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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: 2018
Dec 10, 2018

Oklahoma has lost a million pounds of fat. Ian Birrell asks how – and whether declaring ‘war on obesity’ can really change a city’s infrastructure and encourage healthy living.

Written by Ian Birrell, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb

If you liked this story, we recommend listening to Brazil's billion dollar gym experiment by Ian Birrell, also available as a podcast. 

Dec 3, 2018

Headlines scream about “epidemics” of shootings and stabbings – but what if we took that literally? From Chicago to Glasgow, treating violence as a public health problem has produced great results.

Written by Samira Shackle

Read by Kirsten Irving

Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'The women that kill, abuse and torture' by Katarine Quarmby, also available as a podcast. 

Nov 26, 2018

Applying mild electrical currents to your head could take away pain, help memory and improve attention – and the US military is very interested. Emma Young reports.

Written by Emma Young, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb

If you liked this story, we recommend Can you think yourself into a different person? by Will Story, also available as a podcast.

Nov 19, 2018

In Finland, people whose sickness is linked to certain buildings fear being labelled as mentally ill, while scientists search for evidence that their condition is ‘real’.

Written by Shayla Love

Read by Graihagh Jackson 

If you liked this story, we recommend Shayla Love's story 'Meet the dogs with OCD', also available as a podcast. 

 

Nov 12, 2018

One nerve connects your vital organs, sensing and shaping your health. If we learn to control it, the future of medicine will be electric.

Written by Gaia Vince, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb, edited by Geoff Marsh

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – Can-you-supercharge-your-brain by Emma Young, also available as a podcast.

Nov 5, 2018

When doctors in rural Italy began to see a surge in cancer cases, they were baffled. Then they made the link with industrial waste being dumped by local crime syndicates. Ian Birrell learns about the tragic consequences. 

Written by Ian Birrell

Read by Michael Regnier

Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Brazil's cancer curse' by Sue Armstrong, also available as a podcast. 

Oct 29, 2018

"Polio was unpredictable. Often no more harmful than any other childhood infection, it could on occasion ‘turn’ with swift, inexplicable savagery, destroying a child’s nerve cells and leaving him paralysed for life. If it damaged the nerves controlling his lungs they could freeze up and György would either die or spend the rest of his life inside an iron lung that breathed for him."

Trapped by the Cold War and scarred after a failed revolution, Hungary fought one of its greatest battles against polio.

Written by Penny Bailey, read by Pip Mayo, audio editor Geoff Marsh, produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – Prisoners-of-war, also available on our podcast.

Oct 23, 2018

Sex workers in Mozambique are providing health support to those at the margins of society. They face political and financial challenges, but against the odds they are helping thousands.

Written by Jules Montague 

Read by Kirsten Irving 

Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'How HIV became a matter of international security' by Alexandra Ossola, available to read here. 

Oct 15, 2018

"Losing enjoyment of food and drink is a common complaint for people who lose their sense of smell. You can taste sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami with your tongue. More complex flavours – like grapefruit or barbecued steak – depend on smell. But for Nick, as for many people who can’t smell, there’s another category of loss altogether."

Losing your sense of smell can fundamentally change the way you relate to other people.

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

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If you liked this story, we recommend Mosaicscience – Why-do-we-have-allergies by Carl Zimmer, also available as a podcast.

 

Oct 8, 2018

Melioidosis is a bacterial infection that quietly causes thousands of deaths each year. Meet the doctor who made it his mission to make the world take notice.

Written by Carrie Arnold

Read by Michael Regnier

Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Hunting the silent killer' by Patrick Strudwick, also available as a podcast. 

Oct 1, 2018

In a world obsessed with beauty, living with a facial disfigurement can be hard. Neil Steinberg explores the past and present to find out what it’s like to look different.

Written by Neil Steinberg

Read by Pip Mayo

Produced by Barry J Gibb

Edited by Geoff Marsh

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If you liked this podcast, we recommend, 'How far would you go to be able to smile' by Neil Steinberg. 

Sep 24, 2018

Using sleep deprivation to lift people out of severe depression may seem counterintuitive, but for some people, it’s the only thing that works. 

Written by Linda Geddes

Read by Rebecca McIntosh 

Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Why we still don't understand sleep, and why it matters', also available as a podcast. 

Sep 17, 2018

How have the farm animals of today been shaped by centuries of domestication and selective breeding? Sujata Gupta investigates.

Written by Sujata Gupta, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb, edited by Geoff Marsh

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Sep 10, 2018

Smiling is one of the fundamental ways people communicate, so what happens if your face can’t do it?

Written by Neil Steinberg
Read by Charlotte Hussey
Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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Sep 3, 2018

Women predisposed to ovarian cancer can reduce their risk with surgery, but with it comes early menopause. To avoid this, some doctors propose delaying part of the procedure. But is this safe? Charlotte Huff explores the costs of buying time.

Written by Charlotte Huff, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb

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Aug 27, 2018

A disease that killed millions in the 20th century still lingers – and with it the threat of a new epidemic. Why? The answer may have been staring us in the face all along, as Michael Regnier discovered when he travelled to Guinea with scientists searching for the key to a medical mystery.

Written by Michael Regnier, read by Michael Regnier, produced by Graihagh Jackson.

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Aug 20, 2018

Allergies such as peanut allergy and hay fever make millions of us miserable, but scientists aren’t even sure why they exist. Carl Zimmer talks to a master immunologist with a controversial answer.

Written by Carl Zimmer, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb

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Aug 13, 2018

Twenty-five years after the discovery of the gene behind Huntington’s disease, Peter Forbes reports on the potential first treatment for this devastating condition.

Written by Peter Forbes, read by Brian Yim Lim, produced by Graihagh Jackson.

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Aug 6, 2018

"We gaze into the eyes of a chimp and see a reflection of ourselves. We glance at a crow and see an alien being that under some jurisdictions can be exterminated with impunity - bringing a sinister second meaning to the phrase "a murder of crows". Such biases affect ordinary people and academic experts alike, skewing our understanding of what non-human intelligence looks like."

Do our thoughts and feelings distort the way we understand animal minds? Peter Aldhous argues that to grasp what intelligence is, we need to think differently.

Written by Peter Aldous, read by Kirsten Irving, produced by Barry J Gibb

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Jul 30, 2018

More and more people are donating organs, but demand still far exceeds supply. What can the world learn from the country that does it best? https://wellc.me/2mIsHDt 

Written by Chris Baraniuk, narrated and produced by Graihagh Jackson. 

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Jul 23, 2018

"Cholera has killed nearly 9,000 Haitians. More than 730,000 people have been infected. It is the worst outbreak of the disease, globally, in modern history. Hundreds of emergency and development workers have been working alongside the Haitian government for five years, trying to rid the country of cholera, and millions of dollars have been dispense in the fight to eradicate it. But it's still here. Why?"

Why have attempts to get cholera under control in Haiti failed? Rose George reports.

Written by Rose George, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend The cost of pure water by Shaun Raviv, also available as a podcast.

UPDATE: When we first published this story in July 2015, some people claimed that the United Nations was responsible for bringing cholera to Haiti in the 2010 outbreak – something that the organisation denied. However, in August 2016 the UN acknowledged that it played a role in the outbreak, which has since killed 10,000 people. You can read Mosaic’s shorter piece on the causes of the 2010 outbreak here.

Jul 16, 2018

Meet the scientists finding out how we can defeat our inner trolls and build more cooperative digital societies.

Written by , narrated by Kirsten Irving, produced by Graihagh Jackson.

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Jul 9, 2018

"As more Indians adopt more urban lives, chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease are on the rise, replacing malnutrition and infectious diseases as the country’s most urgent health worries. Reddy doesn’t want to risk his family’s health. He has decided that being healthy and poor is better than taking their chances in the modern, more developed, more open India."

Ill-health is the price rural Indians have to pay for seeking a better life in the city. Twenty-nine villages near Hyderabad are helping to explain why, Michael Regnier discovers.

Written by Michael Regnier, read by Michael Regnier, produced by Barry J Gibb, audio editing by Geoff Marsh

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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 2, 2018

Cognitive enhancement drugs are usually depicted as a distinctly contemporary phenomenon, however none of these drugs are new. Are we asking the right questions about smart drugs? Marek Kohn looks at what they can do for us – and what they can’t.

Written by Marek Kohn, narrated by Brian Yim Lim, produced by Graihagh Jackson.

To read the full story visit: mosaicscience.com/story/saved-how-…verse-overdoses/

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Jun 25, 2018

Naloxone can reverse an otherwise fatal heroin overdose within minutes. Carrie Arnold meets the doctors who put this remarkable drug in the hands of the police, families and addicts—and saved thousands of lives.

Written by Carrie Arnold, narrated by Kirsten Irving, produced by Graihagh Jackson.

To read the full story visit: mosaicscience.com/story/saved-how-…verse-overdoses/

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