Undiscovered

By Science Friday and WNYC Studios

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Science & Medicine

Open in iTunes


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast



 Dec 15, 2018

Description

A podcast about the left turns, missteps, and lucky breaks that make science happen.

Episode Date
Not Your Subject
30:40
<p>In U.S. cancer research, the most promising clinical trials are done mostly on white patients, which means people of color—and especially African Americans—are underrepresented in research that might save their lives. In this episode, a young, black medical student joins a team of Boston scientists to try to bring more African American patients into their study, but has to contend with the long history of medical mistreatment that could keep them away.</p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <h2>Guests</h2> <p><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawn-johnson-2ba26b146/" target="_blank">Shawn Johnson</a>, student at Harvard Medical School</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/haw95" target="_blank">Harriet Washington</a>, author of <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/185986/medical-apartheid-by-harriet-a-washington/9780767915472/"><em>Medical Apartheid</em></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.broadinstitute.org/bios/corrie-painter" target="_blank">Corrie Painter</a>, associate director of <em><a href="http://joincountmein.org/">Count Me In</a> </em></p> <p><a href="http://www.cierrasisters.org/AboutCS.htm" target="_blank">Bridgette Hempstead</a>, president and founder of Cierra Sisters</p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <h2>Footnotes</h2> <p>Learn more about the <a href="https://www.mbcproject.org/about" target="_blank">Metastatic Breast Cancer Project</a>, led by Nikhil Wagle and directed by Corrie Painter. Check out <em><a href="http://joincountmein.org/">Count Me In</a> </em>to learn about their projects with other types of cancer.</p> <p>ProPublica <a href="https://www.propublica.org/article/black-patients-miss-out-on-promising-cancer-drugs" target="_blank">recently investigated</a> the underrepresentation of black people and Native Americans in trials for cancer drugs.</p> <p>The group of Howard University students recruiting for the project is called <a href="https://www.instagram.com/mbcproject.humble/" target="_blank">H.U.M.B.L.E.</a></p> <p><a href="https://cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/clinical-trials/what-you-need-to-know/phases-of-clinical-trials.html">Clinical trials come in phases</a>, and not all of them have the same diversity problems. In Phase I, researchers study the safety of treatments, and typically test them on healthy subjects (so <em>not</em> patients who would therapeutically benefit from the treatment). Some research has found that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222419/" target="_blank">people of color are <em>over</em>-represented in Phase I trials</a>.</p> <p>Check out this <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5131730/" target="_blank">review of barriers to minority representation</a>. Note that mistrust of medical professionals might <em>not</em> be the main barrier to participation, but it's an important issue in itself.</p> <p>Learn more about the history of gynecology and racism in <a href="http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/medical_bondage" target="_blank">Medical Bondage</a> by <a href="https://www.deirdrecooperowens.com/bio/" target="_blank">Deirdre Cooper Owens</a>.</p> <div> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 754px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/754/565/l/80/2018/11/NoSims.jpg" alt="Granite base etched with the name of J. Marion Sims and inscriptions. In the background, trees in fall colors" width="754" height="565"> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">New York City took down the statue of J. Marion Sims in April, but left the granite pedestal</div> <div class="image-credit">(Elah Feder)</div> </div> </div>  </div> <h2>Credits</h2> <p><em>Undiscovered</em> is produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a>. This week, we had production help from <a href="https://twitter.com/AlexaLim22" target="_blank">Alexa Lim</a>, story consulting from <a href="https://about.me/lindavillarosa" target="_blank">Linda Villarosa</a>, and fact checking help from Robin Palmer.</p> <p><span>Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>, our composer is <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>, and our production intern is <a href="http://kaitlynschwalje.com" target="_blank">Kaitlyn Schwalje</a>. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com/" target="_blank">I Am Robot And Proud</a>.</span></p>
Nov 13, 2018
This Headline Might Kill You
27:46
<p><span>In this Undiscovered Cares Report, Annie and Elah dig into a scary science headline and help Elah’s friend, David, figure out how scared he should be that his B12 vitamins will give him lung cancer. And we find out how—even with top-notch scientists, journalists, and readers—science communication can go very wrong.</span></p> <h2> </h2> <h2>Guests</h2> <p><a href="https://cancer.osu.edu/research-and-education/find-a-researcher/search-researcher-directory/theodore-m-brasky" target="_blank">Theodore Brasky</a>, assistant professor at <a href="https://cancer.osu.edu/" target="_blank">the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center</a></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <h2>Footnotes</h2> <p><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/08/b12-energy/537654/" target="_blank">Read</a> some <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/22/health/vitamin-b6-b12-lung-cancer-study/index.html" target="_blank">of the headlines</a> that <a href="https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/can-b-vitamins-cause-cancer/" target="_blank">scared us</a>, and <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/cancer/b-vitamins-may-raise-risk-of-lung-cancer-in-men-who-smoke" target="_blank">one that did a better job</a>.</p> <p>Then read <a href="https://moqc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Long-Term-Supplemental-Vitamin-B-Use-in-Relation-to-Lunch-Cancer-Risk-August-2017.pdf" target="_blank">Ted’s original study</a> for yourself and <a href="https://cancer.osu.edu/news-and-media/news/long-term-high-dose-vitamin-b6-b12-use-associated-with-increased-lung-cancer-risk-among-men" target="_blank">the press release</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p>OUR MAIN TAKEAWAYS:</p> <p>1)<strong> If you’re a man who</strong> <strong>smokes</strong>, <strong>these findings could matter for you</strong>. This study found that if you smoke, taking high doses of vitamins B12 or B6 was associated with an even greater risk of lung cancer than smoking by itself. But this finding still needs to be replicated, so proceed with caution before making massive lifestyle changes.</p> <p>Ted has notes on this summary:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Might be best to switch the 2nd and 3rd sentences. If you start with “This finding still needs to be replicated…” and then say “Nevertheless, the study found that if you smoke…” it’s better than making the “this needs replication” comment seem offhand; which is an issue with much of the media attention thus far. Not a big deal either way, but I guess I still want people to understand that this is a single and unique study, and that means that trusting the results as truth can be problematic.</em></p> <p><em>All of that said, I don’t think people need to proceed with caution before making lifestyle changes: smoking is singularly responsible for 1 in 5 deaths in the US each year. Anyone who smokes should consider quitting. A good place to start is the National Cancer Institute’s quit line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Smoking is awful for a person’s health. It is responsible for heart disease, COPD, and several different types of cancer in addition to lung cancer (which is the #2 most common cancer in men and women and the #1 cause of cancer death).</em></p> </blockquote> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p>2)<strong> If you’re a man who's never smoked</strong>, <strong>don’t freak out!</strong> Men who have never smoked have extremely low rates of lung cancer, and that includes men who took these vitamins. This study didn’t turn up any evidence that these vitamins had any effect on that risk. (In fact, in this study, there were no cases of lung cancer in men who never smoked and were also taking the highest doses of these vitamins.) The study also didn’t find any effect of these vitamins on lung cancer risk in men who’d quit smoking before the study began.</p> <p>Ted says:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Yes, not freaking out is ideal.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <h2>Credits</h2> <p>This episode of <em>Undiscovered</em> was produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a>. Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>, our composer is <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>, and our intern is <a href="http://kaitlynschwalje.com" target="_blank">Kaitlyn Schwalje</a>. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com/" target="_blank">I Am Robot And Proud</a>. We had fact checking help from Michelle Harris. Thanks, as always, to the entire Science Friday staff, and the folks at WNYC Studios.</p> <p> </p>
Nov 06, 2018
Party Lines
29:38
<p>In 2016, a North Carolina legislator <a href="https://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/video/15373172/" target="_blank">announced</a> that his party would be redrawing the state’s congressional district map with a particular goal in mind: To elect “10 Republicans and three Democrats.” His reasoning for this? As he explained, he did “not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.”</p> <p>It was a blatant admission of gerrymandering in a state already known for creatively-drawn districts. But that might be about to change. A North Carolina mathematician has come up with a way to quantify just how rigged a map is. And now he’s taking his math to court, in a case that could end up redrawing district lines across the country.</p> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/10/BraxtonatCourthouse.jpg" alt="Photo of Braxton Brewington outside North Carolina District Court"> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Braxton Brewington (center) preparing to make a statement outside the District Court on the first day of Common Cause's trial.</div> <div class="image-credit">(Courtesy of Braxton Brewington)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/10/rolltothepolls.jpg" alt="Picture of A T students in front of their school shuttle during Roll to the Polls."></div> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">A&amp;T Aggies at "Roll to the Polls" last April.</div> <div class="image-credit">(Courtesy of Braxton Brewington)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/10/JMwithmathmug.JPG" alt="Picture of Jonathan Mattingly holding a coffee cup that says 'Math' on it."></div> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Jonathan Mattingly at Duke last June.</div> <div class="image-credit">(Annie Minoff)</div> </div> </div> <h2> </h2> <h2>Guests</h2> <p><a href="https://math.duke.edu/people/jonathan-christopher-mattingly" target="_blank">Jonathan Mattingly</a>, professor of mathematics and statistical science, Duke University</p> <p><a href="https://braxtonbrewington.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">Braxton Brewington</a>, undergraduate senior, North Carolina A&amp;T State University, senior democracy fellow, Common Cause North Carolina</p> <p><a href="https://www.commoncause.org/staff/bob-phillips/" target="_blank">Bob Phillips</a>, executive director, Common Cause North Carolina</p> <p> </p> <h2>Footnotes</h2> <p><a href="https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.03360" target="_blank">Read</a> about Jonathan and his students’ analyses of North Carolina’s 2012 and 2016 congressional maps (and check out the rest of their <a href="https://sites.duke.edu/quantifyinggerrymandering/" target="_blank">work</a> on gerrymandering)</p> <p>See North Carolina’s <a href="https://www.ncsbe.gov/webapps/redistrict/uscongmaps.html" target="_blank">congressional map</a>, which a federal court declared unconstitutional in 2018</p> <p>Read the District Court’s <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legal-work/CC_LWV_v_Rucho_MemorandumOpinion_01.09.18.pdf" target="_blank">opinions</a> from January 2018, declaring North Carolina’s 2016 congressional map unconstitutional</p> <p><a href="https://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/video/15373172/" target="_blank">Watch</a> Representative David Lewis make his comments before the state legislature's joint select committee on congressional redistricting</p> <p><a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/legal-work/common-cause-v-rucho" target="_blank">Read</a> about the history of Common Cause’s lawsuit: Common Cause v. Rucho</p> <p><a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/partisan-gerrymandering" target="_blank">Read</a> about other partisan gerrymandering court challenges</p> <p>Read about Common Cause v. Rucho’s <a href="https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/partisan-gerrymandering-on-fast-track-to-supreme-court" target="_blank">prospects</a> at the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/us/kennedy-scotus-gerrymandering.html" target="_blank">Supreme Court</a></p> <p> </p> <h2>Credits</h2> <p>This episode of <em>Undiscovered</em> was produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a>  Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>, our composer is <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>, and our intern is <a href="http://kaitlynschwalje.com/" target="_blank">Kaitlyn Schwalje</a>. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com/" target="_blank">I Am Robot And Proud</a>. We had fact checking help from Robin Palmer. <a href="https://www.wfdd.org/person/eddie-garcia-0" target="_blank">Eddie Garcia</a> was our reporter on-the-ground at A&amp;T.</p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p>Special thanks this week to <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/expert/thomas-wolf" target="_blank">Thomas Wolf</a> and the <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/" target="_blank">Brennan Center for Justice</a>, <a href="http://redistricting.lls.edu/mywork.php" target="_blank">Justin Levitt</a>, <a href="https://services.math.duke.edu/~gjh/" target="_blank">Gregory Herschlag</a>, and Jonathan Mattingly’s <a href="https://services.math.duke.edu/~gjh/" target="_blank">Data+ team</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Oct 30, 2018
The Long Loneliness
34:20
<p>Americans haven’t <em>always</em> loved whales and dolphins. In the 1950s, the average American thought of whales as the floating raw materials for margarine, animal feed, and fertilizer—if they thought about whales at all. But twenty-five years later, things had changed for cetaceans in a <em>big</em> way. Whales had become the poster-animal for a new environmental movement, and cries of “save the whales!” echoed from the halls of government to the whaling grounds of the Pacific. What happened? Annie and Elah meet the unconventional scientists who forever changed our view of whales by making the case that a series of surreal bleats and moans were “song.”</p> <h2>GUESTS</h2> <p><a href="https://history.princeton.edu/people/d-graham-burnett" target="_blank">D. Graham Burnett</a>, professor of history, Princeton University, author, <em><a href="https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo9845648.html" target="_blank">The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the 20th Century</a></em></p> <p>Scott McVay, former executive director, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, author, <em><a href="https://www.wildriverreview.com/press-room/press-release-wild-river-books-surprise-encounters-by-scott-mcvay/" target="_blank">Surprise Encounters</a></em></p> <p>Roger Payne, biologist, author, <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Among-Whales-Roger-Payne/dp/0684802104" target="_blank">Among Whales</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/english/people/sheri-wells-jensen.html" target="_blank">Sheri Wells-Jensen</a>, associate professor of linguistics, Bowling Green State University</p> <h2>FOOTNOTES</h2> <p><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6007737_Songs_of_Humpback_Whales" target="_blank">Read</a> Roger and Scott’s landmark <em>Science </em>paper on whale song. (The paper includes great pics of the spectrograms Scott and Roger analyzed.)</p> <p>Listen to Roger’s record, <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/5h96FXOFTdfJxanqdzoczd" target="_blank"><em>Songs of the Humpback Whale</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><a href="https://search.macaulaylibrary.org/catalog?taxonCode=t-11028617&amp;q=Humpback%20Whale%20-%20Megaptera%20novaeangliae" target="_blank">Listen</a> to more humpback whale recordings (and dolphin tapes too!) courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.</p> <p><a href="https://orionmagazine.org/article/a-mind-in-the-water/" target="_blank">Read</a> D. Graham Burnett’s essay on John C. Lilly in <em>Orion</em>. (It’s a great teaser for the rest of his book.)</p> <p><a href="http://www.planetpuna.com/Lilly%20Papers/90.%20LILLY,%20JOHN%20C.%201965.pdf" target="_blank">Read</a> a paper Dr. Lilly published in<em> Science</em>, based in part on Scott McVay’s work with Elvar the dolphin.</p> <p><a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41208721.pdf?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents" target="_blank">Read</a> the essay that inspired Scott: Loren Eiseley’s “The Long Loneliness: Man and Porpoise: Two Solitary Destinies”</p> <h2>CREDITS</h2> <p>This episode of <em>Undiscovered</em> was produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a>  Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>, our composer is <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>, and our intern is <a href="http://kaitlynschwalje.com" target="_blank">Kaitlyn Schwalje</a>. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com/" target="_blank">I Am Robot And Proud</a>. We had fact checking help from Michelle Harris. Thanks, as always, to the entire Science Friday staff, and the folks at WNYC Studios.</p> <p>Special thanks this week to Jack Horowitz, Katie Lupica, and to the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.</p> <p> </p>
Oct 23, 2018
Turtle v. Snake
34:01
<p>Travis Thomas is a rookie turtle researcher in Florida. He was on the verge of publishing his first big paper and naming two new species of turtle when he found out he’d been scooped by a stranger in Australia: Raymond Hoser, a.k.a. the Snake Man. Raymond is a reptile wrangler and amateur herpetologist who’s managed to name hundreds of animals—and has made a lot of enemies in the process. In this episode of <em>Undiscovered</em>, Travis sets out to get his turtles back, and Annie and Elah set out to find out how and why the Snake Man does what he does.</p> <p> </p> <h2><strong>Guests</strong></h2> <p><a href="https://ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu/students/" target="_blank">Travis Thomas</a>, PhD student, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences</p> <p><a href="https://robertsprackland.webs.com/" target="_blank">Robert Sprackland</a>, herpetologist, visiting researcher at the Smithsonian Institution</p> <p><a href="http://www.smuggled.com/RHCom1.htm" target="_blank">Raymond Hoser</a>, founder of the <em>Australasian Journal of Herpetology</em>, owner of <a href="http://www.snakebusters.com.au/snaker1.htm">Snakebusters</a></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <h2><strong>Footnotes</strong></h2> <p>Read <a href="http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2015/f/z03947p450f.pdf" target="_blank">Travis Thomas <em>et al</em>.’s 2014 paper</a> splitting alligator snapping turtles into three species, Raymond Hoser's <a href="http://www.smuggled.com/issue-16-53-63.pdf" target="_blank">2013 paper</a>, Raymond's<a href="http://www.smuggled.com/issue-26-pages-3-64.pdf" target="_blank"> response</a> to Thomas<em> et al. </em>(pg. 19), and a later paper <a href="http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2015/f/z03947p450f.pdf" target="_blank">arguing for a different classification</a>.</p> <p>Check out Raymond’s <a href="http://www.smuggled.com/" target="_blank">website</a> where he responds to his critics, <a href="https://www.smuggled.com/Snakeman-Raymond-Hoser-Taxonomic-works-and-names-to-10-April-2018.htm" target="_blank">lists the animal taxa</a> (species, genera, etc.) he’s named, and <a href="http://www.smuggled.com/AJHIP1.htm" target="_blank">posts the <em>Australasian Journal of Herpetology</em></a>.</p> <p>Crack open the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature’s big book of <a href="http://iczn.org/code" target="_blank">rules for naming animals</a>.</p> <p>Read articles about <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-big-ugly-problem-heart-of-taxonomy-180964629/" target="_blank">“taxonomic vandalism”</a> that <a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/taxonomic-vandalism-and-hoser/" target="_blank">criticize</a> Raymond Hoser.</p> <p>Dive into this great <a href="http://nautil.us/issue/35/boundaries/why-do-taxonomists-write-the-meanest-obituaries" target="_blank"><em>Nautilus</em> piece</a> on prolific species namers in history and the ire they provoked.</p> <h2> </h2> <h2><strong>Credits</strong></h2> <p><span>This episode of <em>Undiscovered</em> was produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a>, <a href="http://www.twitter.com/AlexaLim22" target="_blank">Alexa Lim</a>, and <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a>  We had production help from <a href="https://twitter.com/sushmitza?lang=en" target="_blank">Sushmita Pathak</a> who brought us this story. Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>, our composer is <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>, and our intern is <a href="http://kaitlynschwalje.com" target="_blank">Kaitlyn Schwalje</a>. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com/" target="_blank">I Am Robot And Proud</a>. We had fact checking help from Michelle Harris. Thanks, as always, to the entire Science Friday staff, and the folks at WNYC Studios, especially Tony Phillips and Jenny Lawton for feedback on this story.</span></p> <p> </p>
Oct 16, 2018
Guest Episode: The Infinite God
28:47
<p>This week, Annie and Elah share an episode from one of their favorite podcasts, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sum-of-all-parts/" target="_blank"><em>Sum of All Parts</em></a>.</p> <p>For years, Robert Schneider lived the indie rocker’s dream, producing landmark records and fronting his band, The Apples in Stereo. And then, he gave it all up...for number theory. Host <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/joel-werner/2915416" target="_blank">Joel Werner</a> tracks Robert’s transformation, from a transcendental encounter with an antique tape machine, to the family temple of a mysterious long-dead mathematician, Ramanujan.</p> <p>Find more episodes of <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sum-of-all-parts/" target="_blank"><em>Sum of All Parts</em></a>.</p> <h2>CREDITS</h2> <p>This episode of <em>Sum of All Parts</em> was produced and hosted by <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/joel-werner/2915416" target="_blank">Joel Werner</a>. Sophie Townsend served as story editor and Jonathan Webb served as science editor. Sound engineering by Mark Don and Martin Peralta.</p> <p><span>Undiscovered is reported and produced by </span><a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a><span> and </span><a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a><span>. Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>, our composer is </span><a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a><span>, and our intern is </span><a href="http://kaitlynschwalje.com/" target="_blank">Kaitlyn Schwalje</a><span>. </span></p> <h2>GUESTS</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mathcs.emory.edu/~rpschne/" target="_blank">Robert Schneider</a>, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emory University</p> <p><a href="http://www.mathcs.emory.edu/~ono/" target="_blank">Ken Ono</a>, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics, Emory University</p> <h2>FOOTNOTES</h2> <p><a href="http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sum-of-all-parts/" target="_blank">Hear more</a> <em>Sum of All Parts</em>, and see pictures of Robert and Ken at Ramanujan’s family temple.</p> <p>Robert Schneider and Ben Phelan’s article about Ramanujan, <em>Encounter with The Infinite</em>, was a huge inspiration for this story. <a href="https://believermag.com/encounter-with-the-infinite/" target="_blank">Read it</a> in <em>The Believer.</em></p> <p><a href="https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/finding-ramanujan/" target="_blank">Listen</a> to Ken Ono talk about Ramanujan and a biopic based on his life — <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0787524/" target="_blank"><em>The Man Who Knew Infinity</em></a> — on <em>Science Friday.</em></p> <p><a href="https://arxiv.org/abs/1312.5020" target="_blank">Read</a> about the new musical scale Robert Schneider devised, based on natural logarithms.</p> <p> </p>
Oct 09, 2018
Plants And Prejudice
30:08
<p><span>Are non-native species all that bad, or are we just prejudiced against “the Other”? In the San Francisco Bay Area, one particular foreign species has been dividing environmentalists for years: the blue gum eucalyptus. Eucalyptus opponents say it’s a serious fire hazard. Defenders say there’s no good evidence it’s worse than native plants. Which is it? And is the fight against non-native species grounded in science or xenophobia? In this episode of Undiscovered, Annie and Elah investigate.</span> </p> <p> </p> <h2>GUESTS </h2> <p>Fred Pearce, environmental journalist and author of <a href="http://www.beacon.org/The-New-Wild-P1090.aspx" target="_blank"><em>The New Wild</em></a></p> <p>Norman La Force, Sierra Club, <a href="https://www.sierraclub.org/san-francisco-bay/leadership-roster" target="_blank">San Francisco Bay Chapter</a></p> <p>Dan Grassetti, <a href="https://www.hillsconservationnetwork.org/" target="_blank">Hills Conservation Network</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.biology.pitt.edu/person/sara-kuebbing" target="_blank">Sara Kuebbing</a>, Assistant Professor of invasion ecology at the University of Pittsburgh</p> <p> </p> <h2>FOOTNOTES</h2> <p><a href="https://baynature.org/article/burning-question-east-bay-hills-eucalyptus-flammable-compared/">Read about</a> the Bay Area’s <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-great-eucalyptus-debate/509069/">eucalyptus debate</a>.</p> <p>Watch the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wvmsYD3dC4" target="_blank">debate between Norman and Dan</a> in full, courtesy of Ray Madrigal.</p> <p>Browse this <a href="https://milliontrees.me/" target="_blank">website</a> by a pro-eucalyptus activist and this page from the San Francisco Sierra Club, which <a href="https://www.sierraclub.org/san-francisco-bay/hillsfacts" target="_blank">wants to remove eucalyptus trees</a> in some areas.</p> <p>Invasion biologists <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.01228.x" target="_blank">defend their field</a> and <a href="http://fwf.ag.utk.edu/mgray/wfs560/biological_invasions.pdf" target="_blank">dispute</a> allegations of xenophobia. Sara Kuebbing has also <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1016.3553&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf" target="_blank">found</a> that land managers aren’t arbitrarily eradicating non-native species, but selectively removing ones they deem harmful.</p> <p><a href="https://www.macalester.edu/~davis/pubs.html">Mark Davis</a>, a biologist who’s critical of invasion biology, covers some of the field’s history in his book, <em><a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/invasion-biology-9780199218752?cc=us&amp;lang=en&amp;">Invasion Biology</a>.</em></p> <p>Still want more? <a href="https://harpers.org/archive/2015/09/weed-whackers/2/">Check out</a> these think pieces <a href="https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140724-invasive-species-conservation-biology-extinction-climate-science/" target="_blank">defending</a> non-native species, including Michael Pollan’s <a href="https://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/against-nativism/" target="_blank">article</a> and <a href="http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/1998-58-1-an-evolutionary-perspective-on-strengths-fallacies-and-confusions-in-the-concept-of-native-plants.pdf" target="_blank">Stephen Jay Gould’s</a> essay. And for a completely different perspective, check out <a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/worst-invasive-predators/" target="_blank">these</a> sources on the <a href="https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Threats-to-Wildlife/Invasive-Species" target="_blank">impacts</a> of non-native species, including an early study that attempted a <a href="http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/Hodges/als4161/Secure/PDF%20Files/Articles/Environmental_and_Economic.pdf" target="_blank">rough calculation of their global economic cost</a>.</p> <p> </p> <h2>CREDITS</h2> <p><span>Undiscovered is reported and produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder">Elah Feder</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a>. Our senior editor is Christopher Intagliata, our composer is <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>, and our intern is <a href="http://kaitlynschwalje.com">Kaitlyn Schwalje</a>. We had fact checking help for this episode from Michelle Harris. <a href="http://robotandproud.com/">I Am Robot And Proud</a> wrote our theme. Thank you to the whole Science Friday staff and to the many people on both sides of this issue who spent hours talking to us, taking Elah for nature walks, and providing us with documents.</span></p>
Oct 02, 2018
The Magic Machine
36:43
<p><span>As a critical care doctor, Jessica Zitter has seen plenty of “Hail Mary” attempts to save dying patients go bad—attempts where doctors try interventions that don’t change the outcome, but <em>do</em> lead to more patient suffering. It’s left her distrustful of flashy medical technology and a culture that insists that more treatment is always better. But when a new patient goes into cardiac arrest, the case doesn’t play out the way Jessica expected. She finds herself fighting for hours to revive him—and reaching for a game-changing technology that uncomfortably blurs the lines between life and death.</span> </p> <hr> <p> </p> <h3>Resources</h3> <p>Talking about end-of-life stuff can be hard! Here are some resources to get you started. (Adapted from Jessica Zitter’s <a href="https://jessicazitter.com/extreme-measures/" target="_blank" title="Extreme Measures"><em>Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life</em></a>. Thanks Jessica!)</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>I want to… </strong></p> <p><strong>...figure out what kind of care I might want at end of life:</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="https://prepareforyourcare.org" target="_blank" title="Prepare">Prepare</a> </strong>uses videos of people thinking about their end-of-life preferences to walk you through the steps for choosing a surrogate decision maker, determining your preferences, etc. </p> <p><strong>...talk with family/friends about my preferences (or theirs!):</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="https://theconversationproject.org" target="_blank" title="The Conversation Project">The Conversation Project</a> </strong>offers a starter kit and tools to help start the conversation. </p> <p><strong>...put my preferences in writing (an advance directive): </strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://caringinfo.org" target="_blank">Advance Directive forms</a> </strong>connects you to advance directive forms for your state. </p> <p><strong><a href="https://mydirectives.com" target="_blank">My Directives</a></strong> For those who like their documents in app form! Guides you through creating an end-of-life plan, then stores it in the cloud so it’s accessible anywhere. </p> <hr> <h3>Guests</h3> <p><a href="https://jessicazitter.com/" target="_blank">Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH</a>, Author and Attending Physician, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care and Palliative Care Medicine, Highland Hospital</p> <p><a href="http://acmcmedicine.org/profiles/faculty_members/frohlich_thomas" target="_blank">Thomas Frohlich, MD</a>, Chief of Cardiology, Highland Hospital</p> <p><a href="http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/pulmonary/faculty-and-staff/kenneth-prager-md" target="_blank">Kenneth Prager, MD</a>, Professor of Medicine and Director of Clinical Ethics, Columbia University Medical Center</p> <p><a href="https://www.danielalamas.com/" target="_blank">Daniela Lamas, MD</a>, author and Associate Faculty at Ariadne Labs</p> <p><a href="https://www.casarett.com/" target="_blank">David Casarett MD</a>, author and Chief of Palliative Care, Duke University School of Medicine</p> <hr> <p> </p> <h3>Footnotes</h3> <p>Read the books: Jessica Zitter’s book is<a href="https://jessicazitter.com/extreme-measures/" target="_blank"> <em>Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life</em></a>. Daniela Lamas’s book is <a href="https://www.danielalamas.com/you-can-stop-humming-now/" target="_blank"><em>You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death, and In Between</em></a>. David Casarett’s book is <em><a href="https://www.casarett.com/books" target="_blank">Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.woodlibrarymuseum.org/rarebooks/item/331/cogan-t.-memoirs-of-the-society-instituted-at-amsterdam-in-favour-of-drowned-persons-:-for-the-years-1767">Read</a> the memoirs of Amsterdam’s “Society in Favor of Drowned Persons,” the Dutch group that tried to resuscitate drowning victims (including Anne Wortman)</p> <p>Learn more about <a href="https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/what-is-ecmo.pdf" target="_blank">ECMO</a>, its <a href="https://www.elso.org/Registry/Statistics/InternationalSummary.aspx" target="_blank">success rates</a>, and the <a href="http://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(15)35960-2/pdf" target="_blank">ethical questions</a> it raises (Daniela also wrote an article about it <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/my-new-iron-lung" target="_blank">here</a>)</p> <p>Read Daniela’s <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27632675" target="_blank">study</a> about quality of life in long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs). And for an introduction to LTACHs, here’s an overview from <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/health/life-goes-on-at-long-term-acute-care-hospitals.html" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a></p> <p>Watch <a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80106307" target="_blank"><em>Extremis</em></a>, the Oscar-nominated documentary (featuring Jessica Zitter), about families facing end-of-life decisions in Highland Hospital’s ICU.</p> <p><span>Read some of Dr. Zitter’s articles about life support tech (</span><a href="https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20171101.612681/full/" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20171101.612681/full/&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1537988551434000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHiUuNEaXsHjlWf0aot0-cG9LVtrw">here</a><span> and </span><a href="https://www.wired.com/2017/04/pricey-technology-keeping-people-alive-dont-want-live/" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.wired.com/2017/04/pricey-technology-keeping-people-alive-dont-want-live/&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1537988551434000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFnJgcyNg2ZptrYfuIlX5WQaiDomQ">here</a><span>) and the tough decisions doctors and patients face in the ICU (</span><a href="https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/in-the-hospital-letting-nature-takes-its-course/?_r=1" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/in-the-hospital-letting-nature-takes-its-course/?_r%3D1&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1537988551434000&amp;usg=AFQjCNEr7vGLNDuziqUdkZj7zJyVg3__mw">here</a><span> and </span><a href="https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/21/miracles-dont-come-cheap/?_r=0" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/21/miracles-dont-come-cheap/?_r%3D0&amp;source=gmail&amp;ust=1537988551434000&amp;usg=AFQjCNFGqVvGGxrBFxyDYhDNLji4G35K-Q">here</a><span>)</span></p> <hr> <p> </p> <h3>Credits</h3> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a>. Editing by <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>. Original music by <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>. Fact-checking help from Michelle Harris. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com/" target="_blank">I Am Robot And Proud</a>. Our mid-break theme for this episode, “No Turning Back,” is by Daniel Peterschmidt and I am Robot and Proud. Thanks to the entire Science Friday staff, the folks at WNYC Studios, and CUNY’s Sarah Fishman. Special thanks to Michele Kassemos of UCSF Medical Center, Lorna Fernandes of Highland Hospital, and the entire staff at Highland.</p>
Sep 25, 2018
The Holdout
32:42
<p>Since the 1980s, Gerta Keller, professor of paleontology and geology at Princeton, has been speaking out against an idea most of us take as scientific gospel: That a giant rock from space killed the dinosaurs. Nice story, she says—but it’s just not true. Gerta's been shouted down and ostracized at conferences, but in three decades, she hasn’t backed down. And now, things might finally be coming around for Gerta’s theory. But is she right? Did something else kill the dinosaurs? Or is she just too proud to admit she’s been wrong for 30 years?</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <p><a href="https://massextinction.princeton.edu/" target="_blank">Gerta Keller</a>, professor of paleontology and geology at Princeton</p> <p><a href="http://www.jamespowell.org/Bio/bio.html" target="_blank">James Powell</a>, geologist and author of <em>Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Dinosaur Extinction and the Transformation of Modern Geology</em> (St. Martin's Press)</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <p>Michael Benton <a href="http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/essays/dino90.html" target="_blank">reviews</a> the many, sometimes hilarious explanations for the (non-avian) dinosaurs’ extinction. Note: Ideas marked with asterisks were jokes! More in Benton’s <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=GQw7CwAAQBAJ" target="_blank">book</a>.</p> <p>Walter Alvarez <a href="https://press.princeton.edu/titles/8650.html" target="_blank">tells his own story</a> of the impact hypothesis in <em>T. Rex and the Crater of Doom</em>.</p> <p>The New York Times <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/19/science/the-debate-over-dinosaur-extinctions-takes-an-unusually-rancorous-turn.html" target="_blank">interviews Luis Alvarez before he dies</a>, and he takes some parting shots at his scientific opponents.</p> <p>The impact and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary were <a href="http://news.berkeley.edu/2013/02/07/new-evidence-comet-or-asteroid-impact-was-last-straw-for-dinosaurs/" target="_blank">simultaneous</a> <a href="http://www.cugb.edu.cn/uploadCms/file/20600/20131028144132060.pdf" target="_blank">according to this paper</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/volcanoes-may-have-triggered-the-last-unexplained-mass-extinction/" target="_blank">Learn more</a> <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018216306915" target="_blank">about how</a> volcanoes are major suspects in mass extinctions.</p> <p><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/09/dinosaur-extinction-debate/565769/" target="_blank">Read</a> <a href="https://www.geo.vu.nl/~smit/debates/images/sciencecomment.pdf" target="_blank">more</a> <a href="https://paw.princeton.edu/article/dissenter" target="_blank">about</a> <a href="http://blog.nj.com/iamnj/2008/01/keller.html" target="_blank">Gerta Keller</a>, the holdout.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/elahfeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a>. Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>. Original music by <a href="https://danielpeterschmidt.bandcamp.com/" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>. Fact-checking help from Robin Palmer. <a href="https://twitter.com/aluceconcept" target="_blank">Lucy Huang</a> polled visitors to AMNH about what killed the dinosaurs. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com" target="_blank">I Am Robot And Proud</a>. Excerpts from All Things Considered used with permission from NPR.</p> <p> </p>
Sep 18, 2018
I, Robovie
33:52
<p>A decade ago, psychologists introduced a group of kids to Robovie, a wide-eyed robot who could talk, play, and hug like a pro. And then, the researchers did something heartbreaking to Robovie! They wanted to see just how far kids’ empathy for a robot would go. What the researchers didn’t gamble on was just how complicated their own feelings for Robovie would get. Annie and Elah explore the robot-human bond.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>VIDEOS</strong></p> <p><strong>I Spy, And The Closet</strong></p> <p><span>A fifteen-year-old study participant plays a game of I Spy with Robovie—and then watches as the robot is ordered into the closet. (Video courtesy of the <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/" target="_blank">HINTS lab</a> at the University of Washington. Read the <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/publications/Robovie_Closet_Study_Developmental_Psych_2012.pdf" target="_blank">full study</a>.) </span></p> <p><span><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm1400991331071525ea7711b-1e04-4616-a12b-12eadf25f53b"><iframe width="465" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U8nlvIvndYI?wmode=transparent&amp;autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-3196081511759509822" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8nlvIvndYI&amp;feature=youtu.be"></iframe></div></div>  </span></p> <p><strong>Introductions</strong></p> <p>A 15-year-old study participant meets Robovie for the first time. (Video courtesy of the <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/" target="_blank">HINTS lab</a> at the University of Washington. Read the <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/publications/Robovie_Closet_Study_Developmental_Psych_2012.pdf" target="_blank">full study</a>.)</p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm140099127982352a9895638-353e-4a70-b807-4e23f7ebb30e"><iframe width="465" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D8pgurdiMyY?wmode=transparent&amp;autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a5802918182725980112" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8pgurdiMyY&amp;feature=youtu.be"></iframe></div></div>  </p> <p><strong>Chit-Chat</strong></p> <p>Robovie and a 9-year-old study participant talk about the ocean. (Video courtesy of the <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/" target="_blank">HINTS lab</a> at the University of Washington. Read the <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/publications/Robovie_Closet_Study_Developmental_Psych_2012.pdf" target="_blank">full study</a>.)</p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm140099140717648d0467c79-e90f-41d2-8a63-4475e4bdad98"><iframe width="465" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/63KKMOMs5ms?wmode=transparent&amp;autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a1730695336409880602" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63KKMOMs5ms&amp;feature=youtu.be"></iframe></div></div>  </p> <p><strong>Xavier Buys A Cup Of Coffee</strong></p> <p>A robot named Xavier orders coffee at the kiosk in Carnegie Mellon’s computer science building. (Video courtesy of <a href="http://hri.iit.tsukuba.ac.jp/" target="_blank">Yasushi Nakauchi</a>. Read <a href="https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~reids/papers/nakauchi.journal.pdf" target="_blank">the study</a> about how Xavier does it.)</p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm140099136914336f20e39f3-9e34-4623-9bf6-a3e0860d0830"><iframe width="465" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bYW3NYk81hE?wmode=transparent&amp;autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-2890547912366187555" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYW3NYk81hE&amp;feature=youtu.be"></iframe></div></div>  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <p><a href="https://faculty.washington.edu/pkahn/" target="_blank">Peter Kahn</a>, professor of psychology, and environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington, and leader of the <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/" target="_blank">HINTS lab</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.umt.edu/people/Severson4587" target="_blank">Rachel Severson</a>, assistant professor of psychology, University of Montana</p> <p><a href="https://nathanfreier.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">Nathan Freier</a>, principal program manager, Microsoft</p> <p>Ryan Germick, principal designer, <a href="https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/google-doodles-add-some-science-history-to-your-search/" target="_blank">Google Doodles</a> &amp; Assistant Personality</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <p>Read the Robovie study: <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/publications/Robovie_Closet_Study_Developmental_Psych_2012.pdf" target="_blank">“Robovie, You’ll Have to Go into the Closet Now”: Children’s Social and Moral Relationships With a Humanoid Robot”</a></p> <p>Read about how Xavier <a href="https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~reids/papers/nakauchi.journal.pdf" target="_blank">stands in line</a>.</p> <p>Check out the work of Robovie’s creators, roboticists <a href="http://www.geminoid.jp/en/index.html" target="_blank">Hiroshi Ishiguro</a> and <a href="http://www.irc.atr.jp/~kanda/" target="_blank">Takayuki Kanda</a>.</p> <p>People did <em>not</em> want to hit Frank the robot bug with a hammer. <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2639689" target="_blank">Here’s why.</a></p> <p>The HINTS lab did more studies with Robovie. <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/publications.shtml#HRI-humanoid_robots" target="_blank">Read</a> about them (and watch more Robovie <a href="https://depts.washington.edu/hints/hri_videos.shtml" target="_blank">videos</a>.)</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>SPECIAL THANKS</strong></p> <p>Thanks to sci-fi author <a href="http://www.danielhwilson.com/" target="_blank">Daniel H. Wilson</a>, who first told us about Xavier the coffee robot and the Robovie experiment. (Need a good book about a robot apocalypse? <a href="http://www.danielhwilson.com/" target="_blank">He’s got your back.</a>)</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by <a href="https://twitter.com/annieminoff" target="_blank">Annie Minoff</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ElahFeder" target="_blank">Elah Feder</a>. Our senior editor is <a href="https://twitter.com/cintagliata" target="_blank">Christopher Intagliata</a>. Original music by <a href="https://soundcloud.com/dpeterschmidt" target="_blank">Daniel Peterschmidt</a>. Fact-checking help from Michelle Harris. Our theme music is by <a href="http://robotandproud.com/" target="_blank">I am Robot and Proud</a>.</p> <p> </p>
Sep 11, 2018
Undiscovered Is Back For Season 2
2:09
<p>The wait is over! Hosts Annie Minoff and Elah Feder are back from the field with a brand new season of Undiscovered. What’s in store for Season 2? We’ll introduce you to a robot who toys with our emotions, a geologist who rejects everyone's favorite dino theory, and a doctor who goes further than she ever thought she’d go to save a life.</p> <p>That, plus other stories behind the scenes of science, when Undiscovered returns…. See you next week!</p> <p> </p>
Sep 04, 2018
Mouse’s Vineyard: Update!
35:24
<p>Undiscovered is back with a new season this September! In the meantime, we check in on the status of Kevin Esvelt’s plan to fight Martha’s Vineyard’s Lyme disease problem with genetically engineered mice. Has he created his super-mice? And are Vineyarders as gung-ho about the GMO invasion as they were two years ago? We follow up.</p> <p><br>Learn more about our original <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/mouse-s-vineyard" target="_blank">Mouse’s Vineyard</a> episode.</p> <p><br>Special thanks to Joanna Buchthal, and to Nantucket band <a href="https://www.facebook.com/coqauvinband/" target="_blank">Coq Au Vin</a> for letting us play their song about Lyme disease.</p> <p> </p>
Aug 23, 2018
Mouse’s Vineyard
29:01
<p>Martha’s Vineyard has a Lyme disease problem. Now a scientist is coming to town with a possible fix: genetically engineered mice.</p> <p><span>An island associated with summer rest and relaxation is gaining a reputation for something else: Lyme disease. Martha’s Vineyard has one of the highest rates of Lyme in the country. Now MIT geneticist Kevin Esvelt is coming to the island with a potential long-term fix. The catch: It involves releasing up to a few hundred thousand genetically modified mice onto the island. Are Vineyarders ready?</span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/mouse.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Kevin Esvelt makes the case for engineered mice, at a public meeting at a Vineyard public library.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Photo: Annie Minoff)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/mouse1.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Kevin Esvelt takes questions from the Martha’s Vineyard audience. (He’s joined by Dr. Michael Jacobs and Dr. Sam Telford.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Photo: Annie Minoff)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/mouse2.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Bob, Cheryl, and Spice (the lucky dog who gets a Lyme vaccine).</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Photo: Annie Minoff)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/mouse3.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>No lack of tick-repelling options at a Martha’s Vineyard general store.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Photo: Annie Minoff)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1000/l/80/2018/08/mouse4.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.sculptingevolution.org/kevin-m-esvelt">Kevin Esvelt,</a> Assistant Professor, MIT Media Lab</p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://elifesciences.org/articles/03401">Read</a> Kevin Esvelt’s original paper describing the gene drive mechanism in <em>eLife</em>. Less technical descriptions available <a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/gene-drives-and-crispr-could-revolutionize-ecosystem-management/">here</a> via <em>Scientific American</em>, and <a href="http://www.sculptingevolution.org/genedrives/genedrivefaq">here</a> via Esvelt’s Sculpting Evolution Group.</li> <li>Watch Kevin’s July 20, 2016 presentation on Martha’s Vineyard (Unfortunately there is no direct link. <a href="http://www.mvtv.org/video-on-demand-castus/">Search</a> “7.20.16” to find the video, titled “Preventing Tick-Borne Disease.”)</li> <li><a href="https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/could-genetically-engineered-insects-squash-mosquito-borne-disease/">Listen</a> to Kevin Esvelt talk about gene drive on Science Friday.</li> <li><a href="https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/zika-mosquito-florida-vote/">Read</a> about Oxitec’s proposed mosquito trial in Key West, and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WQkM-yc7QI">watch</a> the public meeting excerpted in this episode.</li> <li>Learn more about Kevin’s lab, the <a href="http://www.sculptingevolution.org/">Sculpting Evolution Group</a>.</li> <li>Looking for more information about Lyme disease? Here are resources from the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html">CDC</a>.</li> </ul> <p><span><span><br><br></span></span></p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Annie Minoff and Elah Feder. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Fact-checking help by Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.</p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p>Special thanks to Joanna Buchthal, Bob Rosenbaum, Dick Johnson, and Sam Telford.</p> <p> </p>
Jun 27, 2017
Kurt Vonnegut and the Rainmakers
31:30
<p>In the mid 1940s, no one would publish Kurt Vonnegut’s stories. But when he gets hired as a press writer at General Electric, the company’s fantastical science inspires some of his most iconic--and best-selling--novels.</p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/441/l/80/2018/08/kurt.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Every snowflake is unique—except they all have six sides. In ice, water molecules arrange themselves into hexagons.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Courtesy MiSci Museum)</div> </div> </div> <p>Imagine the Earth has been turned into a frozen wasteland. The culprit? Ice-nine. With a crystalline structure that makes it solid at room temperature, ice-nine freezes every drop of water it comes into contact with, and (predictably) ends up destroying the world. This is the fantastical plot of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1963 novel, Cat’s Cradle. But the science that inspired the fiction came from the real-life research his older brother and team of scientists at General Electric conducted just after World War II.</p> <p><span>General Electric might be best known for manufacturing refrigerators and light bulbs, but in the 1940s, the GE scientists joined forces with the military and set their sights on a loftier project: controlling the weather.</span></p> <p><span>Controlling the weather could mean putting an end to droughts and raining out forest fires. But the GE scientists’ military collaborators have more aggressive plans in mind. Kurt, a pacifist, closely watches GE’s saga unfold, and in his stories, he demands an answer to one of science’s greatest ethical questions: are scientists responsible for the pursuit of knowledge alone, or are they also responsible for the consequences of that knowledge?</span></p> <p>  </p> <p>Vincent Schaefer of the General Electric Research Laboratory demonstrates his method for making snow in a laboratory freezer, circa 1947.<img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/raw/80/2018/08/kurt1.png" alt=""></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1056/l/80/2018/08/kurt1_XWF1Yfn.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Vincent Schaefer, colleague of Bernie Vonnegut, makes man-made snow in a freezer at General Electric.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Courtesy of MiSci Museum)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/977/l/80/2018/08/kurt2.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Vincent Schaefer gives a demonstration of the team’s cloud seeding research to Signal Corps at GE laboratories in 1947.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Courtesy of MiSci Museum)</div> </div> </div> <p>  </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1000/l/80/2018/08/kurt3.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://gingerstrand.com/">Ginger Strand</a>, author of The Brothers Vonnegut: Science and Fiction in the House of Magic</li> <li><a href="http://www.cynthiabarnett.net/">Cynthia Barnett</a>, author of Rain: A Natural and Cultural History</li> <li> </li> </ul> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Elah Feder and Annie Minoff. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Archival material was provided with help from Chris Hunter of miSci in Schenectady, as well as Scott Vonnegut and Jim Schaefer. Fact-checking help by Michelle Harris. Voice acting by Charles Bergquist, Christie Taylor, Luke Groskin, and Ira Flatow. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.</p> <p> </p>
Jun 20, 2017
The Wastebook
31:01
<p>After a senator calls her research a waste of taxpayer dollars, biologist Sheila Patek heads to Capitol Hill to prove what her science is worth.</p> <p>In December 2015, the fight over science funding got personal for biologist Sheila Patek. She discovered that a U.S. Senator, <a href="https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/">Jeff Flake</a> of Arizona, had included her research on mantis shrimp in his “wastebook”: a list of federally-funded projects he deemed a waste of taxpayer money. So what did Patek do? She headed to Capitol Hill to make the case to Senator Flake—and to Congress—that blue-sky science is worth the money.</p> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1000/l/80/2018/08/wastebook_Gh8jiJO.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p>  </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://pateklab.biology.duke.edu/users/sheila-patek">Sheila Patek</a>, Professor of Biology, Duke University</li> <li><a href="https://www.restoreaccountability.com/about/our-team/">Bryan Berky</a>, Executive Director, <a href="https://www.restoreaccountability.com/">Restore Accountability</a></li> <li><a href="http://sites.gsu.edu/pstephan/">Paula Stephan</a>, Professor of Economics, Georgia State University, author of <a href="http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674088160&amp;content=reviews"><em>How Economics Shapes Science</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://melinda-baldwin.com/">Melinda Baldwin</a>, science historian, author of <a href="http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo20298849.html"><em>Making Nature: The History of a Scientific Journal</em></a></li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <ul> <li>Read Sen. Jeff Flake’s 2015 Wastebook "<a href="https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/03714fa3-e01d-46a1-9c19-299533056741/wastebook---the-farce-awakens.pdf">The Farce Awakens</a>," and his science-themed 2016 Wastebook “<a href="https://www.flake.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/ef6fcd58-c537-491f-aa06-6f7a81038d0e/sen.-jeff-flake-s-twenty-questions---report.pdf">Twenty Questions</a>.”</li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psnvOqtRmzI">Watch</a> two mantis shrimp duke it out!</li> <li><a href="http://www.patrickmccray.com/2014/11/02/golden-fleece-2-0/">Read</a> Melinda Baldwin’s article on the grand-daddy of the modern waste report: Sen. William Proxmire.</li> <li>Read about Congressman Jim Cooper’s answer to Sen. Proxmire’s “Golden Fleece Award”: the “<a href="https://www.goldengooseaward.org/">Golden Goose Award</a>."</li> <li>Read the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s 2014 report <a href="https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18804/furthering-americas-research-enterprise"><em>Furthering America’s Research Enterprise</em></a>, detailing the benefits of federal science investment (and the difficulty of measuring them).</li> <li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.restoreaccountability.com/">Restore Accountability</a> and read their <a href="https://www.restoreaccountability.com/news/m.blog/128/why-the-wastebook-matters">response</a> to the episode.</li> <li>Watch Sheila Patek’s <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/why-knowledge-for-the-pure-sake-of-knowing-is-good-enough-to-justify-scientific-research/">PBS NewsHour essay</a> about her meeting with Sen. Flake, and read about current research at the <a href="https://pateklab.biology.duke.edu/">Patek Lab</a>.</li> <li>How much does the federal government spend on R&amp;D? <a href="https://www.aaas.org/page/federal-rd-budget-dashboard">Here’s</a> how much!</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Annie Minoff and Elah Feder. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Fact-checking help by Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.</p>
Jun 13, 2017
Six Degrees
32:37
<p>Are you just six handshakes away from every other person on Earth? Two mathematicians set out to prove we’re all connected.</p> <p>You have probably heard the phrase “six degrees of separation,” the idea that you’re connected to everyone else on Earth by a chain of just six people. It has inspired a Broadway play, a film nerd’s game, called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”...and even a No Doubt song! But is it true? In the ‘90s, two mathematicians set out to discover just how connected we really are—and ended up launching a new field of science in the process.</p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1200/l/80/2018/08/six.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Annie holds one of Milgram’s “Letter Experiment” mailings sent to June Shields in Wichita, Kansas. Accessed at the Yale University archives.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Elah Feder)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/533/l/80/2018/08/six1.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>A version of psychologist Stanley Milgram’s “Letter Experiment” mailings. “Could you, as an active American, contact another American citizen regardless of his walk of life?” Milgram and his team wrote. They asked for recipients' help in finding out. Accessed at the Yale University archives.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Elah Feder)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1000/l/80/2018/08/six2.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <ul> <li>Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, author of <a href="http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Six-Degrees/">Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age</a></li> <li>Steven Strogatz, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University, author of <a href="http://www.stevenstrogatz.com/books/sync-the-emerging-science-of-spontaneous-order">Sync</a></li> <li><a href="http://leiferlab.princeton.edu/index.php">Andrew Leifer</a>, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://static.squarespace.com/static/5436e695e4b07f1e91b30155/t/54452561e4b08d9eb2170909/1413817697054/collective-dynamics-of-small-world-networks.pdf">Read</a> Duncan Watts’ and Steven Strogatz’s breakthrough 1998 Nature paper on small-world networks.</li> <li><a href="http://snap.stanford.edu/class/cs224w-readings/milgram67smallworld.pdf">Read</a> Stanley Milgram’s 1967 article about his letter experiment in <em>Psychology Today</em>.</li> <li><a href="http://www.cornell.edu/video/six-degrees-of-separation-panel">Watch</a> Duncan and Steve discuss the past and future of small-world networks at Cornell.</li> <li><a href="http://movie-usa.glencoesoftware.com/video/10.1073/pnas.1507110112/video-1">Watch</a> <em>C. elegans'</em> brain glow! And <a href="http://leiferlab.princeton.edu/index.php">read</a> more about the brain imaging work happening in Andrew Leifer’s lab.</li> <li>Browse the small-world network of <em>C. elegans’</em> 302 neurons at <a href="http://wormweb.org/neuralnet">wormweb.org</a>.</li> <li><a href="https://research.fb.com/three-and-a-half-degrees-of-separation/">Read</a> Facebook’s analysis of Facebook users’ “degrees of separation.”</li> <li>Just for funsies, a network analysis of <a href="http://www.maa.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Mathhorizons/NetworkofThrones%20%281%29.pdf">Game of Thrones</a>.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Annie Minoff and Elah Feder. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Fact-checking help by Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Additional music by Podington Bear and Lee Rosevere. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Story consulting by Ari Daniel. Engineering help from Sarah Fishman. Recording help from Alexa Lim. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.</p> <p> </p>
Jun 06, 2017
Sick and Tired
30:12
<p>When researchers publish a new study on chronic fatigue syndrome, a group of patients cry foul—and decide to investigate for themselves.</p> <p>A landmark study on chronic fatigue syndrome sets off a multi-year battle between patients and scientists. On one side, we have a team of psychiatrists who have researched the condition for decades, and have peer-reviewed studies to back up their conclusions. On the other, a group of patients who know this condition more intimately than anyone and set out to expose what they think is bad science.</p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm14009914039524844b18daf-6951-49b1-8857-3b5ced47a711"><iframe width="620" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QbKTBMyZfX0?wmode=transparent&amp;autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-6700369631628226366" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbKTBMyZfX0"></iframe></div></div>  </p> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1000/l/80/2018/08/sick.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><em>A note to our listeners:</em></p> <p><em>This episode references studies that are both controversial and complex. Our interest is always to provide accurate and complete information to our listeners, and to provide context in which the science we cover can be understood. To that end, we’d like to share additional information on the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy as treatments for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). Two systematic reviews (studies of studies) by The Cochrane Collaboration examine </em><a href="https://www.cochrane.org/CD001027/DEPRESSN_cognitive-behaviour-therapy-for-chronic-fatigue-syndrome"><em>cognitive behavioral therapy</em></a><em> and </em><a href="https://www.cochrane.org/CD003200/DEPRESSN_exercise-treatment-patients-chronic-fatigue-syndrome"><em>exercise</em></a><em> as treatments for ME/CFS. These may help contextualize the findings of the PACE trial and aid our listeners in drawing their own conclusions.</em></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.julierehmeyer.com/">Julie Rehmeyer</a>, author of "Through the Shadowlands"</li> <li><a href="https://www.psych.ox.ac.uk/team/michael-sharpe">Michael Sharpe</a> professor of psychological medicine at Oxford University</li> <li><a href="https://journalism.berkeley.edu/faculty/david_tuller/">David Tuller</a>, journalist and visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley</li> <li><a href="http://retractionwatch.com/meet-the-retraction-watch-staff/about/">Ivan Oransky</a>, journalist and co-founder of Retraction Watch</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <ul> <li>The <a href="http://pacetrial.org/">PACE trial home page</a>, includes trial materials, FAQ, and links to the papers that came out of the trial.</li> <li>The <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/pacefoir/pace-ipd_foia-qmul-2014-f73.xlsx">PACE trial data</a> and <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/pacefoir/pace-ipd-readme.txt">readme file</a>.</li> <li><a href="http://www.virology.ws/mecfs/">Virology Blog</a> including David Tuller’s original three part series criticizing PACE (“Trial by Error”), as well as responses from the authors, and more.</li> <li>Patients’ first <a href="http://www.virology.ws/2016/09/21/no-recovery-in-pace-trial-new-analysis-finds/">reanalysis</a> (published on the Virology Blog) of the <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/recovery-from-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-after-treatments-given-in-the-pace-trial/6E3A5B37D427239D146C5EB276A11E06/core-reader">PACE recovery paper</a>.</li> <li>They later published the <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21641846.2017.1259724">re-analysis in the journal Fatigue</a> and the <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/fqQ6bgG9IJCY95NCIAgd/full">PACE researchers responded</a> to the patients’ re-analysis.</li> <li><a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177037">PLOS ONE expression of concern</a>, including a response from the authors.</li> <li>Retraction Watch’s <a href="http://retractionwatch.com/2016/08/17/uk-tribunal-orders-release-of-data-from-controversial-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-study/">recap of the legal proceedings</a> regarding Alem Matthees’ request for anonymized trial data.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Elah Feder and Annie Minoff. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton. Fact-checking help by Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky.</p> <p> </p>
May 30, 2017
Born This Gay
33:04
<p>At the turn of the 20th century, a German doctor sets out to prove that homosexuality is rooted in biology—but his research has consequences he never intended.</p> <p>In pre-Nazi Germany, a doctor named Magnus Hirschfeld sets out to take down Paragraph 175, a law against “unnatural fornication” between men. Hirschfeld’s plan is to scientifically prove that homosexuality is natural, and that lesbians and gay men might be born gay—but his idea ends up falling into the wrong hands. </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/554/l/80/2018/08/born.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"> <p>Party at the Institute for Sexual Science. Magnus Hirschfeld (second from right) is the one with the moustache and glasses. His partner Karl Giese is holding his hand.</p> </div> <div class="image-credit"> <p>(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong> </strong></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/576/l/80/2018/08/born2.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>German students parade in front of the Institute for Sexual Research prior to their raid on the building. The students occupied and pillaged the Institute, then confiscated the Institute's books and periodicals for burning.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/581/l/80/2018/08/born3.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>German students and Nazi SA plunder the library of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld. The materials were loaded onto trucks and carted away for burning. The public library of the Institute comprised approximately 10,000 mostly rare German and foreign books on the topics of sex and gender. </span></div> <div class="image-credit">(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)</div> </div> </div> <p><strong> </strong></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/1000/l/80/2018/08/born4_QQw6X9L.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>GUESTS</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://uic.yonsei.ac.kr/main/academic.asp?mid=m03_01_01&amp;act=view&amp;uid=804&amp;keyword=">Robert Beachy</a> is the author of Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity.</li> <li>Ralf Dose is the co-founder of the <a href="http://www.magnus-hirschfeld.de/start-en/">Magnus Hirschfeld Society</a> and author of Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement.</li> <li><a href="https://cardozo.yu.edu/directory/edward-stein">Edward Stein</a> is the author of the The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/0008/bsb00089681/images/index.html?id=00089681&amp;fip=qrsxsxsyztsxdsydxdsydxdsydxdsydeayaxs&amp;no=3&amp;seite=5">Read</a> (in German) Sappho And Socrates, a booklet Magnus Hirschfeld published under a pseudonym in 1896, defending homosexuality.</li> <li><a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Homosexuality_of_Men_and_Women.html?id=iDhWtiLsIMwC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">Read</a> Magnus Hirschfeld’s grand opus, "The Homosexuality of Men and Women."</li> </ul> <p>Modern studies:</p> <ul> <li>A <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/695142.stm">BBC</a> article about the first study correlating finger length ratios and sexual orientation.</li> <li>A <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kenneth_Zucker3/publication/43019952_Sexual_Orientation_and_the_Second_to_Fourth_Finger_Length_Ratio_A_Meta-Analysis_in_Men_and_Women/links/56c73ac608ae5488f0d2c54d.pdf">meta-analysis</a> of finger length ratios and sexual orientation.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16140461">These</a> <a href="http://journals.aace.com/doi/pdf/10.4158/EP161528.OR">studies</a> looked at finger length ratios in transgender men and women, with conflicting results.</li> <li><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8332896">Dean Hamer’s X chromosome linkage study</a> (abstract only) and a Science article about a more <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/11/study-gay-brothers-may-confirm-x-chromosome-link-homosexuality">recent chromosome linkage study</a>.</li> <li>Simon LeVay’s <a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e177/ef304d4b89cde6e6779568de7a85dabd390f.pdf">study comparing brains</a> of gay men with men and women who were presumed straight.</li> <li><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/J_Bailey2/publication/21311211_A_genetic_study_of_male_sexual_orientation/links/02e7e53c1a72a8a596000000.pdf">Bailey and Pillard’s original study</a> of gay male twins. A <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/J_Bailey2/publication/12572213_Genetics_and_Environmental_Influences_on_Sexual_Orientation_and_Its_Correlates_in_an_Australian_Twin_Sample/links/0deec518bc0435c0cd000000.pdf">later study</a> by Bailey et al. found lower rates of matching sexual orientation in twins and concluded that earlier studies rates were “inflated because of concordance-dependent ascertainment bias.”</li> <li>Study of <a href="http://www.nature.com/news/epigenetic-tags-linked-to-homosexuality-in-men-1.18530">epigenetic markers in gay men</a>, criticized for its statistics.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Elah Feder and Annie Minoff. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Fact-checking help from Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Special thanks this week to Liat Fishman for translation from German, Shane McMillan for production help in Berlin, to Tobias Enzenhofer and Charles Bergquist for voice work. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.</p> <p> </p>
May 23, 2017
The Meteorite Hunter
32:35
<p>Deep in Antarctica, a rookie meteorite hunter helps collect a mystery rock. Could it be a little piece of Mars?</p> <p>In Antarctica, the wind can tear a tent to pieces. During some storms, the gusts are so powerful, you can’t leave the safety of your shelter. It’s one of the many reasons why the alluring, icy continent of Antarctica is an unforgiving landscape for human explorers.</p> <p>“It’s incredibly beautiful, but it’s also incredibly dangerous,” says geologist Nina Lanza, who conducted research in the Miller Range in the central Transantarctic Mountains of Antarctica for about five weeks in December, 2015. “It’s not like Antarctica is out to get you, but it’s like you don’t matter at all. You are nothing out there.”</p> <p><span>Yet, this landscape—unfit for human habitation—is where Lanza and the Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET) volunteers find themselves banded together. They are prospecting for meteorites. Embedded in the sparkling blue ice sheets of the Antarctic interior are scientifically precious stones that have fallen to Earth from space. Lanza is a rookie meteorite hunter, enduring the hostile conditions of the Antarctic for the first time—searching for little geologic fragments that reveal the history of our solar system.</span></p> <p><span>While most people associate Antarctica with penguins, in the Miller Range, there are no visible signs of life. There are no trees, animals, insects, or even birds in the sky. Being that isolated and alone is strange—it’s “very alien,” says Lanza.</span></p> <p>“You know the cold and the living outside part? That is easy compared to the mental part,” she says. “It’s almost hard to explain the level of isolation. Like we think we’ve all been isolated before, but for real, in the Miller Range, you are out there.”</p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/met.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>The luxurious ‘poo bucket’ at ANSMET camp.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Nina Lanza)</div> </div> </div> <p>  </p> <p>In this dramatic, extreme environment, Lanza finds comfort in the familiar details of everyday life at the ANSMET camp. Amid the Antarctic’s wailing winds, you can hear the recognizable hiss of a camp stove. During the holidays, Lanza got everyone singing Christmas carols. And then there’s the ‘poo bucket’—complete with a comfortable styrofoam toilet seat, scented candles, and bathroom reading reminiscent of home (including the New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly).</p> <p><span>In the field, Nina documented these features of everyday life in detail, in pictures and voice recordings. “Everybody talks about how beautiful it is and you always see a million pictures of these grand vistas, but I’m like, ‘let’s talk about the less pretty stuff,’” says Lanza. Unless you make an effort to remind yourself, “you could almost forget that the poo bucket ever existed.”</span></p> <p>The work isn’t easy. The ANSMET field team can spend up to nine hours a day on their skidoos (Lanza’s skidoo, “Miss Kitty,” is covered with Hello Kitty stickers) combing ice sheets and flagging potential meteorites. The never-setting sun glares intensely on the stretches of glistening, blue ice. (Old, compressed, ice appears blue.) On a clear, cloudless day out in the field, the sky and ice sheets seem to meet in one continuous field of blue, says Lanza.</p> <p>“It’s almost like an artist’s conception of water rendered into glass or plastic,” she says about the ice. “It’s blue and it goes on forever.”</p> <p><span>The meteorite hunters concentrate their searches in these shimmering, blue ice areas, because these ice fields are gold mines for meteorites. When a meteorite impacts Antarctica, it becomes buried in snow. Over time as the snow compresses, the rock gets trapped in glacial ice. If that ice doesn’t break off and fall into the sea, Antarctic winds can eventually resurface that buried treasure.</span></p> <p><span>Over the last four decades, ANSMET scientists have collected over 20,000 rock specimens from the ice. And in December, 2015, Lanza thinks she may have helped strike gold in the form of a five-pound, grey rock. She and her colleagues will spend the next nine months wondering if this rock could be one of the most prized meteorites of all. Could it be a little piece of Mars?</span></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/met1.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>The mysterious rock (right), numbered 23042 in the field. Could it be from Mars?</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: <span>NASA Astromaterials Curation</span>)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/met2.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Meteorite sampling procedure.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Nina Lanza)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/met3.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Nina Lanza)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/met4.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Two ANSMET scientists in the field.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Nina Lanza)</div> </div> </div> <p>  </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/600/l/80/2018/08/met5.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Nina Lanza)</div> </div> </div> <p>  </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/800/449/l/80/2018/08/met6.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Lanza and the ANSMET crew, Dec 2015-Jan 2016.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Credit: Nina Lanza)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/769/769/l/80/2018/08/met7.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://caslabs.case.edu/ansmet/category/15-16/">Read</a> Nina’s dispatches from the field.</li> <li><a href="https://sciencefriday.com/segments/confessions-of-a-meteorite-hunter/">Hear</a> Nina Lanza on Science Friday.</li> <li><a href="http://caslabs.case.edu/ansmet/">Read</a> about the Antarctic Search for Meteorites Program.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Annie Minoff and Elah Feder. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Fact-checking help from Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Voice acting by Alistair Gardiner and Charles Bergquist. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Story consulting by Ari Daniel. Engineering help from Sarah Fishman. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
May 15, 2017
Boss Hua and the Black Box
37:17
<p>A team of social scientists stumbles onto a cache of censored Chinese social media posts—and decides to find out what the Chinese government wants wiped from the internet.</p> <p>On China’s most influential microblogging platform, a wristwatch aficionado named Boss Hua accuses a government official of corruption. But, his posts aren’t censored. So what disappears into the black box of Chinese censorship...and what stays online? A team of social scientists cracked this question—by mistake—with big data.<br><br></p> <div class="embedded-image" style="max-width: 800px;"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="https://media.wnyc.org/i/500/500/l/80/2018/08/bossHua.png" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-credit">(Original art by Claire Merchlinsky)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>FOOTNOTES</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2012-08/26/c_123632033_8.htm">See</a> the picture that got ‘Smiling Official’ Yang Dacai fired.</li> <li><a href="https://gking.harvard.edu/publications/how-Censorship-China-Allows-Government-Criticism-Silences-Collective-Expression">Read</a> Gary, Jen, and Margaret’s first study on Chinese government censorship (American Political Science Review).</li> <li><a href="https://gking.harvard.edu/publications/randomized-experimental-study-censorship-china">Read</a> the results of Gary, Jen, and Margaret’s social media experiment (Science).</li> <li><a href="https://gking.harvard.edu/50c">Read</a> Gary, Jen, and Margaret’s latest study, about what the Chinese government secretly posts to the internet.</li> <li><a href="https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/mining-the-internet-for-clues-to-chinese-censorship/">Hear</a> Gary King on Science Friday.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>CREDITS</strong></p> <p>This episode of Undiscovered was reported and produced by Annie Minoff and Elah Feder. Editing by Christopher Intagliata. Fact-checking help from Michelle Harris. Original music by Daniel Peterschmidt. Our theme music is by I am Robot and Proud. Art for this episode by Claire Merchlinsky. Story consulting by Ari Daniel. Translations and voicing by Isabelle. Thanks to Science Friday’s Danielle Dana, Christian Skotte, Brandon Echter, and Rachel Bouton.</p> <p> </p>
May 09, 2017
Hi! We are Undiscovered.
2:10
<p>We're a podcast about the left turns, false starts, and lucky breaks that move science forward.</p>
May 02, 2017