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

Measles is a dangerous infection that can kill. As many as 100,000 people die from the disease each year. For those who survive infection, the virus leaves a lasting mark—it appears to wipe out the immune system’s memory. News Intern Eva Fredrick joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a pair of studies that looked at how this happens in children’s immune systems.

 

Read the related studies in Science and Science Immunology.

 

In our second segment this week, Sarah talks with Todd Thompson, of Ohio State University in Columbus, about his effort to find a small black hole in a binary pair with a red giant star. Usually black holes are detected because they are accruing matter and as the matter interacts with the black hole, x-rays are released. Without this flashy signal, black hole detection gets much harder. Astronomers must look for the gravitational influence of the black holes on nearby stars—which is easier to spot when the black hole is massive. Thompson talks with Sarah about a new approach to finding small, noninteracting black holes.

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: Bayer

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Eva Frederick

Direct download: SciencePodcast_191101.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

Earthworms are easy … to find. But despite their prevalence and importance to ecosystems around the world, there hasn’t been a comprehensive survey of earthworm diversity or population size. This week in Science, Helen Philips, a postdoctoral fellow at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and the Institute of Biology at Leipzig University, and colleagues published the results of their worldwide earthworm study, composed of data sets from many worm researchers around the globe. Host Sarah Crespi gets the lowdown from Philips on collaborating with worm researchers, and links between worm populations and climate.

 Sarah also talks with Ziad Obermeyer, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, about dissecting out bias in an algorithm used by health care systems in the United States to recommend patients for additional health services. With unusual access to a proprietary algorithm, inputs, and outputs, Obermeyer and his colleagues found that the low amount of health care dollars spent on black patients in the past caused the algorithm to underestimate their risk for poor health in the future. Obermeyer and Sarah discuss how this happened and remedies that are already in progress.

Finally, in the monthly books segment, books host Kiki Sanford interviews author Alice Gorman about her book Dr. Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the Future. Listen to more book segments on the Science books blog: Books, et al.        

 

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quanmen; MEL Science

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi;

Direct download: SciencePodcast_191025.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:00pm EST

We don’t know where consciousness comes from. And we don’t know whether animals have it, or whether we can detect it in patients in comas. Do neuroscientists even know where to look? A new competition aims to [narrow down the bewildering number of theories of consciousness-link TK] and get closer to finding its biological signs by pitting different theories against each other in experimental settings. Freelance journalist Sara Reardon talks with host Sarah Crespi about the how the competition will work.

In our second segment, we talk about how we think about children. For thousands of years, adults have complained about their lack of respect, intelligence, and tendency to distraction, compared with previous generations. A new study out this week in Science Advances suggests our own biased childhood memories might be at fault. Sarah Crespi talks with John Protzko of the University of California, Santa Barbara, about how terrible people thought kids were in 3800 B.C.E. and whether understanding those biases might change how people view Generation Z today.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quanmen; Bayer; KiwiCo

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Andrea Kirkby/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Sara Reardon

Direct download: SciencePodcast_191018.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

Have you ever tried to scrub off the dark, tarlike residue on a grill? That tough stuff is made up of polymers—basically just byproducts of cooking—and it is so persistent that researchers have found similar molecules that have survived hundreds of millions of years. And these aren't from cook fires. They are actually the byproducts of death and fossilization. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Gretchen Vogel about how these molecules can be found on the surface of certain fossils and used as fingerprints for the proteins that once dwelled in dinos.

And Sarah talks with Zunfeng Liu, a professor at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, about a new cooling technology based on a 100- -year-old observation that a stretched rubber band is warm and a relaxed one is cool. It’s going to be hard to beat the 60% efficiency of compression-based refrigerators and air conditioning units, but Zunfeng and colleagues aim to try, with twists and coils that can cool water by 7°C when relaxed.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen

 

Listen to previous podcasts

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Twila Cheeseborough/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi; Gretchen Vogel

Direct download: SciencePodcast_191011.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

Host Sarah Crespi talks with undergraduate student Micheal Munson from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, about a smartphone app that scans photos in the phone’s library for eye disease in kids

And Sarah talks with Todd Roberts of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Houston, Texas, about incepting memories into zebra finches to study how they learn their songs. Using a technique called optogenetics—in which specific neurons can be controlled by pulses of light—the researchers introduced false song memories by turning on neurons in different patterns, with longer or shorter note durations than typical zebra finch songs.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

 

Ads on this week’s show: MOVA Globes; KiwiCo.com

 

Listen to previous podcasts.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

[Image: Jim Brendon/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

 

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Authors: Sarah Crespi;

Direct download: SciencePodcast_20191004.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:59pm EST

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