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

After nearly 11 years, the Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft has awoken and is preparing for an ambitious mission.

A new hypothesis for 'lactose persistence' - why most humans can still drink milk into adulthood.

Why do sloths climb down from their trees to poo on the ground? It could be because of moths.

China is getting into genetic modification and cloning on an 'industrial scale'. That's a lot of pigs.

Biotechnology company Illumina has announced a machine that can sequence the human genome for under US$1,000.

Personal genetics company 23andMe has run afoul of the FDA, but are they really that bad?

Direct download: SoT_0132.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51pm AEST

2013 was Australia's hottest year on record, and the sixth hottest globally. Plus the 'polar vortex' hitting North America, and one of Australia's "most significant heatwaves". And the effect of "C2O" on jumping sea snails.

Physics professors have searched the internet for evidence of time travel, and didn't find any.

Are dolphins getting high on a toxin secreted by puffer fish? Truth is we really don't know.

A new Staph vaccine shows promise in rabbits, but might not work as well in humans.

A species of sea anemone has been found on the underside of Antarctica's ice sheets. They are the only marine animals known to live embedded in the ice, and no one is sure how they survive.

When seven-year-old Sophie wrote a letter to CSIRO, Australia's peak governmental science organisation, she wanted to know what research was being done on dragons. The CSIRO responded beautifully, first apologising for the lack of dragon-research and then making her a titanium dragon with a 3D printer.

Direct download: SoT_0131.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am AEST

The turn of the millennium has brought a new dimension to the Space Age - one that was undreamed of only a few years ago. Thanks to a combination of visionary entrepreneurs and an ailing Russian spaceflight programme, space tourism is now a reality that is set to take off dramatically in the near future. In this entertaining and fully-illustrated talk, Professor Fred Watson outlines what we might see as space tourism evolves into a mainstream branch of the industry. He argues that the new venture is not merely an expensive diversion for the very rich, but a necessary step in humankind's emergence as a space-faring species.

Direct download: SoT_Special_012_Space_Tourism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm AEST