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

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.

Direct download: SoT_0177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40am AEST

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?

Direct download: SoT_0176.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21am AEST

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.
Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, have discovered fossilised remains of bacteria from 1.8 billion years ago that, when compared to modern bacteria, doesn't appear to have evolved in that time.
Many creatures can sever part of their tails, or their legs or other body parts when in danger. Some scorpions can break off part of their tails, but that creates some significant problems.
Scientists in New Zealand have found a 'slippery zone' - a transition zone between the tectonic plates and the upper mantle. This discovery could provide new clues into the mechanics of plate tectonics.
Halting the spread of Australia's notorious cane toad could be as simple as fencing-off water dams, according to a paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Direct download: SoT_0175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am AEST

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.

Direct download: SoT_0174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59pm AEST