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Science Rules! with Bill Nye

Bill Nye is on a mission to change the world— one phone call at a time. He’ll tackle your curliest questions on just about anything in the universe. Give him a call! Perhaps you’ve wondered: Should I stop eating cheeseburgers to combat climate change? How often should I really be washing my pillowcase? Can I harvest energy from all those static-electricity shocks I get in the winter? With a little help from his co-host Corey S. Powell, field experts, and special celebrity guests, Bill will answer those questions and convince you that science rules!

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How does the bacterial warfare work?

Say you have E. coli in your gut and you ingest some undercooked meat with new E. coli. It will do one of two things. It has to survive in your gut, which it has evolved to do, but also it has to find space in your gut. If there is already E. coli present, it cannot get it, so it produces a bacteriocin to destroy those already present and competing strains.

What is the microbiome difference in vaginal birth vs. c-section?

When you’re born with a c-section, you don’t gain the benefit of your mother’s microbiome that’s passed on to you from the birthing canal. In a c-section, you’ll have bacteria found in a hospital rather than the bacteria found in your mom.

What’s the worst pathogen you can get from the hospital equipment?

In this particular case the equipment is being transported outside of the hospital and according to Dr. Peg Riley, most of the bacteria and viruses aren’t going to survive. If you are healthy, your microbiome is what is keeping you healthy, smart, and less depressed.

Am I susceptible to any harmful germs or diseases when letting my pets on my bed?

No. By living together, you already share your microbiome with your pets. If you’re healthy now, there is no worry.

Are the microbes making antibiotics?

Not really. If a microbe were to produce an antibiotic, it would decimate their own environment. Instead of producing antibiotics, microbes are producing a protein called bacteriocin, which caseus pores in the bacteria, thus destroying it.

What happens when the two microbes grown next to one another?

Most of the time, microbes that are grown together are not happy because they are utilizing the same resources. Depending on the nutrients offered, they will compete and even try to kill one another.

What are the side effects of broad spectrum antibiotics?

Broad spectrum antibiotics are designed to wipe out a wide spectrum of bacteria, so even if we don't know what exactly is causing an illness, these antibiotics are supposed to take care of it, and they do. However, by design, they also decimate your microbial flora. Your microbiome is like your inner ecosystem, which is all the bacteria and microbes that live in and all around the body.

What is one thing that excites Alie Ward about science?

Our molecules will eventually disintegrate.

What is a branch of knowledge that people should know more about?

Eschatology, it’s the study of the apocalypse.

What is the least known ology?

Ferroequinology, which is the study of trains.

What can we do to have a meaningful impact on reducing emissions ?

Vote! Get everyone to vote. The U.S. influences the world culturally. What we do in the U.S. is critical to what goes on in the world. Electrify all ground transportation, solve the problem of using fossil fuels in air transportation. The power of voting is critical.

What is the best way to get kids excited about science?

Get kids really excited about learning science. Ask them to pick their favorite thing and then write out all the aspects of science that makes it exist. For example, if they love coffee, think about the beans, the agriculture, the roasting. Dive into each one of those aspects, figure out all the details..etc.

How can we provide a high quality life for all people?

Clean water, reliable renewable energy, and education for everyone.

What is the best way to carbon offset computer usage?

You can install solar panels or talk with your power company about having the ability to buy green electricity from renewable sources.

Why did Bill Nye become an engineer?

Bill Nye became a mechanical engineer because he thought that "bicycles and airplanes were the coolest things."