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Science unscripted

English, Technology, 1 season, 160 episodes, 2 days, 6 hours, 54 minutes
About
Get the latest science news. Broadcast from Germany throughout the week. Stay safe by being informed.
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Drugs don't make you more creative

If you take drugs or drink alcohol and then write down your 'wildly creative,' chemically-inspired ravings... new research suggests you'll create a catalogue of useless garbage.
5/25/202414 minutes, 8 seconds
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Scary microplastics news & how to eat during pregnancy

We all have microplastics inside our bodies. Until now, scientists weren't certain about the extent of the harm. Now they are.
5/24/202418 minutes, 53 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Mea culpa!

Science unscripted got an email this week about orgasms. What's more, someone wrote to let us know why a dying countess in a classic German novel would rather spend her final moments with a chauvinist man than with Conor or Gabe. And finally, how your doctor's credentials might just save your life.
5/19/202430 minutes
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Nurses & teachers suffer when you call them 'heroes'

When you applaud nurses, teachers, or member of military for being 'heroic,' you make it more OK for them to be exploited.
5/18/202413 minutes, 37 seconds
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'Bigger penises' & learning from our mistakes

Are male sex organs really 'getting bigger' over time? Also, a new study suggests we don't actually learn from all our mistakes.
5/17/202417 minutes, 48 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Around the rim

Gabe's voice undergoes an unexpected transformation, and why two people have been running around a 'wall of death' in Italy. Also, send your favorite SAD SONG to [email protected] - and let us know why you listen to it?
5/5/202430 minutes
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Your body image, ice baths & sad music

Unhappy with your body? Deleting Instagram may help (if you're a woman). Also, forget 'cold tubs' if you want bigger muscles — and why do we consume content that makes us sad?
5/3/202418 minutes, 19 seconds
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Avian flu, strangers & orgasms

How concerning is the spread of H5N1 from cows to humans? Also, random people know you better than you think, new research on why people make sounds during sex, and a listener... doesn't like a song we played.
4/26/202418 minutes, 39 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Let's talk (to a whale)

If we wanted to talk to a gigantic underwater animal, how would we do that? Also, lose weight... by making friends!
4/21/202430 minutes
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Yes, songs are getting simpler, angrier & more about 'me'

Dear elderly people, you were right. Today's music isn't what it used to be. The interesting part is why.
4/20/202413 minutes, 52 seconds
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A (surprising) connection between bad eating & loneliness

If you're home alone on a Friday night, you might stuff your face full of chips, chocolate or candy. (Gabe and Conor do.) A study on brain activity shows it's not entirely your fault, though — and that there may be a way to solve it.
4/19/202416 minutes, 10 seconds
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Weekly roundup — In your head, your heart & your tummy

Angry? New research shows you can 'export' it and then destroy it! Also, make yourself healthier and happier... by being touched... by something!
4/15/202430 minutes
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Please touch me (it's for my health)

Are we touching each other less? Probably. Does it matter? Very much. If you're missing physical contact, new research will make you feel better.
4/13/202412 minutes, 34 seconds
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Where do you feel music?

A good song resonates inside you. But the question is... where? Well, it depends — on 'surprise' and 'uncertainty.'
4/12/202417 minutes, 17 seconds
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Solar eclipse? Drive carefully.

There's a 30% increase in car deaths due to solar eclipses, and it's important to know why that happens.
3/30/202412 minutes, 8 seconds
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Weekly roundup — There's so much in this one we couldn't find a title

Frozen hands, subjective aging, understanding autism — this episode has a ton of science (and some angry YouTube comments).
3/30/202430 minutes
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A vaccine for... cocaine?

Human trials are underway to stop cocaine addiction using vaccines. Do they work? And if so, how?
3/28/20247 minutes, 2 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Fat dogs & a new gender bias

If you're tempted to blame dog owners for their chunky animals... think twice. Also, should Gabe and Conor be perfectly informed on every study they talk about?
3/24/202430 minutes
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Angry? Don't run. Just breathe.

We all have ways of dealing with anger. And most of them don't really work.
3/23/202414 minutes, 9 seconds
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You probably prefer studies that make women look better (and that's a problem)

When new research makes women look good, we tend to like it. When it makes men look good, we don't.
3/22/202417 minutes, 57 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Want the job? Be first

A quirk in human psychology has a big impact on your chances of getting a job, a date or winning a talent show. Also, Conor puts 'social norms erosion' research to the test — twice.
3/17/202430 minutes
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A blood 'breathalyzer' for tired drivers

Exhaustion is almost as dangerous as driving drunk. And researchers might have found a way to prove who's doing it.
3/16/202417 minutes, 43 seconds
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Stop f***ing swearing & get some damn sleep

Did you notice? How the curse words above jolted your brain awake? That effect is real. Don't abuse it.
3/14/202413 minutes, 19 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Make yourself do things

You a procrastinator? (We are.) New research suggests an unexpected cause of that. Also, if you have a tough time confronting rule breakers in public (because who doesn't), a new study shows there's a way to do it right.
3/10/202430 minutes
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How to stop people from playing loud music & videos on their phones

Ever heard someone scrolling TikTok or YouTube Shorts ? It's really annoying — and there's a way to stop it.
3/9/202413 minutes, 14 seconds
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The German man who got 200+ COVID vaccinations

Yes, he's real. And he was doing it (in part) to make money. But when doctors found out, they asked him to get jabbed a few times more.
3/8/202420 minutes, 5 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Dark waters

A listener email sends us deep into the lakes of Latvia — and to honor victims of genocide, it's important to talk about what it is, how it happens and who it happens to.
3/3/202430 minutes
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Is it possible to reintegrate people who committed genocide?

If a close neighbor had committed horrific murders 30 years ago and was released back into your community, could you accept that? That they'd been rehabilitated? Researchers are trying to answer that question in Rwanda.
3/2/202416 minutes, 20 seconds
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Infectious empathy & a laptop with a nose

If someone had become more empathetic... how would you know? Also, people are willing to pay more for products that look and talk like humans — but only some products.
3/1/202411 minutes, 42 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Smell & anti-depressants

Powerful smells may mitigate severe depression, and a new study suggests regular erections can help against ED. Also, the fascinating reason humans built a gigantic wall close to a lake roughly 10,000 years ago.
2/18/202430 minutes
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Scared of crime? Motion lights won't help

A new study using VR suggests the things that make neighborhoods safer… don't necessarily make us FEEL safer. (And for God's sake, close the garage door.)
2/17/202413 minutes
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What is the Alaskapox virus?

Deep in a remote forest, a sick, elderly man got scratched by a stray cat — and likely died as a result.
2/15/202415 minutes, 38 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Understanding climate deniers (a little better)

Every third person thinks human-induced climate change — which is real and caused by us humans — is a fantasy. But if you think it's a psychological trick to drive SUVs or fly (guilt free), a new study suggests you're wrong.
2/11/202430 minutes
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(Psst. Telling secrets is good for you.)

New research suggests we should divulge our secrets more often than we do. But how you do it matters. (Send secrets to [email protected])
2/10/202413 minutes, 10 seconds
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Why is new music so terrible?

Look, we know we sound like boomers — but there really is something wrong with mass-produced music today, and it's connected to the science of how humans perceive beats.
2/8/202418 minutes, 43 seconds
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Weekly roundup — A human was behind this episode

Should Science unscripted be using AI imagery for its shows? It's a real question, and we don't know how to answer it. Will you help us?
2/4/202430 minutes
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Which decisions are you OK with AI making?

Imagine you got rejected by a university. Except a human didn't reject you — AI did. How do you feel now?
2/3/202411 minutes, 8 seconds
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Alzheimer's 'infections' & walking around parking lots

Was Alzheimer's transferred to a handful of patients? Also, a new study shows what parking lots do to your brain.
2/1/202414 minutes, 28 seconds
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Suffering from stress at work? (Play video games.)

Most of us employees only have a short time before going to bed to recover from the stress of the work day. Video games can help. But you have to be careful with how you use them.
1/28/202429 minutes, 59 seconds
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Were we hunter-gatherers, or gatherer-hunters?

Let's be honest: 'Gatherer-hunters' doesn't quite roll off the tongue. And a new study from up in the Andes doesn't prove we've been plant-based all along.
1/26/202414 minutes, 52 seconds
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Weekly roundup — The moral law within me

A new study suggests it's never a good idea to watch someone else eat raw broccoli. Also, what Job (from the Old Testament) got wrong about wind and wisdom, and the surprising side effect of phobia therapy.
1/21/202430 minutes
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Kids don’t need God to tell them what’s right or wrong

By asking children whether they should stomp on another kid’s foot, researchers have answered one of the core questions of our existence.
1/19/202413 minutes, 1 second
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Why more women are doing 'Veganuary'

Look, we're not trying to push a vegan lifestyle. But it’s worth figuring out why a diet that leads to better human health (and a cooler climate)… just isn't popular with men.
1/17/202416 minutes, 34 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Buk, buk, buk, buk... ba-gawk!

Chickens can communicate emotions (like exasperation), and we humans can understand it. Also, our listeners have a wild variety of new status symbols (and one of them is Science unscripted).
1/14/202430 minutes
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How do I become wise?

We all have an image of what a 'wise person' looks and sounds like. New research shows we're wrong.
1/13/202410 minutes, 38 seconds
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A cure for morning sickness?

A new study on mice shows there may be an easy way to prevent — and treat — the debilitating nausea and vomiting that happens in 70% of pregnancies.
1/12/202412 minutes, 40 seconds
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We're back!

Once in a while we have an episode that has nothing to do with science. This one's about how Gabe burned his hair off.
1/11/20247 minutes, 50 seconds
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The status symbols they are a-changin’

An expensive car, a shiny watch, a hot body, video game skins, a vegan diet — regardless of how different they can be, status symbols will always be a part of the human experience. Why do we need them so deeply?
1/7/202430 minutes
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Happy New Year from Science unscripted!

Thanks for listening to (or watching) our show this year. And please don't forget these quick tips on how to have a safe and fun party on December 31.
12/31/202330 minutes
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Homeopathic sugar balls for Christmas!

Pain might rob your Christmas cheer - And drag you through depressing muck - But don't you worry, and don't you fear - For you, my friend are in grand old luck - Ho! There lies a simple remedy - The balls of ho-me-o-pathy.
12/24/202330 minutes
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Why is it so hard to say no to an invitation?

Sometimes we end up at social events because... it's just too awkward to say no. New research suggests you should feel better about declining (if you do it the right way).
12/17/202330 minutes
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Weekly roundup — You can't deepfake this

Conor misplaces a telescope, our solar system is a ballerina, and how to protect your voice from being AI synthesized.
12/10/202330 minutes
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Why are kids getting worse at math?

Across the globe, 15-year-olds are doing worse on standardized tests than five years ago. And it may have nothing to do with the pandemic lockdowns.
12/9/202315 minutes, 26 seconds
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What was it like when the Earth formed? (And how could we ever know?)

Does that seem like an impossible question to answer? It sure does. Because you'd have to go back in time to answer it. Or you'd need 30 hours on the planet's most powerful telescope (James Webb).
12/7/202318 minutes, 54 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Keep an eye out for bad science

Just about every study we talk about in this episode has a pretty significant caveat. Also, an emailed warning from a poet who chopped too much firewood.
12/3/202330 minutes
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Do younger siblings make you stupider?

A longitudinal US study shows that having a younger sibling will tend to lower your cognitive development. But the effect vanishes after child number three.
12/2/202317 minutes, 47 seconds
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A proliferation of positive language is making science more confusing

In an unprecedented interview about a unique and novel study, an Austrian researcher explains why the first three adjectives you just read are part of a growing problem.
12/1/202310 minutes, 39 seconds
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Fasting doesn't work as well when you're older. Why?

As you age, your body can get stuck in 'fasting mode,' leading to muscle loss and other problems. New research from Germany gives a clue at how to change that — and maybe live longer?
11/28/202321 minutes, 6 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Let's increase our healthspan

Once in a while there's a surfeit of positive news in the field of medicine. This week was one of 'em.
11/26/202330 minutes
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Is eye contact rude?

A study on eye contact suggests it isn't aggressive, but actually improves conversation. So why don't we do it more?
11/24/202316 minutes, 55 seconds
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Smartphone addiction, warring chimps & so little sulfur

Sometimes, improving pollution... makes global warming worse. Also, women are more addicted to their phones than men, chimpanzees use military strategy — and one of our new listeners didn't like us at first.
11/18/202316 minutes, 44 seconds
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Climate change: We need cooler (genetically modified?) cows

One solution to unprecedented cattle die-offs: Modify cows so they can deal with record heat.
11/17/202317 minutes, 46 seconds
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Weekly roundup — High temps & higher ground

The future of weather forecasting might have little to do with atmospheric physics. Also, our listeners had some really interesting things to say about a study on tattoos.
11/17/202330 minutes
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Weekly roundup — We hear you

As expected, you had things to say about our interview with a masculinity influencer. Also, when a dozen parakeets are squawking, how do they know who's speaking?
11/12/202330 minutes
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What do you think about people with tattoos?

If you're honest, you probably have an opinion on people with tattoos. And that makes you a lot like the police (and judges and juries).
11/11/202318 minutes, 22 seconds
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How old will I be when I'm happiest?

A large, longitudinal study has some surprising conclusions about when we're most satisfied with our lives — and it's connected to how we humans tend to fill out questionnaires.
11/10/202310 minutes, 35 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Music makes our hearts beat as one

A novel study out of Switzerland and Germany shows that human beings, under certain conditions, can end up synchronizing biologically — like a metronome.
10/28/202330 minutes
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WARNING: This interview is toxically masculine

A few episodes back we did a deep dive into the science behind a toxically masculine mind. At that point not one of the influencers we'd reached out to had agreed to be interviewed — and it seemed they never would. Then we got an unexpected email.
10/25/202330 minutes
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Weekly roundup — Making sense of human sound

Conor gets an email from a German island about his accent, Gabe does his best to make his mom 'proud,' and an in-studio experiment takes all of us to India.
10/8/202330 minutes
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What makes a language 'beautiful' (or not)?

You probably have an opinion on which language is the 'most beautiful.' And you're probably (objectively) wrong.
10/7/202320 minutes, 20 seconds
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How long does it take for you to understand these words?

As we age, we become slower at connecting words with the imagery that represents them. The interesting part is why.
10/6/202310 minutes, 31 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Run fast & live happy

A breakthrough in brain science for alcoholics (but not just them), a shoe tech revolution is underfoot, and the startling fact that living in a city means you're far more likely to suffer from depression.
10/1/202330 minutes
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The 'super shoe' debate & eight drunk monkeys

By delivering a gene to the brain, scientists appear to have 'cured' alcoholic primates of their booze lust. Also, why did the woman who shattered the marathon world record kiss her shoe as soon as she finished?
9/30/202322 minutes, 29 seconds
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Mental health: Depression 30% more likely in a city

Why is it that people who live in an urban environment are 30%+ more likely to suffer depression than those in rural areas? And why does that rule just... absolutely not apply in developing countries?
9/29/20238 minutes, 30 seconds
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Why do death tolls drop?

In the wake of natural catastrophes, the forensic work to identify the dead is critically important for loved ones' closure. But mistakes can be made.
9/25/20238 minutes, 21 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Sometimes it's better to know

Humility, which is great to have, is also connected to whether you trust scientists (or people like Gabe and Conor). Also, what a tooth can tell us after a tragedy, and a fun study on what people do when they get a big lump sum of money.
9/24/202330 minutes
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What would you do with $10,000?

It sounds like a thereotical question. But for 200 lucky participants in a pretty novel study, it became very real.
9/23/202313 minutes, 49 seconds
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'Moderate' knowledge leads to science skepticism

You'd think that the less someone knows, the more likely it is they'll buy in to misinformation. Right? Surprisingly, a new study suggests that, up to a point, it's actually worse to know more.
9/22/202311 minutes, 9 seconds
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Weekly roundup — What you don't know [will] hurt you

Anxiety about the climate crisis actually drops as you learn more about it. Also, to avoid dying unnecessarily early, you may need to get a new job.
9/17/202330 minutes
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Risk of dying early rises 30% with 'precarious work'

Want to live longer? Sure, there's exercise and nutrition. But a new study makes a convincing case that a less 'precarious' work environment is the answer.
9/15/202310 minutes, 48 seconds
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Deep inside the toxically masculine mind

What pops into your head when you hear the term toxic masculinity? You probably feel a strong response, but can you put it into words?
9/10/202337 minutes, 21 seconds
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Weekly roundup — There's a first time for everything

On this week's show, we invite you to ponder roundworms in the human brain, a carbon tax that actually might have a chance, and a way to inject insulin that uses music instead of a needle.
9/3/202330 minutes
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Is it time for a carbon tax on investors?

Recent data from the United States shows unequivocally that the rich are (by far) most responsible for CO2 emissions. Private jets, yachts...this is probably not new information. What might be new for you, however, is the role that investments play in all of this.
8/31/202310 minutes, 14 seconds
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How to avoid getting a brain parasite from a snake

The worms that live inside pythons (and that can wriggle their way into a human brain) are a healthy reminder for all of us to — please — handle our food better.
8/30/202318 minutes, 47 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Back to school

It is possible to 'download' a song clip directly from human brains — and that's good news for 'brain-to-speech' technologies of the future. Also, SU listeners (and others) have weighed in on the debate about intimate cosmetic surgery.
8/27/202330 minutes
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Tears of blood & the real-life Dracula

Do you wear Crocs? Because that's the material Italian researchers used to see if the Prince of Walachia (aka 'Vlad the Impaler') was plagued by a rare condition called hemolacria.
8/26/202316 minutes, 21 seconds
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I know what you did this summer

A dog in Iceland, Australians in Italy, and Gabe back in studio. Once in a while we have an episode that's not about science. This is one of them.
8/26/20238 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why'd India delete the periodic table from textbooks?

How could a country that just put a lander on the moon's south pole decide to rob its students of fundamental science?
8/25/202312 minutes, 1 second
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'Scrotum tuck': A surgery that needs parameters

A small German study on scrotum aesthetics has raised big questions: Does talking about 'beauty' in the context of genitalia lead to medically unnecessary surgeries? (Like some labiaplasties.) And do attempts to even define those standards contribute to the problem?
8/22/202317 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why are so many people scared of clowns?

How could a character that's supposed to make us laugh cause 50% of people to feel terror?
8/18/202312 minutes, 55 seconds
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When (if ever) do you stop the exchange of basic research?

When a DW co-investigation uncovers a path that leads from a German physics department to the Chinese military — and it involves technologies that could change the outcome of a war — it's time to ask uncomfortable questions.
8/11/202335 minutes, 31 seconds
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Creating a 'super virus' (with gain of function research)

Yes, scientists really do create 'enhanced viruses' inside labs around the world. Should they?
7/22/202330 minutes
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The 'Dusseldorf patient' — or the search for a safe HIV cure

Three people. Ever. That's how many have been cured of HIV. We visited one of them to learn about the extraordinarily rare (and risky) treatment — and to find out if it can, even indirectly, lead to a true cure for 40 million more.
7/13/202329 minutes, 59 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Unless you've experienced it, you have no idea

Do you have a purpose in life? Would it matter if you didn't? Also, Gabe learns why it's wrong to say 'victims of sexual harassment.'
7/9/202330 minutes
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Sexually harassed people don't do what you'd expect

Ever wonder why, after encountering sexual harassment, so many people don't report it? There's a good reason for that. We talked to women about their encounters with harassment — and asked social psychologist Manuela Barreto, author of a new study, to explain.
7/8/202324 minutes, 31 seconds
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Breathe easier: As VO2 rises, cancer falls (in men)

The better your body is at sucking oxygen out of the atmosphere and pumping it toward your cells, the lower your risk of getting two kinds of cancer (and dying from three).
7/7/202313 minutes, 32 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Press softly & don't pass out

A German urologist answers a listener email about fainting after urination, and why a prominent doctor thinks taurine won't extend human lives (like it did for mice and monkeys).
7/2/202330 minutes
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Stop mosquitoes — with an 'armor' made of cream

Mosquito haters, rejoice: Researchers in Israel have created an insect repellant made of cellulose (plant compounds) that could save lives and make summer nights way more enjoyable.
7/1/20239 minutes, 31 seconds
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Nature's great, but have you tried VR?

How would it make you feel to know a virtual reality forest could make you as happy as a real one?
6/30/202320 minutes, 33 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Young, alone & happier for it

'Comparison is the thief of joy,' a listener reminds us — and also, a researcher explains why people are feeling younger than ever.
6/25/202330 minutes
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Why do I feel younger than my age?

Forget your birth date. How old do you actually feel? That gap, or 'age bias,' is a real phenomenon — and for some reason it's getting wider.
6/24/202314 minutes, 46 seconds
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Lonely? Being around other people can make it worse

A staggering amount data suggests our mental health goes down — not up — when we try to solve our loneliness by socializing.
6/23/202312 minutes, 25 seconds
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Could you give us a minute?

We love the emails. [email protected] — keep them coming! But there's one more way you can help shape this show: https://surveys.dw.com/c/su?maca=en-podcast_spectrum-31485-xml-mrss
6/20/20231 minute, 47 seconds
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Weekly roundup — How do you say ‘lost soul’ in Gaelic?

We learn this week that Conor truly is a Celtic music-making machine. All it took was a c# from some busted toilet pipes. Also, thanks for all the emails about seated urination.
6/18/202330 minutes
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‘Ouch!’ — Physical pain rises with envy

Two people in the same neighborhood stub their toes. Whose hurts more? Unbelievably, it kind of depends on the size of their house.
6/17/202314 minutes, 28 seconds
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Live a longer, healthier life — with taurine?

An excellent study shows that animals live substantially longer lives after daily doses of a natural amino acid. But please don't start chugging taurine-enhanced energy drinks (like Gabe does).
6/16/202319 minutes, 8 seconds
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Weekly roundup — What's that gorgeous noise?

Seemingly inexplicable seated urination, a wildflower meadow amidst the immaculate lawns of Cambridge University, birds singing soothing songs on the eastern bank of the River Rhine, and an oddly beautiful sound that emanates from a DW bathroom — this one's got it all.
6/11/202330 minutes
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The songs of birds (even mp3s of them) are good for our nerves

Birdsong is apparently so good for human wellbeing all it takes is an audio recording to bring down anxiety levels — and paranoia. This show goes out to our listener Brent.
6/10/202310 minutes, 12 seconds
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German men sit when they pee. Why?

The results of a recent survey indicate that males in Germany — compared to 11 other nations involved — are leaders when it comes to seated urination. Any ideas why that could be?
6/7/202319 minutes, 53 seconds
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Weekly roundup — This one's pretty much entirely about animals

Sometimes the most interesting research isn't about us, but about the creatures we share this planet with. This episode is dedicated to them — and to the fascinating (and sometimes comical) ways homo sapiens try to understand them.
6/4/202330 minutes
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Chimpanzees 'talk' when you scare them with snakes

You, the person reading this, say about 1,000 unique words every day. Our closest primate relatives? Far fewer. To learn more, researchers went to the Ugandan jungle — and pranked the living daylights out of them.
6/3/202314 minutes, 28 seconds
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The unexpected connection between memory & decision-making

Do you second-guess yourself? Even when you know you've made a good decision? That might be connected to having a "good memory" — in a bad way.
6/2/202315 minutes, 7 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Staying alive with a dead philosopher

The four-day workweek can work for making airplanes, and how a dusty political treatise could save your life in a hospital.
5/28/202330 minutes
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Google researcher reveals how to give AI 'human values'

We reached out to DeepMind to find out how their experiment on tree harvesting could possibly lead to equitable AI. Lead researcher Laura Weidinger says it really is possible — but only through a "veil of ignorance."
5/27/202318 minutes, 44 seconds
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The perks (for moms) of giving birth under midwife care

Was your hospital birth a pleasant one? New data suggests that, despite increased risk to babies, home or "community" births are more enjoyable for mothers — especially women of color.
5/26/202319 minutes, 55 seconds
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Sexual double standards are changing (in women's favor)

Most of us assume women are judged more harshly for promiscuous behavior. A study from Norway suggests the opposite is now true.
5/20/202314 minutes, 53 seconds
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Bladders, bowels & mental health

Two studies show, in different ways, how the health of our urinary/digestive systems is intertwined with our brains. (Note: This episode mentions suicidal ideations. If you have suicidal thoughts, call a suicide hotline.)
5/19/202311 minutes, 3 seconds
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Weekly roundup — An episode to make your life better

This podcast is full of practical tips. We hope it shortens your work week, improves your mood and changes the way you see the world (or think you see it).
5/14/202330 minutes
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Your perception of reality may be distorted

We assume reality to be objective. But what if the way you perceive it is off — because of your imagination?
5/13/202311 minutes, 41 seconds
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The four-day work week… usually works?

A German survey, a (huge) British study, research from Australia — all make a strong case for the four-day work week. So what's the hang-up?
5/11/202317 minutes, 17 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Food for thoughts

It’s not usually fun to be in a room with 1,000 high schoolers, but it is if they've all made robots. Also, a counterintuitive experiment shows you can eat healthier… by sitting longer.
5/7/202330 minutes
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How do I get my kids to eat more fruits and vegetables?

In a controlled experiment, researchers in Germany figured out a surprisingly easy way to get children to eat the food they're supposed to.
5/6/202316 minutes, 49 seconds
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AI can take your thoughts and convert them into text

What would you do with an AI system that could read your thoughts — and then translate them into sentences and paragraphs for you (and others) to read?
5/5/202316 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why do I believe in ghosts?

Aliens. Demons. The afterlife. The soul. Believing in the paranormal has many root causes. One appears to be bad sleep.
4/29/202330 minutes
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Weekly roundup — A couple anti-headlines (that matter)

Sometimes it's not 'big' science stories, but the small ones, that will actually change your life.
4/23/202330 minutes
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Would you trust a vaccine made by AI?

It might sound spooky. But is computer-generated medicine any different from the stuff we human beings come up with?
4/20/202317 minutes, 58 seconds
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'Me time': Too much can tire you out

We all need time to ourselves. But a new study shows social isolation, when done incorrectly, can lead to a spiral of fatigue.
4/18/202314 minutes
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Weekly roundup — Why it matters that insects are dying off in Germany's forests

There was a bombshell study published a few years back about flying insects disappearing near German farm fields. This latest entomological work might have similar repercussions.
4/16/202330 minutes
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Would you want to live 140 years?

If you look purely at the math, a lot of human beings are going to be living a lot longer. Is that a good thing?
4/13/202324 minutes, 8 seconds
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Tigers have personalities, too

Siberian tigers are known as some of the fiercest predators in the animal kingdom. Less is known about their character traits — until now.
4/12/20234 minutes, 59 seconds
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Weekly roundup — High frequency listening

Yes, some plants really do 'scream' when you cut them — and it sounds… perplexing. Also, why is a tropical viral disease named after a German city?
4/9/202330 minutes
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Marburg virus — we know it's deadly, but how contagious is it?

Is Marburg virus the 'next pandemic'? History says not — which is also why we don't yet have a vaccine.
4/8/202317 minutes, 48 seconds
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What it actually looks like to be 'on the spectrum'

Your image of autism may be totally wrong, but you can reeducate (and even entertain) yourself from the comfort of your own sofa.
4/6/202310 minutes, 43 seconds
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Weekly roundup — The sound of grass (not) growing

Turns out we have a lot of listeners who know things about rye grass, and another who had a spontaneous one-week romantic liason that started with an empty stomach.
4/2/202330 minutes
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Being a loyal worker... isn't necessarily good for you

A new experiment shows managers treat loyal workers worse than others — and forces us to wonder whether loyalty really is a virtue.
4/1/202318 minutes, 11 seconds
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'Powdered beer' from Germany — what is it, and does it have alcohol?

It might sound like a gimmicky new 'instant' product. (We thought so!) But there are compelling reasons to consider powdered beer.
3/31/202312 minutes, 11 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Thin bodies & thin blood

A pre-print supports the idea of targeting microclots in long COVID patients. Also, hormonal diet drugs are the new big thing (thanks Elon and Kim Kardashian!), but a study on mice shows hormonal appetite suppressants… can have unintended sexual consequences.
3/26/202330 minutes
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Food or flirt?

You're hungry, and you're standing in front of a buffet — when an attractive person starts flirting with you. Do you flirt back? Or go for the food?
3/25/202314 minutes, 18 seconds
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You emailed us

A response from Jim, an important update on a potential long COVID treatment, and the question that keeps Gabe awake at night.
3/24/202319 minutes, 17 seconds
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Weekly roundup — An email from Jim

Has our show gotten worse? A guy named Jim thinks so. We don't know if he's right, but his email sent us to outer space.
3/19/202330 minutes
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A treaty to stop space from becoming like our oceans

Trillions of pieces of plastic, trillions of pieces of metal. It's easy to think the space above our planet could become a 'tragedy of the commons' like our oceans. It doesn't have to.
3/17/20239 minutes, 42 seconds
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Drunk yourself dizzy? Have a shot of liver hormone

According to a study on binge-drinking mice, there's a quicker way to make boozed up mammals (like us) regain their sense of balance.
3/9/202320 minutes, 22 seconds
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Running to treat depression and anxiety

For people suffering from depression and anxiety who have tried antidepressant medication without success, a study out of Amsterdam could have important information for alternative therapy.
3/8/20239 minutes, 53 seconds
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Paid sick leave — Does it make sense?

From a purely economic perspective, should companies provide paid sick leave? Is it good for business? Turns out science the answer.
3/7/202318 minutes, 46 seconds
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Weekly roundup — For couples, 'we-talk' is how to get the harmony going

Science says couples who take on life together, as a team, using the first person plural, are closer than those who don't.
3/5/202330 minutes
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German scientist reveals what ChatGPT can't do

Have you heard people talking about how amazing these new AI chat bots are? About how much immaculate text they can generate in a split second? It's time to talk about what they can't do.
2/22/202316 minutes, 19 seconds
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Weekly roundup — Let's get it on (but not get pregnant)

A libido-enhancing therapy did different things to the women and men who watched erotic videos in an fMRI machine, while a promising birth control drug for men ticks all the right boxes (and none of the scary ones).
2/19/202330 minutes
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Menstruation, role models & screen time — your emails

An earlier episode helped one of our listeners realize she suffers from premenstrual dysmorphic disorder... while another calls Gabe and Conor 'Luddites.'
2/18/20236 minutes, 52 seconds
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Birth control for mice and men

The perfect male contraceptive would be fast acting, 100% effective, temporary and painless — without affecting performance or libido. A new trial appears to have done that.
2/17/202321 minutes, 29 seconds
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Weekly roundup — A tough week

A massively underreported premenstrual disorder (PMDD) leads to bouts of depression — but may have a treatment. Also, why aren't rescue workers equipped with the high-tech tools they need to save (more) lives?
2/12/202330 minutes
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Like PMS, but worse — premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

If the days before your period are REALLY bad – especially with mental health – you may have PMDD. The condition affects 3-8% of women worldwide, and research from Germany hints at how it can be treated.
2/10/202314 minutes, 13 seconds
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Trapped

If people can post videos from inside collapsed buildings, how do we not have more available (and advanced) technologies to locate and rescue them?
2/6/202316 minutes, 53 seconds
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Weekly roundup — The revolution's here

Electricity, telephones, the internet. Some technologies are so world-altering they create a 'before and after' divide. We're experiencing one of those moments right now.
2/5/202330 minutes
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That's... not my voice?

We've talked a lot about AI on this show. It's time to let AI talk to you.
2/2/202317 minutes, 37 seconds
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Chat GPTeach?

The AI text & essay generator ChatGPT has altered the idea of 'becoming educated,' or even 'critical thinking,' in a way we don't fully understand yet.
1/31/202314 minutes, 39 seconds
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Weekly roundup — A few things to make your life better

Two ways to boost your mood (daily), a skill that’ll up your dating game, and a cannabis investment you shouldn't make.
1/29/202330 minutes
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Playing music makes you more attractive (if you're a man)

A man's face literally becomes more attractive to a woman if she knows he can play an instrument. But the other way around... the effect is different. Why?
1/28/202315 minutes, 23 seconds
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This has a LOT of wow factor

It’s a seemingly silly phrase — “wow factor.” But it conveys a real human emotion, and a new study shows you can get two doses every day.
1/27/202324 minutes, 51 seconds
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The fake magic mind-reading experiment

What if a brain scan could tell your true political beliefs? And what if the whole thing was a cleverly crafted lie?
1/12/202330 minutes
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It's the most wonderful time (to think about relationships)

Do you remember when, or where, you learned what a 'healthy' relationship was? Neither do we.
12/22/202230 minutes