Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

United States

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


Podcast: Altering time perception, purifying blueberries with plasma, and checking in on ocelot latrines  

This week, we chat about cleaning blueberries with purple plasma, how Tibetan dogs adapted to high-altitude living, and who’s checking ocelot message boards with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Joe Paton about how we know time flies when mice are having fun. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Joseph Sites/USDA ARS; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: What ants communicate when kissing, stars birthed from gas, and linking immune strength and social status  

This week, we chat about kissing communication in ants, building immune strength by climbing the social ladder, and a registry for animal research with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Bjorn Emonts about the birth of stars in the Spiderweb Galaxy 10 billion years ago. Related research on immune function and social hierarchy.   Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Lauren Brent; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Scientists on the night shift, sucking up greenhouse gases with cement, and repetitive stress in tomb builders  

 This week, we chat about cement’s shrinking carbon footprint, commuting hazards for ancient Egyptian artisans, and a new bipartisan group opposed to government-funded animal research in the United States with Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to news writer Sam Kean about the kinds of data that can only be gathered at night as part of the special issue on circadian biology.  Listen to previous podcasts.  [Image: roomauction/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: The rise of skeletons, species-blurring hybrids, and getting rightfully ditched by a taxi  

This week we chat about why it’s hard to get a taxi to nowhere, why bones came onto the scene some 550 million years ago, and how targeting bacteria’s predilection for iron might make better vaccines, with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks with news writer Elizabeth Pennisi about the way hybrids muck up the concept of species and turn the evolutionary tree into a tangled web.   Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Raul González Alegría; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: How farms made dogs love carbs, the role of dumb luck in science, and what your first flu exposure did to you  

This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—is Bhutan really a quake-free zone, how much of scientific success is due to luck, and what farming changed about dogs and us—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Katelyn Gostic of the University of California, Los Angeles, about how the first flu you came down with—which depends on your birth year—may help predict your susceptibility to new flu strains down the road.   Listen to previous podcasts.     [Image:monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: The impact of legal pot on opioid abuse, and a very early look at a fetus’s genome  

This week, news writer Greg Miller chats with us about how the legalization of marijuana in certain U.S. states is having an impact on the nation’s opioid problem. Plus, Sarah Crespi talks to Sascha Drewlo about a new method for profiling the DNA of fetuses very early on in pregnancy.   [Image: OpenRangeStock/iStockphoto/Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: A close look at a giant moon crater, the long tradition of eating rodents, and building evidence for Planet Nine  

This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—eating rats in the Neolithic, growing evidence for a gargantuan 9th planet in our solar system, and how to keep just the good parts of a hookworm infection—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Alexa Billow talks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Maria Zuber about NASA’s GRAIL spacecraft, which makes incredibly precise measurements of the moon’s gravity. This week’s guest used GRAIL data to explore a giant impact crater and learn more about the effects of giant impacts on the moon and Earth. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Ernest Wright, NASA/GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Science lessons for the next U.S. president, human high altitude adjustments, and the elusive Higgs bison  

This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—jumping spiders that can hear without ears, long-lasting changes in the human body at high altitudes, and the long hunt for an extinct bison—with Science’s Online News Intern Jessica Boddy. Plus, Sarah Crespi talks to Deputy News Editor David Malakoff about six science lessons for the next U.S. president.    Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Gil Menda at the Hoy Lab; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: When we pay attention to plane crashes, releasing modified mosquitoes, and bacteria that live off radiation  

This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—including a new bacterial model for alien life that feeds on cosmic rays, tracking extinct “bear dogs” to Texas, and when we stop caring about plane crashes—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Alexa Billow talks to Staff Writer Kelly Servick about her feature story on releasing modified mosquitoes in Brazil to combat diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. Her story is part of a package on mosquito control. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: © Alex Wild; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Bumble bee emotions, the purpose of yawning, and new insights into the developing infant brain  

This week, we chat about some of our favorite stories—including making bees optimistic, comparing yawns across species, and “mind reading” in nonhuman apes—with Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm. Plus, Science’s Alexa Billow talks to Mercedes Paredes about her research on the developing infant brain.   Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: mdmiller/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]    

Podcast: Why we murder, resurrecting extinct animals, and the latest on the three-parent baby  

  Should we bring animals back from extinction, three-parent baby announced, and the roots of human violence, with David Grimm. From the magazine Our networked world gives us an unprecedented ability to monitor and respond to global happenings. Databases monitoring news stories can provide real-time information about events all over the world—like conflicts or protests. However, the databases that now exist aren’t up to the task. Alexa Billow talks with Ryan Kennedy about his policy forum that addresses problems with global data collection and interpretation. [Image: Stocktrek Images, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: An atmospheric pacemaker skips a beat, a religious edict that spawned fat chickens, and knocking out the “sixth sense”  

A quick change in chickens’ genes due to a papal ban on eating four-legged animals, the appeal of tragedy, and genetic defects in the “sixth sense,” with David Grimm.   From the magazine  In February of this year, one of the most regular phenomena in the atmosphere skipped a cycle. Every 22 to 36 months, descending eastward and westward wind jets—high above the equator—switch places. The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, or QBO, is normally so regular you can almost set your watch by it, but not this year. Scott Osprey discusses the implications for this change with Alexa Billow.   Read the research.   [Image: ValerijaP/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: A burning body experiment, prehistoric hunting dogs, and seeding life on other planets  

News stories on our earliest hunting companions, should we seed exoplanets with life, and finding space storm hot spots with David Grimm.   From the magazine Two years ago, 43 students disappeared from a teacher’s college in Guerrero, Mexico. Months of protests and investigation have not yielded a believable account of what happened to them. The government of Mexico claims that the students were killed by cartel members and burned on an outdoor pyre in a dump outside Cucola. Lizzie Wade has been following this story with a focus on the science of fire investigation. She talks about an investigator in Australia that has burned pig carcasses in an effort to understand these events in Mexico.   [Image: Edgard Garrido/Reuters; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Double navigation in desert ants, pollution in the brain, and dating deal breakers  

News stories on magnetic waste in the brain, the top deal breakers in online dating, and wolves that are willing to “risk it for the biscuit,” with David Grimm.   From the magazine How do we track where we are going and where we have been? Do you pay attention to your path? Look for landmarks? Leave a scent trail? The problem of navigation has been solved a number of different ways by animals. The desert-dwelling Cataglyphis ant was thought to rely on stride integration, basically counting their steps. But it turns out they have a separate method of keeping track of their whereabouts called “optic flow.” Matthias Wittlinger joins Sarah Crespi to talk about his work with these amazing creatures.   Read the research.   [Image: Rooobert Bayer /Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Ceres’s close-up, how dogs listen, and a new RNA therapy  

News stories on what words dogs know, an RNA therapy for psoriasis, and how Lucy may have fallen from the sky, with Catherine Matacic.   From the magazine In early 2015, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. Over the last year and a half, scientists have studied the mysterious dwarf planet using data collected by Dawn, including detailed images of its surface. Julia Rosen talks with Debra Buczkowski about Ceres’s close-up.   See the full Ceres package. [Image: Enikő Kubinyi /Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

Podcast: Quantum dots in consumer electronics and a faceoff with the quiz master  

Sarah Crespi takes a pop quiz on literal life hacking, spotting poverty from outer space, and the size of the average American's vocabulary with Catherine Matacic.   From the magazine You can already buy a quantum dot television, but it’s really just the beginning of the infiltration of quantum dots into our everyday lives. Cherie Kagan is here to talk about her in-depth review of the technology published in this week’s issue.   [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: How mice mess up reproducibility, new support for an RNA world, and giving cash away wisely  

News stories on a humanmade RNA copier that bolsters ideas about early life on Earth, the downfall of a pre-Columbian empire, and how a bit of cash at the right time can keep you off the streets, with Jessica Boddy.   From the magazine This story combines two things we seem to talk about a lot on the podcast: reproducibility and the microbiome. The big question we’re going to take on is how reproducible are mouse studies when their microbiomes aren’t taken into account? Staff writer Kelly Servick is here to talk about what promises to be a long battle with mouse-dwelling bugs.   [Image: Annedde/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: 400-year-old sharks, busting a famous scientific hoax, and clinical trials in pets  

News stories on using pets in clinical trials to test veterinarian drugs, debunking the Piltdown Man once and for all, and deciding just how smart crows can be, with David Grimm.   From the magazine It’s really difficult to figure out how old a free-living animal is. Maybe you can find growth rings in bone or other calcified body parts, but in sharks like the Greenland shark, no such hardened parts exist. Using two different radiocarbon dating approaches, Julius Nielsen and colleagues discovered that the giant Greenland shark may live as long as 400 years. Read the research.   [Image: James Howard McGregor/Wikimedia Commons; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Pollution hot spots in coastal waters, extreme bees, and diseased dinos  

News stories on bees that live perilously close to the mouth of a volcano, diagnosing arthritis in dinosaur bones, and the evolution of the female orgasm, with David Grimm.   From the magazine Rivers deliver water to the ocean but water is also discharged along the coast in a much more diffuse way. This “submarine groundwater discharge” carries dissolved chemicals out to sea. But the underground nature of these outflows makes them difficult to quantify.  Audrey Sawyer talks with Sarah Crespi about the scale of this discharge and how it affects coastal waters surrounding the United States.   [Image: Hilary Erenler/Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Saving wolves that aren’t really wolves, bird-human partnership, and our oldest common ancestor  

Stories on birds that guide people to honey, genes leftover from the last universal common ancestor, and what the nose knows about antibiotics, with Devi Shastri. The Endangered Species Act—a 1973 U.S. law designed to protect animals in the country from extinction—may need a fresh look. The focus on “species” is the problem. This has become especially clear when it comes to wolves—recent genetic information has led to government agencies moving to delist the gray wolf. Robert Wayne helps untangle the wolf family tree and talks us through how a better understanding of wolf genetics may trouble their protected status. [Image: Claire N. Spottiswoode/Music: Jeffrey Cook]

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