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

The Australian researcher who provided the best evidence for non-celiac gluten sensitivity has now done more extensive research. He now believes gluten may not be the culprit after all.

Polar bears, the largest land predators alive, have many genetic tricks they have developed to help them survive on an extremely high-fat diet.

Ratites - flightless birds like emus, ostriches and rheas - have long been thought to have evolved from a single flightless ancestor. But now new research made with the largest genetic dataset of ratites suggests that they each lost the ability to fly independently.

Paleontologists in Argentina may have unearthed many fossils of a new species of Titanosaur, which could be the largest animal ever to walk the Earth. However, its size is an estimate based on one bone, and similar estimates in the past have turned out to be wildly inaccurate.

Direct download: SoT_0149.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm AEST

Man-made electromagnetic noise is affecting migratory birds. But it's not wi-fi, microwaves or any of the usual culprits - just good old fashioned AM radio.

US scientists have developed artificial DNA - X and Y base pairs - which then replicated with the normal G, A, T and C molecules when the cell divides. This could pave the way for new methods of developing drugs and other chemicals. Or Godzilla.

A study with mice involving exercise, electric shocks and drugs have given new insights into how memories are formed, and why you can't remember being a baby.

When bacteria can't sense other bacteria around them, they begin to mutate faster. If we could trick them into thinking they're not alone, we could slow down the development of antibacterial resistance.

Four months after India was declared polio-free, the World Health Organisation has declared the resurgence of polio a "public health emergency of international concern."

Direct download: SoT_0148.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53pm AEST

Microbes from lakes in the French Pyrenees thrive on the fungus that has been linked to a dramatic decline in amphibian populations.

A new spider species has been found in the Namibian desert, and it does cartwheels to escape predators.

Rats and mice show increased stress levels when handled by male researchers rather than women, potentially skewing study results.

The average height of British soldiers fighting in the First World War was 168cm. Today the average height for men of the same age is 178cm. A new study suggests that height change was not because of diet, but rather urbanisation.

Sea turtle hatchlings, trying to find their way to the ocean have been confused by well-lit resorts and apartment buildings. A new project, funded in part by fines from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, aims to fix this problem with new LED lights.

After being first discovered in 2010 by a team in Russia, super-heavy element 117 (Ununseptium) was found again by researchers in Germany. The confirmation means Ununseptium could shortly find its way onto the periodic table as the heaviest element ever made.

Direct download: SoT_0147.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46pm AEST

Evolutionary biologist and author of Sex, Genes & Rock 'n' Roll Professor Rob Brooks joins us to talk beards, monogamy and evolution.

Beards seem to be popular now, but we may be approaching 'peak beard', where beards are so common they lose their novelty appeal.

Do babies cry at night to stop their parents having more babies? Evolutionary biologist David Haig thinks they may be unintentionally sabotaging their parents' sex lives.

A ten year, worldwide project has finally sequenced the Tsetse fly genome. The findings from this massive effort could help in the fight against sleeping sickness, which kills nearly 10,000 people a year.

Some dolphins use sea spongers as tools to help forage for food, and it appears to be affecting their diet.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test for human papillomavirus, but while it could one day replace a pap smear, it still requires a cervical sample.

Direct download: SoT_0146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58pm AEST

The world's longest continuously running lab experiment, The Pitch Drop, finally drops for the ninth time.

Cephalotes ants can glide to nearby trees when they find themselves skydiving. Also they use their heads as shields.

The most Earth-like exoplanet yet has been discovered, just 10% bigger than our planet.

We all know malaria is spread by mosquitoes, but in 1995 in Taiwan there was an outbreak that spread throughout a hospital without any mosquito assistance.

Direct download: SoT_0145.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm AEST