Posts

March 31, 2015

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3:16 PM | Feb 2015: Damien Farine, penguins who can't taste, and shiny tree swallows
This month, I find out that penguins can’t tell the difference between savoury and sweet. I also chat with Sonia Van Wijk from The Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, about what makes a male tree swallow attractive to a female who's on the look-out for more than one partner. And in the Scientific spark, I talk to social network whizz Damien Farine, from the University of Oxford, about his path into science. Download the MP3Adelie penguins […]

March 30, 2015

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6:13 PM | Episode 217 – Go With The Flow
00:00:00 – This week Abe and Ryan  joined by Dr. Dave McGarvie to get an update on what’s going on with those pesky Icelandic volcanoes that seem to keep threatening air travel. What’s the deal there, Dave? 00:24:10 – One way to stay cool around hot lava is a drink. Sure, maybe not a flammable one, […]
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4:03 PM | BacterioFiles 208 - Discovering Dietary Dwellers
This episode: Dr. Angela Zivkovic discusses the microbes present in our food! Download Episode (21.6 MB, 23.6 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Archaea seem to be producing vitamin B12 in oceans Tree microbiomes differ between species like animals' Some bacteria can help plants form root nodules better (paper) Biofilms can be useful materials for different things, like sticking to steel Electricity from microbe metabolism could power waste treatment Post questions […]

March 29, 2015

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11:53 PM | I know there are approximately eight zillion videos that explain...
I know there are approximately eight zillion videos that explain how solar and lunar eclipses work, but bear with me here. I really like this one. Plus, it’s one of the first videos in Vox’s science series. The animation is nice and clear, and maybe I will finally remember how to explain eclipses this time! Bonus points for answering viewer questions in the comments, too. » Rose

March 28, 2015

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7:12 PM | Cosmic Queries: Bill Nye Edition
The Science Guy takes the mic to answer your questions for him about evolution, technology, the human exploration of space, and even Leonard Nimoy, chosen from Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus by co-host Chuck Nice.

March 27, 2015

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11:18 AM | The science behind our sense of touch - podcast
Neuroscientist David J. Linden on why touch is the sense that most defines us as humans Continue reading...
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1:45 AM | Bianca Jones Marlin: It's Because She's Black
On the first day of grad school for her PhD, a fellow student tells Bianca Jones Marlin that she doesn't really belong there. Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and doctoral candidate at New York University, School of Medicine. She received dual bachelor degrees in biology and adolescent education from St. John's University. Her time as a high school biology teacher led her to the laboratory, where she now studies the neurochemicals that govern communication and dictate social memories. […]

March 26, 2015

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7:09 PM | The Ebola Outbreak: Past, Present and Future
Scientific American’s Dina Maron talks with Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general for health security at the World Health Organization, about the current Ebola outbreak, the threat of sexual... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

March 25, 2015

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3:12 PM | Ep. 370: The Kaufmann–Bucherer–Neumann Experiments
One of the most amazing implications of Einstein’s relativity is the fact that the inertial mass of an object depends on its velocity. That sounds like a difficult thing to test, but that’s exactly what happened through a series of experiments performed by Kaufmann, Bucherer, Neumann and others. Ep. 370: The Kaufmann–Bucherer–Neumann Experiments Jump to […]

March 24, 2015

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7:34 PM | Los Frikis
The story of how punk rock’s arrival in Cuba allowed a small band of outsiders to sentence themselves to death and set themselves free.

March 23, 2015

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1:03 PM | SoT 180: Condescending Chameleons
Astronomers using the Hubble Space telescope have found large methane storms raging on the planet Uranus. Only three animals go through menopause: humans, short-finned pilot whales, and killer whales. The leading theory behind this is known as the 'Grandmother hypothesis', but it doesn't explain other long-lived familial animals like elephants. Spectroscopy analysis may have revealed how chameleons change colour. Intricate latices of tiny photonic crystals reflect light […]
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10:33 AM | BacterioFiles 207 - Microbe Messages Mire Malaria Movement
This episode: Gut microbes may induce an immune response that protects against malaria! Download Episode (10.2 MB, 11.2 minutes)Show notes:News item/Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Gut bacteria help immune responses even in the lungs (of mice) Conductive bacteria can encase themselves in uranium Discovering and prepping bacteria to degrade environmental pollutants Using bacteria to reduce arsenic toxicity in rice Soil fungi protect potatoes from parasites Post questions or […]

March 21, 2015

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6:29 PM | The Future of Humanity with Elon Musk
Neil deGrasse Tyson explores the future of humanity with one of the men forging that future: billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors. Co-hosted by Chuck Nice and guest starring Bill Nye.

March 20, 2015

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8:32 PM | Animated Life: Pangea
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/opinion/animated-life-pangaea.htmlI bet very few people grew up hearing about Alfred Wegener, the man who discovered continental drift. As the son of a geologist, I got to hear the story many times, and he was a huge figure — the man who came to a surprising conclusion that no one believed. I was delighted, therefore, to see him featured in this new piece by Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck for the New York Times Op-Docs series.We’ve picked […]
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7:51 PM | Humans and the Amazon: A 13,000-Year Coexistence
University of Exeter archaeologist Jose Iriarte talks to freelance journalist Cynthia Graber about his efforts to understand human activity in and influence on the Amazon region for the last 13... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:07 PM | Ep. 369: The Fizeau Experiment
Light is tricky stuff, and it took scientists hundreds of years to puzzle out what this stuff is. But they poked and prodded at it with many clever experiments to try to measure its speed, motion and interaction with the rest of the Universe. For example, the Fizeau Experiment, which ran light through moving water […]
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6:00 AM | The UK's genetic structure revealed - podcast
The first fine-scale genetic map of any country in the world is published Continue reading...

March 19, 2015

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10:23 PM | Aug 2013: Louise Barrett, peacock eye tracking, and caterpillar eyespots
In the first episode I dig into peahen perception to find out what they look for in their ideal mate. I'll also present the first of a series of interviews from the Behaviour 2013 conference. I speak to Tom Hossie from Carleton University, Canada. Plus in the Scientific Spark I ask Louise Barrett, from the University of Lethbridge in Canada, what sparked her scientific career. Download the MP3Peahen wearing eye-tracking equipment in Yorzinski et al's study.Quicklinks: Yorzisnki's […]
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10:22 PM | Sept 2013: Amy Cuddy and power posing, honeyguides, and bower bird cognition
Amy Cuddy joins me in this month's Beepcast, telling me what ignited her interest in how people judge and influence each other. I explore the darker side of bird behaviour, looking at the sneaky tactics African honeyguides use to trick other birds into raising their young. In the second of my interviews from the Behavior 2013 conference, I speak to Jess Isden of Exeter University who explains what female bowerbirds look for in a male’s fancy display. Download the […]
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10:21 PM | Oct 2013: Tim Birkhead, barn swallows, and coal tits who hide seeds
In October's BEEPcast Tim Birkhead tells me what ignited his interest in ornithology and sexual selection. I explore why male barn swallows don't act their age when courting females. In the third of my interviews from the Behavior 2013 conference, I speak to Tom Smulders of Newcastle University who explains what Coal tits do with unpalatable seeds. Download the MP3Barn swallows coutesy of Jim Benson http://www.flickr.com/photos/j_benson/Quicklinks: Tom Smulder's webpageMasaru Hasegawa's […]
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10:20 PM | Nov 2013: Nicky Clayton and clever crows, and mice that eat scorpions
Nicky Clayton joins me in this month's Beepcast, telling me what sparked her interest in bird intelligence, and how she mixes science with the art of dance. I learn about a mouse with an unusual superpower: immunity to the sting of a scorpion. I also interview Culum Brown of Macquarie University, Australia, who studies how young rainbow fish sniff out lurking predators.Download the MP3A southern grasshopper mouse eats the Arizona bark scorpion that it has just […]
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10:19 PM | Dec 2013: Steve Jones, slime mold, and spiders that mimic ants
This month, we leave backbones behind, for an invertebrate and protist special. I speak to Chris Reid from the the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, USA, about an ancient single cell animal that looks like a glob of luminous yellow gunge, that doesn't have a brain but may be smarter than human beings. I find out about a double deception in the animal kingdom: how an ant-mimicking spider sends misleading visual and chemical cues to different predators. And, in the scientific spark I […]
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10:18 PM | Jan 2014: Lesley Morrell, prairie dogs, and stinky parrots
This month, I speak to Milla Mihailova from Deakin University in Australia, who tells me about parrots with a particularly pungent stench. I get up close and personal with some black tailed prairie dogs, to find out why they can’t help following the leader. And, in the Scientific Spark I ask Lesley Morrell (@biosciencemum), from the University of Hull what made her want to be a biologist, and how she came to work on why animals live in groups, rather than enjoying the single life.Download […]
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10:18 PM | Feb 2014: Kirsty MacLeod and meerkats, birds and airplanes, and New Zealand conservation with James Russell
Meerkats may look cute and cuddly, but this month, Kirsty MacLeod from Cambridge University tells me that for some, life isn’t as picture perfect as it seems. I find out about the US Department of Agriculture’s latest research on the quest for safer skies. And, in the Scientific Spark I ask James Russell, a conservation biologist from the University of Aukland in New Zealand, what inspired him to research invasive species biology, and what the hardest tasks are in trying to save New […]
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10:17 PM | March 2014: Temple Grandin, autism, weaver birds, and tadpole social learning
The social lives of animals is this month's theme. I talk to Damien Farine from the Edward Grey Institute at Oxford University, who tells me how weaver birds decide how many house mates they want to live with. I discover how being hungry can affect how information spreads through a group of tadpoles. And in the scientific spark Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, a best-selling author, an autistism activist, a consultant to the livestock industry on animal […]
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10:16 PM | April 2014: David Sherry and marsh tits, zebra stripes, and Arabian babblers
David Sherry from the Western University in Canada tells me what inspired him to study the hoarding behavior of birds, in the Scientific Spark. Oded Keynan explains the benefits to having offspring stick around for an extended period of time. I also find out why zebras have stripes, and why Rudyard Kipling was wrong! Download the MP3Zebras and their stripes from https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilevirgin/Quicklinks: Oded Keynan's webpageTim Caro's webpageTim's zebra paper in Nature […]
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10:16 PM | May 2014: Neil Metcalfe, ZSL's hihi, and cuckoo - hawk mimicry
This month, the masters of disguise: I find out about an animal that can mimic two different species, for two entirely different reasons. I learn about a colourful bird from New Zealand called the Hihi, who’s very good at eating its requisite 7 portions of fruit and veg a day. And in the Scientific Spark, I hear from Neil Metcalfe, Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Glasgow, about what made him interested in research and how he came to study for a PhD on seabird […]
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10:15 PM | June 2014: Robert Hinde, and an antipredator defence special
Professor Robert Hinde, the Emeritus Royal Society Research Professor of Zoology at the University of Cambridge is this month's Scientific Spark. Robert talks about the early days of ornithology research just after the war, and his memories of David Lack and Niko Tinbergen. The rest of the episode is an anti-predator defence special! I talk to Jolyon Troscianko from project nightjar about his research on the camouflage of eggs and chicks of African birds. I also find out about an animal that […]
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10:14 PM | July 2014: Isabella Rossellini and mammas, spider mimicry, and secret communication in horses
This month over 1000 scientists flocked to New York’s Hunter College to attend the meeting of the International Society for Behavioural Ecology or ISBE. In the coming months I will be featuring interviews from researchers who attended the meeting, and this month, my first interviewee is Tom White from Macquarie university in Australia, who told me about spider he studies that is very good at attracting bees and flies. I also find out about a secret communication channel in horses, and in […]
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10:13 PM | Aug 2014: Marlene Zuk, hummingbird taste perception, and magpie thieves
In this 1st birthday episode, I find out about some more avian criminals of the animal kingdom. I learn that most birds can’t taste sugar, but hummingbirds can, and I learn how. And in the Scientific Spark, I talk to Marlene Zuk, Professor of behavioural and evolutionary biology at the University of Minnesota. Together with Bill Hamilton, Marlene proposed the good genes hypothesis of sexual selection Download the MP3Quicklinks: Maude Baldwin's Science paper on Hummingbird sweet taste […]
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