Fri, 23 September 2016
Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall.
00:00:37 The FDA has decreed that triclosan and triclocarban must be removed from all antibacterial soap products by late 2017. This is not because they're dangerous, but because they're ineffective.
00:07:38 The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has launched "perfectly". If successful, this ambitious mission will be the first time NASA has retrieved samples of an asteroid.
00:23:37 A new study of Lucy - the bones of a human ancestor from 3.2 million years ago - suggests she may have died from falling from a tree.
00:30:22 The Juno probe in orbit around Jupiter has taken some extraordinary photographs - the first ever photos of Jupiter's polar regions.
This episode may contain traces of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson describing a Tim Tam Slam.
Thu, 15 September 2016
Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall.
00:00:51 A genetic analysis of the leather coat and fur hat worn by Otzi the iceman has not only revealed what animals he was wearing, but also why.
00:07:07 Zebra finch mothers sing weather reports to their eggs, and the embryos alter the speed of their development accordingly.
00:12:16 Tasmanian devils, nearly wiped out by a devastating facial tumour disease, may be showing signs of resistance to the cancer. This could have a dramatic impact on conservation efforts.
00:20:07 Traces of supernova ash has been discovered in fossils created by bacteria on Earth, which could explain an extinction event 2 million years ago.
00:23:04 Russian scientists have detected an unusually strong spike in radio signals from the vicinity of a nearby star. The internet says it's aliens. Actual scientists say it probably isn't.
00:30:46 The "EM Drive" - a space drive that appears to break the laws of physics - has "passed peer review". But what does that actually mean, and does it mean the drive could be the engine of future spacecraft? Answers: Not much, probably not.
This episode contains traces of SETI astronomer Jill Tarter on Science channel's "Through the Wormhole", describing the first small steps in the search for alien intelligence.
Wed, 7 September 2016
00:00:38 A planet-that-in-some-respects-probably-resembles-Earth-a-little-bit has been found orbiting the closest star outside our solar system, Proxima Centauri. Astronomer and astrobiologist Dr. Jonti Horner gives us the details about our nearest distant neighbour, Proxima Centauri b.
00:45:33 Thanks to continental drift, Australia's moving Northward by 7cm every year. As a result, it's now more than a meter from where the maps say it is. And when your self-driving car relies on GPS, that could be a big problem.
Dr. Jonti Horner is an astronomer and astrobiologist based at the University of Southern Queensland. On Saturday, 24 September 2016 he will be giving a talk, "Exoplanets & Life Elsewhere", at the Melbourne Planetarium.
This episode may contain traces of Shepard Smith announcing the discovery of Proxima Centauri b.