Episode 140: A History of Earth's Climate
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
3w ago
A journey through the history of Earth's changing climate, in which we explore how Earth's climate has fluctuated over the past billion years. After reviewing the various temperature proxies used to estimate past climactic conditions, we discuss the varying hothouse and icehouse periods of Earth's history, the onset of the Quarternay Ice Age, the current interglacial period, the anomoly of the Younger Dryas, the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Ages, and the rapid rise in temperatures during the twentieth century. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 90: Climate Systems. If you enjoyed ..read more
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Special Episode: Dinosaurs in Popular Culture
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
2M ago
In this special collaboration with I Know Dino podcast, we discuss the history and impact of dinosaurs in popular culture and media. We cover the history of the scientific study of dinosaurs and how their presentation in media has changed over time with new discoveries, and what aspects of their behaviour and appearance tend to be presented accuracy or inaccurately. We also discuss lesser-known aspects of understanding dinosaurs, such as how changes in the atmosphere and ecosystem would affect dinosaurs of they were to be alive today. If you enjoyed the podcast please consider supporting the s ..read more
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Episode 139: Cybersecurity and Cryptocurrencies
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
4M ago
An introduction to cryptography, internet security, and cryptocurrency, beginning with an overview of RSA cryptography and covering the use of public and private keys and their incorporation into the Transport Layer Security protocol used for secure internet communications. We then examine the key features of cryptocurrencies, including the blockchain, proof of work consensus mechanism, the use of hash functions, and the role of crypto mining. We conclude with a discussion of some of the advantages and disadvantages of cryptocurrencies, including their anonymity, volatility, use in crime, and ..read more
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Episode 138: Biochemistry and Metabolism
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
6M ago
A discussion of the metabolic pathways involved in breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids into simple components, extracting their energy, and building back up into more complex components needed for bodily function. We cover glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, lipolysis, beta oxidation, amino acid deamination, gluconeogenesis, fatty acid synthesis, and amino acid synthesis. Our overall focus is on the central role of acetyl-CoA and how the different metabolic pathways interact and intersect. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 18: Biochemistry Basics and Episode 75: Cellular Respir ..read more
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Episode 137: The Digestive System
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
7M ago
A journey through the digestive system, beginning with the mouth and progressing through the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, we consider the structure and function of all key components of the gastrointestinal tract and their roles in facilitating the metabolism of our food. We also discuss the contribution of accessory organs, including the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas. We conclude by considering a few myths about digestion. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 25: Tissues, Organs and Systems. If you enjoyed the podcast please consider supporting the show by mak ..read more
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Episode 136: Introduction to General Relativity
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
10M ago
An introduction to the conceptual and mathematical framework of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. We begin by considering the key insight of gravity as a geometric phenomenon, and how the curvature of spacetime by matter explains the equality of inertial and gravitational mass. We then discuss the mathematics of general relativity, including geodesics, differential manifolds, covariant derivatives, the metric tensor, Christoffel symbols, the Riemann curvature tensor, the Ricci tensor, and the energy-momentum tensor. The episode concludes with a derivation and explanation of the signific ..read more
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Episode 135: The Science of Emotion
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
11M ago
An introduction to the scientific study of emotion, including a discussion of the difficulties in defining emotions, discrete and dimensional methods of classifying emotions, the functional and representational roles of emotions, and an overview of major psychological theories of emotion, including the James-Lange and Cannon-Bard theories. We also examine the neurobiological basis of emotion, including the roles of the orbitofrontal cortex, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the cingulate cortex, and the amygdala. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 134: Hormones and the Endocrine System. If ..read more
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Episode 134: Hormones and the Endocrine System
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
1y ago
An introduction to hormones and the endocrine system, including a discussion of the definition of hormones and their production, storage, release, and mechanisms of action. I also consider the mechanisms of control and regulation of hormone production, focusing on the role of the hippocampus and the pituitary gland. I conclude with an overview of major endocrine glands in the human body, including the gonads, adrenal glands, thyroid gland, and the thymus. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 38: Neurons and Synapses. If you enjoyed the podcast please consider supporting the show by making a Pa ..read more
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Special Episode: Evolution and Genetics
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
1y ago
In this special episode I discuss various topics in evolution and genetics with Art Woods of the Big Biology Podcast. We begin by analysing various ideas associated with the extended evolutionary synthesis, including plasticity, epigentics, and niche construction, discussing the extent to which these ideas are a challenge or merely an addition to the mainstream understanding of evolution. We then consider several common misconceptions about genetics, including the idea of DNA as a blueprint and genetic essentialism. We conclude with a discussion of some politically contentious aspects of genet ..read more
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Episode 132: The Muscular System
The Science of Everything Podcast
by James Fodor
1y ago
A journey through the mechanisms of muscles and muscular contraction. I begin by outlining the key structural elements of muscle cells, including the sarcolemma, sarcoplasmic reticulum, the myofibrils and their myofilaments. I then explain the sliding filament mechanism of muscle contraction, and how it is governed by neural signals through the release of calcium. I conclude with a brief overview of the types of muscle contractions, the difference between fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibres, and a short discussion of some metabolic aspects of muscle function, including the role of creati ..read more
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