Future Of Climate Change, Tongue Microbiome. Dec 18, 2020, Part 1 from Science Friday

From Science Friday - How The Past Hints About Our Climate's Future Ask a climate scientist how much the earth will warm as a result of the carbon dioxide we're emitting right now, and the answer will be a range of temperatures: likely anywhere from 1 to 5 degrees Celsius. But all the models we have to predict the future are based on data from the past, most of it collected in the last 140 years. As carbon dioxide rises further past the unprecedented-in-human-history 400 parts per million (ppm), we are increasingly in a world never before seen by human eyes–or measured by thermometers. While we are certain the Earth's climate will warm as CO2 increases, it's harder to pin down exactly how sensitive the climate is. Scientists are working hard to narrow down our uncertainties about the coming temperature changes, sea level rises, and new patterns of rainfall and drought. And paleoclimatologists can examine ancient rocks, sediments, ice, and fossilized shells for clues about how past climates changed in response to different levels of carbon dioxide. Climates from past epochs have not only experienced that 400 ppm mark, but also levels higher than 1,000 ppm–and correspondingly, higher temperatures and higher seas. In Science last month, a team of researchers made the case for using more data from these climates, millions of years ago, to help us map out the future we face. Science Friday producer Christie Taylor talks to University of Arizona geoscientist Jessica Tierney, who is lead author on the new research. Mapping Out The 'Microbial Skyscrapers' On Your Tongue Your mouth is home to billions of bacteria, and they're very particular–some prefer to live on the inside of the cheeks, while others prefer the teeth, the gums, or the surface of the tongue. Writing in the journal Cell Reports, researchers describe their efforts to map out the various communities of bacteria that inhabit the tongue. In the average mouth, around two dozen different types of bacteria form tiny "microbial skyscrapers" on the tongue's surface, clustered around a central core made up of individual human skin cells. In this study, scientists mapped out the locations of tiny bacterial colonies within those clusters, to get a better understanding of the relationships and interdependencies between each colony. Jessica Mark Welch, one of the authors of the report and an associate scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, talks about what we know about the microbiome of the human mouth–and what researchers would still like to learn. Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine May Soon Be Approved In The U.S. As the national rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTec vaccine began this week, Moderna's own formula looks ready to add to the options for the nation's healthcare workers and high-priority patients, at least according to a panel tasked with deciding whether the benefits outweigh the risks. On Thursday, the FDA's independent advisory committee voted 20-0, with one abstention, to recommend the vaccine for emergency use. Now, the FDA itself must decide whether to follow through, a decision that is expected to come in the next few days. Vox staff writer Umair Irfan talks about the similarities and differences between Moderna and Pfizer's vaccine, what we're learning about side effects for both injections, and the concerns about COVID-19 transmission to animals. Plus, why researchers say President-elect Biden's goal for net-zero carbon emissions will require drastic, but feasible changes to how the nation operates. And how to view Monday's conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter–a phenomenon theorized to be the explanation for the biblical Star of Bethlehem.
Future Of Climate Change, Tongue Microbiome. Dec 18, 2020, Part 1
2020-12-18 09:48:12
How The Past Hints About Our Climate's Future Ask a climate scientist how much the earth will warm as a result of the carbon dioxide we're emitting right now, and the answer will be a range of temperatures: likely anywhere from 1 to 5 degrees Celsius. But all the models we have to predict the future are based on data from the past, most of it collected in the last 140 years. As carbon dioxide rises further past the unprecedented-in-human-history 400 parts per million (ppm), we are increasingly in a world never before seen by human eyes–or measured by thermometers. While we are certain the Earth's climate will warm as CO2 increases, it's harder to pin down exactly how sensitive the climate is. Scientists are working hard to narrow down our uncertainties about the coming temperature changes, sea level rises, and new patterns of rainfall and drought. And paleoclimatologists can examine ancient rocks, sediments, ice, and fossilized shells for clues about how past climates changed in response to different levels of carbon dioxide. Climates from past epochs have not only experienced that 400 ppm mark, but also levels higher than 1,000 ppm–and correspondingly, higher temperatures and higher seas. In Science last month, a team of researchers made the case for using more data from these climates, millions of years ago, to help us map out the future we face. Science Friday producer Christie Taylor talks to University of Arizona geoscientist Jessica Tierney, who is lead author on the new research. Mapping Out The 'Microbial Skyscrapers' On Your Tongue Your mouth is home to billions of bacteria, and they're very particular–some prefer to live on the inside of the cheeks, while others prefer the teeth, the gums, or the surface of the tongue. Writing in the journal Cell Reports, researchers describe their efforts to map out the various communities of bacteria that inhabit the tongue. In the average mouth, around two dozen different types of bacteria form tiny "microbial skyscrapers" on the tongue's surface, clustered around a central core made up of individual human skin cells. In this study, scientists mapped out the locations of tiny bacterial colonies within those clusters, to get a better understanding of the relationships and interdependencies between each colony. Jessica Mark Welch, one of the authors of the report and an associate scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, talks about what we know about the microbiome of the human mouth–and what researchers would still like to learn. Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine May Soon Be Approved In The U.S. As the national rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTec vaccine began this week, Moderna's own formula looks ready to add to the options for the nation's healthcare workers and high-priority patients, at least according to a panel tasked with deciding whether the benefits outweigh the risks. On Thursday, the FDA's independent advisory committee voted 20-0, with one abstention, to recommend the vaccine for emergency use. Now, the FDA itself must decide whether to follow through, a decision that is expected to come in the next few days. Vox staff writer Umair Irfan talks about the similarities and differences between Moderna and Pfizer's vaccine, what we're learning about side effects for both injections, and the concerns about COVID-19 transmission to animals. Plus, why researchers say President-elect Biden's goal for net-zero carbon emissions will require drastic, but feasible changes to how the nation operates. And how to view Monday's conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter–a phenomenon theorized to be the explanation for the biblical Star of Bethlehem.

48 minutes, 42 seconds

More Episodes from Science Friday

Covering everything about science and technology -- from the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies -- Science Friday is your source for entertaining and educational stories and activities. Each week, host Ira Flatow interviews scientists and inventors like Sylvia Earle, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and more.

Tech Unions, Color Perception, Fish Vs Birds. Feb 19, 2021, Part 2
Reprogramming Labor In Tech More than 6,000 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama are midway through voting on whether they should unionize. If the 'yes' votes win, it would be unprecedented for the company: The last time a unionization vote was held by Amazon's United States employees, back in...

Fauci On Vaccines and Variants, Mummy Mystery, Texas Power Grid Failure. Feb 19, 2021, Part 1
Fauci Says Majority Of U.S. Adults Likely To Be Vaccinated By Late Summer We're about a month shy of a big anniversary: one year since the World Health Organization officially labeled COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then, a lot has changed–and a lot has not. We have more information than ever about...

Fish Eye Secrets, Human Genome Project, Science Diction 'Mesmerize.' Feb 12, 2021, Part 2
Seeing The World Through Salmon Eyes The saying goes, "The eyes are the window to the soul." But for fish, the eyes are the window to the stomach.  As one California biologist recently learned, the eyes of Chinook salmon are like a tiny diet journal of everything it ate. But to read that journal,...

The Effectiveness Of Double-Masking, Mars Landing Preview. Feb 12, 2021, Part 1
Two Masks Are Better Than One Masks have been a big issue throughout the pandemic, from supply shortages to debates about when they should be required to be used. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out research and guidance on the effectiveness of double masking–wearing...

Four Lost Cities, Sourdough Microbiome, Queen Bees, Bison. Feb 5, 2021, Part 2
National Bison Range Returns To Indigenous Management Hundreds of years ago, tens of millions of bison roamed North America. They were an essential resource and cultural foundation for many Native American tribes. And by 1890, European colonists had hunted them nearly to extinction.  When President...

COVID Variants And Vaccines, U.S. Energy Justice. Feb 5, 2021, Part 1
Will Vaccines Work Against New Variants Of The Coronavirus? The rollout of COVID-19 vaccination programs around the world has been anything but smooth. Complicating the effort is the virus itself. The original coronavirus genome that the current vaccines were based on has mutated. Now, there are...

Medieval Bones, Vaccine Rollout, Florida Panthers. Jan 29, 2021, Part 2
A Skeletal Record Of Medieval England Society If you've ever fractured a bone, that skeletal trauma stays with you forever, even after it heals. So researchers across the pond are using bones from medieval times to put together a picture of what life was like. The bones in the study came from...

Your Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines Answered, Placenta Science. Jan 29, 2021, Part 1
Everything You Want To Know About COVID-19 Vaccines The U.S. has been vaccinating people against COVID-19 for a little over a month. While there have been plenty of hiccups, over 20 million people in the country have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna shots. For...

Orange Bat, Greenland Bacteria, COVID Anniversary, Alien Argument. Jan 22, 2021, Part 2
Orange Is The New Black–For Bats For a newly-described bat from West Africa, dubbed Myotis nimbaensis (mouse-eared bat from the Nimba Mountains), scientists are reaching for a different part of the color wheel. While Myotis does have some black on its body, the overwhelming majority of the...

Finding Lead Pipes Through Algorithm, How Soil Could Save The Planet. Jan 22, 2021, Part 1
After Flint's Crisis, An Algorithm Helps Citizens Find Lead Pipes It's been nearly seven years since the beginning of Flint, Michigan's water crisis, when high levels of lead from corroded lead pipes led to water shortages and health issues for city residents. Since then, many other cities around...

Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.