09/25/2015

Virus Fishing, Mantis Shrimp Boxing, and Carbon Cutting Bryozoans

11:39 minutes

In this week’s news roundup, Ed Yong, science writer for The Atlantic, talks about a new blood test that can fish out millions of human viruses at once, which, he writes, “should take a lot of the (educated) guesswork out of viral diagnosis.” Plus, mantis shrimp are heavy hitters, and gauge the strength of their foes in a fairly straightforward way—by punching each other, repeatedly.

Then, a group of Antarctic bryozoans—or “moss animals”—seem to be flourishing as climate change contributes to sea ice melt. A new study in Current Biologyfound that the filter feeders, which chow down on phytoplankton, for example, are helping sequester carbon—effectively removing some carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Douglas Main, a staff writer for Newsweek, talks about the good and the bad of these carbon-cutting bryozoans having a field day in the warming waters.

Segment Guests

Ed Yong

Ed Yong is a science writer for The Atlantic based in London, England.

Douglas Main

Douglas Main is a staff writer for Newsweek based in New York, New York.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.