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Hawaii Survive-o

Six NASA-backed research subjects who have been cooped up in a Mars-like habitat on a remote Hawaii volcano since January emerged from isolation .The crew of four men and two women are part of a study designed to better understand the psychological impacts a long-term space mission would have on astronauts. Jeff and Anthony discuss the findings and whether they’d pretend to be on Mars for 8 months in Honolulu.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Feint Praise

An international team of researchers reports that when children are praised for being smart not only are they quicker to give up in the face of obstacles they are also more likely to be dishonest and cheat. Kids as young as age 3 appear to behave differently when told “You are so smart” vs “You did very well this time.” Anthony and Jeff discuss this, especially in light of Jeff being a new dad.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Cephal Oppidan

Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses.  But that’s not all.  Octopolis also exists!  Ever vigilant to the alien threat that is cephalopods, Anthony and Jeff dig deep into this new development.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Hardly Worker

Ants are cultural signifiers of busy industriousness, but a new paper in Plos One reveals that, across species, about 40% of “worker” ants spend most of their days doing nothing.  Jeff and Anthony discuss this revelation, asking whether lazy always exists in nature.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Eat Me

There are a few animals that can survive being eaten, and the skill might help them spread and colonise new regions. Jeff and Anthony discuss a new article about these creatures and wonder why more animals don’t just evolve to be cool with it.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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The Nose Have It

In a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers found that when it comes time for a pack of wild dogs to determine whether to move, the group engages in a bout of sneezing to see how many members are ready. Anthony thinks this is an amazing insight into canine culture, but Jeff remains unconvinced.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Evolution of Man

New research claims to have found traces of evidence that humans may indeed still be evolving. A study looked at the DNA of over 200,000 people living across both the United States and Britain, to see if they could tease out any changes in genetic variation in these populations over time. They report that their analysis of these genomes shows natural selection is weeding out gene variants most often associated with Alzheimer’s disease and heavy smoking. Jeff and Anthony discuss our continuing evolution as a species and what this could mean.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Mess Up

A new study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes says that being disorganized can actually increase productivity, as a mess often presents quicker access to relevant information. Anthony is thrilled, but Jeff has his doubts that this methodology can actually work.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Aquatic Narcotic

Scientists have tested the drug-seeking behavior of zebrafish in a tank that allows them to trigger the release of the opioid hydrocodone in the water. The new tool, described in a study published online today in Behavioral Brain Research, can be used to study the underlying biological pathways that push zebrafish to seek drugs.  Jeff and Anthony discuss the drug tank, and examine how exactly it might work.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Forget It

Alongside the studies telling us how to keep our memories intact, an enormous body of research has led to another conclusion: In many cases, it’s okay (and in fact, beneficial) to forget. Human memory is not only unreliable, but often partially or wholly false. And certain kinds of forgetting is actually really good for us.  Anthony and Jeff talk about memory, and try to convince themselves that forgetting is a good thing.  More Details/Download MP3 →