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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: Category: science
Apr 16, 2018

"Men have been circumcised for thousands of years, yet our thinking about the foreskin seems as muddled as ever. And a close examination of this muddle raises disturbing questions. Is American exceptionalism justified? Should we really be funding mass circumcision in Africa? Or by removing the foreskins of men, boys and newborns, are we actually committing a violation of human rights?"

Common in the US, rare in Europe and now championed in Africa, male circumcision is hotly debated. Jessica Wapner explores whether the gains are worth the loss.

Written by Jessica Wapner, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb

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

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If you liked this story, we recommend listening to Mosaicscience – The-future-of-sex by Emily Anthes, also available on our podcast.

Apr 9, 2018

Bringing genetics into medicine leads to more accuracy, better diagnosis and personalised treatment – but not for everyone. Carrie Arnold meets families for whom gene testing has led only to unanswered questions.

Written by Carrie Arnold
Read by Rebecca Macintosh
Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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

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Apr 2, 2018

Most of us would rather not think about what happens to our bodies after death. But that breakdown gives birth to new life in unexpected ways.

Written by Moheb Costandi
Read and produced by Barry J Gibb

This story was first published in May 2015.

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Mar 26, 2018

For the first 20 years of his life, Henry Nicholls had a healthy relationship with sleep. Shortly after his 21st birthday, he began to experience symptoms of narcolepsy, a debilitating disorder that’s plagued him ever since. Sleep research is progressing, so why are he and others like him still waiting for a cure?

Written by Henry Nicholls
Read by Graihagh Jackson
Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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

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Mar 19, 2018

Radioactivity stirs primal fears in many people, but Geoff Watts argues that an undue sense of its risks can cause real harm.

Written and read by Geoff Watts
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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Mar 12, 2018

If you’re hit by lightning, there’s a nine in ten chance you’ll survive. But what are the lasting effects of being exposed to hundreds of millions of volts?

Written by Charlotte Huff.
Read by Kirsten Irving
Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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

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Mar 5, 2018

In this special episode,Mosaic's Editor Chrissie Giles interviews the doctor and best-selling writer Atul Gawande about end-of-life care, the death of his father, and how we can create dignity for all of us as we age and at the end of life.

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For more great stories visit mosaicscience.com

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Read the feature, 'Breaking bad news': mosaicscience.com/story/breaking-bad-news

Feb 26, 2018

Traditional flush toilets aren’t an option in many parts of the world, but neither is leaving people with unsafe and unhygenic choices. Now, one company is piloting a new loo that's waterless, off-grid and able to charge your phone. Lina Zeldovich travels to Madagascar to witness the start of a lavatorial revolution.

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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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/

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

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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

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

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

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

For more stories, visit mosaicscience.com

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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.

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

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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

To read the story, visit mosaicscience.com

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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

To read the story, visit mosaicscience.com

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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

To read the story, visit mosaicscience.com

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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

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

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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.

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