Big Picture Science – Your Brain’s Reins

by Gary Niederhoff on May 21, 2018

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Big Picture Science – Your Brain’s Reins

You are your brain. But what happens when your brain changes for the worse – either by physical injury or experience? Are you still responsible for your actions?

We hear how the case of a New York man charged with murder was one of the first to introduce neuroscience as evidence in court. Plus, how technology hooks us – a young man so addicted to video games, he lacked social skills, or even a desire to eat. Find out how technology designers conspire against his digital detox.

Also, even if your brain is intact and your only task is choosing a sock color, are you really in control? How your unconscious directs even mundane behavior … and how you can outwit it.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Kevin Davis / NeuroLaw
Part 2: Hilarie Cash / Internet Addiction
Part 3: Adam Alter / Addictive Devices
Part 4: Peter Vishton / Brain Master

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Big Picture Science – You Are Exposed

by Gary Niederhoff on May 14, 2018


Big Picture Science – You Are Exposed

There’s no place like “ome.” Your microbiome is highly influential in determining your health. But it’s not the only “ome” doing so. Your exposome – environmental exposure over a lifetime – also plays a role.

Hear how scientists hope to calculate your entire exposome, from food to air pollution to water contamination.

Plus, new research on the role that microbes play in the development of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, and the hot debate about when microbes first colonize the body. Could a fetus have its own microbiome?

Also, choose your friends wisely: studies of microbe-swapping gazelles reveal the benefits – and the downsides – of being social.

And, why sensors on future toilets will let you do microbiome analysis with every flush.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Rob Knight / Our Microbiome
Part 2: Vanessa Ezenwa / Sharing Microbes
Part 3: Indira Mysorekar / Microbiome Development
Part 4: Gary Miller / The Exposome

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Big Picture Science – We Are VR

May 7, 2018

Big Picture Science – We Are VR Will virtual reality make you a better person? It’s been touted as the “ultimate empathy machine,” and one that will connect people who are otherwise emotionally and physically isolated. The promise of the technology has come a long way since BiPiSci last took a VR tour. Find out […]

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Big Picture Science – What Have You Got To Move

April 30, 2018

Big Picture Science – What Have You Got To Move Whether they swim, slither, jump, or fly, animal locomotion is more than just an urge to roam: it’s necessary for survival. Evolution has come up with ingenious schemes to get from here to there. Hear how backbones evolved as a consequence of fish needing to […]

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Big Picture Science – High Moon

April 23, 2018

Big Picture Science – High Moon “The moon or bust” is now officially bust. No private company was able to meet the Lunar X Prize challenge, and arrange for a launch by the 2018 deadline. The $30 million award goes unclaimed, but the race to the moon is still on. Find out who wants to […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Political Scientist

April 16, 2018

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Political Scientist Hundreds of thousands of scientists took to the streets during the March for Science. The divisive political climate has spurred some scientists to deeper political engagement – publicly challenging lawmakers and even running for office themselves. But the scientist-slash-activist model itself is contested, even by some of […]

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Big Picture Science – Brain Dust

April 9, 2018

Big Picture Science – Brain Dust Know your brain? Think again. Driven by a hidden agenda, powered by an indecipherable web of neurons, and influenced by other brains, your grey matter is a black box. To “know thyself” may be a challenge, and free will nonexistent, but maybe more technology can shed light on the […]

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Big Picture Science – Hawkingravity

April 2, 2018

Big Picture Science – Hawkingravity Stephen Hawking felt gravity’s pull. His quest to understand this feeble force spanned his career, and he was the first to realize that black holes actually disappear – slowly losing the mass of everything they swallow in a dull, evaporative glow called Hawking radiation. But one of gravity’s deepest puzzles […]

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Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat

March 26, 2018

Big Picture Science – Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat Sherlock Holmes doesn’t have a science degree, yet he thinks rationally – like a scientist. You can too! Learn the secrets of being irritatingly logical from the most famous sleuth on Baker Street. Plus, discover why animal trackers 100,000 years ago may have been the […]

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Big Picture Science – The X-Flies

March 19, 2018

Big Picture Science – The X-Flies Insect populations are declining. But before you say “good riddance,” consider that insects are the cornerstone of many ecosystems. They are dinner for numerous animal species and are essential pollinators. Mammals are loved, but they are not indispensable. Insects are. Meanwhile, marvel at the extraordinary capabilities of some insects. […]

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