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Science Pops Open, Ep. 13: Climate Shifts Carried on a River of Air

Imagine the place you call home suddenly taking on a different climate. The consequences of such a change for the agriculture, industry and life around you could be huge. This is not a science fiction plot, but a potential climate scenario that Dr. Nikolaos Bakas is investigating. It all hinges on the jet stream, a giant river of air in the earth’s atmosphere and, here, he explains what his first results tell us about its stability – and our future.

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Science Pops Open, Ep. 12: A Depressed Sense of Smell?

That first whiff of coffee perks up your senses. The smell of mom’s cooking transports you back to childhood. Though we often take it for granted, the human sense of smell has a unique role, with special links in the brain to our memories and emotions. Dr. Kalliopi Apazoglou is investigating the underexplored relationship between mood disorders and the brain’s olfactory system. If she can unravel the mechanisms at work, she hopes to contribute to both the prevention and diagnosis of depression, a condition that strikes up to 20% of the world’s population.

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Science Pops Open, Ep. 11: In Money Matters, We’re Only Human

Did you know that when people are shown a digitally aged picture of themselves they are more likely to save money for the future? Our financial choices are just like any other behavior: influenced by our emotions and other aspects of our psychology. For Dr. Jeroen Nieboer, it is crucial to understand this point when designing financial education programs. His research involves working with people to track their finances over time, but his goal is bigger than that. 

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Biology  |  Medicine  |  Philosophy

En février dernier (2013), la nouvelle directive européenne relative à l’expérimentation animale était retranscrite dans le droit français. Deux mois plus tard, des activistes s’enfermaient dans une animalerie de l’université de Milan en Italie afin de brouiller les expériences en cours et libérer souris et lapins. Utilisés de manière intensive en recherche biomédicale, il est nécessaire de se poser régulièrement la question de la légitimité d’expérimenter sur les animaux. Où en est-on aujourd’hui ? Petite mise à jour.

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journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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Science Pops Open, Ep. 10: Nourish the Children of Urban Slums

Every year, 3.1 million infants and young children die from malnutrition. Dr. Sophie Goudet’s work focuses on the situation in urban slums, where little research has been done until now—despite being home to one-third of the developing world’s urban population, at high risk for poor nutrition. She is working to gather evidence for the most successful interventions against malnutrition and to determine the most cost-effective approaches. This latter element is crucial for scaling up programs where the number of infants and young children affected is huge.

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Biology

While conducting a survey of sea urchins off the coast of San Diego, Mike Bear and fellow scientific divers found themselves in a most unexpected situation: surrounded by a swarm of giant black sea jellies, some as long as 15 feet. The divers drifted among the rare creatures, capturing footage of them and their symbiotic partners. Mike Bear describes the experience and what is known about this elusive species.

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Michael Bear
Citizen Science Project Director
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Science Pops Open, Ep. 9: Learning to Tackle Climate Change Together

 Researchers monitoring the effects of climate change in central Africa could benefit from a mobile phone app allowing locals to record data on water collection points…but would it help Cameroonian women carry that water home for their families? Clearly, the objectives of different parties faced with a changing climate are not always aligned. This could account for the inefficiency of many actions deployed with the intention of reducing climate risks, as seen in Cameroon. The missing element that could help line things up, says Sandrine Sidze, is education, specifically designed for the audience in question and its technology tools of choice.

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Science Pops Open, Ep. 8: Taking European Tornadoes by Storm

“Tornado destroys major European city!” We may not expect this type of headline in Europe, but tornadoes cause billions of euros in damage across the continent each year. Even now, surprisingly little is known about them and the conditions that cause them—a major hurdle to accurate storm forecasts and climate predictions. Bogdan Antonescu aims to change that with his work studying severe storms across Europe.

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