Thu, 24 December 2015
Our top stories of the year.
Tue, 15 December 2015
Fast Radio Bursts are sudden, very short but very intense blasts of radio waves that have so far defied explanation. But now the most detailed study so far has provided some clues to the origins of FRBs - they MIGHT come from starquakes. Probably not aliens.
While bees are certainly the most efficient pollinators, a new study suggests that other insects - like flies, wasps, beetles and butterflies - are just as important for the success of the world's crops. It's like having a backup plan for bees.
There are around 900 species of tarantula, and most of them are the usual black or brown colour. But there's more than a few of them have vibrant blue colourings - and we don't really know why.
An international team of scientists has found that the development of agriculture in Europe - around 8,500 years ago - signalled the start of some significant changes in the DNA of modern humans. There were changes in height, digestion, immune system and skin colour and a host of other evolutionary steps.
Thu, 10 December 2015
Chinese scientists have found bacteria that are resistant to one the 'last resort' antibiotics. The gene for this resistance has been found in 15 percent of meat samples and can spread to other bacteria very easily.
Biologists at Tufts University have induced flatworms to grow the heads and brains of other flatworm species, without altering the worm's genome.
Researchers have sequenced the genome of the tardigrade, or 'water bear'. This tiny but nearly indestructible creature has the most foreign genes of any animal studied so far - roughly one sixth of it's genome comes from other species.
Wed, 2 December 2015
For the first time, neurosurgeons at in Canada claim to have found a way to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to the brain, crossing the famed blood brain barrier.
Women infected with hookworms seem to have decreased fertility, while women with roundworms seem to be more fertile. Because parasitic worms are weird.
There's some growing evidence that suggest repeated vaccination against different flu strains might diminish the flu vaccine’s effectiveness. You should still get the shot, though.
Compass is a clinical trial comparing 2.5 -yearly Pap test screening with 5- yearly Human Papillomavirus (HPV) screening. It is the first large scale clinical trial internationally to assess these screening tests in an HPV vaccinated population.
Wed, 25 November 2015
A study of 345 women by The University of Essex concludes that no woman is"totally straight". Well, it's a bit more complicated than that.
In Australia, forty volunteers are about to have hookworms injected into their bodies to see if a radical treatment can alleviate some of the symptoms of coeliac disease.
Two possible ice volcanoes have been identified on the surface of Pluto thanks to New Horizons' study of the minor dwarf planet. Instead of molten rock, these volcanoes would eject slushies of water ice and nitrogen, ammonia or methane.
Scientists may have solved a long-standing mystery about moon rocks, and why they have a lot less volatile elements like potassium, sodium, and zinc than rocks on the Earth.
Dr. Cassandra Perryman is a psychologist at University of Queensland, and you can follow her on Facebook here.
Tue, 17 November 2015
The first case of a human falling ill from cancer cells contracted from a parasitic tapeworm has been reported in Columbia.
And in an unrelated story, a Californian man has had a live tapeworm removed from his brain in a potentially life-saving operation.
The Rosetta probe orbiting 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has surprised everyone by detecting large amounts of molecular oxygen on the comet. The finding suggests molecular oxygen was present when the comet was formed soon after the birth of the solar system, 4.6 billion years ago.
Stanford University researchers have discovered how jellyfish actually swim – and it's not how previously thought. They make a region of low pressure ahead of themselves, essentially sucking themselves forward. Lucas mentions Smarter Every Day's video of a balloon in a car.
Sat, 14 November 2015
The World Health Organisation has officially classified processed meat as "carcinogenic", and red meat as "probably carcinogenic". However, this doesn't really tell you anything about the level of risk associated with meat. You're probably fine.
Electric eels can deliver a strong shock, but they can deliver twice the shock by curling around and trapping their victim between head and tail.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved an impressive new kind of treatment to help combat skin cancer: herpes. That's right, herpes.
Sat, 7 November 2015
Researchers have found neurons in nematode worms that help them learn when to prioritise mating over eating. This does not necessarily have anything to do with humans.
A large team of scientists have published a paper about a strange star, KIC 8462852, which has an unusual pattern of dimming and brightening. One possible - though remote - explanation they have proposed is a Dyson's sphere.
Thanks again to some zircon cyrstals, researchers may have found evidence of ancient microorganisms that lived at least 4.1 billion years ago. If confirmed, the discovery suggests that life originated on Earth 300 million years earlier than previously thought.
Sun, 1 November 2015
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 was awarded jointly to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar "for mechanistic studies of DNA repair".
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 was awarded jointly to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald "for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass".
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 was awarded with one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi ?mura for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites and the other half to Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.
Scientists diving near the Solomon Islands have discovered the first biofluorescent reptile ever recorded.
Biological engineers at MIT have developed a new mix-and-match system to genetically engineer viruses that target specific bacteria. This use of bacteriophages could be an important weapon in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Advanced multi-layer CT scanning technology has enabled researchers to examine the remains of people found at Pompeii, and led to some surprising discoveries about their health and how they died.
Strange bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres had mystified astronomers since they were first seen earlier this year. But new spectroscopy studies suggest they are probably salt deposits, not ice as previously speculated.
Note: We had lots of technical difficulties with this episode. Most of Mick's contributions needed to be re-recorded separately, and there was a slight hum at times. We've done the best we could, but the audio might be a little dodgy in parts. It's not particularly noticeable, and doesn't really affect the experience. Please forgive us!
Fri, 16 October 2015
Dark streaks seen on the surface of Mars are likely to be periodic flows of liquid water – something previously though almost impossible.
The tongues of the long-tongued bumblebees in Colorado are shorter than archived long-tongued bumblebees from forty years ago. This appears to be an adaptation to climate change and while it's good news for the bees, it could be bad news for the flowers they feed on.
Four kinds of gut bacteria have been found to havea strong preventative link to asthma. But there's a catch - it's only significant in the first three months after birth.
We're fairly certain that a massive asteroid collision with Earth wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But another theory suggests extensive volcanic action was already doing that, and maybe the asteroid just helped things along.
Helen and Lucas have been to see the blockbuster film The Martian, and they liked it!
Wed, 7 October 2015
The Ig Nobel Prizes honour achievements that first make us laugh, then make us think. We take a look at this year’s winners: from unboiled eggs to painful bee stings!
You can watch the award ceremony here.
The Chemistry prize was awarded to a team from Australia and the USA "for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg".
The Physics prize went to scientists from the USA and Taiwan "for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds)".
The Literature prize was awarded to linguists from The Netherlands, USA, Belgium and Australia "for discovering that the word "[huh?" (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language — and for not being quite sure why".
The Management prize was given to three business school professors, "for discovering that many business leaders developed in childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that — for them — had no dire personal consequences".
The Economics prize went to the Bangkok Metropolitan Police, "for offering to pay policemen extra cash if the policemen refuse to take bribes".
The Medicine prize was awarded jointly to two groups, "for experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities)".
The Mathematics prize was given to Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Karl Grammer, "for trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children".
The Biology prize was presented to scientists from Chile and the USA, "for observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked".
The Diagnostic Medicine prize went to researchers from the University of Oxford and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, "for determining that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain evident when the patient is driven over speed bumps".
The Physiology and Entomology prize was jointly awarded to two individuals. Justin Schmidt got the gong "for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects". Michael L. Smith was granted the prize "for carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm) and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft)".
Wed, 23 September 2015
Neurologist and acclaimed author Dr. Oliver Sacks died after complications with cancer at age 82. He was an extraordinary man who humanised the sufferers of mental disorders and introduced the general public to the world of neuroscience. Read his books. We highly recommend them!
Nobody is surprised, but we finally have good experimental data that shows a lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to illness. Less than 5 hours of sleep makes you four times more likely to get sick, and volunteers where locked in a hotel and given colds to prove it.
Climate change will cause many problems, but a new study potentially adds one more to the list: changes to nitrogen fixating bacteria that could dramatically effect nearly all sea life.
After its successful fly-by of Pluto, New Horizons has a new target: 2014 MU69. This 'cold classical' Kuiper belt object will be 43.4 AU from the sun when New Horizons arrives on January 1, 2019.
Sun, 20 September 2015
A new theory about our solar system's history proposes that there was a fifth giant planet early on that influenced Neptune's orbit and was flung out into interstellar space.
Two independent teams have manipulated a piece of viral protein so it can teach immune systems to fight whole groups of viruses, rather than a single strain. This could be the first step towards a universal flu vaccine and could eventually eradicate influenza altogether.
Over the last three years Professor Brian Nosek from the University of Virginia has managed to get a lot of psychologists from around the world to repeat 100 published psychology experiments. In a lot of cases, the new results were considerably different from the original experiment's results.
A psychologist in Italy got study participants to stare into each other's eyes for ten minutes and describe what they felt. Weird things happened!
Mon, 14 September 2015
Dr. Miranda Ween is investigating the potential health effects of e-cigarettes.
Nasa has awarded a $200,000 per year grant to researchers to investigate ways to turn poop into food.
Scientists at the American Fisheries Society annual meeting have called for changes to how decisions are made in fisheries. Unprecedented conditions like the North Pacific blob demonstrate a need for ecosystem-based modelling instead of the more common species-based modelling.
Can smelling vomit make you sick? The answer is yes, but to prove it virologists had to build a machine that vomits.
Wed, 2 September 2015
Dr. Krystal is now working at the BioMelbourne Network, the peak industry body for life sciences in Melbourne, Australia.
In an important step forward for human space exploration, astronauts on the ISS have eaten lettuce grown on the station. They liked it.
Despite having only a 36% success rate, the new malaria vaccine called 'Mosquirix' has been endorsed for young African children. The hope is that the vaccine, when combined with other existing defenses, can still greatly reduce the incidence of severe malaria.
New research studying almost 20,000 galaxies in one small section of the sky shows the universe has long passed its peak and is slowly dying. Which is a gloomy way of saying that the rate of new stars being born is decreasing.
We all know that no vaccine is ever truly 100% effective, yet that's exactly what early stages of a new Ebola vaccine seems to suggest.
The humble octopus has an exceptionally complicated genome, which goes part way to explaining the complexity of these incredible sea creatures.
Sun, 23 August 2015
In 2011 a tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing 158 people. It also brought with it a rare flesh-eating fungus that killed another five.
The first two species of 'venomous' frogs have been discovered - the hard way - in the Caatinga forests of Brazil. And you really don't want them to headbutt you.
There's a parasitic wasp that uses mind control on spiders to force them to spin cocoons. Because nature is like that.
We mention this David Attenborough video about the Cordyceps fungi that zombifies ants.
We also mention spider webs produced by spiders on drugs.
Shayne recommends the XKCD webcomic about the bee orchid.
Ed recommends watching Ed Yong's TED talk about mind controlling parasites.
Simon Chapman is Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney, and was called upon to give evidence before the Select Committee on Wind Turbines. They asked his opinion, and he well and truly delivered it!
Sun, 9 August 2015
A special episode all about Pluto and the New Horizons mission. We're joined by Dr. Mike Goldsmith, a science writer with a PhD in astrophysics who's currently writing a book about Pluto. Keep an eye on Amazon for New Horizons To Pluto to be published in the next month or so.
Tue, 4 August 2015
One study suggests a dip in solar activity in 15 years. Mainstream media gets it so very wrong.
The world's first malaria vaccine gets regulatory approval, but it's not the panacea you might think.
Billionaire Yuri Milner funds US$100 million dollar search for extra terrestrial life. Which is awesome!
A 14,000 year old tooth shows signs of early dentistry. Early PAINFUL dentistry.
NASA announces thousands of newly discovered exoplanets, including one that might possibly be a bit like Earth only different.
Album art: David McClenaghan / CSIRO (CC BY 3.0)
Thu, 30 July 2015
Researchers at the University of York and GlaxoSmithKline have figured out all the steps needed to genetically engineer yeast to essentially produce opiates like morphine.
A pitcher plant in the jungles of Borneo - a flesh-eating plant that’s terrible at eating flesh - has through evolution developed a system of luring bats, and then feasting on their poop.
A growing body of research suggests that males and females process pain differently. It also opens promising new fields of further study.
Wed, 8 July 2015
A single-celled organism has no brain and no nervous system, so you wouldn't think it could have an eye. But the dinoflagellate Erythropsidinium is able to "see" polarised light, and aim its piston accordingly.
The iconic 3D holographic computer interfaces from the Iron Man movies and Minority Report might be not far off, as researchers in Japan have developed a way to suspend light in mid-air and make it safe to interact with.
Approximately 2.1 billion years ago saw the emergence of multicellular organisms. New research suggests that the leap from single-celled life to multicellular creatures may have been fairly simple, and there may have been more than one way it happened.
Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed a system for self-healing aeroplane wings. The material, which uses a liquid carbon-based "healing agent" could also be used for bicycle frames and wind turbines.
A dramatic increase in raven population in the Mojave Desert is threatening a rare desert tortoise. Some conservationists have turned to technology to ward off the ravens - they're shooting them with lasers.
Sun, 28 June 2015
More communication with the recently awoken Philae probe on Comet 67P.
New techniques to treat depression, and Sean's fascinating story of being part of a clinical trial.
Tech startup OneWeb has announced that Airbus will be manufacturing 900 communications satellites to launch in 2018 in what will be the largest satellite internet network by far.
A new blood test can determine all the viruses that we know of that a patient has ever been exposed to.
The holes in Swiss cheese – called 'eyes' – are made by “carbon-dioxide-burping microbes”.
Thu, 18 June 2015
The New Horizons spacecraft is one month away from Pluto, but it's already giving us some fuzzy photos.
And new findings from the Hubble telescope give some insights into the complex orbits and interactions of Pluto's moons.
In the last month around 120,000 Saiga antelopes have died in Kazakhstan, and nobody knows why.
Breaking news while we recorded this show - the Philae lander has awoken on Comet 67P after a seven month sleep.
The first stage of The Planetary Society's LightSail project has been successfully completed. The small craft unfurled its large solar sail, which uses sunlight for propulsion.
Tue, 9 June 2015
The International Institute for Species Exploration has selected it's "Top 10 New Species" from the approximately 18,000 new species named during 2014. The list includes cartwheeling spiders, feathered dinosaurs and strange multicellular organisms that could be an entirely new phylum - a new branch on the tree of life.
Two separate studies have explored how octopuses and squid change their skin colour to rapidly camouflage themselves. They found that the skin (on squid and cuttlefish) and tiny hairs called cilia (on octopuses) have cells that are used in vision.
In 2013 some research suggested that the blood from young mice can rejuvenate older mice. Well new findings cast doubt on those results, and things are a little more complicated.
British and US scientists have published the first comprehensive map of genetic mutations linked to different strains of prostate cancer. They describe the map as "prostate cancer’s Rosetta stone" and say it will guide future treatments and trials.
Wed, 3 June 2015
The Opah, or moonfish, is the only warm-blooded fish that we know of. And it looks like "a big startled frisbee, with thin red fins stuck on as an afterthought."
A new epidemiological study suggests the measles vaccine does more than just protect you from measles, but also a number of other infections for up to five years.
Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called 'Jahn-Teller metals', that could be the first step towards one of the biggest goals in physics - high-temperature superconductors.
A group of scientists investigating the evolution of the beak now report they have found a way to turn the beaks of chicken embryos back into dinosaur-like snouts.
This year the Australian Skeptics' National Convention will be held in Brisbane, with a host of interesting speakers including Nobel prize winner Brian Schmidt.
Mon, 25 May 2015
Dr. Alice Gorman is a Space Archaeologist. She explains what that means, and why cable ties can be more significant than you might think.
NASA has ended the MESSENGER space probe's mission by crashing it into the planet Mercury. Initially only expected to orbit Mercury for one year, MESSENGER has provided a wealth of new information in it's four year study of the closest planet to the Sun.
A team of Chinese scientists claim to have built a farm that maintains the high crop yields we expect from conventional farms while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. And they've done that largely by replacing traditional chemical fertilizers with cow manure.
The United Nations has named 2015 the Year of the Soil, which is perhaps fitting given the growing amount of research looking at ways soil bacteria could help mitigate the effects of climate change.
A small TV news segment from a local network in New Mexico sparked an international media frenzy when it claimed that some beards contain more faecal bacteria than a toilet. Unsurprisingly, there's more crap in those claims than there is in most beards.
Wed, 20 May 2015
Audi claims to have produced clean, synthetic diesel fuel by using electrolysis to turn air and water into hydrocarbons. When using green electricity the process can be 100% renewable and the fuel works in existing diesel engines.
An international project to sequence the complete genome of the woolly mammoth has been successfully completed. So once again the idea of 'de-extinction' - bringing the mammoth back - is a hot topic.
For the first time, scientists have been able to monitor an underwater volcano eruption in real time, thanks to sensors placed around the Axial Seamount.
Rotoroa is a tiny, 82-hectare island off the coast of New Zealand. And for the last few years, it's been the site of an extraordinary conservation experiment. This project isn't about recreating an ecosystem, rather it's creating a brand new one.
Wed, 13 May 2015
A controversial paper published by Chinese researchers in the online journal Protein & Cell marks the first time scientists have reported manipulating the genetic material of human embryos.
A new study has looked at the role of the hormone oxytocin in the dog and owner relationship. And it involved dogs and owners staring longingly into each other's eyes.
Chimpanzees in the wild have been observed crafting sharp spears to stab their prey. Hunting is rare among chimpanzees, but even more interesting in this case is it's the females that use the spears.
Bacteria that normally live in the urinary tract and cause no harm have been implicated in a number of deaths in organ transplant patients.
Seismologists at the University of Utah have found a huge reservoir of partially molten rock underneath the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano in North America.
25 Years ago the Hubble Space Telescope was launched from the Kennedy Space Centre. And despite a number of significant obstacles and challenges, it has become one of the most successful and iconic telescopes ever built.
Fri, 8 May 2015
After more than a hundred years, Brontosaurus is a dinosaur again. And once again, taxonomy is hard.
The Dutch are the tallest people on the planet, but it wasn't always so. The average adult height in the Netherlands has increased by 20 centimetres in the past 150 years, and a new study looks at the possible reasons why.
A one thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon recipe for a treatment for an infected eyelash follicle has been found to be surprisingly effective against the superbug MRSA.
The remarkably complete skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis, known as "Lucy" is probably the world's most famous early human fossil. But a new look at the skeleton has found that the skeleton isn't all Lucy - one bone seems to be from a baboon.
Thu, 30 April 2015
Two major reports have highlighted the impending dangers of antibiotic resistance. In the UK a government report estimated that an outbreak of a drug-resistant infection in Britain could cause up to 80,000 deaths, while in the US the CDC issued an alert about a new strain of the common Shigella bacteria that is resistant to the usual antibiotics used to treat it.
Sat, 18 April 2015
A new study has been published in the Lancet which suggests babies who were breastfeed were more likely to have higher IQs, spend more time in school, and end up in higher-paying jobs.
A study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame looked at baboon social structure and how that affected variation in gut microbiota.
A team based in Oxford has published a detailed genetic ancestry map of Great Britain - essentially a country-wide family tree. And that analysis demonstrated waves of migration by different populations into the United Kingdom throughout history.
A serendipitous discovery by scientists at Stanford has found a way to convert leukemia cells into cancer-fighting immune cells.
NASA is taking suggestions to name geologic features on Pluto and Charon when the New Horizons spacecraft flies past in July.
Sat, 4 April 2015
For the first time, a salty subsurface ocean on Jupiter's largest moon Ganymede has been detected through the use of auroras. The idea of a subsurface ocean isn't new, but auroras have never before been used as a detection mechanism.
In an elegant experiment, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology have found that bacteria can share nutrients between each other through tiny feeding tubes.
Researchers in France have modified memories in sleeping mice. My electrically stimulating parts of the brain they were able to associate certain locations with rewards.
A team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel were testing the theory that people sniff their hands after handshakes. They secretly filmed 153 volunteers and discovered that handshakes could be responsible for transmitting chemical biosignals between people.
There are 17 regions on Comet 67P that have material that appears to be moving. And now scientists may have figured out how these "wind tails" may be occurring.
Tue, 24 March 2015
Astronomers using the Hubble Space telescope have found large methane storms raging on the planet Uranus.
Only three animals go through menopause: humans, short-finned pilot whales, and killer whales. The leading theory behind this is known as the 'Grandmother hypothesis', but it doesn't explain other long-lived familial animals like elephants.
Spectroscopy analysis may have revealed how chameleons change colour. Intricate latices of tiny photonic crystals reflect light differently depending on how they are aligned and the spaces between them.
The microbes in a city's sewage could give an indication of the rate of obesity in the city, according to an American study.
Tue, 17 March 2015
The Dawn probe arrives at dwarf planet Ceres, and finds mysterious bright spots.
An ecological study has found that large predators - lions, wolves, hyenas etc - regulate their population numbers, mainly through infanticide or social limitations on breeding.
And we talk about #TheDress, and some explanations as to why people see it differently.
Chemical engineers and astronomers at Cornell University suggest that Titan, Saturn's largest moon, could harbour life - but not as we know it.
Tue, 10 March 2015
70,000 Years ago, a small star passed within a light-year of Earth - within the Oort cloud on the edge of our solar system.
New research suggests the sun can continue doing damage to our skin even when we go inside or cover up.
A flawed study into the health effects of fluoride gets far too much media attention.
Medical marijuana is not very effective for pain relief, and the industry is poorly regulated according to pain specialist Dr. Mick Vagg.
A study of Europe's climate between the 14th and 18th century indicates that the Black Plague may have been spread more by gerbils, than rats.
Fri, 27 February 2015
Scientists are 'baffled' by strange cloud-like plumes spotted 250km above the surface of Mars.
Genetic analysis shows penguins can only taste salty and sour things, and they lost the other taste receptors a long time ago.
Drinking three cups of coffee could reduce DNA strand breakages, which could lead to a lower risk of cancer and other illnesses.
A NASA animation shows a high-tech submarine concept that could one day explore the liquid methane oceans on Saturn's moon Titan. One day in the very distant future. Maybe.
A new study suggests that sugary soft-drinks could be part of the reason girls are starting their periods at a slightly earlier age.
Mon, 23 February 2015
The UK parliament has voted to allow so-called 'three-person babies", a controversial method of IVF using with DNA from two women and one man.
Scientists at a US conference have said it is time to actively try to contact intelligent life on other worlds.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and colleagues at Nanjing University in China have found that the Earth’s inner core has an inner core inside it. An inner core in an inner core.
The Conservation Canines program at the University of Washington trains dogs to sniff for the poop of endangered animals. More than forty dogs have been trained to sniff out up to 12 species each: wolverines, tapirs, iguanas, and even orcas.
And high-speed cameras have answered a question we’ve always wanted to know: how does popcorn pop?
Thu, 19 February 2015
The President's 2016 budget proposal has some big news for NASA - finally a mission to Europa! We look at some of the good and bad (but mostly good!) proposals made in NASA's FY2016 Budget Request.
Mon, 9 February 2015
Visitors to Disneyland left with something more than just exhaustion and overpriced souvenirs this month. The Happiest Place on Earth has been identified as ground zero for an outbreak of Measles that has so far infected more than 84 people.
Scientists drilling in the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica have been surprised to find translucent fish and other aquatic animals living in perpetual darkness and cold, beneath a roof of ice 740 metres thick.
There's a promising new stem cell treatment for the most common form of Multiple Sclerosis. After three years, 86 percent of trial patients have had no relapses, and 91 percent are showing no signs of MS development.
In 2003, the Mars lander Beagle 2 was lost during its landing on Mars. Eleven years later the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found it - intact but only partially deployed.
The 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius is famous for burying - and preserving - the city of Pompeii. But it also preserved another nearby town, Herculaneum. A new X-Ray technique is helping archaeologists read scrolls found there without opening and damaging them.
Sun, 18 January 2015
SoT Special 17: Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki
Sun, 11 January 2015
Our end of year 'bloopers' episode is online! For all the funny, interesting and weird bits that didn't quite make the show in 2014, download the show from our website, at scienceontop.com/bloopers14. This show is NOT on our feed, to listen you will HAVE to download it manually from the website or listen on SoundCloud
It does contain swearing and content that might not be suitable for children.
So go to scienceontop.com/bloopers14 and click the download link!