Heather Goldstone

Science Editor and Host of Living Lab

Heather Goldstone is science editor at WCAI and host of Living Lab on The Point, a weekly show exploring how science gets done and makes its way into our daily lives. Goldstone holds a Ph.D. in ocean science from M.I.T. and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and spent a decade as researcher before leaving the lab to pursue journalism. She has reported extensively on Woods Hole’s unique scientific community and key environmental issues on Cape Cod. Her stories have appeared in outlets ranging from Cape Cod Times and Commercial Fishery News to NPR and PBS News Hour. Most recently, Goldstone hosted Climatide.org, an NPR-sponsored blog exploring present-day impacts of climate change on coastal life.

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The research takes aim at white-footed mice, which spread Lyme disease.
D. Gordon E. Robertson / Wikicommons / http://bit.ly/2x5pogV

Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket aren’t just hotspots for summer visitors. They’re hotspots for Lyme disease. That, plus the fact they are islands, make them attractive places to try novel ways to stop the spread of Lyme disease.

Kevin Esvelt of MIT’s Media Lab has a particularly innovative – and potentially controversial – idea about how to do just that. Esvelt’s idea is to genetically modify mice to make them permanently and heritably immune to Lyme disease. They call the project Mice Against Ticks.

Ines Álvarez Fdez / unsplash

We’ve been manufacturing at home for millennia, from stone tools to clothes and textiles – sewn, knit, woven. Today, most of us purchase more than we make. But one technology expert says that tariffs on imports from China could change that, by making even small, everyday plastic items cheaper to make than to buy. 

In January of this year, president Trump’s physician announced the results of his annual physical, including a cognitive evaluation. President Trump is thought to be the first sitting president to undergo such a cognitive evaluation, and it grabbed a fair bit of media attention. Many news outlets not only shared the result, but many shared the test, itself, or information about it.

  

A few weeks ago, we spoke with a young ocean researcher who was struck by the lack of diversity among her colleagues and decided to dig deeper. Emily Cooperdock and a colleague got their hands on four decades worth of data and found that years of talk and diversity initiatives have done little to actually increase the representation of women and minorities in earth and ocean sciences.

It used to be that fat was fat, and fat was bad. Then, we learned about different kinds of fats – some worse for us than others – and then some other fats – the omega-3 fatty acids – that are actually good for us. 

NASA / go.nasa.gov/2uqb0ga

In September of last year, an observatory at the South Pole detected a tiny streak of blue light deep within the ice below. That observatory is known as Ice Cube. Yes, like the rapper. It’s a coincidence that Dawn Williams of the Ice Cube Collaboration says sometimes confuses people on the internet.

National Weather Service

We are officially more than a month into hurricane season and we have a rare bit of good news: this year’s hurricane season may not be as active as originally thought, and it's already forecasted to be less active than last year.

fda.gov

We've all heard that washing your hands is the best way to protect against infectious germs like the cold and flu. Now, new research suggests that it may also help lower your exposure to potentially harmful synthetic chemicals, like flame retardants.

Ronaldo Arthur Vidal / unsplash

Drinking coffee could help you live longer, and not by just a little bit.

Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn

Each month, we check in with the journalists at Nature News for a roundup of what they've been following. This month, we talk to Benjamin Thompson of the Nature podcast on these headlines.

Experts say FIFA can do better at treating concussions.
Pal Berge, http://bit.ly/2JbjXys

The FIFA men’s World Cup has been a been a tournament full of surprises and upsets. But it’s also been a example of how not to handle concussions, according to experts. And the problems started well before the latest World Cup. 

Samantha Fields

Last week, a leaked presentation from the acting director of NOAA hinted at some major new directions and initiatives for that agency. One of the most concrete goals: the United States should triple aquaculture production in the next decade.

A new survey suggests that many Americans think that robots are coming to take our jobs. The Brookings Institution asked 2000 Internet users whether they thought robots would be able to take over most human activities within 30 years, and over half said they thought it was somewhat or very likely. 

It's no secret that the majority of scientists have historically been white men. A lot of effort and attention in recent decades has gone into making science more diverse and inclusive. Emily Cooperdock is a post-doctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and co-author of a study on the topic. She spoke with Living Lab Radio about science's progress on diversity in 40 years. 

World Cup soccer fans in Russia have been laughing, crying, and screaming as their favorite teams win or lose. But Russians themselves aren't known for their emotional displays. In fact, in the lead up to the World Cup, Russian workers actually got training on how to smile at visiting fans. Which raises a question: Why?

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