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Podcast Profile: Science Magazine Podcast

podcast imageTwitter: @ScienceMagazine
Site: www.sciencemag.org
532 episodes
2013 to present
Average episode: 28 minutes
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: News-Style

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

Discover other podcasts.

List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:46 UTC. Episodes: 532. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2024-Apr-11 • 33 minutes
Trialing treatments for Long Covid, and a new organelle appears on the scene
Researchers are testing HIV drugs and monoclonal antibodies against long-lasting COVID-19, and what it takes to turn a symbiotic friend into an organelle
2024-Apr-04 • 31 minutes
When did rats come to the Americas, and was Lucy really our direct ancestor?
Tracing the arrival of rats using bones, isotopes, and a few shipwrecks; and what scientists have learned in 50 years about our famous ancestor Lucy First on the show: Did rats come over with Christopher Columbus? It turns out, European colonists weren’t alone on their ships when they came to the Americas—they also brought black and brown rats to uninfested shores. Eric Guiry, a researcher in the Trent Environmental Archaeology Lab at Trent University, joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how tiny slices of...
2024-Mar-28 • 30 minutes
Teaching robots to smile, and the effects of a rare mandolin on a scientist’s career
Robots that can smile in synchrony with people, and what ends up in the letters section First on this week’s show, a robot that can predict your smile. Hod Lipson, a roboticist and professor at Columbia University, joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how mirrors can help robots learn to make facial expressions and eventually improve robot nonverbal communication. Next, we have Margaret Handley, a professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics and medicine at the University of California San...
2024-Mar-21 • 36 minutes
Hope in the fight against deadly prion diseases, and side effects of organic agriculture
New clinical trials for treatments of an always fatal brain disease, and what happens with pests when a conventional and organic farm are neighbors First up on this week’s show, a new treatment to stave off prion disease goes into clinical trials. Prions are misfolded proteins that clump together and chew holes in the brain. The misfolding can be switched on in a number of ways—including infection with a misfolded prion protein from an animal or person. Staff Writer Meredith Wadman talks with host Sarah C...
2024-Mar-14 • 29 minutes
Why babies forget, and how fear lingers in the brain
Investigating “infantile amnesia,” and how generalized fear after acute stress reflects changes in the brain This week we have two neuroscience stories. First up, freelance science journalist Sara Reardon looks at why infants’ memories fade. She joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss ongoing experiments that aim to determine when the forgetting stops and why it happens in the first place. Next on the show, Hui-Quan Li, a senior scientist at Neurocrine Biosciences, talks with Sarah about how the brain encode...
2024-Mar-07 • 30 minutes
A dive into the genetic history of India, and the role of vitamin A in skin repair
What modern Indian genomes say about the region’s deep past, and how vitamin A influences stem cell plasticity First up this week, Online News Editor Michael Price and host Sarah Crespi talk about a large genome sequencing project in India that reveals past migrations in the region and a unique intermixing with Neanderthals in ancient times. Next on the show, producer Kevin McLean chats with Matthew Tierney, a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University, about how vitamin A and stem cells work together ...
2024-Feb-29 • 30 minutes
The sci-fi future of medical robots is here, and dehydrating the stratosphere to stave off climate change
Keeping water out of the stratosphere could be a low-risk geoengineering approach, and using magnets to drive medical robots inside the body First up this week, a new approach to slowing climate change: dehydrating the stratosphere. Staff Writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the risks and advantages of this geoengineering technique. Next on the show, Science Robotics Editor Amos Matsiko gives a run-down of papers in a special series on magnetic robots in medicine. Matsiko and Crespi als...
2024-Feb-22 • 48 minutes
What makes snakes so special, and how space science can serve all
On this week’s show: Factors that pushed snakes to evolve so many different habitats and lifestyles, and news from the AAAS annual meeting First up on the show this week, news from this year’s annual meeting of AAAS (publisher of Science) in Denver. News intern Sean Cummings talks with Danielle Wood, director of the Space Enabled Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about the sustainable use of orbital space or how space exploration and research can benefit everyone. And Newslett...
2024-Feb-15 • 46 minutes
What makes blueberries blue, and myth buster Adam Savage on science communication
Why squeezing a blueberry doesn’t get you blue juice, and a myth buster and a science editor walk into a bar First up on the show this week, MythBusters’s Adam Savage chats with Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp about the state of scholarly publishing, better ways to communicate science, plus a few myths Savage still wants to tackle. Next on the show, making blueberries without blue pigments. Rox Middleton, a postdoctoral fellow at the Dresden University of Technology and honorary research associate ...
2024-Feb-08 • 31 minutes
A new kind of magnetism, and how smelly pollution harms pollinators
More than 200 materials could be “altermagnets,” and the impact of odiferous pollutants on nocturnal plant-pollinator interactions First up on the show this week, researchers investigate a new kind of magnetism. Freelance science journalist Zack Savitsky joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about recent evidence for “altermagnetism” in nature, which could enable new types of electronics. Next on the show, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Jeremy Chan, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Naples F...
2024-Feb-01 • 30 minutes
A new way for the heart and brain to ‘talk’ to each other, and Earth’s future weather written in ancient coral reefs
A remote island may hold clues for the future of El Niño and La Niña under climate change, and how pressure in the blood sends messages to neurons First up, researchers are digging into thousands of years of coral to chart El Niño’s behavior over time. Producer Kevin McLean talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about his travels to the Pacific island of Vanuatu to witness the arduous task of reef drilling. Next on the show, host Sarah Crespi talks with Veronica Egger, a professor of neurophysiology at the...
2024-Jan-25 • 28 minutes
A hangover-fighting enzyme, the failure of a promising snakebite treatment, and how ants change lion behavior
On this week’s show: A roundup of stories from our daily newsletter, and the ripple effects of the invasive big-headed ant in Kenya First up on the show, Science Newsletter Editor Christie Wilcox joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about snake venom antidotes, a surprising job for a hangover enzyme, and crustaceans that spin silk. Next on the show, the cascading effects of an invading ant. Douglas Kamaru, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Zoology & Physiology at the University of Wyoming, discusses how th...
2024-Jan-19 • 36 minutes
Paper mills bribe editors to pass peer review, and detecting tumors with a blood draw
Investigation shows journal editors getting paid to publish bunk papers, and new techniques for finding tumor DNA in the blood First up on this week’s episode, Frederik Joelving, an editor and reporter for the site Retraction Watch, talks with host Sarah Crespi about paper mills—organizations that sell authorship on research papers—that appear to be bribing journal editors to publish bogus articles. They talk about the drivers behind this activity and what publishers can do to stop it. Next, producer Za...
2024-Jan-11 • 44 minutes
The environmental toll of war in Ukraine, and communications between mom and fetus during childbirth
Assessing environmental damage during wartime, and tracking signaling between fetus and mother First up, freelance journalist Richard Stone returns with news from his latest trip to Ukraine. This week, he shares stories with host Sarah Crespi about environmental damage from the war, particularly the grave consequences of the Kakhovka Dam explosion. Next, producer Kevin McLean talks with researcher Nardhy Gomez-Lopez, a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and pathology and immunology...
2024-Jan-04 • 34 minutes
The top online news from 2023, and using cough sounds to diagnose disease
Best of online news, and screening for tuberculosis using sound This week’s episode starts out with a look back at the top 10 online news stories with Online News Editor David Grimm. There will be cat expressions and mad scientists, but also electric cement and mind reading. Read all top 10 here. Next on the show, can a machine distinguish a tuberculosis cough from other kinds of coughs? Manuja Sharma, who was a Ph.D. student in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of ...
2023-Dec-22 • 40 minutes
The hunt for a quantum phantom, and making bitcoin legal tender
Seeking the Majorana fermion particle, and a look at El Salvador’s adoption of cryptocurrency First up on the show this week, freelance science journalist Zack Savitsky and host Sarah Crespi discuss the hunt for the elusive Majorana fermion particle, and why so many think it might be the best bet for a functional quantum computer. We also hear the mysterious tale of the disappearance of the particle’s namesake, Italian physicist Ettore Majorana. Next in the episode, what happens when you make a cryptocu...
2023-Dec-14 • 32 minutes
Science’s Breakthrough of the Year, and tracing poached pangolins
Top science from 2023, and a genetic tool for pangolin conservation First up this week, it’s Science’s Breakthrough of the Year with producer Meagan Cantwell and News Editor Greg Miller. But before they get to the tippy-top science find, a few of this year’s runners-up. See all our end-of-year coverage here. Next, Jen Tinsman, a forensic wildlife biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss using genetics to track the illegal pangolin trade. These scaly little guys...
2023-Dec-07 • 38 minutes
Farm animals show their smarts, and how honeyguide birds lead humans to hives
A look at cognition in livestock, and the coevolution of wild bird–human cooperation This week we have two stories on thinking and learning in animals. First, Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Sarah Crespi about a reporting trip to the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology in northern Germany, where scientists are studying cognition in farm animals, including goats, cows, and pigs. And because freelance audio producer Kevin Caners went along, we have lots of sound from the trip—so prepar...
2023-Nov-30 • 35 minutes
Basic geoengineering, and autonomous construction robots
Raising the pH of the ocean to reduce carbon in the air, and robots that can landscape First up on this week’s show, Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall discusses research into making oceans more alkaline as a way to increase carbon capture and slow climate change. But there are a few open questions with this strategy: Could enough material be dumped in the ocean to slow climate change? Would mining that material release a lot of carbon? And, would either the mining or ocean changes have big impact...
2023-Nov-23 • 55 minutes
Exascale supercomputers amp up science, finally growing dolomite in the lab, and origins of patriarchy
A leap in supercomputing is a leap for science, cracking the dolomite problem, and a book on where patriarchy came from First up on this week’s show, bigger supercomputers help make superscience. Staff Writer Robert F. Service joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how the first exascale computer is enabling big leaps in scientists’ models of the world. Next, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with the University of Michigan’s Wenhao Sun, professor of materials science and engineering, and graduate student Joon...
2023-Nov-16 • 22 minutes
AI improves weather prediction, and cutting emissions from landfills
What it means that artificial intelligence can now forecast the weather like a supercomputer, and measuring methane emissions from municipal waste First up on this week’s show, Staff Writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how artificial intelligence has become shockingly good at forecasting the weather while using way fewer resources than other modeling systems. Read a related Science paper. Next, focusing on municipal solid waste—landfills, compost centers, garbage dumps—may offer a p...
2023-Nov-09 • 35 minutes
The state of Russian science, and improving implantable bioelectronics
First up on this week’s show: the future of science in Russia. We hear about how the country’s scientists are split into two big groups: those that left Russia after the invasion of Ukraine and those that stayed behind. Freelance journalist Olga Dobrovidova talks with host Sarah Crespi about why so many have left, and the situation for those who remain. Next on the show: miniature, battery-free bioelectronics. Jacob Robinson, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Rice Uni...
2023-Nov-02 • 39 minutes
Turning anemones into coral, and the future of psychiatric drugs
Why scientists are trying to make anemones act like corals, and why it’s so hard to make pharmaceuticals for brain diseases First up on this week’s show, coaxing anemones to make rocks. Newsletter Editor Christie Wilcox joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the difficulties of raising coral in the lab and a research group that’s instead trying to pin down the process of biomineralization by inserting coral genes into easy-to-maintain anemones. Next on the show, a look at why therapeutics for both neurodege...
2023-Oct-26 • 33 minutes
Making corn shorter, and a book on finding India’s women in science
First up on this week’s show, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about why it might make sense to grow shorter corn. It turns out the towering corn typically grown today is more likely to blow over in strong winds and can’t be planted very densely. Now, seedmakers are testing out new ways to make corn short through conventional breeding and transgenic techniques in the hopes of increasing yields. Next up on the show, the last in our series of books on sex and gender with Books Host...
2023-Oct-19 • 30 minutes
The consequences of the world's largest dam removal, and building a quantum computer using sound waves
Restoring land after dam removal, and phonons as a basis for quantum computing First up on this week’s show, planting in the silty soil left behind after a dam is removed and reservoirs recede. Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the world's largest dam removal project and what ecologists are doing to revegetate 36 kilometers of new river edge. Next up on the show, freelance producer and former guest Tanya Roussy. She talks with Andrew Cleland, a professor a...
2023-Oct-13 • 42 minutes
Mysterious objects beyond Neptune, and how wildfire pollution behaves indoors
The Kuiper belt might be bigger than we thought, and managing the effects of wildfires on indoor pollution First up on this week’s show, the Kuiper belt—the circular field of icy bodies, including Pluto, that surrounds our Solar System—might be bigger than we thought. Staff Writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the distant Kuiper belt objects out past Neptune, and how they were identified by telescopes looking for new targets for a visit by the New Horizons spacecraft. Next up on the sho...
2023-Oct-05 • 36 minutes
How long can ancient DNA survive, and how much stuff do we need to escape poverty?
Pushing ancient DNA past the Pleistocene, and linking agriculture to biodiversity and infectious disease First up on this week’s show, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad brings a host of fascinating stories, from the arrival of deadly avian flu in the Galápagos to measuring the effect of earthworms on our daily bread. He and host Sarah Crespi start off the segment discussing just how much stuff you need to avoid abject poverty and why measuring this value can help us balance human needs against planetary sustainab...
2023-Sep-28 • 51 minutes
Visiting utopias, fighting heat death, and making mysterious ‘dark earth’
A book on utopias and gender roles, India looks to beat climate-induced heat in cities, and how ancient Amazonians improved the soil First up on this week’s show: the latest in our series of books on sex, gender, and science. Books host Angela Saini discusses Everyday Utopia: In Praise of Radical Alternatives to the Traditional Family Home with ethnographer Kristen Ghodsee, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies at the University of Pennsylvania. See this year’s whole series here. Also this ...
2023-Sep-21 • 37 minutes
Reducing cartel violence in Mexico, and what to read and see this fall
The key to shrinking cartels is cutting recruitment, and a roundup of books, video games, movies, and more First up on this week’s show: modeling Mexico’s cartels. Rafael Prieto-Curiel, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Complexity Science Hub in Vienna, joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how modeling cartel activities can help us understand the impact of potential interventions such as increased policing or reducing gang recruitment. Lisa Sanchez, executive director of México Unido Contra la De...
2023-Sep-14 • 34 minutes
Why cats love tuna, and powering robots with tiny explosions
Receptors that give our feline friends a craving for meat, and using combustion to propel insect-size robots First up on this week’s episode, Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about why despite originating from a dry, desert environment cats seem to love to eat fish. Next on the show, bugs such as ants are tiny while at the same time fast and strong, and small robots can’t seem to match these insectile feats of speed and power. Cameron Aubin, a postdoc at Cornell Univers...
2023-Sep-07 • 33 minutes
Extreme ocean currents from a volcano, and why it’s taking so long to wire green energy into the U.S. grid
How the Tonga eruption caused some of the fastest underwater flows in history, and why many U.S. renewable energy projects are on hold First up on this week’s show, we hear about extremely fast underwater currents after a volcanic eruption. Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with sedimentary geologist Michael Clare and submarine volcanologist Isobel Yeo, both at the U.K. National Oceanography Centre. They discuss the complex aftermath of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption, including fast and powerful...
2023-Aug-31 • 38 minutes
Reducing calculus trauma, and teaching AI to smell
How active learning improves calculus teaching, and using machine learning to map odors in the smell space First up on this week’s show, Laird Kramer, a professor of physics and faculty in the STEM Transformation Institute at Florida International University (FIU), talks with host Sarah Crespi about students leaving STEM fields because of calculus and his research into improving instruction. We also hear from some Science staffers about their own calculus trauma, from fear of spinning shapes to thin...
2023-Aug-24 • 52 minutes
The source of solar wind, hackers and salt halt research, and a book on how institutions decide gender
A close look at a coronal hole, how salt and hackers can affect science, and the latest book in our series on science, sex, and gender First up on this week’s show, determining the origin of solar wind—the streams of plasma that emerge from the Sun and envelope the Solar System. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Lakshmi Pradeep Chitta, a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, about how tiny jets in so-called coronal holes seem to be responsible. Sarah also talks with Scienc...
2023-Aug-17 • 48 minutes
What killed off North American megafauna, and making languages less complicated
Ancient wildfires may have doomed Southern California’s big mammals, and do insular societies have more complex languages? First up on this week’s show, what killed off North America’s megafauna, such as dire wolves and saber-toothed cats? Online News Editor Mike Price joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the likely culprits: climate or humans, or one that combines both—fire. They discuss how the La Brea Tar Pits are helping researchers figure this out. Read the related Science paper. Next up, do l...
2023-Aug-10 • 27 minutes
Why some trees find one another repulsive, and why we don’t know how much our hands weigh
First up on this week’s show, we hear about the skewed perception of our own hands, extremely weird giant viruses, champion regenerating flatworms, and more from Newsletter Editor Christie Wilcox. Christie also chats with host Sarah Crespi about her work on a daily newsletter and what it takes to do it 5 days a week. Read more newsletters and sign up for your daily dose of Science and science. Next on the show, AAAS Intern Andrew Saintsing learns about why trees are repulsive—to one another. Michael Kalyuz...
2023-Aug-03 • 36 minutes
Tracing the genetic history of African Americans using ancient DNA, and ethical questions at a famously weird medical museum
Bringing together ancient DNA from a burial site and a giant database of consumer ancestry DNA helps fill gaps in African American ancestry, and a reckoning for Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum First up on this week’s show, ancient DNA researchers and ancestry giant 23andMe joined forces to uncover present day ties to a cemetery at the Catoctin Furnace ironworks in Maryland, where enslaved people were buried. Contributing producers and hosts of the Dope Labs podcast Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley spoke wit...
2023-Jul-27 • 49 minutes
Researchers collaborate with a social media giant, ancient livestock, and sex and gender in South Africa
On this week’s show: evaluating scientific collaborations between independent scholars and industry, farming in ancient Europe, and a book from our series on sex, gender, and science. First up on this week’s show, a look behind the scenes at a collaboration between a social media company and 17 academics. Host Sarah Crespi speaks with Michael Wagner, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication who acted as an impartial observer for Meta’s U.S. 2020 el...
2023-Jul-20 • 39 minutes
Adding thousands of languages to the AI lexicon, and the genes behind our bones
A massive effort by African volunteers is ensuring artificial intelligence understands their native languages, and measuring 40,000 skeletons Our AI summer continues with a look at how to get artificial intelligence to understand and translate the thousands of languages that don’t have large online sources of text and audio. Freelance journalist Sandeep Ravindran joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss Masakhane, a volunteer-based project dedicated to spurring growth in machine learning of African languages. Se...
2023-Jul-13 • 30 minutes
The AI special issue, adding empathy to robots, and scientists leaving Arecibo
Science’s NextGen voices share their thoughts on artificial intelligence, how to avoid creating sociopathic robots, and a visit to a historic observatory as researchers pack their bags As part of a Science special issue on finding a place for artificial intelligence (AI) in science and society, Producer Kevin McLean shares voices from the next generation of researchers. We hear from students about how they think human scientists will still need to work alongside AI in the future. Continuing the AI t...
2023-Jul-06 • 31 minutes
Putting the man-hunter and woman-gatherer myth to the sword, and the electron's dipole moment gets closer to zero
Worldwide survey kills the myth of “Man the Hunter,” and tightly constraining the electric dipole moment of the electron First up this week on the show, freelance science writer Bridget Alex joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss busting the long-standing myth that in our deep past, virtually all hunters were men and women tended to be gatherers. It turns out women hunt in the vast majority of foraging societies, upending old stereotypes. After that, we learn about a hunt for zero. Tanya Roussy, a recen...
2023-Jun-29 • 48 minutes
Putting organs into the deep freeze, a scavenger hunt for robots, and a book on race and reproduction
On this week’s show: Improvements in cryopreservation technology, teaching robots to navigate new places, and the latest book in our series on sex and gender First up this week on the show, scientists are learning how to “cryopreserve” tissues—from donor kidneys to coral larvae. Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the latest in freezing and thawing technology. Next up: How much does a robot need to “know” about the world to navigate it? Theophile Gervet, ...
2023-Jun-22 • 29 minutes
A space-based telescope to hunt dark energy, and what we can learn from scaleless snakes
On this week’s show: Euclid, a powerful platform for detecting dark energy, and a slithery segment on how snakes make scales First up on the show this week, we’re taking the hunt for dark energy to space. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new space-based telescope called Euclid, set to launch next month. Euclid will kick off a new phase in the search for dark energy, the mysterious force that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. Also on this week’s show, snakes...
2023-Jun-15 • 23 minutes
Why it’s tough to measure light pollution, and a mental health first aid course
A special issue on light pollution, and first aid for mental well-being First up this week, cleaning up the night skies. As part of a special issue on light pollution, host Sarah Crespi talks with Stefan Wallner, a researcher at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, about why light pollution is so difficult to measure and how coordination efforts between disciplines will help us darken the nights. Also on this week’s show, a mental health first aid course for scientists. Azmi Ahmad, a postdoctoral fellow ...
2023-Jun-08 • 29 minutes
Contraception for cats, and taking solvents out of chemistry
A single-shot cat contraceptive, and a close look at “dry” chemistry First up this week: an innovation in cat contraception. Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Sarah Crespi about a nonsurgical pregnancy prevention technique for cats and why such an approach has been a long-term goal for cat population control. Also on this week’s show, we hear about new insights into mechanical chemistry—using physical force to push molecules together. Science Editor Jake Yeston and Yerzhan Zholdassov, a...
2023-Jun-01 • 29 minutes
How we measure the world with our bodies, and hunting critical minerals
Body-based units of measure in cultural evolution, and how the geologic history of the United States can be used to find vital minerals First up this week, we hear about the advantages of using the body to measure the world around you. Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Roope Kaaronen, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, about how and why cultures use body-based measurements, such as arm lengths and hand spans. Read the related commentary. Also on this week’s show, the United S...
2023-May-25 • 41 minutes
Talking tongues, detecting beer, and shifting perspectives on females
Why it’s so hard to understand the tongue, a book on a revolutionary shift toward studying the female of the species, and using proteomics to find beer in a painting First on the show this week, Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to talk tongues: Who has them, who doesn’t, and all their amazing elaborations. We also have the first in a new six-part series on books exploring the science of sex and gender. For this month’s installment, host Angela Saini talks with evolutionary biol...
2023-May-18 • 33 minutes
The earliest evidence for kissing, and engineering crops to clone themselves
Cloning vigorous crops, and finding the first romantic kiss First up this week, building resilience into crops. Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss all the tricks farmers use now to make resilient hybrid crops of rice or wheat and how genetically engineering hybrid crop plants to clone themselves may be the next step. After that we ask: When did we start kissing? Troels Pank Arbøll is an assistant professor of Assyriology in the department of cross-cultural and regional stu...
2023-May-11 • 43 minutes
Debating when death begins, and the fate of abandoned lands
A new approach promises to increase organ transplants but some question whether they should proceed without revisiting the definition of death, and what happens to rural lands when people head to urban centers First up this week, innovations in organ transplantation lead to ethical debates. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel and several transplant surgeons and doctors about defining death, technically. Also in this segment: Anji Wall, abdominal transplant surgeon and b...
2023-May-04 • 41 minutes
Building big dream machines, and self-organizing landscapes
Builders of the largest scientific instruments, and how cracks can add resilience to an ecosystem First up this week, a story on a builder of the biggest machines. Producer Kevin McLean talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about Adrian’s dad and his other baby: an x-ray synchrotron. Next up on this episode, a look at self-organizing landscapes. Host Sarah Crespi and Chi Xu, a professor of ecology at Nanjing University, talk about a Science Advances paper on how resilience in an ecosystem can come from...
2023-Apr-27 • 32 minutes
The value of new voices in science and journalism, and what makes something memorable
Science’s editor-in-chief and an award-winning broadcast journalist discuss the struggles shared by journalism and science, and we learn about what makes something stand out in our memories First up on the show this week: Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp talks with Amna Nawaz, an award-winning broadcast journalist and host of the PBS NewsHour, about the value of new voices in science and journalism and other things the two fields have in common. Next up, what makes something stand out in your me...
2023-Apr-20 • 39 minutes
Mapping uncharted undersea volcanoes, and elephant seals dive deep to sleep
What does it mean that we have so many more seamounts than previously thought, and finding REM sleep in seals First up on the show this week: so many seamounts. Staff News Writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a study that mapped about 17,000 never-before-seen underwater volcanoes. They talk about how these new submarine landforms will influence conservation efforts and our understanding of ocean circulation. Next up, how do mammals that spend 90% of their time in the water, get any...
2023-Apr-13 • 42 minutes
More precise radiocarbon dating, secrets of hibernating bear blood, and a new book series
Anchoring radiocarbon dates to cosmic events, why hibernating bears don't get blood clots, and kicking off a book series on sex, gender, and science First up this week, upping the precision of radiocarbon dating by linking cosmic rays to isotopes in wood. Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Online News Editor Michael Price about how spikes in cosmic rays—called Miyake events—are helping archaeologists peg the age of wooden artifacts to a year rather than a decade or century. Next on the show, we hav...
2023-Apr-06 • 32 minutes
Why not vaccinate chickens against avian flu, and new form of reproduction found in yellow crazy ants
Why some countries, such as China, vaccinate flocks against bird flu but others don’t, and male ants that are always chimeras First up this week, highly pathogenic avian influenza is spreading to domestic flocks around the globe from migrating birds. Why don’t many countries vaccinate their bird herds when finding one case can mean massive culls? Staff News Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the push and pull of economics, politics, and science at play in vaccinating poultry against bir...
2023-Mar-30 • 30 minutes
How the Maya thought about the ancient ruins in their midst, and the science of Braille
On this week’s show: How people in the past thought about their own past, and a detailed look at how Braille is read First up this week, what did people 1000 years ago think about 5000-year-old Stonehenge? Or about a disused Maya temple smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood? Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how Mesoamerican sites are revealing new ways that ruins were incorporated into past peoples’ lives. Next up on this week’s show is a segment from t...
2023-Mar-23 • 27 minutes
New worries about Earth’s asteroid risk, and harnessing plants’ chemical factories
On this week’s show: Earth’s youngest impact craters could be vastly underestimated in size, and remaking a plant’s process for a creating a complex compound First up this week, have we been measuring asteroid impact craters wrong? Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about new approaches to measuring the diameter of impact craters. They discuss the new measurements which, if confirmed, might require us to rethink just how often Earth gets hit with large asteroids. Paul also shares more...
2023-Mar-16 • 24 minutes
An active volcano on Venus, and a concerning rise in early onset colon cancer
On this week’s show: Spotting volcanic activity on Venus in 30-year-old data, and giving context to increases in early onset colon cancer First up this week, a researcher notices an active volcano on Venus in data from the Magellan mission—which ended in 1994. News Staff Writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how to find a “fresh” lava flow in 30-year-old readings. Next up, a concerning increase in early onset colon cancer. Kimmie Ng, director of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Cent...
2023-Mar-09 • 41 minutes
Compassion fatigue in those who care for lab animals, and straightening out ocean conveyor belts
On this week’s show: Compassion fatigue will strike most who care for lab animals, but addressing it is challenging. Also, overturning ideas about ocean circulation First up this week: uncovering compassion fatigue in those who work with research animals—from cage cleaners to heads of entire animal facilities. Host Sarah Crespi and Online News Editor David Grimm discuss how to recognize the anxiety and depression that can be associated with this work and what some institutions are doing to help. Fea...
2023-Mar-02 • 31 minutes
Battling bias in medicine, and how dolphins use vocal fry
On this week’s show: Researchers are finding new ways to mitigate implicit bias in medical settings, and how toothed whales use distinct vocal registers for echolocation and communication First up this week: how to fight unconscious bias in the clinic. Staff Writer Rodrigo Pérez Ortega talks with host Sarah Crespi about how researchers are attempting to fight bias on many fronts—from online classes to machine learning to finding a biomarker for pain. Next up on the show: a close look at toothed whale voca...
2023-Feb-23 • 34 minutes
Shrinking MRI machines, and the smell of tsetse fly love
On this week’s show: Portable MRI scanners could revolutionize medical imaging, and pheromones offer a way to control flies that spread disease First up this week: shrinking MRI machines. Staff Writer Adrian Cho talks with host Sarah Crespi about how engineers and physicists are teaming up to make MRI machines smaller and cheaper. Next up on the show, the smell of tsetse fly love. Producer Kevin McLean talks with Shimaa Ebrahim, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of molecular, cellular, and devel...
2023-Feb-16 • 30 minutes
Earth’s hidden hydrogen, and a trip to Uranus
On this week’s show: The hunt for natural hydrogen deposits heats up, and why we need a space mission to an ice giant First up this week: a gold rush for naturally occurring hydrogen. Deputy Editor Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss drilling for hidden pockets of hydrogen, which companies are just now starting to explore as a clean energy option. Next up, big plans for a mission to Uranus. Kathleen Mandt, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, shares wh...
2023-Feb-09 • 32 minutes
Using sharks to study ocean oxygen, and what ancient minerals teach us about early Earth
On this week’s show: Shark tags to measure ocean deoxygenation, and zircons and the chemistry of early Earth First up this week: using sharks to measure ocean deoxygenation. Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall joins us to talk about a group of researchers putting data logging tags on sharks in order to study how climate change is affecting oxygen levels in some of the ocean’s darkest depths. Next up, what can 4-billion-year-old minerals teach us about chemistry on early Earth? Producer Meagan Cantw...
2023-Feb-02 • 29 minutes
Visiting a mummy factory, and improving the IQ of … toilets
On this week’s show: New clues to the chemicals used for mummification, and the benefits and barriers to smart toilets First up this week: What can we learn from a mummy factory? Contributing Correspondent Andrew Curry talks with host Sarah Crespi about mummy chemistry and why we don’t know much about what was used to preserve these ancient bodies. Online News Editor Michael Price makes a special appearance. Next up, how having a smart toilet can contribute to your health. Seung-Min Park, an instructor in...
2023-Jan-26 • 26 minutes
Wolves hunting otters, and chemical weathering in a warming world
On this week’s show: When deer are scarce these wolves turn to sea otters, and chemical weathering of silicates acts as a geological thermostat First up on this week’s show we have a story about a group of Alaskan wolves that has switched to eating sea otters as deer populations have dwindled. Science journalist Jack Tamisiea tells host Sarah Crespi about some of the recently published work on this diet shift, and wildlife biologist Gretchen Roffler weighs in on the conditions on the island where this is h...
2023-Jan-19 • 39 minutes
Bad stats overturn ‘medical murders,’ and linking allergies with climate change
Statisticians fight bad numbers used in medical murder trials, and the state of allergy science First up on this week’s show, we have a piece on accusations of medical murder. Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss her story on how statisticians are weighing in on cases where nurses and doctors are convicted of murdering patients based on bad statistics. This segment was produced by Kevin McLean with sound design by James Rowlands. Also on this week’s show: Allergie...
2023-Jan-12 • 34 minutes
Peering beyond the haze of alien worlds, and how failures help us make new discoveries
Data on hazes and clouds may be key to understanding exoplanets, and NextGen letter writers share the upside of failure Hazes and clouds could keep exoplanets’ secrets hidden, unless researchers can re-create them here on Earth. After celebrating JWST and its ability to look far back in time and help us look for habitable exoplanets as the 2022 Science Breakthrough of the Year, News Intern Zack Savitsky talks with host Sarah Crespi about an overlooked problem with using telescopes to examine exoplanets’ at...
2023-Jan-05 • 27 minutes
A controversial dam in the Amazon unites Indigenous people and scientists, and transplanting mitochondria to treat rare diseases
Keeping an eye on the largest hydroelectric project in the Amazon basin, and helping patients with deletions in their mitochondrial DNA We are starting off the new year with producer Kevin McLean and freelance science journalist Sofia Moutinho. They discuss a controversial dam in the Brazilian Amazon and how Indigenous peoples and researchers are trying to monitor its impact. Then, host Sarah Crespi speaks with Elad Jacoby, an expert in pediatric hematology and oncology at the Sheba Medical Center and Tel...
2022-Dec-22 • 33 minutes
Year in review 2022: Best of online news, and podcast highlights
On this week’s show: A rundown of our favorite online news stories, and some of our favorite moments on the podcast this year This is our last show of the year and it’s a fun one! Dave Grimm, our online news editor, gives a tour of the top online stories of the year, from playful bumble bees to parasite-ridden friars. Then, host Sarah Crespi looks back at some amazing conversations from the podcast this year, including answers to a few questions she never thought she’d be asking. Highlights include why we...
2022-Dec-15 • 32 minutes
Breakthrough of the Year, and the best in science books
On this week’s show: Science’s Breakthrough of the Year and runners-up, plus the top books in 2022 You might not be surprised by this year’s breakthrough, but hopefully you won’t guess all our runners-up. Producer Meagan Cantwell is joined by Greg Miller, who edited the section this year. The two discuss the big winner and more. In our second segment, host Sarah Crespi is joined by Science Books Editor Valerie Thompson to chat about the best books in science from this year, and one movie. Books mentioned...
2022-Dec-08 • 36 minutes
The state of science in Ukraine, and a conversation with Anthony Fauci
On this week’s show: The impact of war on science in Ukraine, and a conversation with Anthony Fauci as he prepares to step down Some scientists in Ukraine have been risking their lives to protect scientific facilities, collections, and instruments amid the war. Contributing Correspondent Richard Stone traveled to Kharkiv and Chornobyl earlier this year to meet researchers living and working through the conflict. He spoke with host Sarah Crespi to share some of their stories. Then we have a conversation wi...
2022-Dec-01 • 29 minutes
A genetic history of Europe’s Jews, and measuring magma under a supervolcano
On this week’s show: A medieval German cemetery yields clues to Jewish migrations in Europe, and supercomputers help researchers estimate magma under Yellowstone First up this week on the podcast, we explore the genetic history of Jewish people in Europe. Contributing Correspondent Andrew Curry talks with host Sarah Crespi about researchers working with rabbis and the local Jewish community to apply new techniques to respectfully study remains in a medieval Jewish cemetery in Germany. We also have a story...
2022-Nov-24 • 27 minutes
Artificial intelligence takes on Diplomacy, and how much water do we really need?
On this week’s show: Meta’s algorithm tackles both language and strategy in a board game, and measuring how much water people use on a daily basis First up this week on the podcast, artificial intelligence (AI) wins at the game Diplomacy. Freelance science journalist Matthew Hutson joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the advances needed for an AI to win a game that requires cooperation and trust between human and AI players. Next, we hear about how much water people need to stay hydrated. It’s not the e...
2022-Nov-17 • 27 minutes
Mammoth ivory trade may be bad for elephants, and making green electronics with fungus
On this week’s show: The potentially harmful effects of prehistoric ivory on present-day elephants, and replacing polymers in electronics with fungal tissue First up this week on the podcast, we hear about the effect of mammoth and mastodon ivory on the illegal elephant ivory trade. Online News Editor Michael Price joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how as melting permafrost has uncovered fossilized ivory from these extinct creatures, more has entered the ivory trade. The question is: Does the availability...
2022-Nov-10 • 43 minutes
Kurt Vonnegut’s contribution to science, and tunas and sharks as ecosystem indicators
On this week’s show: How sci-fi writer Kurt Vonnegut foresaw many of today’s ethical dilemmas, and 70 years of tunas, billfishes, and sharks as sentinels of global ocean health First up this week on the podcast, we revisit the works of science fiction author Kurt Vonneugt on what would have been his 100th birthday. News Intern Zack Savitsky and host Sarah Crespi discuss the work of ethicists, philosophers, and Vonnegut scholars on his influence on the ethics and practice of science. Researchers featured i...
2022-Nov-03 • 28 minutes
Cities as biodiversity havens, and gene therapy for epilepsy
On this week’s show: How urban spaces can help conserve species, and testing a gene therapy strategy for epilepsy in mice First up on the podcast, we explore urban ecology’s roots in Berlin. Contributing Correspondent Gabriel Popkin joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss turning wastelands and decommissioned airports into forests and grasslands inside the confines of a city. Next, we hear about a gene therapy strategy for epilepsy. Yichen Qiu, a recently graduated Ph.D. student and researcher at University Co...
2022-Oct-27 • 49 minutes
Space-based solar power gets serious, AI helps optimize chemistry, and a book on food extinction
On this week’s show: Cheaper launches could make solar power satellites a reality, machine learning helps chemists make small organic molecules, and a book on the extinction of foods First up on the podcast, space-based solar power gets closer to launch. Staff Writer Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about how reusable rockets bring the possibility of giant solar array satellites that beam down gigawatts of uninterrupted power from space. After that, we hear about small organic molecule synthesis....
2022-Oct-20 • 23 minutes
Snakes living the high-altitude life, and sending computing power to the edges of the internet
On this week’s show: How some snakes have adapted to the extremes of height and temperature on the Tibetan Plateau, and giving low-power sensors more processing power First up on the podcast, tough snakes reveal their secrets. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Liz Pennisi about how snakes have adapted to the harsh conditions of the Tibetan Plateau. Next on the show, Producer Meagan Cantwell talks about moving more computing power to the edges of the internet. She is joined by Alexander Sludds, a g...
2022-Oct-13 • 30 minutes
Climate change threatens supercomputing, and collecting spider silks
On this week’s show: Rising waters and intense storms make siting high-performance computer centers a challenge, and matching up spider silk DNA with spider silk properties (Main Text) First up on the podcast this week, News Intern Jacklin Kwan talks with host Sarah Crespi about how and where to build high-performance computing facilities as climate change brings extreme conditions to current locations. Spiders are creeping into the show this week. Kazuharu Arakawa, a professor at the Institute for Ad...
2022-Oct-06 • 42 minutes
Linking violence in Myanmar to fossil amber research, and waking up bacterial spores
On this week’s show: A study suggests paleontological research has directly benefited from the conflict in Myanmar, and how dormant bacterial spores keep track of their environment First up on the podcast this week, Staff Writer Rodrigo Pérez Ortega joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss links between violent conflict in Myanmar and a boom in fossil amber research. Also on the show this week, we hear about how bacterial spores—which can lie dormant for millions of years—decide it’s time to wake up. Kaito Kiku...
2022-Sep-29 • 40 minutes
Giving a lagoon personhood, measuring methane flaring, and a book about eating high on the hog
On this week’s show: Protecting a body of water by giving it a legal identity, intentional destruction of methane by the oil and gas industry is less efficient than predicted, and the latest book in our series on science and food First up on the podcast this week, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad talks with host Sarah Crespi about why Spain has given personhood status to a polluted lagoon. Also on the show this week is Genevieve Plant, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in...
2022-Sep-22 • 28 minutes
Can wolves form close bonds with humans, and termites degrade wood faster as the world warms
On this week’s show: Comparing human-dog bonds with human-wolf bonds, and monitoring termite decay rates on a global scale First up on the podcast this week, Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Sarah Crespi about the bonds between dogs and their human caretakers. Is it possible these bonds started even before domestication? Also this week, Sarah talks with Amy Zanne, professor and Aresty endowed chair in tropical ecology in the Department of Biology at the University of Miami. They discuss a gl...
2022-Sep-15 • 29 minutes
Testing planetary defenses against asteroids, and building a giant ‘water machine’
On this week’s show: NASA’s unprecedented asteroid-deflection mission, and making storage space for fresh water underground in Bangladesh First up on the podcast this week, News Intern Zack Savitsky joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the upcoming NASA mission, dubbed the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, that aims to ram a vending machine–size spacecraft into an asteroid and test out ideas about planetary defense. Also this week, Sarah talks with Mohammad Shamsudduha, an associate professor in humanita...
2022-Sep-08 • 26 minutes
Why the fight against malaria has stalled in southern Africa, and how to look for signs of life on Mars
On this week’s show: After years of steep declines, researchers are investigating why malaria deaths have plateaued, and testing the stability of biosignatures in space First up on the podcast this week, freelance science journalist Leslie Roberts joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why malaria deaths have plateaued in southern Africa, despite years of declines in deaths and billions of dollars spent. Leslie visited Mozambique on a global reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center where researchers are invest...
2022-Sep-01 • 42 minutes
Using free-floating DNA to find soldiers’ remains, and how people contribute to indoor air chemistry
On this week’s show: The U.S. government is partnering with academics to speed up the search for more than 80,000 soldiers who went missing in action, and how humans create their own “oxidation zone” in the air around them First up on the podcast this week, Tess Joosse is a former news intern here at Science and is now a freelance science journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. Tess talks with host Sarah Crespi about attempts to use environmental DNA—free-floating DNA in soil or water—to help locate the re...
2022-Aug-25 • 37 minutes
Chasing Arctic cyclones, brain coordination in REM sleep, and a book on seafood in the information age
On this week’s show: Monitoring summer cyclones in the Arctic, how eye movements during sleep may reflect movements in dreams, and the latest in our series of books on the science of food and agriculture. First up on the podcast this week, Deputy News Editor Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the first airborne campaign to study summer cyclones over the Arctic and what the data could reveal about puzzling air-ice interactions. Next on the show, Sarah talks with Yuta Senzai, a postdoctoral resea...
2022-Aug-18 • 27 minutes
Monitoring a nearby star’s midlife crisis, and the energetic cost of chewing
On this week’s show: An analog to the Maunder Minimum, when the Sun’s spots largely disappeared 400 years ago, and measuring the energy it takes to chew gum We have known about our Sun’s spots for centuries, and tracking this activity over time revealed an 11-year solar cycle with predictable highs and lows. But sometimes these cycles just seem to stop, such as in the Maunder Minimum—a 70-year period from 1645 to 1715 with little or no sunspot activity. News Intern Zack Savitsky joins host Sarah Crespi to ...
2022-Aug-11 • 26 minutes
Cougars caught killing donkeys in Death Valley, and decoding the nose
On this week’s show: Predators may be indirectly protecting Death Valley wetlands, and mapping odorant receptors First up this week on the podcast, News Intern Katherine Irving joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the first photos of cougars killing feral donkeys in Death Valley National Park. They also discuss the implications for native animals such as big horn sheep, and plans to remove donkeys from the park. Also this week on the show, Paul Feinstein, professor of biology in the department of biolog...
2022-Aug-04 • 27 minutes
Invasive grasses get help from fire, and a global map of ant diversity
On this week’s show: A special issue on grass, and revealing hot spots of ant diversity This week’s special issue on grasses mainly focuses on the importance of these plants in climate change, in ecosystems, on land, and in the water. But for the podcast, Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about their dark side: invasive grasses that feed fires and transform ecosystems. Also this week on the show, Evan Economo, a professor in the biodiversity and biocomplexity unit ...
2022-Jul-28 • 41 minutes
Probing beyond our Solar System, sea pollinators, and a book on the future of nutrition
On this week’s show: Plans to push a modern space probe beyond the edge of the Solar System, crustaceans that pollinate seaweed, and the latest in our series of author interviews on food, science, and nutrition After visiting the outer planets in the 1980s, the twin Voyager spacecraft have sent back tantalizing clues about the edge of our Solar System and what lies beyond. Though they may have reached the edge of the Solar System or even passed it, the craft lack the instruments to tell us much about the i...
2022-Jul-21 • 45 minutes
Possible fabrications in Alzheimer’s research, and bad news for life on Enceladus
On this week’s show: Troubling signs of fraud threaten discoveries key to a reigning theory of Alzheimer’s disease, and calculating the saltiness of the ocean on one of Saturn’s moons Investigative journalist Charles Piller joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles brought to light by a neuroscientist whistleblower. Next, researcher Wan Ying Kang talks with Sarah about Saturn’s bizarre moon Enceladus. Kang’s group wrote in Science Advances about modeling the...
2022-Jul-14 • 36 minutes
The Webb Space Telescope’s first images, and why scratching sometimes makes you itchy
On this week’s show: The first images from the James Webb Space Telescope hint at the science to come, and disentangling the itch-scratch cycle After years of delays, the James Webb Space Telescope launched at the end of December 2021. Now, NASA has released a few of the first full-color images captured by the instrument’s enormous mirror. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss these first images and what they mean for the future of science from Webb. Next on the podcast, Jing Feng, ...
2022-Jul-07 • 33 minutes
Running out of fuel for fusion, and addressing gender-based violence in India
On this week’s show: A shortage of tritium fuel may leave fusion energy with an empty tank, and an attempt to improve police responsiveness to violence against women First up this week on the podcast, Staff Writer Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new hurdle for fusion: not enough fuel. After decades of delays, scientists are almost ready to turn on the first fusion reactor that makes more energy than it uses, but the fast-decaying fuel needed to run the reactor is running out. Also this w...
2022-Jun-30 • 23 minutes
Former pirates help study the seas, and waves in the atmosphere can drive global tsunamis
On this week’s show: A boost in research ships from an unlikely source, and how the 2022 Tonga eruption shook earth, water, and air around the world For decades, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society caused controversy on the high seas; now it’s turning its patrolling ships into research vessels. Online News Editor David Grimm discusses how this change of heart came about with host Sarah Crespi. Also this week, how atmospheric waves can push tsunamis around the globe. Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with E...
2022-Jun-23 • 45 minutes
Using waste to fuel airplanes, nature-based climate solutions, and a book on Indigenous conservation
On this week’s show: Whether biofuels for planes will become a reality, mitigating climate change by working with nature, and the second installment of our book series on the science of food and agriculture First this week, Science Staff Writer Robert F. Service talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about sustainable aviation fuel, a story included in Science’s special issue on climate change. Researchers have been able to develop this green gas from materials such as municipal garbage and corn stalks. Will ...
2022-Jun-16 • 41 minutes
A look at Long Covid, and why researchers and police shouldn’t use the same DNA kits
On this week’s show: Tracing the roots of Long Covid, and an argument against using the same DNA markers for suspects in law enforcement and in research labs for cell lines Two years into the pandemic, we’re still uncertain about the impact of Long Covid on the world—and up to 20% of COVID-19 patients might be at risk. First on the podcast this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to share a snapshot of the current state of Long Covid research, particularly what researchers th...
2022-Jun-09 • 32 minutes
Saving the Spix’s macaw, and protecting the energy grid
Two decades after it disappeared in nature, the stunning blue Spix’s macaw will be reintroduced to its forest home, and lessons learned from Texas’s major power crisis in 2021 The Spix’s macaw was first described in scientific literature in 1819—200 years later it was basically poached to extinction in the wild. Now, collectors and conservationists are working together to reintroduce captive-bred birds into their natural habitat in northeastern Brazil. Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt discusses...
2022-Jun-02 • 29 minutes
The historic Maya’s sophisticated stargazing knowledge, and whether there is a cost to natural cloning
On this week’s show: Exploring the historic Maya’s astronomical knowledge and how grasshoppers clone themselves without decreasing their fitness First this week, Science contributing correspondent Joshua Sokol talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about the historic Maya’s sophisticated astronomical knowledge. In recent decades, researchers have set out to understand how city structures relate to astronomical phenomena and decipher ancient texts. Now, collaboration between Western scholars and living Indigen...
2022-May-26 • 40 minutes
Saying farewell to Insight, connecting the microbiome and the brain, and a book on agriculture in Africa
What we learned from a seismometer on Mars, why it’s so difficult to understand the relationship between our microbes and our brains, and the first in our series of books on the science of food and agriculture First up this week, freelance space journalist Jonathan O’Callaghan joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the retirement of NASA’s Mars InSight lander. After almost 4 years of measuring quakes on the surface of the Red Planet, the lander’s solar panels are getting too dusty to continue providing power...
2022-May-19 • 44 minutes
Seeing the Milky Way’s central black hole, and calling dolphins by their names
On this week’s show: The shadow of Milky Way’s giant black hole has been seen for the first time, and bottlenose dolphins recognize each other by signature whistles—and tastes It’s been a few years since the first image of a black hole was published—that of the supermassive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy came about in 2019. Now, we have a similar image of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way—our very own galaxy. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why these im...
2022-May-12 • 30 minutes
Fixing fat bubbles for vaccines, and preventing pain from turning chronic
On this week’s show: Lipid nanoparticles served us well as tiny taxis delivering millions of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, but they aren’t optimized—yet, and why we might need inflammation to stop chronic pain The messenger RNA payload of the mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is wrapped up in little fatty packets called lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). These fat bubbles were originally designed for something much different—carrying molecules into cells to silence genes. But they were useful and we were in a hu...
2022-May-05 • 24 minutes
Staking out the start of the Anthropocene, and why sunscreen is bad for coral
On this week’s show: Geoscientists eye contenders for where to mark the beginning of the human-dominated geological epoch, and how sunscreen turns into photo toxin We live in the Anthropocene: an era on our planet that is dominated by human activity to such an extent that the evidence is omnipresent in the soil, air, and even water. But how do we mark the start? Science Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how geoscientists are choosing the one place on Earth that best shows the adve...
2022-Apr-28 • 45 minutes
Using quantum tools to track dark matter, why rabies remains, and a book series on science and food
On this week’s show: How physicists are using quantum sensors to suss out dark matter, how rabies thwarts canine vaccination campaigns, and a kickoff for our new series with authors of books on food, land management, and nutrition science Dark matter hunters have turned to quantum sensors to find elusive subatomic particles that may exist outside physicists’ standard model. Adrian Cho, a staff writer for Science, joins host Sarah Crespi to give a tour of the latest dark matter particle candidates—and the t...
2022-Apr-21 • 40 minutes
Protecting birds from brightly lit buildings, and controlling robots from orbit
On this week’s show: Saving birds from city lights, and helping astronauts inhabit robots First up, Science Contributing Correspondent Josh Sokol talks with host Sarah Crespi about the millions of migrating birds killed every year when they slam into buildings—attracted by brightly lit windows. New efforts are underway to predict bird migrations and dim lights along their path, using a bird-forecasting system called . Next, we hear from Aaron Pereira, a researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and ...
2022-Apr-14 • 27 minutes
Desert ‘skins’ drying up, and one of the oldest Maya calendars
On this week’s show: Climate change is killing critical soil organisms in arid regions, and early evidence for the Maya calendar from a site in Guatemala Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how climate change is affecting “biocrust,” a thin layer of fungi, lichens, and other microbes that sits on top of desert soil, helping retain water and create nutrients for rest of the ecosystem. Recent measurements in Utah suggest the warming climate is causing a decline in the lichen com...
2022-Apr-07 • 26 minutes
A surprisingly weighty fundamental particle, and surveying the seas for RNA viruses
On this week’s show: A new measurement of the W boson could challenge physicists’ standard model, and an abundance of marine RNA viruses Staff Writer Adrian Cho joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new threat to the standard model of particle physics—a heavier than expected measurement of a fundamental particle called the W boson. They chat about how this measurement was taken, and what it means if it is right. Next, Sarah talks about the microscopic denizens of Earth’s oceans with Ahmed Zayed, a research...
2022-Mar-31 • 28 minutes
Probing Earth’s mysterious inner core, and the most complete human genome to date
On this week’s show: A journey to the center of the center of the Earth, and what was missing from the first human genome project Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the many mysteries surrounding the innermost part of our planet—from its surprisingly recent birth to whether it spins faster or slower than the rest of the planet. Next, Sarah chats with Adam Phillippy about the results from the Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) Consortium, an effort to create a complete and detailed read of...
2022-Mar-24 • 30 minutes
Scientists become targets on social media, and battling space weather
On this week’s show: Why it’s tougher than ever to be a researcher on Twitter, and a highlight from this year’s AAAS Annual Meeting First up, Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady talks with host Sarah Crespi about the harassment that COVID-19 researchers are facing and a survey conducted by Science that shows more media exposure is linked to higher levels of abuse. Next, producer Meagan Cantwell shares another interview from this year’s AAAS Annual Meeting. She talks with Delores Knipp, a research ...
2022-Mar-17 • 31 minutes
The challenges of testing medicines during pregnancy, and when not paying attention makes sense
On this week’s show: Getting pregnant people into clinical trials, and tracking when mice aren’t paying attention First up, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how scientists can overcome the lack of research on drug safety in pregnancy. Next, Nikola Grujic, a Ph.D. student at the Institute for Neuroscience at ETH Zürich, talks about rational inattention in mice and how it helps explain why our brains notice certain things—and miss others. This week’s episode was produ...
2022-Mar-10 • 33 minutes
Monitoring wastewater for SARS-CoV-2, and looking back at the biggest questions about the pandemic
On this week’s show: We have highlights from a special COVID-19 retrospective issue on lessons learned after 2 years of the pandemic First up, Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what scientists have learned from scanning sewage for COVID-19 RNA. And now that so many wastewater monitoring stations are in place—what else can we do with them? Next, we have researcher Katia Koelle, an associate professor of biology at Emory University. She wrote a review on the evolv...
2022-Mar-03 • 22 minutes
A global treaty on plastic pollution, and a dearth of Black physicists
On this week’s show: The ins and outs of the first global treaty on plastic pollution, and why the United States has so few Black physicists First up, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the world’s first global treaty on plastics pollution–and the many questions that need answers to make it work. Read a related Policy Forum here. Up next, we hear from some of more than 50 Black physicists interviewed for a special news package in Science about the barriers Black physicists face,...
2022-Feb-24 • 34 minutes
Securing nuclear waste for 100,000 years, and the link between math literacy and life satisfaction
On this week’s show: Finland puts the finishing touches on the world’s first high-level permanent nuclear repository, and why being good at math might make you both happy and sad First up, freelance science journalist Sedeer El-Showk joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his visit to a permanent nuclear waste repository being built deep underground in Finland, and the technology—and political maneuvering—needed to secure the site for 100,000 years. Also this week, Pär Bjälkebring, a senior lecturer in the de...
2022-Feb-17 • 26 minutes
COVID-19’s long-term impact on the heart, and calculating the survival rate of human artifacts
On this week’s show: A giant study suggests COVID-19 takes a serious toll on heart health—a full year after recovery, and figuring out what percentage of ancient art, books, and even tools has survived the centuries First up, Staff Writer Meredith Wadman talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new study that looked at more than 150,000 COVID-19 patient records and found increases in risk for 20 different cardiovascular conditions 1 year after recovery. Also this week we have Mike Kestemont, an associate pro...
2022-Feb-10 • 30 minutes
Merging supermassive black holes, and communicating science in the age of social media
On this week’s show: What we can learn from two supermassive black holes that appear to be on a collision course with each other, and the brave new online world in which social media dominates and gatekeeps public access to scientific information First up, Staff Writer Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about the possibly imminent merger of two supermassive black holes in a nearby galaxy. How imminent? We might see a signal as early as 100 days from now. Also, this week we have a special section o...
2022-Feb-03 • 22 minutes
Building a green city in a biodiversity hot spot, and live monitoring vehicle emissions
On this week’s show: Environmental concerns over Indonesia building a new capital on Borneo, and keeping an eye on pollution as it comes out of the tailpipe First up this week, Contributing Correspondent Dennis Normile talks with host Sarah Crespi about Indonesia’s plans for an ultragreen new capital city on the island of Borneo. Despite intentions to limit the environmental impact of the new urban center, many are concerned about unplanned growth surrounding the city which could threaten rare plants and a...
2022-Jan-27 • 26 minutes
Fecal transplants in pill form, and gut bacteria that nourish hibernating squirrels
On this week’s show: A pill derived from human feces treats recurrent gut infections, and how a squirrel’s microbiome supplies nitrogen during hibernation First up this week, Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss putting the bacterial benefits of human feces in a pill. The hope is to avoid using fecal transplants to treat recurrent gut infections caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile. Also this week, Hannah Carey, a professor in the department of comparative biosciences wit...
2022-Jan-20 • 30 minutes
A window into live brains, and what saliva tells babies about human relationships
On this week’s show: Ethical concerns rise with an increase in open brain research, and how sharing saliva can be a proxy for the closeness of a relationship Human brains are protected by our hard skulls, but these bony shields also keep researchers out. With brain surgeries and brain implants on the rise, scientists are getting more chances to explore living brains. Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the ethics of doing research on patients undergoing intense medical procedur...
2022-Jan-13 • 31 minutes
Cloning for conservation, and divining dynamos on super-Earths
On this week’s show: How cloning can introduce diversity into an endangered species, and ramping up the pressure on iron to see how it might behave in the cores of rocky exoplanets First up this week, News Intern Rachel Fritts talks with host Sarah Crespi about cloning a frozen ferret to save an endangered species. Also this week, Rick Kraus, a research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, talks about how his group used a powerful laser to compress iron to pressures similar to those found ...
2022-Jan-06 • 30 minutes
Setting up a permafrost observatory, and regulating transmissible vaccines
On this week’s show: Russia announces plans to monitor permafrost, and a conversation about the dangers of self-spreading engineered viruses and vaccines Science journalist Olga Dobrovidova joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about plans to set up a national permafrost observatory in Russia. Then Filippa Lentzos, senior lecturer in science and international security in the department of war studies and in the department of global health and social medicine, and co-director for the center for science and secur...
2021-Dec-23 • 45 minutes
Top online stories, the state of marijuana research, and Afrofuturism
On this week’s show: The best of our online stories, what we know about the effects of cannabinoids, and the last in our series of books on race and science First, Online News Editor David Grimm brings the top online stories of the year—from headless slugs to Dyson spheres. You can find out the other top stories and the most popular online story of the year here. Then, Tibor Harkany, a professor of molecular neuroscience at the Medical University of Vienna’s Center for Brain Research, talks with host Sara...
2021-Dec-16 • 33 minutes
The Breakthrough of the year show, and the best of science books
Every year Science names its top breakthrough of the year and nine runners up. Online News Editor Catherine Matacic joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what Science’s editors consider some of the biggest innovations of 2021. Also this week, Books Editor Valerie Thompson shares her list of top science books for the year—from an immunology primer by a YouTuber, to a contemplation of the universe interwoven with a close up look at how the science sausage is made. Books on Valerie’s list: Immune: A Journey ...
2021-Dec-09 • 25 minutes
Tapping fiber optic cables for science, and what really happens when oil meets water
Geoscientists are turning to fiber optic cables as a means of measuring seismic activity. But rather than connecting them to instruments, the cables are the instruments. Joel Goldberg talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about tapping fiber optic cables for science. Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Sylvie Roke, a physicist and chemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, and director of its Laboratory for fundamental BioPhotonics, about the place where oil meets water. Despite...
2021-Dec-02 • 27 minutes
The ethics of small COVID-19 trials, and visiting an erupting volcano
There has been so much research during the pandemic—an avalanche of preprints, papers, and data—but how much of it is any good? Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the value of poorly designed research on COVID-19 and more generally. In September, the volcano Cumbre Vieja on Spain’s Canary Islands began to erupt. It is still happening. The last time it erupted was back in 1971, so we don’t know much about the features of the past eruption or the signs it was comi...
2021-Nov-25 • 45 minutes
Why trees are making extra nuts this year, human genetics and viral infections, and a seminal book on racism and identity
Have you noticed the trees around you lately—maybe they seem extra nutty? It turns out this is a “masting” year, when trees make more nuts, seeds, and pinecones than usual. Science Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the many mysteries of masting years. Next, Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Jean-Laurent Casanova, a professor at Rockefeller University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, about his review article on why some people are more vulnerable...
2021-Nov-18 • 22 minutes
Wildfires could threaten ozone layer, and vaccinating against tick bites
Could wildfires be depleting the ozone all over again? Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the evidence from the Polarstern research ship for wildfire smoke lofting itself high into the stratosphere, and how it can affect the ozone layer once it gets there. Next, we talk ticks—the ones that bite, take blood, and can leave you with a nasty infection. Andaleeb Sajid, a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute, joins Sarah to talk about her Science Translational Medicine paper ...
2021-Nov-11 • 27 minutes
The long road to launching the James Webb Space Telescope, and genes for a longer life span
The James Webb Space Telescope was first conceived in the late 1980s. Now, more than 30 years later, it’s finally set to launch in December. After such a long a road, anticipation over what the telescope will contribute to astronomy is intense. Daniel Clery, a staff writer for Science, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what took so long and what we can expect after launch. You might have heard that Greenland sharks may live up to 400 years. But did you know that some Pacific rockfish can live to be mor...
2021-Nov-04 • 31 minutes
The folate debate, and rewriting the radiocarbon curve
Some 80 countries around the world add folic acid to their food supply to prevent birth defects that might happen because of a lack of the B vitamin—even among people too early in their pregnancies to know they are pregnant. This year, the United Kingdom decided to add the supplement to white flour. But it took almost 10 years of debate, and no countries in the European Union joined them in the change. Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the ongoing folate debate. Last year, a h...
2021-Oct-28 • 42 minutes
Sleeping without a brain, tracking alien invasions, and algorithms of oppression
Simple animals like jellyfish and hydra, even roundworms, sleep. Without brains. Why do they sleep? How can we tell a jellyfish is sleeping? Staff Writer Liz Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what can be learned about sleep from these simple sleepers. The feature is part of a special issue on sleep this week in Science. Next is a look at centuries of alien invasions—or rather, invasive insects moving from place to place as humans trade across continents. Sarah talks with Matthew MacLachlan, a r...
2021-Oct-20 • 44 minutes
Soil science goes deep, and making moldable wood
There are massive telescopes that look far out into the cosmos, giant particle accelerators looking for ever tinier signals, gargantuan gravitational wave detectors that span kilometers of Earth—what about soil science? Where’s the big science project on deep soil? It’s coming soon. Staff Writer Erik Stokstad talks with host Sarah Crespi about plans for a new subsoil observatory to take us beyond topsoil. Wood is in some ways an ideal building material. You can grow it out of the ground. It’s not very heav...
2021-Oct-14 • 32 minutes
The ripple effects of mass incarceration, and how much is a dog’s nose really worth?
This week we are covering the Science special issue on mass incarceration. Can a dog find a body? Sometimes. Can a dog indicate a body was in a spot a few months ago, even though it’s not there now? There’s not much scientific evidence to back up such claims. But in the United States, people are being sent to prison based on this type of evidence. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Peter Andrey Smith, a reporter and researcher based in Maine, about the science—or lack thereof—behind dog-sniff evidence. With 2 m...
2021-Oct-07 • 30 minutes
Swarms of satellites could crowd out the stars, and the evolution of hepatitis B over 10 millennia
In 2019, a SpaceX rocket released 60 small satellites into low-Earth orbit—the first wave of more than 10,000 planned releases. At the same time, a new field of environmental debate was also launched—with satellite companies on one side, and astronomers, photographers, and stargazers on the other. Contributing Correspondent Joshua Sokol joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the future of these space-based swarms. Over the course of the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, different variants of the ...
2021-Sep-30 • 35 minutes
Whole-genome screening for newborns, and the importance of active learning for STEM
Today, most newborns get some biochemical screens of their blood, but whole-genome sequencing is a much more comprehensive look at an infant—maybe too comprehensive? Staff Writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the ethical ins and outs of whole-genome screening for newborns, and the kinds of infrastructure needed to use these screens more widely. Sarah also talks with three contributors to a series of vignettes on the importance of active learning for students in science, technology, engi...
2021-Sep-23 • 45 minutes
Earliest human footprints in North America, dating violins with tree rings, and the social life of DNA
Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss fossilized footprints left on a lake shore in North America sometime before the end of Last Glacial Maximum—possibly the earliest evidence for humans on the continent. Read the research. Next, Paolo Cherubini, a senior scientist in the dendrosciences research group at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, discusses using tree rings to date and authenticate 17th and 18th century violins worth millions of...
2021-Sep-16 • 20 minutes
Potty training cows, and sardines swimming into an ecological trap
Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the health and environmental benefits of potty training cows. Next, Peter Teske, a professor in the department of zoology at the University of Johannesburg, joins us to talk about his Science Advances paper on origins of the sardine run—a massive annual fish migration off the coast of South Africa. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Steven Benjamin; Music: Jeffrey Cook] [Alt text: sardines in a swirling bai...
2021-Sep-09 • 26 minutes
Legions of lunar landers, and why we make robots that look like people
Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about plans for NASA’s first visit to the Moon in 50 years—and the quick succession of missions that will likely follow. Next, Eileen Roesler, a researcher and lecturer at the Technical University of Berlin in the field of human-robot automation, discusses the benefits of making robots that look and act like people—it’s not always as helpful as you would think. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. [Image: Virginie Angéloz/Noun Pro...
2021-Sep-02 • 30 minutes
Pinpointing the origins of SARS-CoV-2, and making vortex beams of atoms
Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the many theories circulating about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and why finding the right one is important. Next, Ed Narevicius, a professor in the chemical and biological physics department at the Weizmann Institute of Science, talks with Sarah about creating vortex beams of atoms—a quantum state in which the phase of the matter wave of an atom rotates around its path, like a spiral staircase. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy....
2021-Aug-26 • 39 minutes
New insights into endometriosis, predicting RNA folding, and the surprising career of the spirometer
News Intern Rachel Fritts talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new way to think about endometriosis—a painful condition found in one in 10 women in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows on the outside of the uterus and can bind to other organs. Next, Raphael Townshend, founder and CEO of Atomic AI, talks about predicting RNA folding using deep learning—a machine learning approach that relies on very few examples and limited data. Finally, in this month's edition of our limited series on race a...
2021-Aug-19 • 29 minutes
Building a martian analog on Earth, and moral outrage on social media
Contributing Correspondent Michael Price joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the newest Mars analog to be built on the location of the first attempt at a large-scale sealed habitat, Biosphere 2 in Arizona. Next, William Brady, a postdoctoral researcher in the psychology department at Yale University, talks with Sarah about using an algorithm to measure increasing expressions of moral outrage on social media platforms. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. About the Science Podcast Liste...
2021-Aug-12 • 32 minutes
A risky clinical trial design, and attacks on machine learning
Charles Piller, an investigative journalist for Science, talks with host Sarah Crespi about a risky trial of vitamin D in asthmatic children that has caused a lot of concern among ethicists. They also discuss how the vitamin D trial connects with a possibly dangerous push to compare new treatments with placebos instead of standard-of-care treatments in clinical trials. Next, Birhanu Eshete, professor of computer and information science at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, talks with producer Joel Goldb...
2021-Aug-05 • 34 minutes
A freeze on prion research, and watching cement dry
International News Editor Martin Enserink talks with host Sarah Crespi about a moratorium on prion research after the fatal brain disease infected two lab workers in France, killing one. Next, Abhay Goyal, a postdoctoral fellow at Georgetown University, talks with intern Claire Hogan about his Science Advances paper on figuring out how to reduce the massive carbon footprint of cement by looking at its molecular structure. Finally, in a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean...
2021-Jul-29 • 48 minutes
Debating healthy obesity, delaying type 1 diabetes, and visiting bone rooms
First this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the paradox of metabolically healthy obesity. They chat about the latest research into the relationships between markers of metabolic health—such as glucose or cholesterol levels in the blood—and obesity. They aren’t as tied as you might think. Next, Colin Dayan, professor of clinical diabetes and metabolism at Cardiff University and senior clinical researcher at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University...
2021-Jul-22 • 26 minutes
Blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease, and what earthquakes on Mars reveal about the Red Planet’s core
First this week, Associate Editor Kelly Servick joins us to discuss a big push to develop scalable blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease and how this could advance research on the disease and its treatment. Next, Amir Khan, a senior scientist at the Physics Institute of the University of Zurich and the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zürich, talks with multimedia intern Claire Hogan about marsquakes detected by NASA’s InSight lander—and what they can reveal about Mars’s crust, mantle, and core. This week’s e...
2021-Jul-15 • 25 minutes
Science after COVID-19, and a landslide that became a flood
First this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new series on how COVID-19 may alter the scientific enterprise and they look back at how pandemics have catalyzed change throughout history. Next, Dan Shugar, associate professor of geoscience and director of the environmental science program at the University of Calgary, talks with producer Joel Goldberg about a deadly rock and ice avalanche in northern India this year and why closely monitoring steep mountain slop...
2021-Jul-08 • 42 minutes
Scientists’ role in the opioid crisis, 3D-printed candy proteins, and summer books
First this week, Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp talks with author Patrick Radden Keefe about his book Empire of Pain and the role scientists, regulators, and physicians played in the rollout of Oxycontin and the opioid crisis in the United States. Next, Katelyn Baumer, a Ph.D. student in the chemistry and biochemistry department at Baylor University, talks with host Sarah Crespi about her Science Advances paper on 3D printing proteins using candy. Finally, book review editor Valerie Thompson takes us on a ...
2021-Jul-01 • 39 minutes
Preserving plastic art, and a gold standard for measuring extreme pressure
First this week, Contributing Correspondent Sam Kean talks with producer Joel Goldberg about techniques museum conservators are using to save a range of plastic artifacts—from David Bowie costumes to the first artificial heart. Next, Dayne Fratanduono, an experimental physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about new standards for how gold and platinum change under extreme pressure. Fratanduono discusses how these standards will help researchers make mo...
2021-Jun-24 • 32 minutes
Does Botox combat depression, the fruit fly sex drive, and a series on race and science
First this week, Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady talks with host Sarah Crespi about controversy surrounding the use of Botox injections to alleviate depression by suppressing frowning. Next, researcher Stephen Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses his Science Advances paper on what turns on the fruit fly sex drive. Finally, we are excited to kick off a six-part series of monthly interviews with authors of books that highlight the many intersections...
2021-Jun-17 • 24 minutes
Keeping ads out of dreams, and calculating the cost of climate displacement
First this week, News Intern Sofia Moutinho joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss scientists concerns about advertisers looking into using our smart speakers or phones to whisper ads to us while we sleep. Next, Bina Desai, head of Programs at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva, discusses how to predict the economic impact of human displacement due to climate change as part of a special issue on strategic retreat. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous ...
2021-Jun-10 • 29 minutes
Finding consciousness outside the brain, and using DNA to reunite families
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2021-Jun-03 • 38 minutes
Cicada citizen science, and expanding the genetic code
First this week, freelance journalist Ian Graber-Stiehl discusses what might be the oldest community science project—observing the emergence of periodical cicadas. He also notes the shifts in how amateur scientists have gone from contributing observations to helping scientists make predictions about the insects’ schedules. Next, Jason Chin, program leader at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, discusses how reducing redundancy in the genetic code opens up space for encoding unus...
2021-May-27 • 28 minutes
Cracking consciousness, and taking the temperature of urban heat islands
First this week, Lucia Melloni, a group leader in the department of neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, talks with host Sarah Crespi about making the hard problem of consciousness easier by getting advocates of opposing theories to collaborate and design experiments to rule in or rule out their competing theories. Next, TC Chakraborty, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, shares his Science Advances paper on why it’s important to measure air temperature on the ground rather ...
2021-May-20 • 24 minutes
Ecstasy plus therapy for PTSD, and the effects of early childhood development programs on mothers
Staff Writer Kelly Servick talks with host Sarah Crespi about the pairing of a specific type of psychotherapy with the drug MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. Also this week, Pamela Jakiela, an economics professor at Williams College, discusses the importance of knowing how early childhood development interventions like free day care or parenting classes have an effect on caregivers, particularly mothers. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. L...
2021-May-13 • 35 minutes
Cutting shipping air pollution may cause water pollution, and keeping air clean with lightning
News Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss possible harms from how the shipping industry is responding to air pollution regulations—instead of pumping health-harming chemicals into the air, they are now being dumped into oceans. Also this week, William Brune, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, talks about flying a plane into thunderstorms and how measurements from research flights revealed the surprising amount of air-...
2021-May-06 • 30 minutes
Chernobyl’s ruins grow restless, and entangling macroscopic objects
Rich Stone, former international news editor at Science and current senior science editor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Tangled Bank Studios, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about concerning levels of fission reactions deep in an inaccessible area of the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Though nothing is likely to come of it anytime soon, scientists must decide what—if anything—they should do tamp down reactions in this hard-to-reach place. Also on this week’s show, Shlomi Kotler, an...
2021-Apr-29 • 22 minutes
Storing wind as gravity, and well-digging donkeys
Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a company that stores renewable energy by hoisting large objects in massive “gravity batteries.” Also on this week’s show, Erick Lundgren, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University, talks about how water from wells dug by wild horses and feral donkeys provides a buffer to all different kinds of animals and plants during the driest times in the Sonora and Mojave deserts. This week’s episode was produced with help from Po...
2021-Apr-22 • 28 minutes
Rebuilding Louisiana’s coast, and recycling plastic into fuel
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall about a restoration project to add 54 square kilometers back to the coast of Louisiana by allowing the Mississippi River to resume delivering sediment to sinking regions. Also on this week’s show, Dion Vlachos, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Delaware, Newark, and director of the Delaware Energy Institute, joins Sarah to talk about his Science Advances paper on a low-temperature process to conv...
2021-Apr-15 • 40 minutes
Why muon magnetism matters, and a count of all the Tyrannosaurus rex that ever lived
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about a new measurement of the magnetism of the muon—an unstable cousin of the electron. This latest measurement and an earlier one both differ from predictions based on the standard model of particle physics. The increased certainty that there is a muon magnetism mismatch could be a field day for theoretical physicists looking to add new particles or forces to the standard model. Also on this week’s show, Charles Marshall, director of the University o...
2021-Apr-08 • 28 minutes
Magnetar mysteries, and when humans got big brains
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Joshua Sokol about magnetars—highly magnetized neutron stars. A recent intense outburst of gamma rays from a nearby galaxy has given astronomers a whole new view on these mysterious magnetic monsters. Also on this week’s show, Christoph Zollikofer, a professor of anthropology at the University of Zurich, talks about the evolution of humanlike brains. His team’s work with brain-case fossils suggests the complex brains we carry around today were not pre...
2021-Apr-01 • 29 minutes
Fighting outbreaks with museum collections, and making mice hallucinate
Podcast Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Pamela Soltis, a professor and curator with the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida and the director of the University of Florida Biodiversity Institute, about how natural collections at museums can be a valuable resource for understanding future disease outbreaks. Read the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. This segment i...
2021-Mar-25 • 32 minutes
Social insects as models for aging, and crew conflict on long space missions
Most research on aging has been done on model organisms with limited life spans, such as flies and worms. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to science writer Yao-Hua Law about how long-living social insects—some of which survive for up to 30 years—can provide new insights into aging. Also in this episode, host Sarah Crespi talks with Noshir Contractor, the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, about his AAAS session on keeping humans in harmony during long space ...
2021-Mar-18 • 28 minutes
COVID-19 treatment at 1 year, and smarter materials for smarter cities
Science News Staff Writer Kelly Servick discusses how physicians have sifted through torrents of scientific results to arrive at treatments for SARS-CoV-2. Sarah also talks with Wesley Reinhart of Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Institute for Computational and Data Science, about why we should be building smart cities from smart materials, such as metamaterials that help solar panels chase the Sun, and living materials like self-healing concrete that keep...
2021-Mar-11 • 27 minutes
Next-generation gravitational wave detectors, and sponges that soak up frigid oil spills
Science Staff Writer Adrian Cho joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about plans for the next generation of gravitational wave detectors—including one with 40-kilometer arms. The proposed detectors will be up to 10 times more sensitive than current models and could capture all black hole mergers in the observable universe. Sarah also talks with Pavani Cherukupally, a researcher at Imperial College London and the University of Toronto, about her Science Advances paper on cleaning up oil spills with special cold-...
2021-Mar-04 • 22 minutes
The world’s oldest pet cemetery, and how eyeless worms can see color
Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a 2000-year-old pet cemetery found in the Egyptian city of Berenice and what it can tell us about the history of human-animal relationships. Also this week, Dipon Ghosh, a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks about how scientists missed that the tiny eyeless roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, which has been intensively studied from top to bottom for decades, somehow has the ability to detect col...
2021-Feb-25 • 25 minutes
Measuring Earth’s surface like never before, and the world’s fastest random number generator
First up, science journalist Julia Rosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about a growing fleet of radar satellites that will soon be able to detect minute rises and drops of Earth’s surface—from a gently deflating volcano to a water-swollen field—on a daily basis. Sarah also talks with Hui Cao, a professor of applied physics at Yale University, about a new way to generate enormous streams of random numbers faster than ever before, using a tiny laser that can fit on a computer chip. This week’s episode was pr...
2021-Feb-18 • 31 minutes
All your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered, and a new theory on forming rocky planets
Science Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to take on some of big questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, such as: Do they stop transmission? Will we need boosters? When will life get back to “normal.” Sarah also talks with Anders Johansen, professor of planetary sciences and planet formation at the University of Copenhagen, about his Science Advances paper on a new theory for the formation of rocky planets in our Solar System. Instead of emerging out of ever-larger collisions of protoplanets, t...
2021-Feb-11 • 24 minutes
Building Africa’s Great Green Wall, and using whale songs as seismic probess
Science journalist Rachel Cernansky joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about progress on Africa’s Great Green Wall project and the important difference between planting and growing a tree. Sarah also talks with Václav Kuna, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, about using loud and long songs from fin whales to image structures under the ocean floor. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Po...
2021-Feb-04 • 37 minutes
Looking back at 20 years of human genome sequencing
This week we’re dedicating the whole show to the 20th anniversary of the publication of the human genome. Today, about 30 million people have had their genomes sequenced. This remarkable progress has brought with it issues of data sharing, privacy, and inequality. Host Sarah Crespi spoke with a number of researchers about the state of genome science, starting with Yaniv Erlich, from the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science and CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics, who talks about privacy in the age of easily obta...
2021-Jan-28 • 25 minutes
Calculating the social cost of carbon, and listening to mole-rat chirps
On its first day, the new Biden administration announced plans to recalculate the social cost of carbon—a way of estimating the economic toll of greenhouse gases. Staff Writer Paul Voosen and host Sarah Crespi discuss why this value is so important and how it will be determined. Next up, Alison Barker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, talks with Sarah about the sounds of naked mole-rats. You may already know naked mole-rats are pain and cancer resistant—but did ...
2021-Jan-21 • 30 minutes
Counting research rodents, a possible cause for irritable bowel syndrome, and spitting cobras
Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a controversial new paper that estimates how many rodents are used in research in the United States each year. Though there is no official number, the paper suggests there might be more than 100 million rats and mice housed in research facilities in the country—doubling or even tripling some earlier estimates. Next, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with Sarah about a new theory behind the cause of irritable bowel syndrome—that it m...
2021-Jan-14 • 26 minutes
An elegy for Arecibo, and how our environments may change our behavior
Science Senior Correspondent Daniel Clery regales host Sarah Crespi with tales about the most important work to come from 57 years of research at the now-defunct Arecibo Observatory and plans for the future of the site. Sarah also talks with Toman Barsbai, an associate professor in the school of economics at the University of Bristol, about the influence of ecology on human behavior—can we figure out how many of our behaviors are related to the different environments where we live? Barsbai and colleagues t...
2021-Jan-07 • 27 minutes
The uncertain future of North America’s ash trees, and organizing robot swarms
Freelance journalist Gabriel Popkin and host Sarah Crespi discuss what will happen to ash trees in the United States as federal regulators announce dropping quarantine measures meant to control the emerald ash borer—a devastating pest that has killed tens of millions of trees since 2002. Instead of quarantines, the government will use tiny wasps known to kill the invasive beetles in hopes of saving the ash. Sarah also talks with Pavel Chvykov, a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Tec...
2020-Dec-31 • 28 minutes
Areas to watch in 2021, and the living microbes in wildfire smoke
We kick off our first episode of 2021 by looking at future trends in policy and research with host Meagan Cantwell and several Science news writers. Ann Gibbons talks about upcoming studies that elucidate social ties among ancient humans, Jeffrey Mervis discusses relations between the United States and China, and Paul Voosen gives a rundown of two Mars rover landings. In research news, Meagan Cantwell talks with Leda Kobziar, an associate professor of wildland fire science at the University of Idaho, Mosco...
2020-Dec-17 • 45 minutes
Breakthrough of the Year, top online news, and science book highlights
Our last episode of the year is a celebration of science in 2020. First, host Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about some of the top online news stories of the year—from how undertaker bees detect the dead to the first board game of death. (It’s not as grim as it sounds.) Sarah then talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the Breakthrough of the Year, scientific breakdowns, and some of the runners-up—amazing accomplishments in science achieved in the face of a global pan...
2020-Dec-10 • 25 minutes
Making ecology studies replicable, and a turnaround for the Tasmanian devil
The field of psychology underwent a replication crisis and saw a sea change in scientific and publishing practices, could ecology be next? News Intern Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the launch of a new society for ecologists looking to make the field more rigorous. Sarah also talks with Andrew Storfer, a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University, Pullman, about the fate of the Tasmanian devil. Since the end of the last century, these carnivorous m...
2020-Dec-03 • 24 minutes
How the new COVID-19 vaccines work, and restoring vision with brain implants
Staff Writer Meredith Wadman and host Sarah Crespi discuss what to expect from the two messenger RNA–based vaccines against COVID-19 that have recently released encouraging results from their phase III trials and the short-term side effects some recipients might see on the day of injection. Sarah also talks with researcher Xing Chen, a project co-leader and postdoctoral scientist at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, about using brain stimulation to restore vision. Researchers have known for about...
2020-Nov-26 • 42 minutes
Keeping coronavirus from spreading in schools, why leaves fall when they do, and a book on how nature deals with crisis
Many schools closed in the spring, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Many opened in the fall. Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what was learned in spring about how coronavirus spreads in schools that might help keep children safe as cases surge once again. Also this week: What makes leaves fall off deciduous trees when they do—is it the short, cold nights? Or is the timing of so-called “leaf senescence” linked to when spring happens? Sarah talked t...
2020-Nov-19 • 41 minutes
Fish farming’s future, and how microbes compete for space on our face
These days about half of the protein the world’s population eats is from seafood. Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how brand-new biotech and old-fashion breeding programs are helping keep up with demand, by expanding where we can farm fish and how fast we can grow them. Sarah also spoke with Jan Claesen, an assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, about skin microbes that use their own antibiotic to fight off harmful bacteria. Understanding th...
2020-Nov-12 • 26 minutes
How the human body handles extreme heat, and improvements in cooling clothes
This week the whole show focuses on keeping cool in a warming world. First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Senior News Correspondent Elizabeth Pennisi about the latest research into how to stay safe when things heat up—whether you’re running marathons or fighting fires. Sarah also talks with Po-Chun Hsu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke University, about the future of cooling fabrics for everyday use. It turns out we can save a lot of energy and avoid carbon dio...
2020-Nov-05 • 31 minutes
What we can learn from a mass of black hole mergers, and ecological insights from 30 years of Arctic animal movements
First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about new gravitational wave detections from the first half of 2019—including 37 new black hole mergers. With so many mergers now recorded, astrophysicists can do different kinds of research into things like how new pairs of black holes come to be and how often they merge. Sarah also talks with Sarah Davidson, data curator at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, about results from an Arctic animal tracking project that includes 3 decade...
2020-Oct-29 • 47 minutes
Taking the politicians out of tough policy decisions; the late, great works of Charles Turner; and the science of cooking
First up, host Sarah Crespi talks to News Intern Cathleen O’Grady about the growing use of citizens’ assemblies, or “minipublics,” to deliberate on tough policy questions like climate change and abortion. Can random groups of citizens do a better job forming policy than politicians? Next, we feature the latest of a new series of insight pieces that revisit landmark Science papers. Sarah talks with Hiruni Samadi Galpayage Dona, a Ph.D. student at Queen Mary University of London, about Charles Turner, a Blac...
2020-Oct-22 • 26 minutes
Early approval of a COVID-19 vaccine could cause ethical problems for other vax candidates, and ‘upcycling’ plastic bags
First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Jon Cohen about some tricky ethical questions that may arise after the first coronavirus vaccine is authorized for use in the United States. Will people continue to participate in clinical trials of other vaccines? Will it still be OK to give participants placebo vaccines? Next, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Bert Weckhuysen, a professor at Utrecht University, about a process for taking low-value plastic like polyethylene (often used for packaging an...
2020-Oct-15 • 24 minutes
Making sure American Indian COVID-19 cases are counted, and feeding a hungry heart
First up, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of the Urban Indian Health Institute and chief research officer for the Seattle Indian Health Board. Echo-Hawk shares what inspired her journey in public health and explains the repercussions of excluding native people from health data. This story was originally reported by Lizzie Wade, who profiled Echo-Hawk as part of Science’s “voices of the pandemic” series. Next, host Sarah Crespi interviews Danielle Murashige, a Ph.D. student at t...
2020-Oct-08 • 26 minutes
Visiting a once-watery asteroid, and how buzzing the tongue can treat tinnitus
First up, Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to the asteroid Bennu. After OSIRIS-REx’s up-close surveys of the surface revealed fewer likely touchdown points than expected, its sampling mission has been rejiggered. Paul talks about the prospects for a safe sampling in mid-October and what we might learn when the craft returns to Earth in 2023. Sarah also talks with Hubert...
2020-Oct-01 • 31 minutes
FDA clinical trial protection failures, and an AI that can beat curling’s top players
Investigative journalist Charles Piller joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his latest Science exclusive: a deep dive into the Food and Drug Administration’s protection of human subjects in clinical trials. Based on months of data analysis and interviews, he uncovered long-term failures in safety enforcement in clinical trials and potential problems with trial data used to make decisions about drug and device approvals. Sarah also talks with Klaus-Robert Müller, a professor of machine learning at the Techni...
2020-Sep-24 • 24 minutes
How Neanderthals got human Y chromosomes, and the earliest human footprints in Arabia
Contributing Correspondent Ann Gibbons talks with host Sarah Crespi about a series of 120,000-year-old human footprints found alongside prints from animals like asses, elephants, and camels in a dried-up lake on the Arabian Peninsula. These are the earliest human footprints found so far in Arabia and may help researchers better understand the history of early hominin migrations out of Africa. Continuing on the history of humanity theme, Sarah talks with Janet Kelso of the Max Planck Institute for Evolution...
2020-Sep-17 • 26 minutes
Performing magic for animals, and why the pandemic is pushing people out of prisons
Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how jail and prison populations in the United States have dropped in the face of coronavirus and what kinds of scientific questions about public health and criminal justice are arising as a result. Also this week, Elias García-Pelegrín, a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge, talks with Sarah about his article on watching animals watch magic tricks. Do animals fall for the same illusions we do? What does it say about the way their minds ...
2020-Sep-10 • 27 minutes
Alien hunters get a funding boost, and checking on the link between chromosome ‘caps’ and aging
First up this week, Senior Correspondent Daniel Clery talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Breakthrough Listen—a privately funded initiative that aims to spend $100 million over 10 years to find extraterrestrial intelligent life—has changed the hunt for alien intelligence-link. And as part of a special issue on the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project, Brandon Pierce, a professor in the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, joins Sarah to discuss hi...
2020-Sep-03 • 32 minutes
Fighting Europe’s second wave of COVID-19, and making democracy work for poor people
First up this week, Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about rising numbers of coronavirus cases in Europe. Will what we’ve learned this summer about how the virus is transmitted and treated help prevent a second peak? Read all of our coronavirus news coverage. And as part of a special issue on democracy, Rohini Pande, a professor in the department of economics at Yale University, joins Sarah to discuss her review that asks the question: Can democracy work for poor ...
2020-Aug-27 • 34 minutes
Arctic sea ice under attack, and ancient records that can predict the future effects of climate change
Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how Arctic sea ice is under attack from above and below—not only from warming air, but also dangerous hot blobs of ocean water. Next, Damien Fordham, a professor and global change ecologist at the University of Adelaide, talks about how new tools for digging into the past are helping catalog what happened to biodiversity and ecosystems during different climate change scenarios in the past. These findings can help predict the fate of modern ecosyst...
2020-Aug-20 • 27 minutes
Wildlife behavior during a global lockdown, and electric mud microbes
First up this week, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how wildlife biologists are taking advantage of humanity’s sudden lull. Scientists are launching studies of everything from sea turtles on suddenly quiet beaches to noise-averse birds living near airports to see how animal behavior changes when people are a little less obtrusive. Read all of our coronavirus coverage here. Next, as part of our special issue on mud—yes, wet dirt— Senior Correspondent Elizabeth Pennisi talks...
2020-Aug-13 • 30 minutes
A call for quick coronavirus testing, and building bonds with sports
Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about a different approach to COVID-19 testing that might be useful in response to the high numbers of cases in the United States. To break chains of transmission and community spread, the new strategy would replace highly accurate but slow polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests with cheaper, faster tests that are less accurate but can be administered frequently. Such tests cost between $1 and $3 compared with more than $100 for diagnostic PCR tests an...
2020-Aug-06 • 30 minutes
Why COVID-19 poses a special risk during pregnancy, and how hair can split steel
Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the risk of the novel coronavirus infection to pregnant women. Early data suggest expectant women are more likely to get severe forms of the infection and require hospitalization. Meredith describes how the biology of pregnancy—such as changes to the maternal immune system and added stress on the heart and lungs—might explain the harsher effects of the virus. Also this week, Sarah talks with Gianluca Roscioli about his experiments with commerc...
2020-Jul-30 • 38 minutes
Fighting COVID-19 vaccine fears, tracking the pandemic’s origin, and a new technique for peering under paint
Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his editorial on preventing vaccine hesitancy during the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the current crisis, fear of vaccines had become a global problem, with the World Health Organization naming it as one of the top 10 worldwide health threats in 2019. Now, it seems increasingly possible that many people will refuse to get vaccinated. What can public health officials and researchers do to get ahead of this issue? Also this week, Sa...
2020-Jul-23 • 28 minutes
How Hiroshima survivors helped form radiation safety rules, and a path to stop plastic pollution
Contributing Correspondent Dennis Normile talks about a long-term study involving the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Seventy-five years after the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the two cities in Japan, survivors are still helping scientists learn about the effects of radiation exposure. Also this week, Sarah talks with Winnie Lau, senior manager for preventing ocean plastics at Pew Charitable Trusts about her group’s paper about what it would take to seriously fight the flow of p...
2020-Jul-16 • 28 minutes
Reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking the heat out of crude oil separation
Contributing correspondent Gretchen Vogel talks about what can be learned from schools around the world that have reopened during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, few systematic studies have been done but observations of outbreaks in schools in places such as France or Israel do offer a few lessons for countries looking to send kids back to school soon. The United Kingdom and Germany have started studies of how the virus spreads in children and at school, but results are months away. In the meantime...
2020-Jul-09 • 27 minutes
A fast moving megatrial for coronavirus treatments, and transferring the benefits of exercise by transferring blood
Contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about the success of a fast moving megatrial for coronavirus treatments. The UK’s RECOVERY (Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) trial has enrolled more than 12,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients since early March and has released important recommendations that were quickly taken up by doctors and scientists around the world. Kai discusses why such a large study is necessary and why other large drug trials like the WHO’s SOLI...
2020-Jul-02 • 23 minutes
An oasis of biodiversity a Mexican desert, and making sound from heat
First up this week, News Intern Rodrigo Pérez-Ortega talks with host Meagan Cantwell about an oasis of biodiversity in the striking blue pools of Cuatro Ciénegas, a basin in northern Mexico. Researchers have published dozens of papers exploring the unique microorganisms that thrive in this area, while at the same time fighting large agricultural industries draining the precious water from the pools. David Tatnell, a postgraduate researcher at the University of Exeter, talks with host Sarah Crespi about usi...
2020-Jun-25 • 44 minutes
Stopping the spread of COVID-19, and arctic adaptations in sled dogs
Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies how ocean waves disperse virus-laden aerosols, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how she became an outspoken advocate for using masks to prevent coronavirus transmission. A related insight she wrote for Science has been downloaded more than 1 million times. Read Science’s coronavirus coverage. Mikkel Sinding, a postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin, talks sled dog genes with Sarah. After comparing ...
2020-Jun-18 • 28 minutes
Coronavirus spreads financial turmoil to universities, and a drone that fights mosquito-borne illnesses
Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how universities are dealing with the financial crunch brought on by the coronavirus. Jeff discusses how big research universities are balancing their budgets as federal grants continue to flow, but endowments are down and so is the promise of state funding. Read all our coronavirus coverage. Mosquito-borne infections like Zika, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya cause millions of deaths each year. Nicole Culbert and colleges write th...
2020-Jun-11 • 29 minutes
The facts on COVID-19 contact tracing apps, and benefits of returning sea otters to the wild
Staff Writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the ins and outs of coronavirus contact tracing apps—what they do, how they work, and how to calculate whether they are crushing the curve. Read all our coronavirus coverage. Edward Gregr, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, talks with Sarah about the controversial reintroduction of sea otters to the Northern Pacific Ocean—their home for...
2020-Jun-04 • 28 minutes
Why men may have more severe COVID-19 symptoms, and using bacteria to track contaminated food
First up this week, staff writer Meredith Wadman talks with host Sarah Crespi about how male sex hormones may play a role in higher levels of severe coronavirus infections in men. New support for this idea comes from a study showing high levels of male pattern baldness in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Read all our coronavirus coverage. Next, Jason Qian, a Ph.D. student in the systems biology department at Harvard Medical School, joins Sarah to talk about an object-tracking system that uses bacterial sp...
2020-May-28 • 43 minutes
A rare condition associated with coronavirus in children, and tracing glaciers by looking at the ocean floor
First up this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with host Sarah Crespi about a rare inflammatory response in children that has appeared in a number of COVID-19 hot spots. Next, Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and professor of physical geography at the University of Cambridge, talks with producer Meagan Cantwell about tracing the retreat of Antarctica's glaciers by examining the ocean floor. Finally, Kiki Sanford interviews author Danny Dorling about his new...
2020-May-21 • 25 minutes
How scientists are thinking about reopening labs, and the global threat of arsenic in drinking water
Online news editor David Grimm talks with producer Joel Goldberg about the unique challenges of reopening labs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Though the chance to resume research may instill a sense of hope, new policies around physical distancing and access to facilities threaten to derail studies—and even careers. Despite all the uncertainty, the crisis could result in new approaches that ultimately benefit the scientific community, and the world. Also this week, Joel Podgorski, a senior scientist in ...
2020-May-14 • 28 minutes
How past pandemics reinforced inequality, and millions of mysterious quakes beneath a volcano
Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade talks with host Sarah Crespi about the role of inequality in past pandemics. Evidence from medical records and cemeteries suggests diseases like the 1918 flu, smallpox, and even the Black Death weren’t indiscriminately killing people—instead these infections caused more deaths in those with less money or status. Also this week, Aaron Wech, a research geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, joins Sarah to talk about recordings of ...
2020-May-07 • 25 minutes
Making antibodies to treat coronavirus, and why planting trees won’t save the planet
Staff writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about using monoclonal antibodies to treat or prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2. Many companies and researchers are rushing to design and test this type of treatment, which proved effective in combating Ebola last year. And Karen Holl, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, joins Sarah to discuss the proper planning of tree planting campaigns. It turns out that just putting a tree in the ground is not enough to ...
2020-Apr-30 • 21 minutes
Blood test for multiple cancers studied in 10,000 women, and is our Sun boring?
Staff Writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins Sarah to talk about a recent Science paper describing the results of a large study on a blood test for multiple types of cancer. The trial’s results suggest such a blood test combined with follow-up scans may help detect cancers early, but there is a danger of too many false positives. And postdoctoral researcher Timo Reinhold of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research joins Sarah to talk about his paper on how the Sun is a lot less variable in its magnetic acti...
2020-Apr-23 • 25 minutes
From nose to toes—how coronavirus affects the body, and a quantum microscope that unlocks the magnetic secrets of very old rocks
Coronavirus affects far more than just the lungs, and doctors and researchers in the midst of the pandemic are trying to catalog—and understand—the virus’ impact on our bodies. Staff writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss what we know about how COVID-19 kills. See all Science news coverage of the pandemic here, and all research papers and editorials here. Also this week, staff writer Paul Voosen talks with Sarah about quantum diamond microscopes. These new devices are able to detect min...
2020-Apr-16 • 35 minutes
How countries could recover from coronavirus, lessons from an ancient drought, and feeling tactile waves in the hand
Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about countries planning a comeback from a coronavirus crisis. What can they do once cases have slowed down to go back to some sort of normal without a second wave of infection? See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. As part of a drought special issue of Science, Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins Sarah to talk about water management and the downfall of the ancient Wa...
2020-Apr-09 • 26 minutes
Does coronavirus spread through the air, and the biology of anorexia
On this week’s show, Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about a new National Academy of Sciences report that suggests the novel coronavirus can go airborne, the evidence for this idea, and what this means for the mask-wearing debate. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. Also this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins Sarah to talk about a burgeoning understanding of the biological roots of anorexia nervosa—an eating...
2020-Apr-02 • 32 minutes
How COVID-19 disease models shape shutdowns, and detecting emotions in mice
On this week’s show, Contributing Correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt talks with host Sarah Crespi about modeling coronavirus spread and the role of forecasts in national lockdowns and other pandemic policies. They also talk about the launch of a global trial of promising treatments. See all of our News coverage of the pandemic here. See all of our Research and Editorials here. Also this week, Nadine Gogolla, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, talks with Sarah about linking t...
2020-Mar-26 • 31 minutes
Why some diseases come and go with the seasons, and how to develop smarter, safer chemicals
On this week’s show, host Joel Goldberg gets an update on the coronavirus pandemic from Senior Correspondent Jon Cohen. In addition, Cohen gives a rundown of his latest feature, which highlights the relationship between diseases and changing seasons—and how this relationship relates to a potential coronavirus vaccine. Also this week, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting in Seattle, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Alexandra Maertens, director of the Green Toxicology initiative at Johns ...
2020-Mar-19 • 25 minutes
Ancient artifacts on the beaches of Northern Europe, and how we remember music
On this week’s show, host Joel Goldberg talks with science journalist Andrew Curry about recent archaeological finds along the shores of Northern Europe. Curry outlines the rich history of the region that scientists, citizen scientists, and energy companies have helped dredge up. Also this week, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Elizabeth Margulis, a professor at Princeton University, about musical memory. Margulis dives into several music cogniti...
2020-Mar-12 • 33 minutes
Science’s leading role in the restoration of Notre Dame and the surprising biology behind how our body develops its tough skin
On this week’s show, freelance writer Christa Lesté-Lasserre talks with host Sarah Crespi about the scientists working on the restoration of Notre Dame, from testing the changing weight of wet limestone, to how to remove lead contamination from four-story stained glass windows. As the emergency phase of work winds down, scientists are also starting to use the lull in tourist activity to investigate the mysteries of the cathedral’s construction. Also this week, Felipe Quiroz, an assistant professor in th...
2020-Mar-05 • 33 minutes
Dog noses detect heat, the world faces coronavirus, and scientists search for extraterrestrial life
On this week’s show, Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how dogs’ cold noses may be able to sense warm bodies. Read the research. International News Editor Martin Enserink shares the latest from our reporters covering coronavirus. And finally, from a recording made at this year’s AAAS annual meeting, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Jill Tarter, chair emeritus at the SETI Institute, about the newest technologies being used to search for alien life, what a positive signal woul...
2020-Feb-27 • 47 minutes
An ancient empire hiding in plain sight, and the billion-dollar cost of illegal fishing
This week on the podcast, Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a turning point for one ancient Mesoamerican city: Tikal. On 16 January 378 C.E., the Maya city lost its leader and the replacement may have been a stranger. We know from writings that the new leader wore the garb of another culture—the Teotihuacan—who lived in a giant city 1000 kilometers away. But was this new ruler of a Maya city really from a separate culture? New techniques being used at the Tikal and Te...
2020-Feb-20 • 33 minutes
Brickmaking bacteria and solar cells that turn ‘waste’ heat into electricity
On this week’s show, staff writer Robert F. Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about manipulating microbes to make them produce building materials like bricks—and walls that can take toxins out of the air. Sarah also talks with Paul Davids, principal member of the technical staff in applied photonics & microsystems at Sandia National Laboratories, about an innovation in converting waste heat to electricity that uses similar materials to solar cells but depends on quantum tunneling. And in a bonus ...
2020-Feb-13 • 27 minutes
NIH’s new diversity hiring program, and the role of memory suppression in resilience to trauma
On this week’s show, senior correspondent Jeffrey Mervis joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant program that aims to encourage diversity at the level of university faculty with the long-range goal of increasing the diversity of NIH-grant recipients. Sarah also talks with Pierre Gagnepain, a cognitive neuroscientist at INSERM, the French biomedical research agency, about the role of memory suppression in post-traumatic stress disorder. Could people that are bet...
2020-Feb-06 • 27 minutes
Fighting cancer with CRISPR, and dating ancient rock art with wasp nests
On this week’s show, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a Science paper that combines two hot areas of research-link—CRISPR gene editing and immunotherapy for cancer—and tests it in patients. Sarah also talks with Damien Finch, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, about the Kimberly region of Australia and dating its ice age cave paintings using charcoal from nearby wasp nests. Episode page This week’s episode was ed...
2020-Jan-30 • 22 minutes
A cryo–electron microscope accessible to the masses, and tracing the genetics of schizophrenia
Structural biologists rejoiced when cryo–electron microscopy, a technique to generate highly detailed models of biomolecules, emerged. But years after its release, researchers still face long queues to access these machines. Science’s European News Editor Eric Hand walks host Meagan Cantwell through the journey of a group of researchers to create a cheaper, more accessible alternative. Also this week, host Joel Goldberg speaks with psychiatrist and researcher Goodman Sibeko, who worked with the Xhosa pe...
2020-Jan-23 • 27 minutes
Getting BPA out of food containers, and tracing minute chemical mixtures in the environment
As part of a special issue on chemicals for tomorrow’s Earth, we’ve got two green chemistry stories. First, host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Warren Cornwell about how a company came up with a replacement for the popular can lining material bisphenol A and then recruited knowledgeable critics to test its safety. Sarah is also joined by Beate Escher of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the University of Tübingen to discuss ways to trace complex mixtures of humanmad...
2020-Jan-16 • 30 minutes
Researchers flouting clinical reporting rules, and linking gut microbes to heart disease and diabetes
Though a U.S. law requiring clinical trial results reporting has been on the books for decades, many researchers have been slow to comply. Now, 2 years after the law was sharpened with higher penalties for noncompliance, investigative correspondent Charles Piller took a look at the results. He talks with host Sarah Crespi about the investigation and a surprising lack of compliance and enforcement. Also this week, Sarah talks with Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University Of British Columbia, Vancouv...
2020-Jan-09 • 22 minutes
Squeezing two people into an MRI machine, and deciding between what’s reasonable and what’s rational
Getting into a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine can be a tight fit for just one person. Now, researchers interested in studying face-to-face interactions are attempting to squeeze a whole other person into the same tube, while taking functional MRI (fMRI) measurements. Staff news writer Kelly Servick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the kinds of questions simultaneous fMRIs might answer. Also this week, Sarah talks with Igor Grossman, the director of the Wisdom and Culture Lab at the Universi...
2020-Jan-02 • 26 minutes
Areas to watch in 2020, and how carnivorous plants evolved impressive traps
We start our first episode of the new year looking at future trends in policy and research with host Joel Goldberg and several Science News writers. Jeffrey Mervis discusses upcoming policy changes, Kelly Servick gives a rundown of areas to watch in the life sciences, and Ann Gibbons talks about potential advances in ancient proteins and DNA. In research news, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Beatriz Pinto-Goncalves, a post-doctoral researcher at the John Innes Centre, about carnivorous plant traps. Through...
2019-Dec-19 • 43 minutes
Breakthrough of the Year, our favorite online news stories, and the year in books
As the year comes to a close, we review the best science, the best stories, and the best books from 2019. Our end-of-the-year episode kicks off with Host Sarah Crespi and Online News Editor David Grimm talking about the top online stories on things like human self-domestication, the “wood wide web,” and more. News Editor Tim Appenzeller joins Sarah to discuss Science’s 2019 Breakthrough of the Year, some of the contenders for breakthrough, also known as runners-up, and the breakdowns—when science and po...
2019-Dec-13 • 30 minutes
Hunting for new epilepsy drugs, and capturing lightning from space
About one-third of people with epilepsy are treatment resistant. Up until now, epilepsy treatments have focused on taming seizures rather than the source of the disease and for good reason—so many roads lead to epilepsy: traumatic brain injury, extreme fever and infection, and genetic disorders, to name a few. Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with host Sarah Crespi about researchers that are turning back the pages on epilepsy, trying to get to the beginning of the story where new treatments might ...
2019-Dec-05 • 32 minutes
Debating lab monkey retirement, and visiting a near-Earth asteroid
After their life as research subjects, what happens to lab monkeys? Some are euthanized to complete the research, others switch to new research projects, and some retire from lab life. Should they retire in place—in the same lab under the care of the same custodians—or should they be sent to retirement home–like sanctuaries? Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss recently penned legislation that pushes for monkey retirements and a new collaboration between universities and sanctua...
2019-Nov-28 • 40 minutes
Double dipping in an NIH loan repayment program, and using undersea cables as seismic sensors
The National Institutes of Health’s largest loan repayment program was conceived to help scientists pay off school debts without relying on industry funding. But a close examination of the program by investigative correspondent Charles Piller has revealed that many participants are taking money from the government to repay their loans, while at the same time taking payments from pharmaceutical companies. Piller joins Host Sarah Crespi to talk about the steps he took to uncover this double dipping and why et...
2019-Nov-21 • 39 minutes
Building a landslide observatory, and the universality of music
You may have seen the aftermath of a landslide, driving along a twisty mountain road—a scattering of rocks and scree impinging on the pavement. And up until now, that’s pretty much how scientists have tracked landslides—roadside observations and spotty satellite images. Now, researchers are hoping to track landslides systematically by instrumenting an entire national park in Taiwan. The park is riddled with landslides—so much so that visitors wear helmets. Host Sarah Crespi talks with one of those visitors—...
2019-Nov-14 • 25 minutes
How to make an Arctic ship ‘vanish,’ and how fast-moving spikes are heating the Sun’s atmosphere
The Polarstern research vessel will spend 1 year locked in an Arctic ice floe. Aboard the ship and on the nearby ice, researchers will take measurements of the ice, air, water, and more in an effort to understand this pristine place. Science journalist Shannon Hall joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about her time aboard the Polarstern and how difficult these measurements are, when the researchers’ temporary Arctic home is the noisiest, smokiest, brightest thing around. After that icy start, Sarah talks also ...
2019-Nov-07 • 30 minutes
Unearthing slavery in the Caribbean, and the Catholic Church’s influence on modern psychology
Most historical accounts of slavery were written by colonists and planters. Researchers are now using the tools of archaeology to learn more about the day-to-day lives of enslaved Africans—how they survived the conditions of slavery, how they participated in local economies, and how they maintained their own agency. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about a Caribbean archaeology project based on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and launched by the founders of the Societ...
2019-Oct-31 • 22 minutes
How measles wipes out immune memory, and detecting small black holes
Measles is a dangerous infection that can kill. As many as 100,000 people die from the disease each year. For those who survive infection, the virus leaves a lasting mark—it appears to wipe out the immune system’s memory. News Intern Eva Fredrick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a pair of studies that looked at how this happens in children’s immune systems. Read the related studies in Science and Science Immunology. In our second segment this week, Sarah talks with Todd Thompson, of Ohio State Univer...
2019-Oct-24 • 42 minutes
A worldwide worm survey, and racial bias in a health care algorithm
Earthworms are easy … to find. But despite their prevalence and importance to ecosystems around the world, there hasn’t been a comprehensive survey of earthworm diversity or population size. This week in Science, Helen Philips, a postdoctoral fellow at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and the Institute of Biology at Leipzig University, and colleagues published the results of their worldwide earthworm study, composed of data sets from many worm researchers around the globe. Host Sarah ...
2019-Oct-17 • 27 minutes
Trying to find the mind in the brain, and why adults are always criticizing ‘kids these days’
We don’t know where consciousness comes from. And we don’t know whether animals have it, or whether we can detect it in patients in comas. Do neuroscientists even know where to look? A new competition aims to narrow down the bewildering number of theories of consciousness and get closer to finding its biological signs by pitting different theories against each other in experimental settings. Freelance journalist Sara Reardon talks with host Sarah Crespi about how the competition will work. In our second se...
2019-Oct-10 • 24 minutes
Fossilized dinosaur proteins, and making a fridge from rubber bands
Have you ever tried to scrub off the dark, tarlike residue on a grill? That tough stuff is made up of polymers—basically just byproducts of cooking—and it is so persistent that researchers have found similar molecules that have survived hundreds of millions of years. And these aren’t from cook fires. They are actually the byproducts of death and fossilization. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel about how these molecules can be found on the surface of certain fossils and u...
2019-Oct-03 • 25 minutes
An app for eye disease, and planting memories in songbirds
Host Sarah Crespi talks with undergraduate student Micheal Munson from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, about a smartphone app that scans photos in the phone’s library for eye disease in kids. And Sarah talks with Todd Roberts of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, about incepting memories into zebra finches to study how they learn their songs. Using a technique called optogenetics—in which specific neurons can be controlled by pulses of light—the researchers introduced ...
2019-Sep-26 • 39 minutes
Privacy concerns slow Facebook studies, and how human fertility depends on chromosome counts
On this week’s show, Senior News Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis talks with host Sarah Crespi about a stalled Facebook plan to release user data to social scientists who want to study the site’s role in elections. Sarah also talks with Jennifer Gruhn, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Copenhagen Center for Chromosome Stability, about counting chromosomes in human egg cells. It turns out that cell division errors that cause too many or too few chromosomes to remain in the egg may shape human ...
2019-Sep-19 • 28 minutes
Cooling Earth with asteroid dust, and 3 billion missing birds
On this week’s show, science journalist Josh Sokol talks about a global cooling event sparked by space dust that lead to a huge shift in animal and plant diversity 466 million years ago. (Read the related research article in Science Advances.) And I talk with Kenneth Rosenberg, an applied conservation scientist at Cornell University, about steep declines in bird abundance in the United States and Canada. His team estimates about 3 billion birds have gone missing since the 1970s. This week’s episode was ed...
2019-Sep-12 • 29 minutes
Studying human health at 5100 meters, and playing hide and seek with rats
In La Rinconada, Peru, a town 5100 meters up in the Peruvian Andes, residents get by breathing air with 50% less oxygen than at sea level. International News Editor Martin Enserink visited the site with researchers studying chronic mountain sickness—when the body makes excess red blood cells in an effort to cope with oxygen deprivation—in these extreme conditions. Martin talks with host Sarah Crespi about how understanding why this illness occurs in some people and not others could help the residents of La ...
2019-Sep-05 • 29 minutes
Searching for a lost Maya city, and measuring the information density of language
This week’s show starts with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade, who spent 12 days with archaeologists searching for a lost Maya city in the Chiapas wilderness in Mexico. She talks with host Sarah Crespi about how you lose a city—and how you might go about finding one. And Sarah talks with Christophe Coupé, an associate professor in the department of linguistics at the University of Hong Kong in China, about the information density of different languages. His work, published this week in Science Advanc...
2019-Aug-29 • 32 minutes
Where our microbiome came from, and how our farming and hunting ancestors transformed the world
Micro-organisms live inside everything from the human gut to coral—but where do they come from? Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the first comprehensive survey of microbes in Hawaii’s Waimea Valley, which revealed that plants and animals get their unique microbiomes from organisms below them in the food chain or the wider environment. Going global, Meagan then speaks with Erle Ellis, professor of geography and environmental science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore ...
2019-Aug-22 • 28 minutes
Promising approaches in suicide prevention, and how to retreat from climate change
Changing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK) to a three-digit number could save lives—especially when coupled with other strategies. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Greg Miller, a science journalist based in Portland, Oregon, about three effective methods to prevent suicides—crisis hotlines, standardizing mental health care, and restricting lethal means. Greg’s feature is part of a larger package in Science exploring paths out of darkness. With more solutions this week, host ...
2019-Aug-15 • 24 minutes
One million ways to sex a chicken egg, and how plastic finds its way to Arctic ice
Researchers, regulators, and the chicken industry are all united in their search for a way to make eggs more ethical by stopping culling—the killing of male chicks born to laying hens. Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel talks with host Sarah Crespi about the many approaches being tried to determine the sex of chicken embryos before they hatch, from robots with lasers, to MRIs, to artificial intelligence, to gene editing with CRISPR. Also this week, Sarah talks with Melanie Bergmann, a marine biologi...
2019-Aug-08 • 25 minutes
Next-generation cellphone signals could interfere with weather forecasts, and monitoring smoke from wildfires to model nuclear winter
In recent months, telecommunications companies in the United States have purchased a new part of the spectrum for use in 5G cellphone networks. Weather forecasters are concerned that these powerful signals could swamp out weaker signals from water vapor—which are in a nearby band and important for weather prediction. Freelance science writer Gabriel Popkin joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the possible impact of cellphone signals on weather forecasting and some suggested regulations. In other weather n...
2019-Aug-01 • 28 minutes
Earthquakes caused by too much water extraction, and a dog cancer that has lived for millennia
After two mysterious earthquake swarms occurred under the Sea of Galilee, researchers found a relationship between these small quakes and the excessive extraction of groundwater. Science journalist Michael Price talks with host Sarah Crespi about making this connection and what it means for water-deprived fault areas like the Sea of Galilee and the state of California. Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Adrian Baez-Ortega from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom’s Transmissible...
2019-Jul-25 • 41 minutes
Breeding better bees, and training artificial intelligence on emotional imagery
Imagine having a rat clinging to your back, sucking out your fat stores. That’s similar to what infested bees endure when the Varroa destructor mite comes calling. Some bees fight back, wiggling, scratching, and biting until the mites depart for friendlier backs. Now, researchers, professional beekeepers, and hobbyists are working on ways to breed into bees these mite-defeating behaviors to rid them of these damaging pests. Host Sarah Crespi and Staff Writer Erik Stokstad discuss the tactics of, and the hur...
2019-Jul-18 • 23 minutes
Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors, and the secret to dark liquid dances
Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors? Studies of behavior and biomarkers have suggested the stress of harsh conditions or family separations can be passed down, even beyond one’s children. Journalist Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a possible mechanism for this mode of inheritance and mouse studies that suggest possible ways to reverse the effects. Spiky, pulsating ferrofluids are perpetual YouTube stars. The secret to these dark liquid dances is the manipulation of magnetic nanoparticl...
2019-Jul-11 • 25 minutes
The point of pointing, and using seabirds to track ocean health
You can learn a lot about ocean health from seabirds. For example, breeding failures among certain birds have been linked to the later collapse of some fisheries. Enriqueta Velarde of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries at the University of Veracruz in Xalapa, Mexico, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what these long-lived fliers can tell us about the ocean and its inhabitants. Also this week, Sarah and Cathal O’Madagain of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris discuss pointing—a universal ...
2019-Jul-04 • 23 minutes
Converting carbon dioxide into gasoline, and ‘autofocal’ glasses with lenses that change shape on the fly
Chemists have long known how to convert carbon dioxide into fuels—but up until now, such processes have been too expensive for commercial use. Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about using new filters and catalysts to close the gap between air-derived and fossil-derived gasoline. Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Nitish Padmanaban of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, about replacing bifocals with “autofocals.” These auto-focusing glasses track your eye positi...
2019-Jun-27 • 33 minutes
Creating chimeras for organ transplants and how bats switch between their eyes and ears on the wing
Researchers have been making animal embryos from two different species, so-called “chimeras,” for years, by introducing stem cells from one species into a very early embryo of another species. The ultimate goal is to coax the foreign cells into forming an organ for transplantation. But questions abound: Can evolutionarily distant animals, like pigs and humans, be mixed together to produce such organs? Or could species closely related to us, like chimps and macaques, stand in for tests with human cells? Staf...
2019-Jun-20 • 23 minutes
The why of puppy dog eyes, and measuring honesty on a global scale
How can you resist puppy dog eyes? This sweet, soulful look might very well have been bred into canines by their intended victims—humans. Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Meagan Cantwell about a new study on the evolution of this endearing facial maneuver. David also talks about what diseased dog spines can tell us about early domestication—were these marks of hard work or a gentler old age for our doggy domestics? Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Michel Marechal of the University...
2019-Jun-13 • 24 minutes
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 stu...
2019-Jun-06 • 22 minutes
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, a...
2019-May-30 • 41 minutes
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 Jade...
2019-May-23 • 25 minutes
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...
2019-May-16 • 24 minutes
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 wit...
2019-May-09 • 25 minutes
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 so...
2019-May-02 • 30 minutes
The age-old quest for the color blue and why pollution is not killing the killifish
Humans have sought new materials to make elusive blue pigments for millennia—with mixed success. Today, scientists are tackling this blue-hued problem from many different angles. Host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt about how scientists are looking to algae, bacteria, flowers—even minerals from deep under Earth’s crust—in the age-old quest for the rarest of pigments. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Andrew Whitehead, associate professor in the department...
2019-Apr-25 • 30 minutes
Race and disease risk and Berlin’s singing nightingales
Noncancerous tumors of the uterus—also known as fibroids—are extremely common in women. One risk factor, according to the scientific literature, is “black race.” But such simplistic categories may actually obscure the real drivers of the disparities in outcomes for women with fibroids, according to this week’s guest. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Jada Benn Torres, an associate professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, about how using interdisciplinary approaches— incorporating both...
2019-Apr-18 • 26 minutes
How dental plaque reveals the history of dairy farming, and how our neighbors view food waste
This week we have two interviews from the annual meeting of AAAS in Washington D.C.: one on the history of food and one about our own perceptions of food and food waste. First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Christina Warinner from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, about the history of dairying. When did people first start to milk animals and where? It turns out, the spread of human genetic adaptations for drinking milk do not closely correspond to the history of...
2019-Apr-11 • 23 minutes
A new species of ancient human and real-time evolutionary changes in flowering plants
The ancient humans also known as the “hobbit” people (Homo floresiensis) might have company in their small stature with the discovery of another species of hominin in the Philippines. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about what researchers have learned about this hominin from a jaw fragment, and its finger and toe bones and how this fits in with past discoveries of other ancient humans. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Florian Schiestl, a professor in evolut...
2019-Apr-04 • 25 minutes
A radioactive waste standoff and science’s debt to the slave trade
A single factory in Malaysia supplies about 10% of the world’s rare earth oxides, used in everything from cellphones to lasers to missiles. Controversy over the final resting place for the slightly radioactive byproducts has pushed the plant to the brink of closure. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with freelance writer Yao Hua Law about calls to ship the waste back to where it was originally mined in Australia, and how stopping production in Malaysia would mean almost all rare earth production would take place i...
2019-Mar-28 • 38 minutes
Mysterious racehorse injuries, and reforming the U.S. bail system
Southern California’s famous Santa Anita racetrack is struggling to explain a series of recent horse injuries and deaths. Host Meagan Cantwell is joined by freelance journalist Christa Lesté-Lasserre to discuss what might be causing these injuries and when the track might reopen. In our second segment, researchers are racing to understand the impact of jailing people before trial in the United States. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the negative downstream effects of...
2019-Mar-21 • 21 minutes
Vacuuming potato-size nodules of valuable metals in the deep sea, and an expedition to an asteroid 290 million kilometers away
Pirate’s gold may not be that far off, as there are valuable metals embedded in potato-size nodules thousands of meters down in the depths of the ocean. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about the first deep-sea test of a bus-size machine designed to scoop up these nodules, and its potential impact on the surrounding ecosystem. In an expedition well above sea level, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Ryugu last month. And although the craft won’t return to Earth un...
2019-Mar-14 • 25 minutes
Mysterious fast radio bursts and long-lasting effects of childhood cancer treatments
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Daniel Clery about the many, many theories surrounding fast radio bursts—extremely fast, intense radio signals from outside the galaxy—and a new telescope coming online that may help sort them out. Also this week, Sarah talks with Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel about her story on researchers’ attempts to tackle the long-term effects of pediatric cancer treatment. The survival rate for some pediatric cancers is as high as 90%, but many survivors have a host of...
2019-Mar-07 • 24 minutes
Clues that the medieval plague swept into sub-Saharan Africa and evidence humans hunted and butchered giant ground sloths 12,000 years ago
New archaeological evidence suggests the same black plague that decimated Europe also took its toll on sub-Saharan Africa. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about diverse medieval sub-Saharan cities that shrank or even disappeared around the same time the plague was stalking Europe. In a second archaeological story, Meagan Cantwell talks with Gustavo Politis, professor of archaeology at the National University of Central Buenos Aires and the National University of La Plata...
2019-Feb-28 • 22 minutes
Measuring earthquake damage with cellphone sensors and determining the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau
In the wake of a devastating earthquake, assessing the extent of damage to infrastructure is time consuming—now, a cheap sensor system based on the accelerometers in cellphones could expedite this process. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about how these sensor systems work and how they might assist communities after an earthquake. In another Earth-shaking study, scientists have downgraded the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau. Most reconstructions estimate that the “...
2019-Feb-21 • 33 minutes
Spotting slavery from space, and using iPads for communication disorders
In our first segment from the annual meeting of AAAS (Science’s publisher) in Washington, D.C., host Sarah Crespi talks with Cathy Binger of University of New Mexico in Albuquerque about her session on the role of modern technology, such as iPads and apps, in helping people with communication disorders. It turns out that there’s no killer app, but some devices do help normalize assistive technology for kids. Also this week, freelance journalist Sarah Scoles joins Sarah Crespi to talk about bringing togethe...
2019-Feb-14 • 18 minutes
How far out we can predict the weather, and an ocean robot that monitors food webs
The app on your phone tells you the weather for the next 10 days—that’s the furthest forecasters have ever been able to predict. In fact, every decade for the past hundred years, a day has been added to the total forecast length. But we may be approaching a limit—thanks to chaos inherent in the atmosphere. Staff writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how researchers have determined that we will only be adding about 5 more days to our weather prediction apps. Also this week, host Meagan C...
2019-Feb-07 • 28 minutes
Possible potato improvements, and a pill that gives you a jab in the gut
Because of its genetic complexity, the potato didn’t undergo a “green revolution” like other staple crops. It can take more than 15 years to breed a new kind of potato that farmers can grow, and genetic engineering just won’t work for tackling complex traits such as increased yield or heat resistance. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Erik Stokstad about how researchers are trying to simplify the potato genome to make it easier to manipulate through breeding. Researchers and companies are racing to...
2019-Jan-31 • 22 minutes
Treating the microbiome, and a gene that induces sleep
Orla Smith, editor of Science Translational Medicine joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what has changed in the past 10 years of microbiome research, what’s getting close to being useful in treatment, and how strong, exactly, the research is behind those probiotic yogurts. When you’re sick, sleeping is restorative—it helps your body recover from nasty infections. Meagan Cantwell speaks with Amita Sehgal, professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and an investigator at Howard Hughes Med...
2019-Jan-24 • 34 minutes
Pollution from pot plants, and how our bodies perceive processed foods
The “dank” smelling terpenes emitted by growing marijuana can combine with chemicals in car emissions to form ozone, a health-damaging compound. This is especially problematic in Denver, where ozone levels are dangerously high and pot farms have sprung up along two highways in the city. Host Sarah Crespi talks with reporter Jason Plautz about researchers’ efforts to measure terpene emissions from pot plants and how federal restrictions have hampered them. Next, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Dana Small, a...
2019-Jan-17 • 25 minutes
Peering inside giant planets, and fighting Ebola in the face of fake news
It’s incredibly difficult to get an inkling of what is going on inside gas giants Saturn and Jupiter. But with data deliveries from the Cassini and Juno spacecraft, researchers are starting to learn more. Science Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about new gravity measurements from Cassini’s last passes around Saturn. Using these data, researchers were able to compare wind patterns on Saturn and Jupiter and measure the mass and age of Saturn’s rings. It turns out the rings are young, rel...
2019-Jan-10 • 29 minutes
A mysterious blue pigment in the teeth of a medieval woman, and the evolution of online master’s degrees
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free lectures and assignments, and gained global attention for their potential to increase education accessibility. Plagued with high attrition rates and fewer returning students every year, MOOCs have pivoted to a new revenue model—offering accredited master’s degrees for professionals. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Justin Reich, an assistant professor in the Comparative Media Studies Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, about ...
2019-Jan-03 • 20 minutes
Will a radical open-access proposal catch on, and quantifying the most deadly period of the Holocaust
Plan S, an initiative that requires participating research funders to immediately publish research in an open-access journal or repository, was announced in September 2018 by Science Europe with 11 participating agencies. Several others have signed on since the launch, but other funders and journal publishers have reservations. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Contributing Correspondent Tania Rabesandratana about those reservations and how Plan S is trying to change publishing practices and research culture...
2018-Dec-20 • 31 minutes
End of the year podcast: 2018’s breakthroughs, breakdowns, and top online stories
First, we hear Online News Editor David Grimm and host Sarah Crespi discuss audience favorites and staff picks from this year’s online stories, from mysterious pelvises to quantum engines. Megan Cantwell talks with News Editor Tim Appenzeller about the 2018 Breakthrough of the Year, a few of the runners-up, and some breakdowns. See the whole breakthrough package here, including all the runners-up and breakdowns. And in her final segment for the Science Podcast, host Jen Golbeck talks with Science books ed...
2018-Dec-13 • 24 minutes
‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ turns 50, and how Neanderthal DNA could change your skull
In 1968, Science published the now-famous paper “The Tragedy of the Commons” by ecologist Garrett Hardin. In it, Hardin questioned society’s ability to manage shared resources, concluding that individuals will act in their self-interest and ultimately spoil the resource. Host Meagan Cantwell revisits this classic paper with two experts: Tine De Moor, professor of economics and social history at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and Brett Frischmann, a professor of law, business, and economics at Villan...
2018-Dec-06 • 26 minutes
Where private research funders stow their cash and studying gun deaths in children
A new Science investigation reveals several major private research funders—including the Wellcome Trust and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—are making secretive offshore investments at odds with their organizational missions. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with writer Charles Piller about his deep dive into why some private funders choose to invest in these accounts. In the United States, gun injuries kill more children annually than pediatric cancer, but funding for firearm research pales in comparison. On...
2018-Nov-29 • 27 minutes
The universe’s star formation history and a powerful new helper for evolution
In a fast-changing environment, evolution can be slow—sometimes so slow that an organism dies out before the right mutation comes along. Host Sarah Crespi speaks with Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about how plastic traits—traits that can alter in response to environmental conditions—could help life catch up. Also on this week’s show, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Marco Ajello a professor of physics and astronomy at Clemson University in South Carolina about his team’s method to determine the universe’s ...
2018-Nov-22 • 25 minutes
Exploding the Cambrian and building a DNA database for forensics
First, we hear from science writer Joshua Sokol about his trip to the Cambrian—well not quite. He talks with host Megan Cantwell about his travels to a remote site in the mountains of British Columbia where some of Earth’s first animals—including a mysterious, alien-looking creature—are spilling out of Canadian rocks. Also on this week’s show, host Sarah Crespi talks with James Hazel a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings at Vanderbilt Universi...
2018-Nov-15 • 34 minutes
The worst year ever and the effects of fasting
When was the worst year to be alive? Contributing Correspondent Ann Gibbons talks to host Sarah Crespi about a contender year that features a volcanic eruption, extended darkness, cold summer, and a plague. Also on this week’s show, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Andrea Di Francesco of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland, about his review of current wisdom on fasting and metabolism. Should we start fasting—if not to extend our lives maybe to at least to g...
2018-Nov-08 • 21 minutes
A big increase in monkey research and an overhaul for the metric system
A new report suggests a big increase in the use of monkeys in laboratory experiments in the United States in 2017. Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss which areas of research are experiencing this rise and the possible reasons behind it. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell talks with staff writer Adrian Cho about a final push to affix the metric system’s measures to physical constants instead of physical objects. That means the perfectly formed 1-kilogram cylinder known as Le...
2018-Nov-01 • 29 minutes
How the appendix could hold the keys to Parkinson’s disease, and materials scientists mimic nature
For a long time, Parkinson’s disease was thought to be merely a disorder of the nervous system. But in the past decade researchers have started to look elsewhere in the body for clues to this debilitating disease—particularly in the gut. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Viviane Labrie of the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about new research suggesting people without their appendixes have a reduced risk of Parkinson’s. Labrie also describes the possible mechanism behind this connection. And h...
2018-Oct-25 • 29 minutes
Children sue the U.S. government over climate change, and how mice inherit their gut microbes
A group of children is suing the U.S. government—claiming their rights to life, liberty, and property are under threat from climate change thanks to government policies that have encouraged the use and extraction of fossil fuels. Host Meagan Cantwell interviews news writer Julia Rosen on the ins and outs of the suit and what it could mean if the kids win the day. Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Andrew Moeller of Cornell University about his work tracing the gut microbes inherited through 10...
2018-Oct-18 • 23 minutes
Mutant cells in the esophagus, and protecting farmers from dangerous pesticide exposure
As you age, your cells divide over and over again, leading to minute changes in their genomes. New research reveals that in the lining of the esophagus, mutant cells run rampant, fighting for dominance over normal cells. But they do this without causing any detectable damage or cancer. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Phil Jones, a professor of cancer development at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, about what these genome changes can tell us about aging and cancer, and how some of the mutations ...
2018-Oct-11 • 20 minutes
What we can learn from a cluster of people with an inherited intellectual disability, and questioning how sustainable green lawns are in dry places
A small isolated town in Colombia is home to a large cluster of people with fragile X syndrome—a genetic disorder that leads to intellectual disability, physical abnormalities, and sometimes autism. Spectrum staff reporter Hannah Furfaro joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the history of fragile X in the town of Ricaurte and the future of the people who live there. Also this week, we talk about greening up grass. Lawns of green grass pervade urban areas all around the world, regardless of climate, but the c...
2018-Oct-04 • 20 minutes
Odd new particles may be tunneling through the planet, and how the flu operates differently in big and small towns
Hoping to spot subatomic particles called neutrinos smashing into Earth, the balloon-borne Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) detector has circled the South Pole four times. ANITA has yet to detect those particles, but it has twice seen oddball radio signals that could be evidence of something even weirder: some heavier particle unknown to physicists’ standard model, burrowing up through Earth. Science writer Adrian Cho joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the possibility that this reading could le...
2018-Sep-27 • 34 minutes
The future of PCB-laden orca whales, and doing genomics work with Indigenous people
Science has often treated Indigenous people as resources for research—especially when it comes to genomics. Now, Indigenous people are exploring how this type of study can be conducted in a way that respects their people and traditions. Meagan Cantwell talks with contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about a summer workshop for Indigenous scientists that aims to start a new chapter in genomics. We’ve known for decades that PCBs—polychlorinated biphenyls—are toxic and carcinogenic. In the 1970s and 1980s, ...
2018-Sep-20 • 26 minutes
Metaresearchers take on meta-analyses, and hoary old myths about science
Meta-analyses—structured analyses of many studies on the same topic—were once seen as objective and definitive projects that helped sort out conflicts amongst smaller studies. These days, thousands of meta-analyses are published every year—many either redundant or contrary to earlier metaworks. Host Sarah Crespi talks to freelance science journalist Jop de Vrieze about ongoing meta-analysis wars in which opposing research teams churn out conflicting metastudies around important public health questions such ...
2018-Sep-13 • 22 minutes
The youngest sex chromosomes on the block, and how to test a Zika vaccine without Zika cases
Strawberries had both male and female parts, like most plants, until several million years ago. This may seem like a long time ago, but it actually means strawberries have some of the youngest sex chromosomes around. What are the advantages of splitting a species into two sexes? Host Sarah Crespi interviews freelance journalist Carol Cruzan Morton about her story on scientists’ journey to understanding the strawberry’s sexual awakening. In 2016, experimental Zika vaccines were swiftly developed in response...
2018-Sep-06 • 21 minutes
Should we prioritize which endangered species to save, and why were chemists baffled by soot for so long?
We are in the middle of what some scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction and not all at-risk species can be saved. That’s causing some conservationists to say we need to start thinking about “species triage.” Meagan Cantwell interviews freelance journalist Warren Cornwall about his story on weighing the costs of saving Canada’s endangered caribou and the debate among conservationists on new approaches to conservation. And host Sarah Crespi interviews Hope Michelsen, a staff scientist at Sandia Na...
2018-Aug-30 • 29 minutes
Science and Nature get their social science studies replicated—or not, the mechanisms behind human-induced earthquakes, and the taboo of claiming causality in science
A new project out of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, found that of all the experimental social science papers published in Science and Nature from 2010–15, 62% successfully replicated, even when larger sample sizes were used. What does this say about peer review? Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Kelly Servick about how this project stacks up against similar replication efforts, and whether we can achieve similar results by merely asking people to guess whether a study can ...
2018-Aug-23 • 22 minutes
Sending flocks of tiny satellites out past Earth orbit and solving the irrigation efficiency paradox
Small satellites—about the size of a briefcase—have been hitching rides on rockets to lower Earth orbit for decades. Now, because of their low cost and ease of launching, governments and private companies are looking to expand the range of these “sate-lites” deeper into space. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Deputy News Editor Eric Hand about the mods and missions in store for so-called CubeSats. And our newest podcast producer Meagan Cantwell interviews Quentin Grafton of Australian National University in Ca...
2018-Aug-16 • 21 minutes
Ancient volcanic eruptions, and peer pressure—from robots
Several thousand years ago the volcano under Santorini in Greece—known as Thera—erupted in a tremendous explosion, dusting the nearby Mediterranean civilizations of Crete and Egypt in a layer of white ash. This geological marker could be used to tie together many ancient historical events, but the estimated date could be off by a century. Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a new study that used tree rings to calibrate radiocarbon readings—and get closer to pinning d...
2018-Aug-09 • 22 minutes
Doubts about the drought that kicked off our latest geological age, and a faceoff between stink bugs with samurai wasps
We now live in the Meghalayan age—the last age of the Holocene epoch. Did you get the memo? A July decision by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which is responsible for naming geological time periods, divided the Holocene into three ages: the Greenlandian, the Northgrippian, and the Meghalayan. The one we live in—the Meghalayan age (pronounced “megalion”)—is pegged to a global drought thought to have happened some 4200 years ago. But many critics question the timing of this latest age and the g...
2018-Aug-02 • 27 minutes
How our brains may have evolved for language, and clues to what makes us leaders—or followers
Yes, humans are the only species with language, but how did we acquire it? New research suggests our linguistic prowess might arise from the same process that brought domesticated dogs big eyes and bonobos the power to read others’ intent. Online News Editor Catherine Matacic joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how humans might have self-domesticated themselves, leading to physical and behavioral changes that gave us a “language-ready” brain. Sarah also talks with Micah Edelson of the University of Zuric...
2018-Jul-26 • 27 minutes
Liquid water on Mars, athletic performance in transgender women, and the lost colony of Roanoke
Billions of years ago, Mars probably hosted many water features: streams, rivers, gullies, etc. But until recently, water detected on the Red Planet was either locked up in ice or flitting about as a gas in the atmosphere. Now, researchers analyzing radar data from the Mars Express mission have found evidence for an enormous salty lake under the southern polar ice cap of Mars. Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how the water was found and how it can still be liquid—despite temperatures and pres...
2018-Jul-19 • 18 minutes
Why the platypus gave up suckling, and how gravity waves clear clouds
Suckling mothers milk is a pretty basic feature of being a mammal. Humans do it. Possums do it. But monotremes such as the platypus and echidna—although still mammals—gave up suckling long ago. Instead, they lap at milky patches on their mothers’ skin to get early sustenance. Science News Writer Gretchen Vogel talks with host Sarah Crespi about the newest suckling science—it turns out monotremes probably had suckling ancestors, but gave it up for the ability to grind up tasty, hard-shelled, river-dwelling c...
2018-Jul-12 • 26 minutes
The South Pole’s IceCube detector catches a ghostly particle from deep space, and how rice knows to grow when submerged
A detection of a single neutrino at the 1-square-kilometer IceCube detector in Antarctica may signal the beginning of “neutrino astronomy.” The neutral, almost massless particle left its trail of debris in the ice last September, and its source was picked out of the sky by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope soon thereafter. Science News Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the blazar fingered as the source and how neutrinos from this gigantic matter-gobbling black hole could help astronom...
2018-Jul-05 • 20 minutes
A polio outbreak threatens global eradication plans, and what happened to America’s first dogs
Wild polio has been hunted to near extinction in a decades-old global eradication program. Now, a vaccine-derived outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is threatening to seriously extend the polio eradication endgame. Deputy News Editor Leslie Roberts joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the tough choices experts face in the fight against this disease in the DRC. Sarah also talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about when dogs first came to the Americas. New DNA and archaeological evi...
2018-Jun-28 • 34 minutes
Increasing transparency in animal research to sway public opinion, and a reaching a plateau in human mortality
Public opinion on the morality of animal research is on the downswing in the United States. But some researchers think letting the public know more about how animals are used in experiments might turn things around. Online News Editor David Grimm joins Sarah Crespi to talk about these efforts. Sarah also talks Ken Wachter of the University of California, Berkeley about his group’s careful analysis of data from all living Italians born 105 or more years before the study. It turns out the risk of dying does ...
2018-Jun-21 • 21 minutes
New evidence in Cuba’s ‘sonic attacks,’ and finding an extinct gibbon—in a royal Chinese tomb
Since the 2016 reports of a mysterious assault on U.S. embassy staff in Cuba, researchers have struggled to find evidence of injury or weapon. Now, new research has discovered inner-ear damage in some of the personnel complaining of symptoms. Former International News Editor Rich Stone talks to host Sarah Crespi about the case, including new reports of a similar incident in China, and what kind of weapon—if any—might have been involved. Sarah also talks with Staff Writer Gretchen Vogel about the bones of a...
2018-Jun-14 • 25 minutes
The places where HIV shows no sign of ending, and the parts of the human brain that are bigger—in bigger brains
Nigeria, Russia, and Florida seem like an odd set, but they all have one thing in common: growing caseloads of HIV. Science Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about this week’s big read on how the fight against HIV/AIDS is evolving in these diverse locations. Sarah also talks with Armin Raznahan of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, about his group’s work measuring which parts of the human brain are bigger in bigger brains. Adult human brains can vary as much...
2018-Jun-07 • 20 minutes
Science books for summer, and a blood test for predicting preterm birth
What book are you taking to the beach or the field this summer? Science’s books editor Valerie Thompson and host Sarah Crespi discuss a selection of science books that will have you catching comets and swimming with the fishes. Sarah also talks with Mira Moufarrej of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, about her team’s work on a new blood test that analyzes RNA from maternal blood to determine the gestational age of a fetus. This new approach may also help predict the risk of preterm birth. This...
2018-May-31 • 20 minutes
The first midsize black holes, and the environmental impact of global food production
Astronomers have been able to detect supermassive black holes and teeny-weeny black holes but the midsize ones have been elusive. Now, researchers have scanned through archives looking for middle-size galaxies and found traces of these missing middlers. Host Sarah Crespi and Staff Writer Daniel Clery discuss why they were so hard to find in the first place, and what it means for our understanding of black hole formation. Farming animals and plants for human consumption is a massive operation with a big eff...
2018-May-24 • 29 minutes
Sketching suspects with DNA, and using light to find Zika-infected mosquitoes
DNA fingerprinting has been used to link people to crimes for decades, by matching DNA from a crime scene to DNA extracted from a suspect. Now, investigators are using other parts of the genome—such as markers for hair and eye color—to help rule people in and out as suspects. Staff Writer Gretchen Vogel talks with Sarah Crespi about whether science supports this approach and how different countries are dealing with this new type of evidence. Sarah also talks with Jill Fernandes of the University of Queensl...
2018-May-17 • 29 minutes
Tracking ancient Rome’s rise using Greenland’s ice, and fighting fungicide resistance
Two thousand years ago, ancient Romans were pumping lead into the air as they smelted ores to make the silvery coin of the realm. Online News Editor David Grimm talks to Sarah Crespi about how the pollution of ice in Greenland from this process provides a detailed 1900-year record of Roman history. This week is also resistance week at Science—where researchers explore the global challenges of antibiotic resistance, pesticide resistance, herbicide resistance, and fungicide resistance. Sarah talks with Sarah...
2018-May-10 • 19 minutes
Ancient DNA is helping find the first horse tamers, and a single gene is spawning a fierce debate in salmon conservation
Who were the first horse tamers? Online News Editor Catherine Matacic talks to Sarah Crespi about a new study that brings genomics to bear on the question. The hunt for the original equine domesticators has focused on Bronze Age people living on the Eurasian steppe. Now, an ancient DNA analysis bolsters the idea that a small group of hunter-gatherers, called the Botai, were likely the first to harness horses, not the famous Yamnaya pastoralists often thought to be the originators of the Indo-European langu...
2018-May-03 • 27 minutes
The twins climbing Mount Everest for science, and the fractal nature of human bone
To study the biological differences brought on by space travel, NASA sent one twin into space and kept another on Earth in 2015. Now, researchers from that project are trying to replicate that work planet-side to see whether the differences in gene expression were due to extreme stress or were specific to being in space. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about a “control” study using what might be a comparably stressful experience here on Earth: climbing Mount Everest. Catherine ...
2018-Apr-26 • 31 minutes
Deciphering talking drums, and squeezing more juice out of solar panels
Researchers have found new clues to how the “talking drums” of one Amazonian tribe convey their messages. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the role of tone and rhythm in this form of communication. Getting poked with a needle will probably get you moving. Apparently, it also gets charges moving in certain semiconductive materials. Sarah interviews Marin Alexe of The University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., about this newfound flexo-photovoltaic effect. Alexe’s group found ...
2018-Apr-19 • 25 minutes
Drug use in the ancient world, and what will happen to plants as carbon dioxide levels increase
Armed with new data, archaeologists are revealing that mind-altering drugs were present at the dawn of the first complex societies some 5000 years ago in the ancient Middle East. Contributing writer Andrew Lawler joins Sarah Crespi to discuss the evidence for these drugs and how they might have impacted early societies and beliefs. Sarah also interviews Sarah Hobbie of the University of Minnesota about the fate of plants under climate change. Will all that extra carbon dioxide in the air be good for certai...
2018-Apr-12 • 22 minutes
How DNA is revealing Latin America’s lost histories, and how to make a molecule from just two atoms
Geneticists and anthropologists studying historical records and modern-day genomes are finding traces of previously unknown migrants to Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Asians, Africans, and Europeans first met indigenous Latin Americans. Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about what she learned on the topic at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists’s annual meeting in Austin. Sarah also interviews Kang-Keun Ni about her research using optical twe...
2018-Apr-05 • 22 minutes
Legendary Viking crystals, and how to put an octopus to sleep
A millennium ago, Viking navigators may have used crystals known as “sunstones” to navigate between Norway and Greenland. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about how one might use a crystal to figure out where they are. Sarah also interviews freelancer Danna Staaf about her piece on sedating cephalopods. Until recently, researchers working with octopuses and squids faced the dilemma of not knowing whether the animals were truly sedated or whether only their ability to respond had been ...
2018-Mar-29 • 31 minutes
Chimpanzee retirement gains momentum, and x-ray ‘ghost images’ could cut radiation doses
Two of the world’s most famous research chimpanzees have finally retired. Hercules and Leo arrived at a chimp sanctuary in Georgia last week. Sarah Crespi checks in with Online News Editor David Grimm on the increasing momentum for research chimp retirement since the primates were labeled endangered species in 2015. Sarah also interviews freelancer Sophia Chen about her piece on x-ray ghost imaging—a technique that may lead to safer medical imaging done with cheap, single-pixel cameras. David Malakoff joi...
2018-Mar-22 • 22 minutes
A possible cause for severe morning sickness, and linking mouse moms’ caretaking to brain changes in baby mice
Researchers are converging on which genes are linked to morning sickness—the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy—and the more severe form: hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). And once we know what those genes are—can we help pregnant women feel better? News intern Roni Dengler joins Sarah Crespi to talk about a new study that suggests a protein already flagged for its role in cancer-related nausea may also be behind HG. In a second segment, Tracy Bedrosian of the Neurotechnology Innovations Translator t...
2018-Mar-15 • 22 minutes
How humans survived an ancient volcanic winter and how disgust shapes ecosystems
When Indonesia’s Mount Toba blew its top some 74,000 years ago, an apocalyptic scenario ensued: Tons of ash and debris entered the atmosphere, coating the planet in ash for 2 weeks straight and sending global temperatures plummeting. Despite the worldwide destruction, humans survived. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about how life after Toba was even possible—were humans decimated, or did they rally in the face of a suddenly extra hostile planet? Next, Julia Buck of the Univers...
2018-Mar-08 • 42 minutes
Animals that don’t need people to be domesticated; the astonishing spread of false news; and links between gender, sexual orientation, and speech
Did people domesticate animals? Or did they domesticate themselves? Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about a recent study that looked at self-domesticating mice. If they could go it alone, could cats or dogs have done the same in the distant past? Next, Sinan Aral of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge joins Sarah to discuss his work on true and false rumor cascades across all of Twitter, since its inception. He finds that false news travels further, deeper, and fas...
2018-Mar-01 • 36 minutes
A new dark matter signal from the early universe, massive family trees, and how we might respond to alien contact
For some time after the big bang there were no stars. Researchers are now looking at cosmic dawn—the time when stars first popped into being—and are seeing hints of dark matter’s influence on supercold hydrogen clouds. News Writer Adrian Cho talks with Sarah Crespi about how this observation was made and what it means for our understanding of dark matter. Sarah also interviews Joanna Kaplanis of the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton, U.K., about constructing enormous family trees based on an online soci...
2018-Feb-22 • 25 minutes
Neandertals that made art, live news from the AAAS Annual Meeting, and the emotional experience of being a scientist
We talk about the techniques of painting sleuths, how to combat alternative facts or “fake news,” and using audio signposts to keep birds from flying into buildings. For this segment, David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with host Sarah Crespi as part of a live podcast event from the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin. Sarah also interviews Science News Editor Tim Appenzeller about Neandertal art. The unexpected age of some European cave paintings is causing experts to rethink the mental capabilitie...
2018-Feb-15 • 15 minutes
Genes that turn off after death, and debunking the sugar conspiracy
Some of our genes come alive after we die. David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about which genes are active after death and what we can learn about time of death by looking at patterns of postmortem gene expression. Sarah also interviews David Merritt Johns of Columbia University about the so-called sugar conspiracy. Historical evidence suggests, despite recent media reports, it is unlikely that “big sugar” influenced U.S. nutrition policy and led to the low-fat diet fad of t...
2018-Feb-08 • 23 minutes
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 b...
2018-Feb-01 • 20 minutes
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 bab...
2018-Jan-25 • 24 minutes
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 pr...
2018-Jan-18 • 25 minutes
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 ...
2018-Jan-11 • 20 minutes
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? Lis...
2018-Jan-04 • 19 minutes
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 tre...
2017-Dec-21 • 32 minutes
Science’s Breakthrough of the Year, our best online news, and science books for your shopping list
Dave Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about a few of this year’s top stories from our online news site, like ones on a major error in the monarch butterfly biological record and using massive balloons to build tunnels, and why they were chosen. Hint: It’s not just the stats. Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Adrian Cho about the 2017 Breakthrough of the Year. Adrian talks about why Science gave the nod to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory team for a second...
2017-Dec-14 • 22 minutes
Putting the breaks on driverless cars, and dolphins that can muffle their ears
Whales and dolphins have incredibly sensitive hearing and are known to be harmed by loud underwater noises. David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about new research on captive cetaceans suggesting that some species can naturally muffle such sounds—perhaps opening a way to protect these marine mammals in the wild. Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Jeffrey Mervis about his story on the future of autonomous cars. Will they really reduce traffic and make our lives easier? What does the science say? Listen t...
2017-Dec-07 • 21 minutes
Folding DNA into teddy bears and getting creative about gun violence research
This week, three papers came out describing new approaches to folding DNA into large complex shapes—20 times bigger than previous DNA sculptures. Staff Writer Bob Service talks with Sarah Crespi about building microscopic teddy bears, doughnuts, and more from genetic material, and using these techniques to push forward fields from materials science to drug delivery. Sarah also interviews Philip Cook of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, about his Policy Forum on gun regulation research. It’s long b...
2017-Nov-30 • 22 minutes
Debunking yeti DNA, and the incredibly strong arms of prehistoric female farmers
The abominable snowman, the yeti, bigfoot, and sasquatch—these long-lived myths of giant, hairy hominids depend on dropping elusive clues to stay in the popular imagination—a blurry photo here, a big footprint there—but what happens when scientists try to pin that evidence down? Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about the latest attempts to verify the yeti’s existence using DNA analysis of bones and hair and how this research has led to more than the debunking of a mythic creature. Sar...
2017-Nov-22 • 29 minutes
The world’s first dog pictures, and looking at the planet from a quantum perspective
About 8000 years ago, people were drawing dogs with leashes, according to a series of newly described stone carvings from Saudi Arabia. Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about reporting on this story and what it says about the history of dog domestication. Sarah also interviews physicist Brad Marston of Brown University on surprising findings that bring together planetary science and quantum physics. It turns out that Earth’s rotation and the presence of oceans and atmosphere on its su...
2017-Nov-16 • 26 minutes
Preventing psychosis and the evolution—or not—of written language
How has written language changed over time? Do the way we read and the way our eyes work influence how scripts look? This week we hear a story on changes in legibility in written texts with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi also interviews Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel on her story about detecting signs of psychosis in kids and teens, recruiting at-risk individuals for trials, and searching for anything that can stop the progression. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Procsil...
2017-Nov-09 • 30 minutes
Randomizing the news for science, transplanting genetically engineered skin, and the ethics of experimental brain implants
This week we hear stories on what to do with experimental brain implants after a study is over, how gene therapy gave a second skin to a boy with a rare epidermal disease, and how bone markings thought to be evidence for early hominid tool use may have been crocodile bites instead, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi interviews Gary King about his new experiment to bring fresh data to the age-old question of how the news media influences the public. Are journalists setting the agenda or...
2017-Nov-02 • 23 minutes
How Earth’s rotation could predict giant quakes, gene therapy’s new hope, and how carbon monoxide helps deep-diving seals
This week we hear stories on how the sloshing of Earth’s core may spike major earthquakes, carbon monoxide’s role in keeping deep diving elephant seals oxygenated, and a festival celebrating heavily researched yet completely nonsensical theories with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi interviews staff writer Jocelyn Kaiser about the status of gene therapy, including a newly tested gene-delivering virus that may give scientists a new way to treat devastating spinal and brain diseases. Listen to ...
2017-Oct-26 • 29 minutes
Building conscious machines, tracing asteroid origins, and how the world’s oldest forests grew
This week we hear stories on sunlight pushing Mars’s flock of asteroids around, approximately 400-million-year-old trees that grew by splitting their guts, and why fighting poverty might also mean worsening climate change with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks with cognitive neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene of the Collège de France in Paris about consciousness—what is it and can machines have it? For our monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck reviews astronaut Scott Kelly’s book Endurance: A ...
2017-Oct-19 • 28 minutes
LIGO spots merging neutron stars, scholarly questions about a new Bible museum, and why wolves are better team players than dogs
This week we hear stories about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s latest hit, why wolves are better team players than dogs, and volcanic eruptions that may have triggered riots in ancient Egypt with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi interviews contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. Can it recover from early accusations of forgeries and illicitly obtained artifacts? Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: P...
2017-Oct-12 • 23 minutes
Evolution of skin color, taming rice thrice, and peering into baby brains
This week we hear stories about a new brain imaging technique for newborns, recently uncovered evidence on rice domestication on three continents, and why Canada geese might be migrating into cities, with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi interviews Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania about the age and diversity of genes related to skin pigment in African genomes. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Danny Chapman/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices...
2017-Oct-05 • 20 minutes
Putting rescue robots to the test, an ancient Scottish village buried in sand, and why costly drugs may have more side effects
This week we hear stories about putting rescue bots to the test after the Mexico earthquake, why a Scottish village was buried in sand during the Little Ice Age, and efforts by the U.S. military to predict posttraumatic stress disorder with Online News Editor David Grimm. Andrew Wagner interviews Alexandra Tinnermann of the University Medical Center of Hamburg, Germany, about the nocebo effect. Unlike the placebo effect, in which you get positive side effects with no treatment, in the nocebo effect you get...
2017-Sep-28 • 28 minutes
Furiously beating bat hearts, giant migrating wombats, and puzzling out preprint publishing
This week we hear stories on how a bat varies its heart rate to avoid starving, giant wombatlike creatures that once migrated across Australia, and the downsides of bedbugs’ preference for dirty laundry with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks Jocelyn Kaiser about her guide to preprint servers for biologists—what they are, how they are used, and why some people are worried about preprint publishing’s rising popularity. For our monthly book segment, Jen Golbeck talks to author Sandra Postel ...
2017-Sep-21 • 25 minutes
Cosmic rays from beyond our galaxy, sleeping jellyfish, and counting a language’s words for colors
This week we hear stories on animal hoarding, how different languages have different numbers of colors, and how to tell a wakeful jellyfish from a sleeping one with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic, Brice Russ, and Sarah Crespi. Andrew Wagner talks to Karl-Heinz Kampert about a long-term study of the cosmic rays blasting our planet. After analyzing 30,000 high-energy rays, it turns out some are coming from outside the Milky Way. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Doug Letterman/Flickr; Musi...
2017-Sep-14 • 30 minutes
Cargo-sorting molecular robots, humans as the ultimate fire starters, and molecular modeling with quantum computers
This week we hear stories on the gut microbiome’s involvement in multiple sclerosis, how wildfires start—hint: It’s almost always people—and a new record in quantum computing with Online News Editor David Grimm. Andrew Wagner talks to Lulu Qian about DNA-based robots that can carry and sort cargo. Sarah Crespi goes behind the scenes with Science’s Photography Managing Editor Bill Douthitt to learn about snapping this week’s cover photo of the world’s smallest neutrino detector. Listen to previous podcast...
2017-Sep-07 • 23 minutes
Taking climate science to court, sailing with cylinders, and solar cooling
This week we hear stories on smooth sailing with giant, silolike sails, a midsized black hole that may be hiding out in the Milky Way, and new water-cooling solar panels that could cut air conditioning costs with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Sabrina McCormick about climate science in the U.S. courts and the growing role of the judiciary in climate science policy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad c...
2017-Aug-31 • 26 minutes
Mysteriously male crocodiles, the future of negotiating AIs, and atomic bonding between the United States and China
This week we hear stories on involving more AIs in negotiations, tiny algae that might be responsible for killing some (not all) dinosaurs, and a chemical intended to make farm fish grow faster that may be also be causing one area’s crocodile population to skew male—with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Rich Stone about being on the scene for a joint U.S.-China mission to remove bomb-grade fuel from a nuclear reactor in Ghana. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image:Chad Sparkes; ...
2017-Aug-24 • 19 minutes
What hunter-gatherer gut microbiomes have that we don’t, and breaking the emoji code
Sarah Crespi talks to Sam Smits about how our microbial passengers differ from one culture to the next—are we losing diversity and the ability to fight chronic disease? For our books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Vyvyan Evans about his book The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Woodlouse/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-Aug-17 • 20 minutes
A jump in rates of knee arthritis, a brief history of eclipse science, and bands and beats in the atmosphere of brown dwarfs
This week we hear stories on a big jump in U.S. rates of knee arthritis, some science hits and misses from past eclipses, and the link between a recently discovered thousand-year-old Viking fortress and your Bluetooth earbuds with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Daniel Apai about a long-term study of brown dwarfs and what patterns in the atmospheres of these not-quite-stars, not-quite-planets can tell us. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Le...
2017-Aug-10 • 20 minutes
Coddled puppies don’t do as well in school, some trees make their own rain, and the Americas were probably first populated by ancient mariners
This week we hear stories on new satellite measurements that suggest the Amazon makes its own rain for part of the year, puppies raised with less smothering moms do better in guide dog school, and what DNA can tell us about ancient Greeks’ near mythical origins with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Lizzie Wade about coastal and underwater evidence of a watery route for the Americas’ first people. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Lizzie Wade; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about ...
2017-Aug-03 • 29 minutes
The biology of color, a database of industrial espionage, and a link between prions and diabetes
This week we hear stories on diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in chimps, a potential new pathway to diabetes—through prions—and what a database of industrial espionage says about the economics of spying with Online News Editors David Grimm and Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi talks to Innes Cuthill about how the biology of color intersects with behavior, development, and vision. And Mary Soon Lee joins to share some of her chemistry haiku—one poem for each element in the periodic table. Listen to previous po...
2017-Jul-27 • 29 minutes
DNA and proteins from ancient books, music made from data, and the keys to poverty traps
This week we hear stories on turning data sets into symphonies for business and pleasure, why so much of the world is stuck in the poverty trap, and calls for stiffening statistical significance with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to news writer Ann Gibbons about the biology of ancient books—what can we learn from DNA, proteins, and book worm trails about a book, its scribes, and its readers? Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me...
2017-Jul-20 • 30 minutes
Paying cash for carbon, making dogs friendly, and destroying all life on Earth
This week we have stories on the genes that may make dogs friendly, why midsized animals are the fastest, and what it would take to destroy all the life on our planet with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Seema Jayachandran about paying cash to Ugandan farmers to not cut down trees—does it reduce deforestation in the long term? Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Kerrick/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-Jul-13 • 27 minutes
Still-living dinosaurs, the world’s first enzymes, and thwarting early adopters in tech
This week, we have stories on how ultraviolet rays may have jump-started the first enzymes on Earth, a new fossil find that helps date how quickly birds diversified after the extinction of all the other dinosaurs, and a drug that may help reverse the effects of traumatic brain injury on memory with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic and special guest Carolyn Gramling. Sarah Crespi talks to Christian Catalini about an experiment in which some early adopters were denied access to new technology and what it...
2017-Jul-06 • 21 minutes
Odorless calories for weight loss, building artificial intelligence researchers can trust, and can oily birds fly?
This week we have stories on the twisty tree of human ancestry, why mice shed weight when they can’t smell, and the damaging effects of even a small amount of oil on a bird’s feathers—with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to News Editor Tim Appenzeller about a special section on how artificial intelligence is changing the way we do science. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: © 2012 CERN, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ALICE COLLABORATION; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choice...
2017-Jun-29 • 33 minutes
A Stone Age skull cult, rogue Parkinson’s proteins in the gut, and controversial pesticides linked to bee deaths
This week we have stories on what the rogue Parkinson’s protein is doing in the gut, how chimps outmuscle humans, and evidence for an ancient skull cult with Online News Editor David Grimm. Jen Golbeck is back with this month’s book segment. She interviews Alan Alda about his new book on science communication: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? Sarah Crespi talks to Jeremy Kerr about two huge studies that take a nuanced looked at the relationship between pesticides and bees. Read the ...
2017-Jun-22 • 21 minutes
Why eggs have such weird shapes, doubly domesticated cats, and science balloons on the rise
This week we have stories on the new capabilities of science balloons, connections between deforestation and drug trafficking in Central America, and new insights into the role ancient Egypt had in taming cats with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Mary Caswell Stoddard about why bird eggs come in so many shapes and sizes. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image:; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-Jun-15 • 22 minutes
Slowly retiring chimps, tanning at the cellular level, and plumbing magma’s secrets
This week we have stories on why it’s taking so long for research chimps to retire, boosting melanin for a sun-free tan, and tracking a mouse trail to find liars online with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Allison Rubin about what we can learn from zircon crystals outside of a volcano about how long hot magma hangs out under a volcano. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Project Chimps; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-Jun-08 • 33 minutes
How to weigh a star—with a little help from Einstein, toxic ‘selfish genes,’ and the world’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils
This week we have stories on what body cams reveal about interactions between black drivers and U.S. police officers, the world’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils, and how modern astronomers measured the mass of a star—thanks to an old tip from Einstein—with Online News Intern Ryan Cross. Sarah Crespi talks to Eyal Ben-David about a pair of selfish genes—one toxin and one antidote—that have been masquerading as essential developmental genes in a nematode worm. She asks how many more so-called “essential genes” ...
2017-Jun-01 • 25 minutes
A new taste for the tongue, ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies, and early evidence for dog breeding
This week we have stories on how we taste water, extracting ancient DNA from mummy heads, and the earliest evidence for dog breeding with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to John Travis about postsurgical cognitive dysfunction—does surgery sap your brain power? Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-May-25 • 29 minutes
How whales got so big, sperm in space, and a first look at Jupiter’s poles
This week we have stories on strange dimming at a not-so-distant star, sending sperm to the International Space Station, and what the fossil record tells us about how baleen whales got so ginormous with Online News Editor David Grimm. Julia Rosen talks to Scott Bolton about surprises in the first data from the Juno mission, including what Jupiter’s poles look like and a peak under its outer cloud layers. Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone...
2017-May-18 • 25 minutes
Preventing augmented-reality overload, fixing bone with tiny bubbles, and studying human migrations
This week we have stories on blocking dangerous or annoying distractions in augmented reality, gene therapy applied with ultrasound to heal bone breaks, and giving robots geckolike gripping power with Online News Editor David Grimm. Deputy News Editor Elizabeth Culotta joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a special package on human migrations—from the ancient origins of Europeans to the restless and wandering scientists of today. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy o...
2017-May-11 • 23 minutes
Our newest human relative, busting human sniff myths, and the greenhouse gas that could slow global warming
This week we have stories on ancient hominids that may have coexisted with early modern humans, methane seeps in the Arctic that could slow global warming, and understanding color without words with Online News Intern Lindzi Wessel. John McGann joins Sarah Crespi to discuss long-standing myths about our ability to smell. It turns out people are probably a lot better at detecting odors than scientists thought! Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Streluk/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about ...
2017-May-04 • 22 minutes
Podcast: Reading pain from the brains of infants, modeling digital faces, and wifi holograms
This week, we discuss the most accurate digital model of a human face to date, stray Wi-Fi signals that can be used to spy on a closed room, and artificial intelligence that can predict Supreme Court decisions with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Caroline Hartley joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a scan that can detect pain in babies—a useful tool when they can’t tell you whether something really hurts. Listen to previous podcasts. See more book segments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megapho...
2017-Apr-27 • 26 minutes
Podcast: Where dog breeds come from, bots that build buildings, and gathering ancient human DNA from cave sediments
This week, a new family tree of dog breeds, advances in artificial wombs, and an autonomous robot that can print a building with Online News Editor David Grimm. Viviane Slon joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a new way to seek out ancient humans—without finding fossils or bones—by screening sediments for ancient DNA. Jen Golbeck interviews Andrew Shtulman, author of Scienceblind: Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong for this month’s book segment. Listen to previous podcasts. ...
2017-Apr-20 • 28 minutes
Podcast: When good lions go bad, listening to meteor crashes, and how humans learn to change the world
This week, meteors’ hiss may come from radio waves, pigeons that build on the wings of those that came before, and a potential answer to the century-old mystery of what turned two lions into people eaters with Online News Editor David Grimm. Elise Amel joins Julia Rosen to discuss the role of evolution and psychology in humans’ ability to overcome norms and change the world, as part of a special issue on conservation this week in Science. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript Transc...
2017-Apr-13 • 26 minutes
Podcast: Watching shoes untie, Cassini’s last dive through the breath of a cryovolcano, and how human bias influences machine learning
This week, walk like an elephant—very far, with seeds in your guts, Cassini’s mission to Saturn wraps up with news on the habitability of its icy moon Enceladus, and how our shoes manage to untie themselves with Online News Editor David Grimm. Aylin Caliskan joins Sarah Crespi to discuss how biases in our writing may be perpetuated by the machines that learn from them. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffre...
2017-Apr-06 • 21 minutes
Podcast: Giant virus genetics, human high-altitude adaptations, and quantifying the impact of government-funded science
This week, viruses as remnants of a fourth domain of life, a scan of many Tibetan genomes reveals seven new genes potentially related to high-altitude life, and doubts about dark energy with Online News Editor David Grimm. Danielle Li joins Sarah Crespi to discuss her study quantifying the impact of government funding on innovation by linking patents to U.S. National Institutes of Health grants. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: artu...
2017-Mar-30 • 33 minutes
Podcast: Killing off stowaways to Mars, chasing synthetic opiates, and how soil contributes to global carbon calculations
This week, how to avoid contaminating Mars with microbial hitchhikers, turning mammalian cells into biocomputers, and a look at how underground labs in China are creating synthetic opioids for street sales in the United States with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Caitlin Hicks Pries joins Julia Rosen to discuss her study of the response of soil carbon to a warming world. And for this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck talks to Rob Dunn about his book Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want...
2017-Mar-23 • 26 minutes
Podcast: Teaching self-driving cars to read, improving bike safety with a video game, and when ‘you’ isn’t about ‘you’
This week, new estimates for the depths of the world’s lakes, a video game that could help kids be safer bike riders, and teaching autonomous cars to read road signs with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Ariana Orvell joins Sarah Crespi to discuss her study of how the word “you” is used when people recount meaningful experiences. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: VisualCommunications/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more abo...
2017-Mar-16 • 26 minutes
Podcast: The archaeology of democracy, new additions to the uncanny valley, and the discovery of ant-ibiotics
This week, what bear-mounted cameras can tell us about their caribou-hunting habits, ants that mix up their own medicine, and feeling alienated by emotional robots with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Lizzie Wade joins Sarah Crespi to discuss new thinking on the origins of democracy outside of Europe, based on archeological sites in Mexico. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: rpbirdman/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more ab...
2017-Mar-09 • 22 minutes
Podcast: Human pheromones lightly debunked, ignoring cyberattacks, and designer chromosomes
This week, how Flickr photos could help predict floods, why it might be a good idea to ignore some cyberattacks, and new questions about the existence of human pheromones with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Sarah Richardson joins Alexa Billow to discuss a global project to build a set of working yeast chromosomes from the ground up. Read Sarah Richardson’s research in Science. Listen to previous podcasts. Download the show transcript. Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com. [Image: Drew Gurian; Mus...
2017-Mar-02 • 26 minutes
Podcast: Breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier, storing data in DNA, and how past civilizations shaped the Amazon
This week, we chat about the science behind breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier, storing data in DNA strands, and a dinosaur’s zigzagging backbones with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. And Carolina Levis joins Alexa Billow to discuss evidence that humans have been domesticating the Amazon’s plants a lot longer than previously thought. Read Carolina Levis’s research in Science. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Carolina Levis; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me...
2017-Feb-23 • 33 minutes
Podcast: Cracking the smell code, why dinosaurs had wings before they could fly, and detecting guilty feelings in altruistic gestures
This week, we chat about why people are nice to each other—does it feel good or are we just avoiding feeling bad—approaches to keeping arsenic out of the food supply, and using artificial intelligence to figure out what a chemical smells like to a human nose with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Stephen Brusatte joins Alexa Billow to discuss why dinosaurs evolved wings and feathers before they ever flew. And in the latest installment of our monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Bill Schutt, autho...
2017-Feb-16 • 22 minutes
Podcast: Recognizing the monkey in the mirror, giving people malaria parasites as a vaccine strategy, and keeping coastal waters clean with seagrass
This week, we chat about what it means if a monkey can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, injecting people with live malaria parasites as a vaccine strategy, and insect-inspired wind turbines with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Joleah Lamb joins Alexa Billow to discuss how seagrass can greatly reduce harmful microbes in the ocean—protecting people and corals from disease. Read the research. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: peters99/iStock; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad ch...
2017-Feb-09 • 26 minutes
Podcast: Saving grizzlies from trains, cheap sun-powered water purification, and a deep look at science-based policymaking
This week, we chat about why grizzly bears seem to be dying on Canadian railway tracks, slow-release fertilizers that reduce environmental damage, and cleaning water with the power of the sun on the cheap, with Online News Editor David Grimm. And David Malakoff joins Alexa Billow to discuss a package of stories on the role of science and evidence in policymaking[link TK]. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: tacky_ch/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/...
2017-Feb-02 • 23 minutes
Podcast: An 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein, sending oxygen to the moon, and competitive forecasting
This week, we chat about how the Earth is sending oxygen to the moon, using a GPS data set to hunt for dark matter, and retrieving 80-million year old proteins from dinosaur bones, with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Philip Tetlock joins Alexa Billow to discuss improving our ability to make judgments about the future through forecasting competitions as part of a special section on prediction in this week’s issue of Science. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more ab...
2017-Jan-26 • 31 minutes
Podcast: Bringing back tomato flavor genes, linking pollution and dementia, and when giant otters roamed Earth
This week, we chat about 50-kilogram otters that once stalked southern China, using baseball stats to show how jet lag puts players off their game, and a growing link between pollution and dementia, with Online News Editor David Grimm. Also in this week’s show: our very first monthly book segment. In the inaugural segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Helen Pilcher about her new book Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction. Plus Denise Tieman joins Alexa Billow to discuss the genes behind tomato ...
2017-Jan-19 • 25 minutes
Podcast: Explaining menopause in killer whales, triggering killer mice, and the role of chromosome number in cancer immunotherapy
This week, we chat about a surprising reason why killer whales undergo menopause, flipping a kill switch in mice with lasers, and Fukushima residents who measured their own radiation exposure[link tk], with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Stephen Elledge about the relationship between chromosomal abnormalities in tumors and immunotherapy for cancer. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Copyright Kenneth Balcomb Center for Whale Research; Music: Jeffrey Cook]...
2017-Jan-12 • 22 minutes
Podcast: A blood test for concussions, how the hagfish escapes from sharks, and optimizing carbon storage in trees
This week, we chat about a blood test that could predict recovery time after a concussion, new insights into the bizarre hagfish’s anatomy, and a cheap paper centrifuge based on a toy, with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Christian Koerner about why just planting any old tree isn’t the answer to our carbon problem. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit meg...
2017-Jan-05 • 31 minutes
Podcast: An ethics conundrum from the Nazi era, baby dinosaur development, and a new test for mad cow disease
This week, we chat about how long dinosaur eggs take—or took—to hatch, a new survey that confirms the world’s hot spots for lightning, and replenishing endangered species with feral pets with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Megan Gannon about the dilemma presented by tissue samples collected during the Nazi era. And Sarah Crespi discusses a new test for mad cow disease with Kelly Servick. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/flickr; Music: Jeffrey Coo...
2016-Dec-22 • 29 minutes
Podcast: Our Breakthrough of the Year, top online stories, and the year in science books
This week, we chat about human evolution in action, 6000-year-old fairy tales, and other top news stories from 2016 with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to News Editor Tim Appenzeller about this year’s breakthrough, runners-up, breakdowns, and how Science’s predictions from last year help us. In a bonus segment, Science book review editor Valerie Thompson talks about the big science books of 2016 and science books for kids. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Warwi...
2016-Dec-15 • 24 minutes
The sound of a monkey talking, cloning horses for sport, and forensic anthropologists help the search for Mexico’s disappeared
This week, we chat about what talking monkeys would sound like, a surprising virus detected in ancient pottery, and six cloned horses that helped win a big polo match with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to news writer Lizzie Wade about what forensic anthropologists can do to help parent groups find missing family members in Mexico. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: (c) Félix Márquez; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adch...
2016-Dec-08 • 21 minutes
Podcast: Altering time perception, purifying blueberries with plasma, and checking in on ocelot latrines
This week, we chat about cleaning blueberries with purple plasma, how Tibetan dogs adapted to high-altitude living, and who’s checking ocelot message boards with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Joe Paton about how we know time flies when mice are having fun. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Joseph Sites/USDA ARS; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Dec-01 • 23 minutes
Podcast: What ants communicate when kissing, stars birthed from gas, and linking immune strength and social status
This week, we chat about kissing communication in ants, building immune strength by climbing the social ladder, and a registry for animal research with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Bjorn Emonts about the birth of stars in the Spiderweb Galaxy 10 billion years ago. Related research on immune function and social hierarchy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Lauren Brent; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Nov-24 • 24 minutes
Podcast: Scientists on the night shift, sucking up greenhouse gases with cement, and repetitive stress in tomb builders
This week, we chat about cement’s shrinking carbon footprint, commuting hazards for ancient Egyptian artisans, and a new bipartisan group opposed to government-funded animal research in the United States with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to news writer Sam Kean about the kinds of data that can only be gathered at night as part of the special issue on circadian biology. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: roomauction/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more ab...
2016-Nov-17 • 22 minutes
Podcast: The rise of skeletons, species-blurring hybrids, and getting rightfully ditched by a taxi
This week we chat about why it’s hard to get a taxi to nowhere, why bones came onto the scene some 550 million years ago, and how targeting bacteria’s predilection for iron might make better vaccines, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks with news writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the way hybrids muck up the concept of species and turn the evolutionary tree into a tangled web. Listen to previous podcasts [Image: Raul González Alegría; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn ...
2016-Nov-10 • 20 minutes
Podcast: How farms made dogs love carbs, the role of dumb luck in science, and what your first flu exposure did to you
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—is Bhutan really a quake-free zone, how much of scientific success is due to luck, and what farming changed about dogs and us—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Katelyn Gostic of the University of California, Los Angeles, about how the first flu you came down with—which depends on your birth year—may help predict your susceptibility to new flu strains down the road. Listen to previous podcasts. [I...
2016-Nov-03 • 22 minutes
Podcast: The impact of legal pot on opioid abuse, and a very early look at a fetus’s genome
This week, news writer Greg Miller chats with us about how the legalization of marijuana in certain U.S. states is having an impact on the nation’s opioid problem. Plus, Sarah Crespi talks to Sascha Drewlo about a new method for profiling the DNA of fetuses very early on in pregnancy. [Image: OpenRangeStock/iStockphoto/Music: Jeffrey Cook] ++ Authors: Sarah Crespi; Alexa Billow Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Oct-27 • 20 minutes
Podcast: A close look at a giant moon crater, the long tradition of eating rodents, and building evidence for Planet Nine
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—eating rats in the Neolithic, growing evidence for a gargantuan 9th planet in our solar system, and how to keep just the good parts of a hookworm infection—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Alexa Billow talks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Maria Zuber about NASA’s GRAIL spacecraft, which makes incredibly precise measurements of the moon’s gravity. This week’s guest used GRAIL data to explore a giant impact crater and ...
2016-Oct-20 • 27 minutes
Podcast: Science lessons for the next U.S. president, human high altitude adjustments, and the elusive Higgs bison
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—jumping spiders that can hear without ears, long-lasting changes in the human body at high altitudes, and the long hunt for an extinct bison—with Science’s Online News Intern Jessica Boddy. Plus, Sarah Crespi talks to Deputy News Editor David Malakoff about six science lessons for the next U.S. president. [Image: Gil Menda at the Hoy Lab; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Oct-13 • 22 minutes
Podcast: When we pay attention to plane crashes, releasing modified mosquitoes, and bacteria that live off radiation
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories -- including a new bacterial model for alien life that feeds on cosmic rays, tracking extinct “bear dogs” to Texas, and when we stop caring about plane crashes -- with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Alexa Billow talks to Staff Writer Kelly Servick about her feature story on the releasing modified mosquitoes in Brazil to combat diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. Her story is part of a package on mosquito control. Listen to p...
2016-Oct-06 • 23 minutes
Podcast: Bumble bee emotions, the purpose of yawning, and new insights into the developing infant brain
This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—including making bees optimistic, comparing yawns across species, and “mind reading” in nonhuman apes—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Mercedes Paredes about her research on the developing infant brain. Listen to previous podcasts [Image: mdmiller/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Sep-29 • 25 minutes
Podcast: Why we murder, resurrecting extinct animals, and the latest on the three-parent baby
Daily news stories Should we bring animals back from extinction, three-parent baby announced, and the roots of human violence, with David Grimm. From the magazine Our networked world gives us an unprecedented ability to monitor and respond to global happenings. Databases monitoring news stories can provide real-time information about events all over the world -- like conflicts or protests. However, the databases that now exist aren’t up to the task. Alexa Billow talks with Ryan Kennedy about his policy...
2016-Sep-22 • 27 minutes
Podcast: An atmospheric pacemaker skips a beat, a religious edict that spawned fat chickens, and knocking out the ‘sixth sense’
A quick change in chickens’ genes as a result of a papal ban on eating four-legged animals, the appeal of tragedy, and genetic defects in the “sixth sense,” with David Grimm. From the magazine In February of this year, one of the most regular phenomena in the atmosphere skipped a cycle. Every 22 to 36 months, descending eastward and westward wind jets—high above the equator—switch places. The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, or QBO, is normally so regular you can almost set your watch by it, but not this ye...
2016-Sep-15 • 27 minutes
Podcast: A burning body experiment, prehistoric hunting dogs, and seeding life on other planets
News stories on our earliest hunting companions, should we seed exoplanets with life, and finding space storm hot spots with David Grimm. From the magazine Two years ago, 43 students disappeared from a teacher’s college in Guerrero, Mexico. Months of protests and investigation have not yielded a believable account of what happened to them. The government of Mexico claims that the students were killed by cartel members and burned on an outdoor pyre in a dump outside Cucola. Lizzie Wade has been following ...
2016-Sep-08 • 22 minutes
Podcast: Double navigation in desert ants, pollution in the brain, and dating deal breakers
News stories on magnetic waste in the brain, the top deal breakers in online dating, and wolves that are willing to “risk it for the biscuit,” with David Grimm. From the magazine How do we track where we are going and where we have been? Do you pay attention to your path? Look for landmarks? Leave a scent trail? The problem of navigation has been solved a number of different ways by animals. The desert-dwelling Cataglyphis ant was thought to rely on stride integration, basically counting their steps. B...
2016-Sep-01 • 25 minutes
Podcast: Ceres’s close-up, how dogs listen, and a new RNA therapy
News stories on what words dogs know, an RNA therapy for psoriasis, and how Lucy may have fallen from the sky, with Catherine Matacic. From the magazine In early 2015, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. Over the last year and a half, scientists have studied the mysterious dwarf planet using data collected by Dawn, including detailed images of its surface. Julia Rosen talks with Debra Buczkowski about Ceres’s close-up. See the full Ceres package....
2016-Aug-25 • 21 minutes
Podcast: Quantum dots in consumer electronics and a faceoff with the quiz master
Sarah Crespi takes a pop quiz on literal life hacking, spotting poverty from outer space, and the size of the average American vocabulary with Catherine Matacic. From the magazine You can already buy a quantum dot television, but it’s really just the beginning of the infiltration of quantum dots into our everyday lives. Cherie Kagan is here to talk about her in depth review of the technology published in this week’s issue. [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Vis...
2016-Aug-18 • 27 minutes
Podcast: How mice mess up reproducibility, new support for an RNA world, and giving cash away wisely
News stories on a humanmade RNA copier that bolsters ideas about early life on Earth, the downfall of a pre-Columbian empire, and how a bit of cash at the right time can keep you off the streets, with Jessica Boddy. From the magazine This story combines two things we seem to talk about a lot on the podcast: reproducibility and the microbiome. The big question we’re going to take on is how reproducible are mouse studies when their microbiomes aren’t taken into account? Staff writer Kelly Servick is here...
2016-Aug-11 • 31 minutes
Podcast: 400-year-old sharks, busting a famous scientific hoax, and clinical trials in pets
News stories on using pets in clinical trials to test veterinarian drugs, debunking the Piltdown Man once and for all, and deciding just how smart crows can be, with David Grimm. From the magazine It’s really difficult to figure out how old a free-living animal is. Maybe you can find growth rings in bone or other calcified body parts, but in sharks like the Greenland shark, no such hardened parts exist. Using two different radiocarbon dating approaches, Julius Neilsen and colleagues discovered that the...
2016-Aug-04 • 23 minutes
Podcast: Pollution hot spots in coastal waters, extreme bees, and diseased dinos
News stories on bees that live perilously close to the mouth of a volcano, diagnosing arthritis in dinosaur bones, and the evolution of the female orgasm, with David Grimm. From the magazine Rivers deliver water to the ocean but water is also discharged along the coast in a much more diffuse way. This “submarine groundwater discharge” carries dissolved chemicals out to sea. But the underground nature of these outflows makes them difficult to quantify. Audrey Sawyer talks with Sarah Crespi about the sca...
2016-Jul-28 • 24 minutes
Podcast: Saving wolves that aren’t really wolves, bird-human partnership, and our oldest common ancestor
Stories on birds that guide people to honey, genes left over from the last universal common ancestor, and what the nose knows about antibiotics, with Devi Shastri. The Endangered Species Act—a 1973 U.S. law designed to protect animals in the country from extinction—may need a fresh look. The focus on “species” is the problem. This has become especially clear when it comes to wolves—recent genetic information has led to government agencies moving to delist the grey wolf. Robert Wayne helps untangle the w...
2016-Jul-21 • 31 minutes
Podcast: An omnipresent antimicrobial, a lichen ménage à trois, and tiny tide-induced tremors
Stories on a lichen threesome, tremors caused by tides, and a theoretical way to inspect nuclear warheads without looking too closely at them, with Catherine Matacic. Despite concerns about antibiotic resistance, it seems like antimicrobials have crept into everything—from hand soap to toothpaste, and even fabrics. What does the ubiquitous presence of these compounds mean for our microbiomes? Alyson Yee talks with host Sarah Crespi about one antimicrobial in particular—triclosan—which has been partially...
2016-Jul-14 • 27 minutes
Podcast: The science of the apocalypse, and abstract thinking in ducklings
What do we know about humanity-ending catastrophes? Julia Rosen talks with Sarah Crespi about various doomsday scenarios and what science can do to save us. Alex Kacelnik talks about getting ducklings to recognize “same” and “different”—a striking finding that reveals conceptual thinking in very early life. Read the related research. [Image: Antone Martinho/Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Jul-07 • 20 minutes
Podcast: An exoplanet with three suns, no relief for aching knees, and building better noses
Listen to stories on how once we lose cartilage it’s gone forever, genetically engineering a supersniffing mouse, and building an artificial animal from silicon and heart cells, with Online News Editor David Grimm. As we learn more and more about exoplanets, we find we know less and less about what were thought of as the basics: why planets are where they are in relation to their stars and how they formed. Kevin Wagner joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the latest unexpected exoplanet—a young jovian pl...
2016-Jun-30 • 28 minutes
Podcast: Ending AIDS in South Africa, what makes plants gamble, and genes that turn on after death
Listen to stories on how plants know when to take risks, confirmation that the ozone layer is on the mend, and genes that come alive after death, with Online News Editor David Grimm. Science news writer Jon Cohen talks with Julia Rosen about South Africa’s bid to end AIDS. [Image: J.Seita/Flickr/Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Jun-23 • 31 minutes
Podcast: A farewell to Science’s editor-in-chief, how mosquito spit makes us sick, and bears that use human shields
Listen to how mosquito spit helps make us sick, mother bears protect their young with human shields, and blind cave fish could teach us a thing or two about psychiatric disease, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Marcia McNutt looks back on her time as Science’s editor-in-chief, her many natural disaster–related editorials, and looks forward to her next stint as president of the National Academy of Sciences, with host Sarah Crespi. [Music: Jeffrey Cook; Image: Siegfried Klaus] Learn more about yo...
2016-Jun-16 • 29 minutes
Podcast: Treating cocaine addiction, mirror molecules in space, and new insight into autism
Listen to stories on the first mirror image molecule spotted in outer space, looking at the role of touch in the development of autism, and grafting on lab-built bones, with online news editor David Grimm. Karen Ersche talks about why cocaine addiction is so hard to treat and what we can learn by bringing addicted subjects into the lab with host Sarah Crespi. [Image: Science/Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Jun-09 • 24 minutes
Podcast: Scoliosis development, antiracing stripes, and the dawn of the hobbits
Listen to stories on lizard stripes that trick predators, what a tiny jaw bone reveals about ancient “hobbit” people, and the risks of psychology’s dependence on online subjects drawn from Mechanical Turk, with online news intern Patrick Monahan. Brian Ciruna talks about a potential mechanism for the most common type of scoliosis that involves the improper flow of cerebral spinal fluid during adolescence with host Sarah Crespi. [Image: irin717/iStock/Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choi...
2016-Jun-02 • 20 minutes
Podcast: Bionic leaves that make fuel, digging into dog domestication, and wars recorded in coral
Listen to stories on new evidence for double dog domestication, what traces of mercury in coral can tell us about local wars, and an update to a classic adaptation story, with online news editor David Grimm. Brendan Colón talks about a bionic leaf system that captures light and carbon and converts it to several different types of fuels with host Sarah Crespi. [Image: Andy Phillips/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0/Music: Jeffrey Cook] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-May-26 • 24 minutes
Podcast: The economics of the Uber era, mysterious Neandertal structures, and an octopus boom
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on underground rings built by Neandertals, worldwide increases in cephalopods and a controversial hypothesis for Alzheimer’s disease. Glen Weyl joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss academics’ role in rising markets that depend on data and networks of people. We’re lucky to live in the age of the match—need a ride, a song, a husband? There’s an app that can match your needs to the object of your desire, with some margin of error. But much of this innovation is...
2016-May-19 • 22 minutes
Podcast: Tracking rats in a city slum, the giraffe genome, and watching human evolution in action
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on finding clues to giraffes’ height in their genomes, evidence that humans are still evolving from massive genome projects, and studies that infect humans with diseases on purpose. Warren Cornwall joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss an intense study of slum-dwelling rats. [Image: Mauricio Susin] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-May-12 • 22 minutes
Podcast: Rocky remnants of early Earth, plants turned predator, and a new artificial second skin
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories how the Venus flytrap turned to the meat-eating side, a new clingy polymer film that shrinks up eye bags, and survey results on who pirates scientific papers and why. Hanika Rizo joins Julia Rosen to discuss evidence that parts of Earth have remained unchanged since the planet formed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-May-05 • 28 minutes
Podcast: Why animal personalities matter, killer whale sanctuaries, and the key to making fraternal twins
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on a proposal for an orca sanctuary in the sea, the genes behind conceiving fraternal twins, and why CRISPR won’t be fixing the sick anytime soon. Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss bold birds, shy spiders, and the importance of animal personality. [Image: Judy Gallagher] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Apr-28 • 31 minutes
Podcast: Patent trolls, the earthquake-volcano link, and obesity in China
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on howearthquakes may trigger volcanic eruptions, growing obesity in China’s children, and turning salty watersweet on the cheap. Lauren Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the rise of patenttrolls in the United States and a proposal for cutting back ontheir sizable profits. [Image: © Alberto Garcia/Corbis] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Apr-21 • 27 minutes
Podcast: Sizing up a baby dino, jolting dead brains, and dirty mice
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on a possibledebunking of a popular brain stimulation technique, using “dirty” mice in the lab to simulate the human immune system, and how South American monkeys’ earliest ancestors used rafts to get to Central America. Kristi Curry Rogers joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss insights into dinosaur growth patterns from the bones of a baby titanosaur found in Madagascar. Read the research. [Image: K. Curry Rogers et al./Science] Learn more about your ad choices. ...
2016-Apr-14 • 23 minutes
Podcast: Tracking Zika, the evolution of sign language, and changing hearts and minds with social science
Online news editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on the evolution of sign language, short conversations than can change minds on social issues, and finding the one-in-a-million people who seem to be resistant to certain genetic diseases—even if they carry genes for them. Nuno Faria joins host Sarah Crespi to explain how genomic analysis can track Zika’s entry date into Brazil and follow its spread. [Image: r.a. olea/Flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Apr-07 • 21 minutes
Podcast: Spreading cancer, sacrificing humans, and transplanting organs
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on evidence for the earth being hit by supernovae, record-breaking xenotransplantation, and winning friends and influencing people with human sacrifice. Staff news writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how small membrane-bound packets called “exosomes” might pave the way for cancer cells to move into new territory in the body. [Image: Val Altounian/Science] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Mar-31 • 22 minutes
Podcast: Building a portable drug factory, mapping yeast globally, and watching cliffs crumble
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on yeasty hitchhikers, sunlight-induced rockfalls, and the tiniest gravity sensor. Andrea Adamo joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a revolutionary way of making drugs using a portable, on-demand, and reconfigurable drug factory. [Image: Tom Evans] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Mar-24 • 28 minutes
Podcast: Battling it out in the Bronze Age, letting go of orcas, and evolving silicon-based life
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on SeaWorld’s plans for killer whales, the first steps toward silicon-based life, and the ripple effect of old dads on multiple generations. Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a grisly find in Northern Germany that suggests Bronze Age northern Europe was more organized and more violent than thought. [Image: ANDESAMT FÜR KULTUR UND DENKMALPFLEGE MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN/LANDESARCHÄOLOGIE... SUHR ] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/ad...
2016-Mar-17 • 26 minutes
Podcast: The latest news from Pluto, a rock-eating fungus, and tracking storm damage with Twitter
News intern Nala Rogers shares stories on mineral-mining microbes, mapping hurricane damage using social media, and the big takeaway from the latest human-versus-computer match up. Hal Weaver joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss five papers from New Horizons Pluto flyby, including a special focus on Pluto’s smaller moons. [Image: Saran_Poroong/iStockphoto] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Mar-10 • 28 minutes
Podcast: Nuclear forensics, honesty in a sea of lies, and how sliced meat drove human evolution
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on the influence of governmental corruption on the honesty of individuals, what happened when our ancestors cut back on the amount of time spent chewing food, and how plants use sand to grind herbivores‘ gears. Science’s International News Editor Rich Stone joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss his forensics story on how to track down the culprits after a nuclear detonation. [Image: Miroslav Boskov] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Mar-03 • 26 minutes
Podcast: Glowing robot skin, zombie frogs, and viral fossils in our DNA
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on zombification by a frog-killing fungus, relating the cosmological constant to life in the universe, and ancient viral genes that protect us from illness. Chris Larson joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new type of robot skin that can stretch and glow. [Image: Jungbae Park] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Feb-25 • 27 minutes
Podcast: A recipe for clean and tasty drinking water, a gauge on rapidly rising seas, and fake flowers that can fool the most discerning insects
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on what we can learn from 6million years of climate data, how to make lifelike orchids with 3D printing, and crowdsourced gender bias on eBay. Fernando Rosario-Ortiz joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how approaches to water purification differ between countries. [Image: Eric Hunt/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0]0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Feb-18 • 24 minutes
Podcast: Combatting malnutrition with gut microbes, fighting art forgers with science, and killing cancer with gold
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on how our abilities shape our minds, killing cancer cells with gold nanoparticles, and catching art forgery with cat hair. Laura Blanton joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how nourishing our gut microbes may prevent malnutrition. Read the related research in Science. [Image: D. S. Wagner et al., Biomaterials, 31 (2010)] Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Feb-11 • 22 minutes
Podcast: The effects of Neandertal DNA on health, squishing bugs for science, and sleepy confessions
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on confessions extracted from sleepy people, malaria hiding out in deer, and making squishable bots based on cockroaches. Corinne Simonti joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss whether Neandertal DNA in the human genome is helping or hurting. Read the related research in Science. [Image: Tom Libby, Kaushik Jayaram and Pauline Jennings. Courtesy of PolyPEDAL Lab UC Berkeley.] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Feb-04 • 31 minutes
Podcast: Taking race out of genetics, a cellular cleanse for longer life, and smart sweatbands
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on killing cells to lengthen life, getting mom’s microbes after a C-section, and an advanced fitness tracker that sits on the wrist and sips sweat. Michael Yudell joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss an initiative to replace race in genetics with more biologically meaningful terms, and Lena Wilfert talks about drivers of the global spread of the bee-killing deformed wing virus. [Image: Vipin Baliga/(CC BY 2.0)] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/...
2016-Jan-28 • 27 minutes
Podcast: Babylonian astronomers, doubly domesticated cats, and outrunning a T. Rex
Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex tracks, a signature of human consciousness, and a second try at domesticating cats. Mathieu Ossendrijver joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss newly translated Babylonian tablets that extend the roots of calculus all the way back to between 350 B.C.E. to 50 B.C.E. Read the related research in Science. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Jan-21 • 19 minutes
Podcast: A planet beyond Pluto, the bugs in your home, and the link between marijuana and IQ
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on studying marijuana use in teenage twins, building a better maze for psychological experiments, and a close inspection of the bugs in our homes. Science News Writer Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the potential for a ninth planet in the solar system that circles the sun just once every 15,000 years. [Image: Gilles San Martin/CC BY-SA 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Jan-14 • 17 minutes
Podcast: Wounded mammoths, brave birds, bright bulbs, and more
In this week’s podcast, David Grimm talks about brave birds, building a brighter light bulb, and changing our voice to influence our emotions. Plus, Ann Gibbons discusses the implications of a butchered 45,000-year-old mammoth found in the Siberian arctic for human migration. Read the related research in Science. [IMG: Dmitry Bogdanov] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-Jan-08 • 33 minutes
Podcast: Dancing dinosaurs, naked black holes, and more
What stripped an unusual black hole of its stars? Can a bipolar drug change ant behavior? And did dinosaurs dance to woo mates? Science's Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science's Multimedia Producer Sarah Crespi. Plus,Science's Emily Underwood wades into the muddled world of migraine research, and Jessica Metcalf talks about using modern microbial means to track mammalian decomposition. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Dec-17 • 40 minutes
The Science breakthrough of the year, readers' choice, and the top news from 2015.
Robert Coontz discusses Science's 2015 Breakthrough of the Year and runners-up, from visions of Pluto to the discovery of a previously unknown human species. Online news editor David Grimm reviews the top news stories of the past year with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Dec-10 • 25 minutes
Artificial intelligence programs that learn concepts based on just a few examples and a daily news roundup
Brenden Lake discusses a new computational model that rivals the human ability to learn new concepts based on just a single example; David Grimm talks about attracting cockroaches, searching for habitable planets, and looking to street dogs to learn about domestication. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Rodrigo Basaure CC BY 2.0, via flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Dec-03 • 29 minutes
How our gut microbiota change as we age and a daily news roundup
Paul O'Toole discusses what happens to our gut microbes as we age; David Grimm talks about competent grandmas, our tilted moon, and gender in the brain. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Dhinakaran Gajavarathan CC BY 2.0, via flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Nov-26 • 29 minutes
Can "big data" from mobile phones pinpoint pockets of poverty? And a news roundup
Joshua Blumenstock discusses patterns of mobile phone use as a source of "big data" about wealth and poverty in developing countries; David Grimm talks about gene drives, helpful parasites, and electric roses. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: A.A. JAMES] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Nov-19 • 28 minutes
Bioengineering functional vocal cords and a daily news roundup
Jennifer Long explains how scientists have engineered human vocal cords; Catherine Matacic talks about vanquishing a deadly amphibian fungus, pigeons that spot cancer, and more. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Jaime Bosch MNCN-CSIC] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Nov-12 • 21 minutes
The consequences of mass extinction and a daily news roundup
Lauren Sallan discusses the consequences of a mass extinction event 359 million years ago on vertebrate body size; David Grimm talks about grandma's immune system, gambling on studies, and killer genes. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Robert Nicholls] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Nov-05 • 24 minutes
The evolution of Mars' atmosphere and a daily news roundup
Bruce Jakosky discusses where Mars' once-thick, CO2-ish atmosphere went and the first data from the MAVEN mission to study the Red Planet; David Grimm talks about worm allergies, fake fingerprints, and toilets for all. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: NASA] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Oct-29 • 32 minutes
The origins of biodiversity in the Amazon and a daily news roundup
Lizzie Wade discusses whether the amazing biodiversity of the Amazon Basin was the result of massive flooding, or the uplift of the Andes mountain range. David Grimm talks about microbes aboard the International Space Station, the fate of juvenile giant ground sloths during the Pleistocene, and singing classes as social glue. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: ©Jason Houston] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Oct-22 • 33 minutes
The neuroscience of reversing blindness and a daily news roundup
Rhitu Chatterjee discusses Project Prakash and the neuroscience behind reversing blindness in children, teenagers, and adults in rural India; David Grimm talks about where dogs came from, when life first evolved, and holes in the brain. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Francois de Halleux CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Oct-15 • 26 minutes
Pluto's mysteries revealed and a daily news roundup
Alan Stern discusses the first scientific results from the New Horizons July 14 flyby of Pluto, which revealed details about the dwarf planet's geology, surface composition, and atmosphere; Catherine Matacic talks about dino temps, Paleo-sleeping, and editing pig organs. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Oct-08 • 22 minutes
Can math apps benefit kids? And a daily news roundup
Talia Berkowitz discusses the use of a math app at home to boost math achievement at school, Catherine Matacic talks about the fate of animals near Chernobyl, a potential kitty contraceptive, and where spiders got their knees. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Oct-01 • 26 minutes
Safer jet fuels and a daily news roundup
Julia Kornfield discusses the design of safer jet fuel additives using polymer theory to control misting and prevent fires, David Grimm talks about building a better sunscreen, cultures that don't count past four, and does empathy mean feeling literal pain. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Image credit: Eduard Marmet/CC BY-SA-3.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Sep-24 • 24 minutes
3-parent gene therapy for mitochondrial diseases and a news roundup
Kimberly Dunham-Snary discusses the long-term health considerations of gene therapy for mitochondrial diseases and David Grimm talks about the smell of death, Mercury crashing, and animal IQ. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Image credit: Ben Gracewood CC BY-NC 2.0, via flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Sep-17 • 24 minutes
How future elites view self-interest and equality and a news roundup
Daniel Markovits discusses the preferences for fairness and equiality among potential future US leaders and David Grimm talks about finding fluorine's origins, persistant lone wolves, and the domestiction of the chicken. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: Philip Pikart/CC BY-SA 4.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Sep-10 • 23 minutes
Genes and the human microbiome and a news roundup
Seth Bordenstein discusses how our genes affect the composition of our microbiome, influencing our health, and David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about the origins of the Basque language, the benefits of being raised in a barn, and how some flying ants lost their wings. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Image credit: Decaseconds/CC BY-NC 2.0, via flickr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Sep-03 • 30 minutes
The state of science in Iran and a news roundup
Rich Stone discusses science in Iran in the face of economic sanctions. David Grimm brings stories on sleep deprivation and the common cold, plastic in birds, and counting trees. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: Credit: Alessandro Marongiu / Demotix /Corbis] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Aug-27 • 36 minutes
Moralizing gods, scientific reproducibility, and a daily news roundup
Brian Nosek discusses the reproducibility of science, Lizzie Wade delves into the origin of religions with moralizing gods. David Grimm talks about debunking the young Earth, a universal flu vaccine, and short, sweet paper titles. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Aug-20 • 26 minutes
Human superpredators and a news roundup
Chris Darimont discusses the impact of humans' unique predatory behavior on the planet and Catherine Matacic talks with Sarah Crespi about whistled languages, Neolithic massacres, and too many gas giants. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Image credit: Andrew S Wright] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Aug-13 • 24 minutes
Marmoset monkey vocal development and a news roundup
Asif Ghazanfar discusses how marmoset parents influence their babies' vocal development and Hanae Armitage talks with Sarah Crespi about the influence of livestock on biodiversity hotspots, trusting internet search results, and ant-like robots. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Carmem A. Busko, CC BY-2.5] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Aug-06 • 19 minutes
Effective Ebola vaccines and a daily news roundup
Andrea Marzi discusses a vaccine that is effective against Ebola in monkeys and David Grimm talks about weigh-loss surgery, carbon suckers, and sexist HVAC. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: NIAID] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jul-30 • 21 minutes
Comet chemistry and a news roundup
Fred Goesmann discusses Philae's bumpy landing on Comet 67P, and the organic compounds it detected there, and Hanae Armitage talks with Sarah Crespi about this week’s online news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: NAVCAM/ESA/Rosetta] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jul-23 • 21 minutes
Ancient DNA and a news roundup
Elizabeth Culotta discusses the ancient DNA revolution and David Grimm brings online news stories about rising autism numbers, shark safety, and tiny cloudmakers. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Alexander Maklakov] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jul-16 • 22 minutes
AI therapists and a news roundup
John Bohannon discusses using artificial intelligence in the psychologist's chair and David Grimm brings online news stories about the age of human hands, deadly weather, and biological GPS. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img:Nils Rinaldi/Flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jul-09 • 18 minutes
Jumping soft bots and a news roundup
Nick Bartlett discusses the challenges of building a jumping soft robot and David Grimm brings online news stories about drug violence in Mexico, pollution's effect on weather, and drugging away our altruism. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Stephen Wolfe/Flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jul-02 • 22 minutes
The scent of a rose and a news roundup
Silvie Baudino discusses the biosynthesis of the compounds responsible for the scents of roses and David Grimm brings online news stories about hearing fractals, muon detectors, and bobcat burials. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: liz west/Flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jun-25 • 20 minutes
Metallic hydrogen and a daily news roundup.
Marcus Knudson discusses making metallic hydrogen and how it can better our understanding of gas giant planets and David Grimm brings online news stories about kid justice, part-time dieting, and bird brains. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: NASA/ESA] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jun-18 • 34 minutes
Tracking ivory with genetics, the letter R, and a news roundup
Samuel Wasser discusses using genetics to track down sources of elephant ivory, Suzanne Boyce talks with Susanne Bard about why it's so hard to say the letter R, and David Grimm brings online news stories about declining devils, keeping dinos out of North America, and the tiniest flea circus. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: guido da rozze/Flickr CC BY 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jun-11 • 36 minutes
Tracking aquatic animals, cochlear implants, and a news roundup
Sara Iverson discusses how telemetry has transformed the study of animal behavior in aquatic ecosystems, and Monita Chatterjee discusses the impact of cochlear implants on the ability to recognize emotion in voices, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © marinesavers.com] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jun-04 • 31 minutes
Friction at the atomic level, the acoustics of historical speeches, and a news roundup
Alexei Bylinskii discusses friction at the atomic level and Braxton Boren talks about the acoustics of historical spaces, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Pericles' Funeral Oration by Philipp von Foltz, 1852] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-May-28 • 23 minutes
Climate change and China's tea crop and a news roundup
Christina Larson discusses the impact of climate change on China's tea and other globally sensitive crops, and Emily Conover discusses daily news stories with Sarah Crespi. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Yosomono/Creative Commons License BY 2.0, via flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-May-21 • 31 minutes
Testosterone, women, and elite sports and a news roundup
Katrina Karkazis discusses the controversial use of testosterone testing by elite sports organizations to determine who can compete as a woman, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-May-14 • 25 minutes
Science in Cuba and a news roundup
Richard Stone discusses science in Cuba: isolation, innovation, and future partnerships, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Garry Balding/Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-May-07 • 27 minutes
How the measles virus disables immunity to other diseases and a news roundup
Michael Mina discusses how measles destroys immunity to other infectious diseases and why the measles vaccine has led to disproportionate reductions in childhood mortality since its introduction 50 years ago, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: UNICEF Ethiopia/Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0, via flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Apr-30 • 27 minutes
Sustainable seafood and a news roundup
James Sanchirico discusses the challenges of creating sustainable fisheries in developing countries, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Simon Bush] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Apr-23 • 25 minutes
Hubble's 25th anniversary and a news roundup
Hubble at 25: Daniel Clery discusses the contributions of the Hubble Space Telescope to our understanding of the universe, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: NASA] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Apr-16 • 25 minutes
The bond between people and dogs and a news roundup
Evan MacLean discusses the role of oxytocin in mediating the relationship between dogs and people, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Teresa Alexander-Arab/flickr/Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Apr-09 • 24 minutes
Mountain gorilla genomes and a news roundup
Chris Tyler-Smith discusses what whole genome sequencing reveals about the genetic diversity and evolutionary history of endangered mountain gorillas, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Berzerker/flickr/Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Apr-02 • 36 minutes
The Deepwater Horizon disaster: Five years later.
5th Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster: Marcia McNutt discusses the role of science in responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Warren Cornwall examines the state of ecological recovery 5 years later. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Bryan Tarnowski/Science Magazine] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Mar-26 • 29 minutes
Child abuse across generations and a news roundup
Cathy Spatz Widom discusses whether child abuse is transmitted across generations. Angela Colmone has a round-up of advances in immunotherapy from Science Translational Medicine, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Luigi Mengato/flickr/Creative Commons] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Mar-19 • 22 minutes
Robotic materials and a news roundup
Nikolaus Correll discusses the future of robotic materials inspired by nature. Emily Conover discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Nick Dragotta] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Mar-12 • 20 minutes
The politics of happiness and a news roundup
Sean Wojcik discusses the relationship between happiness and political ideology. Emily Conover discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Erik Hersman/flickr/CC BY 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Mar-05 • 23 minutes
Antimicrobial resistance and a news roundup
Stephen Baker discusses the challenges faced by lower-income countries when fighting antimicrobial resistant infections. Emily Conover discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Merton Wilton/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Feb-26 • 25 minutes
Sexual trait evolution in mosquitoes and a news roundup
Sara Mitchell discusses the co-evolution of sexual traits in mosquitoes and their influence on malaria transmission. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Sam Cotton] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Feb-19 • 18 minutes
Maternal effects in songbirds and a news roundup
Renée Duckworth discusses the role of maternal effects on species replacement in ecological communities shaped by forest fires. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Alex Badyaev] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Feb-12 • 30 minutes
The planetary boundaries framework, marine debris, and a news roundup
Will Steffen discusses the processes that define the planetary boundaries framework: a safe operating space within which humanity can still thrive on earth. Jenna Jambeck examines the factors influencing how much plastic debris a nation contributes to the ocean. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Bo Eide Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Feb-05 • 20 minutes
Spatial neurons and a news roundup
Gyorgy Buzsáki discusses how two types of neurons in the brain's hippocampus work together to map an animal's environment. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: © Isaac Planas-Sitjà] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jan-29 • 26 minutes
Mathematicians and the NSA and a news roundup
John Bohannon discusses the growing rift between mathematicians and the National Security Agency following Edward Snowden's 2013 revelations of massive eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Amos Frumkin/Hebrew University Cave Research Center] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jan-22 • 17 minutes
How comets change seasonally and a news roundup
Myrtha Hässig discusses variability and heterogeneity of the coma of comet 67P as part of Science's special issue on the Rosetta spacecraft. Meghna Sachdev discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: European Space Agency/Rosetta/NAVCAM] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jan-15 • 26 minutes
High-altitude bird migration and a news roundup
Charles Bishop discusses the "roller-coaster" flight strategy of bar-headed geese as they migrate across the Himalayas between their breeding and wintering grounds. Online news editor David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: © Nyambayar Batbayar] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jan-08 • 19 minutes
Deworming buffalo and a news roundup
Vanessa Ezenwa discusses the complex relationship between parasitic infections and tuberculosis in African buffalo and what it can tell us about human health. Online news editor David Grimm dicusses coloration in lizards, weighing earth-like planets, and how bears help meadows by eating ants. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Mark Jordahl/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2015-Jan-01 • 16 minutes
Measuring MOOCs
Justin Reich discusses the brief history of MOOCs and their impact on teaching online and offline. [Img: GARY WATERS/GETTYIMAGES] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Dec-19 • 29 minutes
Our breakthrough of the year and this year's top news stories
Robert Coontz discusses this year's Breakthrough and letting readers have their say. Online news editor David Grimm brings the top news stories of 2014 and takes an audio news quiz. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Dec-15 • 20 minutes
The oldest piece of Mars on Earth and a news roundup (21 November 2014)
Eric Hand discusses the winding history of the Black Beauty meteorite--a 4.4 billion-year-old piece of Mars. Online news editor David Grimm brings stories on bacteria's role in the blood-brain barrier, the "ice-pocalypse", and why only 10 percent of galaxies may host complex life. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: © Joe McNally] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Dec-15 • 19 minutes
Science Podcast - Lessons from the tsetse fly genome and a news roundup (18 April 2014)
Tsetse fly genetics; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Dec-12 • 23 minutes
A flock of genomes and a news roundup (12 December 2014)
Erich Jarvis sums up the findings from sequencing 40+ bird genomes. Online news editor David Grimm brings stories capturing comet dust, the origins of life, and losing the Y chromosome. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Copyright © Flip de Nooyer/Foto Natura/Minden Pictures] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Dec-05 • 26 minutes
The shocking predatory strike of the electric eel and a news roundup (5 December 2014)
Kenneth Catania takes a close look at how exactly electric eels stun their prey. Online news editor David Grimm brings stories on pushing back the earliest abstract art by a few millennia, how our primate ancestors handled their liquor, and murderous sea mammals. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: © Kenneth Catania] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Nov-21 • 26 minutes
Gendered brains and a news roundup (21 November 2014)
Cordelia Fine discusses the prevalence of "neurosexism" in the study of the human brain. Online news editor David Grimm brings stories on climbing walls like a gecko, human hand transplants, and measuring altruism in the lab. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: turkishdisco/Flickr/CC-BY-SA] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Nov-14 • 22 minutes
How hippos help and a news roundup (14 November 2014)
David Grimm and Meghna Sachdev discuss robots that can induce ghostly feelings, the domestication of cats, and training humans to echolocate. Elizabeth Pennisi discusses overcoming hippos' dangerous reputation and oddly shaped bodies to study their important role in African ecosystems. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: Kabacchi/Wikipedia] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Nov-07 • 21 minutes
A new way to study norovirus and a news roundup (7 November 2014)
Stephanie Karst discusses her team's successful efforts to culture norovirus in the lab and what this new system means for treatment and prevention. David Grimm brings daily news stories on counting virtual friends, drama at the center of the galaxy, and the birth of the penis. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Oct-31 • 23 minutes
Changing minds on charitable giving and a news roundup (31 October 2014)
Ayelet Gneezy discusses trends in charitable giving and how to maximize donations. David Grimm brings stories on an algal virus found in humans, how to stop zooming human population growth, and an avalanche on an asteroid. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: ISAS/JAXA] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Oct-24 • 15 minutes
High altitude humans living ~11,000 years ago (24 October 2014)
Kurt Rademaker discusses his work exploring the Andean plateau for artifacts of the earliest high-altitude humans, Paleoindians that lived at 4500 meters more than 11,000 years ago. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: David-Stanley/Flickr] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Oct-17 • 20 minutes
Plants and predators and a daily news roundup (17 October 2014)
Adam Ford discusses linking plants, their herbivores, and their predators on the East African savannah. Science daily news editor David Grimm brings stories on storing CO2 underground for millions of years, why fruit flies like yeast and vice versa, and volcanoes on the moon. [Img: Filip Lachowski] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Oct-10 • 21 minutes
Robot relations and a daily news roundup (10 October 2014)
The rights and responsibilities of robots. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Oct-03 • 19 minutes
Mapping the sea floor and a daily news roundup (3 October 2014)
Satellite data helps map the last unexplored terrain on planet Earth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Sep-26 • 22 minutes
The spread of an ancient technology and a daily news roundup (26 September 2014)
New evidence reveals the complicated history of stone tool use 400,000 - 200,000 years ago. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Sep-19 • 12 minutes
Monitoring 600 years of upwelling off the California coast (19 September 2014)
Hindcasting weather over the ocean near the California coast for 600 years. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Sep-12 • 25 minutes
Engineering global health and a news roundup (12 September 2014)
Frugal engineering for global health; roundup of daily news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Sep-05 • 23 minutes
Scaling up a biofuel and a news roundup (5 Sep 2014)
Bringing cellulosic ethanol to market; roundup of daily news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Aug-29 • 24 minutes
The home microbiome and a news roundup (29 August 2014)
Sharing microbes around the house; roundup of daily news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Aug-22 • 20 minutes
Censorship in China and a news roundup (22 August 2014)
Investigating web censorship practices in China; roundup of daily news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Aug-15 • 23 minutes
Preconception parenting and a news roundup (15 Aug 2014)
Parenting from before conception; roundup of daily news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Aug-08 • 13 minutes
Building brain-like computers (8 Aug 2014)
A new class of gamma ray sources; roundup of daily news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Aug-01 • 16 minutes
Galactic gamma rays and a news roundup (1 Aug 2014)
A new class of gamma ray sources; roundup of daily news. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jul-25 • 16 minutes
Science funding for people not projects and a news roundup (25 Jul 2014)
NIH opts to back researchers rather than research; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jul-18 • 21 minutes
Altering genes in the wild and a news roundup (18 Jul 2014)
Controlling populations in the wild through genetic manipulation; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jul-11 • 20 minutes
Oceans of plastic and a news roundup (11 Jul 2014)
The fate of plastic that ends up at sea; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jul-04 • 19 minutes
Psychedelic research resurgence and a news roundup (4 Jul 2014)
Psychedelic research resurgence; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jun-27 • 19 minutes
Pollen paths and a news roundup (27 Jun 2014)
Moths chasing odors; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jun-20 • 23 minutes
Mind reading and a news roundup (20 Jun 2014)
Learning to read minds; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jun-13 • 20 minutes
Mapping Mexico's genetics and a news roundup (13 Jun 2014)
Mapping Mexico's genetically diverse population; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jun-06 • 19 minutes
Rethinking global supply chains and a news roundup (6 Jun 2014)
Taming the unwieldy web of global supply chains; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-May-30 • 21 minutes
25 years after Tiananmen and a news roundup (30 May 2014)
The impact of Tiananmen Square on science in China; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-May-23 • 17 minutes
Science Podcast - Inequality and health and a news roundup (23 May 2014)
Inequality and health; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-May-16 • 19 minutes
Science Podcast - Evading back-action in a quantum system and a news roundup (16 May 2014)
Measuring minute motions; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-May-09 • 20 minutes
Science Podcast -Chine marine archaeology and a news roundup (9 May 2014)
Marine archaeology on the Silk Road; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-May-02 • 18 minutes
Science Podcast - Climate and corn and a news roundup (2 May 2014)
Climate and crops; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Apr-18 • 22 minutes
Science Podcast - A binary star system that includes a white dwarf and a news roundup (18 April 2014)
A distinctive binary star system; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Apr-11 • 24 minutes
Science Podcast - Biomechanics of fruitflies on the wing and a news roundup (11 April 2014)
Fruitflies take evasive action; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Apr-04 • 24 minutes
Science Podcast - Life under funding change and a news roundup (4 April 2014)
Money battles; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Mar-28 • 25 minutes
Science Podcast - A BRCA1 and breast cancer retrospective and a news roundup (28 Mar 2014)
BRCA1 turns 20; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Mar-21 • 18 minutes
Science Podcast - Human odor discrimination and a news roundup (21 Mar 2014)
Human odor discrimination; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Mar-14 • 23 minutes
Science Podcast - Checking the hubris of big data harvests and a news roundup (14 Mar 2014)
What Google's Flu Trends can teach us about the pitfalls of big data; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Mar-07 • 33 minutes
Science Podcast - 100 years of crystallography, linking malaria and climate, and a news roundup (7 Mar 2014)
Celebrating crystallography's centennial; how climate pushes malaria uphill; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Feb-28 • 24 minutes
Science Podcast - Treating Down Syndrome and a news roundup (28 Feb 2014)
Treatment trials for Down Syndrome; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Feb-21 • 20 minutes
Science Podcast - Analyzing soundscapes and a news roundup (21 Feb 2014)
Eavesdropping on ecosystems; roundup of daily news with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Feb-14 • 22 minutes
Science Podcast - Termite-inspired robots and cells with lots of extra genomes (14 Feb 2014)
Termite-inspired builder robots; why some mammalian cells have so many copies of their chromosomes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Feb-07 • 23 minutes
Science Podcast - Tracing autism's roots in developlement and a rundown of stories from our daily news site (7 Feb 2014)
Tackling the role of early fetal brain development in autism; daily news stories with David Grimm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jan-31 • 28 minutes
Science Podcast - Quantum cryptography, salt's role in ecosystems, and a rundown of stories from our daily news site (31 Jan 2014)
Should we worry more about quantum decryption in the future or the past, how salt's role as a micronutrient may effect the global carbon cycle, and a daily news roundup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jan-24 • 32 minutes
Science Podcast - The genome of a transmissible dog cancer, the 10-year anniversary of Opportunity on Mars, and a rundown of stories from our daily news site (24 Jan 2014)
The genome from a cancerous cell line that's been living for millenia, Opportinty's first 10 years on Mars, and a daily news roundup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jan-17 • 31 minutes
Science Podcast - The modern hunter-gatherer gut, fast mountain weathering, and a rundown of stories from our daily news site (17 Jan 2014)
Hunter-gatherer gut microbes, fast moving mountains, and a daily news roundup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jan-10 • 23 minutes
Science Podcast - Abundant bacterial vesicles in the ocean and a rundown of stories from our daily news site (10 Jan 2014)
Ocean-going vesicles; stories from our daily news site. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2014-Jan-03 • 21 minutes
Science Podcast - Monstrous stone monuments of old and a rundown of stories from our daily news site (3 Jan 2014)
Britain's prehistoric stone monuments; stories from our daily news site. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2013-Dec-20 • 25 minutes
Science Podcast - Science's breakthrough of the year, runners-up and the top content from our daily news site (20 Dec 2013)
Notable highlights from the year in science; Science's breakthrough of the year and runners up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2013-Dec-13 • 32 minutes
Science Podcast - Fear-enhanced odor detection, the latest from the Curiosity mission, and more (13 Dec 2013)
Fear-enhanced odor detection with John McGann; the latest from Curiosity’s hunt for traces of ancient life on Mars with Richard Kerr; and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2013-Dec-06 • 29 minutes
Science Podcast - Noisy gene expression, the Tohoku-oki fault, and snake venom as a healer (6 Dec 2013)
Discussing the origin of transcriptional noise with Alvaro Sanchez; examining results from a drilling expedition at the Tohoku-oki fault; and looking at the potential benefits of snake venom with Kai Kupferschmidt. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2013-Nov-29 • 29 minutes
Science Podcast - 2013 science books for kids, newlywed happiness, and authorship for sale in China (29 Nov 2013)
Talking kids' science books with Maria Sosa; predicting happiness in marriage with James McNulty; investigating questionable scholarly publishing practices in China with Mara Hvistendahl. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2013-Nov-22 • 40 minutes
Science Podcast - Replacing the Y chromosome, the future of U.S. missile defense, the brightest gamma-ray burst, and more (22 Nov 2013)
The minimum requirements for a Y chromosome with Monika Ward; Eliot Marshall checks in on U.S.'s missile interception program 30 years later; Sylvia Zhu breaks down observations from the brightest gamma-ray burst. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2013-Nov-15 • 45 minutes
Science Podcast - Canine origins, asexual bacterial adaptation, perovskite-based solar cells, and more (15 Nov 2013)
The origin of dog domestication in Europe with Robert Wayne; Richard Lenski tracks the adaptation of bacteria over 50,000 generations; Robert Services describes the prospects of a new contender in solar technology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices