48 episodi

Point of Discovery takes you on a journey behind the front lines of science, where you'll meet the brilliant, quirky scientists who make the magic happen. Our stories are driven by curiosity. How much of our DNA do we share with yeast? How do our brains block out noise at a party so that we can focus on just one person speaking? How do you study a terrible disease-causing bacteria that turns mild-mannered in the lab? Come discover the answers with us.

Music by: Poddington Bear.

Learn more at: http://pointofdiscovery.org

Point of Discovery The University of Texas at Austin

    • Scienze

Point of Discovery takes you on a journey behind the front lines of science, where you'll meet the brilliant, quirky scientists who make the magic happen. Our stories are driven by curiosity. How much of our DNA do we share with yeast? How do our brains block out noise at a party so that we can focus on just one person speaking? How do you study a terrible disease-causing bacteria that turns mild-mannered in the lab? Come discover the answers with us.

Music by: Poddington Bear.

Learn more at: http://pointofdiscovery.org

    Artificial Intelligence Revs Up Evolution’s Clock

    Artificial Intelligence Revs Up Evolution’s Clock

    Evolutionary biologists never have enough time. Some of the most mysterious behaviors in the animal kingdom—like parenting—evolved over thousands of years, if not longer. Human lifespans are just too short to sit and observe such complex behaviors evolve. But computer scientists are beginning to offer clues by using artificial intelligence to simulate the life and death of thousands of generations of animals in a matter of hours or days. It’s called computational evolution.

    One behavior that’s long baffled biologists is called mobbing, in which a gang of hyenas team up to steal prey from much more powerful lions. When UT Austin computer scientists Risto Miikkulainen and Padmini Rajagopalan simulated hyenas and lions on a virtual African savannah, they found something surprising.

    Watch a video of real-life hyenas mobbing (courtesy of Michigan State U.): https://youtu.be/Rs7AXFa4sN0

    Read more: Evolution of Complex Coordinated Behavior (July 2020)
    https://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/ai-lab/downloadPublication.php?filename=http://nn.cs.utexas.edu/downloads/papers/rajagopalan.cec2020.pdf&pubid=127822

    Music for today’s show was produced by:
    • Podington Bear - https://www.podingtonbear.com/
    • Pogmothoin (a.k.a. Tom Griffin) - https://freesound.org/people/pogmothoin/

    Photo credit: Stephanie Dloniak.

    About Point of Discovery

    Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery .

    Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

    • 10 min
    Ask the COVID-19 Experts

    Ask the COVID-19 Experts

    We asked you, dear listeners, to send us your most burning questions about COVID-19. And you didn’t disappoint. You asked: When will it be safe for my 12-week-old baby to meet her grandparents? Can you catch it twice? Is the virus mutating and will that make it harder to develop vaccines?

    In today’s episode, our three experts get to the bottom of these questions, and more. Meet our experts:

    Professor Lauren Ancel Meyers is an epidemiologist and leader of the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. Her team recently found that the virus was circulating in China and in Seattle, Washington weeks earlier than previously thought. (Read more: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/early-spread-of-covid-19-appears-far-greater-than-initially-reported )

    Greg Ippolito is a research assistant professor of molecular biosciences and an expert on how our immune systems respond to pathogens. He is working with doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital to test the efficacy of a potential COVID-19 treatment called convalescent plasma therapy. (Read more: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/covid-19-convalescent-plasma-therapy-is-safe-with-76-of-patients-improving )

    Jason McLellan is an associate professor of molecular biosciences whose team created a critical component in several COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials. (Read more: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/covid-19-vaccine-with-ut-ties-arrived-quickly-after-years-in-the-making ) He and his team is also developing a therapy for COVID-19 based on special antibodies from llamas. (Read more: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/antibodies-from-llamas-could-help-in-fight-against-covid-19 )

    Music for today’s show was produced by:
    Podington Bear - https://www.podingtonbear.com/

    About Point of Discovery

    Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery .

    Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

    • 12 min
    The Next 50 Years: Anybody Out There?

    The Next 50 Years: Anybody Out There?

    In these next few decades, will humans finally find life in space? We asked University of Texas at Austin astronomer Caroline Morley and her answer just might surprise you. Morley shares her vision for the future in this latest episode of our miniseries, The Next 50 Years.

    Check out more podcasts and essays in the Next 50 Years series: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/tags/the-next-50-years

    Scientists from across UT Austin are joining forces in the hunt for life on other planets. Astronomers, geoscientists, chemists, biologists and aerospace engineers have pooled resources to form the UT Center for Planetary Systems Habitability, a cross-campus, interdisciplinary research unit. Learn more: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/university-welcomes-new-center-for-planetary-habitability

    Have a question about COVID-19? We have experts on all aspects of the pandemic and the virus that causes it. Record your question and email it to us here: utexasscience@gmail.com Please keep your recordings to 20 seconds or less if you can. We’ll answer as many as we can on the next Point of Discovery podcast.

    Music for today’s show was produced by:
    Podington Bear - https://www.podingtonbear.com/
    Chuzausen - https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chuzausen

    About Point of Discovery

    Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery .

    Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

    • 12 min
    The Next 50 Years: A Model of Life on the Atomic Scale

    The Next 50 Years: A Model of Life on the Atomic Scale

    Can we simulate life — in all its messy complexity and at the scale of each individual atom — in a computer? Even the most powerful supercomputers today can only simulate a tiny portion of a single living cell for a few nanoseconds. Carlos Baiz is a biochemist at the University of Texas at Austin who says it might someday be possible to simulate an entire living cell for hours or longer. But he says there are two big catches. Baiz shares his vision for the future in this latest episode of our miniseries, The Next 50 Years.

    Check out more podcasts and essays in this series: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/tags/the-next-50-years

    Music for today’s show was produced by:
    Podington Bear - https://www.podingtonbear.com/
    Chuzausen - https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chuzausen

    About Point of Discovery

    Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery .

    Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

    • 10 min
    Science Amid the Social Distance

    Science Amid the Social Distance

    Daily life has changed for many of us due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this unusual time, when it’s harder to connect physically with important people in our lives, it can be helpful to step back and spend a little time thinking about the things that still bind us together, like the wonder of the natural world and the hope that scientists offer us as we take on societal challenges.

    We’ve put together a compilation from our previous episodes that we hope will help you find some solace right now: in rediscovering life, the people we're closest with and the universe.

    To listen to the full episodes that we drew these excerpts from, or to read the transcripts, visit the links below.

    Beauty and the Yeast: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/beauty-and-the-yeast
    The Science of Relationships: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/the-science-of-relationships
    Can Sound Save a Fish?: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/can-sound-save-a-fish
    Eyewitness to a Cosmic Car Wreck: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/eyewitness-to-a-cosmic-car-wreck
    A Love Letter from Texas Scientists to the Periodic Table: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/a-love-letter-from-texas-scientists-to-the-periodic-table

    Music for today’s show was produced by:
    Podington Bear - https://www.podingtonbear.com/

    About Point of Discovery

    Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery .

    Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

    • 27 min
    The Next 50 Years: An A.I. Designed to Make Life Better

    The Next 50 Years: An A.I. Designed to Make Life Better

    Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives. But will AI have mostly positive or negative impacts on society? Some potential unintended consequences include home service robots that accidentally break your fine china, or systems that increase the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Peter Stone co-leads the Good Systems initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, which is trying to hash out guiding principles for building AI systems that are more likely to have a positive impact and fewer unintended consequences. He shares his team’s vision for the future in this latest episode of our miniseries, The Next 50 Years.

    Check out more podcasts and essays in this series: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/tags/the-next-50-years

    Learn about the Good Systems initiative: https://bridgingbarriers.utexas.edu/good-systems/

    Peter Stone also chaired the first technical report of the AI100 Study: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/experts-forecast-the-changes-artificial-intelligence-could-bring-by-2030

    Music for today’s show was produced by:
    Podington Bear - https://www.podingtonbear.com/
    Chuzausen - https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chuzausen

    About Point of Discovery

    Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery .

    Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

    • 10 min

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