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Melbourne, Australia


The Australian podcast about science, health and technology news. Join Ed Brown and his panel of co-hosts each week as we talk about the latest and coolest research and discoveries in the world of science. We're joined by special guests from all over the science field: doctors, professors, nurses, teachers and more.




SoT 277: Stuck On Saturn Images

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall, Peter Miller 00:01:00 Surprisingly, a lot of plants in the tropics tend to have large leaves. A team of scientists at Macquarie University in Sydney may have worked out why: and it's a balancing act. 00:08:42 After 13 years, the Cassini mission is coming to a fiery end. It's been one of NASA's most successful - and beautiful - missions. 00:19:36 Data from the Juno spacecraft finds that Jupiter's powerful auroras aren't powered the same way...

Duration: 00:21:57

SoT 276: Fluffy Rocks

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall. 00:01:06 Another plate tectonics mystery could be solved: how thick is a continental plate? According to a study published in the journal Science, pretty thick - between 130 and 190km! 00:10:57 Mars' "bow shock" - where charged particles from the Sun interact with the red planet's atmosphere - has been studied by a team of European scientists. They found that the bow shock's location changes over several Martian years, for a variety of...

Duration: 00:24:04

SoT 275: Almost Edible

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall. 00:01:12 Four years after a groundbreaking peanut-allergy study, researchers in Melbourne have followed up on the original patients. The results are promising, and could lead to a potential cure for one of the most common - and deadly - allergies. 00:16:59 A new study has discovered 91 new volcanoes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet, making it one of the densest clusters of volcanoes in the world. 00:22:21 After more than a hundred years, ...

Duration: 00:18:51

SoT 274: The Armadillo Transformer

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall. 00:01:21 The largest dinosaur ever discovered, found in Argentina in 2013, is now officially known as the Patagotitan mayorum. 00:11:35 An amazingly well preserved dinosaur fossil found by Canadian miners is already giving lots of information about skin pigmentation, camouflage and even its last meal. Also it looks like a wingless dragon. 00:17:16 We're all made of star stuff, but not necessarily local star stuff. A new study based on...

Duration: 00:18:29

SoT 273: The Last Place You Look

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall. 00:01:15 Just weeks after the really big iceberg split from the Antarctic ice shelf, a new rift has formed. And the giant iceberg has already begun breaking up. 00:07:14 A new study into the migration of early humans to Australia dates their arrival back to 65,000 years ago. And it also finds they were more sophisticated in their use of tools than we previously thought. 00:15:06 Rare fossilised footprints of Tasmanian tigers and devils,...

Duration: 00:23:03

SoT 272: Raven Pocket

00:03:41 An enormous iceberg breaks off from Antarctica. But did climate change cause it, like many news outlets claimed? 00:13:34 Plants don't turn caterpillars into cannibals. But hungry caterpillars will turn cannibal if the plant doesn't taste nice. 00:21:53 Gene modification tool CRISPR has been used to encode an animated gif in the genes of live bacteria. DNA could be the digital storage device of the future! 00:34:03 Ravens are smart - they can use tools, and solve puzzles - and...

Duration: 00:33:30

SoT 271: Seductive Cockatoo Music

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall. 00:01:03 The Ancient Romans built sea walls with concrete that is still standing in many places today. What made their concrete so much stronger than modern concrete? 00:08:24 The chances of finding life on Mars grew even slimmer after a study found chemicals in the Martian soil are highly toxic. 00:15:54 Animals that use tools aren't uncommon, and neither are animals that make sounds to attract mates. But the Palm cockatoo could be the...

Duration: 00:19:23

SoT 270: Sweeping Majestically Across The Plain

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Sean Elliott 00:00:48 Sean talks about his Roughbot project, a programmable robot kit that introduces students to coding and robotics. 00:04:47 Every year, 1.2 million blue wildebeest migrate across East Africa, accompanied by around 200,000 zebra and antelope. At one point in their mass migration, however, they have to cross the mighty Mara River. Those that don't survive the crossing end up being crucial to the surrounding...

Duration: 00:25:33

SoT 269: LISA is Amazing!

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall 00:00:40 We welcome Lucas back to the show, and discuss his battles with depression. Lucas recently blogged about dealing with mental health in the workplace, and how different managers respond to cases of depression. 00:10:34 After three detections of gravitational waves by the ground-based LIGO detector, the European Space Agency has given the go-ahead for the LISA space-based detector. 00:15:42 A data visualisation takes a deep look at...

Duration: 00:24:05

SoT 268: The Deadiest Ones

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Jo Benhamu. 00:00:40 An archaeological site in a Moroccan cave has long been known to have specimens of early humans. But an recent study has dated some of these bones to over 300,000 years old. If correct, that would make them the oldest fossilised remains of modern humans ever found - and it would change our understanding of the spread of humans out of Africa. For books to help explain evolution to young children, we recommend Grandmother Fish by...

Duration: 00:22:34

SoT 267: Come See The Mass Spawning!

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday 00:00:40 There's a lot of talk about the supposed health benefits of sourdough bread. But a new study seems to suggest that some people may be better off eating white bread, and others may have more to gain from sourdough bread. 00:10:34 A group of about 1200 giant bumphead parrotfish have been caught in the act of mating off Palau in Micronesia. It's the first time they have ever been seen doing so in such large numbers. 00:15:42 A...

Duration: 00:13:38

SoT 266: Sperm Whales Have Teeth

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday. 00:00:39 Baleen whales - the toothless filter feeders - used to be around 10m long. Then 3 million years ago they started to grow to the enormous size they are today (blue whales can grow be 30 metres long!). 00:07:08 A new study has found that gastric bypass surgery disrupts the gut microbiome so significantly, that patients have a completely different bacteria makeup in their guts after surgery. And the new gut flora appears to...

Duration: 00:15:26

SoT 265: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Dr. Helen Maynard-Casely. 00:01:03 The first results from the Juno spacecraft are in, giving us new and surprising insights into the largest planet in our solar system. 00:09:39 Some media reports of flooding at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault were somewhat exaggerated. Some water got in at the front door, which happens every year, but the seeds were never in any danger. 00:14:36 Have you ever seen a flamingo fall over? Probably not....

Duration: 00:19:15

SoT 264: A $500 Car

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday. 00:00:41 Rare childhood cancers are, of course, rare. But that means limited access to tissue samples making them harder to study. But the archives of London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children could be a previously unconsidered repository of 165 year's worth of samples. 00:05:34 There's a species of bacteria that seems to use quorum sensing to switch on or off its attacking abilities. And that's how it infects animals where...

Duration: 00:19:40

SoT 263: There's Always An Enzyme

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday 00:00:48 A study seemed to find a link between artificially sweetened drinks and serious health problems. Many media outlets quickly proclaimed that "Diet drinks triple your risk of stroke and dementia" (Daily Fail). But how seriously should that study be taken? 00:05:27 Humans produce about 311 million tons of plastic each year, a number that's is predicted to double in the next twenty years. But an accidental discovery from a Spanish...

Duration: 00:14:42

SoT 262: Cassini's Grand Finale

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall 00:00:47 NASA's Cassini probe has been studying Saturn and it's rings and moons for thirteen years and is now running out of fuel. And as it comes to the end of it's life, it's begun a series of risky orbits between the planet and its rings. 00:11:03 A team of researchers mostly from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have successfully created an artificial womb in which premature lambs can be brought to term. 00:17:37 NASA and ESA...

Duration: 00:29:45

SoT 261: Mr. Bigglesworth

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall 00:00:43 The naked mole rat is one of the strangest - certainly the ugliest - creatures on the planet. But on top of all it's other extraordinary abilities (highly resistant to cancer, limited ability to feel pain etc) it can also survive for up to 18 minutes without oxgyen. 00:08:35 For a long time we've assumed our nearest extra-solar neighbour, the Alpha Centauri system, was a trinary star system. But for the first time the calculations...

Duration: 00:22:13

SoT 260: The Planetary Protection Office

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Jo Benhamu 00:02:34 For the first time, an atmosphere has been detected around a nearly Earth-sized exoplanet. 00:08:45 Results of a large study suggest that a cap that generates electric fields might successfully fight brain cancer. But there are still many doubts about this "sci-fi treatment". 00:27:06 There's a radiation-resistant bacterial spore found only in spacecraft cleanrooms. To know if they might potentially contaminate other worlds, NASA...

Duration: 00:27:05

SoT Special 22 – Dr. Steve Salisbury

Dr Steve Salisbury is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland, and a Research Associate at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Ed and Lucas spoke with him about finding the world's largest dinosaur tracks on the North West coast of Australia, and searching for dinosaur fossils in Antarctica.

Duration: 00:41:22

SoT 259: That's His Blowhole!

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Lucas Randall 00:01:03 The difficult thing to do when growing artificial organs is building the intricate networks of tiny blood vessels that keep the tissue alive. A team at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts found a simple way to do that: with spinach. 00:12:00 Set to launch in 2018, the Solar Probe Plus is a mission to study the Sun from a very close distance - about 6 million kilometres. It will become the fastest manmade object...

Duration: 00:32:31

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