FULL SHOW: May 12, 2019

May 12, 2019

Oliver Ryder, director of genetics at San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research.
Credit Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo Global

“There's no time we're going to be able to collect more biodiversity than now, because it's declining. So, I think if we were to have a a conversation with the future, they would tell us: ‘Biodiversity is declining. Just bank as much of it as you can, because we would be glad to have it.’” – Oliver Ryder

This week on Living Lab Radio:

  • Nature multi-media editor Benjamin Thompson talks through two major science stories from recent weeks – what the most complete Denisovan fossil to date reveals about human evolution; and the sobering conclusions of a new U.N. report on biodiversity.
  • Oliver Ryder explains how the Frozen Zoo – a collection of cells and tissues from endangered species – could help stem the tide of extinction. It’s like Noah’s Ark, updated with the knowledge and tools of the genomic era.
  • A citizen science initiative has revealed that just five local seafood species dominate at New England fish counters, and over half of all species caught in the northeast show up less than ten percent of the time. That’s a problem for sustainable, ecosystem-based management of fisheries.
  • David Weinberger, author of Everyday Chaos, argues that computers are better than humans at interpreting the true complexity of our world, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.