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Cosmic rays from beyond our galaxy, sleeping jellyfish, and counting a language’s words for colors

This week we hear stories on animal hoarding, how different languages have different numbers of colors, and how to tell a wakeful jellyfish from a sleeping one with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic, Brice Russ, and Sarah Crespi. Andrew Wagner talks to Karl-Heinz Kampert about a long-term study of the cosmic rays blasting our planet. After analyzing 30,000 high-energy rays, it turns out some are coming from outside the Milky Way. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Doug...

Duration: 00:23:18

Cargo-sorting molecular robots, humans as the ultimate fire starters, and molecular modeling with quantum computers

This week we hear stories on the gut microbiome’s involvement in multiple sclerosis, how wildfires start—hint: It’s almost always people—and a new record in quantum computing with Online News Editor David Grimm. Andrew Wagner talks to Lulu Qian about DNA-based robots that can carry and sort cargo. Sarah Crespi goes behind the scenes with Science’s Photography Managing Editor Bill Douthitt to learn about snapping this week’s cover photo of the world’s smallest neutrino detector. Listen to...

Duration: 00:28:56

Taking climate science to court, sailing with cylinders, and solar cooling

This week we hear stories on smooth sailing with giant, silolike sails, a midsized black hole that may be hiding out in the Milky Way, and new water-cooling solar panels that could cut air conditioning costs with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Sabrina McCormick about climate science in the U.S. courts and the growing role of the judiciary in climate science policy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Duration: 00:21:37

Mysteriously male crocodiles, the future of negotiating AIs, and atomic bonding between the United States and China

This week we hear stories on involving more AIs in negotiations, tiny algae that might be responsible for killing some (not all) dinosaurs, and a chemical intended to make farm fish grow faster that may be also be causing one area’s crocodile population to skew male—with Online News Editor David Grimm. Sarah Crespi talks to Rich Stone about being on the scene for a joint U.S.-China mission to remove bomb-grade fuel from a nuclear reactor in Ghana. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image:Chad...

Duration: 00:24:25

What hunter-gatherer gut microbiomes have that we don’t, and breaking the emoji code

Sarah Crespi talks to Sam Smits about how our microbial passengers differ from one culture to the next—are we losing diversity and the ability to fight chronic disease? For our books segment, Jen Golbeck talks with Vyvyan Evans about his book The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Woodlouse/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

Duration: 00:17:01

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:...

Duration: 00:18:56

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]

Duration: 00:18:26

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....

Duration: 00:27:01

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]

Duration: 00:27:34

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]

Duration: 00:28:28

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...

Duration: 00:25:40

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]

Duration: 00:19:24

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...

Duration: 00:31:40

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]

Duration: 00:19:17

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]

Duration: 00:20:26

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...

Duration: 00:31:49

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]

Duration: 00:23:52

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]

Duration: 00:27:10

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...

Duration: 00:23:44

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]

Duration: 00:21:44

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