EINSTEIN! Still the Champion… Of Physics!

Episode 62 by Scott Unger (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Gravitational Lensing - Wikipedia
Gravitational Lensing - the Gravity of the galaxy in the middle is bending the light from farther away around it - allowing observers from Earth to focus on the far-away celestial bodies.

Einstein. One of the biggest minds science has ever known and arguably the most important scientist to the advancement of our understanding of the universe the world has ever known. And much like a prize fighter – some would seek to prove Einstein wrong. Defeat the Champ and you win the belt.

Enter the ring, Dr. Edward Dowdye, former NASA scientist, arguing that Einstein got it wrong with the Theory of Relativity… But hold up! You have to check the facts before you accept that the Champ has been defeated… And listen to this podcast to learn more!

For more information:

Epoch Times - Former NASA Physicist Disputes Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (But … if you look into it more, you’ll see, he’s wrong.)

Gravity Lens - Dr. Karl S. Kruszelnicki, ABC Science

Extinction Shift Principle (Written & Published by Dr. Edward Dowdye)

Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity - Space.com

Team of scientists use gravitational lensing to examine unseen galaxies

Scott UngerScott Unger is the producer / director of Experimental.  He’s also a career science communicator with a background in Microbiology, and spent seven years working in a series of laboratories before moving into science writing.  He is an alumni of the Banff Science Communications Program. Learn more about Scott from his LinkedIn résumé. You can also follow Scott on Twitter @scottu487.


Cancer: Taking Over the World One Mutation at a Time

Episode 61 by Cris Felipe-Alves (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Enhanced electron microscope image of lung cancer cells during divisionCancer affects millions of people worldwide each year. By undergoing mutations, cancer cells start dividing uncontrollably until they form tumors and metastasize. But how does that occur? Find out how cancer develops by listening to the podcast.

For more information:

Hanahan, D. and Weinberg, R. 2000. The hallmarks of cancer. Cell; 100 (1): 57-70.

Hanahan, D. and Weinberg, R. 2011. Hallmarks of cancer: the next generation. Cell; 144 (5): 646-74.

Chris Felipe-AlvesCris Felipe-Alves has worked as a researcher in both academic and private environments. He’s currently finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Otago (UoO) in New Zealand before moving permanently to the West Coast of Canada. He’s also an alumni of the UoO’s Centre for Science Communication with specialization in Natural History Filmmaking and Communications. Watch some of his YouTube movies. Learn more about Cris from his LinkedIn resume


Shark Skin from a 3D Printer!

Episode 60 by Mary Bates (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Carribean reef sharkScientists and engineers have long been intrigued by how the shark’s rough skin helps it glide effortlessly through the water. Now, a team of scientists have used 3D printing to create an artificial shark skin. Tests with their synthetic skin show just how shark skin saves energy and boosts swimming speed.

Listen to the Podcast to learn more!

For more information:

Wen, L., Weaver, J. C. and Lauder, G. V. (2014). Biomimetic shark skin: design, fabrication and hydrodynamic function. J. Exp. Biol. 217, 1656-1666.

Mary Bates is a freelance science writer living in Boston. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Brown University where she studied bat echolocation. You can visit her website at www.marybateswriter.com and follow her on Twitter at @mebwriter.


The World’s Greatest Pandemic (You’ve Never Heard Of)

Episode 59 by Stefanie Vogt (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Mosquito biting a humanA pandemic is raging worldwide, with millions already infected. But instead of being humanity’s downfall, this pandemic could actually save us from diseases like dengue fever and malaria.

Listen to the podcast to learn more…

Sources:

LePage and Bordenstein. (2013) Wolbachia: Can we save lives with a great pandemic? Trends in Parasitology29:385-393.

 Eliminate Dengue Program

Werren et al. (2008) Wolbachia: Master manipulators of invertebrate biology. Nature Reviews Microbiology 6:741-751.

Stefanie VogtStefanie Vogt is a postdoctoral fellow studying microbiology at the University of British Columbia and an alumna of the 2012 Banff Science Communications Program.  She has shared her love of science with thousands of kids by organizing science competitions, science activities in rural Alberta, and a science-themed Harry Potter Day.  Follow her on Twitter: @StefanieVogt.


Deadly Ninja Shrimp Kick Ass!

Episode 58 by Scott Unger (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Mantis Shrimp - WikipediaThe true badasses of the sea, Ninja Shrimp, also known as Mantis Shrimp, can lash out with their claws with such force that they momentarily generate temperatures similar to the surface of the sun due to friction! And that’s not all - listen to the podcast to find out more about these ferocious and beautiful beasts!

For More on Ninja Shrimp:

Vicious Sea Creature Sees in Dazzling Color

The Strange and Fearless Mantis Shrimp

The Amazing Mantis Shrimp

Scott UngerScott Unger is the producer / director of Experimental.  He’s also a career science communicator with a background in Microbiology, and spent seven years working in a series of laboratories before moving into science writing.  He is an alumni of the Banff Science Communications Program. Learn more about Scott from his LinkedIn résumé. You can also follow Scott on Twitter @scottu487.


Flirty Female Monkeys Throw Stones at Males To Get Their Attention

Episode 57 - by Mary Bates (Access the MP3)Capuchin Monkey (Access the full text transcript)

Female capuchin monkeys don’t look any different when they’re at their most fertile. So to let the males know when they’re ready to mate, they change their behavior - making faces and following the males around. But in one group of monkeys, the females have figured out another way to get attention: throwing stones at the object of their affections. It’s a brand new behavior never before reported in monkeys.

Listen to the Podcast to learn more!

Mary Bates is a freelance science writer living in Boston. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Brown University where she studied bat echolocation. You can visit her website at www.marybateswriter.com and follow her on Twitter at @mebwriter.


Scrambling Bacterial Social Networks to Cure Infections

Episode 56 - by Stefanie Vogt (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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E. coli under electron microscopeHumans are newcomers to the world of social networking – bacteria have been using social networks for millions of years! Bacteria communicate with each other to monitor their own numbers, and this census-taking is critical during the infection process. New research indicates that blocking bacterial social networks could help to overcome antibiotic resistance and prevent infections.

Listen to the podcast to learn more!

Sources:

O’Loughlin et al. (2013) A quorum sensing inhibitor blocks Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence and biofilm formation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110: 17981-17986.

TED talk by Bonnie Bassler: How bacteria “talk”

Astrosquid! Post on Sciblogs by Siouxsie Wiles

Stefanie VogtStefanie Vogt is a postdoctoral fellow studying microbiology at the University of British Columbia and an alumna of the 2012 Banff Science Communications Program.  She has shared her love of science with thousands of kids by organizing science competitions, science activities in rural Alberta, and a science-themed Harry Potter Day.  Follow her on Twitter: @StefanieVogt.


The Chemistry Behind Evolution - Molecules that ORGANIZE THEMSELVES!

Episode 55 by Scott Unger (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Scheme of a liposome formed by phospholipids in an aqueous solution

The slow and steady process of evolution takes billions of years for genetic changes across generations for single celled organisms to evolve into the complex life that’s all around us today.

But what came before that first single celled microbe came into existence? What was it about the chemicals in the primordial soup that brought them together into the first cell?

This question is one that scientists have been looking to answer for a long time, and researcher Dr. Pasquale Stano has made an important discovery - biological molecules can SELF ORGANIZE! Using a chemical called POPC to form cell-wall like liposomes (like the one in the picture above) Stano’s team observed that 83 biological molecules responsible for creating a fluorescent protein were able to draw themselves together non-randomly into the same liposome!

Listen to the Podcast to learn more…

Scott UngerScott Unger is the producer / director of Experimental.  He’s also a career science communicator with a background in Microbiology, and spent seven years working in a series of laboratories before moving into science writing.  He is an alumni of the Banff Science Communications Program. Learn more about Scott from his LinkedIn résumé. You can also follow Scott on Twitter @scottu487.


Battle of the Sticky Frogs: Who Has the Better Grip? 

Episode 54 - by Mary Bates (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Tree Frog versus Torrent FrogWhen tree frogs and torrent frogs faced off on a test of sticking ability, torrent frogs came out on top. These little amphibians maintained their grip on steep surfaces and in running water. What’s the secret to their sticky success? 

Listen to the Podcast to learn more!

Youtube video - Torrent frog defies gravity:

Further Reading:

Endlein T., Barnes, W. J. P., Samuel, D. S., Crawford, N. A., Biaw, A. B., and Grafe, U. (2013) Sticking under Wet Conditions: The Remarkable Attachment Abilities of the Torrent Frog, Staurois guttatus. PLoS ONE 8(9): e73810. 

Mary Bates is a freelance science writer living in Boston. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Brown University where she studied bat echolocation. You can visit her website at www.marybateswriter.com and follow her on Twitter at @mebwriter.


Bat-Eared Foxes Share Parental Duties - TEAMWORK!

Episode 53 - by Mary Bates (Click here to directly access the MP3)

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Bat-Eared FoxesIt’s not often that you find a mammal in which the father takes equal part in raising the kids, let alone a case where he performs most of the parental care. But bat-eared foxes are unique.

Researchers have discovered that bat-eared foxes are dedicated dads that demonstrate several unusual parental care behaviors — including teaching cubs about their prey and providing them with dung.

Listen to the Podcast to learn more!


For more information:

Bat-Eared Fox (Otocyon Megalotis)

le Roux, A., Beishuizen, R., Brekelmans, W., Ganswindt, A., Paris, M., and Dalerum, F. (2013). Innovative parental care in a myrmecophagous mammal. Acta Ethologica July 2013. doi: 10.1007/s10211-013-0157-1

Mary Bates is a freelance science writer living in Boston. She has a Ph.D. in psychology from Brown University where she studied bat echolocation. You can visit her website at www.marybateswriter.com and follow her on Twitter at @mebwriter.