SGU Episode 942

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SGU Episode 942
July 29th 2023
942 superconductor.jpg

"Scientists have announced the development of a room-temperature ambient-pressure superconductor." [1]
Click for further caption

"Superconductors transmit electricity without resistance and have magnetic properties that make them invaluable in technological applications. Usually they need to be cooled down to very low temperatures; superconductors capable of working outside the lab in regular conditions would be revolutionary."

SGU 941                      SGU 943

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

Critical thinking is an active and ongoing process. It requires that we all think like Bayesians, updating our knowledge as new information comes in.

Daniel J. Levitin, American-Canadian cognitive psychologist

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion

Introduction, hot world[edit]

Voice-over: You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

Quickie Followup with Steve (5:38)[edit]

News Items[edit]






(laughs) (laughter) (applause) [inaudible]

Can AI Learn Like Humans? (19:06)[edit]

(Transcriptionist's note: Another AI news item, "AI and Politics" is noted on the shownotes page, likely the news item Cara would have covered if she had regained power.
The associated article: The Conversation: 6 ways AI can make political campaigns more deceptive than ever)

Room Temperature Superconductor (30:49)[edit]

A Galaxy Without Dark Matter (45:48)[edit]

Men Convicted For Mineral Solution (59:19)[edit]

Who's That Noisy? (1:08:45)[edit]

New Noisy (1:11:58)[edit]

[squeaking, as of birds or wheels]

J: ... what this week's noisy is

Announcements (1:12:53)[edit]


Question #1: Talent vs Skill (1:16:58)[edit]


Science or Fiction (1:28:08)[edit]

Item #1: Scientists have been able to reanimate nematodes taken from Siberian permafrost that were frozen for 46 thousand years.[6]
Item #2: New research finds that, despite diverging evolutionarily 179 million years ago, the honeycomb design of honey bee and paper wasp nests derives from a common ancestor.[7]
Item #3: Researchers were able to transplant mitochrondria into damaged kidney cells improving energy production and reducing toxicity and physiological stress.[8]

Answer Item
Fiction Honeycomb: common ancestor
Science Reanimated nematodes
Mitochondria transplantation
Host Result
Steve clever
Rogue Guess
Mitochondria transplantation
Reanimated nematodes
Honeycomb: common ancestor

Voice-over: It's time for Science or Fiction.

Evan's Response[edit]

Bob's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:45:36)[edit]

Critical thinking is an active and ongoing process. It requires that we all think like Bayesians, updating our knowledge as new information comes in.

Daniel J. Levitin (1957-present), American-Canadian cognitive psychologist, from A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age

Signoff (1:48:07)[edit]

S: —and until next week, this is your Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

S: Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by SGU Productions, dedicated to promoting science and critical thinking. For more information, visit us at Send your questions to And, if you would like to support the show and all the work that we do, go to and consider becoming a patron and becoming part of the SGU community. Our listeners and supporters are what make SGU possible.


Today I Learned[edit]

  • Fact/Description, possibly with an article reference[9]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description


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