Sciencetown

Sciencetown

A podcast about the people, ideas and innovations that make KAUST the most unique research community on the planet. Each episode is a deep dive into cutting-edge tech, science and startup culture through the eyes of pioneering men and women. For more information visit sciencetown.kaust.edu.sa... Show More

Episodes

October 15, 2020 36 min
Transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, so how do we clean up the way we move people and stuff around the planet? In this episode we dig into some of the science and the solutions that aim to make global transportation far less ecologically damaging.
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September 7, 2020 48 min
In early 2020, researchers from around the world wrapped up the biggest shark counting exercise ever undertaken. The result: Some reefs continue to sustain large populations of apex predators, while others have lost them entirely. In this episode we speak with the people most in-the-know about global reef shark populations, and what these canaries in the coal mine might be telling us about the state of our global oceans.
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A team of global researchers is working to connect the 4 billion people around the world who remain unconnected. It's a topic that has come into harsh relief with the global COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the future of connectedness and how it could lead to essential advancements in telemedicine, remote work, autonomous vehicles, the sustainable management of our global resources, and so much more.
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Geothermal is a sustainable, abundant, and largely untapped energy resource. Around the world, countries are turning to this fascinating and perhaps less well known form of energy to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In this episode we sit down with some of the world’s leading experts on geothermal to hear about what solutions it has to offer humanity in the age of global climate change.
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Victor Vescovo is famous for traveling the greatest vertical distance possible without leaving earth, having summited Mount Everest and dove to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. In February, his craft, the DSSV Pressure Drop anchored in the Red Sea about 100 Kilometers North of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to commence a series of dives in collaboration with KAUST researchers. We went aboard to hear from Victor and his team about their work...
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Scientists are racing to understand the mechanisms of transmission, the most effective testing methods, and how we can all cope with the COVID-19 crisis. In this episode, we talk to a Saudi doctoral student about the highs and lows of sample collection, and we get an insider’s look into the AI that just might give clinicians a leg up in the fight against COVID-19.
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The SARS-CoV-2 virus has transited the globe causing both disruption and calls to action for scientists and the institutions they work in. We reached out to some of the mathematicians, geneticists and computer scientists putting their skills to work to help solve the COVID-19 crisis. In this episode, we explore science in quarantine and the things smart people get up to when the lab is closed and global science is called to action.
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Cheap, rapid genetic sequencing, big data, and supercomputing is opening up new possibilities for medicine at the individual level. But rapid advancements in CRISPR, cyborgism, biohacking and more have raised safety concerns and ethical quandaries about who has the right to push the envelope and who does not.
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In December the 25th conference of parties or COP25 took place in Madrid, Spain. We followed some of the world's leading experts on material flows, carbon dioxide, the oceans and more to explore closing the loop on circular economies.
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Hanadi Sleiman, Professor of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in DNA Nanoscience at McGill University, speaks with Nicholas Demille as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Sleiman, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, is focused on using molecule DNA as a template to assemble nanostructured materials.
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Ian Campbell, the Interim Executive Chair for Innovate UK, speaks with Ben Stevens as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Campbell, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, is the operational head of the organization as it continues driving the UK’s technology and innovation strategy.
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The Red Sea is considered a living model for the oceans of the future. We speak with researchers about corals and capitalism, whale shark cartoons, and how robots might take underwater jobs too.
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With our fresh water sources dwindling, the desalination of salt water is a viable solution. The trouble is, desalination, as it is done now, is highly energy intensive, and can be ecologically damaging. So how do we generate potable water, without causing additional problems—has anyone cracked the code on sustainable desalination? In this episode, we speak with New York Times climate reporter Henry Fountain, as well as a range of ...
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Ending use of the humble combustion engine, while an easy answer, has proven much more difficult to implement. In truth, we all love the luxuries that the combustion engines of the world bring, even if we loath the long term impacts. In this episode, we explore hybrid technologies, cleaner fuels and the way forward for cleaner forms of combustion in the 21st century.
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Supercomputing, extreme computing, high-performance computing—regardless of what you call it—it underpins much of the cutting-edge scientific research being done today. In this bonus episode, we follow experts from around the world to the epicenter of supercomputing - the annual, North American supercomputing conference or SC19. We ask them to weigh in on how the future of computers, artificial intelligence, machine learning and m...
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Startups, and the disruptive tech they espouse, promise jobs, economic growth, and smarter societies. With wild promise and profitability at stake, building the next Silicon Valley has become the pursuit of many. But is all this talk of smarter, better and faster forms of reality really going to pay off for the rest of us?
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We’re coming to you from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate race of the 2019 Formula One season. We’re down on the paddock to hear from the McLaren race team and some of the scientists working to give them a leg up on the competition.
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Professor Nicholas Peppas, the Cockrell Family Regents Chair at the University of Texas at Austin, speaks with Ben Stevens as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Peppas, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, is working on a multidisciplinary approach to blending modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering principles to design the next-generation of medical systems and devic...
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Ajay Royyuru of IBM speaks with Ben Stevens as part of a special Sciencetown series on personalized medicine. Royyuru, who visited as part of the 2020 Winter Enrichment Program, leads Healthcare & Life Sciences research at IBM. His team is actively pursuing high-quality science, developing novel technologies and achieving translational insights across this industry, including areas of cancer, cardiac, neurological, mental healt...
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Join us as we explore some of the latest research into desert agriculture and why on earth anybody thinks it's a good idea. Scorching sun, infertile soil and lack of water are but a few of the challenges facing the transformation of desert into farm. The alternatives, however, are equally unpalatable - bulldozing rainforest and other pristine environments for massive mono-cropping.
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