axolotyl

Level Up Human – Steve Backshall vs Kate Storrs

Level Up Human Series 2, Episode 11: Steve Backshall vs Kate Storrs

Level Up Human is a podcast panel show, on a mission to redesign the human body.

Simon and Rach chat to naturalist and broadcaster Steve Backshall and visual perception scientist Kate Storrs.

We discuss enhanced vision, limb regeneration, gecko hands, super kidneys and re-breathing.

Extracts from the episode, edited for readability are available here.

In the news…

Kate is tickled and baffled by a news story about Microsoft. They have patented to generate cryptocurrency by monitoring people’s brain activity.

Steve’s news story is entitled, ‘Venomous Frogs use Heads as Weapons.’

And Rach’s levelled up human is Bertolt Meyer, a DJ, producer and Professor of Organisational Psychology from Technische Universität Chemnitz who has hacked his prosthetic hand to hook it up to his synth.

The Pitches

Steve wants to borrow the abilities of the Iberian sharp-ribbed newt, a type of salamander which can regenerate limbs and organs.

Kate, on the other hands, thinks the human body should be able to see the polarisation of light

From the audience, we have suggestions including souped up kidneys and gecko hands.

Finally Simon has a suggestion from nature.

Which of our suggestions will make Rachel’s shortlist? Which will win? Listen to find out.

Mentioned this episode

Deep Neural Networks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_learning

Microsoft has filed a patent to mine cryptocurrencies using your brainwaves: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a32318654/microsoft-brainwaves-mine-cryptocurrency

Venomous frogs use heads as weapons: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280753150_Venomous_Frogs_Use_Heads_as_Weapons

Golden poison frog: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/g/golden-poison-frog/

Pig-nosed purple frog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2ZKePuOrUE

Bertolt Meyer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSKBtEBRWi4

Disabled or superhuman?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVZyVz8gBeQ

Axolotyl: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl

Macrophages: https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/Macrophage-Function.aspx

Pluripotent stem cells: https://www.nature.com/subjects/pluripotent-stem-cells

Tissue-specific stem cells: https://www.closerlookatstemcells.org/learn-about-stem-cells/types-of-stem-cells/

Zebrafish can regrow their brains: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-11-zebrafish-regrow-brains.html

Planaria worms: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/11/science/11obhead.html

Steve bitten by black piranha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPO6NwkM7so&list=PLtEFM-nSCj5ilDGnpe8Cf6CLtslFt1aCS

Honey bee waggle dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU_KD1enR3Q

Haidinger’s brush: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidinger%27s_brush

Cuttlefish and high-definition polarisation vision: https://phys.org/news/2012-02-cuttlefish-high-definition-polarization-vision.html

Cuttlefish iridophores and chromataphores: https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/cephalopod-camouflage-cells-and-organs-of-the-144048968/

Mantis shrimp: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_shrimp

Bioinspired camera could help self-driving cars ‘see’ better: https://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2018/bioinspired_camera_could_help_self-driving_cars_se/

Nautilus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautilus

Bear Grylls: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_Grylls

The IT Crowd: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0487831/

The Exorcist III: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099528/

Trainspotting: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/

‘Scuba-diving’ lizard, Anolis aquaticus: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-03/bu-lc032019.php

Steve’s Home Schooling (9.30am, Wednesdays): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm-URP49TgSgyIU1rgh2m7A/videos

The Mirror Trap: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mirror-trap-online-tickets-104125171190

Stay In for Towel Day: https://www.savetherhino.org/get-involved/events/stay-in-for-towel-day-2020/

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