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

Koalas will cuddle specific tree types during summer heatwaves to cool down. Hugging the right tree can reduce a koala's body temperature by almost 70 per cent.

Researchers have sequenced the genome of Eucalyptus grandis, a common type of gum tree. And this genetic blueprint, according to the researchers, could help design more powerful and efficient jet fuels. The project took five years and involved 80 scientists from 18 countries.

A 36 year-old space probe, mothballed by NASA, has just been resurrected by a crowdfunded group of volunteers calling themselves the ISEE-3 Reboot Project. The team raised $159,502 on Kickstarter to cover the costs of writing the software to communicate with the probe, searching through the NASA archives for the information needed to control the spacecraft, and buying time on the dish antennas.

60 years after the suicide of one of the greatest mathematicians, Alan Turing, the test he gave his name to has allegedly been passed. The Turing Test is where a computer program tries to fool a human into thinking they're conversing with real human being.  A Russian chatbot sort of did that, by pretending it was a 13 year old Ukrainian boy who likes Eminem. But it's not the breakthrough that some people have claimed.

A study on Bangladeshi children has found that the gut microbiome of malnourished children is less developed than that of healthy children. This suggests that food alone might not be enough to combat malnutrition, as the gut bacteria may need a boost as well.

The National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) is giant collection of yeast cultures, holding over 4000 strains collected over 65 years. While a lot of its cultures are stored for medical research purposes, it also acts as a kind of insurance agency for many pubs around the UK in case their unique strain of brewer's yeast is lost.

Direct download: SoT_0152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm AEST

A study suggests hurricanes with 'female' names have killed more people than 'male' names. But it's MUCH more complicated than that.

Men are more likely than women to report severe pain after major surgery. But Women are more likely to complain after minor surgery. Because reasons.

A tiny tick trapped in a droplet of amber more than 15 million years ago appears to have been infected with a bacteria similar to the one that causes Lyme disease in humans.

The oldest known pair of trousers has been found in China, and their low-crotch design may have been for horseriding.

A new study of marmosets gives some clues as to what causes stillbirth. It's not always the mother's fault, so lay off on the guilt-tripping, ok?

The lead author of the controversial STAP papers, Dr. Haruko Obokata, has agreed to retract one (Update: now both) of the disputed papers.

Direct download: SoT_0151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37am AEST

Greenland is more vulnerable to melting than we thought, and the West Antarctic ice shelf is melting much faster and is now 'unstoppable'.

The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is shrinking and changing shape.

The top 10 new species of 2013 have been announced. Some of them are cute.

The first farm to supply insects for human consumption has opened, but faces regulatory, engineering and cultural hurdles.

Jupiter's moon Ganymede has layers of ice and water beneath its surface. NASA calls it a 'moonwich' but nobody else does.

An elaborate experiment shows that fruit flies need to stop and think before making decisions. Also, fruit flies have decisions to make.

Direct download: SoT_0150.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12pm AEST