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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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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

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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

Aug 28, 2017

They were the forgotten army. Taken captive during World War II, they lived lives of desperation and disease, internment and ingenuity. Long unspoken, their tale is now told through the voices of those who survived.

Audio producer: Chris Chapman
Sound designer: Eloise Whitmore
Assistant producer: Ellie Pinney
Fact checker: Laura Dawes
Editor: Mun-Keat Looi

Hear and read accompanying extras and a full transcript for this story on Mosaic

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If you liked this story, we recommend Voices in the dark: what it's like to hear voices, another Mosaic audio documentary also available on our podcast.

 

 

Aug 20, 2017

You may not think of the buzz and whine of insects as musical, but the distinctive pitch of mosquito wingbeats could tell us how to fight malaria. Meet the researchers who are pricking up their ears.

Written by Daniel A Gross
Read by Barry J Gibb 
Produced by Graihagh Jackson 

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If you liked this story, we recommend How malaria defeats our drugs by Ed Long, available as a podcast here: https://mosaicscience.com/story/how-malaria-defeats-our-drugs

Aug 14, 2017

How discovering an equation for altruism cost George Price everything.

Written and read by Michael Regnier
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend What is life? by Matthew Francis, also available as a podcast. 

Aug 7, 2017

When a gentle glow feels like a spotlight and everyday sounds hurt your ears, life can get anxious and painful. But there may be an upside to being highly sensitive.

Written by Emma Young
Read by Kirsten Irving
Produced by Geoff Marsh 

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If you liked this story, we recommend How the zebra got its stripes, with Alan Turing by Kat Arney, also available as a podcast. 

Jul 31, 2017

What’s it like to hear voices? Are they hallucinations or a normal human experience? Explore what they are, why they happen and how they are being understood.

Jul 24, 2017

A shortage of incubators and a hunch about marsupials inspired a Colombian doctor to try something radical to save premature babies’ lives: constant skin-to-skin contact with parents. It’s cheaper than high-tech neonatal care – and it may be better, too.

Written by Lena Corner
Read by Kirsten Irving
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend The baby MRI: shrinking tech to help save newborn lives by Michael Regnier, also available as a podcast. 

Jul 17, 2017

In Canada, wheelchair basketball brings people together regardless of their abilities. Find out whether this kind of integration could help dispel stigma, discrimination and misconceptions about disability more widely.

Written by Lesley Evans Ogden
Read by Kirsten Irving
Produced by Jen Whyntie

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If you liked this story, we recommend City cycling: health versus hazard by Lesley Evans Ogden, also available as a podcast. 

 

Jul 10, 2017

Traditionally, expectant mothers have been excluded from clinical trials, but could this practice be doing more harm than good?

Written by Emily Anthes
Read by Charlotte Hussey 
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend Give and take: the ethics of donating breast milk by Carrie Arnold, also available as a podcast.

Jul 3, 2017

Are the fitness benefits of riding your bike worth the risk of an accident? Take a tour of seven cities on two wheels to find out.

Written by Lesley Evans Ogden
Read by Kirsten Irving
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – Made-for-a-marathon by Hayley Birch, also available as a podcast.

Jun 26, 2017

The basic chemistry of hair dyes has changed little over the last century, but what do we know about the risks of colouring our hair, and why do we do it?

Written by Rebecca Guenard
Read by Rebecca McIntosh
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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Jun 19, 2017

In East Harlem, four times as many adults have diabetes as in the neighbouring Upper East Side. Meet the New Yorkers stopping poverty being a death sentence.

Written, read and produced by Meera Senthilingam. 

If you liked this story, we recommend Voices in the dark: what it's like to hear voices, another Mosaic audio documentary. 

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Jun 12, 2017

In the 1970s, radical scientists thought they could change the world – if they could change science first.

Written by Alice Bell
Read by Nick Dent
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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Jun 5, 2017

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 and read by Will Storr

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Audio editing by Geoff Marsh

 

Read the full text original published on Mosaic.

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

 

If you liked this story, we recommend Can you supercharge your brain? by Emma Young.

 

Subscribe to the Mosaic podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Please leave us a rating and review.

May 29, 2017

John Osborne has always hated the sound of whistling. But it wasn’t until a man whistling in a café infuriated him so much that he got up and left that he realised it was becoming a problem. Could he even be suffering from misophonia – a condition characterised by a strong dislike of certain sounds?

To get to the root of the issue, John embarks on a whimsical journey of self-discovery, diving headfirst into the worlds of professional whistling and psychology in an attempt to understand if he could ever learn to tolerate – or even love – the sound of whistling.

Narrated by John Osborne
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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May 22, 2017

Adults with anorexia often have distinctive traits that lock them into a destructive relationship with food. Discover how those same traits could help them escape it.

Written by Carrie Arnold
Read by Kirsten Irving 
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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May 15, 2017

In every country in the world, male suicides outnumber female. Will Storr asks why.

Written and read by Will Storr
Produced by Barry J Gibb

Read the full text original published on Mosaic.  

For more stories visit mosaicscience.com

If you liked this story, check out Samaritans: the art of listening, a 4 minute film showing how the Samartians are meeting the near 50 per cent of callers to their helpline who are male.

 

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May 8, 2017

While it’s healthy to have a variety of bacteria in our guts, there’s one place where a single dominant type is best: the vagina. Meet the researchers trying to make the world healthier, one vagina at a time.

Written by Kendall Powell
Read by Kirsten Irving 
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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May 1, 2017

Premature babies are at high risk of brain damage – but many are too fragile to make the journey to an MRI machine for a clearer diagnosis. Soon, thanks to the world’s first mini scanner, they may not need to.

Written and read by Michael Regnier
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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