and David Grimm talks about weigh-loss surgery, carbon suckers, and sexist HVAC. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: NIAID]
Aug 06, 2015
Comet chemistry and a news roundup
19:57
Fred Goesmann discusses Philae's bumpy landing on Comet 67P, and the organic compounds it detected there, and Hanae Armitage talks with Sarah Crespi about this week’s online news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: NAVCAM/ESA/Rosetta]
Jul 30, 2015
Ancient DNA and a news roundup
19:44
Elizabeth Culotta discusses the ancient DNA revolution and David Grimm brings online news stories about rising autism numbers, shark safety, and tiny cloudmakers. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Alexander Maklakov]
Jul 23, 2015
AI therapists and a news roundup
20:05
John Bohannon discusses using artificial intelligence in the psychologist's chair and David Grimm brings online news stories about the age of human hands, deadly weather, and biological GPS. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img:Nils Rinaldi/Flickr]
Jul 16, 2015
Jumping soft bots and a news roundup
16:29
Nick Bartlett discusses the challenges of building a jumping soft robot and David Grimm brings online news stories about drug violence in Mexico, pollution's effect on weather, and drugging away our altruism. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Stephen Wolfe/Flickr]
Jul 09, 2015
The scent of a rose and a news roundup
20:49
Silvie Baudino discusses the biosynthesis of the compounds responsible for the scents of roses and David Grimm brings online news stories about hearing fractals, muon detectors, and bobcat burials. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: liz west/Flickr]
Jul 02, 2015
Metallic hydrogen and a daily news roundup.
18:44
Marcus Knudson discusses making metallic hydrogen and how it can better our understanding of gas giant planets and David Grimm brings online news stories about kid justice, part-time dieting, and bird brains. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: NASA/ESA]
Jun 25, 2015
Tracking ivory with genetics, the letter R, and a news roundup
31:57
Samuel Wasser discusses using genetics to track down sources of elephant ivory, Suzanne Boyce talks with Susanne Bard about why it's so hard to say the letter R, and David Grimm brings online news stories about declining devils, keeping dinos out of North America, and the tiniest flea circus. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: guido da rozze/Flickr CC BY 2.0]
Jun 18, 2015
Tracking aquatic animals, cochlear implants, and a news roundup
34:31
Sara Iverson discusses how telemetry has transformed the study of animal behavior in aquatic ecosystems, and Monita Chatterjee discusses the impact of cochlear implants on the ability to recognize emotion in voices, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © marinesavers.com]
Jun 11, 2015
Friction at the atomic level, the acoustics of historical speeches, and a news roundup
29:26
Alexei Bylinskii discusses friction at the atomic level and Braxton Boren talks about the acoustics of historical spaces, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Pericles' Funeral Oration by Philipp von Foltz, 1852]
Jun 04, 2015
Climate change and China's tea crop and a news roundup
21:00
Christina Larson discusses the impact of climate change on China's tea and other globally sensitive crops, and Emily Conover discusses daily news stories with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Yosomono/Creative Commons License BY 2.0, via flickr]
May 28, 2015
Testosterone, women, and elite sports and a news roundup
29:23
Katrina Karkazis discusses the controversial use of testosterone testing by elite sports organizations to determine who can compete as a woman, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images]
May 21, 2015
Science in Cuba and a news roundup
23:56
Richard Stone discusses science in Cuba: isolation, innovation, and future partnerships, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Garry Balding/Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via flickr]
May 14, 2015
How the measles virus disables immunity to other diseases and a news roundup
25:09
Michael Mina discusses how measles destroys immunity to other infectious diseases and why the measles vaccine has led to disproportionate reductions in childhood mortality since its introduction 50 years ago, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: UNICEF Ethiopia/Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0, via flickr]
May 07, 2015
Sustainable seafood and a news roundup
25:50
James Sanchirico discusses the challenges of creating sustainable fisheries in developing countries, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Simon Bush]
Apr 30, 2015
Hubble's 25th anniversary and a news roundup
23:09
Hubble at 25: Daniel Clery discusses the contributions of the Hubble Space Telescope to our understanding of the universe, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: NASA]
Apr 23, 2015
The bond between people and dogs and a news roundup
23:22
Evan MacLean discusses the role of oxytocin in mediating the relationship between dogs and people, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Teresa Alexander-Arab/flickr/Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0]
Apr 16, 2015
Mountain gorilla genomes and a news roundup
22:29
Chris Tyler-Smith discusses what whole genome sequencing reveals about the genetic diversity and evolutionary history of endangered mountain gorillas, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Berzerker/flickr/Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Apr 09, 2015
The Deepwater Horizon disaster: Five years later.
34:08
5th Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster: Marcia McNutt discusses the role of science in responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Warren Cornwall examines the state of ecological recovery 5 years later. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Bryan Tarnowski/Science Magazine]
Apr 02, 2015
Child abuse across generations and a news roundup
27:53
Cathy Spatz Widom discusses whether child abuse is transmitted across generations. Angela Colmone has a round-up of advances in immunotherapy from Science Translational Medicine, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Luigi Mengato/flickr/Creative Commons]
Mar 26, 2015
Robotic materials and a news roundup
20:02
Nikolaus Correll discusses the future of robotic materials inspired by nature. Emily Conover discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Nick Dragotta]
Mar 19, 2015
The politics of happiness and a news roundup
18:57
Sean Wojcik discusses the relationship between happiness and political ideology. Emily Conover discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Erik Hersman/flickr/CC BY 2.0]
Mar 12, 2015
Antimicrobial resistance and a news roundup
21:01
Stephen Baker discusses the challenges faced by lower-income countries when fighting antimicrobial resistant infections. Emily Conover discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Merton Wilton/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0]
Mar 05, 2015
Sexual trait evolution in mosquitoes and a news roundup
23:59
Sara Mitchell discusses the co-evolution of sexual traits in mosquitoes and their influence on malaria transmission. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Sam Cotton]
Feb 26, 2015
Maternal effects in songbirds and a news roundup
16:20
Renée Duckworth discusses the role of maternal effects on species replacement in ecological communities shaped by forest fires. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Alex Badyaev]
Feb 19, 2015
The planetary boundaries framework, marine debris, and a news roundup
28:17
Will Steffen discusses the processes that define the planetary boundaries framework: a safe operating space within which humanity can still thrive on earth. Jenna Jambeck examines the factors influencing how much plastic debris a nation contributes to the ocean. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Bo Eide Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Feb 12, 2015
Spatial neurons and a news roundup
18:36
Gyorgy Buzsáki discusses how two types of neurons in the brain's hippocampus work together to map an animal's environment. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Isaac Planas-Sitjà]
Feb 05, 2015
Mathematicians and the NSA and a news roundup
24:38
John Bohannon discusses the growing rift between mathematicians and the National Security Agency following Edward Snowden's 2013 revelations of massive eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Amos Frumkin/Hebrew University Cave Research Center]
Jan 29, 2015
How comets change seasonally and a news roundup
15:48
Myrtha Hässig discusses variability and heterogeneity of the coma of comet 67P as part of Science's special issue on the Rosetta spacecraft. Meghna Sachdev discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: European Space Agency/Rosetta/NAVCAM]
Jan 22, 2015
High-altitude bird migration and a news roundup
24:53
Charles Bishop discusses the "roller-coaster" flight strategy of bar-headed geese as they migrate across the Himalayas between their breeding and wintering grounds. Online news editor David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: © Nyambayar Batbayar]
Jan 15, 2015
Deworming buffalo and a news roundup
17:37
Vanessa Ezenwa discusses the complex relationship between parasitic infections and tuberculosis in African buffalo and what it can tell us about human health. Online news editor David Grimm dicusses coloration in lizards, weighing earth-like planets, and how bears help meadows by eating ants. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Mark Jordahl/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0]
Jan 08, 2015
Measuring MOOCs
14:25
Justin Reich discusses the brief history of MOOCs and their impact on teaching online and offline. [Img: GARY WATERS/GETTYIMAGES]
Jan 01, 2015
Our breakthrough of the year and this year's top news stories
27:46
Robert Coontz discusses this year's Breakthrough and letting readers have their say. Online news editor David Grimm brings the top news stories of 2014 and takes an audio news quiz. Hosted by Sarah Crespi.
Dec 19, 2014
Science Podcast - Lessons from the tsetse fly genome and a news roundup (18 April 2014)
17:03