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June 14 2019

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

We’ve all seen images or animations of hurricanes that color code the wind speeds inside the whirling mass—but it turns out we can do a better job measuring these winds and, as a result, better predict the path of the storm. Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about how a microsatellite-based project for measuring hurricane wind speeds is showing signs of success—despite unexpected obstacles from the U.S. military’s tweaking of GPS signals.    Also this week, Sarah talks with graduate student Samantha Trumbo, a Ph.D. candidate in planetary science at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, about spotting chloride salts on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. What can these salts on the surface tell us about the oceans that lie beneath Europa’s icy crust? Download a transcript (PDF)  This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on the show: KiwiCo.com; MagellanTV Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Reposted fromscience science

June 01 2019

Aktuelles zur Gelbwestenbewegung

In sozialrevolutionären Kreisen werden die derzeitigen Riots in Frankreich vermehrt diskutiert. Die Translib Leipzig (die einige vorläufige Gedanken zu den Gelbwesten und eine deutsche Übersetzung der 42 Forderungen derselben auf ihrem Blog veröffentlicht) hat einige Debattenbeiträge in Form einer Linksammlung zusammengestellt. 2 1/2 Beiträge in hörbarer Form dokumentieren wir hier:

1.) Weihnachten wird nicht stattfinden

Weihnachten wird nicht stattfinden“ war der Titel einer Diskussionsveranstaltung, die kurz vor dem Jahreswechsel in der Translib stattgefunden hat. Marius, der an der Organisierung der Veranstaltung beteiligt war, hat im Vorfeld für Radio Corax ein paar Überlegungen angestellt:

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 42 MB; 18:32 min)

In aller Kürze ordnet das Corax-Gespräch die Gelbwesten-Bewegung in die jüngere Protestgeschichte Frankreichs ein und versucht den sozialen und politischen Charakter der Bewegung zu bestimmen. Es geht dabei auch um die Beteiligung rechter Gruppierungen. Was hier nur angeschnitten wird, wurde dann bei den Referaten in der Translib ausgeführt: Beschreibungen der Akteure und des Geschehens, Deutungsversuche der Symbole, Analysen der Forderungen und materialistische Erklärungsansätze der Bewegung. Dabei geht es auch um Debatten innerhalb der französischen radikalen Linken, unter anderem der Appelisten (Unstichtbares Komitee, der kommende Aufstand). Nachzuhören ist dies auf Youtube und hier:

    Download: via AArchiv (mp3; 104 MB; 1:21:27 h)

2.) Noch einmal zur Gelbwestenbewegung

Ein Gespräch mit ähnlich gelagerter Ausrichtung hat Radio Corax in der ersten Januarwoche gesendet. Auch hier geht es um eine historische Verortung, um die soziale Lage in Frankreich, um politische und soziale Zusammensetzung wie um die Beschränkung der Bewegung. Das Gespräch ist gegenüber den oben dokumentierten Aufnahmen in besserer Qualität.

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 52 MB; 33:16 min)
Tags: Der kommende Aufstand, Frankreich, Gelbwesten, Gilets Jaunes, Klassenkampf, Protestbewegung, Radio Corax, Unsichtbares Komitee
Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

Material zu Herbert Marcuse

Wir stellen hier mehrere Beiträge zusammen, die sich mit dem Leben und Denken von Herbert Marcuse auseinandersetzen. Dies durchaus passend zur gerade Laufenden Beitragsserie über 1968 – hat doch Herbert Marcuse als engagierter Intellektueller wie kaum ein anderer eine Verbindung zwischen der Erfahrung der Novemberrevolution und den Impulsen der Bewegung der 60er Jahre hergestellt.

1.) Leben und Werk Herbert Marcuses

Aus Anlass des 118. Geburtstags von Herbert Marcuse hat Radio Corax im Juli 2016 ein Interview mit Roger Behrens geführt. Ausgehend von der Politisierung Marcuses im Zuge des 1. Weltkriegs geht das Gespräch einigen biographischen Stationen Marcuses nach, um anhand dessen immer wieder Aspekte seines Denkens zu skizzieren.

Einer, der an der Novemberrevolution teilgenommen hat, der bei Heidegger Philosophie gelernt hat, um dann Marx zu entdecken, ein wichtiger Theoretiker des Freudo-Marxismus zu werden und der dann später Stichwortgeber der amerikanischen Studentenbewegung geworden ist – der wurde am 19. Juli 1898, also heute vor 118 Jahren in Berlin geboren und er hieß Herbert Marcuse. Er zählt zu den wichtigen Vertretern der kritischen Theorie – auch wenn er nicht wie Adorno und Horkheimer nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg nach Deutschland zurückgekehrt ist. Wir haben den 118. Geburtstag von Herbert Marcuse zum Anlass genommen, um über sein Leben und sein Denken zu sprechen. Dazu haben wir mit Roger Behrens telefoniert. Begonnen haben wir bei einer Station im Leben von Herbert Marcuse, die eine ganze Generation einschneidend geprägt hat – der erste Weltkrieg. Marcuse war jemand, der ziemlich nah dran war an der Novemberrevolution – das heißt bei Marcuse hat der erste Weltkrieg eine Politisierung nach links bedeutet. Wir haben Roger Behrens gefragt, wie diese Politisierung auch die Entwicklung des Denkens von Marcuse beeinflusst hat. [via]

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 54 MB; 39:40 min)

2.) Kapitalismus und Opposition – Vorlesungen zum eindimensionalen Menschen

Unter dem Titel „Kapitalismus und Opposition“ sind im Herbst 2017 eine Reihe von Vorlesungen veröffentlicht worden, die Herbert Marcuse 1974 an der Universität Vincennes gehalten hat. Die Vorlesungen aktualisieren und konkretisieren Aspekte der Überlegungen, die Marcuse im „Eindimensionalen Menschen“ angestellt hat und entfalten zentrale Motive, die sich durch das Werk Marcuses durchziehen. Herausgegeben wurden diese Vorlesungen von Peter-Erwin Jansen, Lisa Doppler und Alexander Neupert-Doppler. Peter-Erwin Jansen ist der Nachlassverwalter Marcuses. Radia Obscura hat ein Interview mit ihm über Marcuse und das neu erschienene Buch geführt.

2017 ist unter dem Titel „Kapitalismus und Opposition“ ein etwa 150-seitiger Band beim zuKlampen!-Verlag erschienen, in dem die Herausgeber*innen Lisa Doppler, Peter-Erwin Jansen und Alexander Neupert-Doppler in erster Linie eine Vorlesungsreihe abdrucken, die Herbert Marcuse 1974 an der Pariser Universität Vincennes abhielt. Marcuse nimmt darin am Beispiel der USA eine Analyse des Kapitalismus seiner Zeit vor, diagnostiziert einen Konsumkapitalismus und wägt Möglichkeiten seiner Überwindung ab. Ergänzt werden diese Vorlesungen u.a. um eine Einleitung durch Roger Behrens und ein Interview, das Le Monde mit Marcuse führte. Wir hatten die Gelegenheit, Peter-Erwin Jansen, Philosoph und Vorstand der Internationalen Marcuse Gesellschaft (IMS), zu dieser Publikation zu befragen und eine historische und theoretische Einordnung vorzunehmen bzw. vornehmen zu lassen. [via]

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 80 MB; 35:09 min)

3.) Buchvorstellung: Kapitalismus und Opposition

Am 15.03.2019 haben Lisa Doppler und Alexander Neupert-Doppler das Buch Kapitalismus und Opposition. Vorlesungen zum eindimensionalen Menschen in der „Neuen Republik Reger“ in Berlin vorgestellt. Sie geben im Vortrag einen kurzen Überblick über Leben und Werk von Marcuse, um dann folgende Aspekte zu diskutieren: Die Frage nach dem sozialen Ort der Revolution angesichts der Verschiebungen innerhalb der globalen Arbeitsteilung; die Kritik liberaler Ideologie und des autoritären Charakters; die Frage der Opposition im integrierten Kapitalismus. Dabei beschränkt sich der Vortrag nicht auf eine Wiedergabe der Vorlesungen Marcuses, sondern sie versuchen stets einen Bezug zu aktuellen Problemen der Gesellschaftskritik herzustellen.

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) wurde vor 50 Jahren berühmt als angeblicher Kopf der Protestwelle von 1968, der er 1969 seine Schrift ‚Versuch über die Befreiung‘ widmete. Die Revolte und deren Reflexion blieben, wie in Marcuses Titel angedeutet, leider ein Versuch. Auch heute noch leben wir im Kapitalismus, wenn auch in anderer Gestalt, auch heute noch gibt es Opposition. Erst durch dieses Fortdauern werden alte Texte interessant und aktuell.

1974 hielt Marcuse sieben Vorlesungen an der Universität Sorbonne in Paris. In erster Linie kritisierte er, als Praktiker der Theorie, bestimmte Entwicklungen im Kapitalismus. Er ging auf die Tendenz zum Monopolkapitalismus ein, die sogenannte postindustrielle Gesellschaft, auf Neoimperialismus, Konsumkapitalismus und den scheinbaren Zerfall alter Autoritäten. Aber auch die Chance der Opposition, zwischen Revolte und Integration, wird diskutiert.

2017 wurden diese Pariser Vorlesungen im zuKlampen-Verlag in deutscher Übersetzung herausgegeben von Peter-Erwin Jansen, Lisa Doppler und Alexander Neupert-Doppler. Freilich nicht aus Nostalgie, welche die größte Feindin der Utopie ist, sondern aus dem Bedürfnis die eigene Situation in ihrem Abstand zu dieser Vergangenheit einzuschätzen. Wie hat sich der Kapitalismus entwickelt? Welche Gelegenheiten findet die Opposition vor?

Lisa Doppler promoviert an der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen über Herbert Marcuse und Anknüpfungspunkte für heutige Proteste am Beispiel der Refugeebewegung. Alexander Neupert-Doppler ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am IASS in Potsdam. 2013 erschien sein Buch über politische Widrigkeiten (Staatsfetischismus), 2015 und 2018 Bände über Möglichkeiten (Utopie), ein Buch zum Begriff Gelegenheit (Kairós) ist in Arbeit.

    Download: via AArchiv (mp3; 36.8 MB; 1:07:29 h)

4.) Herbert Marcuse und der OSS

Im US-amerikanischen Exil hat Herbert Marcuse von 1942 bis 1951 für den Office of Strategic Services (OSS), den Nachrichtendienst des Kriegsministeriums, gearbeitet. In diesem Rahmen fertigte er einerseits Studien über den Nationalsozialismus an (später erschienen als „Feindanalysen“), nach dem Krieg aber auch über die Sowjetunion und das Denken des Sowjet-Marxismus. Radio Corax hat zwei Gespräche über diese Tätigkeit Marcuses geführt. Im ersten Gespräch mit Dr. Tim B. Müller vom Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (der ein Buch über „Krieger und Gelehrte. Herbert Marcuse und die Denksysteme im Kalten Krieg“ veröffentlicht hat) geht es um die Motivation Marcuses, für den OSS zu arbeiten, um den gesellschaftlich-historischen Kontext, das Verhältnis von Geheimdiensten und Regierung, sowie um die Reaktionen auf Marcuses Tätigkeit für den Geheimdienst.

Herbert Marcuse hat das Denken der Studentenbewegung und der 68er Generation in Deutschland maßgeblich bestimmt und wird sogar manchmal als deren Guru bezeichnet. Seine beiden Werke Triebstruktur und Gesellschaft (1955) und Der eindimensionale Mensch (1964) gehören zu den wichtigsten Büchern der Kritischen Theorie. Um so verblüffender ist es, dass der Held der Außerparlamentarischen Opposition und das geistige Vorbild für radikale Gegner des Kriegs in Vietnam für den US-amerikanischen Geheimdienst gearbeitet hat. Für den Geheimdienst OSS, den Vorgänger der CIA. Wir haben mit dem Historiker Dr. Tim B. Müller vom Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung gesprochen. Er hat ein Buch geschrieben. „Krieger und Gelehrte. Herbert Marcuse und die Denksysteme im Kalten Krieg“ heißt das. [via]

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 17 MB; 18:56 min)

Im zweiten Gespräch mit Detlev Claussen (der in der TAZ einen Artikel über die kritische Theorie im Dienst des OSS geschrieben hat) geht es um die Arbeitssituation des Insituts für Sozialforschung im Exil, das wechselseitige Interesse der Intelektuellen des IfS und des OSS, die Faschismus-Analyse(n) von Marcuse und die Vorwürfe der Neuen Linken, Marcuse habe sich als Agent des Imperialismus schuldig gemacht.

Herbert Marcuse, Franz Neumann und Otto Kirchheimer haben als Marxisten im Exil in den USA in den 1940′er Jahren für den amerikanischen Geheimdienst gearbeitet. Die Dokumente dieser Tätigkeit sind nun erstmals auf deutsch erschienen. Wir sprachen mit Detlev Claussen darüber, wie es zu dieser Zusammenarbeit kam, welche Erkenntnisse die drei über den Nationalsozialismus hatten und wie der Vorwurf zu bewerten ist, Marcuse wäre ein Agent des US-Imperialismus gewesen. Zuerst beantwortet er die Frage, wie die Arbeitsbedingungen des Instituts für Sozialforschung im Exil gewesen sind. [via]

    Download: via FRN (mp3; 37 MB; 16:12 min)
Tags: Alexander Neupert Doppler, Detlev Claussen, kritische Theorie, Lisa Doppler, Marcuse, Nationalsozialismus, Peter Erwin Jansen, Radia Obscura, Radio Corax, Roger Behrens, Tim B. Müller, USA
Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

May 27 2019

Ep. 531: Australian Indigenous Astronomy

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

May 23 2019

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

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was built with one big goal in mind: to find the Higgs boson. It did just that in 2012. But the question on many physicists’ minds about the LHC is, “What have you done for me lately?” Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about proposals to look at the showers of particles created by its proton collisions in new ways—from changing which events are recorded, to changing how the data are analyzed, even building more detectors outside of the LHC proper—all in the hopes that strange, longer-lived particles are being generated but missed by the current set up. Also this week, Sarah talks with Tian Li of the University of Maryland in College Park about a modified wood designed to passively cool buildings. Starting from its humble roots in the forest, the wood is given a makeover: First it is bleached white to eliminate pigments that absorb light. Next, it is hot pressed, which adds strength and durability. Most importantly, these processes allow the wood to emit in the middle-infrared range, so that when facing the sky, heat passes through the wood out to the giant heat sink of outer space. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast

May 16 2019

Nonstick chemicals that stick around and detecting ear infections with smartphones

The groundwater of Rockford, Michigan, is contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals found in everything from nonstick pans to dental floss to—in the case of Rockford—waterproofing agents from a shoe factory that shut down in 2009. Science journalist Sara Talpos talks with host Meagan Cantwell about how locals found the potentially health-harming chemicals in their water, and how contamination from nonstick chemicals isn’t limited to Michigan. Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Shyamnath Gollakota of the University of Washington in Seattle about his work diagnosing ear infections with smartphones. With the right app and a small paper cone, it turns out that your phone can listen for excess fluid in the ear by bouncing quiet clicks from the speaker off the eardrum. Clinical testing shows the setup is simple to use and can help parents and doctors check children for this common infection. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this show: Science Rules! podcast with Bill Nye Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Dennis Wise/University of Washington; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

May 09 2019

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

Dog cognition and social behavior have hogged the scientific limelight for years—showing in study after study that canines have social skills essential to their relationships with people. Cats, not so much. These often-fractious felines tend to balk at strange situations—be they laboratories, MRI machines, or even a slightly noisy fan. Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss several brave research labs that have started to work with cats on their terms in order to show they have social smarts comparable to dogs. So far, the results suggest that despite their different ancestors and paths to domestication, cats and dogs have a lot more in common then we previously thought. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Greg Erhardt, assistant professor of civil engineering at University of Kentucky in Lexington about the effect of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft on traffic in San Francisco, California. His group’s work showed that when comparing 2010 and 2016 traffic, these services contributed significantly to increases in congestion in a large growing city like San Francisco, but questions still remain about how much can be generalized to other cities or lower density areas. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this show: KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

May 02 2019

The age-old quest for the color blue and why pollution is not killing the killifish

Humans have sought new materials to make elusive blue pigments for millennia—with mixed success. Today, scientists are tackling this blue-hued problem from many different angles. Host Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Kai Kupferschmidt about how scientists are looking to algae, bacteria, flowers—even minerals from deep under Earth’s crust—in the age-old quest for the rarest of pigments. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Andrew Whitehead, associate professor in the department of environmental toxicology at the University of California, Davis, about how the Atlantic killifish rescued its cousin, the gulf killifish, from extreme pollution. Whitehead talks about how a gene exchange occurred between these species that normally live thousands of kilometers apart, and whether this research could inform future conservation efforts. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy Ads on this show: KiwiCo Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast

April 25 2019

Race and disease risk and Berlin’s singing nightingales

Noncancerous tumors of the uterus—also known as fibroids—are extremely common in women. One risk factor, according to the scientific literature, is “black race.” But such simplistic categories may actually obscure the real drivers of the disparities in outcomes for women with fibroids, according to this week’s guest. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Jada Benn Torres, an associate professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, about how using interdisciplinary approaches— incorporating both genetic and cultural perspectives—can paint a more complete picture of how race shapes our understanding of diseases and how they are treated. In our monthly books segment, book review editor Valerie Thompson talks with David Rothenberg, author of the book Nightingales in Berlin: Searching for the Perfect Sound, about spending time with birds, whales, and neuroscientists trying to understand the aesthetics of human and animal music. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Carlos Delgado/Wikipedia; Matthias Ripp/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

April 18 2019

How dental plaque reveals the history of dairy farming, and how our neighbors view food waste

This week we have two interviews from the annual meeting of AAAS in Washington D.C.: one on the history of food and one about our own perceptions of food and food waste.  First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Christina Warinner from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, about the history of dairying. When did people first start to milk animals and where? It turns out, the spread of human genetic adaptations for drinking milk do not closely correspond to the history of consuming milk from animals. Instead, evidence from ancient dental plaque suggests people from all over the world developed different ways of chugging milk—not all of them genetic. Next, Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-director of the Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement Poll, about the public’s perception of food waste. Do most people try to conserve food and produce less waste? Better insight into the point of view of consumers may help keep billions of kilograms of food from being discarded every year in the United States. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image:  Carefull in Wyoming/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

April 11 2019

A new species of ancient human and real-time evolutionary changes in flowering plants

The ancient humans also known as the “hobbit” people (Homo floresiensis) might have company in their small stature with the discovery of another species of hominin in the Philippines. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about what researchers have learned about this hominin from a jaw fragment, and its finger and toe bones and how this fits in with past discoveries of other ancient humans. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Florian Schiestl, a professor in evolutionary biology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, about his work to understand the rapid evolution of the flowering plant Brassica rapa over the course of six generations. He was able to see how the combination of pollination by bees and risk of getting eaten by herbivores influences the plant’s appearance and defense mechanisms. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Ads on this week's show: Kolabtree.com and Magellan TV Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Florian Schiestl; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

April 04 2019

A radioactive waste standoff and science’s debt to the slave trade

A single factory in Malaysia supplies about 10% of the world’s rare earth oxides, used in everything from cellphones to lasers to missiles. Controversy over the final resting place for the slightly radioactive byproducts has pushed the plant to the brink of closure. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with freelance writer Yao Hua Law about calls to ship the waste back to where it was originally mined in Australia, and how stopping production in Malaysia would mean almost all rare earth production would take place in China.  In another global trade story, host Sarah Crespi talks with freelance writer Sam Kean about close links between the slave trade and early naturalists’ efforts to catalog the world’s flora and fauna. Today, historians and museums are just starting to come to grips with the often-ignored relationships between slavers and scientists. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: James Petiver, 1695; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

March 28 2019

Mysterious racehorse injuries, and reforming the U.S. bail system

Southern California’s famous Santa Anita racetrack is struggling to explain a series of recent horse injuries and deaths. Host Meagan Cantwell is joined by freelance journalist Christa Lesté-Lasserre to discuss what might be causing these injuries and when the track might reopen. In our second segment, researchers are racing to understand the impact of jailing people before trial in the United States. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the negative downstream effects of cash bail—and what research can tell us about other options for the U.S. pretrial justice system. Last up is books, in which we hear about the long, sometimes winding, roads that food can take from its source to your plate. Books editor Valerie Thompson talks with author Robyn Metcalfe about her new work, Food Routes: Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales from the Logistics of Eating. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. *Correction, 1 April, 12 p.m.: A previous version of this podcast included an additional research technique that was not used to investigate the Santa Anita racetrack. Download the transcript (PDF)  Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Mark Smith/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

March 21 2019

Vacuuming potato-size nodules of valuable metals in the deep sea, and an expedition to an asteroid 290 million kilometers away

Pirate’s gold may not be that far off, as there are valuable metals embedded in potato-size nodules thousands of meters down in the depths of the ocean. Host Meagan Cantwell talks with Staff Writer Paul Voosen about the first deep-sea test of a bus-size machine designed to scoop up these nodules, and its potential impact on the surrounding ecosystem. In an expedition well above sea level, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Ryugu last month. And although the craft won’t return to Earth until 2020, researchers have learned a lot about Ryugu in the meantime. Meagan speaks with Seiji Sugita, a professor at the University of Tokyo and principal investigator of the Optical Navigation Camera of Hayabusa 2, about Ryugu’s parent body, and how this study can better inform future asteroid missions. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

March 14 2019

Mysterious fast radio bursts and long-lasting effects of childhood cancer treatments

Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Daniel Clery about the many, many theories surrounding fast radio bursts—extremely fast, intense radio signals from outside the galaxy—and a new telescope coming online that may help sort them out. Also this week, Sarah talks with Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel about her story on researchers’ attempts to tackle the long-term effects of pediatric cancer treatment. The survival rate for some pediatric cancers is as high as 90%, but many survivors have a host of health problems. Jennifer’s feature is part of a special section on pediatric cancer. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: ESO/L. Calçada; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

March 07 2019

Clues that the medieval plague swept into sub-Saharan Africa and evidence humans hunted and butchered giant ground sloths 12,000 years ago

New archaeological evidence suggests the same black plague that decimated Europe also took its toll on sub-Saharan Africa. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about diverse medieval sub-Saharan cities that shrank or even disappeared around the same time the plague was stalking Europe. In a second archaeological story, Meagan Cantwell talks with Gustavo Politis, professor of archaeology at the National University of Central Buenos Aires and the National University of La Plata, about new radiocarbon dates for giant ground sloth remains found in the Argentine archaeological site Campo Laborde. The team’s new dates suggest humans hunted and butchered ground sloths in the late Pleistocene, about 12,500 years ago. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Ife-Sungbo Archaeological Project; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

February 28 2019

Measuring earthquake damage with cellphone sensors and determining the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau

In the wake of a devastating earthquake, assessing the extent of damage to infrastructure is time consuming—now, a cheap sensor system based on the accelerometers in cellphones could expedite this process. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about how these sensor systems work and how they might assist communities after an earthquake. In another Earth-shaking study, scientists have downgraded the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau. Most reconstructions estimate that the “rooftop of the world” reached its current height of 4500 meters about 40 million years ago, but a new study suggests it was a mere 3000 meters high during this period. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Svetlana Botsyun, a postdoctoral researcher at Tübingen University in Germany, about her team’s new approach to studying paleoelevation, and how a shorter Tibetan Plateau would have impacted the surrounding area’s climate. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Martin Luff/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

February 21 2019

Spotting slavery from space, and using iPads for communication disorders

In our first segment from the annual meeting of AAAS (Science’s publisher) in Washington, D.C., host Sarah Crespi talks with Cathy Binger of University of New Mexico in Albuquerque about her session on the role of modern technology, such as iPads and apps, in helping people with communication disorders. It turns out that there’s no killer app, but some devices do help normalize assistive technology for kids. Also this week, freelance journalist Sarah Scoles joins Sarah Crespi to talk about bringing together satellite imaging, machine learning, and nonprofits to put a stop to modern-day slavery. In our monthly books segment, books editor Valerie Thompson talks with Judy Grisel about her book Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction, including discussions of Gisel’s personal experience with addiction and how it has informed her research as a neuroscientist. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: ILO in Asia and the Pacific/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

February 14 2019

How far out we can predict the weather, and an ocean robot that monitors food webs

The app on your phone tells you the weather for the next 10 days—that’s the furthest forecasters have ever been able to predict. In fact, every decade for the past hundred years, a day has been added to the total forecast length. But we may be approaching a limit—thanks to chaos inherent in the atmosphere. Staff writer Paul Voosen joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how researchers have determined that we will only be adding about 5 more days to our weather prediction apps. Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell interviews Trygve Fossum from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim about his article in Science Robotics on an underwater autonomous vehicle designed to sample phytoplankton off the coast of Norway. The device will help researchers form a better picture of the base of many food webs and with continued monitoring, researchers hope to better understand key processes in the ocean such as nutrient, carbon, and energy cycling. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast [Image: Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

February 07 2019

Possible potato improvements, and a pill that gives you a jab in the gut

Because of its genetic complexity, the potato didn’t undergo a “green revolution” like other staple crops. It can take more than 15 years to breed a new kind of potato that farmers can grow, and genetic engineering just won’t work for tackling complex traits such as increased yield or heat resistance. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Erik Stokstad about how researchers are trying to simplify the potato genome to make it easier to manipulate through breeding. Researchers and companies are racing to perfect an injector pill—a pill that you swallow, which then uses a tiny needle to shoot medicine into the body. Such an approach could help improve compliance for injected medications like insulin. Host Meagan Cantwell and Staff Writer Robert F. Service discuss a new kind of pill—one that flips itself over once it hits the bottom of the stomach and injects a dose of medication into the stomach lining. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Download the transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast [Image: Michael Eric Nickel/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
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Schweinderl