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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: June, 2016
Jun 27, 2016

"Charles is an African giant pouched rat, a species endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. He's also a pioneer, one of 30 of his species that live and work here in Morogoro, a few hundred kilometres west of Tanzania's largest city, Dar es Salaam, on a programme to sniff out tuberculosis (TB)."

 

Rats can smell tuberculosis. Dogs can smell cancer. Now they're being trained to save your life. Emma Young reports.

 

Written by Emma Young, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Jen Whyntie.

 

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If you liked this story, we recommend What the nose knows by Emma Young, also available as a podcast.

Jun 20, 2016

"In Myanmar healthcare and politics are inextricably linked. The repressive military junta that took power in the early 1960s choked off funding for health and other social services, and even though its ruling generals ceded power to a nominally civilian government in 2011, experts say the health system will take years - probably decades - to recover from half a century of neglect."

As Myanmar prepares for a historic election on 8 November 2015, its leadership is rolling out plans for dramatic health sector reforms. But there are enormous obstacles, including the legacy of war and a rising threat of drug-resistant infectious diseases in restive border areas. Mike Ives reports.

Written by Mike Ives, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Jen Whyntie. 

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If you liked this story, we recommend Cradle of Resistance: How Malaria defeats our drugs by Ed Yong, also available as a podcast.

Jun 13, 2016

"Below the surface, the bottom of Pavilion Lake is dotted with something resembling coral reefs: domes and cones and weird shapes much like artichokes. These are not corals, though, which are colonies of tiny animals: they are rock formations called microbialites, made by and coated in cyanobacteria. Sometimes misleadingly referred to as 'blue-green algae', these bacteria probably even made the rocks they live on, absorbing nutrients from the water and leaving stone behind. Like plants, they live on sunlight, and they thrive in shallow waters down the steep underwater slope to the point where sunlight fades to gloom.

They are the reason for NASA's interest, and my visit. The people I've come here to see have even bigger things in mind. They want to know what the rare formations in Pavilion Lake might tell us about the origins of life on Earth, life on other worlds and, indeed, what life is, exactly."

If we met new life – on this planet or the next – would we know it when we saw it? Matthew Francis investigates.

Written by Matthew Francis, read and produced by Barry J Gibb.

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If you liked this story, we recommend People are animals too by Peter Aldous, also available as a podcast.

Jun 6, 2016

"The results were part of a well-known and seemingly mundane phenomenon that has been driving a quiet revolution in immunology. Its proponents hope that by cutting drug doses, it will not only minimise harmful side-effects but also slash billions from healthcare costs, transforming treatment for conditions such as autoimmune disorders and cancer. The secret? Teaching your body how to respond to a particular medicine, so that in future it can trigger the same change on its own."

Jo Marchant asks if we can harness the mind to reduce side-effects and slash drug costs.

Written by Jo Marchant, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb, audio editing by Geoff Marsh.

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

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If you liked this story, we recommend Hacking the nervous system by Gaia Vince, also available as a podcast.

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