Science On Top (general)
The Australian Podcast putting Science on Top of the agenda

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall and Adam vanLangenberg.

Topics Covered:

Does being happy make you live longer? NASA wants rovers with tractor beams, billion year old bacteria created, the mystery of the Ice Age Beasts and did "too much fracking" cause earthquakes in England?

Plus a squabble about Klingons, Romulans and Battlestar Galactica. Yeah, we get nerdy.

Adam vanLangenberg is a mathematics teacher and host of Mathematical Punch-Ons.

Direct download: SoT_0032.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall and Jo Benhamu.

Topics covered:

BPA "linked" to behaviour problems in girls - it really isn't, as Food Standards Australia & New Zealand show. And why haven't we heard about the "Majestically Scientific" study earlier this year? On a related 'science in government policy' note, we look at the West Australian shark cull - is it a Hollywood response to real horror? A study links heavy metal music to depression, a Burmese Python's heart can expand nearly twice it's original size, Archaeopteryx reclaims the title of first bird, and dwarf planet Eris is roughly the same size as dwarf planet Pluto.

Jo Benhamu is a specialist nurse (Acute Care/Gastroenterology), a reporter for the Skeptic Zone podcast, and a committee member of Australian Skeptics.

Direct download: SoT_0031.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, and Lucas Randall.

Topics covered:

A new way to turn adult cells into embryonic stem cells, Cycads not so ancient after all, nanotube fibres that twist and untwist could propel nanobots. Astronomers may have directly imaged a planet in the process of forming, the IQ of teenagers fluctuates, and the world's biggest virus: MEGAVIRUS.

The book Penny mentions is Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, by Stephen Jay Gould.

Direct download: SoT_0030.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58pm AEST

It is estimated that in 2006 alone there were 1.3 million papers published in 23,750 scientific journals. But what happens when a paper gets 'unpublished' - withdrawn or retracted? I caught up with Dr. Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, founders of RetractionWatch. A blog that follows retractions as they happen and investigates the stories behind them, RetractionWatch uncovers a world of falsified data, plagiarism and ethics violations.

Direct download: SoT_Special_003_-_RetractionWatch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall.

Topics covered:

The book that Lucas mentions about the climate change denial industry is Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.

Direct download: SoT_0029.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Kylie Sturgess and Aimee Whitcroft

The 2011 Ig Nobel Prizes honour achievements that first make us laugh, then make us think. We take a look at this year's winners: from a study of beetles that really like beer bottles to 'structured procrastination'.

Aimee Whitcroft is a science blogger and co-founder of the SciBlogs network in New Zealand. She co-hosts The Official SciBlogs Podcast, and next year is planning to do the Mongol Rally.

Direct download: SoT_0028.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, and Penny Dumsday.

Topics covered:

Male squids appear to have sex with male and female squids, neutrinos might travel faster than light, and the DNA of an Australian Aborigine gives insights into the early migration out of Africa. Plus the discovery of a gene linking high fat food to diabetes and a study about cooperation in chimpanzees reveals stark differences to humans.

Our theme music, Step On It, kindly provided by The Upstanding Members.

Direct download: SoT_0027.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, and Lucas Randall.

Topics covered:

A new clutch of genetic mutations linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, online gamers have deciphered the structure of an enzyme that has long eluded scientists, and Victoria’s dolphins have been formally recognised as a new species. Plus Australia's northward drift has shed light on the causes of long-term sea level change, the James Webb Space Telescope gets a ray of hope, NASA announces a new rocket and the spooky living billboard that advertises the Hollywood blockbuster Contagion.

Direct download: SoT_0026.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53pm AEST

Hosts: Lucas Randall, Penny Dumsday, Kylie Sturgess.

Topics Covered:

  • Diamond planets, climate change and the scientific method
  • Despite winning acclaim for his children's book on evolution, Daniel Loxton faced some challenges getting published in the US
  • Are wild birds learning to speak from their previously domesticated cousins?
  • New study provokes a re-think on dingoes' history
  • It may not be up to sci-fi standards, but 'suspended animation' is ready for clinical trials as a life-saving technique
  • Near-death experiences may indeed be all in the mind, triggered by changes in serotonin levels
Direct download: SoT_0025.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:44am AEST

Hosts: Lucas Randall, Dr Shayne Joseph and Dr Rachael Dunlop.

Topics covered:

- Rachael Dunlop's research at the HRI in to the links between motor-neuron disease and blue-green algae
- A gene defect appears to cause the most common sight-disorder, near-signtedness or Myopa
- A team has found an association between long-term dietary patterns and the bacteria of the human gut
- Blood shortages are a global problem, and a French team have now published the results of their study which may be a crucial step towards addressing it - with stem cells
- A newly discovered star which formed back when the universe was just a toddler is challenging our current understanding of star-formation
- Cognitive dissonance FTW

Direct download: SoT_0024.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm AEST