PFAS, Urban Evolution, Science Diction. July 27, 2018, Part 1
If you thought city life was stressful, imagine being a wild animal trying to outlive speeding cars, toxic chemicals and heavy metals, or even the unnaturally bright nights and din of traffic. Why stick around at all? Yet our urban areas still teem with wildlife. Pigeons, mice, lizards, moths, and plants all eke out their livelihoods in sidewalk cracks, subway tunnels, and building ledges. But how is city living affecting how these organisms evolve? Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen, author of Darwin Comes to Town, tells guest host John Danksosky tales from the front lines of urban evolution research.
Plus: Did you know the word robot was only coined in 1922? And that quark was inspired by Finnegan’s Wake?Words like these weren’t just plucked from thin air… behind each one is a fascinating origin story. Scientists use words and language just like us, and encoded in the language they use are etymologies, histories, and stories that often stretch back centuries—some even bleeding into the words we use in our everyday life. SciFri digital producer Johanna Mayer joins John to talk about our project "Science Diction."
States across the country are holding public hearings on what to do about contamination with a class of persistent chemicals known as PFAS. New Hampshire Public Radio environmental reporter Annie Ropeik tells us more in "The State of Science."
And Tanya Basu, science editor at The Daily Beast, explains the top science headlines in the News Round-up.