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Science Vs

Author: Gimlet

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There are a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE. Science Vs is the show from Gimlet Media that finds out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. We do the hard work of sifting through all the science so you don't have to. This season we tackle alcohol, fasting diets, DNA tests, race and the fertility cliff.
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Let's...science...AGAIN!

Let's...science...AGAIN!

2019-09-1200:01:53

Science Vs is back September 19th. Fact you next week.
The Dinosaur Explosion

The Dinosaur Explosion

2019-08-0800:21:01

Why are there so many new, weird dinosaurs? Friend of the show Joel Werner goes down the rabbit hole, and finds a surprising answer. He speaks to paleontologists Dr. Steve Brusatte and Dr. Jonathan Tennant. Listen to Joel’s podcast The Sum Of All Parts here:  https://ab.co/2YujtzU. Check out the transcript here: http://bit.ly/2Ts169iScience Vs will be back in September with a brand new season!UPDATE 8/13/19: We removed some lines suggesting that the reason that Joel and other people growing up in the 80s don't know about some dinosaurs, such as Spinosaurus and Edmontosaurus is because of the "Dino Explosion" in the 1990s. In fact, Spinosaurus was introduced in the scientific literature in 1915 and Edmontosaurus in 1917. Credits: This story came from the podcast the Sum of All Parts which is produced and hosted by Joel Werner. Jonathan Webb is their science editor, sound design by Joel Werner and Mark Don. Additional fact checking by Lexi Krupp and additional music and engineering by Peter Leonard. 
SHARKS!!!

SHARKS!!!

2019-06-1400:41:16

Are sharks the super-predators we think they are? Or have we been baited with great white lies? To find out, we interviewed shark researchers Dr. Taylor Chapple, Dr. Tricia Meredith and Dr. Chris Pepin-Neff, along with surfer Mike Wells. Check out the full transcript here. UPDATE 6/14/19: We removed a line from the episode implying that if you’ve eaten any takeaway fish and chips in the UK, there's a good chance you’ve unknowingly eaten shark meat. In fact, shark meat is not always sold surreptitiously. In the UK and in Australia shark meat it is often labeled flake, rock or huss.Selected references: Tricia’s shark smelling study: https://bit.ly/2F4OsqrChris’s book “Flaws”: https://bit.ly/2IGKe9BTiger shark study here: https://bit.ly/2Q0S94M and video here: https://bit.ly/2XFHj7o This paper on sharks and rays at risk of extinction: https://bit.ly/31wauMBThis episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. A huge thanks to the amazing team of musicians who helped us with Flaws and our Snark Week music: Peter Leonard, Bobby Lord, Emma Munger, and Marcus Thorne Bagala. Recording assistance from Caroline Perryman, Shannon Cason, Sam Turken, Beth McMullen, and Jesse Wentzloff.  A big thanks to George Burgess, Peter Pyle, Dr. David Shiffman, Professor Peter Klimley, Prof. Jelle Atema, Prof. Stephen Kajiura, Dr. Blake Chapman, Nynke de Haas and others. Plus a special thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
When President Garfield was shot by an assassin in 1881, the best and brightest in medicine and science did everything they could to save him - and turned the President into a human guinea pig. But they missed something big, that could have saved him. To find out what it was, we spoke to surgeon and medical historian Dr Ira Rutkow, and Sara Murphy - collections manager at the National Museum of American History. To find out more about this story, read Dr Ira Rutkow’s book - James A. Garfield: The American Presidents Series.Check out the transcript, with all the citations - here.This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, extra editing help from Caitlin Kenny. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Emma Munger, Peter Leonard, and Bobby Lord. Thanks to the National Museum of American History, Dr Howard Markel, Prof. Charles Rosenburg and Candice Millard. 
Peanut allergy in children has been on the rise since the 1990s. What’s to blame? We find a clue in a very unexpected place, and talk to pediatric allergist Prof. Gideon Lack. Check out the full transcript here: https://bit.ly/2W7IwmASelected References: Gideon’s landmark 2015 study: https://bit.ly/2QsvOMvThe mouse rash study: https://bit.ly/2Mf6hZVCDC’s report on rising skin and food allergies (1997-2011): https://bit.ly/2XgjGlJThis episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music written by Emma Munger, Peter Leonard, and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Andrea Rangecroft. A big thanks to Dr. Andrew Dang, Professor Scott Sicherer, Dr. Marshall Plaut, Dr. Kristin Sokol, Dr. Robert Boyle, and others. As well as the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
The Abortion Underground

The Abortion Underground

2019-05-2300:38:15

Before Roe v. Wade, there were thousands of illegal abortions in the U.S. every year. Some of these were incredibly dangerous; women would use knitting needles or coat hangers to end pregnancies. This, and other illegal methods, could lead to injury or death. In the 1970s, one group of women got fed up and decided to take women's health into their own hands. We talk to “self-helpers” Carol Downer and Francie Hornstein, who led a movement for safe abortions and education for women by women. Check out the full transcript here: https://bit.ly/2X12PTXSelected references: “Back alley” abortions before Roe v. Wade (See chapter 3) https://bit.ly/2JA6gObA study documenting the techniques used for illegal abortions in the 60s https://bit.ly/2VLKl8eA Woman's Book of Choices by Dr. Rebecca Chalker (PhD) and Carol Downer https://bit.ly/2K5MbP4This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler, and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney, Kaitlyn Sawrey, Sruthi Pinnemanni, Jorge Just, Lulu Miller and Chris Neary. Fact checking by Diane Kelly. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Anny Celsi. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr Sara Matthiesen, Professor Verta Taylor, Professor John DeLancey, Professor Carole Joffe,  Professor Johanna Schoen, and Dr. Denise Copelton. And special thanks to Michele Welsing and the team at Southern California Library, Dr Becky Chalker, Jonathon Roberts, Jim Aspholm, Odelia Rubin, Alice Kors, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.Women's Liberation Day: New York, San Francisco and Berkeley rallies of August 26, 1970 was used courtesy of the Pacifica Radio Archives.
Could fake medicine actually take away your pain or treat a disease? We dig into the science of placebos to find out more about the power of the mind to heal. We speak to medical researcher Prof. Ted Kaptchuk, neuroscientist Prof. Fabrizio Benedetti and medical psychologist Prof. Manfred Schedlowski. UPDATE 5/13/19: We changed a few things in this episode to clarify facts. An earlier version of this episode implied that the placebo surgery for knee and back pain was really effective in itself. In fact, these studies found that some placebo surgeries work as well as real surgeries. In other words, patients reported less pain after both the real surgery and the placebo surgery.We also said that Pavlov’s studies used a bell to condition dogs. Whether Pavlov himself used a conventional bell is debated in the literature. Some say this was an early translation error from Russian to English. Later studies by his colleagues definitely used a bell.Finally! We have added a caveat into placebo research more generally to highlight that this research is early and that we don’t have many have long-term studies into placebos, so we don’t know how long the placebo effect can last.Check out the full transcript here: https://bit.ly/2Jrb3Rj Selected References: Great summary paper on placebo: https://bit.ly/30cFSzdTed’s IBS “open label” placebo study with Linda…: https://bit.ly/2E2O4ZkFabrizio’s high altitude headache study: https://bit.ly/2vMZj3zManfred’s first immunosuppression study with the green drink: https://bit.ly/2VXPDllCredits: This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, with help from Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn, and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Fabian Mirko May, Mary Dooe and Maggie Penman. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Diletta Barbiani, Dr. Cynthia McRae, Dr. J Bruce Moseley, Professor Apkar Apkarian, Professor Jon Stoessl, and others. And special thanks to Lynda McKenzie, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Autism, seizures, and overloaded immune systems - could these really be side effects of vaccines? From the archives, we bring back our dive into the science to find out how safe vaccines really are. We spoke to public health researchers Prof. Dan Salmon and Prof. Amy Kalkbrenner and neurologist Prof. Ingrid Scheffer. Check out the full transcript here. Selected References:The National Academies (aka Institute of Medicine) report on vaccine safety A report on the genetic underpinnings of epilepsyThis study looked for neurologic disorders after the MMR shot in half a million kidsThis one looked at all children born in Denmark between 1991 and 1998Credits: This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Wendy Zukerman, and Shruti Ravindran. Production help from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited this week by Blythe Terrell and Annie-Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with help from Rose Rimler. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. For this episode we also spoke with Dr. Saad Omer, Dr. Neal Halsey, Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Frank DeStefano, and Prof. Alison Buttenheim. And an extra thanks to Bonnie Stanway, Ivona Stamatoska, Reese and Walter Ludwig, the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and - of course! - Leo Rogers. 
We’re often told to have kids quickly, before our biological clock strikes and we fall off the fertility cliff. This week we find out it’s that’s true for women or men. And if the cliff is real, can you do anything about it, like freezing your eggs? Plus, the sperm-aggedon! We speak to epidemiologist Prof. Lauren Wise, reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Mary Sabatini, and andrologist Prof. Allan Pacey. UPDATE 7/10/19: A previous version of this episode incorrectly identified the nationality of a character in Indiana Jones. The episode has been updated accordingly.Check out the full transcript here. Selected references:  Lauren’s two studies looking at the fertility cliff. Click here if you want to be in one of her studies!  Two studies looking at success rates of freezing eggs at different ages Review of the effect of paternal aging on the health of the offspringThe 2017 meta-analysis which shows the drop in sperm counts in several parts of the worldCredits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, with help from Wendy Zukerman, as well as Rose Rimler and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Diane Kelley. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Mary Dooe and Andy Short. A huge thanks to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Dr. Richard Lea, Dr. Hagai Levine, Professor Jens Peter Ellekilde Bond, and others. And special thanks to everyone at Gimlet who listened to the episode, the Zukerman family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. And a huge thanks to Christopher Suter.
For decades, we've heard that race is a social and cultural idea — not scientific. But with the changing world of genetics, is race science back? We speak to sociologist Prof. Dorothy Roberts, evolutionary biologist Prof. Joseph L. Graves Jr. and psychological methodologist Prof. Jelte Wicherts.Check out the full transcript here. Selected references:  Dorothy’s book on the history of scientific racism One of Joseph’s books unpacking raceThe 2005 paper on population structureA handy FAQ from a population geneticistA paper on the knowns and unknowns about genes and the environment on IQCredits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler, with help from Wendy Zukerman, as well as Meryl Horn and Michelle Dang. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, Meryl Horn, and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Botte Jellema and Shani Aviram. A huge thanks to Stillman Brown, Morgan Jerkins, Amber Davis, Cedric Shine, Emmanuel Dzotsi, and to all the scientists we got in touch with for this episode, including Noah Rosenberg, Rasmus Nielsen, Mark Shriver, Garrett Hellenthal, Sarah Tishkoff, Kenneth Kidd, John Protzko, Dan Levitis, and others. Finally, thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. 
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