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

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-linkTK]. 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 DeepMind’s Max Jaderberg in London about training artificial agents to play a video game version of capture the flag. The agents played approximately 4 years’ worth of Quake III Arena and came out better than even expert human players at both cooperating and collaborating, even when their computer-quick reflexes were hampered.

 

And in this month’s book segment, new host Kiki Sanford interviews Marcus Du Satoy about his book The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

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About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: DeepMind; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Katie Langin; Kiki Sanford

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190531.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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-linkTK]—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.

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 About the Science Podcast

 [Image: Cern; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Adrian Cho

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190524.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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[linkTK], 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.

 

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About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Dennis Wise/University of Washington; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Sara Talpos

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190517.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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 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.

 

See a special blog post on capturing cats on camera from the photo team[link TK].

 

Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Greg Erhardt, assistant professor of civil engineering at University of Kentucky about the effect of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lift 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.

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 About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; David Grimm

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190510.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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

 

[Image: Jaredzimmerman (WMF)/Yves Klein; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Kai Kupferschmidt; Meagan Cantwell;

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190503.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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