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Better hurricane forecasts and spotting salts on Jupiter’s moon Europa

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]
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

13 June 2019: Mighty magnets, and aerosols in the atmosphere

This week, a record-breaking magnetic field, and aerosols’ potential effects on the atmosphere.


In this episode:


00:45 Making massive magnets

Researchers have created the world’s strongest direct current magnetic field. 

Research article:  S. Hahn et al.


08:38 Research Highlights

Macaques’ musicality and human consumption of microplastics. 

Research Article: Divergence in the functional organization of human and macaque auditory cortex revealed by fMRI responses to harmonic tones

Research Highlight:  What a bottled-water habit means for intake of ‘microplastics’


10:55 Aerosols’ impacts on the climate

There’s a still a lot to learn about how aerosols affect the climate. 

Comment:  Soot, sulfate, dust and the climate — three ways through the fog


17:03 News Chat

The launch of an X-ray space telescope, and a Russian researcher’s plans to CRISPR-edit human embryos. News:Space telescope to chart first map of the Universe in high-energy X-raysNews: Russian biologist plans more CRISPR-edited babies


Ep. 533: Indigenous South African Astronomy

533: Indigenous South African Astronomy Astronomy Cast 533: Indigenous South African Astronomy by Fraser Cain & Dr. Pamela Gay Let's move to another continent this week, and look at the astronomy that was going on in southern Africa in ancient times.

The limits on human endurance, and a new type of LED

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]

06 June 2019: Microbes modifying medicine and kickstarting plate tectonics

This week, how gut microbes might be affecting drugs, and a new theory on the beginning of plate tectonics.


In this episode:


00:45 Microbes metabolising drugs

Researchers are investigating whether the gut microbiota can alter the activity of medicinal drugs.

Research article: Zimmermann et al.

 

06:40 Research Highlights

Elephants counting with smell, and audio activity monitoring.

Research Highlight: Elephants have a nose for portion size

Research Highlight: Deep learning monitors human activity based on sound alone


08:57 The origin of plate tectonics?

A new theory suggests that sediment may have lubricated the Earth’s tectonic plates, allowing them to move.

Research article: Sobolev and Brown

News and Views: Earth’s evolution explored

 

14:14 News Chat

Scientists protest in Hungary, and a trial of a new post-review process to test reproducibility.

News: Hungarians protest against proposed government takeover of science

News: Reproducibility trial publishes two conclusions for one paper

Ep. 532: Modern Astronomy of Australia

532: Modern Astronomy of Australia Astronomy Cast 532: Modern Astronomy of Australia by Fraser Cain & Dr. Pamela Gay Last week we talked about how well the indigenous Australians followed the night sky. Well, it turns out, Australia is still an amazing place for astronomy. There are so many powerful observatories in Australia, and even more in the works.

REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast May 1983

This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.


The discovery of the ozone hole in the mid-1980s was a shock. Scientists suspected that man-made gases called CFCs were damaging the ozone layer, but they didn’t expect to see such a dramatic decline. Nor did they expect the discovery to be made by a small group of British scientists in Antarctica. In this podcast, we hear from the ‘little voice’ in the background whose persistence led to the reporting of the reduced ozone in Nature in May 1985. But how did it become known as the ‘ozone hole’? And what lessons are there for climate change scientists today?

Grad schools dropping the GRE requirement and AIs play capture the flag

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 Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science podcast. [Image: DeepMind; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

30 May 2019: Cold fusion, gender parity in universities, and studying wildfires

This week, looking back at cold fusion, a ranking of gender balance in universities, and measuring the impact of wildfires.

Ep. 531: Australian Indigenous Astronomy

531: Australian Indigenous Astronomy Astronomy Cast 531: Australian Indigenous Astronomy by Fraser Cain & Dr. Pamela Gay South America, especially the Atacama Desert in Chile has become one of the best places in the world to put a telescope. It's dry, high, and the nights are clear. Today we'll talk about the monster telescopes already in operation in this region, and the big ones coming soon.
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

New targets for the world’s biggest atom smasher and wood designed to cool buildings

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

23 May 2019: Pre-industrial plankton populations, European science, and ancient fungi.

This week, how climate change has affected plankton, the future of European science, and evidence of an ancient fungus.

Reposted byadremdico adremdico
  Russian space shuttles, gathering dust in an abandoned hangar in Kazakhstan.
Reposted fromyellowsoupmarine yellowsoupmarine

Nonstick chemicals that stick around and detecting ear infections with smartphones

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]
  Construction of a spiral turbine from @Voithgroup in 1931. The turbine produces 9000HP and is dedicated for a power plant in Norway.
Reposted fromyellowsoupmarine yellowsoupmarine

16 May 2019: Recoding genomes, and material from the Moon's far side

This week, rewriting the script of life, and a trip to the far side of the Moon.

Ep. 530: Astronomy of the Andes - Then and Now Pt. 2

530: Astronomy of the Andes - Then and Now Pt. 2 Astronomy Cast 530: Astronomy of the Andes - Then and Now Pt. 2 by Fraser Cain & Dr. Pamela Gay South America, especially the Atacama Desert in Chile has become one of the best places in the world to put a telescope. It's dry, high, and the nights are clear. Today we'll talk about the monster telescopes already in operation in this region, and the big ones coming soon.

Probing the secrets of the feline mind and how Uber and Lyft may be making traffic worse

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]

09 May 2019: Urban vs Rural BMI, and the health of rivers

This week, body mass increases around the world, and river connections in decline.

Ep. 529: Astronomy of the Andes - Then and Now Pt. 1

529: Astronomy of the Andes - Then and Now Pt. 1 Astronomy Cast 529: Astronomy of the Andes - Then and Now Pt. 1 by Fraser Cain & Dr. Pamela Gay The Andes mountains in South America are a hotspot of astronomy today, but ancient peoples knew it was a great place for astronomy and lived their lives in tune with the night sky. Today we'll learn all about what they knew, and how they mapped the movements of the stars and planets.
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