Podcast

The universe’s star formation history and a powerful new helper for evolution

Science Podcast
Blazar
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

In a fast-changing environment, evolution can be slow—sometimes so slow that an organism dies out before the right mutation comes along. Host Sarah Crespi speaks with Staff Writer Elizabeth Pennisi about how plastic traits—traits that can alter in response to environmental conditions—could help life catch up.

Also on this week’s show, host Meagan Cantwell talks with Marco Ajello a professor of physics and astronomy at Clemson University in South Carolina about his team’s method to determine the universe’s star formation history. By looking at 739 blazars, supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, Ajello and his team were able to model the history of stars since the big bang.

Finally, in this month’s book segment, Jen Golbeck interviews Christine Du Bois about her book Story of Soy. You can listen to more book segments and read more reviews on our books blog, Books et al.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

Read a transcript (PDF)

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[Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab; Music: Jeffrey Cook]