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

In 2011 a tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing 158 people. It also brought with it a rare flesh-eating fungus that killed another five.

The first two species of 'venomous' frogs have been discovered - the hard way - in the Caatinga forests of Brazil. And you really don't want them to headbutt you.

There's a parasitic wasp that uses mind control on spiders to force them to spin cocoons. Because nature is like that.

We mention this David Attenborough video about the Cordyceps fungi that zombifies ants.

We also mention spider webs produced by spiders on drugs.

Shayne recommends the XKCD webcomic about the bee orchid.

Ed recommends watching Ed Yong's TED talk about mind controlling parasites.

Simon Chapman is Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney, and was called upon to give evidence before the Select Committee on Wind Turbines. They asked his opinion, and he well and truly delivered it!

Direct download: SoT_0196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm AEST

A special episode all about Pluto and the New Horizons mission. We're joined by Dr. Mike Goldsmith, a science writer with a PhD in astrophysics who's currently writing a book about Pluto. Keep an eye on Amazon for New Horizons To Pluto to be published in the next month or so.

Further information:

Mike's New Horizons To Pluto blog

New Pluto Images Reveal a Planet That's Stunningly Alive

New Horizons Close-Up of Charon’s ‘Mountain in a Moat’

Charon’s Surprising, Youthful and Varied Terrain

Pluto's heart named 'Tombaugh Regio' in celebration of dwarf planet's discovery

New Horizons Reveals Pluto’s Extended Atmosphere00:35:12 First maps of Charon and Pluto

First maps of Charon and Pluto

Direct download: SoT_0195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:17pm AEST

One study suggests a dip in solar activity in 15 years. Mainstream media gets it so very wrong.

The world's first malaria vaccine gets regulatory approval, but it's not the panacea you might think.

Billionaire Yuri Milner funds US$100 million dollar search for extra terrestrial life. Which is awesome!

A 14,000 year old tooth shows signs of early dentistry. Early PAINFUL dentistry.

NASA announces thousands of newly discovered exoplanets, including one that might possibly be a bit like Earth only different.


Album art: David McClenaghan / CSIRO (CC BY 3.0)

Direct download: SoT_0194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm AEST