SciBlogs

Podcast: Emerging film makers talk science docos Peter Griffin Nov 08

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In this Sciblogs Podcast, Lindsey Horne talks to graduates of the University of Otago’s Center for Science Communication as they release the science-related documentaries they have been working on.

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Episode 42: Earth & Sea John Kerr Aug 31

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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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Show notes

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

 

 

Episode 41: Liquor, language and bees John Kerr Aug 24

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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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Show Notes:

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

Article in Science

University of Auckland media release

Buzzing about bees

National Bee Week site

About the lecture

Peter’s Southern Genes blog

 

 

Podcast: Skeptics, eruptions and the male pill Peter Griffin Aug 17

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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.

Professor Greg Valentine

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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Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Stitcher.com or via rss

Show notes

The NZ Skeptics Society conference – how to register, dates, programme

Scibloggers David Winter and Michael Edmonds who are on the speakers list for the Skeptics conference

Buffalo New York State University Professor Greg Valentine’s research page and the release on his maar explosions.

I Fucking Love Science on Facebook

Bloomberg: Male birth control from compound works in mice

The male contraceptive – research background

Sciblogs Podcast episode 39: Curiosity thrills Peter Griffin Aug 10

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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.

NASA scientists celebrate Curiosity’s successful landing

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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Show notes

NASA’s curiosity coverage.

Background on Dr Allan McInnes – University of Canterbury engineering senior lecturer and former Mars Rover engineer.

Professor Craig Cary’s Waikato University homepage and an interesting National Geographic piece featuring Professor Cary.

Science Media Centre expert round-up on the Tongariro eruption.

Dr Thomas Wilson’s University of Canterbury homepage

 

Journal Wrap

txt-speak hrdr 2 read
Research article in Acta Psychologica
Round up of New Zealand media coverage from the Science Media Centre

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

Self Explaining Roads
Research abstract in Accident Prevention and Analysis
An earlier Wired article exploring the phenomena in the Netherlands

Podcast: The pseudoscience epidemic John Kerr Jul 27

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Claims about viruses and phoney cures are put to the test on the Sciblogs podcast this week

In the film Contagion, Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) peddles his homepathic remidies in the middle of  a global pandemicWe 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

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Show Notes

Influenza Epidemic?

The SHIVERS project  and  Sue Huang quoted on the Science Media Centre site

Pseduoscience stand-off

Michael Edmonds on SciBlogs – Molecular Matters   and Coverage of Michael’s crusades in The Listener

Journal Wrap

Surfs Up!: Full research article and coverage by ESPN in the States

Climate change hits the slopes: Coverage on Stuff.co.nz plus the research paper

Future of Protein: News coverage in the Dominion Post and full research article

Child cross-examination on trial: Full review

DOC vs. the weeds: Press release and Research article

Podcast: Science on trial Peter Griffin Jul 20

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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.

We also talk to Dr Melanie Massaro about her paper Trapped in the postdoctoral void and her concern at what she considers to be an oversupply of doctoral students in the New Zealand education system.

Subscribe to the Sciblogs podcast via iTunes or Stitcher.com – or just stream it straight from the site here!

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Show notes

Hot Topic: When asses go to court

Open Parachute: Scepticism, denial and the high court

NZ Herald: Global warming sceptics accuse NIWA over temperature records

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

Podcast: The fight for the Net Peter Griffin Jul 13

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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.

Will those TPPA chickens come home to roost?

Click below to listen to the podcast

Episode 36

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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…!

Also subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher.com or follow our RSS feed

Show notes

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

ABC: Chicken deaths prompt surprise discovery about vaccines and viruses

 

Podcast: Higgs, I think we have it! Peter Griffin Jul 06

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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.

We hear from an experimental physicist about the potential for quantum communication based on experiments in entanglement of atoms.

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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Show notes

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

Episode 34: Digital Earth 2.0 Peter Griffin Jun 29

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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?

google-earth-5-screenshotWe 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

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Show notes

Science Media Centre round-up of links on the Science paper on the Alpine Fault

Swine flu deaths: worse than thought

PNAS Next-generation Digital Earth paper

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

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