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The Abstract

55 EpisodesProduced by InverseWebsite

From the natural world to outer space, Inverse offers timely journalism and interesting points of view for people who want to know what's next. Health research, updates on SpaceX and NASA, sleep psychology, pseudo-science debunks, nightmarish robots, advancing A.I., shifting cultures, more sustainab… read more

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#55: Exercise Vs. Stress: How Working Out Affects Our Mental Health

September 23rd, 2020

17:56

With the latest research suggesting exercise is beneficial for depression and stress resilience, Inverse’s Emma Betuel and Ali Pattillo discuss how …

#54: Solar Storms, Anti-Solar Panels and the Future of Clean Energy

September 21st, 2020

14:04

With a look at the latest science regarding solar storms and anti-solar panels, Inverse’s Passant Rabie and Sarah Wells discuss what the Sun’s energy …

#53: How Psychedelic Science is Changing Life and Death

September 18th, 2020

19:15

With a renaissance of psychedelic research, Inverse’s Ali Pattillo and Emma Betuel discuss how magic mushrooms and LSD could transform the way we …

#52 Persuasion and Pushback: How to Change Someone’s Mind

September 16th, 2020

17:38

Whether it be arguments about masks, vaccines or the U.S. presidential election, 2020 continues to spark delicate conversations and frustrating debates.  Inverse’s Ali Pattillo and Emma Betuel discuss how applying key …

#51 Inside the Lives (and Bellies) of Ancient Predators

September 14th, 2020

12:43

Rare discoveries found inside ancient creatures are offering new clues about megapredation and prehistoric times.  Inverse’s Nina Pullano explains …

#50: The Science of Relationships

September 11th, 2020

17:02

As the global pandemic continues to impact our social lives, Inverse’s Emma Betuel and Sarah Sloat discuss what the latest scientific research …

#49: From ‘Space Invaders’ to ‘Floor is Lava:’ The Evolution of Modern Gaming

September 9th, 2020

17:58

From ‘High Score’ to ‘Floor is Lava,’ Netflix recently traced the origins of gaming’s billion-dollar industry, and the ways gaming continues to …

#48: Telehealth, Contact Tracing and the Health Heroes Adapting to Covid-19

September 4th, 2020

18:40

As the medical community continues to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, Inverse’s Ali Pattillo and Emma Betuel discuss how telehealth workers and contact tracers are slowly changing the future of healthcare.  

Read more at

#47: Inside The Movement Revolutionizing Gaming Culture

September 2nd, 2020

19:59

As the Super Smash Bros. community reckons with sexual misconduct allegations, Inverse’s Danny Paez and Eric Fransisco discuss the social issues plaguing the gaming community — and the rising movements to take them on. 

#46: House Pets and the Evolution of Domestication

August 31st, 2020

16:46

New discoveries are rewriting how cats became domesticated just as rapid evolution is making red foxes act more like dogs. Inverse’s Nina Pullano and …

#45: Hate, Justice, and The Umbrella Academy: The Science of Social Consciousness

August 28th, 2020

19:56

As television shows like Amazon's The Boys and Netflix’s Umbrella Academy become more socially conscious, Inverse’s David Grossman and Jake Kleinman discuss how a new generation is taking on systemic racism, and how the …

#44: Pet Science: The Truth About Cats and Dogs

August 26th, 2020

15:12

Whether it’s determining how much your dog understands when you speak, or how worried you should be about the common brain parasite living in your …

#43: Women in Science: A Historically Bumpy Ride

August 24th, 2020

18:22

With a look at the life of two-time Nobel prize winner Marie Curie — as well as the challenges NASA’s top female astronauts had to endure —  Inverse’s Passant Rabie and Eric Fransisco discuss the history of obstacles …

#42: Happier together: How to live with predators and your partner

August 21st, 2020

14:12

Whether it’s a willingness to share land with wildlife — or covers with your partner — the latest science suggests that humans need to learn how to coexist, for both our neighbor’s sake and our own. Inverse’s Emma …

#41: Science Breathes New Life Into Universe

August 19th, 2020

11:54

Read more at Inverse.com:


Find links to all the stories discussed in today’s episode at inverse.com/the-abstract


#40: Hitching a Ride to Space with Virgin Orbit and Space X

August 17th, 2020

17:33

As private space companies rethink spaceflight for the masses, Inverse’s Mike Brown explains how SpaceX and Virgin Orbit are shaking up the small satellites industry.


Read more at Inverse.com:


Find links to all the …

#39: How Marijuana Actually Affects the Brain

August 14th, 2020

15:58

With the latest research revealing new insight on how marijuana affects the mind, Inverse’s Emma Betuel and Sarah Sloat explain the impact of weed on the developing brain, as well as long term effects on our social …

#38: Tesla’s Roadmap to the Future of Driving

August 12th, 2020

19:30

As Tesla's most ambitious master plan yet celebrates its fourth birthday, Inverse’s Mike Brown assesses the electric car makers progress, as well as …

#37: Staying Healthy to Fight Covid-19

August 10th, 2020

18:27

With fluctuating coronavirus infection rates, the latest research on plant-based diets and working remotely shows how to “boost” the immune system at home and support the body to fight Covid-19. Inverse’s Ali Pattillo …

#36: Shin-kicking, lawn mower racing, and the surprising athleticism of Not Sports

August 7th, 2020

16:22

From shin-kicking to lawnmower-racing, Inverse’s Emma Betuel talks about the weirdest competitive sports you’ve never heard of — with a look at how strange sports have attracted humankind for centuries. 

Read more at …

#35: The Rise of Robots Fighting Covid-19

August 5th, 2020

16:50

As scientists race to develop a vaccine, and humans adjust to new ways of life, Inverse’s Sarah Wells discusses robots’ increasingly helpful role in …

#34: The Archaic You: What Human DNA Reveals About Neanderthal Ancestry

August 3rd, 2020

17:55

With Neanderthal DNA offering new insight into our archaic ancestry, Inverse’s Sarah Sloat discusses what our own biological records can reveal about …

#33: Xbox Series X Vs. Playstation 5: The Battles Inside the Gaming world

July 31st, 2020

20:20

Amid the latest Playstation-Xbox console wars and “review bombing” controversies, Inverse’s Jen Glennon offers a look at the key issues shaping the …

#32: Comic Con and the Future of Fandom

July 29th, 2020

19:43

The ultimate pop-culture convention, San Diego Comic-Con, 


took an unprecedented gamble in July 2020 with Comic-Con at Home, 


the virtual attempt to …

#31: Covid-19: Staying Ahead of the Game

July 27th, 2020

18:29

As researchers work around the clock to develop a vaccine for Covid-19,  the novel coronavirus that’s sickened over 15 million people globally, we’ve …

#30: The Science Behind Your (Anxious, Lonely) State of Mind

July 24th, 2020

18:12


The mental health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are hitting people of all ages.  With the latest research finding that three in 10 Millennials feel lonely, either ‘often’ or ‘always,’ ‘lockdown life’ and social …

#29: The Strange Evolution of the Male Sex Drive

July 22nd, 2020

17:49

For decades, scientists suggested that fatherhood fulfilled a primarily evolutionary function: 


protecting and providing for offspring in return for …

#28: Science Brings Sea Monsters to Life

July 20th, 2020

15:27

Deep beneath the ocean’s surface, lies a profound space between what science can explain and what's left to our imaginations. 


As a result, humans …

#27: Healthy Body Hacks

July 17th, 2020

15:34

After three seasons in isolation, a “quarantine 15,” and hundreds of Zoom calls later, pandemic fatigue has finally taken its toll. (We get it.)


And …

#26: Quarantine Quitters and Quarantine Dreams

July 15th, 2020

19:47

After months of quarantine, Americans have been jolted into undeniable new challenges —  


faced with accepting strange new realities, 


or in some …

#25: How Healthy Are you?

July 13th, 2020

15:52

Researchers across the world are constantly studying what makes a human body healthy. 


What they are increasingly learning is that external factors influence your well-being.


After all, your health doesn’t just come down …

#24 Undiscovered Stories of Weird Space Discovery

July 10th, 2020

14:17

The ever-expanding universe keeps getting bigger and new surprises baffle scientists every day.   The more astronomers probe strange corners of the galaxies, the more one thing becomes clear — what we don’t know about …

#22: Tech’s Next Disruption: The emotional mind.

July 6th, 2020

16:25

Virtual reality can dramatically alter how we perceive ourselves -- and even how we treat others.


And artificial intelligence, when fed enough data, can correctly identify something dramatic -- and a little private -- …

#21: Science of Catching Covid-19: Men, Women, Cats and Dogs

July 1st, 2020

17:07

More than three months after the Covid-19 pandemic effectively shut down the United States, scientists are still trying to answer questions about who, how, and why it hurts different people in different ways. 


From men …

#20: What We Look (And Sound) Like to Aliens

June 29th, 2020

15:10

If aliens have looked for signs of intelligent human life, they might hear sounds reminiscent of an underground party in a Brooklyn warehouse  — where the eerie sounds are both chill and intense. 


And the crafts they fly …

#19: Unmasking the Facts About Face Masks

June 26th, 2020

20:16

Just as we begin to recover from 2020’s tidal wave of perpetual pandemic panic, experts warn about a potential “second wave” of coronavirus.  …

#18: Biohacking Nature with BroodIX, Bumblebees

June 24th, 2020

12:54

ust as murder hornets started to infiltrate the Pacific Northwest, buzzing cicadas emerged from a 17-year nap to spread across the Eastern US. All the while, a swarm of bumblebees has been perfecting ways to biohack …

#17: Tips for Social Distancing Til 2022

June 22nd, 2020

19:10

If Covid-19 had an official glossary, words like “quarantinis,” and phrases like “flattening the curve” and “zoom call” would all be included. But if …

#16: Covid-19 Changes the Future of Travel, Cash As We Know It

June 17th, 2020

18:16

If the anxiety you felt while watching someone shake hands is any indication, Covid-19 has made what used to be everyday customs seem like dangerous, antiquated behavior.  From exchanging cash to boarding a plane, many …

#15 New Stress Research Reveals Relaxing Tips

June 15th, 2020

18:01

The first half of 2020 has been a torrential stress storm that Americans are working harder than ever to weather. 


The extra shot of Covid-19 mixed into our already hectic work lives, and the social unrest has turned us …

#14: How Decoding the Brain Can Heal Anxiety and Restore Sensations

June 12th, 2020

17:24

What is humankind’s biggest scientific mystery to date? Humankind. 


What sets us apart from our neighboring species is an organ that we’re only beginning to understand: the human brain. 


While modern, scientific …

#13: Protesting During Covid-19: The Unexpected Health Side Effects

June 10th, 2020

20:20

As a wave of protests continues to spread across the United States, calls for justice over the killings of Black Americans by police have been joined …

#12: Elon Musk's SpaceX Starlink: Everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask)

June 8th, 2020

18:46

One day, high-speed internet will be delivered to pizza box-shaped devices in homes everywhere, and Elon Musk will be satisfied. If the SpaceX CEO has it his way, Starlink, the SpaceX satellite, will be the biggest …

#11 Black Birder's Week and Five Protest Tips

June 5th, 2020

19:43

As protests took place around the country over the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed in May 2020 at the hands of police in Minneapolis, a …

#10: SpaceX Crew Dragon Special

June 3rd, 2020

12:31

Launching a new age of human spaceflight in the United States, Elon Musk’s SpaceX can officially consider itself the first-ever company to send humans into space on a commercial spacecraft.


So without further ado, …

#9 The Psychology of Video Games

June 1st, 2020

21:14

When local governments began putting social distancing guidelines into effect in mid-March 2020, there was extreme concern. Anxiety about how people …

#8: Life on Mars

May 29th, 2020

16:26

The possibility of life on Mars has long been of great interest in astrobiology circles, largely because of the red planet’s similarities to our own …

#7: The Science of Sleep

May 27th, 2020

17:03

With at least a third of Americans reporting that they don't get enough sleep, many of us are becoming increasingly disconnected from the nighttime …

#6: Elon Musk’s Beef and the Decade of Tesla Killers

May 22nd, 2020

21:51

As the popularity of the "My Plans / 2020" meme can attest, 2020 hasn’t exactly panned out like any of us expected -- least of all Tesla CEO Elon …

#5: Technology Takes on COVID-19

May 20th, 2020

20:16

During the Covid-19 pandemic, technology remains a driving force in the path to find answers and grapple with the unknown. As we search for solutions …

#4: Self Care and COVID-19

May 18th, 2020

17:40

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, those under social distancing measures are trying to find ways to adjust to a “new normal.” For many of us, that mostly means gorging on carbs and DIY haircuts. Humans are …

#3: On Your Feet, Running Man

May 15th, 2020

12:32

Running and jogging are one of the most popular sports worldwide. Characterized simply as the aerial phase in which all feet are above the ground, an …

#2: Chill Humans Seek Health Hacks

May 13th, 2020

14:48

Research says Americans have evolved to become more sedentary, with estimates suggesting we spend about 6.4 hours each day sitting. As we look to …

#1: You, Post-Life

May 6th, 2020

19:40

Emerging science and technological advancements continue to change how we think about life itself. And as it turns out, how we think about death. …

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