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.

Episodes

A jump in rates of knee arthritis, a brief history of eclipse science, and bands and beats in the atmosphere of brown dwarfs  

This week we hear stories on a big jump in U.S. rates of knee arthritis, some science hits and misses from past eclipse, and the link between a recently discovered thousand-year-old Viking fortress and your Bluetooth earbuds with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Daniel Apai about a long-term study of brown dwarfs and what patterns in the atmospheres of these not-quite-stars, not-quite-planets can tell us. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

Coddled puppies don’t do as well in school, some trees make their own rain, and the Americas were probably first populated by ancient mariners  

This week we hear stories on new satellite measurements that suggest the Amazon makes its own rain for part of the year, puppies raised with less smothering moms do better in guide dog school, and what DNA can tell us about ancient Greeks’ near mythical origins with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Lizzie Wade about coastal and underwater evidence of a watery route for the Americas’ first people. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Lizzie Wade; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

The biology of color, a database of industrial espionage, and a link between prions and diabetes  

This week we hear stories on diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in chimps, a potential new pathway to diabetes—through prions—and what a database of industrial espionage says about the economics of spying with Online News Editors David Grimm and Catherine Matacic. Sarah Crespi talks to Innes Cuthill about how the biology of color intersects with behavior, development, and vision. And Mary Soon Lee joins to share some of her chemistry haiku—one poem for each element in the periodic table. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

DNA and proteins from ancient books, music made from data, and the keys to poverty traps  

This week we hear stories on turning data sets into symphonies for business and pleasure, why so much of the world is stuck in the poverty trap, and calls for stiffening statistical significance with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to news writer Ann Gibbons about the biology of ancient books—what can we learn from DNA, proteins, and book worm trails about a book, its scribes, and its readers? Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Paying cash for carbon, making dogs friendly, and destroying all life on Earth  

This week we have stories on the genes that may make dogs friendly, why midsized animals are the fastest, and what it would take to destroy all the life on our planet with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Seema Jayachandran about paying cash to Ugandan farmers to not cut down trees—does it reduce deforestation in the long term? Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Kerrick/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Still-living dinosaurs, the world’s first enzymes, and thwarting early adopters in tech  

This week, we have stories on how ultraviolet rays may have jump-started the first enzymes on Earth, a new fossil find that helps date how quickly birds diversified after the extinction of all the other dinosaurs, and a drug that may help reverse the effects of traumatic brain injury on memory with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic and special guest Carolyn Gramling. Sarah Crespi talks to Christian Catalini about an experiment in which some early adopters were denied access to new technology and what it means for the dissemination of that tech. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Michael Wuensch/Creative Commons Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Odorless calories for weight loss, building artificial intelligence researchers can trust, and can oily birds fly?  

This week we have stories on the twisty tree of human ancestry, why mice shed weight when they can’t smell, and the damaging effects of even a small amount of oil on a bird’s feathers—with Online News Editor David Grimm.  Sarah Crespi talks to News Editor Tim Appenzeller about a special section on how artificial intelligence is changing the way we do science.  Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: © 2012 CERN, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ALICE COLLABORATION; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

A Stone Age skull cult, rogue Parkinson’s proteins in the gut, and controversial pesticides linked to bee deaths  

This week we have stories on what the rogue Parkinson’s protein is doing in the gut, how chimps outmuscle humans, and evidence for an ancient skull cult with Online News Editor David Grimm. Jen Golbeck is back with this month’s book segment. She interviews Alan Alda about his new book on science communication: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? Sarah Crespi talks to Jeremy Kerr about two huge studies that take a nuanced looked at the relationship between pesticides and bees. Read the research in Science: Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees, B.A. Woodcock et al. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids reduces honey bee health near corn crops, Tsvetkov et al. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: webted/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Why eggs have such weird shapes, doubly domesticated cats, and science balloons on the rise  

This week we have stories on the new capabilities of science balloons, connections between deforestation and drug trafficking in Central America, and new insights into the role ancient Egypt had in taming cats with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Mary Caswell Stoddard about why bird eggs come in so many shapes and sizes. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image:; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Slowly retiring chimps, tanning at the cellular level, and plumbing magma’s secrets  

This week we have stories on why it’s taking so long for research chimps to retire, boosting melanin for a sun-free tan, and tracking a mouse trail to find liars online with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Allison Rubin about what we can learn from zircon crystals outside of a volcano about how long hot magma hangs out under a volcano. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Project Chimps; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

How to weigh a star—with a little help from Einstein, toxic ‘selfish genes,’ and the world’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils  

This week we have stories on what body cams reveal about interactions between black drivers and U.S. police officers, the world’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils, and how modern astronomers measured the mass of a star—thanks to an old tip from Einstein—with Online News Intern Ryan Cross. Sarah Crespi talks to Eyal Ben-David about a pair of selfish genes—one toxin and one antidote—that have been masquerading as essential developmental genes in a nematode worm. She asks how many more so-called “essential genes” are really just self-perpetuating freeloaders? Science Careers Editor Rachel Bernstein is also here to talk about stress and work-life balance for researchers and science students. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Chris Burns/Science; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

A new taste for the tongue, ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies, and early evidence for dog breeding  

This week we have stories on how we taste water, extracting ancient DNA from mummy heads, and the earliest evidence for dog breeding with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to John Travis about postsurgical cognitive dysfunction—does surgery sap your brain power? Listen to previous podcasts. [Music: Jeffrey Cook]

How whales got so big, sperm in space, and a first look at Jupiter’s poles  

This week we have stories on strange dimming at a not-so-distant star, sending sperm to the International Space Station, and what the fossil record tells us about how baleen whales got so ginormous with Online News Editor David Grimm. Julia Rosen talks to Scott Bolton about surprises in the first data from the Juno mission, including what Jupiter’s poles look like and a peak under its outer cloud layers. Listen to previous podcasts.  [Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Preventing augmented-reality overload, fixing bone with tiny bubbles, and studying human migrations  

This week we have stories on blocking dangerous or annoying distractions in augmented reality, gene therapy applied with ultrasound to heal bone breaks, and giving robots geckolike gripping power with Online News Editor David Grimm. Deputy News Editor Elizabeth Culotta joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a special package on human migrations—from the ancient origins of Europeans to the restless and wandering scientists of today. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Public domain; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Our newest human relative, busting human sniff myths, and the greenhouse gas that could slow global warming  

This week we have stories on ancient hominids that may have coexisted with early modern humans, methane seeps in the Arctic that could slow global warming, and understanding color without words with Online News Intern Lindzi Wessel. John McGann joins Sarah Crespi to discuss long-standing myths about our ability to smell. It turns out people are probably a lot better at detecting odors than scientists thought! Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Streluk/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

Podcast: Reading pain from the brains of infants, modeling digital faces, and wifi holograms  

This week, we discuss the most accurate digital model of a human face to date, stray Wi-Fi signals that can be used to spy on a closed room, and artificial intelligence that can predict Supreme Court decisions with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Caroline Hartley joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a scan that can detect pain in babies—a useful tool when they can’t tell you whether something really hurts. Listen to previous podcasts. See more book segments.

Podcast: Reading pain from the brains of infants, modeling digital faces, and Wi-Fi holograms  

This week, we discuss the most accurate digital model of a human face to date, stray Wi-Fi signals that can be used to spy on a closed room, and artificial intelligence that can predict Supreme Court decisions with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Caroline Hartley joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a scan that can detect pain in babies—a useful tool when they can’t tell you whether something really hurts. Listen to previous podcasts. See more book segments.

Podcast: Where dog breeds come from, bots that build buildings, and gathering ancient human DNA from cave sediments  

This week, a new family tree of dog breeds, advances in artificial wombs, and an autonomous robot that can print a building with Online News Editor David Grimm.   Viviane Slon joins Sarah Crespi to discuss a new way to seek out ancient humans—without finding fossils or bones—by screening sediments for ancient DNA.   Jen Golbeck interviews Andrew Shtulman, author of Scienceblind: Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong for this month’s book segment.    Listen to previous podcasts.   See more book segments.     [Image: nimis69/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]  

Podcast: When good lions go bad, listening to meteor crashes, and how humans learn to change the world  

This week, meteors’ hiss may come from radio waves, pigeons that build on the wings of those that came before, and a potential answer to the century-old mystery of what turned two lions into people eaters with Online News Editor David Grimm. Elise Amel joins Julia Rosen to discuss the role of evolution and psychology in humans’ ability to overcome norms and change the world, as part of a special issue on conservation this week in Science. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: bjdlzx/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Watching shoes untie, Cassini’s last dive through the breath of a cryovolcano, and how human bias influences machine learning  

This week, walk like an elephant—very far, with seeds in your guts, Cassini’s mission to Saturn wraps up with news on the habitability of its icy moon Enceladus, and how our shoes manage to untie themselves with Online News Editor David Grimm. Aylin Caliskan joins Sarah Crespi to discuss how biases in our writing may be perpetuated by the machines that learn from them. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

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