We Have Concerns

We Have Concerns

Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboni talk about the personal philosophical concerns they find lurking inside everyday things. It's fun?

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    Preserved and Perfect

    The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada recently unveiled what is perhaps the best-preserved dinosaur specimen ever unearthed. That’s because, 110 million years later, the bones remain covered by the creature’s intact skin and armor. Anthony and Jeff discuss the discovery and what it means for B- and C-list dinosaurs everywhere.

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    America Smirks

    When residents of other countries are asked “What’s a dead giveaway that someone is American?” one trait comes up over and over again: big, toothy grins. Why do Americans smile so much? Anthony and Jeff dive into the research on the topic and decide whether its worth being happy about.

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    Tat the Scales

    A huge fish covered in ‘tattoos’ has been caught in the Philippines. Where you would expect plain scales, the fish has intricate blue designs of a crown and a shield, lettering and entwined plant leaves instead. But why? Only Jeff and Anthony can possibly unravel this mystery: The mystery of the tattooed fish.

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    Modern Stone Age Calamity

    An exhaustive comparison of Neandertals’ injuries to those of people today finds that water tubing and mishaps involving tables, result in top-heavy fracture patterns most similar to those observed on Neandertal fossils. This analysis illustrates just how little modern evidence reveals about ways in which our evolutionary relatives ended up so battered. Jeff and Anthony tackle the question of whether this question is worthwhile at all.

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    Info Dump

    All mammals poop in 12 seconds and there’s an equation for the ‘duration of diarrheal defecation'. All this and more revealed in a new paper from Nobel Prize winning scientists from Georgia Tech. Jeff and Anthony dive deep into poop science, and come out smelling like experts.

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    Worry Some

    A new paper by Kate Sweeny, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, argues there's an upside to worrying. Anthony, a professional-level worrier, agrees, but Jeff needs some convincing.

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    Researchers have discovered that mole rats can survive for 18 minutes without oxygen. What is even more astonishing is how they manage it. The mole rats effectively become plants, altering their metabolism so that cells are powered by fructose rather than glucose, a process which requires no oxygen. Anthony and Jeff discuss the usefulness of such an ability and how humans might benefit.

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    Worm Your Way Out

    Scientist Federica Bertocchini of the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria in Spain discovered a worm that eats plastic bags and leaves behind antifreeze. Jeff and Anthony discuss the potential of this natural solution to the plastic waste problem, and whether that ends up being good or bad for the worms.

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    Womb with a View

    For a study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Philadelphia suspended premature lambs, a close animal model for human fetuses, in a special bag filled with lab-made amniotic fluid, allowing them to further develop for four weeks—longer than in past similar attempts. Anthony and Jeff discuss the benefits of artificial wombs and whether they'd like to see what it would reveal.

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    On Mass

    Researchers in the US say they've created a fluid with negative mass in the lab. What it means is that, unlike pretty much every other known physical object, when you push this fluid, it accelerates backwards instead of moving forwards. Jeff and Anthony try to work through what this means for the universe and for Tru TV's Impractical Jokers.

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