Podcast: 10 March 2013

Huge show today! With guest presenter Charles Malpas, we had heaps to discuss!


African forest elephants have declined by 62% in just 10 years! The declines are widespread across African and Asian animals, mostly due to an increase in poaching that has followed a rise in affluence and demand for ivory and animal parts for sham medicines in Asia.

Scientists have grown a tooth from human gum cells mixed with mouse stem cells in the kidney of a mouse! By the time your hosts are old enough to be losing their teeth, we may be able to just grow them back! Check out our facebook page for more information!

A baby has been cured of HIV by doctors using antiretroviral drugs (standard HIV treatment), just 30 hours after birth! At two years old, the baby is now completely HIV free!

How Stuff Works

Charles explained how antibiotics work, how they were discovered (by an Australian no less) and why it is so important that we only take them to cure bacterial infections, not viruses or other illnesses. By taking antibiotics when they aren’t needed, or failing to finish a course of them, we are unwittingly helping create resistant superbugs!


Cathy told us about the fate of plastics in the ocean, and the huge floating matt of rubbish that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A great, swirling vortex of plastic and chemical sludge, it covers an area twice the size of the United States of America! 6 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each, with significant and wide-ranging consequences for wildlife, and humans too! Whether starving animals to death, leaching chemicals into the seafood we eat, the monstrosity that is plastic in the ocean is entirely our fault.

So next time you buy bottled water (completely unnecessary in Melbourne) remember that every single piece of plastic ever created still exists and will never break down entirely.

Myth Busting

Neuroscience expert Charles debunked two myths for us today. Contrary to popular belief, we do not only use 10% of our brain! We of course use all of our brain, even when sitting still doing nothing! There is also no such thing as left- or right-brained people, we all use all parts of our brains.

Head to the link below to listen to a full podcast of today’s broadcast.

The Science Hour SYNFM Sun 10 Mar 2013 03;00 pm

Tune in next week at 3pm for more science, and be sure to hit up our Facebook page on http://www.facebook.com/thesciencehour – we have been posting lots of extra information on today’s stories just for you!

The Science Hour team,

Sila and Cathy

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