100 episodes

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

Science Magazine Podcast Science Magazine

    • Science
    • 4.3 • 34 Ratings

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

    Why trees are making extra nuts this year, human genetics and viral infections, and a seminal book on racism and identity

    Why trees are making extra nuts this year, human genetics and viral infections, and a seminal book on racism and identity

    Have you noticed the trees around you lately—maybe they seem extra nutty? It turns out this is a “masting” year, when trees make more nuts, seeds, and pinecones than usual. Science Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the many mysteries of masting years. 

    Next, Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Jean-Laurent Casanova, a professor at Rockefeller University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, about his review article on why some people are more vulnerable to severe disease from viral infections. This is part of a special issue on inflammation in Science.

    Finally, in this month’s book segment on race and science, host Angela Saini talks with author Beverly Daniel Tatum about her seminal 2003 book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: LensOfDan/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: Pile of acorns]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meagan Cantwell; Angela Saini

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 42 min
    Wildfires could threaten ozone layer, and vaccinating against tick bites

    Wildfires could threaten ozone layer, and vaccinating against tick bites

    Could wildfires be depleting the ozone all over again? Staff Writer Paul Voosen talks with host Sarah Crespi about the evidence from the Polarstern research ship for wildfire smoke lofting itself high into the stratosphere, and how it can affect the ozone layer once it gets there.

    Next, we talk ticks—the ones that bite, take blood, and can leave you with a nasty infection. Andaleeb Sajid, a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute, joins Sarah to talk about her Science Translational Medicine paper describing an mRNA vaccine intended to reduce the length of tick bites to before the pests can transmit diseases to a host.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Janice Haney Carr/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: digitally colorized scanning electron microscopic image of a grouping of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, the causative agent of Lyme disease]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Paul Voosen

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 19 min
    The long road to launching the James Webb Space Telescope, and genes for a longer life span

    The long road to launching the James Webb Space Telescope, and genes for a longer life span

    The James Webb Space Telescope was first conceived in the late 1980s. Now, more than 30 years later, it’s finally set to launch in December. After such a long a road, anticipation over what the telescope will contribute to astronomy is intense. Daniel Clery, a staff writer for Science, joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what took so long and what we can expect after launch.

    You might have heard that Greenland sharks may live up to 400 years. But did you know that some Pacific rockfish can live to be more than 100? That’s true, even though other rockfish species only live about 10 years. Why such a range in life span? Greg Owens, assistant professor of biology at the University of Victoria, discusses his work looking for genes linked with longer life spans.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Tyson Rininger; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: Sebastes caurinus, the copper rockfish ]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 23 min
    The folate debate, and rewriting the radiocarbon curve

    The folate debate, and rewriting the radiocarbon curve

    Some 80 countries around the world add folic acid to their food supply to prevent birth defects that might happen because of a lack of the B vitamin—even among people too early in their pregnancies to know they are pregnant. This year, the United Kingdom decided to add the supplement to white flour. But it took almost 10 years of debate, and no countries in the European Union joined them in the change. Staff Writer Meredith Wadman joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the ongoing folate debate.

    Last year, a highly anticipated tool for dating ancient materials was released: a new updated radiocarbon calibration curve. The curve, which describes how much carbon-14 was in the atmosphere at different times in the past 55,000 years, is essential to figuring out the age of organic materials such as wood or leather. Sarah talks with Tim Heaton, senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sheffield, and Edouard Bard, a professor at the College of France, about how the curve was redrawn and what it means, both for archaeology and for our understanding of the processes that create radiocarbon in the first place—like solar flares and Earth’s magnetic fields.

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Andrew Shiva/Wikipedia; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: close-up photograph of layers in volcanic tephra]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Meredith Wadman

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    Sleeping without a brain, tracking alien invasions, and algorithms of oppression

    Sleeping without a brain, tracking alien invasions, and algorithms of oppression

    Simple animals like jellyfish and hydra, even roundworms, sleep. Without brains. Why do they sleep? How can we tell a jellyfish is sleeping? Staff Writer Liz Pennisi joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what can be learned about sleep from these simple sleepers. The feature is part of a special issue on sleep this week in Science.

    Next is a look at centuries of alien invasions—or rather, invasive insects moving from place to place as humans trade across continents. Sarah talks with Matthew MacLachlan, a research economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, about his Science Advances paper on why insect invasions don’t always increase when trade does.

    Finally, a book on racism and the search algorithms. Books host Angela Saini for our series of interviews on race and science talks with Safiya Umoja Noble, a professor in the African American Studies and Information Studies departments at the University of California, Los Angeles, about her book: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. 

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image:  marcouliana/iStock; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text: brown marmorated stink bug pattern]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Liz Pennisi, Angela Saini

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 39 min
    Soil science goes deep, and making moldable wood

    Soil science goes deep, and making moldable wood

    There are massive telescopes that look far out into the cosmos, giant particle accelerators looking for ever tinier signals, gargantuan gravitational wave detectors that span kilometers of Earth—what about soil science? Where’s the big science project on deep soil? It’s coming soon. Staff Writer Erik Stokstad talks with host Sarah Crespi about plans for a new subsoil observatory to take us beyond topsoil.

    Wood is in some ways an ideal building material. You can grow it out of the ground. It’s not very heavy. It’s strong. But materials like metal and plastic have one up on wood in terms of flexibility. Plastic and metal can be melted and molded into complicated shapes. Could wood ever do this? Liangbing Hu, a professor in the department of materials science and engineering and director of the Center for Materials Innovation at the University of Maryland, College Park, talked with Sarah about making moldable wood in a new way.

    In a sponsored segment from Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for the Custom Publishing office, interviews Michael Brehm, associate professor at UMass Chan Medical School Diabetes Center of Excellence, about how he is using humanized mouse models to study ways to modulate the body’s immune system as a pathway to treating type 1 diabetes. This segment is sponsored by the Jackson Laboratory. 

    This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

    [Image: Xiao et al., Science 2021; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [Alt text:  honeycomb structure made from moldable wood]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Erik Stokstad

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

willow_tree ,

Informative

A good range of features based on the contents of Science (as well as a brief round-up of other recent science). Good interviews with scientists. Content is (as expected) wide-ranging so not every feature in an episode may be of interest.

Renid535 ,

Good content poorly delivered

I collect science podcasts so was excited to find another. The content is great but it is irritating that is delivered directly from a script in a falsely conversational manner. I want intelligent, knowledgeable and relaxed banter, not this stilted, amateur production. Sorry but you have been deleted.

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