Thu, 15 February 2018
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 post-mortem 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.
[Image: Lauri Andler(Phantom); Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Thu, 8 February 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.
[Image: Austin Thomason/Michigan Photography; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Thu, 1 February 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.
[Image: Tim Evanson/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Thu, 25 January 2018
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.
[Image: Collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, Chief Scientist National Ice Center; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Thu, 18 January 2018
Unearthed letters reveal changes in Fields Medal awards, and predicting crime with computers is no easy feat
Freelance science writer Mike 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.
[Image: Greg Chiasson/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Thu, 11 January 2018
David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about two underwater finds: the first sharks shown to survive off of seagrass and what fossilized barnacles reveal about ancient whale migrations.
Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Adrian Cho about what happens after quantum computing achieves quantum supremacy—the threshold where a quantum computer’s abilities outstrip nonquantum machines. Just how useful will these machines be and what kinds of scientific problems might they tackle?
[Image: Aleria Jensen, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm; Adrian Cho
Thu, 4 January 2018
David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about a long-term project monitoring raccoon latrines in California. What influence do these wild bathrooms have on the ecosystem?
Sarah also interviews Christian Jobin of the University of Florida in Gainesville about his Perspective on three papers linking the success of cancer immunotherapy with microbes in the gut—it turns out which bacteria live in a cancer patient’s intestines can predict their response to this cutting edge cancer treatment.
Read the related papers:
epithelial tumors Science 2018
melanoma patients Science 2018
metastatic melanoma patients Science 2018 aan4236
[Image: cuatrok77/Flickr ; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Thu, 21 December 2017
Dave Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about a few of this year’s top stories from our online news site, like ones on a major error in the monarch butterfly biological record and using massive balloons to build tunnels—and why they were chosen. Hint: It’s not just the stats.
Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Adrian Cho about the 2017 Breakthrough of the Year. Adrian talks about why Science gave the nod to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory team for a second year in a row—for the detection of a pair of merging neutron stars.
Jen Golbeck is also back for the last book review segment of the year. She talks with Sarah about her first year on the show, her favorite books, what we should have covered, and some suggestions for books as gifts.
[Image: f99aq8ove/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Authors: Sarah Crespi; Jen Golbeck; David Grimm
Thu, 14 December 2017
Whales and dolphins have incredibly sensitive hearing and are known to be harmed by loud underwater noises. David Grimm talks with Sarah Crespi about new research on captive cetaceans suggesting that some species can naturally muffle such sounds—perhaps opening a way to protect these marine mammals in the wild.
Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Jeffrey Mervis about his story on the future of autonomous cars. Will they really reduce traffic and make our lives easier? What does the science say?
[Image: Laura Wolf/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Thu, 7 December 2017
This week, three papers came out describing new approaches to folding DNA into large complex shapes—20 times bigger than previous DNA sculptures. Staff Writer Bob Service talks with Sarah Crespi about building microscopic teddy bears, doughnuts, and more from genetic material, and using these techniques to push forward fields from materials science to drug delivery.
Sarah also interviews Philip Cook of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, about his Policy Forum on gun regulation research. It’s long been hard to collect data on gun violence in the United States, and Cook talks about how some researchers are getting funding and hard data. He also discusses some strong early results on open-carry laws and links between gun control and intimate partner homicide.
[Image: : K.WAGENBAUER, ET. AL., NATURE, VOL. 551, 2017; Music: Jeffrey Cook]