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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 2
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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Jan 30, 2017

Most people in the world speak more than one language, suggesting the human brain evolved to work in multiple tongues. If so, are those who speak only one language missing out?

Written by Gaia Vince

Read by Kirsten Irving

Produced by Barry James Gibb 

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Jan 23, 2017

When Tal Golesworthy was told he was at risk of his aorta bursting, he wasn’t impressed with the surgery on offer – so he came up with his own idea.

 

Written and read by Geoff Watts

Produced by Barry James Gibb 

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Jan 16, 2017

Despite decades of promising research, the many men who want their own contraceptive pill still have nothing. One of them, Andy Extance, looks at the obstacles – practical, political, economic – and meets the people hoping to make male birth control a reality.

Written by Andy Extance

Read and produced by Barry James Gibb 

 

 

Jan 9, 2017

Like many balding men, Rhodri Marsden has learned to accept losing his hair. But male stoicism and other coping strategies – from hats and wigs to dark humour – often mask deep distress, and even suicidal feelings. Will modern medicine ever find a ‘cure’ – or does the solution lie elsewhere?

Jan 2, 2017

Chrissie Giles on her generation’s climb to Peak Booze.

This episode originally aired in Dec 2015

Written and read by Chrissie Giles
Produced and edited by Barry J Gibb

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Dec 26, 2016

More than a century after their discovery, we still don’t really know what blood types are for. Do they really matter? 

This episode originally aired in May 2015. 

 

Written by Carl Zimmer
Read by Segun Akingbale
Produced and edited by Barry J Gibb

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Dec 19, 2016

If mega-rich people could buy places on clinical trials, would this help drive forward the development of new treatments that could benefit everyone? Alexander Masters thinks it might just work.

This episode originally aired in Nov 2015.

 

Written and read by Alexander Masters
Produced and edited by Barry J Gibb

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Dec 12, 2016

The extreme survival tricks of hibernators could help us overcome life-threatening injuries.

Written by Frank Swain
Read by Michael Regnier
Produced and edited by Barry J Gibb
Mosaic jingle composed by Mark Richardson

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Dec 5, 2016

It’s supposedly getting easier for innovative drugs for rare diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy to reach the market. So why is hesitancy still proving devastating to desperate families?

Written by Andy Extance
Read by Pip Mayo
Produced and edited by Jennifer Whyntie
Mosaic jingle composed by Mark Richardson

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Nov 28, 2016

As old age approaches, Geoff Watts confronts an inevitable future in the care of robots. But that doesn’t mean he likes it.

Written and read by Geoff Watts
Produced and edited by Barry J Gibb
Mosaic jingle composed by Mark Richardson

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Nov 21, 2016

A haze has periodically wafted over Asia for 20 years. But despite rising public health concern, the pollution remains as opaque as the smoke itself, Mike Ives reports.

Read by Pip Mayo
Produced by Jen Whyntie
Edited by Barry J Gibb
Mosaic jingle composed by Mark Richardson

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Nov 14, 2016

How discovering an equation for altruism cost George Price everything.

Written and read by Michael Regnier.
Produced by Barry J Gibb

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Nov 7, 2016

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

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Oct 24, 2016

Written by Carrie Arnold, read by Pip Mayo. 

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Oct 17, 2016

In times of economic trouble, governments can choose to cut public services to save money. But at what cost? Our podcast meets those on the sharp end of austerity in the UK to find out what it means for mental health.

Written by Mary O'Hara, read by Pip Mayo. 

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Oct 10, 2016

In this audio piece, three men talk about living with a condition that affects how the penis looks and works.

Hypospadias occurs when the opening that is usually at the tip of the penis is found on the underside. It affects between 1 in 200 and 1 in 300 male babies – yet many of us have never heard of it.

In this audio piece, Chris Chapman meets three men living with hypospadias. James, Paul* and Wilf describe the confusion and shame of growing up different, and the physical and psychological difficulties they continue to face. They also explain how supportive relationships with family, doctors and people on online forums have helped them live better with the condition.

For more information, see:

Warning: This piece contains graphic description of penile surgery. 

*Paul’s name has been changed.

Audio producerChris Chapman

Art directorPeta Bell

IllustratorTravis Bedel

Oct 3, 2016

‘Cyborg’ is a loaded and attention-grabbing term, bearing associations from sci-fi novels and Hollywood, and whether it’s an entirely accurate label for these activities is up for debate. Some commentators broaden the definition to include anyone who uses artificial devices, such as computer screens or iPhones. Others prefer to narrow it. As early as 2003, in an article entitled ‘Cyborg morals, cyborg values, cyborg ethics’, Kevin Warwick, the professor who pioneered the cyborg movement in the academic sphere, described ‘cyborgs’ as being only those entities formed by a “human, machine brain/nervous system coupling” – essentially “a human whose nervous system is linked to a computer”.

 

Written by Frieda Klutz, read by Kirsten Irving. 

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