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

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall

00:00:27 How do you study wibbly wobbly jellyfish, without damaging them or stressing them out? You give them a noodly hug, of course!
00:08:27 When a satellite runs out of fuel, it's sent up into a graveyard orbit where it can pose a threat to any spacecraft leaving Earth. But a recent test of the Mission Extension Vehicle could mean satellites can be refuelled, extending their lifespan significantly.
00:21:25 People are attaching sensors to plants, and translating the electrical conductivity of the plants into "music". It's not very good music, but the idea is to change how people think about plants as living organisms.
00:29:45 Astronomers have found a new planet outside our solar system, with a new technique. They looked for the radio signals from aurorae on the exoplanet!

This episode contains traces of ABC science journalist Tegan Taylor and physician Dr. Norman Swan answering children's coronavirus questions on Coronacast.

Direct download: SoT_0352.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57am AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall

00:00:28 An Australian research team has come up with a luxurious plan to save endangered seahorses.
00:04:54 A more precise method of determining the methane produced by human activities draws a timeline of industrialisation.
00:15:07 Remains dating back 65,000 years ago demonstrate that the earliest Australians enjoyed slow-cooking.
00:20:28 Have you thought about the environmental impact your death and burial or cremation will have? There could be more planet-friendly options when it comes to 'deathcare'.

This episode contains traces of Bill Gates, speaking to Vox four years ago, about his greatest fear.

Direct download: SoT_0351.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05pm AEDT

As the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 sweeps the world, the only thing spreading quicker is panic and misinformation. So we caught up with Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiologist, writer and podcaster to find out what's really going on with COVID-19.

For more information, we recommend:

Australian Department of Health

World Health Organisation

Centers For Disease Control

This Week In Virology podcast

Coronacast podcast


And you can follow Gideon on Twitter.

Direct download: SoT_Special_028_Coronavirus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16am AEDT

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall

00:01:14 A team at Howard Hughes Medical Institute has been working with Google, and has just announced that they have mapped the “connectome” in the central region of brain of a fruit fly. That's means they've worked out the precise meanderings of 25,000 neurons and their 20 million connections.
00:15:14 About 2 billion years ago, a giant meteorite smacked into the thick glaciers that then were covering Western Australia. The result could have been the end of a 'snowball event' and the beginning of complex life!
00:24:15 Parkinson's Disease affects more than 10 million people worldwide, yet we know so little about it. But we do know that a build of a protein, alpha-synuclein makes it worse. Now researchers in the US claim to have developed a compound that can target and reduce the levels of alpha-synuclein.
00:28:40 Usually one of the top ten brightest stars in the night sky, the orange giant Betelgeuse has been dimming a lot in the last few months. So is it, like many media outlets have proclaimed, on the verge of going supernova?
This episode contains traces of This episode contains traces of actress Taraji P. Henson, who played NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson in the film "Hidden Figures", describing some of the highlights of a remarkable life. Johnson passed away on February 24, 2020, aged 101.

Direct download: SoT_0350.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:14am AEDT

Here's a little taste of the sort of thing to expect when Science on Top returns very soon - on hot days are you better off drinking hot or cold drinks?

Direct download: SoT_Bites_002.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46pm AEDT

Have you missed us? Looking forward to another season of Science on Top? Here's something to whet your appetite - a story of cute cephalopods, curious scientists and 3D glasses!

Direct download: SoT_bites001.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:27pm AEDT