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November 16 2017

Preventing psychosis and the evolution—or not—of written language

How has written language changed over time? Do the way we read and the way our eyes work influence how scripts look? This week we hear a story on changes in legibility in written texts with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi also interviews Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel on her story about detecting signs of psychosis in kids and teens, recruiting at-risk individuals for trials, and searching for anything that can stop the progression.    Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Procsilas Moscas/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

November 09 2017

Randomizing the news for science, transplanting genetically engineered skin, and the ethics of experimental brain implants

This week we hear stories on what to do with experimental brain implants after a study is over, how gene therapy gave a second skin to a boy with a rare epidermal disease, and how bone markings thought to be evidence for early hominid tool use may have been crocodile bites instead, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi interviews Gary King about his new experiment to bring fresh data to the age-old question of how the news media influences the public. Are journalists setting the agenda or following the crowd? How can you know if a news story makes a ripple in a sea of online information? In a powerful study, King’s group was able to publish randomized stories on 48 small and medium sized news sites in the United States and then track the results.  Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Chad Sparkes/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

November 02 2017

How Earth’s rotation could predict giant quakes, gene therapy’s new hope, and how carbon monoxide helps deep-diving seals

This week we hear stories on how the sloshing of Earth’s core may spike major earthquakes, carbon monoxide’s role in keeping deep diving elephant seals oxygenated, and a festival celebrating heavily researched yet completely nonsensical theories with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi interviews staff writer Jocelyn Kaiser about the status of gene therapy, including a newly tested gene-delivering virus that may give scientists a new way to treat devastating spinal and brain diseases. Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Robert Schwemmer, CINMS, NOAA; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

October 26 2017

Building conscious machines, tracing asteroid origins, and how the world’s oldest forests grew

This week we hear stories on sunlight pushing Mars’s flock of asteroids around, approximately 400-million-year-old trees that grew by splitting their guts, and why fighting poverty might also mean worsening climate change with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks with cognitive neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene of the Collège de France in Paris about consciousness—what is it and can machines have it? For our monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck reviews astronaut Scott Kelly’s book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/Goddard; Music: Jeffrey Cook]​

October 19 2017

LIGO spots merging neutron stars, scholarly questions about a new Bible museum, and why wolves are better team players than dogs

This week we hear stories about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory’s latest hit, why wolves are better team players than dogs, and volcanic eruptions that may have triggered riots in ancient Egypt with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi interviews contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. Can it recover from early accusations of forgeries and illicitly obtained artifacts? Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Public Domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

October 12 2017

Evolution of skin color, taming rice thrice, and peering into baby brains

This week we hear stories about a new brain imaging technique for newborns, recently uncovered evidence on rice domestication on three continents, and why Canada geese might be migrating into cities, with Online News Editor David Grimm.   Sarah Crespi interviews Sarah Tishkoff of 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]

October 05 2017

Putting rescue robots to the test, an ancient Scottish village buried in sand, and why costly drugs may have more side effects

This week we hear stories about putting rescue bots to the test after the Mexico earthquake, why a Scottish village was buried in sand during the Little Ice Age, and efforts by the U.S. military to predict posttraumatic stress disorder with Online News Editor David Grimm. Andrew Wagner interviews Alexandra Tinnermann of the University Medical Center of Hamburg, Germany, about the nocebo effect. Unlike the placebo effect, in which you get positive side effects with no treatment, in the nocebo effect you get negative side effects with no treatment. It turns out both nocebo and placebo effects get stronger with a drug perceived as more expensive. Read the research. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Chris Burns/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 28 2017

Furiously beating bat hearts, giant migrating wombats, and puzzling out preprint publishing

This week we hear stories on how a bat varies its heart rate to avoid starving, giant wombatlike creatures that once migrated across Australia, and the downsides of bedbugs’ preference for dirty laundry with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks Jocelyn Kaiser about her guide to preprint servers for biologists—what they are, how they are used, and why some people are worried about preprint publishing’s rising popularity. For our monthly book segment, Jen Golbeck talks to author Sandra Postel about her book, Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: tap10/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

September 21 2017

Cosmic rays from beyond our galaxy, sleeping jellyfish, and counting a language’s words for colors

This week we hear stories on animal hoarding, how different languages have different numbers of colors, and how to tell a wakeful jellyfish from a sleeping one with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic, Brice Russ, and Sarah Crespi.   Andrew Wagner talks to Karl-Heinz Kampert about a long-term study of the cosmic rays blasting our planet. After analyzing 30,000 high-energy rays, it turns out some are coming from outside the Milky Way.   Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Doug Letterman/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Cosmic rays, color words, and sleeping jellyfish

This week we hear stories on animal hoarding, how different languages have different numbers of colors, and how to tell a wakeful jellyfish from a sleeping one with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic, Brice Russ, and Sarah Crespi.   Andrew Wagner talks to Karl-Heinz Kampert about a long-term study of the cosmic rays blasting our planet. After analyzing 30,000 high-energy rays, it turns out some are coming from outside the Milky Way.   Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image: Doug Letterman/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 14 2017

Cargo-sorting molecular robots, humans as the ultimate fire starters, and molecular modeling with quantum computers

This week we hear stories on the gut microbiome’s involvement in multiple sclerosis, how wildfires start—hint: It’s almost always people—and a new record in quantum computing with Online News Editor David Grimm. Andrew Wagner talks to Lulu Qian about DNA-based robots that can carry and sort cargo. Sarah Crespi goes behind the scenes with Science’s Photography Managing Editor Bill Douthitt to learn about snapping this week’s cover photo of the world’s smallest neutrino detector. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Curtis Perry/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 07 2017

Taking climate science to court, sailing with cylinders, and solar cooling

This week we hear stories on smooth sailing with giant, silolike sails, a midsized black hole that may be hiding out in the Milky Way, and new water-cooling solar panels that could cut air conditioning costs with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Sabrina McCormick about climate science in the U.S. courts and the growing role of the judiciary in climate science policy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

September 03 2017

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Ein Sinnspruch besagt, dass der Mensch immer alleine mit sich ist – weil niemand kann in seinen Kopf schauen, wir sind uns selbst die Nächsten. Doch tatsächlich sind wir es nicht mehr. Das Alleinsein wird nach und nach abgeschafft. Durchschnittlich 15 Minuten nach dem Aufwachen sind wir an unseren Smartphones und kommunizieren bereits wieder mit anderen Menschen, teilweise auf der anderen Seite des Globus. Einsamkeit ist ein altmodische Konzept, wir funktionieren mehr und mehr wie ein Schwarm, gesteuert von menschlicher und künstlicher Intelligenz. Was das mit uns macht, klären wir mit Stephan Porombka, Autor und Professor für Texttheorie und Textgestaltung an der UdK Berlin.

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Reposted fromdarksideofthemoon darksideofthemoon

August 31 2017

Mysteriously male crocodiles, the future of negotiating AIs, and atomic bonding between the United States and China

This week we hear stories on involving more AIs in negotiations, tiny algae that might be responsible for killing some (not all) dinosaurs, and a chemical intended to make farm fish grow faster that may be also be causing one area’s crocodile population to skew male—with Online News Editor David Grimm.   Sarah Crespi talks to Rich Stone about being on the scene for a joint U.S.-China mission to remove bomb-grade fuel from a nuclear reactor in Ghana.   Listen to previous podcasts.    [Image:Chad Sparkes; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

August 24 2017

What hunter-gatherer gut microbiomes have that we don’t, and breaking the emoji code

Sarah Crespi talks to Sam Smits about how our microbial passengers differ from one culture to the next—are we losing diversity and the ability to fight chronic disease? For our books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Vyvyan Evans about his book The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Woodlouse/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

August 17 2017

A jump in rates of knee arthritis, a brief history of eclipse science, and bands and beats in the atmosphere of brown dwarfs

This week we hear stories on a big jump in U.S. rates of knee arthritis, some science hits and misses from past eclipses, and the link between a recently discovered thousand-year-old Viking fortress and your Bluetooth earbuds with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Daniel Apai about a long-term study of brown dwarfs and what patterns in the atmospheres of these not-quite-stars, not-quite-planets can tell us. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

August 14 2017

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Müde, einsam, online

Als die Autorin Jean M. Twenge in den Nachrichten hörte, dass sich das Smartphone einer 13-Jährigen entzündet und durch ihr Laken gebrannt hatte, fragte sie sich: Warum lag das Gerät neben dem Mädchen im Bett? Eine andere 13-Jährige erzählte ihr, dass sie die meiste Zeit des Sommers allein in ihrem Zimmer gewesen sei. „Ich habe mehr Zeit mit meinem Telefon als mit wirklichen Leuten verbracht“, sagte der Teenie.

Das Smartphone sei für eine ganze Generation der Lebensmittelpunkt, schreibt Jean M. Twenge in ihrem Buch „iGen“, das The Atlantic in Auszügen veröffentlicht hat. Zwischen 1995 und 2012 geborene US-amerikanische Kinder und Jugendliche verbrächten weniger Zeit mit Freunden, hätten keine Eile, den Führerschein zu machen und seien nicht sehr daran interessiert, zu daten. Das mache deren Leben einerseits sicherer, aber andererseits auch unglücklich und einsam, schreibt die Autorin.

Doch war es nicht schon immer so, dass die Gewohnheiten der nachwachsenden Generationen von den Älteren misstrauisch beäugt wurden? Nur dass früher anstelle des Smartphones das Radio, Comics oder Computerspiele zur Diskussion standen? Und kann man die Entwicklungen allein dem Smartphone zuschreiben? Kritische Stimmen bestreiten das. Über ihr Buch „iGen“ und diese Fragen sprechen wir mit der Autorin Jean M. Twenge.

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Reposted fromdarksideofthemoon darksideofthemoon viabesen besen

August 10 2017

Coddled puppies don’t do as well in school, some trees make their own rain, and the Americas were probably first populated by ancient mariners

This week we hear stories on new satellite measurements that suggest the Amazon makes its own rain for part of the year, puppies raised with less smothering moms do better in guide dog school, and what DNA can tell us about ancient Greeks’ near mythical origins with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Lizzie Wade about coastal and underwater evidence of a watery route for the Americas’ first people. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Lizzie Wade; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

August 03 2017

The biology of color, a database of industrial espionage, and a link between prions and diabetes

This week we hear stories on diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in chimps, a potential new pathway to diabetes—through prions—and what a database of industrial espionage says about the economics of spying with Online News Editors David Grimm and Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi talks to Innes Cuthill about how the biology of color intersects with behavior, development, and vision. And Mary Soon Lee joins to share some of her chemistry haiku—one poem for each element in the periodic table. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

July 27 2017

DNA and proteins from ancient books, music made from data, and the keys to poverty traps

This week we hear stories on turning data sets into symphonies for business and pleasure, why so much of the world is stuck in the poverty trap, and calls for stiffening statistical significance with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to news writer Ann Gibbons about the biology of ancient books—what can we learn from DNA, proteins, and book worm trails about a book, its scribes, and its readers? Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook]
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