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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: Page 1
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.

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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

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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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Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/show/2SPQebMqfZanxDcMJ0hzdz?si=EQw17wS7QF-ewiThJyrkiA

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/

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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

Jan 1, 2018

"Debbie’s not alone in her enthusiasm for neuroplasticity, which is what we call the brain’s ability to change itself in response to things that happen in our environment. Claims for its benefits are widespread and startling. Half an hour on Google informs the curious browser that neuroplasticity is a “magical” scientific discovery that shows that our brains are not hard-wired like computers, as was once thought, but like “play-doh” or a “gooey butter cake”. This means that “our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains” and that by doing certain exercises we can actually, physically increase our brain’s “strength, size and density”."

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 by Will Storr, read by Will Storr, produced by Barry J Gibb, audio editing by Geoff Marsh

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If you liked this story, we recommend 'Can you supercharge your brain?' by Emma Young, also available as a podcast: https://mosaicscience.com/story/can-you-supercharge-your-brain

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