Sinopse

Point of Discovery takes you on a behind-the-scenes journey to the front lines of science where you'll meet the brilliant, quirky scientists who do it. Our stories are driven by curiosity. How much of our DNA do we share with yeast? How do our brains block out noise at a party so that we can focus on just one person speaking? How do you study a terrible disease-causing bacteria that acts like a saint when you grow it in a petri dish? Come discover the answers with us. Learn more at: http://pointofdiscovery.org

Episódios

  • James Allison Eases Off the Brakes

    James Allison Eases Off the Brakes

    21/05/2018 Duração: 10min

    Forty years ago, when James Allison had just gotten his PhD in biochemistry, he was intrigued by this far-out idea that was floating around about a new way to treat cancer. The idea—dubbed cancer immunotherapy—was to train the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells—the same way this system already goes after bacteria and viruses. He was one of the few people who actually believed it could work. In today’s episode, Allison—an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and the chair of immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston—talks about the uphill climb to make cancer immunotherapy a reality. He also shows off his mad harmonica skills. Check out Allison playing harmonica with his band the Checkpoints: https://youtu.be/bsLwOAImzCs And check out his performance with the legendary Willie Nelson: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/prognosis/article/Willie-Nelson-shares-stage-with-Houston-cancer-6886561.php About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of T

  • When Science Communication Doesn’t Get Through

    When Science Communication Doesn’t Get Through

    12/04/2018 Duração: 12min

    Climate change, vaccinations, evolution. Scientists sometimes struggle to get their message across to non-scientists. On the latest episode of the Point of Discovery podcast, what communications research can teach us about why science communication sometimes backfires, and what scientists can do about it. Today’s episode features Emma Dietrich, a PhD student in the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior graduate program at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of Austin Science Advocates. It also features Anthony Dudo, an associate professor in the Moody College of Communication at UT Austin who studies the science of science communication. Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

  • A Score to Settle with Cancer

    A Score to Settle with Cancer

    02/03/2018 Duração: 13min

    Jonathan Sessler was a college student when he was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Fortunately, he was also a chemistry major. After surviving radiation therapy, relapsing and then surviving extremely high doses of what he calls “rat poison” (a.k.a. chemotherapy), his oncologist challenged him: “You’re a chemist. Find new cancer drugs.” In the four decades since, he’s founded two companies, one of which commercialized a blockbuster drug for leukemia and was sold for $21 billion. The other is working to develop a drug he invented to treat ovarian cancer, based on large molecules that deliver poisons to cancer cells and named after the Lone Star state: Texaphyrin. He knows the odds of bringing effective new cancer treatments to market are stacked against him, yet he tirelessly pushes ahead. Last month, he spoke to producer Marc Airhart in front of a live audience at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a produ

  • Tackling Science and Engineerings Diversity Problem

    Tackling Science and Engineering's Diversity Problem

    25/01/2018 Duração: 13min

    The STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – have real work to do in terms of diversity. Right now, women make up only about 30 percent of the STEM workforce – and people identifying as black or Hispanic make up just 11 percent. What are the barriers to entry -- or the obstacles to staying in -- STEM? And how can we make sure smart, creative thinkers and problem solvers from diverse backgrounds feel welcome and included in these fields? We invited three leaders in science and engineering to a discussion about these issues to find out what places like the University of Texas at Austin are doing about it. To hear the full conversation, listen to the bonus episode: https://soundcloud.com/point-of-discovery/bonus-full-conversation-with-three-stem-deans About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.appl

  • BONUS: Full Conversation with Three STEM Deans

    BONUS: Full Conversation with Three STEM Deans

    25/01/2018 Duração: 24min

    We recently invited three leaders in science and engineering at the University of Texas at Austin to talk about the lack of diversity in their respective fields – and ways to tackle the problem. We featured highlights from their conversation in the previous podcast. The episode you’re listening to right now is the full conversation. To hear the shorter, highlights episode, go to: https://soundcloud.com/point-of-discovery/tackling-science-and-engineerings-diversity-problem About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery or via Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Igc5ifenl2bn7e5n2klmrw

  • The Language Brokers

    The Language Brokers

    14/12/2017 Duração: 08min

    Millions of children in the U.S. play a vital, but often overlooked, role in their families. These children of immigrants, known as “language brokers,” help their parents translate job applications, medical documents and bills into their native language. They also help them navigate a completely alien culture. Researchers like Su Yeong Kim, in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, are debating whether being a language broker is good for children, or not. About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery or via Google Play: https://play.googl

  • cosmic-car-wreck

    cosmic-car-wreck

    16/10/2017 Duração: 07min

    Astronomers have long been able to watch the universe’s blockbuster special effects unfold in dazzling 3D Technicolor. But until now, it’s been like watching a silent movie. Today that all changes. Scientists announced this morning that they have for the first time ever detected both light and gravitational waves from a massive explosion in space caused by the collision of two super-dense neutron stars. On today’s show, we talk to astrophysicist Pawan Kumar about what this breakthrough means for his field. Image: Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars. (Credit: NSF/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet) About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sou

  • Does This Look Like Cancer?

    Does This Look Like Cancer?

    07/09/2017 Duração: 08min

    A team of scientists and engineers led by Livia S. Eberlin at The University of Texas at Austin has invented a powerful tool that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds. The MasSpec Pen is an innovative handheld instrument that gives surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, helping improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence. The research is described in the Sept. 6 edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine. Learn more: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/scientists-new-device-accurately-identifies-cancer-in-seconds About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcl

  • When Will We Have Quantum Computers?

    When Will We Have Quantum Computers?

    11/07/2017 Duração: 07min

    Quantum computers might sound like science fiction. A fully functioning quantum computer could complete calculations in a matter of seconds that would take a conventional computer millions of years to process. Science fiction or not, they’re already here. Scientists at Google, Microsoft, IBM and elsewhere are building and studying them. At this point, they’re not very powerful. But Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, believes in the next few years, one of these teams may achieve something called quantum supremacy—the first demonstration of a quantum computer doing something faster than a conventional computer. In this episode, Aaronson lays out a timeline of quantum computing advances, explains what kinds of things they’ll be able to do and even explore one potential downside—breaking the encryption we use to keep everything from credit card information and medical records private. Image: The cooling system for Google’s superconducting quantum computer A

  • Can Sound Save a Fish?

    Can Sound Save a Fish?

    24/04/2017 Duração: 09min

    Gulf Corvina look pretty ordinary—they’re a couple of feet long and silvery. Yet the sounds they make—when millions get together to spawn—are a kind of wonder of the natural world. It’s also why they are in danger. Gulf Corvina live in only one place in the world—the Gulf of California. A decade ago, the Mexican government asked marine biologist Brad Erisman and his colleagues to study the Corvina. They were worried that heavy fishing might cause the population to collapse. When Erisman put a microphone in the water for the first time, he was blown away by the sounds he heard. Learn More Video: Spawning Aggregations (by Natural Numbers): https://youtu.be/bpLMCyx9cic Video: Corvina Harvest, El Golfo (by Marine Ventures Foundation): https://vimeo.com/21330986 Biological and fisheries monitoring of the Gulf Corvina in the Upper Gulf of California (by dataMARES): http://datamares.ucsd.edu/eng/projects/fisheries/biological-and-fisheries-monitoring-of-the-gulf-corvina-in-the-upper-gulf-of-california/ Unmanaged Fi

  • Keeps Us on Our Toes

    Keeps Us on Our Toes

    15/03/2017 Duração: 05min

    Worried that smart robots are taking over the world? You’ll be relieved to know they still have a long way to go. That is unless you’re an artificial intelligence researcher like Peter Stone. One big challenge facing robots that walk and run is that they fall over a lot. Take for example the annual RoboCup competition in which small human-like robots play soccer. Even with the best minds in computer science behind them, they’re about as graceful as toddlers. Now neuroscientist Michael Mauk thinks he has a solution. It could put robots one step closer to the ultimate goal of AI researchers: to build robots capable of beating human soccer champs. We recently featured the work of Michael Mauk and four other neuroscientists in our annual Texas Scientist magazine. These scientists are searching for better treatments for epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, exploring how we make memories and learn new things, and revealing how wisdom emerges. Read the article here: https://www.texasscientist.cns.utexas.edu/articles/2017/1/2/

  • The Science of Relationships

    The Science of Relationships

    11/02/2017 Duração: 17min

    In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re speaking with Lisa Neff, a researcher studying what makes happy, healthy romantic relationships tick. Neff is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. She answers several burning questions, including: What are the health benefits of romantic relationships? How can newlyweds avoid communication breakdowns that result from external stress? and, Do optimists make better partners? Neff is recruiting volunteers for a new study focusing on the romantic relationships of seniors, called Relationship Experiences Across the Lifespan. She is specifically looking for residents in the Austin, Texas area who have begun a dating relationship in the past year and who are either aged 30 to 45 or 60 and over. Eligible couples can receive up to $150 as compensation for their time. To apply, send an email to: [email protected] More info: https://sites.cns.utexas.edu/realproject/home About Point

  • Resetting the Alcoholic Brain

    Resetting the Alcoholic Brain

    23/01/2017 Duração: 10min

    Adron Harris, director of the Waggoner Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team mapped the differences in gene expression between an alcoholic's brain and a non-alcoholic's brain. They found that, as a person becomes dependent on alcohol, thousands of genes in their brains are turned up or down, like a dimmer switch on a lightbulb, compared to the same genes in a healthy person's brain. The scientists are now using an innovative technique to find drugs that can, in a sense, turn those switches back to their original settings and, they hope, revert an alcoholic's brain into a non-alcoholic brain. The work might help the millions of people who suffer with the emotional, financial and health consequences of alcoholism. About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.

  • The Mighty Copepod

    The Mighty Copepod

    15/12/2016 Duração: 07min

    These teeny shrimp-like critters at the bottom of the ocean food web seem totally unimportant. But throw in an oil spill and some well-intentioned human intervention and they can have a huge impact, right up to the top of the food web, including sea turtles, dolphins and humans. Meet the mighty copepod. About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery or via Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Igc5ifenl2bn7e5n2klmrwah7qq?t=Point_of_Discovery Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

  • Evolution Inspires Anthrax Cure

    Evolution Inspires Anthrax Cure

    21/10/2016 Duração: 10min

    This fall marks the 15th anniversary of the U.S. anthrax letter attacks that sickened dozens of people and killed five. At the time, there was no effective treatment for a late stage infection. The attacks accelerated work already underway at the University of Texas at Austin. Brent Iverson, George Georgiou and Jennifer Maynard borrowed a page from Mother Nature's playbook to develop the world's first treatment for late stage inhalation anthrax. Tell Us What You Think Take our short survey at: http://txsci.net/utpodcastsurvey About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery or via Google Pla

  • The Last First Planetary Mission

    The Last First Planetary Mission

    13/09/2016 Duração: 08min

    The New Horizons spacecraft brought humanity face to face with the last unexplored planet in our solar system: Pluto. What we're learning is amazing. But, time and again, the mission almost didn't happen. University of Texas at Austin alumnus Alan Stern describes the challenges, and the joys, of the last first mission to a planet. For a complete transcript of this episode, visit our show page at: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/the-last-first-planetary-mission-audio Tell Us What You Think Take our short survey at: http://txsci.net/utpodcastsurvey About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery

  • Bacterial BFFs or Frenemies?

    Bacterial BFFs or Frenemies?

    03/08/2016 Duração: 05min

    About how long would you say the microbes living in your gut have been there? You might be surprised by what researchers discovered when they compared the microbes in our guts with those of our closest relatives, the great apes. Tell Us What You Think Take our short survey at: http://txsci.net/utpodcastsurvey About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery or via Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Igc5ifenl2bn7e5n2klmrwah7qq?t=Point_of_Discovery Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

  • Looking Forward ... and Back: Podcast Updates

    Looking Forward ... and Back: Podcast Updates

    11/07/2016 Duração: 02min

    This summer, we're celebrating a milestone: one year of telling you science stories from the frontlines here at the University of Texas at Austin. In this episode, we give a sneak peek at upcoming shows, recap some highlights from the past year and invite you, the listener, to take a quick survey to let us know how we're doing. The survey is at: https://utexas.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eUTDsDlYdmBBPBb

  • Why is CGI in the Movies Still So Hard?

    Why is CGI in the Movies Still So Hard?

    31/05/2016 Duração: 07min

    As the summer movie season kicks into high gear, we talk with a scientist about some of the challenges in simulating the way everyday objects behave on the big screen. Etienne Vouga's computer simulations have helped bring to life a wizard's hair in The Hobbit and clothing in Tangled. To see examples of some of his simulations, go to: https://cns.utexas.edu/news/why-is-cgi-in-the-movies-still-so-hard About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery or via Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/m/Igc5ifenl2bn7e5n2klmrwah7qq?t=Point_of_Discovery Questions or comments about this episode, or

  • Heres What Research Did for Me, Student Stories

    Here's What Research Did for Me, Student Stories

    10/04/2016 Duração: 07min

    As the College of Natural Sciences’ Freshman Research Initiative celebrates its 10th anniversary, we speak to students and scientists about how doing research as freshmen and sophomores impacted them. About Point of Discovery Point of Discovery is a production of the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences. You can listen to all our episodes at @point-of-discovery . You can also subscribe via iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/point-of-discovery-podcast/id1036884430?mt=2 or via our RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:150441582/sounds.rss or via Stitcher: www.stitcher.com/podcast/point-of-discovery Questions or comments about this episode, or our series in general? Email Marc Airhart at mairhart[AT]austin.utexas.edu

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