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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.

    Giving a lagoon personhood, measuring methane flaring, and a book about eating high on the hog

    Giving a lagoon personhood, measuring methane flaring, and a book about eating high on the hog

    On this week’s show: Protecting a body of water by giving it a legal identity, intentional destruction of methane by the oil and gas industry is less efficient than predicted, and the latest book in our series on science and food

    First up on the podcast this week, Staff Writer Erik Stokstad talks with host Sarah Crespi about why Spain has given personhood status to a polluted lagoon.

    Also on the show this week is Genevieve Plant, an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. Genny and Sarah talk about methane flaring—a practice common in the oil and gas industry—where manufactures burn off excess methane instead of releasing it directly into the atmosphere. Research flights over several key regions in the United States revealed these flares are leaky, releasing five times more methane than predicted.

    In this month’s installment of books on the science of food and agriculture, host Angela Saini talks with culinary historian and author Jessica B. Harris about her book High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America.

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

    [Image: Jeff Peischl/CIRES/NOAA; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: methane flares with podcast overlay symbol]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Angela Saini, Erik Stokstad

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adf0584

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37 min
    Can wolves form close bonds with humans, and termites degrade wood faster as the world warms

    Can wolves form close bonds with humans, and termites degrade wood faster as the world warms

    On this week’s show: Comparing human-dog bonds with human-wolf bonds, and monitoring termite decay rates on a global scale

    First up on the podcast this week, Online News Editor David Grimm talks with host Sarah Crespi about the bonds between dogs and their human caretakers. Is it possible these bonds started even before domestication?

    Also this week, Sarah talks with Amy Zanne, professor and Aresty endowed chair in tropical ecology in the Department of Biology at the University of Miami. They discuss a global study to determine whether climate change might accelerate the rate at which termites and microbes break down dead wood and release carbon into the atmosphere.

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

    [Image: Christina Hansen Wheat; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: Björk, a female wolf, with podcast overlay symbol]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; David Grimm

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade9777 

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    Testing planetary defenses against asteroids, and building a giant ‘water machine’

    Testing planetary defenses against asteroids, and building a giant ‘water machine’

    On this week’s show: NASA’s unprecedented asteroid-deflection mission, and making storage space for fresh water underground in Bangladesh

    First up on the podcast this week, News Intern Zack Savitsky joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about the upcoming NASA mission, dubbed the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, that aims to ram a vending machine–size spacecraft into an asteroid and test out ideas about planetary defense.

    Also this week, Sarah talks with Mohammad Shamsudduha, an associate professor in humanitarian science at University College London’s Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. He explains how millions of individual farmers in Bangladesh are creating the “Bengal water machine,” a giant underground sponge to soak up fresh water during monsoon season.

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

    [Image: SW Photography/Getty; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: photo of agricultural fields and a big river at sunset in the city of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, with podcast overlay symbol]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Zack Savitsky

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade8885 

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min
    Why the fight against malaria has stalled in southern Africa, and how to look for signs of life on Mars

    Why the fight against malaria has stalled in southern Africa, and how to look for signs of life on Mars

    On this week’s show: After years of steep declines, researchers are investigating why malaria deaths have plateaued, and testing the stability of biosignatures in space

    First up on the podcast this week, freelance science journalist Leslie Roberts joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why malaria deaths have plateaued in southern Africa, despite years of declines in deaths and billions of dollars spent. Leslie visited Mozambique on a global reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center where researchers are investigating the cause of the pause.

    Also this week, producer Kevin McLean talks with astrobiologists Mickael Baqué and Jean-Pierre de Vera of the German Aerospace Center. They discuss their Science Advances paper about an experiment on the International Space Station looking at the stability of biosignatures in space and what that means for our search for life on Mars.

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

    [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: enhanced-color image of Mars’ Jezero crater was taken by NASA’s Perseverance with podcast overlay symbol]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Leslie Roberts; Kevin McLean

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade7839

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 23 min
    Using free-floating DNA to find soldiers’ remains, and how people contribute to indoor air chemistry

    Using free-floating DNA to find soldiers’ remains, and how people contribute to indoor air chemistry

    On this week’s show: The U.S. government is partnering with academics to speed up the search for more than 80,000 soldiers who went missing in action, and how humans create their own “oxidation zone” in the air around them

    First up on the podcast this week, Tess Joosse is a former news intern here at Science and is now a freelance science journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. Tess talks with host Sarah Crespi about attempts to use environmental DNA—free-floating DNA in soil or water—to help locate the remains of soldiers lost at sea.

    Also featured in this segment:


    University of Wisconsin, Madison, molecular biologist Bridget Ladell
    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution marine biologist Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser

    Also this week, Nora Zannoni, a postdoctoral researcher in the atmospheric chemistry department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, talks about people’s contributions to indoor chemistry. She chats with Sarah about why it’s important to go beyond studying the health effects of cleaning chemicals and gas stoves to explore how humans add their own bodies’ chemicals and reactions to the air we breathe.

    In a sponsored segment from Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor for Custom Publishing, interviews Benedetto Marelli, associate professor at MIT, about winning the BioInnovation Institute & Science Prize for Innovation and how he became an entrepreneur.

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

    [Image: Jeremy Borrelli/East Carolina University; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: a scuba diver underwater near a World War II wreck off Saipan with podcast overlay symbol]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Tess Joosse

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade6771

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 39 min
    Chasing Arctic cyclones, brain coordination in REM sleep, and a book on seafood in the information age

    Chasing Arctic cyclones, brain coordination in REM sleep, and a book on seafood in the information age

    On this week’s show: Monitoring summer cyclones in the Arctic, how eye movements during sleep may reflect movements in dreams, and the latest in our series of books on the science of food and agriculture.

    First up on the podcast this week, Deputy News Editor Eric Hand joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the first airborne campaign to study summer cyclones over the Arctic and what the data could reveal about puzzling air-ice interactions. 

    Next on the show, Sarah talks with Yuta Senzai, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, about his paper on what coordinated eye movement and brain activity reveal about the neurology of rapid eye movement sleep.

    Also on the show this week, a fishy installment of our series of books on the science of food and agriculture. Host Angela Saini interviews writer and editor Nicholas Sullivan about his latest book The Blue Revolution: Hunting, Harvesting, and Farming Seafood in the Information Age.

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

    [Image: NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using VIIRS data; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

    [alt: photo from space of an epic 2012 Arctic cyclone with podcast overlay symbol]

    Authors: Sarah Crespi; Eric Hand; Angela Saini

    Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade5525

    About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min

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