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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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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.

 

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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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Apr 24, 2017

A writhing mass of maggots in a wound might seem like a good reason to seek medical help. But sometimes it’s the doctors who have put them there, adopting an ancient treatment to help heal painful infected injuries.

Written by Carrie Arnold
Read and produced by Barry J Gibb

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Apr 17, 2017

The pain and sorrow of bereavement is supposed to get easier to bear as time passes. But what if it doesn’t? Psychiatrists call it ‘complicated grief’ – and it can be treated.

Written by Andrea Volpe
Read by Pip Mayo
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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Apr 10, 2017

Who would risk their own safety tending to the injured and recovering the dead in one of the most violent cities on earth? Samira Shackle rides along with a driver from the world’s largest voluntary ambulance service.

This episode was recorded at the Wellcome Trust in London in front of a live studio audience as part of Mosaic’s third birthday celebrations.

Written by Samira Shackle
Read by Michael Regnier 
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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Apr 3, 2017

Aching, throbbing, searing, excruciating – pain is difficult to describe and impossible to see. So how can doctors measure it?

Written by John Walsh 
Read by Pip Mayo
Produced by Graihagh Jackson


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Mar 27, 2017

When healthcare is expensive, the Amish culture of autonomy and thrift may be a way to balance communal support and individual responsibility.

Written by Sara Talpos
Read by Kirstin Irving
Produced by Ellie Pinney
Edited by Geoff Marsh

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Mar 20, 2017

Rats can smell tuberculosis. Dogs can smell cancer. Now they're being trained to save your life. Emma Young reports. A special rebroadcast for World TB Day on 24 March.

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

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Mar 13, 2017

In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries won’t follow suit.

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

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Mar 6, 2017

"In Jamu, Radha's village in western Nepal, her status is lower than a dog's, because she is menstruating. She is only 16, yet, for the length of her period, Radha can't enter her house or eat anything but boiled rice. She can't touch other women - not even her grandmother or sister - because her touch will pollute them. Here, menstruation is dirty, and a menstruating girl is a powerful, polluting thing. A thing to be feared and shunned."

What is life like when having your period puts your health at risk and means you are shunned by society? Rose George reports from Nepal and Bangladesh on menstrual taboos.

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

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Feb 27, 2017

"An amputee's pain can persist long after the limb has gone. It can be harrowing and difficult to treat with medication or surgery. Stephen helps people deal with their phantom pain, and he does it with mirrors."

Phantom pain, experienced in missing limbs, tortures amputees and puzzles scientists. Cycle round Cambodia with a man who treats it with mirrors.

Written by Srinath Perur, read by Segun Akingbola, produced by Barry J Gibb

Read the full text original and accompanying 'DVD extras', on mosaicscience.com

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Feb 20, 2017

"The young Walker relished the culture of exultation, of joie de vivre, and yet was also acutely aware of its passing. He was haunted by the knowledge that ageing would eventually steal away his vitality - that with each passing day his body was slightly less robust, slightly more decayed. One evening he went for a drive in his convertible and vowed that by his 40th birthday, he would find a cure for ageing."

A handful of girls seem to defy one of the biggest certainties in life: ageing.

Written by Virginia Hughes, read by Pip Mayo, produced by Barry J Gibb

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Feb 13, 2017

“Society’s embrace of cuteness leads academics in gender studies to wonder whether cute culture is the sugar pill that sexism comes in – training women to be childlike – or could it instead be a form of empowerment?"

Discover Japan - a country and culture conflicted over cuteness. 

Written by Neil Steinberg
Read by Kirsten Irving
Produced by Barry James Gibb

Don't forget, for more stories and to read the text original, visit mosaicscience.com

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Feb 6, 2017

"Cells can be directly democratic, and don't need a special governor or president to orchestrate them. In a village of several hundred, the people can probably get together and decide what to do, but a country would be a total mess without a government. 'Self-organisation is so mysterious. We still can't explain why the cells come together to make an eye. It's something that makes me completely in awe of life.'"

Growing nerve tissue and organs is a sci-fi dream. Moheb Costandi met the pioneering researcher who grew eyes and brain cells.

Written by Moheb Costandi, read and produced by Barry J Gibb

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