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Episode 19 – 2015 Perihelion Edition

perihelion diagram from wikipedia

1) aphelion 2) perihelion 3) sun (Not to scale) source: WIkipedia on Apsis

Welcome to 2015! This year’s perihelion edition was recorded on the day which the earth is closest to the sun.  We cover a diverse list of important scientific and engineering happenings from 2014, and even talk about a little biology and genomics research! (but don’t worry, its mostly cool physics, space, and engineering stuff.)


4:00  Many of these stories came from this big summary graphic that was posted on /r/futurology.  Don’t worry, we looked up real sources for everything!

7:30 the big bang BICEP 2 discovery (and controversy and final dismissal)

11:09 There was also controversy with a fraudulent report of a way to make induced pluripotent stem cells (IPC) by dipping them in a light acid.

14:08 artificial white blood cells (used as an injectable “cancer vaccine”)

15:00 Gene therapy used in eyes to help treat macular degeneration

18:00 There were a pair of genetically engineered monkeys born this year! and we have a bunch of discussion about ethics

25:30  we finally move on from Biology back to physics!

26:40 removing hydrocarbons from seawater. (like we talked about in Episode 16)

29:00  “Visual microphone” reconstructing audio from tiny vibrations in videos.
Great for spys and burn notice!

33:50 space and disasters (Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo & Orbital Sciences Antares Rocket)

36:00 space is hard. but really important for the future of humanity and science!

41:00 The Curiosity rover might have detected methane on Mars!

44:00 computers and data security were kind of bad this year. We discussed this in detail on our Heartbleed show (our most popular episode ever!) but things have continued and are very bad both in terms of security, and internet freedom.

47:30 Cosmos was pretty cool, except chase doesn’t like NGT because chase hates everything other people love.

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