Podcast: 7 April 2013

Girl Power! Today we had four girls on the mikes and a bevy of new and exciting science to share!

Cathy shared a new study that shows that the hormonal pathway triggered by the mere feeling of being hungry actually helps protect our brains from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Sila discussed the USA’s return to producing nuclear energy after a 30 year hiatus and posed the question, should we be turning to nuclear fission for cleaner, accessible energy? In other news, scientists have found that people have unique “breath prints”, just like finger prints, changes in which can be used to detect some diseases non-invasively. And a Californian doctoral candidate has taught a sea lion to bop her head to the beat of different songs, showing that we are not the only mammals capable of detecting and following a beat!

We had two guest presenters on today’s show, Ella Kelly and Liz Barber, both previous guests of The Science Hour. Ella shared her knowledge on how and why we age. In particular, we discussed the necessity of ageing and why the quest for immortality was neither realistic nor desirable.

Liz brought us the science of laughter, just in time for the Melbourne Comedy Festival! We learnt about the different types of laughter, how and why we laugh and were treated to the “world’s funniest joke”! Interestingly enough, none of us thought it was that funny! Which shows that humour is very subjective!

Although we had to compete with some pretty heavy rain towards the end there, we had a great show today and are looking forward to the last show of the season next week! Sadly, this will also be Cathy’s final show for a while, since she has to get stuck into some pretty intensive lab work with her sea turtles over the next few months.

Thank you everyone for listening today, and particularly for sending in your questions and feedback.

See you next week, same time, same place (3pm Sundays on 90.7 SYN FM).

The Science Hour SYNFM Sun 07 Apr 2013 03;00 pm.mp3

The Science Hour team,

Sila and Cathy

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