Episode 42: Earth & Sea Aug 31
In Episode 42 of the podcast we talk Google Earth with the internet giant’s Chief Technology Advocate, dive into the issue of Marine Protected Areas in New Zealand and learn how soil bacteria are contributing to antibiotic resistance.
Michael T. Jones was closely involved in creating Google Earth, the seemingly ubiquitous virtual globe, map and geographical information program, but now travels the ‘real’ world as Google’s Chief Technology Advocate. Currently in New Zealand, he took some time to talk the Sciblogs Podcast about the advantages – and pitfalls – of the growing ‘digital earth’ phenomenon.
Next, the Sciblogs podcast takes a look at Marine Protected Areas, the subject of Prof Jonathan Gardner’s professorial lecture. Prof Gardner is in no two minds about the importance of marine protected areas, especially given New Zealand’s unique position as a country with a marine environment 15 times larger than its terrestrial area.
Finally, new research published today in Science, shows that soil bacteria may be contributing antibiotic resistance genes to human pathogens. In a clip from the Science podcast author Gautam Dantas explains how his team identified the link using metagenomics.
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Michael Jones and Google Earth
Google Earth website
Media coverage of Michael’s visit
Marine Protected Areas
Prof Jonathan Gardner’s University homepage
Details of Prof Gardner’s inaugural professorial lecture
Soil bacteria and antibiotic resistance
Research article in Science
Media release and more audio from Washington University
In Episode 41 this week we pick apart the costs of boozing, find that Anatolia is the ‘Tower of Babel’ for Indo-European languages and get the latest buzz on how genetics research can help bees in New Zealand.
First up, we examine the costs of alcohol with help of the Sciblogs’ newest Sciblogger , economist Dr Eric Crampton (The Dismal Science), who is a co-author of the article ‘What’s in a cost? Comparing economic and public health measures of alcohol’s social costs’, published in this week’s issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal.
Then we explore the origins of language, with Auckland University’s Dr Quentin Atkinson discussing his latest research – published in Science today. Using techniques designed to track the evolution of viruses like HIV, Dr Atkinson and his colleagues have traced the origins of the Indo-European languages back to Anatolia – which is in modern-day Turkey – 8000-9500 years ago. The findings oppose an alternative hypothesis which places the origin north of the Caspian Sea in the Russian steppes about 6,000 years ago.
Finally, we hear from SciBlogger Assoc Prof Peter Dearden (Director of Genetics Otago), in excerpts from his public lecture ‘Buzzing about bees: How genetics can keep New Zealand’s agriculture humming‘. Peter was in Wellington this week to give the lecture as part of the University of Otago Winter Lecture Series, in association with Genetics Otago.
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The Dismal Science
Eric Crampton’s university homepage
Dismal Science, Eric’s new blog on SciBlogs
NZMJ article (subscription only)
Anatolian language origins
Quentin Atkinson’s university homepage
University of Auckland media release
Buzzing about bees
National Bee Week site
About the lecture
Peter’s Southern Genes blog
Episode 40 sees us revisiting volcanology and some fun with explosives as a New York professor uses explosives to recreate the eruptive effect of maars – low profile volcanoes, the remnants of which can be seen across Auckland’s volcanic field.
We check in with Vicki Hyde, the founder and stalwart of the NZ Skeptics Society who outlines what attendees at the Society’s conference in Dunedin at the end of the month can expect. We also hear from one of the researchers behind a cancer drug that turned out to be effective as a male contraceptive.
Also – a new segment – best science site of the week – this week… not a site but a Facebook page – I Fucking Love Science!
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The NZ Skeptics Society conference – how to register, dates, programme
The male contraceptive – research background
We missed a week of the Sciblogs podcast to do some extra interviews for the Sciblogs podcast special on the Curiosity Mars Rover landing – the biggest science news event since, well the discover of the Higgs Boson.
You’ll enjoy the insights New Zealand scientists provide in the podcast on the Curiosity mission. Professor Craig Cary, a microbial ecologist and extremophile expert from Waikato University checks in to explain how NASA has been using Antarctica’a Dry Valley’s as a test bed to prepare to search for life on Mars.
Dr Allan McInnes, an engineering lecturer at the University of Canterbury worked on the Opportunity and Spirit mars Rovers from 2000 – 2003 so knows a thing or two about what’s involved in these highly complex and expensive missions – we ask him what’s changed after a decade of rover innovation at NASA.
Turning to the big local story of the week, the eruption of Tongariro, we talk to University of Canterbury natural hazards expert, Dr Thomas Wilson, about this week’s eruption and some of the potential future sceanrios for activity at Tongariro.
And we round out the podcast with John Kerr from the Science Media Centre taking us through three interesting science papers from New Zealand authors that were published this week
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NASA’s curiosity coverage.
Background on Dr Allan McInnes – University of Canterbury engineering senior lecturer and former Mars Rover engineer.
Science Media Centre expert round-up on the Tongariro eruption.
Dr Thomas Wilson’s University of Canterbury homepage
Pictures enhance ‘Truthiness’
A draft copy of the article, provided by University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
A press release from the journal, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
‘Truthiness‘ coined on the Colbert Report
Claims about viruses and phoney cures are put to the test on the Sciblogs podcast this week
We talk to Sue Huang from ESR who cuts through the recent media hype to clarify if NZ is or isn’t experiencing an influenza epidemic.
SciBlogger Michael Edmonds checks in, telling us the latest about his battle against pseudoscience and his interactions with the Advertising Standards Authority regarding shonky therapeutic claims.
And we take a look at some of the latest Kiwi research appearing in the peer reviewed literature in the journal wrap.
Click below to listen to the Sciblogs podcast episdoe 38
Child cross-examination on trial: Full review
Podcast: Science on trial Jul 20
On the Sciblogs podcast this week, we head to the High Court where climate sceptics have this week been seeking a judicial review of NIWA’s climate records. We catch up with Sciblogger Gareth Renowden about the case and we talk to former NIWA climate scientist Jim Renwick about the current state of climate science and what it is telling us about the extent of warming on a global scale.
Subscribe to the Sciblogs podcast via iTunes or Stitcher.com – or just stream it straight from the site here!
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Hot Topic: When asses go to court
Open Parachute: Scepticism, denial and the high court
Dominion Post: Wellington’s climate record shows warming trend
James Renwick’s profile
NZ Herald: Climate change slow but real phenomenon
James Renwick’s Victoria lecture
Melanie Massaro’s homepage
Melanie Massaro’s paper will be published at www.scientists.org.nz
I’ve been at Nethui catching up on the state of all things internet-related and came away rather disconcerted about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement currently being negotiated in secret on our behalf and which could have major implications for how intellectual property is treated under the law.
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A number of people at Nethui were concerned about this as well and they held a session during the conference looking at the implications of the TPPA and what New Zealanders should do to raise awareness of the issue.
The concerns over IP span everything from the extension of copyright from 50 years after the death of an author to 70 years, through to controls around the use of temporary electronic files, which InternetNZ is concerned could impact on the way information is transmitted around the internet.
InternetNZ for its part has created a website, Fairdeal.net.nz which lays out its concerns about the TPPA. It’s worth reading what they have to say, and if you’ve time, check out the leaked TPPA documents that outline some of the areas in intellectual property that may change if the TPPA is ratified.
On the podcast, you’ll hear from the likes of opensource software developer Daniel Spector, Kiwiblog’s David Farrar, intellectual property lawyer Professor Anne Fitzgerald and District Court Judge David Harvey – all with their views on the TPPA.
You’ll also hear from Professor John Naughton, author of From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg, about the internet and growing efforts to control it by governments and corporations. Will the net remain free in the spirit in which it rose to such prominence in our lives?
Finally, to the science news story of the week, we hear from one of the authors of a paper in Science who have discovered that two different vaccines used to control an infectious disease in chickens have been able to recombine to generate new virus strains.
The resulting new viruses have been responsible for significant outbreaks of disease and death in farmed chickens. The vaccines in question are known as live attenuated vaccines – and essentially contain weakened forms of the virus that causes the disease.
All of that is on the podcast this week… check it out and let us know what you think…!
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InternetNZ’s Fair Deal website – a must read
Computerworld: Trade agreement campaign plans two-pronged approach
The TPPA intellectual property chapter
John Naughton’s view of the tech world via his Observer columns
My interview with john Naughton in the New Zealand Listener
NEWS BRIEFING: Vaccines combine to produce new virus strain (Science) – Listen back to the ausSMC press briefing
EPISODE 35: This week’s podcast looks at how the news out of CERN about the discovery of a Higgs-like boson was received by the world. How did the media do in describing what the Higgs Boson actually is and did what’s the future for the Large Hadron Collider.
And we talk to Dr Cameron Neylon and Sciblogger Fabiana Kubke about the recent Finch Report into open access science publishing and also PeerJ, the new open access journal.
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Scientists react to the CERN announcement about the Higgs Boson.
the Science paper: Heralded Entanglement Between Widely Separated Atoms
The Finch Report – full text
Sciblogs coverage of Finch Report
Open access journal PeerJ
On the Sciblogs podcast this week we look at the progress made on Digital Earth initiatives like Google Earth – what’s in store for the next generation of Earth visualisation and simulation platforms?
We talk to Sciblogger Ken Perrott about new data from the 2011 Australian census that shows more Aussies are ditching religion and we check in with a scientist examining the barely tapped potential of nature to supply compounds and extracts that can be used in medicines.
You can stream the podcast by clicking on the player below, or subscribe in iTunes or via RSS. You can even listen to the podcast on your phone via Stitcher.com
Science Media Centre round-up of links on the Science paper on the Alpine Fault
Swine flu deaths: worse than thought
Information about NextSpace and Richard Simpson
Al Gore’s speech on Digital Earth
Digital Earth Summit in Wellington
The 2011 Australian Census
Ken Perrott’s blog post on the changing face of Australia’s religious affiliations
Vincenzo De Luca’s paper in Science