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

Professor Lucie Green is a Professor of Physics and a Royal Society University Research Fellow who studies the sun. Ed and Lucas sat down with her to talk about solar research, the Solar Orbiter mission, the Carrington Event, the Eclipse Mega Movie project and much more!

Direct download: SoT_Special_021_Lucie_Green.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm AEST

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

00:01:05 By monitoring two wild elephants, researchers have found that elephants in the wild only have about two hours of sleep each night, and sometimes they go for days without sleep.

00:08:21 Archaea are single-celled organisms that are difficult to study, so scientists don't study them. "Because they don't study them, they don't know very much about them. Because they don't know very much about them, they don't know how best to study them."

00:24:46 How and when did modern humans come to Australia? We have evidence of human habitation dating back to 50,000 years, but no further. Now the genomes of 111 Indigenous Australians could give us some clues.

 

This episode may contain traces of Emre, asking science communicator and Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye a question about time travel.

Direct download: SoT_0258.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm AEST

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

00:00:52 Researchers have trained bees to play soccer! Well, move a tiny ball into a hole, which is a bit like human soccer only faster and more entertaining.

00:06:15 NASA Astrobiology Institute director Penelope Boston has announced that NASA has found life - in liquid, in crystals, in a cave on Earth. But some of these microbes have been dormant for tens of thousands of years, and Dr. Boston claims to have awoken some of them!

00:17:24 Facial recognition technology has come a long way - and now researchers are using it to track and identify lemurs in the wild!

Direct download: SoT_0257.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Lucas Randall and Jo Benhamu.

00:00:51 NASA has announced the discovery of seven planets outside our solar system that all orbit the same star and are about Earth-size. Three of them are firmly located in the habitable zone, and therefore likely to have liquid water.

00:13:15 Last year Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the world's richest doctor, launched "Cancer MoonShot 2020", a coalition of drug and biotech companies working on cancer treatments and personalized medicine. A year later, with little credible evidence behind it, the initiative has been described as little more than "an elaborate marketing tool".

00:28:11 For the first time, astronomers have have observed the immediate aftermath of a supernova, detecting it just three hours after it exploded.

00:33:55 The first comprehensive assessment of Europe's crickets and grasshoppers has found that more than a quarter of species are being driven to extinction.

 

This episode contains traces of NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen discussing the philosophical impact of the exoplanet discovery.

Direct download: SoT_0256.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm AEST

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

00:01:17 Have scientists really discovered a new continent under New Zealand? Well, sort of!

00:07:24 Bad body odour could be treated by a bacteria transplant from someone with less offensive armpits!

00:12:07 The malaria parasite could be making your blood attractive to mosquitoes.

00:15:11 By combining multiple datasets, astronomers have developed a more accurate idea about how fast our sun orbits the centre of our galaxy. It's pretty fast.

00:22:21 Many animals use echolocation to navigate, but the Vietnamese pygmy dormouse could be the first tree-climbing mammal that does.

 

This episode contains traces of TVNZ's news report about the continent Zealandia.

 

Direct download: SoT_0255.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:22pm AEST

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall.

00:01:06 New research has uncovered how and why frog tongues have developed to be extremely soft and super-sticky.

00:10:57 By studying the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, researchers have found more evidence of a hypothetical category of black holes. Smaller than supermassive black holes, but more massive than stellar black holes, intermediate-mass black holes have a mass between 100 and 10,000 times the mass of our sun.

00:14:43 When a baby-food company asked child psychologist Caspar Addyman to develop a song to make babies laugh and be happy, he took a scientific approach. Most music made for babies, he says, "sounds frankly deranged".

00:35:37 The Gaia spacecraft has found a 'bridge of stars' between the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The stream of stars connects the two dwarf galaxies and is over 43,000 light years long.

 

This episode contains traces of Professor Hans Rosling talking about world population growth. The Swedish academic and statistician died on 7 February 2017 of pancreatic cancer.

Direct download: SoT_0254.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:26am AEST

Robin Ince is a celebrated writer and comedian best known for co-hosting The Infinite Monkey Cage, alongside Professor Brian Cox.

And he's touring Australia - with a number of fantastic UK scientists and comedians - in March and April 2017. Cosmic Shambles LIVE is a variety show that celebrates curiosity and reason, an explosion of science, comedy, music and general wonder, with a great sense of fun.

Part proceeds from the show will be going to charities like Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Cosmic Shambles LIVE will be showing in:

Sydney: Tuesday 28th March 2017, 7:00pm
Enmore Theatre
118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown

Melbourne: Saturday 1st April, 7:00pm
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf

Perth: Thursday 13th April 2017, 7:00pm
Octagon Theatre, The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley

Head to http://atheistfoundation.org.au/cosmicshambleslive/ to book your tickets now!

Direct download: SoT_Special_020_Robin_Ince.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:27pm AEST

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

00:00:45 Help support the show!

00:01:58 Another theory for Tabby's Star - still not aliens.

00:15:47 The bacteria in babies' guts may end up the same no matter how they were delivered.

00:21:21 Could a brief spike of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere 2.3 billion years ago have been a "false start" for complex life?

00:26:47 DNA is usually made up of G, A, T and C. But scientists in the US have modified bacteria to use two new molecules - X and Y!

 

This episode contains traces of Colin Jost announcing the results of a study into sleeping patterns, on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, February 04 2017.

Direct download: SoT_0253_Ed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44am AEST

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

00:02:28 Explainer: gravitational waves and why their discovery is such a big deal

00:07:42 One Year Ago Today, Pluto Became a World.

00:12:19 The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy

00:18:01 One drug is 'new hope' for three killer infections

00:21:37 FDA bans antibacterial soaps containing triclosan

00:25:48 Using a Dyson hand dryer is like setting off a viral bomb in a bathroom

00:32:42 A Blood Test To Determine When Antibiotics Are Warranted

00:37:13 Clones no more as a secret population of Tasmanian devils discovered

00:39:58 Tasmanian devils are evolving rapidly to fight their deadly cancer

 

Jo Benhamu is a clinical trials coordinator in radiation oncology.

Direct download: SoT_0252_-_Ed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:03pm AEST

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

00:00:58 By looking at astronomical records from 720 BC to AD 2015, researchers have found a small inaccuracy in modern calculations of the Earth's rotational speed. The Earth's spin is slowing down slightly slower than we thought.

00:11:44 A small section of a dinosaur's tail has been found in a piece of amber for sale in a market in Myanmar. The tail is amazingly well preserved - and feathered!

00:17:31 Nuclear fusion - as opposed to our current nuclear reactors, which use nuclear fission - is the 'holy grail' of physics research. It could provide near limitless energy, without toxic by-products. Now the Wendelstein 7-X project in Germany appears to be making progress, successfully trapping plasma in a magnetic cage.

00:29:39 A small study at Johns Hopkins University could give cancer patients suffering from depression and anxiety some hope. It suggests that just a single dose of magic mushrooms can improve their mental health for months.

 

This episode contains traces of the Today Show talking about a Christmas tree.

Direct download: SoT_0251.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39pm AEST