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

Imagine having a rat clinging to your back, sucking out your fat stores. That’s similar to what infested bees endure when the Varroa destructor mite comes calling. Some bees fight back, wiggling, scratching, and biting until the mites depart for friendlier backs. Now, researchers, professional beekeepers, and hobbyists are working on ways to breed into bees these mite-defeating behaviors to rid them of these damaging pests. Host Sarah Crespi and Staff Writer Erik Stokstad discuss the tactics of, and the hurdles to, pesticide-free mite control.

 

Also this week, Sarah talks to Philip Kragel of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado in Boulder about training an AI on emotionally charged images. The ultimate aim of this research: to understand how the human visual system is involved in processing emotion.

 

And in books, Kate Eichorn, author of The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media, joins books host Kiki Sanford to talk about how the monetization of digital information has led to the ease of social media sharing and posting for kids and adults.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads in this episode: KiwiCo.com

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Steve Baker/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Erik Stokstad; Kiki Sanford

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190726.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

Can we inherit trauma from our ancestors? Studies of behavior and biomarkers have suggested the stress of harsh conditions or family separations can be passed down, even beyond one’s children. Journalist Andrew Curry joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a possible mechanism for this mode of inheritance and mouse studies that suggest possible ways to reverse the effects.

 

Spiky, pulsating ferrofluids are perpetual YouTube stars. The secret to these dark liquid dances is the manipulation of magnetic nanoparticles in the liquid by external magnets. But when those outside forces are removed, the dance ends. Now, researchers writing in Science have created permanently magnetic fluids that respond to other magnets, electricity, and pH by changing shape, moving, and—yes—probably even dancing. Sarah Crespi talks to Thomas Russell of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst about the about the applications of these squishy, responsive magnets.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Listen to previous podcasts

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: X. Liu et al., Science 2019; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Andrew Curry

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190719.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

You can learn a lot about ocean health from seabirds. For example, breeding failures among certain birds have been linked to the later collapse of some fisheries. Enriqueta Velarde of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Fisheries at the University of Veracruz in Mexico, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what these long-lived fliers can tell us about the ocean and its inhabitants.

 

Also this week, Sarah and Cathal O’Madagain of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris discuss pointing—a universal human gesture common to almost all children before age 1. They discuss why pointing matters, and how this simple gesture may underlie humans’ amazing ability to collaborate and coordinate.  

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on the show: Kiwico.com

 

Listen to previous podcasts

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: C. O'Madagain et al., Science Advances 2019; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; 

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190712.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

Chemists have long known how to convert carbon dioxide into fuels—but up until now, such processes have been too expensive for commercial use. Staff Writer Robert Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about using new filters and catalysts to close the gap between air-derived and fossil-derived gasoline.

 Also this week, host Sarah Crespi talks with Nitish Padmanaban of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, about replacing bifocals with “autofocals.” These auto-focusing glasses track your eye position and measure the distance to the visual target before adjusting the thickness of their liquid lenses. The prototype glasses have an onboard camera and batteries that make them particularly bulky; however, they still outperformed progressive lenses in tests of focus speed and acuity.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 Listen to previous podcasts.

 About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: N. Padmanaban et al., Science Advances 2019; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Robert Service

Direct download: SciencePodcast_190705.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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