10 posts · 7,144 views
And we're back! It's been a while, but finally it's time for another podcast, so we've made it a long one. Take this episode on a long train ride or car trip, as Dr Boob and I explore the science of the spells of Harry Potter.
Attempting to find scientific and engineering solutions to Harry Potter spells is probably the most difficult task we have set ourselves yet, so we would be very interested to hear how you would made the Harry Potter spells a reality. The spells dealt with in this episod........ Read more »
Santos, V., Paula, W., & Kalapothakis, E. (2009) Influence of the luminol chemiluminescence reaction on the confirmatory tests for the detection and characterization of bloodstains in forensic analysis. Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, 2(1), 196-197. DOI: 10.1016/j.fsigss.2009.09.008
Research published in Biological Invasions shows that Australian redback spiders are invading New Zealand and could become established in many urban areas around major ports.
The paper, The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts, details recorded sightings of redback spiders in New Zealand, then used biological and climatic information to reveal where redbacks could establish. War........ Read more »
Cor J. Vink, José G. B. Derraik, Craig B. Phillips, & Phil J. Sirvid. (2010) The invasive Australian redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell 1870 (Araneae: Theridiidae): current and potential distributions, and likely impacts . Biological Invasions. info:/
A world first study conducted by Menzies Research Institute Tasmania has shown that skipping breakfast over a long period of time may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The study, Skipping breakfast: longitudinal associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed up a 1985 national sample of 9–15 year old Australian children. The original work looked at whether ........ Read more »
Smith KJ, Gall SL, McNaughton SA, Blizzard L, Dwyer T, & Venn AJ. (2010) Skipping breakfast: longitudinal associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 92(6), 1316-25. PMID: 20926520
Being able to see your unborn child is truly an amazing experience. Ultrasound (diagnostic sonography) is a common diagnostic tool for, among other things, imaging the foetus to determine its age, look for abnormalities and observe blood flow in the umbilical cord. But possibly its most memorable effect is seeing your baby's heart beat - and in 3D/4D ultrasounds, seeing your baby's face.
The term "ultrasound" applies to acoustic energy (sound) with a frequency above the audible range of human h........ Read more »
Kurjak, A., Miskovic, B., Andonotopo, W., Stanojevic, M., Azumendi, G., & Vrcic, H. (2007) How useful is 3D and 4D ultrasound in perinatal medicine?. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 35(1), 10-27. DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2007.002
Carrera, J.M. (2006) Donald School Atlas of Clin. Application of Ultrasound in Obs/ Gyn. www.jaypeebrothers.com. DOI: 10.5005/jp/books/10226
Did you know that worker bees and queen bees have exactly the same DNA?
Although they look and behave differently, at birth they have the same genome. Young queen larvae are fed a diet of Royal Jelly, a substance secreted by the worker bees which includes B-complex vitamins, proteins, sugars and fatty acids. It also contains trace minerals, enzymes, antibacterial and antibiotic components, and vitamin C. This concoction not only feeds the queen bees, it turns on and off various genes with wh........ Read more »
Lyko F, Foret S, Kucharski R, Wolf S, Falckenhayn C, & Maleszka R. (2010) The honey bee epigenomes: differential methylation of brain DNA in queens and workers. PLoS biology, 8(11). PMID: 21072239
Ever wondered how pure mathematicians have fun? The following is from the 1967 paper Modern Research in Mathematics by A. K. Austin, from the Department of Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield. It's a send-up, by the way...
A note on piffles by A. B. Smith
A. C. Jones in his paper "A Note on the Theory of Boffles," Proceedings of the National Society, 13, first defined a Biffle to be a non-definite Boffle and asked if every Biffle was reducible.
C. D. Brown in "On a paper by A. ........ Read more »
Farlow, S. (1980) Three Mathematical Satires A rebuke of A. B. Smith's paper, 'A Note on Piffles'. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 11(2), 285-304. DOI: 10.1080/0020739800110222
Do you sneeze at the Sun?
I do. My brother does. Both my parents do. In fact, we are a family of Photic Sneeze sufferers.
The Photic Sneeze Reflex (PSR), also known rather ridiculously as Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helioophthalmic Outburst (ACHOO) Syndrome (how long do you think it took researchers to figure out that acronym....) is a dominant genetic condition affecting around 10% of the population. When a sufferer moves from a region of darkness to a region of bright light - for instance,........ Read more »
Langer N, Beeli G, & Jäncke L. (2010) When the sun prickles your nose: an EEG study identifying neural bases of photic sneezing. PloS one, 5(2). PMID: 20169159
The science of superheroes is taking a green and nasty turn this week as we discuss the largest superhero of them all, The Hulk. Join myself and our regular superhero expert Dr Boob as we delve into the science of how we might realise The Hulk in the lab. It was one of the more entertaining interviews I have done for the podcast.
Listen in to this show here (or press play below), and read further for more info:
The Hulk is alter-ego of Dr Bruce Banner, who allegedly bares a striking resembl........ Read more »
Shimomura, O., Johnson, F., & Saiga, Y. (1962) Extraction, Purification and Properties of Aequorin, a Bioluminescent Protein from the Luminous Hydromedusan,Aequorea. Journal of Cellular and Comparative Physiology, 59(3), 223-239. DOI: 10.1002/jcp.1030590302
This question came in from @holabendez for Science Week. What causes a double rainbow? The question is inspired by, in my opinion, the best youtube video since Keyboard Cat met Hall and Oates. Check out the Double Rainbow video below - if I'm this happy for just one day in my life, it will have been a happy life:
And now you'd better check out the Double Rainbow Song....
Rainbows are the result of the reflection and refraction of light by water droplets. They can be seen when there are wa........ Read more »
Professor Chris Gore, head of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport, has had over 20 years experience in the science of sport at altitude, including the study of the physiological effects of altitude on the body and designing altitude training regimes for athletes.
The effects of altitude have been known for some time, however their effects on sport became prominent during the 1968 Mexico Olympics, which were held at over 2000 metres. At these games, endurance sports suffered w........ Read more »
McSharry, P. (2007) Effect of altitude on physiological performance: a statistical analysis using results of international football games. BMJ, 335(7633), 1278-1281. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.39393.451516.AD
Loland S, & Caplan A. (2008) Ethics of technologically constructed hypoxic environments in sport. Scandinavian journal of medicine , 70-5. PMID: 18665954
Levine BD, & Stray-Gundersen J. (1997) "Living high-training low": effect of moderate-altitude acclimatization with low-altitude training on performance. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 83(1), 102-12. PMID: 9216951
Bärtsch P, Saltin B, Dvorak J, & Federation Internationale de Football Association. (2008) Consensus statement on playing football at different altitude. Scandinavian journal of medicine , 96-9. PMID: 18665957
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