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 th...more
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 ...more
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 o...more
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...more
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,...more
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 magnet...more
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 pointin...more
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 y...more
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...more
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 ...more
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 wit...more
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 C...more
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 DeepM...more
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 prope...more
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 Cr...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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— incorp...more
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 ...more
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 profe...more
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 ...more
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 downstr...more
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 retu...more
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 ...more
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 Universi...more
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 estim...more
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 br...more
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,...more
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...more
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 How...more
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...more
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 ar...more
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 Cambr...more
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 rese...more
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 ...more
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 economi...more
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 ...more
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 t...more
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 Vande...more
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...more
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 cylind...more
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 connec...more
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 inheri...more
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 th...more
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 clim...more
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 read...more
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 197...more
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 que...more
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 develop...more
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 scientis...more
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 ...more
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 Un...more
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 ...more
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 a...more
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 Unive...more
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 temperatu...more
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, rive...more
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 h...more
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 arch...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ca...more
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 preter...more
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 ...more
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 Univers...more
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 ta...more
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-...more
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....more
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’...more
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 g...more
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 usi...more
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 res...more
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. Da...more
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 Innovation...more
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 ...more
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, d...more
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 ...more
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 ment...more
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...more
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 c...more
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 ...more
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 pa...more
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—bot...more
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 the...more
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-e...more
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 tea...more
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...more
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 researc...more
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 cr...more
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 atmosp...more
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. ...more
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...more
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...more
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 bo...more
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 podc...more
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]
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 ...more
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 autho...more
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 Lett...more
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 t...more
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]
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. [Im...more
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]
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...more
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]...more
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. Liste...more
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]
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]
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 technolo...more
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]
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...more
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]
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]
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 “ess...more
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]
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]
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. Tr...more
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]...more
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.
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 pre...more
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 t...more
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-...more
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 Scribi...more
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 th...more
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 ...more
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...more
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. [I...more
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]
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 S...more
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]
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]
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 Coo...more
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 be...more
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: J...more
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]
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:...more
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. [...more
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]
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]
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]
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]
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 ...more
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 podc...more
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
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...more
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]
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. ...more
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]
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 abou...more
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,...more
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 bee...more
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 th...more
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 Ce...more
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]
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 Ser...more
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 discove...more
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 a...more
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 un...more
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 be...more
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]
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 you...more
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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 i...more
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]
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.
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]
Online News Editor Catherine Matacic shares stories on how earthquakes may trigger volcanic eruptions, growing obesity in China’s children, and turning salty water sweet on the cheap. Lauren Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the rise of patent trolls in the United States and a proposal for cutting back on their sizable profits. [Image: © Alberto Garcia/Corbis]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on SeaWorld’s plans for killer whales, the first steps toward silicon-based life, and the ripple effect of old dads on multiple generations. Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a grisly find in Northern Germany that suggests Bronze Age northern Europe was more organized and more violent than thought. [Image: ANDESAMT FÜR KULTUR UND DENKMALPFLEGE MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN/LANDESARCHÄOLOGIE/S. SUHR ]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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
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.]
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)]
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.
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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]
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
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Nikolaus Correll discusses the future of robotic materials inspired by nature. Emily Conover discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Nick Dragotta]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Justin Reich discusses the brief history of MOOCs and their impact on teaching online and offline. [Img: GARY WATERS/GETTYIMAGES]
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.
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]
Tsetse fly genetics; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
The rights and responsibilities of robots.
Satellite data helps map the last unexplored terrain on planet Earth.
New evidence reveals the complicated history of stone tool use 400,000 - 200,000 years ago.
Hindcasting weather over the ocean near the California coast for 600 years.
Frugal engineering for global health; roundup of daily news.
Bringing cellulosic ethanol to market; roundup of daily news.
Sharing microbes around the house; roundup of daily news.
Investigating web censorship practices in China; roundup of daily news.
Parenting from before conception; roundup of daily news.
A new class of gamma ray sources; roundup of daily news.
A new class of gamma ray sources; roundup of daily news.
NIH opts to back researchers rather than research; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Controlling populations in the wild through genetic manipulation; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
The fate of plastic that ends up at sea; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Psychedelic research resurgence; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Moths chasing odors; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Learning to read minds; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Mapping Mexico's genetically diverse population; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Taming the unwieldy web of global supply chains; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
The impact of Tiananmen Square on science in China; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Inequality and health; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Measuring minute motions; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Marine archaeology on the Silk Road; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Climate and crops; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
A distinctive binary star system; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Fruitflies take evasive action; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Money battles; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
BRCA1 turns 20; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Human odor discrimination; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
What Google's Flu Trends can teach us about the pitfalls of big data; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Celebrating crystallography's centennial; how climate pushes malaria uphill; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Treatment trials for Down Syndrome; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Eavesdropping on ecosystems; roundup of daily news with David Grimm.
Termite-inspired builder robots; why some mammalian cells have so many copies of their chromosomes.
Tackling the role of early fetal brain development in autism; daily news stories with David Grimm.
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.
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.
Hunter-gatherer gut microbes, fast moving mountains, and a daily news roundup.
Ocean-going vesicles; stories from our daily news site.
Britain's prehistoric stone monuments; stories from our daily news site.
Notable highlights from the year in science; Science's breakthrough of the year and runners up.
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.
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.
Talking kids' science books with Maria Sosa; predicting happiness in marriage with James McNulty; investigating questionable scholarly publishing practices in China with Mara Hvistendahl.
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.
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.