clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
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Yet another late profile of the last few SoT episodes, up 'til the end of May and at the start of June.

SoT #54 - A Guy Called Herbert
Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday Adam vanLangenberg and Kate Naughton.
Direct link to mp3, 47:26

I wasn't on this one, but it was a bit of a ripper. Kate's my good mate from a long time who's just finished a PhD, and Adam has of course been on before. In this episode, they discussed early land-walkers and their possible armour, the brain as a password, the lack of genetic diversity in the thylacine (and therefore its capability for long-term survival before it got wiped out), circadian rhythms and bees, decision making in a foreign language can affect the decision you make, creepy misfits and our instinctive reactions to them, and mathematical models to predict the proportion of lefties (not those pinko commies, the other lefties).

***

SoT 55 - Who Owns An Asteroid?
Ed Brown, Shayne Joseph, Lucas Randall, and Steve Nerlich.
Direct link to mp3, 57:11

Mega show, mostly concerned with the mad buggers who want to start asteroid mining - all the issues surrounding it, including logistics and the legality of the whole thing. The three astronomy buffs - Lucas, Ed and Steve Nerlich who's the host of an astronomy podcast, all waxed lyrical on the subject. Also - dogs and brain scans, koalas, the liver and night shift (a topic close to my heart...) and the next mission to look at some of Jupiter's moons (which I actually found much more interesting than the asteroid mining project).

***

SoT #56 - Our Chimps Are Very Nice
Ed Brown, Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday.
Direct link to mp3, 43:22

Empathy in dogs, the return of the stone-throwing chimp, anti-bacterial coat could be a new generation of antimicrobials, the grandmother hypothesis and cancer, the great outdoors and allergies, tracing the origins of a kiwifruit disease, and the new Mayan calendar which shows that the world won't end any time soon!

***

SoT #57 - Crushed By A Gential
Ed Brown, Shayne Joseph, Lucas Randall, Kate Naughton.
Direct link to mp3, 45:55

The return of Kate and Lucas. Topics: Braingate2 and getting paralysis victims to control movements of a robot with their thoughts, plus the restoration of hand function to a quadriplegic patient. Also, we can't forget the EARLIEST VAGINAS EVER INSCRIBED ON A CAVE WALL(!), using zebrafish to profile genes related to autism and schizophrenia, a cheap way to produce a malaria vaccine using algae, and the piezoelectric effect and viruses can create power. Oh yeah... (btw, I thought my performance in this one was pathetic....just sayin'....)

***

SoT #58 - Dreaming of Batman
Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Vanessa Hill, Micaela Jemison.
Direct link to mp3, 42:56

I'm a bad person - I haven't listened to this one yet. But it looks pretty special - the return of Vanessa Hill, CSIRO education officer extraordinaire and chair of a new podcast called Launchpad, where she interviews awesome people. Apparently they also talked about bats, as well as the Square Kilometre Array (a FREAKING AWESOME RADIOTELESCOPE PROJECT), the docking of the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, turning a t-shirt into a conductive material capable of charging up your 21st century accoutrements, a prototype device that vision-impaired people can use to effectively see obstacles, and the World Health Organization's preliminary evaluation on the Fukushima disaster. Also, the transit of Venus across the Sun, and (apparently today) the first partial lunar eclipse of 2012.

***
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