Science On Top
The Australian Podcast putting Science on Top of the agenda

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall.

Topics covered:

Mitochondria - the 'power-plants' inside cells - might be ancient parasites. Body hair may help us spot parasites, and tiny hairs on spiders help them hear. There could be large oceans of liquid water deep underground on Mars, and more than half of all Australian men diagnosed with cancer have turned to 'alternate' medicine.

Direct download: SoT_0038.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall.

Topics covered:

Study shows rats have empathy, helping other rats escape. Carbon sequestration is likely to be too costly to combat climate change. Doctors take a stand against chiropractors - and is this the age of superstition? CERN calls a press conference and doesn't tell us very much. And the fossilised remains of a scary pre-cambrian superpredator is found with remarkable eyes.

Direct download: SoT_0037.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall, Aimee Whitcroft.

Topics covered:

Baby turtles with wi-fi! They can listen in to each other's heartbeats! Wasps have a surprisingly good ability to recognise faces. Genetically engineered neurons that light up when firing. When do women take bigger risks, and do childless women really have poorer health? And climate change has had an unusual effect on ladybugs.

Aimee Whitcroft is a New Zealand-based science blogger. She is co-founder of the SciBlogs network and co-host of The Official SciBlogs Podcast.

Direct download: SoT_0036.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17pm AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Elf Eldridge.

Topics covered:

Pregnancy is hard enough for humans, but a study shows the high energy cost to pregnant dolphins. Paleontologists in China have discovered the remains of a bird inside the stomach of a Microraptor dinosaur. The successful embedding of an LED in a contact lens paves the way for head-up-displays and augmented reality. A 70-million year old nest has been found, with the remains of 15 baby protoceratops dinosaurs. The switch to an agricultural society has led to a shortening of the human jaw, and therefore crooked teeth.

Elf Eldridge is a Physics PhD student at the MacDiarmid Institute where he works on developing nanopore technology. He is also a science communicator, a blogger for the SciBlogs network and co-host of The Official Sciblogs Podcast.

Direct download: SoT_0035.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30am AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Dr. Krystal Evans.

Topics covered:

Dr. Krystal gives us an in-depth progress report on malaria treatment - is this the year we start winning the war on malaria? Also Penny tells us how nematode worms can distinguish good bacteria from harmful bacteria, and the discovery of two sunken 'mini-continents' off the coast of West Australia. Plus an update on the troubled Phobos-Grunt probe - it's alive! And more results for those faster-than-light neutrinos.

Dr. Krystal is a malaria researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Direct download: SoT_0034.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18pm AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall, Vanessa Hill.

Topics covered:

NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity, is about to launch - and a Russian Mars probe is in trouble. A new drug helps fat monkeys get slim, a new model explores the shape of continental plates. Autism could be caused by too many brain cells in a key area of the brain, the Spotted Horse may have existed 25,000 years ago, and a new approach to lung cancer treatment.

Vanessa Hill is an education officer for CSIRO, Australia’s national science organisation.

Direct download: SoT_0033.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall and Adam vanLangenberg.

Topics Covered:

Does being happy make you live longer? NASA wants rovers with tractor beams, billion year old bacteria created, the mystery of the Ice Age Beasts and did "too much fracking" cause earthquakes in England?

Plus a squabble about Klingons, Romulans and Battlestar Galactica. Yeah, we get nerdy.

Adam vanLangenberg is a mathematics teacher and host of Mathematical Punch-Ons.

Direct download: SoT_0032.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall and Jo Benhamu.

Topics covered:

BPA "linked" to behaviour problems in girls - it really isn't, as Food Standards Australia & New Zealand show. And why haven't we heard about the "Majestically Scientific" study earlier this year? On a related 'science in government policy' note, we look at the West Australian shark cull - is it a Hollywood response to real horror? A study links heavy metal music to depression, a Burmese Python's heart can expand nearly twice it's original size, Archaeopteryx reclaims the title of first bird, and dwarf planet Eris is roughly the same size as dwarf planet Pluto.

Jo Benhamu is a specialist nurse (Acute Care/Gastroenterology), a reporter for the Skeptic Zone podcast, and a committee member of Australian Skeptics.

Direct download: SoT_0031.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23pm AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, and Lucas Randall.

Topics covered:

A new way to turn adult cells into embryonic stem cells, Cycads not so ancient after all, nanotube fibres that twist and untwist could propel nanobots. Astronomers may have directly imaged a planet in the process of forming, the IQ of teenagers fluctuates, and the world's biggest virus: MEGAVIRUS.

The book Penny mentions is Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, by Stephen Jay Gould.

Direct download: SoT_0030.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58pm AEDT

It is estimated that in 2006 alone there were 1.3 million papers published in 23,750 scientific journals. But what happens when a paper gets 'unpublished' - withdrawn or retracted? I caught up with Dr. Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, founders of RetractionWatch. A blog that follows retractions as they happen and investigates the stories behind them, RetractionWatch uncovers a world of falsified data, plagiarism and ethics violations.

Direct download: SoT_Special_003_-_RetractionWatch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am AEDT