Podcast: 3 March 2013

We had a bumper show on Sunday! We had so much input from our guests and listeners that we didn’t even get through all of our material! We had a rather astronomical-themed news segment, from Mars missions to asteroid impacts. Sila brought us an exciting story about the search for a married couple to be the first ever space tourists to fly to Mars and back. The couple will spend 501 days isolated in space, so they’ll want to have a pretty solid relationship!

Cathy brought us new research that shows ancient craters from asteroids and comets may have created the perfect conditions to foster first-life on Earth! These impacts melt rock and create warm, protective environments where a chemical soup of elements could come together to create the building blocks of life!

Guest Presenter Liz Barber came in for a How Stuff Works segment about gecko lizards and the tiny hairs on their feet that help them stick to windows, and crawl upside-down on the ceiling. These little lizards can hold their whole body up on the ceiling with just one toe! Amazing! Scientists have been able to mimic this trait in new technology which might be up for grabs within the next few years.

Sila talked about the Placebo Effect and how it can be successfully used as a medical treatment. One in three people can experience improved symptoms – from a sham treatment! Cathy brought us the science behind “musical frisson”, those little chills you get from listening to a piece of music that truly moves you. Cathy talked about how those with a strong musical background, and interestingly enough people with very open personalities, are much more likely to feel these thrills and feel them more intensely. And it’s all thanks to dopamine, the ‘feel good’ hormone responsible for reward-based learning.

PhD student Bernd Merkel spoke to us about his research into Alzheimer’s disease prevention. Simple lifestyle choices may have significant effects on our later lives, potentially reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s type dementia. Bernd is specifically studying the effects of physical activity through neuroimaging.

Click on the link below for a full podcast of the show!

The Science Hour SYNFM Sun 03 Mar 2013 03;00 pm

Tune in next Sunday at 3pm on SYN 90.7 FM to learn more about the wonderful world of science!

The Science Hour team

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