Monday, September 25, 2023

Big Picture Science for Sept. 25, 2023 - Skeptic Check: Near Death Experiences









Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Near Death Experiences

Near death experiences can be profound and even life changing. People describe seeing bright lights, staring into the abyss, or meeting dead relatives. Many believe these experiences to be proof of an afterlife.

But now, scientists are studying these strange events and gaining insights into the brain and consciousness itself. Will we uncover the scientific underpinning of these near-death events?

Guests:
Steve Paulson - executive producer of To the Best of Our Knowledge for Wisconsin Public Radio
Sebastian Junger - journalist, filmmaker and author of “The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea”
Christoph Koch - neuroscientist at the Allen Institute in Seattle and chief scientist of the Tiny Blue Dot Foundation in Santa Monica CaliforniaDaniel Kondziella - neuroscientist in the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Copenhagen

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/skeptic-check-near-death-experiences

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, September 18, 2023

Big Picture Science for Sept. 18, 2023 - Into the Deep







Big Picture Science - Into the Deep

REPEAT
Have you ever heard worms arguing? Deep-sea scientists use hydrophones to eavesdrop on “mouth-fighting worms.” It’s one of the many ways scientists are trying to catalog the diversity of the deep oceans — estimated to be comparable to a rainforest.

But the clock is ticking. While vast expanses of the deep sea are still unexplored, mining companies are ready with dredging vehicles to strip mine the seafloor, potentially destroying rare and vulnerable ecosystems. Are we willing to eradicate an alien landscape that we haven’t yet visited?

Guests:

  • Craig McClain - deep-sea and evolutionary biologist and ecologist, Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.
  • Steve Haddock - senior scientist at the Monetary Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and co-author of a New York Times op-ed about the dangers of mining.
  • Emily Hall - marine chemist at the Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida
  • Chong Chen - deep sea biologist with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)


This repeat podcast originally aired on November 23, 2020

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/into-the-deep

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Big Picture Science for Sept. 11, 2023 - What’s a Few Degrees?







Big Picture Science - What’s a Few Degrees?

REPEAT
Brace yourself for heatwave “Lucifer.” Dangerous deadly heatwaves may soon be so common that we give them names, just like hurricanes. This is one of the dramatic consequences of just a few degrees rise in average temperatures.

Also coming: Massive heat “blobs” that form in the oceans and damage marine life, and powerful windstorms called “derechos” pummeling the Midwest.

Plus, are fungal pathogens adapting to hotter temperatures and breaching the 98.6 F thermal barrier that keeps them from infecting us?

Guests:


This repeat podcast originally aired on October 19, 2020


Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/whats-few-degrees

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, September 04, 2023

Big Picture Science for Sept. 04, 2023 - Building a Space Colony









Big Picture Science - Building a Space Colony

REPEAT
Ready to become a space emigre? For half a century, visionaries have been talking about our future off-Earth – a speculative scenario in which many of us live in space colonies. So why haven’t we built them? Will the plans of billionaire space entrepreneurs to build settlements on Mars, or orbiting habitats that would be only minutes away from Earth, revive our long-held spacefaring dreams? And is having millions of people living off-Earth a solution to our problems… or an escape from them?

Guests:


This repeat podcast originally aired on July 25, 2022
 

 Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/building-a-space-colony

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, August 28, 2023

Big Picture Science for Aug 28, 2023 - Talk the Walk






 

Big Picture Science - Talk the Walk

REPEAT
Birds and bees do it … and so do fish. In a discovery that highlights the adaptive benefits of walking, scientists have discovered fish that can walk on land. Not fin-flap their bodies, mind you, but ambulate like reptiles.

And speaking of which, new research shows that T Rex, the biggest reptile of them all, wasn’t a sprinter, but could be an efficient hunter by outwalking its prey.

Find out the advantage of legging it, and how human bipedalism stacks up. Not only is walking good for our bodies and brains, but not walking can change your personality and adversely affect your health.

Guests:

  • Hans Larsson – Paleontologist and biologist, and Director of the Redpath Museum at McGill University in Montréal.
  • Shane O’Mara – Neuroscientist and professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of “In Praise of Walking.”
  • Brooke Flammang – Biologist at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.


This repeat podcast originally aired on October 5, 2020

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/talk-the-walk

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Big Picture Science for Aug 21, 2023 - A Twist of Slime







Big Picture Science - A Twist of Slime

REPEAT
Your daily mucus output is most impressive. Teaspoons or measuring cups can’t capture its entire volume. Find out how much your body churns out and why you can’t live without the viscous stuff. But slime in general is remarkable. Whether coating the bellies of slithery creatures, sleeking the surface of aquatic plants, or dripping from your nose, its protective qualities make it one of the great inventions of biology. Join us as we venture to the land of ooze!

Guests:


This repeat podcast originally aired on January 27, 2020

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/a-twist-of-slime

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, August 14, 2023

Big Picture Science for Aug 014, 2023 - Granting Immunity







Big Picture Science - Granting Immunity

REPEAT
“Diversity or die” could be your new health mantra. Don’t boost your immune system, cultivate it! Like a garden, your body’s defenses benefit from species diversity.  Find out why multiple strains of microbes, engaged in a delicate ballet with your T-cells, join internal fungi in combatting disease. Plus, global ecosystems also depend on the diversity of its tiniest members; so what happens when the world’s insects bug out?

Guests:


This repeat podcast originally aired on August 12, 2019

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/granting-immunity

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Big Picture Science for Aug 07, 2023 - Skeptic Check: UFO Conspiracy









Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: UFO Conspiracy

UFOs are back. This time they’ve landed on Capitol Hill in the form of a public, congressional hearing. We watched the hearing with great interest, but felt dissatisfied when it came to evidence. Claims that the government has alien technology are obviously tantalizing. So tantalizing, in fact, that it’s easy to overlook logical fallacies in how these claims are presented. We identify a few of the missteps. But what would convince you that the government is aware of alien visitation? Is the word of an authority figure all we need to accept that “they’re here?” 

Guests:

  • Benjamin Radford - Research fellow with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
  • Nadia Drake - Science journalist and member of NASA’s UAP group
  • James McGaha - Retired military pilot and astronomer he's a longtime investigator of UFO reports and claims and he's a scientific consultant to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
  • Mick West - A skeptical investigator who looks at claims of UFOs

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/skeptic-check-ufo-conspiracy

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, July 31, 2023

Big Picture Science for July 31, 2023 - We’ll Always Have Parasites









Big Picture Science - We’ll Always Have Parasites

Imagine tapeworms longer than the height of an adult human. Or microbes that turn their hosts into zombies. If the revulsion they induce doesn’t do it, the sheer number of parasites force us to pay attention. They are the most abundant form of animal life on Earth. Parasites can cause untold human suffering, like those that cause African River Blindness or Lyme disease, but their presence is also a sign of a health ecosystem. A parasitologist whose lab contains the largest parasite collection in the world gives us the ultimate inside story about these organisms.

Guest:

Scott Gardner - curator of parasites in the H.W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Nebraska State Museum, one of the largest collections of parasites in the world, and professor of biological sciences at University of Nebraska. Co-author of Parasites: The Inside Story.

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/well-always-have-parasites

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Big Picture Science for July 24, 2023 - Measure For Measure









Big Picture Science - Measure For Measure

Whether in miles or pounds, meters or kilograms, we take daily measure out our lives. But how did these units ever come to be, and why do we want to change them? From light-years to leap seconds, we look at the history of efforts to quantify our lives and why there’s always room for greater precision.

Plus, we debate the virtues of staying imperial measurements vs. going metric.

Guest:


Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/measure-for-measure

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, July 17, 2023

Big Picture Science for July 17, 2023 - Fantastic-er Voyage









Big Picture Science - Fantastic-er Voyage

(REPEAT)
Thinking small can sometimes achieve big things. A new generation of diminutive robots can enter our bodies and deal with medical problems such as intestinal blockages. But do we really want them swimming inside us, even if they’re promising to help? You might change your mind when you hear what else is cruising through our bloodstream: microplastics!

We take a trip into the human body, beginning with the story of those who first dared to open it up for medical purposes. But were the first surgeons really cavemen?

Guests:

  • Ira Rutkow – Surgeon and writer, and author of “Empire of the Scalpel: The History of Surgery
  • Dick Vethaak – Emeritus professor of ecotoxicology, water quality and health at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Free University, Amsterdam) in The Netherlands
  • Li Zhang – Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Michael LaBarbera – Professor in organismal biology, anatomy and geophysical sciences, University of Chicago

This repeat podcast originally aired on June 20th, 2022

Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/fantastic-er-voyage

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, July 10, 2023

Big Picture Science for July 10, 2023 - Dinosaurs’ Last Gasp









Big Picture Science - Dinosaurs’ Last Gasp

(REPEAT) 

Do we have physical evidence of the last day of the dinosaurs? We consider fossilized fish in South Dakota that may chronicle the dramatic events that took place when, 66 million years ago, a large asteroid slammed into the Gulf of Mexico and caused three-quarters of all species to disappear.

Also, what new discoveries have paleontologists made about these charismatic animals, and the director of Jurassic World: Dominion talks about how his film hews to the latest science. Hint: feathers!

It’s deep history, as we look at what happened as terrestrial life experienced its worst day ever.

Guests:


This repeat podcast originally aired on June 13th, 2022


Download podcast at - https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/dinosaurs-last-gasp

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Big Picture Science for July 03, 2023 - Allergy Reason









Big Picture Science - Allergy Reason

Runny nose. Itchy, watery eyes. Sneezing. If you don’t have allergies, you probably know someone who does. The number of people with allergies, including food allergies and eczema, is increasing. What is going on?

A medical anthropologist describes how our hygiene habits, our diets, and our polluted environment are irritating our bodies. Also, the case for skipping your shower. Is skin healthier when we stop lathering?

Guests:


Download podcast at -  https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/allergy-reason

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Big Picture Science for June 26, 2023 - Made for Mars









Big Picture Science - Made for Mars

Do you have what it takes to survive on Mars?  Beginning this month, four people will spend a year in a prototype Martian habitat meant to simulate living on the Red Planet.  It’s part of NASA’s efforts to prepare us for real human missions to Mars.  Find out how well we can replicate that world on Earth and what we might learn from doing so.

Also, a new robotic mission aims to be the first to bring back a piece of the Red Planet, and why Mars has enchanted us for centuries.

Guests:

  • Scott Smith – Lead for the nutritional biochemistry lab at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, and member of the CHAPEA team.
  • Matthew Shindell – Historian of science and Curator of Planetary Science and Exploration at the National Air and Space Museum. Author of For the Love of Mars; a Human History of the Red Planet.
  • Pascal Lee – Planetary scientist at the SETI Institute, principal investigator of the Haughton-Mars Project, and co-founder of The Mars Institute
  • Michela Muñoz Fernández – Program Executive for NASA’s Mars Sample Return Mission

Download podcast at -  https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/made-for-mars

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Big Picture Science for June 19, 2023 - Skeptic Check: NASA UFO Study









Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: NASA UFO Study

NASA is studying more than 800 sightings of unidentified objects in our sky as part of its investigation into the UFO phenomenon. We get an update on the agency’s study in a conversation with a member of the NASA UAP panel.

We also hear why the belief that aliens exist has broad consensus, but that’s not the same as saying they routinely visit Earth. Plus, a UFO investigator analyzes the startling claim that the military is hiding evidence of alien technology.

Guests:


Download podcast at -  https://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/skeptic-check-nasa-ufo-study

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!