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

Mother turtles and their newly hatched babies talk to each other underwater, and scientists in Brazil have managed to record them.

Taking antibiotics to kill ‘bad’ bacteria can be a good idea, but such disruptions to the gut microbiome can have long-term consequences for our health, and could even be making us fat.

The widely held belief that magpies steal shiny objects seems to be myth-busted. Instead, they seem to avoid new objects regardless of shininess.

Analysis of bones from King Richard the Third reveal that the last King of England to die in battle lived the good life. The samples indicate the King drank up to a bottle of wine each day.

Direct download: SoT_0158.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm AEST

The Rosetta space probe has finally arrived and is currently in orbit around the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko! Rosetta is now officially the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet.
previously unknown tribe of humans has emerged from the rainforest in Brazil and made contact with a settled indigenous community. They are believed to have fled illegal loggers and drug traffickers, but some have already contracted influenza.
Newly discovered crAssphage could be the most common virus in your body. Nobody has ever seen it, and we didn’t even know about it until just recently.
Grizzly bears will eat an extraordinary amount of food before going into hibernation. In humans, this would be a recipe for diabetes but it isn’t for the bears. Turns out there’s a protein called PTEN that’s responsible – and the trick is reducing its expression only in fat cells.
What do you get when two scientists sequence their gut microbiome for a whole year? An amazingly detailed dataset that documents the changes our bodies go through during illness, travel and dietary changes.
Being strangled during sex might be unfortunate, but being eaten by your mate afterwards would also be weird. Another reason to be glad you’re not an octopus.

Direct download: SoT_0157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:52pm AEST

At our 150th episode celebration earlier this year, we were fortunate to have Dr. Krystal Evans address the audience to talk about science in Australia. Dr. Evans is a medical researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute where she is working on Malaria treatment and developing a vaccine. She is a leading advocate for science and technology, and was a founding member and Chair of the Australian Academy of Science’s Early and Mid Career Researcher Forum. In this talk she looks at how Australia stacks up against the rest of the world - both in scientific accomplishments and in investment. She talks about ways to motivate scientists to engage with the public, and also how to encourage the public to take an interest in science. And she answers that burning question: just how much is Australian politics like going on a date with a homeopath?

Direct download: SoT_Special__014.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:29pm AEST