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May 17 2018

Tracking ancient Rome’s rise using Greenland’s ice, and fighting fungicide resistance

Two thousand years ago, ancient Romans were pumping lead into the air as they smelted ores to make the silvery coin of the realm. Online news editor David Grimm talks to Sarah Crespi about how the pollution of ice in Greenland from this process provides a detailed 1900-year record of Roman history. This week is also resistance week at Science—where researchers explore the global challenges of antibiotic resistance, pesticide resistance, herbicide resistance, and fungicide resistance. Sarah talks with Sarah Gurr of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom about her group’s work on the spread of antifungal resistance and what it means for crops and in the clinic. And in a bonus books segment, staff writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks about medicine and fraud in her review of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Wheat rust/Oregon State University; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

May 10 2018

Ancient DNA is helping find the first horse tamers, and a single gene is spawning a fierce debate in salmon conservation

Who were the first horse tamers? Online News Editor Catherine Matacic talks to Sarah Crespi about a new study that brings genomics to bear on the question. The hunt for the original equine domesticators has focused on Bronze Age people living on the Eurasian steppe. Now, an ancient DNA analysis bolsters the idea that a small group of hunter-gatherers, called the Botai, were likely the first to harness horses, not the famous Yamnaya pastoralists often thought to be the originators of the Indo-European language family. Sarah also talks with News Intern Katie Langin about her feature story on a single salmon gene that may separate spring- and fall-run salmon. Conservationists, regulators, and citizens are fiercely debating the role such a small bit of DNA plays in defining distinct populations. Is the spring run distinct enough to warrant protection? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Jessica Piispanen/USFWS; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

May 03 2018

The twins climbing Mount Everest for science, and the fractal nature of human bone

To study the biological differences brought on by space travel, NASA sent one twin into space and kept another on Earth in 2015. Now, researchers from that project are trying to replicate that work planet-side to see whether the differences in gene expression were due to extreme stress or were specific to being in space. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about a “control” study using what might be a comparably stressful experience here on Earth: climbing Mount Everest. Catherine also shares a recent study that confirmed what one reddit user posted 5 years ago: A single path stretching from southern Pakistan to northeastern Russia will take you on the longest straight-line journey on Earth, via the ocean. Finally, Sarah talks with Roland Kröger of the University of York in the United Kingdom about his group’s study published this week in Science. Using a combination of techniques usually reserved for materials science, the group explored the nanoscale arrangement of mineral in bone, looking for an explanation of the tissue’s contradictory combination of toughness and hardness. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Human bone (20X) by Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

April 26 2018

Deciphering talking drums, and squeezing more juice out of solar panels

Researchers have found new clues to how the “talking drums” of one Amazonian tribe convey their messages. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the role of tone and rhythm in this form of communication. Getting poked with a needle will probably get you moving. Apparently, it also gets charges moving in certain semiconductive materials. Sarah interviews Marin Alexe of The University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., about this newfound flexo-photovoltaic effect. Alexe’s group found that prodding or denting certain semiconductors with tiny needles causes them to suddenly produce current in response to light. That discovery could enhance the efficiency of current of solar cell technologies. Finally, in our books segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Lucy Cooke about her new book The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Adam Levine/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

April 19 2018

Drug use in the ancient world, and what will happen to plants as carbon dioxide levels increase

Armed with new data, archaeologists are revealing that mind-altering drugs were present at the dawn of the first complex societies some 5000 years ago in the ancient Middle East. Contributing writer Andrew Lawler joins Sarah Crespi to discuss the evidence for these drugs and how they might have impacted early societies and beliefs. Sarah also interviews Sarah Hobbie of the University of Minnesota about the fate of plants under climate change. Will all that extra carbon dioxide in the air be good for certain types of flora? A 20-year long study published this week in Science suggests theoretical predictions have been off the mark. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Public domain Music: Jeffrey Cook]

April 12 2018

How DNA is revealing Latin America’s lost histories, and how to make a molecule from just two atoms

Geneticists and anthropologists studying historical records and modern-day genomes are finding traces of previously unknown migrants to Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Asians, Africans, and Europeans first met indigenous Latin Americans. Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about what she learned on the topic at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists’s annual meeting in Austin. Sarah also interviews Kang-Keun Ni about her research using optical tweezers to bring two atoms—one cesium and one sodium—together into a single molecule. Such precise control of molecule formation is allowing new observations of these basic processes and is opening the door to creating new molecules for quantum computing. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Juan Fernando Ibarra; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

April 05 2018

Legendary Viking crystals, and how to put an octopus to sleep

A millennium ago, Viking navigators may have used crystals known as “sunstones” to navigate between Norway and Greenland. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about how one might use a crystal to figure out where they are. Sarah also interviews freelancer Danna Staaf about her piece on sedating cephalopods. Until recently, researchers working with octopuses and squids faced the dilemma of not knowing whether the animals were truly sedated or whether only their ability to respond had been suppressed. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image:  Nicholas Roerich, Guests from Overseas; Music: Jeffrey Cook]   

March 29 2018

Chimpanzee retirement gains momentum, and x-ray ‘ghost images’ could cut radiation doses

Two of the world’s most famous research chimpanzees have finally retired. Hercules and Leo arrived at a chimp sanctuary in Georgia last week. Sarah Crespi checks in with Online News Editor David Grimm on the increasing momentum for research chimp retirement since the primates were labeled endangered species in 2015. Sarah also interviews freelancer Sophia Chen about her piece on x-ray ghost imaging—a technique that may lead to safer medical imaging done with cheap, single-pixel cameras. David Malakoff joins Sarah to talk about the big boost in U.S. science funding signed into law over the weekend. Finally, Jen Golbeck interviews author Stephanie Elizabeth Mohr on her book First in Fly: Drosophila Research and Biological Discovery for our monthly books segment. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Crystal Alba/Project Chimps; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

March 22 2018

A possible cause for severe morning sickness, and linking mouse moms’ caretaking to brain changes in baby mice

Researchers are converging on which genes are linked to morning sickness—the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy—and the more severe form: hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). And once we know what those genes are—can we help pregnant women feel better? News intern Roni Dengler joins Sarah Crespi to talk about a new study that suggests a protein already flagged for its role in cancer-related nausea may also be behind HG. In a second segment, Tracy Bedrosian of the Neurotechnology Innovations Translator talks about how the amount of time spent being licked by mom might be linked to changes in the genetic code of hippocampal neurons in mice pups. Could these types of genomic changes be a new type of plasticity in the brain? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Jacob Bøtter/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

March 15 2018

How humans survived an ancient volcanic winter and how disgust shapes ecosystems

When Indonesia’s Mount Toba blew its top some 74,000 years ago, an apocalyptic scenario ensued: Tons of ash and debris entered the atmosphere, coating the planet in ash for 2 weeks straight and sending global temperatures plummeting. Despite the worldwide destruction, humans survived. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about how life after Toba was even possible—were humans decimated, or did they rally in the face of a suddenly extra hostile planet? Next, Julia Buck of the University of California, Santa Barbara, joins Sarah to discuss her Science commentary piece on landscapes of disgust. You may have heard of a landscape of fear—how a predator can influence an ecosystem not just by eating its prey, but also by introducing fear into the system, changing the behavior of many organisms. Buck and colleagues write about how disgust can operate in a similar way: Animals protect themselves from parasites and infection by avoiding disgusting things such as dead animals of the same species or those with disease. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Emma Forsber/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

March 08 2018

Animals that don’t need people to be domesticated; the astonishing spread of false news; and links between gender, sexual orientation, and speech

Did people domesticate animals? Or did they domesticate themselves? Online News Editor David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about a recent study that looked at self-domesticating mice. If they could go it alone, could cats or dogs have done the same in the distant past? Next, Sinan Aral of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge joins Sarah to discuss his work on true and false rumor cascades across all of Twitter, since its inception. He finds that false news travels further, deeper, and faster than true news, regardless of the source of the tweet, the kind of news it was, or whether bots were involved. In a bonus segment recording during a live podcasting event at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Sarah first speaks with Ben Munson of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis about markers of gender and sexual orientation in spoken language and then Adrienne Hancock of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., talks about using what we know about gender and communication to help transgender women change their speech and communication style. Live recordings sessions at the AAAS meeting were supported by funds from the European Commission. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Rudolf Jakkel (CC0); Music: Jeffrey Cook]

March 01 2018

A new dark matter signal from the early universe, massive family trees, and how we might respond to alien contact

For some time after the big bang there were no stars. Researchers are now looking at cosmic dawn—the time when stars first popped into being—and are seeing hints of dark matter’s influence on supercold hydrogen clouds. News Writer Adrian Cho talks with Sarah Crespi about how this observation was made and what it means for our understanding of dark matter. Sarah also interviews Joanna Kaplanis of the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton, U.K., about constructing enormous family trees based on an online social genealogy platform. What can we learn from the biggest family tree ever built—with 13 million members spanning 11 generations? In a bonus segment recording during a live podcasting event at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Sarah talks with Michael Varnum of Arizona State University in Tempe about what people think they will do if humanity comes into contact with aliens that just happen to be microbes. Live recordings sessions at the AAAS meeting were supported by funds from the European Commission. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/H. Hildebrandt & B. Giblin/ESO; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

February 22 2018

Neandertals that made art, live news from the AAAS Annual Meeting, and the emotional experience of being a scientist

We talk about the techniques of painting sleuths, how to combat alternative facts or “fake news,” and using audio signposts to keep birds from flying into buildings. For this segment, David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with host Sarah Crespi as part of a live podcast event from the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin. Sarah also interviews Science News Editor Tim Appenzeller about Neandertal art. The unexpected age of some European cave paintings is causing experts to rethink the mental capabilities of our extinct cousins. For the monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck interviews with William Glassley about his book, A Wilder Time: Notes from a Geologist at the Edge of the Greenland Ice. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Marcus Trienke/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

February 15 2018

Genes that turn off after death, and debunking the sugar conspiracy

Some of our genes come alive after we die. David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about which genes are active after death and what we can learn about time of death by looking at patterns of postmortem gene expression. Sarah also interviews David Merritt Johns of Columbia University about the so-called sugar conspiracy. Historical evidence suggests, despite recent media reports, it is unlikely that “big sugar” influenced U.S. nutrition policy and led to the low-fat diet fad of the ’80s and ’90s. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Lauri Andler (Phantom); Music: Jeffrey Cook]

February 08 2018

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

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

February 01 2018

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

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

January 31 2018

Podcast „Herr Mies will’s wissen“: Maschinelles Lernen

Google Deep Dream: Blue Flower. CC0 deborah.solteszDas Thema Machine Learning und Künstliche Intelligenz wird in der neuen Folge von „Herr Mies will’s wissen“ beleuchtet. Es geht um die Grundbegriffe und vor allem um die Testdaten und Trainingsdaten für KI-Systeme sowie den richtigen Umgang damit. Wer schon immer mal praxisnahe Einblicke in das maschinelle Lernen suchte, der kann sich den hörenswerten Podcast […]
Reposted fromnetzpolitik netzpolitik

January 30 2018

Preisverleihung und Lecture 2018

Am 29.1. 2018 wurden in Hamburg die Surveillance-Studies-Preise 2018 vergeben.

Hier sind einige Bilder von der Veranstaltung, Infos zu den Gewinnern und den Beiträgen.

Surveillance Studies Lecture 2018: Prof. Dr. Ingrid Schneider, Fb Informatik der Universität Hamburg (im Rahmen der Ringvorlesung Daten, Algorithmen, Kontrolle der Zukunft): Big Data und Diskriminierung.


Der Preis an Harald Schumann und Elisa Simantke wird von den beiden im Namen der Redaktion und des Teams von Investigate Europe angenommen, da es sich bei der Arbeit um ein Gemeinschaftsprojekt von neun (9) Journalisten aus Europa handelt.

Die Laudatio für den Beitrag “Grenzenlose Überwachung” war von Antje Möller frei gehalten, deshalb nicht erhalten.

Der zweite Gewinnerbeitrag von Jasmin Klofta und Svea Eckert kann in der Mediathek der ARD angesehen werden.  Nackt im Netz: Auch intime Details von Bundespolitikern im Handel. (Panorama 3.11.2016)

Großen Dank an Florian Rötzer und telepolis für das Preisgeld.

Laudatio von Nele Heise für Erich Moechel, der eine besondere Erwähnung der Jury bekommen hat:

Erich Möchel zählt zu den Pionieren des IT-Journalismus in Österreich. Seit 1983 ist er für diverse Medien wie Falter, Radio Ö1, der Standard,, Telepolis oder FM4 tätig. 1999 zählte er zu den Gründungsmitgliedern des IT-Nachrichtenkanals, für den er auch als Ressortleiter tätig war.

2014 konnte Erich Möchel in monatelanger Recherche, basierend auf den Snowden-Dokumenten, die Aktivitäten der NSA in Österreich dokumentieren. Die Liste zu seinen Recherchen, Artikeln und Vorträgen ließe sich ewig weiterführen. Das ist nicht nur seiner langen “Dienstzeit” geschuldet, sondern auch seinem unermüdlichen Streben, komplexe Zusammenhänge zu erkennen, Themen über einen längeren Zeitraum zu begleiten und auch technisch anspruchsvolle Aspekte für die Leserinnen und Leser aufzubereiten.

Hinzu kommt sein Engagement abseits des Journalismus. So hat er u. a. 1996 den Verein quintessenz zur Wiederherstellung der Bürgerrechte im Informationszeitalter mitbegründet und hält regelmäßig Vorträge zu den Themen Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, automatisierte Überwachung und digitale Bürgerrechte.

Beeindruckt hat die Jury die Konsequenz mit der er Themen verfolgt, die Erfahrung, die ihn nicht jedem digitalen Knochen nachlaufen lässt, und die anhaltende Begeisterung, mit der er über Themen, denen er auf der Spur ist, berichtet. Fest steht: Erich Möchels journalistische Beiträge sind ein wertvoller Bestandteil (und für manch einen wohl auch ein Stachel) der österreichischen Berichterstattung. Das zeigt u. a. seine Artikelreihe zur geplanten Einführung eines “Bundestrojaners” nach deutschem Vorbild, die er im Sommer 2017 für den Jugendsender Radio FM4 verfasste. Die Beiträge fanden ein großes Medien-Echo, was Möchel selbst auch darauf zurückführt, dass sich außer ihm “niemand die Zeit genommen [hatte], auch die Erläuterungen zum an sich sehr dürren Gesetzestext zu lesen.” Letztlich scheiterte das sog. “Sicherheitspaket” der österreichischen Koalition v. a. an der Trojanerfrage – ein Erfolg auf Zeit, wie Möchel selbst betont. Aber auch ein Beleg dafür, dass sich das konsequente Dranbleiben, Nachbohren und genaue Hinschauen lohnt.

Aus Sicht der Jury stehen diese versiert recherchierten Analysen exemplarisch für Möchels jahrelange hochwertige Arbeit und kritische Berichterstattung zu technologischen und politischen Zusammenhängen der Überwachung. Die Jury ist der Auffassung, dass wir gerade angesichts eines sich nicht nur in Österreich verschärfenden gesellschaftlichen und politischen Klimas, einen solch analytisch fundierten, ausdauernden und einordnenden Journalismus brauchen. Daher spricht die Jury des Surveillance Studies-Preises 2018 eine besondere Erwähnung für die journalistischen Leistungen von Erich Möchel aus.

Reposted fromteleschirm teleschirm

January 25 2018

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

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

January 18 2018

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

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