9/19/17 Show feat. Dave Seal, Mission Planner for Cassini Saturn Space Probe

In this episode of These Vibes, Stevie spoke with Dave Seal, a mission planner on the Cassini space probe which spent many years orbiting Saturn. Cassini operated its final maneuver, called the “Grand Finale,” and ended its observing by plunging in to Saturn just last Friday morning at 8am EST. It took a final image and took it’s last bits of data on Saturn’s atmosphere before being destroyed. Listen in to learn about the mission, its development, goals, and discoveries, and learn more about what it’s like to be a mission planner on a NASA space probe.
All that plus great music, and science news from microplastics in our seasalt to the new research on cancer cells.

Science News:


Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 8.38.08 PM

 

Advertisements

9/12/17 Show feat. Robert Nazarian on Physical Oceanography and Internal Waves

Featured image: The Luzon Strait serving as a breeding ground for internal waves. Alternating streaks of rough and smooth water are visible traversing the sea floor. (courtesy MIT)

This week, we host Robert Nazarian, graduate student in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, to talk through his research on ocean dynamics and internal waves. How complicated is the motion of the sea, and how can this massive system be modeled? Rob’s research focuses on energy flows through the sea, where waves carry heat from one place to another. How do ocean flows, large-scale motion and small-scale turbulence alike, affect the environment in and out of the water? Further, Rob will talk about his outreach, and how he has used innovative teaching techniques to engage students in learning about oceanography.

oceanic_gyres
Ocean gyres, driven by cyclic winds. (Creative Commons)

In other news:

The playlist can be found on WPRB.com or below.

TVR2C_playlist_091217

 

 

9/5/17 Show feat. Edward Felten on Electronic Voting – the Good, the Bad, and the Insecure

In this edition of These Vibes, Professor Edward Felten joined us back in the studio to discuss electronic voting — what that means, what are the alternatives, the pros and cons, and the current state of voting technology in the US. Edward Felten is professor of computer science and public affairs here at Princeton University, and founding director of the Princeton Center for Information Policy. Additionally, he was Chief Technologist for the Federal Trade Commission from 2011-2015 and joined the Obama administration as Deputy US Chief Technology Officer in 2015.

Our discussion gives particular attention to usability issues with the current voting computers used in US elections and their vulnerability to attacks. Professor Felten discusses the role of hacking in the 2016 election, and, to wrap-up, what the ideal voting system would be, using our current technology.

Ed Felten previously joined us at WPRB last May to discuss the intersection of policy and technology — think self-driving cars and trucks, and AI in the criminal justice system. You can listen to that full show here, and the interview has been podcasted – find wherever you get your podcasts!


Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 9.31.54 AM

8/29/17 Show feat. Christa Baker on what fruit flies hear, and Matt Grobis on doing research

In this episode of These Vibes, Stevie speaks with neuroscientist Christa Baker about fruit fly mating songs and electric fish — and for each, how she is tracking their neural pathways to learn how their brains undergo the complicated process communication.

Additionally, animal behaviorist Matt Grobis comes on the air to talk about the nitty gritty “devil’s chess match” of doing research — the good and the bad.

Science News:


Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 10.31.05 PM

8/22/17 Show on Zebrafish Avatars, Electrified Paper, and Elderberries

Featured image: A Kodiak bear from southern Alaska enjoys a plant. In a strange twist of fate, they may actually prefer eating some plants to salmon.

Join us for this week’s news roundup: trees benefit megacities to the tune of $500 million a year! Kodiak bears may prefer elderberries to salmon. And, shipwrecks are slowly shifting under the ocean, due to mudslides caused by hurricanes (obviously) and winter (what?).

In other news:

  • In a new medical development, we may be able to replicate human cancers in zebrafish and use these “avatars” to test our cancer drugs. Each fish would have a specific person’s cancer—radical, sadistic, but probably helpful for cancer patients.
  • A team at Purdue University has invented a medical exam that fits on a piece of cardstock, including microfluid channels, a power supply (activated by the pressure of your fingers), and tests for anemia and liver function.=

The full playlist can be found at WPRB.com or below.TVR2C_playlist_082217.png

 

 

 

 

 

8/15/17 Show on Supernovae in Real Time, Hallucinations and Auditory Levitation

Featured image:  An artist’s rendition of a dwarf star, delicately balancing the forces of gravity and electron degeneracy pressure. (courtesy Montgomery College)

This week, we’ll cover a swath of new science stories: What happens when supernova swallow up stars, and what enables us to watch this process evolve in real time? How are Americans’ opinions on gene editing evolving? Is baldness over?

In other news:

The playlist for the show can be found at WPRB.com or below.

TVR2C_playlist_081517.png

08/01/2017 Show feat. Prof Chris Tully on Measuring Neutrinos from the Early Universe & Ingrid Ockert on learning with “Mindstorms”

In this episode of These Vibes, Stevie discusses measuring neutrino that were produced just one second after the Big Bang singularity in our early universe with Princeton University professor and high energy physicist, Chris Tully. In the interview, Professor Tully explains what a neutrino is, why they’re so difficult to measure, and why we should have a bath of neutrinos sitting at just a couple of degrees above absolute zero all around us today. Then, he tells us about the early universe when that bath of neutrinos, called the Cosmic Neutrino Background, were produced, and how he plans to measure them with his instrument PTOLEMY (Princeton Tritium Observatory for Light, Early-universe, Massive-neutrino Yield – currently in the prototype stage).

Additionally, Ingrid Ockert tells us about the 1980s book “Mindstorms” by Seymour Papert, which outlines Papert’s ideas on how computers can help unlock people’s ability to learn through play.

Science News:

  • “Mystery of Greek Amphitheater’s Amazing Sound Finally Solved.” An older piece of news that describes research discovering how a 4th century BC theater in Greece  could seat 14,000 people such that even those in the back row of the architectural masterpiece could hear actors and musicians — unamplified.
  • “First Human Embryos Edited in the US.” A piece in MIT Technology Review describes the first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States. It has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University. The procedure involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 9.15.04 AM

7/25/17 Show feat. Dr. Kate Riestenberg on linguistics and endangered languages and Kristin Guest on speech language pathology and bilingualism in schools

kate_riestenberg
Dr. Katherine Riestenberg, Linguist

This episode of These Vibes was all about language.

In the first part, Stevie spoke with Dr. Kate Riestenberg, linguist and postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution and visiting scholar at Truman State University in Missouri, about the varied and far-reaching work of linguists. Then, they took a deep dive in to the topic of endangered languages — how they’re defined, how a language becomes endangered, and why we should care.

 

 

kristin_guest
Kristin Guest, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist

In the second portion, Kristin Guest, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), discussed her work in SLP and working with kids in (primarily New York City) public schools. She described the differences between learning, language, and speech disabilities, as well as how you determine if a student has a disability in one of these three categories. Next Kristin gets in to the linguistically and culturally biased assessment practices in schools, and how they should change.

 

 

Mentioned Links:

 


Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 12.22.44 PM

7/18/17 Show feat. Betsy Levy Paluck on Social Norms, Radio and Reducing Conflict

Today’s show features Betsy Levy Paluck, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, expert on the dynamics of social networks and behavioral norms. We discuss how groups normalize behaviors in a variety of contexts, and what we know about intervening to change behaviors. How much do we really know about the effectiveness of diversity training and media campaigns? What is the role of the mass media in creating or reducing prejudice? Listen for all this and a broader discussion on large-scale conflict resolution and how personal relationships feed into cultural trends.

In other news:

  • According to newly analyzed DNA from ancient dogs, humans domesticated wolves just once in history–about 20,000 years ago in Asia.
  • The early solar system may have been swarming not with rocky meteors, but with giant balls of mud, solving a longstanding paradox in understanding old space debris.

The full playlist is available at WPRB’s website or below.

TVR2C_playlist_071817.png

7/11/17 Show on Melting Rocks, Alzheimer’s and Measuring Coal Impacts in Nature

Featured image: Even in a quartzite countertop, evidence of rock melting and distortion is apparent. How do earthquakes heat up these rocks so much that they liquify?

This week’s episode focuses on some of the newest stories in science. Listen and hear about earthquake physics: what makes rocks melt when tectonic plates rub against each other? Also featured are stories on nuclear analysis of coral, the reflectivity of the Antarctic and why sleep may prevent Alzheimer’s-linked proteins from mucking up your brain.

In other news:

  • Juno has delivered us images of the Great Red Spot from only 9,000 km away–unimaginably close in Jupiter terms. Check out these images from NASA!
  • If anyone in the New York / New Jersey / Philadelphia area knows about a bus or group venture down to the eclipse on August 21st, please let us know! Going alone may be difficult on short notice, so maybe grouping together would make the logistics easier.

The playlist can be found on WPRB’s website or below.

TVR2C_playlist_071117.png