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

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 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]

Podcast: Giant virus genetics, human high-altitude adaptations, and quantifying the impact of government-funded science  

This week, viruses as remnants of a fourth domain of life, a scan of many Tibetan genomes reveals seven new genes potentially related to high-altitude life, and doubts about dark energy with Online News Editor David Grimm. Danielle Li joins Sarah Crespi to discuss her study quantifying the impact of government funding on innovation by linking patents to U.S. National Institutes of Health grants. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: artubo/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Killing off stowaways to Mars, chasing synthetic opiates, and how soil contributes to global carbon calculations  

This week, how to avoid contaminating Mars with microbial hitchhikers, turning mammalian cells into biocomputers, and a look at how underground labs in China are creating synthetic opioids for street sales in the United States with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. Caitlin Hicks Pries joins Julia Rosen to discuss her study of the response of soil carbon to a warming world. And for this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck talks to Rob Dunn about his book Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Teaching self-driving cars to read, improving bike safety with a video game, and when ‘you’ isn’t about ‘you’  

This week, new estimates for the depths of the world’s lakes, a video game that could help kids be safer bike riders, and teaching autonomous cars to read road signs with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Ariana Orvell joins Sarah Crespi to discuss her study of how the word “you” is used when people recount meaningful experiences. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: VisualCommunications/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: The archaeology of democracy, new additions to the uncanny valley, and the discovery of ant-ibiotics  

This week, what bear-mounted cameras can tell us about their caribou-hunting habits, ants that mix up their own medicine, and feeling alienated by emotional robots with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Lizzie Wade joins Sarah Crespi to discuss new thinking on the origins of democracy outside of Europe, based on archeological sites in Mexico. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: rpbirdman/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Ants that brew their own antibiotics, new residents for uncanny valley, and archaeological evidence for early democratic societies in the Americas  

This week, what bear-mounted cameras can tell us about their caribou-hunting habits, ants that mix up their own medicine, and feeling alienated by emotional robots with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Lizzie Wade joins Sarah Crespi to discuss new thinking on the origins of democracy outside of Europe, based on archeological sites in Mexico. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: rpbirdman/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Human pheromones lightly debunked, ignoring cyberattacks, and designer chromosomes  

This week, how Flickr photos could help predict floods, why it might be a good idea to ignore some cyberattacks, and new questions about the existence of human pheromones with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Sarah Richardson joins Alexa Billow to discuss a global project to build a set of working yeast chromosomes from the ground up. Read Sarah Richardson’s research in Science. Listen to previous podcasts.   [Image: Drew Gurian; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier, storing data in DNA, and how past civilizations shaped the Amazon  

This week, we chat about the science behind breaking the 2-hour marathon barrier, storing data in DNA strands, and a dinosaur’s zigzagging backbones with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic. And Carolina Levis joins Alexa Billow to discuss evidence that humans have been domesticating the Amazon’s plants a lot longer than previously thought. Read Carolina Levis’s research in Science. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Carolina Levis; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Cracking the smell code, why dinosaurs had wings before they could fly, and detecting guilty feelings in altruistic gestures  

This week, we chat about why people are nice to each other—does it feel good or are we just avoiding feeling bad—approaches to keeping arsenic out of the food supply, and using artificial intelligence to figure out what a chemical smells like to a human nose with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Stephen Brusatte joins Alexa Billow to discuss why dinosaurs evolved wings and feathers before they ever flew. And in the latest installment of our monthly books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Bill Schutt, author of Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History.   Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Todd Marshall; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Podcast: Recognizing the monkey in the mirror, giving people malaria parasites as a vaccine strategy, and keeping coastal waters clean with seagrass  

This week, we chat about what it means if a monkey can learn to recognize itself in a mirror, injecting people with live malaria parasites as a vaccine strategy, and insect-inspired wind turbines with Online News Editor David Grimm. And Joleah Lamb joins Alexa Billow to discuss how seagrass can greatly reduce harmful microbes in the ocean—protecting people and corals from disease. Read the research. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: peters99/iStock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

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