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Friday, August 16, 2013


The StarTalker
Issue 43, August 15, 2013

This Week's New Podcast
The Science of Sex (Part 1)
August 18, 2013, 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT

Science of Sex
This week, StarTalk Radio trades the cosmic for the orgasmic. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Kristen Shaal, author of The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex, tread not so lightly into taboo territory with guests Mary Roach, author of Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, famed sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and astrophysicist Charles Liu. But it’s still StarTalk, so Neil and guests focus on the science, not the lasciviousness, of sex. You’ll learn that females can have nocturnal erections just like men, what the other erectile tissue in the human body is (it’s not the nipples!), and why pharmaceutical research has moved beyond Viagra™ to developing pills for post-menopausal women with flagging sex drives. Listen on our website, this Sunday, August 18th at 7:00pm ET and on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher by 7:30.
(Note: Portions of this podcast appeared previously in a StarTalk Radio video on The Nerdist.)

Catch Up on Last Week's Podcast
Cosmic Queries: Viruses, Outbreaks and Pandemics
August 11, 2013

Virus Bat
Infectious disease expert Laurie Garrett is back to answer your questions about viruses. First, she describes two current outbreaks: H7N9 influenza, which killed 25% of its victims in China, and MERS-CoV, a genetic relative of SARS. With pilgrimages like the Haj in October, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is a serious pandemic concern to the worldwide health community. Next, Laurie explains how viruses like Ebola and HIV jump from bats and primates to humans through “zoonosis” and why they’re so lethal when they do. All this, plus a fungus that turns ants into zombies, pathogens that spread via rain, the dangers of the anti-vaccine movement and, unfortunately, so much more. Listen now.
Photo Credit: MGVP/UC Davis.

Best of the Blog
New Survey: What’s Your Favorite Classic Television Sci-Fi Series?
Posted August 12, 2013

Sci-Fi Series Survey Twilight Zone

Recently, Neil told us that The Twilight Zone and Star Trek The Original Series are his favorite science fiction TV series. Naturally, we started discussing what our favorites were, and that got us wondering, what are your favorite classic science fiction television series? So we put together this nifty survey to find out. We decided to let you pick your 3 favorite series, because narrowing it down to one or two was just too excruciatingly difficult. If you do take our survey, and you'd like to have us email you a digitally autographed photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, be sure to fill in your first name and email address at the bottom of the survey form. Read more.

Have You Seen Our Latest "Behind the Scenes" Video?

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Alien Diseases

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Alien Diseases

A fan asks, “If we were to make contact with alien life, would it be possible for us to contract diseases from them, and could our immune systems adapt to them?” Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and infectious disease expert Laurie Garrett approach the answer differently, bringing up references as varied as Michael Crichton’s book, The Andromeda Strain, Dutch elm disease, Star Trek’s Tribbles, NASA’s quarantine of the Apollo moonwalkers, and the impact of Western European settlement on the indigenous life forms and Aboriginal peoples of Australia. Luckily, Chuck Nice is on hand to mediate and summarize. Watch now.

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