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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
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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Jun 18, 2018

A mysterious kidney disease is striking down labourers across the world and climate change is making it worse. Jane Palmer meets the doctors who are trying to understand it and stop it.

Written by Jane Palmer, narrated by Michael Regnier, produced by Graihagh Jackson.

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If you liked this story, we recommend reading 'How to survive climate change: a lesson from Hurricane Maria'

 

Jun 11, 2018

"Gomez is one of Achatz's regular patients at the A C Camargo Cancer Center in São Paulo, Brazil. He is extraordinarily susceptible to cancer. So too are many members of his extended family; cancer is so common among them - and premature death so painfully familiar - that until they learned very recently of the cause, some believed their family was cursed. Gomez's is not the only family affected. The 'cure' afflicts hundreds of thousands of people in Brazil."

The startling discovery that hundreds of thousands of Brazilians have a genetic mutation that undermines their ability to resist cancer is helping labs worldwide in their search for new treatments for the disease. Sue Armstrong reports."

Written by Sue Armstrong, read by Pip Mayo, audio editing by Jen Whyntie.

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Jun 4, 2018

Calories consumed minus calories burned: it’s the simple formula for weight loss or gain. But dieters often find that it doesn’t work. Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley of Gastropod investigate.

Written by Cynthia Graber, read by Charlotte Hussey, produced by Graihagh Jackson

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May 28, 2018

"She packed up everything and moved to California to die. And she almost did. Less than a week after moving, Ellie was attacked by a swarm of Africanised bees."

Ellie Lobel was ready to die. Then she was attacked by bees. Christie Wilcox hears how venom can be a saviour.

Written by Christie Wilcox, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb

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If you liked this story, we recommend Lovely grub: are insects the future of food? by Emily Anthes, also available as a podcast.

May 21, 2018

After his son’s suicide aged 18, Steve Mallen sees the world differently. Along with a growing number of mental health experts, he wants to reduce the rate of suicide across the world, and is aiming for zero. 

Written by Simon Usborne 

Read by Kirsten Irving

Produced by Graihagh Jackson

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May 14, 2018

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: https://wellc.me/2wzmRfA 

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May 7, 2018

Emma Young meets a woman with dissociative identity disorder and discovers what happens when you lose your sense of being an individual.

Written by Emma Young
Read by Kirsten Irving
Produced by Graihagh Jackson

To read the full story visit: https://wellc.me/2KqInpG

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Apr 30, 2018

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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Apr 23, 2018

Marian Partington is working to forgive Rosemary West – one of her sister’s killers – because she thinks the only way to break the cycle of female violence is to understand it. 

Written by Katharine Quarmby

Read by Kirsten Irving

To read the full story visit: https://mosaicscience.com/story/women-kill-abuse-torture-female-violence/ 

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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

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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

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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.

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

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