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Science

Science Magazine Podcast

Updated 7 days ago

Science
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Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

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Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

iTunes Ratings

413 Ratings
Average Ratings
261
65
37
31
19

The Best

By gilledfreak - Mar 08 2018
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Sarah is amazing. Love this podcast

great program

By Margot Brinn - Oct 09 2017
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I love the interviewers excellent questions and the interviewees well researched answers.

iTunes Ratings

413 Ratings
Average Ratings
261
65
37
31
19

The Best

By gilledfreak - Mar 08 2018
Read more
Sarah is amazing. Love this podcast

great program

By Margot Brinn - Oct 09 2017
Read more
I love the interviewers excellent questions and the interviewees well researched answers.
Cover image of Science Magazine Podcast

Science Magazine Podcast

Updated 7 days ago

Read more

Weekly podcasts from Science Magazine, the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

Rank #1: Podcast: A planet beyond Pluto, the bugs in your home, and the link between marijuana and IQ

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Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on studying marijuana use in teenage twins, building a better maze for psychological experiments, and a close inspection of the bugs in our homes. Science News Writer Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the potential for a ninth planet in the solar system that circles the sun just once every 15,000 years.  [Image: Gilles San Martin/CC BY-SA 2.0]
Jan 21 2016
17 mins
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Rank #2: Podcast: Taking race out of genetics, a cellular cleanse for longer life, and smart sweatbands

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Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on killing cells to lengthen life, getting mom’s microbes after a C-section, and an advanced fitness tracker that sits on the wrist and sips sweat.
 
Michael Yudell joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss an initiative to replace race in genetics with more biologically meaningful terms, and Lena Wilfert talks about drivers of the global spread of the bee-killing deformed wing virus.
 
[Image: Vipin Baliga/(CC BY 2.0)]
Feb 04 2016
29 mins
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Rank #3: How our brains may have evolved for language, and clues to what makes us leaders—or followers

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Yes, humans are the only species with language, but how did we acquire it? New research suggests our linguistic prowess might arise from the same process that brought domesticated dogs big eyes and bonobos the power to read others’ intent. Online News Editor Catherine Matacic joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about how humans might have self-domesticated themselves, leading to physical and behavioral changes that gave us a “language-ready” brain.

Sarah also talks with Micah Edelson of the University of Zurich in Switzerland about his group’s research into the role that “responsibility aversion”—the reluctance to make decisions for a group—might play when people decide to lead or defer in a group setting. In their experiments, the team found that some people adjusted how much risk they would take on, depending on whether they were deciding for themselves alone or for the entire group. The ones who didn’t—those who stuck to the same plan whether others were involved or not—tended to score higher on standardized tests of leadership and have held higher military rank.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Download a transcript of this episode (PDF)

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Scaly breasted munia/Ravi Vaidyanathan; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 02 2018
25 mins
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Rank #4: Genes that turn off after death, and debunking the sugar conspiracy

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Some of our genes come alive after we die. David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about which genes are active after death and what we can learn about time of death by looking at patterns of postmortem gene expression.

Sarah also interviews David Merritt Johns of Columbia University about the so-called sugar conspiracy. Historical evidence suggests, despite recent media reports, it is unlikely that “big sugar” influenced U.S. nutrition policy and led to the low-fat diet fad of the ’80s and ’90s.

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Lauri Andler (Phantom); Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 15 2018
13 mins
Play

Rank #5: Podcast: Babylonian astronomers, doubly domesticated cats, and outrunning a T. Rex

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Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex tracks, a signature of human consciousness, and a second try at domesticating cats. Mathieu Ossendrijver joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss newly translated Babylonian tablets that extend the roots of calculus all the way back to between 350 B.C.E. to 50 B.C.E. Read the related research in Science.
Jan 28 2016
24 mins
Play

Rank #6: The evolution of Mars' atmosphere and a daily news roundup

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Bruce Jakosky discusses where Mars' once-thick, CO2-ish atmosphere went and the first data from the MAVEN mission to study the Red Planet; David Grimm talks about worm allergies, fake fingerprints, and toilets for all. Hosted by Sarah Crespi. [Img: NASA]
Nov 05 2015
22 mins
Play

Rank #7: How humans survived an ancient volcanic winter and how disgust shapes ecosystems

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When Indonesia’s Mount Toba blew its top some 74,000 years ago, an apocalyptic scenario ensued: Tons of ash and debris entered the atmosphere, coating the planet in ash for 2 weeks straight and sending global temperatures plummeting. Despite the worldwide destruction, humans survived. Sarah Crespi talks with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic about how life after Toba was even possible—were humans decimated, or did they rally in the face of a suddenly extra hostile planet?

Next, Julia Buck of the University of California, Santa Barbara, joins Sarah to discuss her Science commentary piece on landscapes of disgust. You may have heard of a landscape of fear—how a predator can influence an ecosystem not just by eating its prey, but also by introducing fear into the system, changing the behavior of many organisms. Buck and colleagues write about how disgust can operate in a similar way: Animals protect themselves from parasites and infection by avoiding disgusting things such as dead animals of the same species or those with disease.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Emma Forsber/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Mar 15 2018
20 mins
Play

Rank #8: Following 1000 people for decades to learn about the interplay of health, environment, and temperament, and investigating why naked mole rats don’t seem to age

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David Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about the chance a naked mole rat could die at any one moment. Surprisingly, the probability a naked mole rat will die does not go up as it gets older. Researchers are looking at the biology of these fascinating animals for clues to their seeming lack of aging.

Sarah also interviews freelancer Douglas Starr about his feature story on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study—a comprehensive study of the lives of all the babies born in 1 year in a New Zealand hospital. Starr talks about the many insights that have come out of this work—including new understandings of criminality, drug addiction, and mental illness—and the research to be done in the future as the 1000-person cohort begins to enter its fifth decade.

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Tim Evanson/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Feb 01 2018
18 mins
Play

Rank #9: Ancient volcanic eruptions, and peer pressure—from robots

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Several thousand years ago the volcano under Santorini in Greece—known as Thera—erupted in a tremendous explosion, dusting the nearby Mediterranean civilizations of Crete and Egypt in a layer of white ash. This geological marker could be used to tie together many ancient historical events, but the estimated date could be off by a century. Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about a new study that used tree rings to calibrate radiocarbon readings—and get closer to pinning down a date. The findings also suggest that scientists may need to change their standard radiocarbon dating calibration curve.

Sarah also talks to Tony Belpaeme of Ghent University in Belgium and Plymouth University in the United Kingdom about his Science Robotics paper that explored whether people are susceptible to peer pressure from robots. Using a classic psychological measure of peer influence, the team found that kids from ages 7 to 9 occasionally gave in to social pressure from robot peers, but adults did not.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy, with help from Meagan Cantwell.

Download a transcript of this episode (PDF)

Listen to previous podcasts.

About the Science Podcast

[Image: Softbank Robotics; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 16 2018
19 mins
Play

Rank #10: Liquid water on Mars, athletic performance in transgender women, and the lost colony of Roanoke

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Billions of years ago, Mars probably hosted many water features: streams, rivers, gullies, etc. But until recently, water detected on the Red Planet was either locked up in ice or flitting about as a gas in the atmosphere. Now, researchers analyzing radar data from the Mars Express mission have found evidence for an enormous salty lake under the southern polar ice cap of Mars. Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how the water was found and how it can still be liquid—despite temperatures and pressures typically inhospitable to water in its liquid form.

Read the research.

Sarah also talks with science journalist Katherine Kornei about her story on changing athletic performance after gender transition. The feature profiles researcher Joanna Harper on the work she has done to understand the impacts of hormone replacement therapy and testosterone levels in transgender women involved in running and other sports. It turns out within a year of beginning hormone replacement therapy, transgender women plateau at their new performance level and stay in a similar rank with respect to the top performers in the sport. Her work has influenced sports oversight bodies like the International Olympic Committee.

In this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Andrew Lawler about his book The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

Next month’s book will be The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect by Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie. Write us at sciencepodcast@aaas.org or tweet to us @sciencemagazine with your questions for the authors.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Download a transcript of this episode (PDF)

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Henry Howe; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Jul 26 2018
25 mins
Play

Rank #11: Drug use in the ancient world, and what will happen to plants as carbon dioxide levels increase

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Armed with new data, archaeologists are revealing that mind-altering drugs were present at the dawn of the first complex societies some 5000 years ago in the ancient Middle East. Contributing writer Andrew Lawler joins Sarah Crespi to discuss the evidence for these drugs and how they might have impacted early societies and beliefs.

Sarah also interviews Sarah Hobbie of the University of Minnesota about the fate of plants under climate change. Will all that extra carbon dioxide in the air be good for certain types of flora? A 20-year long study published this week in Science suggests theoretical predictions have been off the mark.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Public domain Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 19 2018
23 mins
Play

Rank #12: Podcast: Glowing robot skin, zombie frogs, and viral fossils in our DNA

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Online News Editor David Grimm shares stories on zombification by a frog-killing fungus, relating the cosmological constant to life in the universe, and ancient viral genes that protect us from illness.
 
Chris Larson joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss a new type of robot skin that can stretch and glow.
 
[Image: Jungbae Park]
Mar 03 2016
24 mins
Play

Rank #13: Podcast: Spreading cancer, sacrificing humans, and transplanting organs

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Online news editor David Grimm shares stories on evidence for the earth being hit by supernovae, record-breaking xenotransplantation, and winning friends and influencing people with human sacrifice.
 
Staff news writer Jocelyn Kaiser joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss how small membrane-bound packets called “exosomes” might pave the way for cancer cells to move into new territory in the body.  
 
[Image: Val Altounian/Science]
Apr 07 2016
19 mins
Play

Rank #14: Doubts about the drought that kicked off our latest geological age, and a faceoff between stink bugs with samurai wasps

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We now live in the Meghalayan age—the last age of the Holocene epoch. Did you get the memo? A July decision by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which is responsible for naming geological time periods, divided the Holocene into three ages: the Greenlandian, the Northgrippian, and the Meghalayan. The one we live in—the Meghalayan age (pronounced “megalion”)—is pegged to a global drought thought to have happened some 4200 years ago. But many critics question the timing of this latest age and the global expanse of the drought. Staff writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the evidence for and against the global drought—and what it means if it’s wrong.

Sarah also talks to staff writer Kelly Servick about her feature story on what happens when biocontrol goes out of control. Here’s the setup: U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers wanted to know whether brown marmorated stink bugs that have invaded the United States could be controlled—aka killed—by importing their natural predators, samurai wasps, from Asia. But before they could find out, the wasps showed up anyway. Kelly discusses how using one species to combat another can go wrong—or right—and what happens when the situation outruns regulators.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Download a transcript of this episode (PDF)

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Melissa McMasters/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Aug 09 2018
20 mins
Play

Rank #15: <i>Science</i>’s Breakthrough of the Year, our best online news, and science books for your shopping list

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Dave Grimm—online news editor for Science—talks with Sarah Crespi about a few of this year’s top stories from our online news site, like ones on a major error in the monarch butterfly biological record and using massive balloons to build tunnels, and why they were chosen. Hint: It’s not just the stats.

Sarah also interviews Staff Writer Adrian Cho about the 2017 Breakthrough of the Year. Adrian talks about why Science gave the nod to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory team for a second year in a row—for the detection of a pair of merging neutron stars.

Jen Golbeck is also back for the last book review segment of the year. She talks with Sarah about her first year on the show, her favorite books, what we should have covered, and some suggestions for books as gifts.

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: f99aq8ove/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Dec 21 2017
30 mins
Play

Rank #16: The origins of biodiversity in the Amazon and a daily news roundup

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Lizzie Wade discusses whether the amazing biodiversity of the Amazon Basin was the result of massive flooding, or the uplift of the Andes mountain range. David Grimm talks about microbes aboard the International Space Station, the fate of juvenile giant ground sloths during the Pleistocene, and singing classes as social glue. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: ©Jason Houston]
Oct 29 2015
30 mins
Play

Rank #17: How DNA is revealing Latin America’s lost histories, and how to make a molecule from just two atoms

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Geneticists and anthropologists studying historical records and modern-day genomes are finding traces of previously unknown migrants to Latin America in the 16th and 17th centuries, when Asians, Africans, and Europeans first met indigenous Latin Americans. Sarah Crespi talks with contributing correspondent Lizzie Wade about what she learned on the topic at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists’s annual meeting in Austin.

Sarah also interviews Kang-Keun Ni about her research using optical tweezers to bring two atoms—one cesium and one sodium—together into a single molecule. Such precise control of molecule formation is allowing new observations of these basic processes and is opening the door to creating new molecules for quantum computing.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Listen to previous podcasts.

[Image: Juan Fernando Ibarra; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 12 2018
20 mins
Play

Rank #18: Podcast: Where dog breeds come from, bots that build buildings, and gathering ancient human DNA from cave sediments

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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.    

Download the show transcript.

Transcripts courtesy of Scribie.com.

[Image: nimis69/iStockphoto; Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Apr 27 2017
24 mins
Play

Rank #19: Next-generation cellphone signals could interfere with weather forecasts, and monitoring smoke from wildfires to model nuclear winter

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In recent months, telecommunications companies in the United States have purchased a new part of the spectrum for use in 5G cellphone networks. Weather forecasters are concerned that these powerful signals could swamp out weaker signals from water vapor—which are in a nearby band and important for weather prediction. Freelance science writer Gabriel Popkin joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the possible impact of cellphone signals on weather forecasting and some suggested regulations.

In other weather news this week, Sarah talks with Pengfei Yu, a professor at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, about his group’s work using a huge smoke plume from the 2017 wildfires in western Canada as a model for smoke from nuclear bombs. They found the wildfire smoke lofted itself 23 kilometers into the stratosphere, spread across the Northern Hemisphere, and took 8 months to dissipate, which line up with models of nuclear winter and suggests these fires can help predict the results of a nuclear war.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Ads on this week’s show: KiwiCo.com

Download the transcript (PDF) 

Listen to previous podcasts.

About the Science Podcast
Aug 08 2019
23 mins
Play

Rank #20: The bond between people and dogs and a news roundup

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Evan MacLean discusses the role of oxytocin in mediating the relationship between dogs and people, and David Grimm discusses daily news stories. Hosted by Susanne Bard. [Img: Teresa Alexander-Arab/flickr/Creative Commons BY-ND 2.0]
Apr 16 2015
23 mins
Play

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