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Podcast

Brickmaking bacteria and solar cells that turn ‘waste’ heat into electricity

Science Podcast
Image of sunrise over flat land
Idaho Bureau of Land Management

On this week’s show, Staff Writer Robert F. Service talks with host Sarah Crespi about manipulating microbes to make them produce building materials like bricks—and walls that can take toxins out of the air.

Sarah also talks with Paul Davids, principal member of the technical staff in applied photonics & microsystems at Sandia National Laboratories, about an innovation in converting waste heat to electricity that uses similar materials to solar cells but depends on quantum tunneling.

And in a bonus segment, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Online News Editor David Grimm on stage at the AAAS annual meeting in Seattle. They discuss how wildfires can harm your lungs, crime rates in so-called sanctuary states, and how factors such as your gender and country of origin influence how much trust you put in science.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

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