Rank #1: Alcohol: A Pour Decision?
For decades we’ve been told that having a glass or two of wine is good for you. But recently there’ve been reports that even a little bit of booze is bad for you. So what is going on? Is just a bit of alcohol dangerous? To find out we talk to epidemiologist and nutritionist Prof. Eric Rimm, psychologist Prof. Tim Stockwell, and cancer researcher Dr. Susan Gapstur.Check out the full transcript here. Selected references: Eric’s study of drinking and heart attacks in over 40,000 men Tim and Kaye’s meta-analysis critiquing the heart benefit hypothesisMeta-analysis showing the increased risk of cancer and other diseases from drinking different amountsCredits: 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. Editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Thanks especially to Michelle Dang for her all her research help on this episode. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode including Dr. Arthur Klatsky, Dr. William Kerr, Dr. Tim Niami, Professor William Ghali, Dr. Wendy Chen, Max Griswold and many others. Recording help from Andrew Stelzer, Susanna Capelouto, Katie Sage, and Joseph Fridman. Also thanks to Lynn Levy, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Rank #2: Ketogenic Diet... Is Fat Good For You?
People who love the ketogenic diet swear it boosts their brainpower, melts their fat, and makes them better athletes. Is it true? To find out, we go keto. And, we talk to some scientists: neuroscientist Dom D’Agostino, medical researcher Eric Verdin, and nutritionist Louise Bourke. Also, Wendy’s mum drops in.Check out our full transcript here.Selected readings:This history of the ketogenic dietA pretty comprehensive reviewEric’s exploration of keto on the memories of miceLouise’s paper on keto and sportsThis episode has been produced by senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman along with Rose Rimler, Shruti Ravindran and Romilla Karnick. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional help from Eric Menell and Simone Polanen. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord. Recording help from Marissa Shieh and Mary Shedden. Extra thanks to Professor Jon Ramsey, Professor Judith Wylie-Roset, Professor Clare Collins, Dr Deirdre K Tobias, Joanna Lauder and Frank Lopez. Thanks to Jack Weinstein. And extra special thanks to Joseph Lavelle Wilson and Ingrid Zukerman.
Rank #3: Guns
We find out how many times a year guns are used in self-defense, how many times they’re used to murder someone, and what impact guns have on the crime rate. In this episode we speak with Prof. David Hemenway, Prof. Helen Christensen, Prof. Gary Kleck and New Jersey gun-range owner Anthony Colandro.Credits:This episode has been produced by Caitlin Kenney, Heather Rogers and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Production Assistance by Austin Mitchell. Sound design and music production by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll, music written by Bobby LordCrisis hotlines:US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755). Online chat available.US Crisis Text Line - text “GO” to 741741Lifeline 13 11 14 (Australia). Online chat available.Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention - see link for phone numbers listed by provinceSamaritans 116 123 (UK and ROI)Selected References:2013 US Mortality Statistics - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (published 2016)Gary Kleck’s defensive gun use survey Kleck & Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun”, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1995Survey of virgin births in the USHerring et al, “Like a virgin (mother): analysis of data from a longitudinal, US population representative sample survey”, BMJ, 2013David Hemenway’s defensive gun use analysis using National Crime Victimization Survey Hemenway & Solnick, “The epidemiology of self-defense gun use: Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Surveys 2007-2011”, Preventive Medicine, 2015Analysis of suicide rates and methods in Australia Large & Nielssen, “Suicide in Australia: meta-analysis of rates and methods of suicide between 1988 and 2007”, The Medical Journal of Australia, 2010John Lott’s study on right-to-carry laws and crime rates Lott & Mustard, “Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns”, Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics, 1996National Research Academies Panel which found guns don’t increase or decrease crime Wellford, Pepper, and Petrie, editors, “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review”, The National Academies Press, 2005US Crime statistics, 1990-2009 (US Dept of Justice, FBI)
Rank #4: Science Vs Presents: Sit or Squat?
The team at Every Little Thing answer our burning question: Are you wasting your time by hovering above public toilets? Should you just sit down?
Rank #5: CBD: Weed Wonder Drug?
CBD mania is in full swing and people are using it for just about anything, but what is this chemical in cannabis? In this week’s episode, we tell you unlikely origin story of CBD and if the science backs up the hype. We speak to Paige Figi, neuroscientist Prof. Kent Hutchison, clinical researcher Dr. Mallory Loflin, and Josh and Joel Stanley. Check out the transcript right here. Selected references: Mallory’s study showing most CBD products are labeled inaccurately and 1 out of 5 has some THCReview discussing all the possible things CBD is binding to in the brainNational Academy of Sciences report on cannabis and cannabinoids Clinical trial showing CBD reduces seizures for treatment-resistant epilepsy Credits:This episode was produced by Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Rose Rimler, Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, with help from Caitlin Kenny. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to Professor Elizabeth Thiele, Professor Cinnamon Bidwell, Professor Celia Morgan, Associate Professor Ziva Cooper, and Associate Professor Didier Jutras-Aswad, as well as Sindu Gnanasambandan, Mathilde Urfalino, Frank Lopez, Joseph Lavelle Wilson and the Zukerman Family.
Rank #6: Human Lab Rats: Science's Rotten Underbelly
During a golden age for scientific progress, a group of scientists were given free rein to do whatever they wanted to their human lab rats. We got new drugs, and learnt exciting new things. But some researchers took it too far... And what seemed like a scientific fantasy turned into one of the largest American science scandals. Check out the full transcript here. Selected references: The 1976 report from the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research Allen Hornblum’s book Acres of Skin (1998)2007 report from the Institute of Medicine Committee on Ethical Considerations for Research The Experimental Scurvy in Man 1969 study Credits: 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 and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Michelle Dang. Mix and sound design by Peter Leonard. Music by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode including Professor Karen Lebacqz, Michael Yesley. Also thanks to Sruthi Pinnamaneni, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Rank #7: Meditation
Silicon Valley CEOs, Tibetan monks, and crunchy hippies alike describe meditation as blissful and life-changing, but what does the science say? Can it reduce stress, increase your attention, and improve mental health -- or is all this focus on breathing just a bunch of hot air? Sit back, get comfortable, and focus your mind as we talk to Tim Ferriss, Professor Gaelle Desbordes, Dr. Clifford Saron, and Dr. Britta Hölzel. Please note: we have updated this episode. We removed a reference to Peter Thiel, the founder of Paypal. He was a guest on Tim Ferriss' show, but didn't discuss whether he meditates. Our SponsorsEveryday Bravery - Listen to Everyday Bravery, a podcast from Prudential, by going to everydaybravery.comWordpress - go to wordpress.com/science to get 15% off a new websiteCredits:This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Ben Kuebrich, Heather Rogers and Wendy Zukerman. Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie Rose Strasser. Fact checking by Ben Kuebrich. Music production and original music written by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Dr Jonathan Schooler, Dr Florian Kurth Aldis Wieble and Dr. Madhav Goyal.Selected References:CDC Report: Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2002–2012Review of Neuroimaging Studies on Meditators Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis - JAMA review of Clinical Trials with Active ControlsIntensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators - Dr. Cliff Saron’s study on telomerase activity after a meditation retreat
Rank #8: Organic Food
People are going bonkers for organic, but what are you really getting when you buy them? Better taste? Fewer toxic chemicals? A cleaner environment? Farmers Mark, Andy, and Brian Reeves, nutritional epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Bradbury, Ass. Prof. Cynthia Curl, and Prof. Navin Ramankutty help us sort it all out.Credits:This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Lynn Levy, Caitlin Kenney, Austin Mitchell, and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Editing by Annie-Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Production Assistance by Diane Wu and Shruti Ravindran. Special thanks to Stevie Lane and Joseph Lavelle Wilson. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixing by Martin Peralta, Austin Thompson and Haley Shaw. Music written by Bobby Lord.Selected Resources:Organic vs conventional tomato taste testJohansson et al, “Preference for tomatoes, affected by sensory attributes and information about growth conditions,” Food Quality and Preference, 1999Nutritional analysis of organic vs organic foodSmith-Spangler et al, “Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review,” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2012.2012 USDA report on pesticide residues in organic produceLargest (620,000 women) long-term (9 year) study of how eating organic food affects human health -- focusing on cancerBradbury et al, “Organic food consumption and the incidence of cancer in a large prospective study of women in the United Kingdom”, British Journal of Cancer, 2014Biodiversity is higher on organic farms“Tuck et al, “Land-use intensity and the effects of organic farming on biodiversity: a hierarchical meta-analysis,” The Journal of Applied Ecology, 2014.Nitrogen leaching is higher per unit product on organic farmsTuomisto et al, “Does organic farming reduce environmental impacts? – A meta-analysis of European research”Crop yield on organic farms is on average 75% that of conventional farmsSeufert et al, “Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture,” Nature 2012If we want to feed the world without cutting down more forests, we’re going to need more vegetariansErb et al, “Exploring the biophysical option space for feeding the world without deforestation,” Nature Communications, 2016On combining organic and conventional farming techniques Letourneau et al, “Crop protection in organic agriculture,” Chapter 4 of Organic agriculture: a global perspective, 2006.
Rank #9: Antidepressants
There’s an intriguing body of research that suggests the power of antidepressants doesn’t come from chemicals in the drugs, but from the power of placebo. Not everyone agrees, though. We speak to researchers and medical professionals on either side of the debate, and some wedged in-between -- Prof. Peter Kramer, psychiatrist and author of Ordinarily Well: the Case for Antidepressants; Prof. Irving Kirsch, psychologist and author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth; psychiatrist and radiologist Prof. Helen Mayberg; and psychiatrist Prof. Gregory Simon.Crisis Hotlines:US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755)US Crisis Text Line Text “GO” to 741741Australian Lifeline 13 11 14Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionOur SponsorsCasper - Get $50 towards any mattress by visiting casper.com/sciencevs and use the promo code SCIENCEVSThird Love - Go to thirdlove.com/sciencevs to start your free trialWealthsimple – Investing made easy. Get your first $10,000 managed for free.CreditsThis episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Shruti Ravindran, and Diane Wu. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll. Music written by Bobby Lord and Martin Peralta.Selected References2008 study suggesting that antidepressants are not much better than placebo for people suffering in severe depression.2016 study suggesting that antidepressants were way better than placebo in treating people suffering from severe depression. 2016 study on how drug companies under-report side effects in clinical trials. 2003 round-up of the most common side-effects of antidepressants. 2013 study which uses brain imaging to try to pinpoint whether patients would respond better to medication or psychotherapy.
Rank #10: Serial Killers: Science of the Lambs
What makes a serial killer? What drives them to kill again and again? To find out the truth about this ghastly lot, we talked to forensic psychologist Prof. Eric Hickey, criminologist Ass. Prof. Wayne Petherick, and psychiatrist Prof. Gwen Adshead.Check out the full transcript here.Note: in this episode we discuss homicide, and sexual violence. Please take care when listening to the show, and here are some resources:National Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).National Hotline for Crime Victims 1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846) National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)Selected readings:Dr. Mike Aamodt’s database of serial killers at Radford UniversityThis study looked at more than 1000 juvenile offenders to find out what was different about those who became killers All sorts of statistics for some of the common behaviors of serial killersThis paper digs into some of the more unusual “ritualistic” behavior of serial killers Credits: This Episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler and Wendy Zukerman. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Alex Blumberg. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris. Music by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Sound Design and mix by Emma Munger. A big thanks to all of the other academics who helped us out, including Dr. Mike Aamodt, Dr. Ann Burgess, Dr. Scott Lilienfeld, Dr. Devon Polaschek, Dr. Kori Ryan, Dr. Kim Rossmo, Dr. David Finkelhor, Dr. David Keatley, Dr. Jennifer Lansford, Dr. Karen Franklin, Dr. Michael Maltz, Dr. Gabrielle Salfati, Dr. Claire Ferguson, Dr. Sandra Taylor, and Katherine Ramsland. Extra thanks to Sarah McVeigh, Christopher Suter, Frank Lopez, Rose Reid, the Zukerman Family, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson, and everyone at Gimlet who listened and gave thoughts.
Rank #11: The G-spot
Join us on a hunt for the elusive G-spot. Our guides: Prof. Beverly Whipple, who introduced America to the G-spot in the 1980s, and Prof. Helen O’Connell, a urologist and expert on female sexual anatomy. CreditsThis episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Caitlin Kenney, Austin Mitchell, and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Fact Checking by Michelle Harris.Production Assistance by Dr Diane Wu & Shruti Ravindran. Extra thanks to Lola Pellegrino, Andres Montoya Castillo, Rose Reid, Radio National’s Science Show -- they make a podcast. It’s great.Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord.And be sure to check out our producer Austin Mitchell’s podcast Profiles:NYC. Selected References1981 study identifying G-spot in 47 women . . . but not confirming that it leads to orgasm Perry and Whipple, “Pelvic Muscle Strength of Female Ejaculators: Evidence in Support of a New Theory of Orgasm,” The Journal of Sex Research, 1981. Note: not freely available. Report of the first modern dissection of the clitoris O’Connell et al, “Anatomical relationship between urethra and clitoris,” Journal of Urology, 1998.Everything besides the clitoris is just a shade of gray in the MRI O’Connell et al, “Clitoral anatomy in nulliparous, healthy, premenopausal volunteers using unenhanced magnetic resonance imaging,” Journal of Urology, 2005. Comprehensive account of clitoris anatomy O’Connell et al, “Anatomy of the clitoris,” Journal of Urology, 2005.Review of research on the G-Spot and cliteralurethrovaginal complex Jannini et al, “Beyond the G-Spot: clitourethrovaginal complex anatomy in female orgasm,” Nature Reviews Urology, 2014. Note: not freely available.
Rank #12: Vitamins & Supplements - Are They Worth It?
Americans spend billions of dollars on vitamins and supplements, but are they worth it? We look at the science behind some of the most popular supplements with nutritional epidemiologist Prof. Katherine Tucker, neuroscientist Dr. Simon Dyall, and medical researcher Dr. Mark Bolland. Our Sponsors: G Suite | WP EngineCredits: This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Heather Rogers, and Shruti Ravindran. Production assistance from Rose Rimler. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Blythe Terrell with help from Alex Blumberg. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Music written by Bobby Lord. An extra thanks to the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson, Chris Giliberti, Jasmine Romero, Matthew Nelson, Stevie Lane, Dr Harri Hemilä, Stephanie from the New York State Library and Dr Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam.Selected Reading:The history of fortified foodsThe Institute of Medicine Report on calcium and Vitamin DSurvey on vitamin shopping habits in the USSimon’s paper on Omega 3 and spinal cord injuries in ratsMark’s work on calciumThis whopper of a study on multivitaminsCheck out the full transcript here with all the footnotes.
Rank #13: Artificial Sweeteners - not so sweet?
Low calorie, no calorie and so sweet. Artificial sweeteners just seem too good to be true. Is there a catch? We dig into two big questions: Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer, and are they making us fat? We talk to Prof. John Glendinning, Prof. Susie Swithers, Dr. Kieron Rooney, and PhD student Jotham Suez about the latest research. Plus we do a fun experiment with PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman from Reply All! Also, please sign up for our brand spanking new newsletter! We’ll share science that’s been blowing our minds, plus great content like the most amazing calculation from an academic of how much bigger 323 African Elephants are than nuclear waste. Head to: https://gimletmedia.com/newsletter/ Our Sponsors:Postmates - New customers get a $100 credit by downloading the app and entering the promo code SCIENCEWordpress - go to wordpress.com/science to get 15% off a new websiteHello Fresh - For $30 off your first week of meals go to hellofresh.com and enter the promo code SCIENCEVS30 Credits: This episode has been produced by Ben Kuebrich, Heather Rogers, Shruti Ravindran and Wendy Zukerman.Kaitlyn Sawrey is our senior producer. We’re edited by Annie-Rose Strasser. Production assistance by Stevie Lane. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Original music and mixing by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher, Peter Bresnan, Euromonitor International and ubiome. Selected References:Prof. Susie Swithers’s study on artificial sweeteners and feeding behavior in ratsA 2015 systematic review of the relationship between artificial sweetener consumption and cancer in humansJotham Suez’s study on artificial sweeteners and the gut microbiome
Rank #14: Gun Control (Pt 2)
In last week’s episode, we learned that around 30,000 Americans die each year from guns. This week, we examine possible solutions. Do better background checks, buybacks, and gun registration lead to fewer shooting deaths? What happened in Australia after they got rid of all the guns? To find out, we talk to gun shop owner Bob Kostaras, former ATF special agent Mark Jones, Prof. Philip Alpers, and Prof. Peter Squires.Credits:This episode has been produced by Heather Rogers, Caitlin Kenney, Austin Mitchell, and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Editing by Annie Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Production Assistance by Diane Wu, and Shruti Ravindran. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixing by Martin Peralta and Haley Shaw. Music written by Bobby Lord.Crisis Hotlines:US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755)US Crisis Text Line Text “GO” to 741741Australia: Lifeline 13 11 14Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionUK & Ireland: Samaritans 116 123 Selected References:Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, US Bureau of Justice, 2009 Including details on federal gun purchase regulationsIssues with the current US background check system, plus recommendations for improvement Wintemute, “Background checks for firearm transfers: Assessment and recommendations.” Violence Prevention Research Program, UC Davis. 2013. States with more comprehensive background checks, including better reporting, have lower rates of gun homicide Ruddel and Mays, “State background checks and firearms homicides,” Journal of Criminal Justice, 2005. Most prisoners incarcerated for a gun-related offense did not buy their gun from a licensed dealer Harlow, C. “Firearm use by offenders”, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, 2001. How much of violent crime in Sweden can be attributed to people with severe mental illness? About 5% Fazel and Grann. “The Population Impact of Severe Mental Illness on Violent Crime.” Am J Psychiatry, 2006A study of how gun laws in Australia changed gun homicide rates Chapman et al, “Association Between Gun Law Reforms and Intentional Firearm Deaths in Australia, 1979-2013”, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2016.
Rank #15: Essential Oils: Science or Snake Oil?
Essential Oils - and their claims - are huge right now. But is it all hype, or is there something special about these little brown bottles? To get to the bottom of it, we dig through the studies and speak to cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Rachel Herz and psychologist Prof. Mark Moss. Check out the full transcript here. Selected references: Rachel Herz’s books: Why You Eat What You Eat & The Scent of DesireA review of the benefits of peppermint tea and oil A critical review of the clinical trials Mark’s two studies showing that rosemary can enhance memoryThe experiment where lavender had different effects depending on what the people expected it to do Credits: This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, with help from Wendy Zukerman, Rose Rimler and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Rose Rimler. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode - including Ryan Dalton, Elaine Elisabetsky, Belinda Hornby, Diane McKay, and Thomas Cleland. Also thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Rank #16: Vegans: Are They Right?
Do vegans have a right to be so smug? This week we find out whether it really is better for the environment, and our bodies, to go vegan. We speak to environmental researcher Joseph Poore, historian Prof. Connie Hilliard, anthropologist Prof. Katharine Milton, and nutrition researcher Prof. Roman Pawlak.Check out the transcript right here. Selected references: Joseph’s study comparing 40,000 different farmsConnie’s paper comparing countries that consume more or less dairyA big review of calcium intake and fracture riskThis report on the influence of the dairy industryKatie’s paper on the evolution of meat-eatingRoman’s work rounding up studies on a vitamin deficiencyCredits: This episode was produced by Rose Rimler with help from Wendy Zukerman, along with Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. Recording assistance from Robbie MacInnes, Paul Reece, Spencer Silva, and Hady Mawajdeh. For this episode we also spoke to Connie Weaver, Nathan H. Lents, Mark Bolland, Ambrish Mithal, Marco Springmann, Mary Beth Hall, Tara Garnett, Tom Sanders, Frederick Leroy, and others. Thank you so much for your help. And a big thanks to the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Rank #17: The Mystery of the Man Who Died Twice
A dead body turns up with a stolen identity. This week, we tell the story of how a grandmother tracked down the truth — and helped create a whole new and controversial world of crime fighting. To tell this story, we talk to U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott, Dr. Margaret Press, and Phil Nichols.Check out the transcript right here.Note: in this episode we discuss suicide and homicide. Please take care when listening to the show, and here are some resources: National Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255National Hotline for Crime Victims 1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846) Selected references: Press Conference revealing Joseph Newton Chandler's true identity [SPOILER ALERT]Margaret Press’ DNA Doe ProjectCredits:This episode was produced by Rose Rimler and our senior producer, Kaitlyn Sawrey with help from Wendy Zukerman as well as Meryl Horn and Odelia Rubin. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Editing help from Alex Blumberg and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music by Emma Munger and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the people we got in touch with for this episode including Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick at DNA Doe Project and Curtis Rogers at GEDmatch. Recording help from Selene Ross, Tana Weingartner and Daniel Robison. Also thanks to the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
Rank #18: Introducing: Conviction
Hey Science Vs listeners! We're back in mid-March but in the meantime, here's Conviction - a new true crime show from Gimlet you can binge right now.
Rank #19: Detoxing & Cleanses - Do They Work?
Juice cleanses, fancy foods, sweat, charcoal, and colonics-- is there a scientifically proven way to ‘clean out’ your system? This week, we dig in deep to the science of detox and turn ourselves into guinea pigs for a juicing experiment. We talk to a passionate proctologist named Prof. Graham Newstead, as well as nutrition researcher Prof. Stella Volpe and toxicologist Dr. Susanne Ramm.Sign up to our newsletter here - for all the cool science stuff we’re reading. View our guide to Gimlet's Fall shows here.Our Sponsors: Cole Haan | Google Cloud, Maker of GSuite | Cotton Inc + MadewellCredits: This episode has been produced by Shruti Ravindran, Wendy Zukerman, and Heather Rogers. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with help from Rose Rimler. Sound design by Martin Peralta. Music written by Bobby Lord. Extra thanks to Lynn Levy, the Zukerman Family, Joseph Lavelle Wilson, Torey Armul, Dr. Naveed Sattar, and Dr. David Juurlink.Selected ReferencesOn the inability of activated charcoal to absorb wind, aka the ‘poo in a blender’ study Review paper on the dangers of colonics Why liquids don't make you feel very full An investigation of capsaicin, aka the spice in spicy food, for weight loss
Rank #20: UFOs: What the Government Covered Up
Could aliens actually exist? Is there any chance they’ve visited Earth already? What really happened at Roswell? The truth... is right here. We talked to astronomers Dr. Jill Tarter, Dr. Seth Shostak, investigative journalist David Clarke, and physicist Prof. Jim Al Khalili. Check out the full transcript here. Selected readings: Seth’s account of that day in 1997The “Condon report”-- a 1968 effort to go through and identify all UFO sightingsThe Roswell ReportThis paper estimating how many planets are in the “Goldilocks” zoneA good read on wormholes and their history; a tough read on how we might use them to teleportCredits: This episode has been produced by our senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, as well as Wendy Zukerman and Rose Rimler, with help from Shruti Ravindran and Meryl Horn. Fact checking by Michelle Harris and Meryl Horn. Music by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Editing by Blythe Terrell. Additional editing help from Caitlin Kenney. We performed this live for GimletFest - and we were joined onstage by our Aussie mate and mathematician Adam Spencer who has his own podcast you should check out ‘The Big Questions’, and astronomer Dr Emily Rice, who helps run Astronomy on Tap which brings together astronomers and beer. Check it out to see whether it runs in your city. Also thanks to Dr. Ravi Kumar Kopparapu, Dr. Craig O'Neill, Dr. Jessie Christiansen, Dr. Cameron Hummels, Dr. Phil Hopkins, Dr Avi Loeb, and the many other researchers who helped us on this.