Posts

January 12, 2015

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6:09 PM | Bethany Brookshire: A Perfect Mentor
Lost after arriving at grad school, Bethany Brookshire is happy to finally find a perfect mentor. Bethany Brookshire has a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Philosophy from The College of William and Mary, a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is the guest Editor of the Open Laboratory Anthology of Science Blogging, 2009, and the winner of the Society for Neuroscience Next Generation Award and the Three Quarks Daily Science Writing Award, among […]
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4:40 PM | This week our guest picker is Carl Zimmer. He’s chosen to...
This week our guest picker is Carl Zimmer. He’s chosen to take us on a tour through some of the more interesting sounds of science. First up: A Singing Comet: When the Rosetta space probe approached 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it encountered something unexpected: magnetic oscillations. Scientists translated the signals into a song—an ode to deep space and to all the things left to surprise us. The full story is here.  Carl Zimmer is a columnist at the New York Times, where his […]
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11:58 AM | What are the risks of DIY synthetic biology? – Science Weekly podcast
Are safety measures adequate in the burgeoning field of synthetic biology – which involves the creation of novel biological systems – in particular among amateur enthusiasts? Continue reading...

January 11, 2015

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3:54 PM | Cosmic Queries: Gravity (Repeat)
The pull of gravity (the force, not the movie) is irresistible as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Leighann Lord grapple with weighty fan questions about matter and the curvature of spacetime.
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6:15 AM | 2014 Bloopers Episode
Our end of year 'bloopers' episode is online! For all the funny, interesting and weird bits that didn't quite make the show in 2014, download the show from our website, at scienceontop.com/bloopers14. This show is NOT on our feed, to listen you will HAVE to download it manually from the website or listen on SoundCloud It does contain swearing and content that might not be suitable for children. So go to scienceontop.com/bloopers14 and click the download link!

January 10, 2015

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8:41 AM | Science for kids - Elephant Toothpaste
Gooey stuff is always pretty exciting for kids. This is called elephant toothpaste because, well, that's what it looks like. The experiment is fairly simple. The ingredients are:125ml 6% Hydrogen Peroxide (ask at the chemist)1 Sachet Dry Yeast (powder) + a few tablespoons of warm waterDetergentFood colouringEmpty bottleFunnelYou might want to wear gloves and goggles when handling the hydrogen peroxide. Add the hydrogen peroxide, a few drops of food colouring and a good squirt of detergent to […]
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4:38 AM | Science for kids - detergent powered boats
This is an easy one, assuming you occasionally clean your dishes. You just need some bread ties, water and detergent. The video is a little unimpressive, but you could dress the bread ties up to make them look like boats. Essentially, the detergent is breaking the surface tension of the water, and if you break the surface tension behind the bread tie, the tension in front of the tie pulls it forward. Detergents are surfactants, which means they have a polar end (which is attracted to water) and […]
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4:14 AM | Science for kids - Water Rocket
Water rockets are one of the classic science demonstrations for kids - exciting, a bit of danger and some interesting science. Make sure you have plenty of space - making this video, I managed to get the rocket to hit the road, a swing set (with no one in it, thankfully) and some trees. We moved to the middle of a cricket field as the rockets can really go a long way. You can buy water rocket kits at toy or sciencey-styled stores. You need to provide a drink bottle, a bike pump and some water. […]

January 09, 2015

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10:26 PM | Radiolab Presents: Invisibilia
The lines between boy and girl can be blurry but NPR's Invisibilia introduces us to someone with a very new idea of how blurry they can be.
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5:08 AM | TWiM #95: A microbe lover in San Diego
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello. Special guest: Stanley Maloy Vincent meets up with Stan Maloy on the campus of San Diego State University to talk about his career in microbiology and his work as Dean of Science. Subscribe to TWiM (free) on iTunes, via RSS feed, by email or listen on your mobile device with the Microbeworld app. Links for this episode:  Maloy lab Salmonella.org Microbial genetics course page Typhoid Mary Send your microbiology […]

January 08, 2015

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11:07 AM | Science for kids - Coloured flowers
This is quite a simple one. Grab some carnations (or other white flowers), a vase, some food colouring and water. Add a generous amount of colouring to the water (20-odd drops), add the flowers, and wait. It can take longer than a day, especially if you haven't quite added enough colouring, so be patient. Here are some shots we took of our red and blue flowers (I reckon you can be more impressive than this!):The flowers turned blue quicker than red for me, and others have seen similar things […]

January 06, 2015

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11:55 AM | Ep 156: Science for kids - home-made lava-lamp
This Christmas break, I have been mucking around with science experiments for my kids. Here is the first of a few easy experiments you can try at home.The following videos show you how to make a home-made lava lamp. It is very simple - grab a clear cup (or bottle or vase or flask), fill it about a third full of water and two thirds full of oil. The oil floats on the water as it has a lower density. Add some food colouring (you can do this at the start directly to the water, or after you have […]

January 05, 2015

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5:07 PM | Ep. 361: Modern Women: Maria Zuber
Maria Zuber is one of the hardest working scientists in planetary science, being a part of six different space missions to explore the Solar System. Currently, she’s the lead investigator for NASA’s GRAIL mission. Ep. 361: Modern Women: Maria Zuber Jump to Shownotes Jump to Transcript Show Notes Sponsors: 8th Light and Swinburne Astronomy Online […]
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2:03 PM | BacterioFiles 198 - Dampening Dust Defense
This episode: Modified probiotic bacteria could reduce life-threatening allergies! Download Episode (6.3 MB, 6.8 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Bacteria can be toxic to tomato late blight pathogen (paper) Phages could be very good at treating C. difficile infections Soil cyanobacteria can help plants in many ways (review) Finding heavy metal-resistant bacteria near nuclear storage sites (paper) Using phage to prevent infection rather than to kill pathogens […]

January 03, 2015

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9:28 PM | Justin Cameron: A Dangerous Trick
Sword swallower Justin Cameron gets an unexpected lesson in anatomy and medicine. Justin is a product manager and mobile app designer at Webintensive.com, where he works on search engines and secure email products. Before that, he was an itinerant technical writer, hacker, and, very briefly, a sideshow performer. He lives in Brooklyn.
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7:08 PM | Season 5 Time Capsule (Part 2)
You asked the questions, you chose the episodes: Join us for your favorite Cosmic Queries of Season 5, answered by your own personal astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and guest hosts Bill Nye and Dr. Amy Mainzer.

January 02, 2015

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11:03 AM | Dec 2014: Innes Cuthill and tropical lizards
Professor Innes Cuthill from the University of Bristol describes his Scientific Spark. Danielle Klomp from the University of New South Wales, tells me about two populations of gliding lizard that have diverged in gliding membrane colouration to match the colours of their local falling leaves, and that mimicking falling leaves is an adaptation that functions to reduce predation by birds. I also find out how birds heard tornadoes coming and fled one day ahead. Download the MP3Falling leaf mimic - […]
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