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Happy lab animals may make better research subjects, and understanding the chemistry of the indoor environment

Would happy lab animals—rats, mice, even zebrafish—make for better experiments? David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about the potential of treating lab animals more like us and making them more useful for science at the same time. Sarah also interviews Jon Abbatt of the University of Toronto in Canada about indoor chemistry. What is going on in the air inside buildings—how different is it from the outside? Researchers are bringing together the tools of outdoor chemistry and building sciences to understand what is happening in the air and on surfaces inside—where some of us spend 90% of our time. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Austin Thomason/Michigan Photography; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Elon Musk: Last pic of Starman in Roadster on its journey to Mars orbit and then the Asteroid Belt
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08 February 2018: Tough timber, magpie intelligence, and invasive crayfish

This week, crayfish clones in Madagascar, the social smarts of magpies, and building tougher wood.

Reposted fromeglerion eglerion
Reposted fromeglerion eglerion viaLogHiMa LogHiMa

Ep. 477: State of Exploration: Once and Future Moon

It's been decades since humans set foot on the Moon. Well, it's time to go back, in theory. Of course, we've heard this all before. What are the plans afoot to send humans back to the Moon this time. What hardware will we use, and what other strategies are in the works to make this happen?

Following 1000 people for decades to learn about the interplay of health, environment, and temperament, and investigating why naked mole rats don’t seem to age

David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about the chance a naked mole rat could die at any one moment. Surprisingly, the probability a naked mole rat will die does not go up as it gets older. Researchers are looking at the biology of these fascinating animals for clues to their seeming lack of aging. Sarah also interviews freelancer Douglas Starr about his feature story on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study—a comprehensive study of the lives of all the babies born in 1 year in a New Zealand hospital. Starr talks about the many insights that have come out of this work—including new understandings of criminality, drug addiction, and mental illness—and the research to be done in the future as the 1000-person cohort begins to enter its fifth decade. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Tim Evanson/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

01 February 2017: Stone Age tools in India, and coral reefs in crisis

This week, reframing humans' arrival in India, and the many hazards facing coral reefs.

Ep. 476: The Overview Effect

After they’ve been to space, many astronauts report that seeing the world from above has given them a totally new perspective on humanity and the state of our planet. It’s called the Overview Effect. Today we’ll talk about this, and what this perspective can teach us all.

The dangers of dismantling a geoengineered sun shield and the importance of genes we don’t inherit

Catherine Matacic—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about how geoengineering could reduce the harshest impacts of climate change, but make them even worse if it were ever turned off. Sarah also interviews Augustine Kong of the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom about his Science paper on the role of noninherited “nurturing genes.” For example, educational attainment has a genetic component that may or may not be inherited. But having a parent with a predisposition for attainment still influences the child—even if those genes aren’t passed down. This shift to thinking about other people (and their genes) as the environment we live in complicates the age-old debate on nature versus nurture. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, Chief Scientist National Ice Center; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

25 January 2018: Tiny robots, 3D images, and a honeycomb maze

This week, a mini all-terrain robot, 3D painting with light, and a new maze for rats.

Ep. 475: Fast Radio Bursts

You know what's fun? Mysteries. Here's one: fast radio bursts. Astronomers have been detecting mysterious one-time signals from across the sky. What's causing them? Nobody knows for sure, but the search is on to get to the bottom of them.

Unearthed letters reveal changes in Fields Medal awards, and predicting crime with computers is no easy feat

Freelance science writer Michael Price talks with Sarah Crespi about recently revealed deliberations for a coveted mathematics prize: the Fields Medal. Unearthed letters suggest early award committees favored promise and youth over star power. Sarah also interviews Julia Dressel about her Science Advances paper on predicting recidivism—the likelihood that a criminal defendant will commit another crime. It turns out computers aren’t better than people at these types of predictions, in fact—both are correct only about 65% of the time.   Jen Golbeck interviews Paul Shapiro about his book, Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, in our monthly books segment.   Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Greg Chiasson/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

18 January 2018: Climate sensitivity, and the fetal microbiome

This week, pinning down the climate's carbon dioxide sensitivity, and the battle over babies' first bacteria.

Ep. 474: Predictions for 2018

Phew, 2018, time to press the reset button and enjoy a whole new year of space exploration and space science. What’s coming up this year? What should we expect to launch, and what will we see in the sky?

Salad-eating sharks, and what happens after quantum computing achieves quantum supremacy

David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about two underwater finds: the first sharks shown to survive off of seagrass and what fossilized barnacles reveal about ancient whale migrations. Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Adrian Cho about what happens after quantum computing achieves quantum supremacy—the threshold where a quantum computer’s abilities outstrip nonquantum machines. Just how useful will these machines be and what kinds of scientific problems might they tackle? Listen to previous podcasts.  [Image: Aleria Jensen, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

10 January 2018: Conflict conservation, and the shape of a memory

This week, tabletop physics, what a memory looks like, and conflict's toll on wildlife.

Ep. 473: Remembering the Best Space Science of 2017

2017 was a crazy year for, well, you know. But, it was a great year for space science, a kilonova, extrasolar planets, reusable rockets and more. Let’s look back at the year that was and remember our favorite space science.

Who visits raccoon latrines, and boosting cancer therapy with gut microbes

David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about a long-term project monitoring raccoon latrines in California. What influence do these wild bathrooms have on the ecosystem? Sarah also interviews Christian Jobin of the University of Florida in Gainesville about his Perspective on three papers linking the success of cancer immunotherapy with microbes in the gut—it turns out which bacteria live in a cancer patient’s intestines can predict their response to this cutting-edge cancer treatment. Read the related papers: Routy et al., Gut microbiome influences efficacy of PD-1–based immunotherapy against epithelial tumors, Science 2018 Gopalakrishnan et al., Gut microbiome modulates response to anti–PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients, Science 2018 Matson et al., The commensal microbiome is associated with anti–PD-1 efficacy in metastatic melanoma patients, Science 2018 aan4236 Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: cuatrok77/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Ep. 472: Best Modern Sci Fi for the Science Lover - Part 4: Bioscience

What happens when the future meets biology? Bioscience science fiction, of course. And that's our focus today as we continue our journey though science-based science fiction.
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