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Science Magazine Podcast

Author: Science Magazine

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Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.
382 Episodes
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Rich Stone, former international news editor at Science and current senior science editor at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Tangled Bank Studios, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about concerning levels of fission reactions deep in an inaccessible area of the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Though nothing is likely to come of it anytime soon, scientists must decide what—if anything—they should do tamp down reactions in this hard-to-reach place. Also on this week’s show, Shlomi Kotler, an assistant professor in the department of applied physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, joins Sarah to discuss the quantum entanglement of macroscopic objects. This hallmark of quantum physics has been confined—up until now—to microscopic items like atoms, ions, and photons. But what does it mean that two drums, each the width of a human hair, can be entangled? Read a related insight. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a company that stores renewable energy by hoisting large objects in massive “gravity batteries.” Also on this week’s show, Erick Lundgren, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University, talks about how water from wells dug by wild horses and feral donkeys provides a buffer to all different kinds of animals and plants during the driest times in the Sonora and Mojave deserts. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Warren Cornwall about a restoration project to add 54 square kilometers back to the coast of Louisiana by allowing the Mississippi River to resume delivering sediment to sinking regions. Also on this week’s show, Dion Vlachos, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Delaware, Newark, and director of the Delaware Energy Institute, joins Sarah to talk about his Science Advances paper on a low-temperature process to convert different kinds of plastic to fuels, like gasoline and jet fuel. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Adrian Cho about a new measurement of the magnetism of the muon—an unstable cousin of the electron. This latest measurement and an earlier one both differ from predictions based on the standard model of particle physics. The increased certainty that there is a muon magnetism mismatch could be a field day for theoretical physicists looking to add new particles or forces to the standard model. Also on this week’s show, Charles Marshall, director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology and professor of integrative biology, joins Sarah to talk about his team’s calculation for the total number of Tyrannosaurus rex that ever lived. In a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders interviews Imre Berger, professor of biochemistry at the University of Bristol, about his Science paper on finding a druggable pocket on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and how the work was accelerated by intensive cloud computing. This segment is sponsored by Oracle for Research. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Joshua Sokol about magnetars—highly magnetized neutron stars. A recent intense outburst of gamma rays from a nearby galaxy has given astronomers a whole new view on these mysterious magnetic monsters. Also on this week’s show, Christoph Zollikofer, a professor of anthropology at the University of Zurich, talks about the evolution of humanlike brains. His team’s work with brain-case fossils suggests the complex brains we carry around today were not present in the early hominins to leave Africa, but later developed in the cousins they left behind. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Podcast Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Pamela Soltis, a professor and curator with the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida and the director of the University of Florida Biodiversity Institute, about how natural collections at museums can be a valuable resource for understanding future disease outbreaks. Read the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. This segment is part of our coverage of the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting. Also on this week’s show, Katharina Schmack, a research associate at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, joins producer Joel Goldberg to talk about giving mice a quiz that makes them hallucinate. Observing the mice in this state helps researchers make connections between dopamine, hallucinations, and mental illness. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Most research on aging has been done on model organisms with limited life spans, such as flies and worms. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to science writer Yao-Hua Law about how long-living social insects—some of which survive for up to 30 years—can provide new insights into aging.  Also in this episode, host Sarah Crespi talks with Noshir Contractor, the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, about his AAAS session on keeping humans in harmony during long space missions and how mock missions on Earth are being applied to plans for a crewed mission to Mars.  This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Download a transcript (PDF) Listen to previous podcasts About the Science Podcast
Science Staff Writer Kelly Servick discusses how physicians have sifted through torrents of scientific results to arrive at treatments for SARS-CoV-2. Sarah also talks with Wesley Reinhart, of Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Institute for Computational and Data Science, about why we should be building smart cities from smart materials, such as metamaterials that help solar panels chase the Sun, and living materials like self-healing concrete that keep buildings in good shape. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Science Staff Writer Adrian Cho joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about plans for the next generation of gravitational wave detectors—including one with 40-kilometer arms. The proposed detectors will be up to 10 times more sensitive than current models and could capture all black hole mergers in the observable universe. Sarah also talks with Pavani Cherukupally, a researcher at Imperial College London and the University of Toronto, about her Science Advances paper on cleaning up oil spills with special cold-adapted sponges that work well when crude oil gets clumpy. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a 2000-year-old pet cemetery found in the Egyptian city of Berenice and what it can tell us about the history of human-animal relationships. Also this week, Dipon Ghosh, a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks about how scientists missed that the tiny eyeless roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, which has been intensively studied from top to bottom for decades, somehow has the ability to detect colors. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
First up, science journalist Julia Rosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about a growing fleet of radar satellites that will soon be able to detect minute rises and drops of Earth’s surface—from a gently deflating volcano to a water-swollen field—on a daily basis. Sarah also talks with Hui Cao, a professor of applied physics at Yale University, about a new way to generate enormous streams of random numbers faster than ever before, using a tiny laser that can fit on a computer chip. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Science Staff Writer Jon Cohen joins host Sarah Crespi to take on some of big questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, such as: Do they stop transmission? Will we need boosters? When will life get back to “normal.” Sarah also talks with Anders Johansen, professor of planetary sciences and planet formation at the University of Copenhagen, about his Science Advances paper on a new theory for the formation of rocky planets in our Solar System. Instead of emerging out of ever-larger collisions of protoplanets, the new idea is that terrestrial planets like Earth and Mars formed from the buildup of many small pebbles. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Science journalist Rachel Cernansky joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about progress on Africa’s Great Green Wall project and the important difference between planting and growing a tree. Sarah also talks with Václav Kuna, a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, about using loud and long songs from fin whales to image structures under the ocean floor. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
This week we’re dedicating the whole show to the 20th anniversary of the publication of the human genome. Today, about 30 million people have had their genomes sequenced. This remarkable progress has brought with it issues of data sharing, privacy, and inequality. Host Sarah Crespi spoke with a number of researchers about the state of genome science, starting with Yaniv Erlich, from the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science and CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics, who talks about privacy in the age of easily obtainable genomes. Next up Charles Rotimi, director of the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health at the National Human Genome Research Institute, discusses diversity—or lack thereof—in the field and what it means for the kinds of research that happens. Finally, Dorothy Roberts, professor in the departments of Africana studies and sociology and the law school at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about the seemingly never-ending project of disentangling race and genomes. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
On its first day, the new Biden administration announced plans to recalculate the social cost of carbon—a way of estimating the economic toll of greenhouse gases. Staff Writer Paul Voosen and host Sarah Crespi discuss why this value is so important and how it will be determined.  Next up, Alison Barker, a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, talks with Sarah about the sounds of naked mole rats. You may already know naked mole rats are pain and cancer resistant—but did you know these eusocial mammals make little chirps to identify themselves as colony members? Can these learned local dialects make naked mole rats a new research model for language learning? This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a controversial new paper that estimates how many rodents are used in research in the United States each year. Though there is no official number, the paper suggests there might be more than 100 million rats and mice housed in research facilities in the country—doubling or even tripling some earlier estimates. Next, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks with Sarah about a new theory behind the cause of irritable bowel syndrome—that it might be a localized allergic reaction in the gut. Sarah also chats with Taline Kazandjian, a postdoctoral research associate at the Centre for Snakebite Research & Interventions in Liverpool, U.K., about how the venom from spitting cobras has evolved to cause maximum pain and why these snakes might have developed the same defense mechanism three different times. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Science Senior Correspondent Daniel Clery regales host Sarah Crespi with tales about the most important work to come from 57 years of research at the now-defunct Arecibo Observatory and plans for the future of the site. Sarah also talks with Toman Barsbai, an associate professor in the school of economics at the University of Bristol, about the influence of ecology on human behavior—can we figure out how many of our behaviors are related to the different environments where we live? Barsbai and colleagues took on this question by comparing behaviors around finding food, reproduction, and social hierarchy in three groups of animals living in the same places: foraging humans, nonhuman mammals, and birds. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
Freelance journalist Gabriel Popkin and host Sarah Crespi discuss what will happen to ash trees in the United States as federal regulators announce dropping quarantine measures meant to control the emerald ash borer—a devastating pest that has killed tens of millions of trees since 2002. Instead of quarantines, the government will use tiny wasps known to kill the invasive beetles in hopes of saving the ash. Sarah also talks with Pavel Chvykov, a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about the principles for organizing active matter—things like ant bridges, bird flocks, or little swarms of robots. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
We kick off our first episode of 2021 by looking at future trends in policy and research with host Meagan Cantwell and several Science news writers. Ann Gibbons talks about upcoming studies that elucidate social ties among ancient humans, Jeffrey Mervis discusses relations between the United States and China, and Paul Voosen gives a rundown of two Mars rover landings. In research news, Meagan Cantwell talks with Leda Kobziar, an associate professor of wildland fire science at the University of Idaho, Moscow, about the living component of wildfire smoke—microbes. The bacteria and fungi that hitch a ride on smoke can impact both human health and ecosystems—but Kobziar says much more research is needed. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download the transcript (PDF)
Our last episode of the year is a celebration of science in 2020. First, host Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor David Grimm about some of the top online news stories of the year—from how undertaker bees detect the dead to the first board game of death. (It’s not as grim as it sounds.) Sarah then talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about the Breakthrough of the Year, scientific breakdowns, and some of the runners-up—amazing accomplishments in science achieved in the face of a global pandemic. Finally, Book Review Editor Valerie Thompson joins Sarah to discuss highlights from the books section—on topics as varied as eating wild foods to how the materials we make end up shaping us. This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. About the Science Podcast Download a transcript (PDF).
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Comments (9)

Aymen Hmida

So sad that what we feared at that time about coronavirus become true

May 4th
Reply

Alex Barber

this is just discrimination against majority groups. We should be fighting and educating against discrimination and oppression, not flipping it backwards.

Feb 14th
Reply

Tony

Identity politics and affirmative action should have NO place in science and academic excellence — especially when the current/future of human health and lives are involved.

Feb 13th
Reply

amin malakootikhah

Hi...I'm looking for transcriptions for this podcost...where can I find them?!...tnx

Jan 15th
Reply

Goodwine Carlos

I remember there was some imaging about people having sex, maybe it was x-ray rather that MRI?

Jan 9th
Reply (3)

Gareth Morgan

Good podcasts, very interesting to hear the latest scientific discoveries and research. Alot of it is way over my head but I still enjoy it and hopefully I will learn something from it.

Dec 3rd
Reply
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