Since 2008, “They Blinded Me With Science” has been home to the best of science news and current events. Hosted by DJs Ganglion, R Nought, and Chrysalis MONDAYS on KVRX 91.7, we bring you the best of science news, taboos, don’t and does, along with special guests, interviews and journal reviews. We cover everything from physics to hardcore genetics, amyloid plaques, supercomputers, mutants, androids, genetic experiments gone wrong, ecological nuances, science history and even modern takes on the science of kissing!
So get your daily dose of science news and lingo this Monday at 8:30PM sharp, and let us help you impress your friends at cocktail parties!
Tonight we're interviewing PhD student Daniel Tennant whose research focuses on nuclear magnetic resonance of superconductors.
|Interview with Daniel Tennant, Physics PhD student at UT-Austin||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing Keaton Bell, who is a 3rd year PhD student in the Astronomy Department at UT-Austin. Keaton studies the pulsations of white dwarf stars through use of the 2.1-meter Otto Struve Telescope at McDonald Observatory in West Texas.
|Interview with PhD student Keaton Bell (Astronomy Dept, UT-Austin)||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing this week's Science Under the Stars speaker, Gautam Surya, who is a PhD Student in Integrative Biology at UT-Austin. Gautam's research focuses on surveying the bird species of Northeast India in order to ascertain their true distributions and conservation status.
|Interview with Gautum Surya, PhD Student in Integrative Biology at UT-Austin||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Rachael Livermore (UT-Austin, Dept of Astronomy), who characterizes the morphologies and internal dynamics of distant galaxies using gravitational lensing.
|Interview with Dr. Rachael Livermore (UT-Austin, Dept of Astronomy)||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
|Interview with Dr. Joshua Tewksbury||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me with Science|
|Interview with Elizabeth Milano||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing UT-Austin PhD Student Chalence Safranek-Shrader (Dept. of Astronomy). Chalence is an expert on the formation of the first stars and galaxies.
|Interview with Chalence Safranek-Shrader, UT- Austin PhD Student (Dept of Astronomy)||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing PhD student, Kaustubh Thirumalai (UT-Austin, Institute for Geophysics). Kaustubh's research focuses on using corals in the Solomon Islands to reconstruct information about ancient earthquakes and understanding Gulf of Mexico climate over the last 10,000 years using foraminifera from marine sediments.
|Interview with PhD student, Kaustubh Thirumalai (UT-Austin, Institute for Geophysics)||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Astronomer Klaus Pontoppidan visited us in the studio this week from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), in Baltimore, MD. Klaus is attacking questions about the origins of life, and how planets form around stars. He is one of the foremost experts in infrared astronomical spectroscopy and the detailed chemistry of the birth sites of planets.
|Interview with astronomer Dr. Klaus Pontoppidan||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
|Interview with Bret Pasch||They Blinded Me With Science|
|Interview with Bret Pasch||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're playing our favorite clips from past episodes and encouraging you to pledge your support for science radio and KVRX by donating to the annual KVRX pledge drive.
|"Best of"||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing Dr. Joel Green (Dept. of Astronomy, UT-Austin), an astronomer working on observational star formation with infrared space telescopes.
|Interview with Dr. Joel Green (Dept of Astronomy, UT-Austin)||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing with University of Oregon PhD student Alese Colehour (Dept of Anthropology and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution). She studies microbes at the interface of humans and our built environment and collaborate with the Shuar Health and Life History Project in the Ecuadorean Amazon.
|Interview with Alese Colehour||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
|Exoplanet Discovery News||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're talking about extraterrestrial civilizations! Just your three favorite cohosts R0, Gyr, and Dendrite, discussing whether there are aliens out there, and how life started on Earth.
|Aliens!||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing Dr. Ed Theriot, the Director of the Texas Memorial Museum and Jane and Roland Blumberg Centennial Professor of Molecular Evolution of the Section of Integrative Biology at UT-Austin.
|Interview with Dr. Ed Theriot||They Blinded Me Witch Science||They Blinded Me with Science|
We'll be talking to Dr. Matthias Ihl all the way from the Dublin Institute! Matthias received his PhD in the UT physics department back in 2008. Tune in for string theory, the Higgs Boson, and more awesome space and time warping conversation!
Tonight's show is an interview with Matthew Moskwik, a PhD student in Integrative Biology at UT-Austin. Matthew studies the impact of climate change on the distributions of plethodontid salamander species in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
|Interview with Matthew Moskwik||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing Gautam Surya, a PhD student working with Dr. Tim Keitt at UT-Austin. Gautam is conducting bird surveys in Northeast India and using species distribution modeling in order to determine the true distributions and conservation status of bird species in the area.
|Interview with UT-Austin PhD student Gautam Surya||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Interview with Dr. Jeff Silverman, a NSF Postdoctoral fellow at the UT-Austin Department of Astronomy who studies supernovae.
|Interview with Dr. Jeff Silverman||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're joined by Dr. Hans Hoffman and PhD student Rayna Harris from UT-Austin to talk about the "Neural Systems and Behavior" course held at the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, MA every summer.
|Interview with Hans Hoffman and Rayna Harris||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me with Science|
Tonight we're interviewing Ian Wright, an Integrative Biology PhD student at UT-Austin and expert in Texas flora and fauna.
|Interview with Ian Wright||They Blinded Me with Science||They Blinded Me With Science|
Tonight we're interviewing UT PhD Student Kelsey Jiang, who studies how habitat preference drives speciation in threespine stickleback.
|Interview with UT-Austin PhD student Kelsey Jiang||They Blinded Me with Science|
|Unissasi Laulelet||the do||A Mouthful|
|J'Attends||Hocus Pocus||73 touches|
|Sharpteeth||The Octopus Project||Fever Forms|
|Popular Mechanics for Lovers||Beaulah||A Good Man is Hard to Kill|
|Orange Ball of Hate||The Mountain Goats||Zopolite Machine|
|The Rest of the Day||Bedhead||Bedheaded|
|I Won't Be Your Generator||No Age||An Object|
On tonight's show we interviewed Dr. Pamela Owen, the Senior Paleontology Educator with the Texas Natural Science Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
|Interview with Dr. Pamela Owen||They Blinded Me with Science|
Nichole is off tonight. DJ Wolverine is taking care of the dial tonight with 90 minutes of freeform music. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the fine selections!
|Old Fashioned Love||Benny Carter||Jazz Giant|
|"Untitled"||Casey Chisholm||Various Albums Compilation|
|Pyramid Cosmos||The Octopus Project||Fever Forms|
|Dirty Summer||Mother Falcon||You Knew|
|Over the Waves||Kermit Ruffins||We Partyin' Traditional Style!|
|Jungle Riot||Skip & Die||Riots In The Jungle|
News stories: fish that hurt their compatriots to get away from predators, peahens don't actually look at the flashy tails of peacocks, and bdelloid rotifer genome hints at why they don't need sex.
|See You Don't Bump His Head||Scott Walker||Bish Bosch|
|Waitin'||Caitlin Rose||The Stand-In|
|44 Blues||Pinetop Perkins||Heaven|
|Sleep||Mother Falcon||You Knew|
|Things in My Head||Pure X||Crawling up the Stairs|
Tonight, we interviewed Eben Gering, a grad student at UT who recently defended his dissertation and will soon start a postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University. He told us about his research on damselflies, a species closely related to dragonflies that is a subject in many areas of evolutionary biology and behavioral research. He did his dissertation work on an invasive species of damselfly in Hawaii and studied how different female appearances ("morphs") affect sexual reproduction--namely, females that look more like males are better able to avoid harassment by males. Additionally, he explained why the ecological and colonial history of Hawaii make it such a dynamic and fragile ecosystem, and, therefore, a very interesting place to do biological research. He will continue to do field work in Hawaii as a scientist at Michigan State, so he told us about his proposed project to study the feral chickens that are so abundant on the island of Kauai. Occasional co-host DJ Sandfly dropped by the studio but did not infect anyone (hopefully).
|Interview with Dr. (!) Eben Gering||DJs Ganglion, R Nought, Chrysalis, and Sandfly|
Tonight, we interviewed Astronomy grad student JJ Hermes. We talked with him about his research on white dwarfs, and he explained to us the life cycle of a star and the methods researchers use to determine composition and age of stars. We discussed several of his recent findings, including a unique pair of white dwarfs in orbit that have allowed researchers to view the effects of gravitational waves. Additionally, we talked about why astronomy fascinates him and how people who are intrigued by the field can learn more and pursue their interest.
|Interview with JJ Hermes||DJs G Rex, R Nought, Ganglion, and Chrysalis|
Tonight, DJ G Rex led a discussion about how Voyager 1 is on the verge of leaving the solar system--how researchers can tell that's the case, and what it means for astronomy. Next, we discussed a Nature paper on heart regeneration in the model organism zebrafish. Zebrafish have the ability regenerate functional heart muscle after significant numbers of heart muscle cells have died. In this new paper, researchers from UC San Diego used some very cool imaging methods to show that in larval zebrafish who have experience massive cell death in their ventricles, cells from the atrium enter a de-differentiated state, migrate to the site of the ventricle, and divide and become ventricle cells, thereby filling in the gap. DJ Ganglion talked a little about how the process of cells in one tissue migrating and helping out a nearby tissue in need resembles some other regnerative processes in biology, such as in the zebrafish eye. Finally, we touched again on a topic we've covered several times in the past few months--sequencing old genomes. In a new Nature paper, researchers report the sequencing of the oldest full genome to date--that of a horse from the Pleiostocene epoch, whose leg bone was estimated to be over 700,000 years old. Once again, fortuitous circumstances allowed the researchers to sequence extremely old DNA--the bone was found in Canadian permafrost, and cold helps slow the degradation of DNA. Hopefully with advances in sequencing methods and computational tools to assemble sequences, the sequencing revolution will continue to push back into older and older specimens.
|Science news!||DJs G-Rex, Chrysalis, Ganglion, and R-Nought|
We talked about a Nature paper in which researchers from the University of Rochester propose that the naked mole rat, long known to the biomedical research community for its resistance to cancer, possesses its remarkable resistance because it synthesizes a very large version of the biomolecule hyalonuric acid. The compound can act as a lubricant, and researchers showed that removing it from naked mole rat cells growing in culture dishes causes those cells to grow to a higher density. Additionally, when naked mole rat cells were grafted onto mice that are prone to tumors, the naked mole rat cells only formed tumors when researchers experimentally removed hyalonuric acid from the mole rat cells. DJ G Rex talked about his experience at the Earth Science Technology Office meeting at Caltech. DJ R-Nought covered several disease-related stories, including new numbers from the CDC that HPV rates in girls have decreased following creation of an HPV vaccince, and a paper in Science that describes how co-treatment with silver improves antibiotics' efficiency against gram-negative bacteria. Also, DJ Stinkbug made her debut.
|Science news!||DJs R Nought, G Rex, and Ganglion|
Today, we discussed the discovery of the first fluorescent protein in a vertebrate, the Japanese freshwater eel. The protein, UnaG (named for the Japanese word for the eel, commonly eaten in sushi), fluoresces when it binds bilirubin, a metabolic product in the breakdown of hemoglobin. Because bilirubin buildup can be a sign of jaundice and other liver disorders, this protein offers the potential for use as a diagnostic tool that could be far more sensitive than current methods. Additionally, we talked about the recently published sequence of a 700 year-old sample of leprosy from Europe. The study reveals that leprosy has changed relatively little on a genetic level over the past 700 years, and the decline of its prevalence in Europe therefore has more to do with human acquired resistance or improved social and hygenic conditions. The study also presents promise for further sequencing of ancient DNA samples, as the quality and quantity of DNA obtained from the bacteria was remarkably high considering its age; this preservation was likely due to the strong cell membrane of bacteria in the genus Mycobacterium, of which the bacteria that causes leprosy is a member. We also played Medical Discovery News and Science and the Sea segments.
|Science news!||DJs R Nought and Ganglion|
Tonight we talked genomes! The new version of the zebrafish genome should aid researchers in using the zebrafish as a model for human development and disease. 70% of human genes have at least one obvious zebrafish counterpart, and another paper, published simultaneously, shows researchers' efforts to associate many genes with roles in embryonic development in zebrafish. The researchers performed a genetic screen, a common process in biology labs that involves randomly mutating genes, then looking to see if the mutations cause an obvious phenotype, and finally going back the organism's genome to identify the responsible mutation. Genetic screens are a common way to find new candidate genes for a specific area of interest (e.g. eye development, heart development), but this screen was unique in that took advantage of the past few years' incredible leaps forward in sequencing technology to identify mutated genes before they even identified a phenotype. This new method may make genetic screens faster and more productive. Secondly, we talked about the duck genome and transcriptome. This genome is of particular medical relevance beacuse it the duck is the first waterfowl to have its genome sequenced and is the natural resevoir for avian influenza. The authors describe how gain and loss of specific genes related to immunity may be responsible for the duck's response to, and general ability to survive, infection with bird flu. Understaning the duck's response to flu will hopefully lead to better understanding of avian influenza.
|Science news!||DJs R-Nought and Ganglion|
Tonight we asked if the universe makes sense. DJ G. Rex led a discussion of findings from the Large Hadron Collider, specifically the Higgs Boson, and how its discovery--and more specifically, the lack of discovery of other particles--potentially puts the standard model of physics in jeopardy. On a related noted, we talked about some developments in space research, including the unfortunate loss of the NASA Kepler spacecraft, which is now out of commission because two of the flywheels that point it in the right direction have broken. The Kepler spacecraft was used to search for other Earth-like bodies rotating around stars in the galaxy and had found about a thousand bodies one to two times the size of Earth. Next, we talked about some a Science paper that indicates astronauts traveling to Mars would receive a radiation dose that exceeds NASA's limit for lifetime personal radiation exposure. As a result, new forms of radiation protection will need to be developed before manned travel to Mars is possible
Finally, we discussed the recent discovery of a well-preserved mammoth in Russia. Researchers believe the mammoth's corpse may even contain concentrated blood, but more lab analysis is necessary before identification of the substance is possible.
|Science news!||DJs G. Rex, R. Nought, and Ganglion|
|Science news!||DJs Ganglion, R-Nought, G. Rex ,and Chrysalis|
|Science news!||DJs Chrysalis, R-Nought, Ganglion, and G. Rex|
|Stack O Lee and Billy Lyons||Bassholes||Blue Roots|
|Evil Man||Destruction Unit||Void|
|Marcasite Lace||Alastair Galbraith (with Plagal Grind)||Morse and Gaudylight|
|Pet Hates||Alec Bathgate||Gold Lame|
|Light Up Gold II||Parquet Courts||Light Up Gold|
|Saudia||Larry Young||Lawrence Of Newark|
|Interview with Hayley Gillespie|
Today we talked about fossils and statistics! We talked about trilobites, ancient marine arthropods, and a recent study in Scientific Reports that examines the structure of the eyes of several species and places them in the context of eye evolution. By using high tech microscopy and taking advantage of the fact that a bacteria-laid mineral layer preserved the soft tissues of the trilobites' eyes, researchers found that phacopid trilobites had eyes similar to those of horseshoe crabs. We also discussed the discovery of a bed of embryonic dinosaur fossils in the Yunan Province of China. These fossils belonged to sauropods, a clade of dinosaurs that also includes apatosaurus and diplodocus. The researchers noted that some bones came from different developmental stages, and the wealth of fossils allowed them to make some inferences about the embryonic development of these very large dinosaurs. The highly vascularized bones indicate rapid growth inside the egg, and the asymmetric thickness of bone walls in limbs imply that the dinosaurs moved around while still in the egg to build a strong skeleton. Lastly, we discussed a Nature Reviews Neuroscience paper that raises concern about the stastical power of studies in neuroscience. We talked about some reasons for this problem, including small sample size and the difficulty of working with human subjects.
|Science news!||DJs Ganglion and Chrysalis|
Today we talked about the intersection of science and politics. First, we talked about a controversial stem cell treatment that's been approved by Italy's health minister as a last ditch treatment for terminally ill patients. Patient advocacy groups have been protesting to make the treatment available despite the fact that no published, reviewed studies have shown its efficacy, and the company, Stamina Foundation, responsible for the treatment has not been forthcoming with the details and protocol of treatment. Next, we discussed the BRAIN initiative that Obama recently introduced, tracing how the proposal moved from a big-budget (3 billion dollars) plan with goals primarily in understanding model systems to a smaller budget (110 million in government funds, plus private funding) plan with goals more directed at human medicine and technology development. Lastly, we talked about the recent emergence of H7N9, an avian flu from China. Several people have died from the flu, which appears to have evolved from several previous avian flu strands but does not cause serious disease in birds. This lower virulence may be cause for worry, as it could allow the virus to spread within bird populations without killing them, thereby increasing the potential for transmission to humans.
|Science news!||DJs Ganglion and R-Nought|
We interviewed Dr. Andrew Ellington, this week's Hot Science, Cool Talks speaker. He's a professor of biochemistry here at UT-Austin, and he'll be talking about the future of personalized medicine and self-diagnostic tools in his presentation this Thursday. He talked with us about how technological advances will democratize healthcare, making it more accessible and more interactive to both resource poor areas and those who already have access to healthcare. We talked about how this will change the role of doctors and how regulations and accountability standards might play into the development of self-diagnostic tools--that is, who would be accountable for improper diagnoses that result from home diagnostic tools? Additionally, Dr. Ellington talked about his blog and his interest in biodefense.
Dr. Ellington will speak at the Student Activity Center at 2201 Speedway on the UT Campus. The event is free and open to the public
|Interview with Dr. Andrew Ellington, Science Talk||DJs Chrysalis, R-Nought, and Ganglion|
We interviewed Dr. Jason Kilarai, Deputy Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. He talked about the process of designing and building the telescope and how it's meant to be the successor to the Hubble Telescope. He also talked with us about the full-scale model of the James Webb Telescope he helped display at SXSW and the importance of science outreach. Afterwards, DJs Ganglion and R-Nought talked about some new results from the Planck satellite that use readings of cosmic microwave background--relic radiation left over from the big bag--to lend support to the theory of cosmic inflation. This theory proposes a brief burst of hyperaccelerated expansion followed a fraction of a second after the big bang. This inflation created ripples in the cosmic microwave background, and these variations are thought to be the seeds of what would later become galaxies. The findings also come up with slightly different numbers than what was previously known for the contributions of normal matter, dark matter, and dark energy to total mass/energy density of the universe.
|Interview with Dr. Jason Kilarai, Science Talk||DJs Ganglion, Chrysalis, and R-Nought|
Today we talked about genome sequencing and animal (de)extinction. We started off talking about a recent paper from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelburg, published in G3. Investigators, led by Lars Steinmetz, sequenced the genome of HeLa cells, a human cervical cancer cell line that has been used in tens of thousands of research papers and in the development of the polio vaccine. While it's important to note that researchers have long been aware of the large number of mutations in this and other cancer cell lines, the EMBL team came up with some interesting findings, including that relatively few genes in HeLa cells have the normal two copies, with some having up to five. Additionally, genes for proliferation and DNA repair are overexpressed. The cells also exhibit chromothripsis, or the shattering and rearrangement of chromosomes. Next, we talked about a study from PLoS Genetics that proposes that brown bears of the ABC Islands of Alaska descended from female polar bears that mated with male brown bears from the Alakasan mainland. Investigators made this conclusion from sequencing the X chromosomes of bears from the ABC Islands and finding that polar bear DNA was overrepresented in the X chromosome vs. the rest of the ABC bears' genomes. Finally, we discussed the TedX DeExtinction conference, specifically Mike Archer, of the University of New South Wales, and his desire to bring back the gastric brooding frog, which went extinct in 1983. By transplanting the cell nucleus from preserved gastric brooding frog embryos into the cells of another frog species, Archer and colleagues were able to get a frog embryo to live for several days. We concluded that while this is a scientifically interesting result and a worth following up on, from a conservation standpoint, bringing species back from extinction shouldn't be preferable to preventing them from going extinct in the first place.
|Science news!||DJs Chrysalis, R-Nought, and Ganglion|
|Debris||Reigning Sound||Love and Curses|
|Lady||Shin Joong Hyun||Shin Joong Hyun & Yup Juns|
|'sblood||Inter Arma||Sky Burial|
|Nicht Viel Nur Einzwei Tausend||Banque Allemande||Willst Du Chinese Sein...|
|Animal Sounds||Teenage Cool Kids||Foreign Lands|
|Fertile Ground||Milk Music||Beyond Living|
|Returns||Tyvek||On Triple Beams|
Today, we talked about advances in neuroengineering and HIV treatment. We covered a story in Scientific Reports from Duke University that describes the first brain-to-brain interface between two rats; we described the study, in which one rat was subjected to several behavioral tests and wired to transmit motor and tacticle corticle information to another rat, who then was able to perform the same behavioral test at slightly better than random success rates with no external stimulus. We also discussed advances from Brown University, where researchers developed the first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface (BCI) and have tested it in a monkey. The BCI can read information from the monkey's brain and wirelessly transmit it to researcher's computers for data collection; the wireless nature of the device enables the monkey to move around much more, thereby enabling the researchers to record much more complex behaviors than if the monkey were tethered by a wired BCI. Finally, we discussed the story of an infant in Mississippi functionally cured of HIV, not as a result of of any new advancements in drug treatment, but rather because she was treated very early and with a cocktail of existing drugs.
|Science news!||DJs Ganglion, Chrysalis, and...Scott|
tonight we'll have guest Joe Hanson talk a bit about his new PBS Youtube Channel. We'll also talk about how bees sense the electrical fields of flowers, how dolphins may call each other by name, and how a glowing shark scares off predators with its "lightsabers." If we have time, we'll also talk about horse meat in British beef and fake tuna in Austin sushi restaurants. Tune in at 91.7 FM or
www.kvrx.org 8:30PM-9PM (central). Scott Amerman also joins the discussion.
We have guests Joe Hanson and Scott Amerman on to talk about Joe's PBS Youtube channel. We also talk about some science news stories: bees sense electric fields, dolphins may call each other by name, lots of tuna mislabeled in the US, British beef adulterated by horse, and a glowing shark.
|Science news!||DJs Chrysalis, R-Nought, and Ganglion|
|Interview with Victoria Huang||DJs R-Nought and Ganglion|
Tonight we interviewed Rayna Harris, a PhD student in the Hoffmann lab at UT Austin and a speaker at this week's Darwin Day event. Darwin Day takes place on Sunday, Februar 10 from 1:00 to 4:45 pm at the Texas Natural Science Center on the UT campus; it's free and open to the public and includes activities for people of all ages, from accessible lectures to a fossil pit for your own archeological expeditions. Rayna studies two species of cichlids in Texas, one of which is parental and monogamous, the other of which is nonparental and haremic. She is studying the hormonal and neurological bases for diversity in these two species by drawing blood from them to measure hormone levels and dissecting their brains to extract mRNA (the intermediate product between DNA and protein) and reconstruct the gene networks that lead to these differences in behavior. She also gave us a preview of her Darwin Day talk in which she will discuss brain evolution.
|Interview with Rayna Harris||DJs Chrysalis, R Nought, and Ganglion|
We interviewed two members of Dan Bolnick's lab: Jesse Weber, PhD, and Hollis Woodard, PhD. Both study the genetics of behavior. Jesse studied burrowing behavior in mice before coming to UT; he crossed two different species of mice who made different kinds of burrows and mapped where in the genome the genes responsible for the behavior are likely to be. This approach finds large regions of the genome containing many genes which may be responsible for burrowing behavior, allowing researchers to hone in on and test these genes. Jesse and his colleagues found that some genes known to be involved in addiction may explain differences in burrowing behavior. Hollis studied eusocial behavior in bees using genomics and transcriptomics--the latter method looks at expression of mRNA (the actual genes that are being expressed at any given time and place, rather than everything in the genome). Now, they are both working on host-parasite interactions between stickleback fish and tapeworms. They talked with us about the advantages of working with a well-characterized model like stickleback fish and how research into the genetics of behavior is beginning to show the scientific community that behavior isn't all that different, genetically speaking, from morphological traits.
|Interview with Jesse Weber and Hollis Woodard||DJs Ganglion, R-Nought, and Chrysalis|
|Sare Kon Kon||Antibalas||Antibalas|
|Louie, Louie, Louie||Eric Copeland||Limbo|
|Stop||Nazi Gold||Bring Beer|
|Wayne County Roads||Tyvek||On Triple Beams|
|Back to the Stone||Woods||Bend Beyond|
|Science news!||DJs R-Nought and Ganglion|
just music today
|If Christmas Can't Bring You Home||Reigning Sound||Home for Orphans|
|Sheep||Toy Love||Live at the Gluepot 1980|
|Let it Bleed||Goat|
|Beneath the Mask||Bell Witch||Longing|
|Ride Cactus Glide Cliff Explode||Ash Castles on the Ghost Coast||Ash Castles on the Ghost Coast|
|Ypsilanti||Protomartyr||No Passion All Technique|
|You Can't Ever Come Down||Rubble||The Farewell Drugs|
|Labyrinths and Jokes||Aaron Dilloway||Modern Jester|
|The Legend||Pallbearer||Sorrow and Extinction|
|Fire From Above||SM Corporation||V/A - Strange Passion|
|Gadgetman vs. Catman||McPullish||Black Metal White Reggae|
Tonight we interviewed this week's Science Under the Stars Speaker, Michael Gully-Santiago. Michael is a fifth-year PhD student here at UT in the department of astronomy. He studies brown dwarfs, gas formations that aren't quite massive enough to be considered stars (between 1-8% of the mass of the sun). These brown dwarfs likely form much like stars in that they are the result of collapsing gas cloud, they are simply smaller. He finds brown dwarfs at the Magellan telescope in Chile by looking into space through different filters; because brown dwarfs emit light mostly outside of the visual spectrum--infrared light-- these filters are necessary. He makes immersion diffraction gratings as part of his research, and these gratings spread out light into its different component wavelengths. The lines created by these gratings help identify different types of celestial bodies, including the brown dwarfs he studies. Science Under the Stars takes place this Thursday at 7:30 at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory and is open to the public.
|Interview with Michael Gully-Santiago||DJs Ganglion, R-Nought, and Chrysalis|
Today we played an interview DJ Chrysalis recorded last week with Dr. Mark Clanton, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society. In addition to being a medical doctor, he's very interested in health and science policy. He told us about his talk on the history of the war on cancer and how our understanding of cancer has changed with time and the increasing sophistication of biological research, from thinking of cancer as one disease to our modern understanding that cancer takes on many forms and has many different origins. He talked about different methods of therapy, from immune therapy to nanotechnology. DJ Chrysalis asked him about the problem of targeting specifically cancer cells without destroying the body's healthy cells, and he talked about gold nanoparticles. Finally, he emphasized the importance of translational science, or bridging basic research to medical technique, and how improving the relationship between scientific progress and the public's knowledge of science can help translational science.
In addition to the interview, we talked about a recent study from the journal science that shows brain tumors (glioblastomas) can be experimentally induced in mice from differentiated cells, including astrocytes in neurons. In short, this means that not only stem cells, but also differentiated cells that under normal conditions are no longer dividing, can become tumorigenic. While it's important to remember that tumors originating from dedifferentiated brain cells have only be experimentally induced and haven't been shown to exist in humans, these tumors do resemble ones that exist in humans.
References for brain tumor discussion:
|Interview with Mark Clanton (and science news)||DJs Chrysalis and Ganglion|
|Science talk!||DJs R-Nought, Chrysalis, and Ganglion|
|Science news!||DJs Ganglion, R-Nought, and Chrysalis|
Interview with Chintan Modi.
|Interview with Chintan Modi||DJs R-Nought, Chrysalis, and Ganglion|
October 29, 2012
Today we talked about the upcoming elections and their potential effects on science policy and funding in the US. We also played Science and the Sea and Medical Discovery News bits. We focused on a series of articles from this week's Science magazine that discussed various potential outcomes for science policy depending on the US election results. We talked about the impending across-the-board government cuts due to Congress's inability to come up with a budget and how that would hit organizitions like the Natioinal Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation very hard. We touched human embryonic stem cell research (Obama supports government funding, Romney and Johnson oppose) and the lack of focus on climate change and the environment in this electoral cycle. We also talked about state and local issues, including the debate around Prop 37 for labeling GMO-containing foods in California and the Texas State Board of Education elections, which have an effect on textbooks nationwide because of the purchasing power of a large state like Texas.
Tonight we interviewed local engineer Scott Amerman about 3D printing. He's building a 3D printer at home with plans of starting a business. He explained the additive process of 3D printing and how it differs from traditional manufacturing--building up rather than chipping away starting materials. We talked about potential applications for 3D printing, from commercial applications, like clothing and eyewear, to medicine and drug manufacturing. The discussion shifted to a current case from Austin in which a UT Law student had his lease of a 3D printer terminated by the leasing company because he planned to design and distribute gun schematics; this led to a discussion of digital rights management as well as limitations on the technology. We discussed the limit of resolution for constructing materials, and how this and other limitations will need to be overcome for applications such as medicine and prosthetics.
|Interview with Scott Amerman||DJs Ganglion, R-Nought, and Chrysalis|
Tonight we interviewed Dr. Mark Skidmore, a visiting professor from Montana State University. He studies extremophiles--organisms that can live in extreme environmental conditions--in Mark's case, Antarctica. His background is in glacial sciences, but he did some post-doctoral work in molecular biology. He talked to us about studying what's in the lakes beneath the ice in Antarctica. These lakes exist because the temperature becomes progressively warmer deeper in the ice. He explained two main projects to us--NSF's Project WISSARD, where researchers drill below an ice stream and investigate what's in the lake and sediments below it, and NASA's project SIMPLE, where the aim is to drill below ice shelves and discover what's living at the interface of the ice and the ocean beneath it. We asked him about the adaptations of organisms who live in cold environments--for example, they have different protein compositions in their cell membranes to make them more flexible at colder temperatures. He told us about how these projects make good test runs for the search for life on other planets: there's not a lot of oxygen around deep in the lakes of Antarctica, and Mark and his colleagues are looking for anaerobes--organisms that can use iron, sulfur, etc. for energy.
|Interview with Dr. Mark Skidmore||DJs Ganglion, Chrysalis, and Litro|
Tonight we talked with Patrick Stinson, a graduate student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior department here at UT-Austin. He will be this Thursday's Science Under the Stars speaker. His talk will be on human-influenced adaptation and evolution, focusing both on famous examples throughout history as well as his own research. We discussed more famous, generally negative and unintentional examples, such as antibiotic resistance in bacteria, but also some directed evolution, such as the Russian silver fox domestication experiments. He gave us a synopsis of the talk, and we interviewed him about his work on frog calls and how they change in response to noise pollution (e.g. traffic). There are disavantages and advantages tomaking lower-pitched calls, which are more attractive to females, and higher calls, which can be heard more easily heard over traffic but are not as attractive. He talked some about his research methodology, which includes recording frog calls under normal conditions and with artificial traffic noise. Science Under the Stars takes place at Brackenridge Field Lab Thursday at 7:30.
|Interview with Patrick Stinson||DJs R-Nought, Chrysalis, and Ganglion|
We interviewed Gail Gutowski, a second year graduate student in the Jackson School of Geosciences who studies climate science. She talked to us about the famous "hockey stick graph" and the controversy over climate change. We touched on how she interacts with the public and the duty of the scientific community to engage the pubilc. She helped explain the kinds of data scientists use to reconstruct temperature history ("proxy data"--things like tree rings and corals) and how to determine that proxy data are reliable. We discussed her research and her planned field expedition to Antarctica to study ice cores. She also works with global climate models and incorporating atmospheric, land, and ice core models.
|Interview with Gail Gutowski||DJs Ganglion, Chrysalis, R-Nought, and Litro|
Tonight we interviewed Stavana Strutz, PhD student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behvaior program at UT and a recurring guest on the show. She spoke about West Nile last Thursday at Science Under the Stars and shared some details from her presentation with us. We talked about the factors that make Texas such a hotspot for West Nile Virus--the recent drought has killed off many of the mosquito's natural predators, while this year's hotter and wetter summer has meant both more mosquitoes and more virus replication. She gave a brief history of the virus, from its discovery in the 1930s to its introduction to the US in 1999 and to the present. She gave listeners a few practical tips on avoiding potential West Nile exposure--avoiding outside activity and dusk and dawn (when mosquitoes are most active), using DEET, and wearing protective clothing. Additionally, we talked a bit about other vector-borne diseases in Texas, including Dengue Fever, which has recently been found in four counties along the Texas border, and Leishmaniasis, a protozoan parasite that Stavana studies for her PhD research.
|Interview with Stavana Strutz||DJs Ganglion, Chrysalis, and R-Nought|
|Science news!||DJs Ganglion and R-Nought|
Tonight we interviewed Jamin Greenbaum, a PhD student in the Jackson School of Geosciences here at UT Austin. We talked about his research, which takes place in Antarctica and involves studying ancient ice formations in East Antarctica. Using radar and other remote sensing technologies, the research team he is a part of recently showed that the ice formations in Ancient East Antarctica were much more dynamic than previously thought, which is significant because previous predictions of sea level change have been based on the assumption that West Antarctica was much more dynamic than the East. We also talked about how this would affect estimates of the severity of climate change. Finally, we touched on space exploration, as Jamin previously worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and his current research in Antarctica has relevance for future space exploration--the expeditions to Antarctica function in part as proxies for travel to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, because the environments are somewhat similar.
|Interview with Jamin Greenbaum||DJs Ganglion, R-Nought, and Chrysalis|
The main focus of our show today was antibiotics, from resistant bacteria to links to body fat.
mice weighed the same, but had more body fat (except with vancomycin)
lower bacteriodetes/firmicutes ratio (except with vanco)
more short chain fatty acids/enzymes involved in synthesizing them
qpcr--gene expression. increase in fat-generating genes
|Science talk! Antibiotic resistance and related||DJs Chrysalis, R Nought, and Ganglion|
|science talk!||DJs Ganglion, Chrysalis, and R-Nought|
|I Hate the Universe||The Cravats||The Cravats in Toytown|
|Space in Your Face||Mekons||Ancients & Modern 1911-2011|
|In the Night||Constant Mongrel||Everything Goes Wrong|
|Sweet Girl||Ringo Deathstarr||Ringo Deathstarr EP|
|Lost They Book||Bill Orcutt||How the Thing Sings|
|We were all scared.||Cloudkicker||Beacons|
rock music is not science, except when it is
|Carolee - Spiral Start||Various Artists||Bring Beer|
|7's||Mission Of Burma||Unsound|
|Rich Daddy||Dicks||Kill From The Heart|
|I'm Not an Animal||The Blind Shake||Seriousness|
|March to the Sea||Baroness||Yellow & Green|
|Action Line||Dorothy Ashby||Afro Harping|
|Theme From Violence Jack Johnson||Son Of A Bitches Brew||Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.|
|Science Talk!||DJs Ganglion and Chrysalis|
|Science talk!||DJs Ganglion and Chrysalis|
|Science talk!||DJs Ganglion and Chrysalis|
|Guests Joe Hanson and Aaron Charlson||DJs Ganglion and Chrysalis|
Present Your PhD Thesis to a 12 Year Old
|Interview||DJs Ganglion and Chrysalis|
|Interview with Ammon Thompson||DJ Ganglion|
Today we talked about brains! The research we talked about was cross-disciplinary, ranging from evolutionary biology to radiology. We discussed a project from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to map every connection in the mouse brain; in a progressive move for open access, all the data has been made available online to the public prior to being published in a scientific journal. Additionally, we talked about research from the Hans Hofmann lab at UT on evolutionary conservation of neural circuitry involved in social behavior. Finally, we talked about an diffusion MRI-based study that mapped brain pathways in an attempt to reconcile the morphological complexity of the brain with its origins in embryonic development. The study found that, despite the intimidating size, complexity, and number of connections in the brain, its component parts demonstrate surprisingly grid-like and geometrical patterns.
|Science talk!||DJs Ganglion and Chrysalis|
|Electric Eye||A-Frames||333 3xLP|
|Organic Chemistry||The Bad Trips||Open|
|Science Center||Emeralds||Does It Look Like I'm Here?|
|Antibiotics||Oneida||Each One Teach One|
|Death by Black Hole||Time||TIME|
|Space||Timothy Leary and Ash Ra Tempel||Seven Up|
We interviewed Michelle Brown, this Thursday's Science Under the Stars speaker and a middle school teacher at O. Henry Middle School here in Austin. She spent the past winter in Antarctica with PolarTREC, a group that pairs teachers with science researchers. We talked with her about her participation in several studies, including one that monitors soil trends in Antarctica and the effects of pollution on soil, as well as her living conditions when she was in Antarctica. We asked her about how she became involved with PolarTREC, as well as how she made the transition from a student frustrated with science to a middle school science teacher. Finally, we talked some about the outreach side of her involvement with PolarTREC, such as her upcoming Science Under the Stars talk, as well as how she communicated her work with her students both when she was in Antarctica (she kept a journal and had several Skype calls with her students) and when she returned.
|Interview with Michelle Brown||DJs Ganglion, Anticodon, and R-Nought|
Today, DJs Ganglion, Anticodon, and Chrysalis each contributed a topic to our news discussion. We talked about a paper from Biology Direct in which researchers from Portland State University describe a virus that is likely a genetic chimera of DNA and RNA viruses, the first of its kind. Next, DJ Anticodon led a discussion of a PNAS paper examining the effects of social rank on the immune system in rhesus macaques. Changes in rank correlated with changes in immune-related gene regulation and even with epigenetic markers, and higher-ranked macaques had more cytotoxic T cells. Finally, we discussed a Science paper from University of Virginia School of Medicine that describes a new kind of DNA, microDNA, that is extrachromosomal and results from deletions in the genome. The authors remain speculative about what purpose the microDNA might serve, and whether it can account for various kinds of genetic variation among individuals, such as the germline deletions found in the Thousand Genomes project. We played a Medical Discovery News segment on "chicken pox parties."
|Science talk!||DJs Ganglion, Anticodon, and Chrysalis|