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

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.

 

Visit the books blog Books et al. for more reviews

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

Sponsors: Columbia University

 

[Image: Carlos Delgado/Wikipedia; Matthias Ripp/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Valerie Thompson

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190426.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

This week we have two interviews from the 2019 annual meeting 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 milking 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 that 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.

 

Listen to previous podcasts

 

About the Science Podcast

 

Sponsors: Magellan TV; Columbia University

 

[Image: Carefull in Wyoming/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190419.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

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 eight 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.

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Florian Schiestl; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

  

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Lizzie Wade; Meagan Cantwell

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190412.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

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.

 

 

Listen to previous podcasts

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: James Petiver, 1695; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Sam Kean; Yao Hua Law

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190405.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EDT

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