Science Notes 2012 Podcasts

Recorded and produced by each author

Tracks of an Oak Killer
Erin Loury steps into the woods with citizen scientists for a "SOD Blitz," a UC Berkeley project to track Sudden Oak Death in the Bay Area. Volunteers search for carriers of the widespread disease: infected bay laurel trees.
Listen (4.4 mb)

Lead's Everlasting Legacy
Meghan Rosen dons a clean suit to learn how to measure lead in water, food, toys, and other substances. As UCSC researcher Kingsley Odigie explains, lead is everywhere—and even tiny amounts could be harmful, especially to kids.
Listen (4.8 mb)

The Itsy Bitsy Drummer
Helen Shen listens in on the complex courtship vibrations of male jumping spiders. Scientists at UC Berkeley use both high-tech (a laser vibrometer) and low-tech (panty hose) to expose the hidden world of arachnid attraction.
Listen (4.2 mb)

The Spreading Scourge of Dengue
Beth Marie Mole explores how residents of Managua, Nicaragua, use house-to-house monitoring to combat dengue, a dangerous tropical virus. Festivals and other community programs, catalyzed by biologists, have cut infection rates.
Listen (4.1 mb)

A Robot's Touch
Sarah Jane Keller visits a new robotic operating system, called Raven, in the UCSC Bionics Lab. The device, openly shared with other teams of engineers, may restore a surgeon's sense of touch in delicate procedures.
Listen (4.3 mb)

Mysterious Tides
Marissa Fessenden examines what happens after dead sea otters wash ashore in central California. As marine biologist Michelle Staedler describes, necropsies can reveal what killed the otters—such as toxins from algal blooms.
Listen (4.8 mb)

Where Fire Meets the Sea
Tanya Lewis dives into the realm of undersea volcanoes with geologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Unmanned deep-ocean vehicles—led by MBARI's Doc Ricketts—are probing how eruptions sculpt the seafloor.
Listen (3.6 mb)

The New Grass Cycle
Amy West wants to know what it takes to build a bicycle out of bamboo. Customers at San Francisco's Bamboo Bike Studio do a lot more sanding than they bargained for—but when they ride away, they love their creations.
Listen (4.2 mb)

The Strawberry Solution
Steve Tung says the time is ripe for a new way to grow strawberries: with natural soil fumigation, rather than harmful pesticides. UCSC horticulturalist Joji Muramoto joins Steve in the fields to describe one such promising technique.
Listen (4.3 mb)

The Sea Longs for Red Devils
Daniela Hernandez marvels at the quick-change artists of the deep sea: Humboldt squid, which flicker from red to white in intricate patterns. Biologists at Hopkins Marine Station are exploring how and why the squid shift so suddenly.
Listen (3.7 mb)


oaks story
lead story
spiders story
dengue story
robots story
algae story
volcanoes story
bamboo story
squid story

past issues
home page
contact us
editorial staff