This week Science Goes to The Movies focuses on Deadpool, a film about a mutant hero, though one who was engineered rather than the mutants featured in last week’s episode on the X-Men (Deadpool is occasionally recruited by and/or works with various X-Men). The guest is Dr. Christopher Mason, an Assistant Professor of Computational Genetics at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Co-host Faith Salie is not in this episode, and Dr. Emily Rice, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and the College of Staten Island, joins Dr. Heather Berlin as co-host. Rice was on the show’s very first episode as a guest.
Last week’s episode was a bit more general in its discussion of mutants, so it makes sense that this week the hosts get more into the specific abilities shown by Deadpool, namely his ability to regenerate. This includes the specifics of how humans can regenerate tissue, the functions of stem cells, and what parallels might exist between Deadpool’s ability to regrow tissue and the cancer that riddled his body.
Implications of my headline aside, the hosts take just a few moments to discuss the NASA experiments that Mason is involved with concerning astronaut Scott Kelly. He spent nearly a year in the International Space Station, and Mason is part of several groups analyzing both Scott and his identical twin brother Mark to determine what differences observed between the two over the past year can be attributed to Scott’s time in space.
There are three more episodes in this season of Science Goes to the Movies. While I don’t know if a third season has been officially announced, but the program is taping a live episode at the World Science Festival next month, focusing on the drone film Eye In The Sky. Next week the program focuses on dragons, but apparently not those on Game of Thrones (I’ll be happy to proven wrong once it airs this weekend). The special guest for that episode has curated a museum exhibit on mythic creatures (not just dragons).