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Mosaic Science Podcast

The Mosaic Science Podcast - audio documentaries and audio versions of our weekly longread. Mosaic is a digital magazine that publishes compelling stories exploring the science of life. Produced by the Wellcome Trust. More at mosaicscience.com.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 19, 2018

"Almost 30 per cent of children in care in Australia come from an Aboriginal background: 'The Stolen Generation - when Aborigines were forcibly taken away from their families - may not just be a shameful part of Australia's history...'. 'Is this seriously happening, in 2014?' I wonder. Most Australians are aware of the Stolen Generation, when it was legal for the government to take Aboriginal children away from their families. But this forced separation, I thought, had ended decades before."

Healthcare in Australia’s Aboriginal communities is hindered by a long history of racial discord between very different cultures. Georgina Kenyon discovers the story of one young woman who died in the 1980s, and asks whether anything has changed since.

Written by Georgina Kenyon, read by Pip Mayo and produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Blood speaks', Rose George's tale of menstrual taboo in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Feb 11, 2018

"What use, if any, is homesickness? 'It's purpose is the same today as it has been for millions of years - to deter us from leaving supportive groups and environments,' writes Mark Leary, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University in the USA, in Duke Magazine. 'Homesickness would have been relatively uncommon, occurring only when individuals were separated from supportive, familiar people.'"

What does it mean to be homesick in 2015, and does technology help or hinder us when we move to a new place? John Osborne revisits his past to find out.

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If you liked this story, we recommend listening to 'Secrets of the strong-minded' by Emma Young, also available as a podcast.

Feb 5, 2018

After giving birth, Catherine Carver became convinced that her baby had been swapped and that social workers were plotting to kill her. She recounts her terrifying journey into postpartum psychosis, and how she found healing in unexpected ways.

Written by: Catherine Carver
Read by: Kirsten Irving
Produced by: Graihagh Jackson

To read the full story visit: mosaicscience.com/story/post-partu…l-health-babies/

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Better spaces for mental health', available here:mosaicscience.com/story/better-spa…s-mental-health/

Jan 29, 2018

"Despite all the ridicule and aversion and shame, we can no longer deny the emerging power of poo. Perhaps it's time to push past the disgust and start giving a shit. And doing so proudly."

Brace yourself for the unbelievable next big thing in healthcare: faecal transplants.

Written by Bryn Nelson, read by Segun Akingbola, produced by Barry J Gibb.

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Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/show/2SPQebMqfZanxDcMJ0hzdz?si=EQw17wS7QF-ewiThJyrkiA

If you liked this story, we recommend 'This is what happens after you die' by Moheb Costandi, also available as a podcast. Link to the article: https://mosaicscience.com/story/what-happens-after-you-die/

Jan 22, 2018

Out of the blue, Vanessa Potter lost her sight. As she recovered, her senses mingled – hearing and touch changed the way she saw colours. Her quest to understand why introduced her to new tech that uses sound to help blind people see.

Written by: Vanessa Potter

Read by: Charlotte Hussey

Produced by: Graihagh Jackson

If you enjoyed this story, you might enjoy 'In the blink of an eye' by Bryn Nelson which you can access here: mosaicscience.com/story/severe-eye-pain/

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And also now available on Spotify: open.spotify.com/show/2SPQebMqfZa…S7QF-ewiThJyrkiA

 

 

Jan 14, 2018

"By the end of that day the September 11th Fund had been established by two major local charities. Donations poured in. Money first went on immediate aid - hot meals for rescue workers, emergency cheques for victims and their families - and then funds were made available for programmes to help New Yorkers to recover. The damage wasn't only physical, but psychological. Counsellors set up services in local churches, and psychiatrists came from around the country to offer their expertise and their insights. Thoughts turned to the city's children - how would they deal with the stress and trauma?"

Can children be made more psychologically ‘resilient’ to traumas like 9/11 – as well as the stress of everyday life? Emma Young meets a former school principal who believes they can.

Written by Emma Young, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb, edited by Geoff Marsh.

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Now also available on Spotify. 

If you liked this story, we recommend 'Can meditation really slow ageing' by Jo Marchant, also available as a podcast. Read the full story here: https://mosaicscience.com/story/can-meditation-really-slow-ageing/

Jan 7, 2018

When a brain tumour left Pat Long with persistent déjà vu, he began to question the very nature of reality. Here, he tells his story for the first time.

Written by: Pat Long

Read by: Brian Yim Lim

Produced by: Graihagh Jackson

If you enjoyed this story, you might enjoy 'Can you think yourself into a different person?' by Will Storr, which you can access here: https://mosaicscience.com/story/neuroplasticity

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And also now available on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2SPQebMqfZanxDcMJ0hzdz?si=EQw17wS7QF-ewiThJyrkiA

Jan 1, 2018

"Debbie’s not alone in her enthusiasm for neuroplasticity, which is what we call the brain’s ability to change itself in response to things that happen in our environment. Claims for its benefits are widespread and startling. Half an hour on Google informs the curious browser that neuroplasticity is a “magical” scientific discovery that shows that our brains are not hard-wired like computers, as was once thought, but like “play-doh” or a “gooey butter cake”. This means that “our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains” and that by doing certain exercises we can actually, physically increase our brain’s “strength, size and density”."

We used to believe our brains couldn't be changed. Now we believe they can - if we want it enough. But is that true? Will Storr wades through the facts and fiction.

Written by Will Storr, read by Will Storr, produced by Barry J Gibb, audio editing by Geoff Marsh

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Can you supercharge your brain?' by Emma Young, also available as a podcast: https://mosaicscience.com/story/can-you-supercharge-your-brain

Dec 25, 2017

Where do a zebra’s stripes, a leopard’s spots and our fingers come from? The key was found years ago – by the man who cracked the Enigma code, writes Kat Arney.

Read by Kat Arney
Produced by Jen Whyntie
Edited by Geoff Marsh

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If you liked this story, we recommend our podcast 'People are animals, too' https://mosaicscience.com/story/people-are-animals-too

Dec 17, 2017

"Inside, there's plenty of time to think. At first, this feels like a game, even one that is strangely amusing. Then, reality sets in. You're trapped. You see and hear your family lamenting your fate. Over the years, the carers forget to turn on the TV. You're too cold. Then you're too hot. You're always thirsty. The visits of your friends and family dwindle. Your partner moves on. And there's nothing you can do about it."

Thousands remain trapped between life and death. Three scientists are working to free them.

Written by Roger Highfield, read by Segun Akingbola and produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend listening to Mosaicscience – Breaking bad news by Chrissie Giles: https://mosaicscience.com/story/bad-news also available as podcasts.

Dec 11, 2017

Surgeons and their patients are finding that virtual reality can relieve the pain and stress of operations – and it’s safer and cheaper than sedatives. Travel to a Mexican mountaintop village to visit a clinic with a difference.

Written by Jo Marchant, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Ellie Pinney, edited by Graihagh Jackson.

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And also now available on Spotify.

Dec 4, 2017

"It is clear that something has gone wrong in the UK, where HIV-positive people are shamed and ignored, and HIV-negative people uninformed. Assumptions abound. Infections rise. Asking an HIV-positive person today how they became infected so often elicits the following answer: "We didn't use a condom because I just assumed they were negative." People are still dying of ignorance."

What does it mean to be HIV positive in the UK today? Patrick Strudwick meets four people living with the virus to find out.

Written by Patrick Strudwick, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb

For more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com.

This story won the Science Explained category at the 2015 Medical Journalists' Association Winter Awards.

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – Cradle-of-resistance-how-malaria-defeats-our-drugs by Ed Yong, also available as a podcast.

Nov 27, 2017

A campaigning doctor has helped make Mongolia a better place to die than many much wealthier nations. Andrew North met her to find out how.

Written by Andrew North
Read by Kirsten irving
Illustrated by Parkin Parkin
Produced by Barry J. Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Breaking bad news' by Chrissie Giles, available as a podcast here: https://mosaicscience.com/story/bad-news?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=referral-mosaic&utm_campaign=archive

Nov 20, 2017

"Technically, the female condom works. When used correctly, it reduces a woman's risk of contracting HIV by around 94-97 per cent each time she had sex, according to estimates. Studies show that making female condoms available alongside the male version increases the percentage of sexual acts that are protected, and decreases the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections."

Once derided as being like a plastic bag with the erotic appeal of a jellyfish, the female condom is being reinvented as the next big thing in safe sex.

Written by Emily Anthes, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J. Gibb

Read the full text original and find more stories on mosaicscience.com

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If you liked this story, we recommend listening to Mosaicscience – Sex-lives-and-disability by Katharine Quarmby, and Mosaicscience – The-troubled-history-of-the-foreskin by Jessica Wapner, also available as podcasts.

Nov 13, 2017

Boxers know they risk injury in the ring. But there’s a more insidious danger they don’t often talk about: the long-term brain damage that repeated blows to the head can cause. Lyra McKee meets the families who are breaking the silence.

Written by Lyra McKee
Read by Kirsten Irving
Illustrated by Gabby Laurent
Produced by Barry J. Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'The Alzheimer's Enigma' by Michael Regnier.

Nov 5, 2017

"Hepatitis C - dubbed the slow, silent killer because it can cause chronic liver disease that progresses insidiously, unnoticed for decades - is now within our sights. Just 25 years after the discovery of the virus, we have a cure. In fact, we have several."

Hepatitis C has a cure, but how do we find those who need it? Patrick Strudwick reports on one attempt to identify some of the estimated 100,000 undiagnosed people in the UK.

Written by Patrick Strudwick, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – One-virus-four-lives-the-reality-of-being-hiv-postitive by Patrick Strudwick, also available as a podcast.

Oct 30, 2017

Could understanding canine compulsions help find new treatments for people with obsessive–compulsive disorders too? Shayla Love investigates.

 

Written by Shayla Love
Read by Kirsten Irving
Illustrated by Clara Lacy
Produced by Barry J. Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Secrets of the strong-minded' by Emma Young, available as a podcast here: https://mosaicscience.com/story/secrets-strong-minded?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_medium=referral-mosaic&utm_campaign=archive

Oct 23, 2017

"Finding the right time and place to have conversations about things such as progression of disease can be challenging, and patients react in all sorts of ways. "Some people will want to have that conversation when they realise that they're unwell. Some people will strongly say, 'I've been in hospital before, there's no way you're sending me to [intensive care],'" says Smith. Some just don't want to know."

How do you tell someone that they’re seriously ill, or even dying? We explore how doctors learn and how they deal with the stress and trauma, for both their patients and themselves.

Written and read by Chrissie Giles, produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend listening to Mosaicscience – Atul-gawande-in-conversation. Chrissie Giles interviews the best-selling author and surgeon about end-of-life care, writing and how doctors can be better communicators. Watch the 10min video or downloadable extended audio interview.

Oct 16, 2017

Can virtual reality really soothe pain? Jo Marchant meets the doctors who say yes, and who hope this is a solution for the country consuming 80 per cent of the world’s opioid supply: the United States of America.

Written by Jo Marchant
Read by Barry J. Gibb
Produced by Barry J. Gibb

To read the story, visit mosaicscience.com

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Virtually painless: how VR is making surgery simpler' by Jo Marchant.

Oct 9, 2017

"My most pervasive memory of young childhood, is of being in 'a mood', which really consisted of just the one mood in several shades of monochrome: a spectrum that ranged from a comforting solitary dreaminess inside a softly enclosing gentle shadow at one end to, at the far side of the continuum, the grimmest darkness in a hard-frozen, fractured icescape. Always it was me on the inside, them out there, beyond my enclosure, unable to reach in. And me, sometimes not wanting, sometimes not able, to reach out."

How do I explain an existence dominated by the bleakest, darkest moods? And do I even want to?

Written by Jenni Diski, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – The-male-suicides-how-social-perfectionism-kills by Will Storr, also available as a podcast.

Oct 2, 2017

How do Scandinavians deal with long, dark winters? And what might this teach us about the relationship between our moods and sunlight? 

Written by Linda Geddes
Read by Nidhee Jadeja
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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Sep 25, 2017

"Your brain is a dark, damp maze. The 1.5kg or so of soft brain tissue that is folded and pleated in your skull holds within it another, more complex labyrinth of nerve cells reaching out to each other in the darkness, making electrical and chemical connections, forming pathways and circuits that somehow give rise to consciousness and cognition, the memories and thoughts that define you. In Deter's brain, that labyrinth had become a trap. Connections were lost, cells missing, memories wiped, intellect destroyed."

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease has troubled the science world’s best detectives. Can such a mystery really be solved if we gather enough clues?

Written and read by Michael Regnier, produced by Barry J Gibb

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Sep 18, 2017

Is there a ‘right’ way to bring up your child? Linda Geddes asks whether parent school is the answer.

Written by Linda Geddes
Read by Rebecca McIntosh
Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Blood Speaks' by Rose George, available as a podcast here: https://mosaicscience.com/story/menstrual-taboo-periods-shame-women

Sep 11, 2017

In times of economic trouble, governments can choose to cut public services to save money. But at what cost? Meet those on the sharp end of austerity in the UK to find out what it means for mental health.

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – The-male-suicides-how-social-perfectionism-kills by Will Storr, also available as a podcast.

Sep 4, 2017

We know that our diet has a huge influence on our health, but is it possible to use food as medicine for a specific disease?

Written by Emma Young
Read by Charlotte Hussey
Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Porklife: building a better pig' by Sujata Gupta, available as a podcast here: https://mosaicscience.com/story/porklife-building-better-pig

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