Why People Can’t Read Bar Graphs, First Complete Human Genome Released, Mars Book Club Finale. April 1, 2022, Part 2

Why People Can’t Read Bar Graphs, First Complete Human Genome Released, Mars Book Club Finale. April 1, 2022, Part 2

By Science Friday and WNYC Studios

Science Friday

Friday, 1 April

Can You Read A Bar Graph?

Bar graphs seem like one of the simplest ways to represent data. Many people assume that the longer the bar, the bigger the number it represents. Sometimes bar graphs represent an average not a total count, which is trickier to understand.

And because bar graphs are everywhere, psychologists from Wellesley College wanted to determine how well people can actually read and interpret bar graphs. Turns out, one in five people in their study misunderstood the data the bar graphs intended to show. And sometimes simple-looking graphs actually make it harder to understand the data they are based on.

Ira talks with Jeremy Wilmer, associate professor, and Sarah Horan Kerns, research associate, at Wellesley College’s department of psychology, based in Wellesley Massachusetts about their bar graph research and curriculum to improve data literacy.

 

Scientists Release The First Fully Complete Human Genome

Two decades ago, scientists announced they had sequenced the human genome. What you might not know is that there were gaps in that original sequence—about 8% was completely blank.

Now, after a years-long global collaboration, scientists have finally released the first fully complete assembly of the human genome. Researchers believe these missing pieces might be the key to understanding how DNA varies between people.

Six scientific papers on the topic were published in a special edition of the academic journal Science this week.

Ira talks with Karen Miga and Adam Phillippy, co-founders of the Telomere to Telomere Consortium, an international effort that led to the assembly of this new fully complete human genome.

Karen Miga is an assistant professor of bimolecular engineering and the associate director of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute, based in Santa Cruz California. Adam Phillippy is head of the Genome Informatics Section and senior investigator in the computational and statistical genomics branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

 

One Last Martian Love Fest

After a month of non-stop Mars science, what questions do you still have about the Red Planet? SciFri producer Christie Taylor and co-host Stephanie Sendaula interview planetary scientist and Sirens of Mars author Sarah Stewart Johnson. Plus, they take your questions about the planet’s poles, its magnetic field, and the progress of the Perseverance rover.

 

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