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3Episodes
Category: Science

A fun take on the latest science news with enough data to sink your teeth into. Lagrange Point goes beyond the glossy summary and gets in depth with the research from across the world.

September 9, 2019

Episode 343 - The circadian rhythm of plants, and fighting back against fungus

Growing enough food to feed the planet is a challenge that will only get harder as the climate changes. So how do farmers and scientists work together to make crops more sustainable, more resilient to disease, and use less herbicides? With genetic engineering, one of the worlds most important crops, rice, can be made even tougher. Using a two type bait gene, rice can be engineered to fight off fungus like rice blast. If you have to spray with herbicides, when should you do it? Well you need to pay attention to the circadian rhythm of the plants.

  1. Freya A Varden, Hiromasa Saitoh, Kae Yoshino, Marina Franceschetti, Sophien Kamoun, Ryohei Terauchi, Mark J. Banfield. Cross-reactivity of a rice NLR immune receptor to distinct effectors from the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae provides partial disease resistanceJournal of Biological Chemistry, 2019; jbc.RA119.007730 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.007730
  2. Fiona E. Belbin, Gavin J. Hall, Amelia B. Jackson, Florence E. Schanschieff, George Archibald, Carl Formstone, Antony N. Dodd. Plant circadian rhythms regulate the effectiveness of a glyphosate-based herbicideNature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11709-5
August 26, 2019

Episode 341 - Forming, Saving and preserving new memories

Your brain uses proteins synthesis and redundancy to help form and keep memories. Intricate biochemistry helps your neurons connect to each other to form new memories. Forming new memories is a sticky situation.  Keeping them stuck together over time in a long lasting memory relies on protein synthesis. Its important not just to have strong connections between neurons to form memories, you also need spares. By having redundancy and backups it means that you can still remember a key memory if one of those connections fails.

References

  1. Lenzie Ford et al. CPEB3 inhibits translation of mRNA targets by localizing them to P bodiesPNAS, 2019 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1815275116
  2. Walter G. Gonzalez, Hanwen Zhang, Anna Harutyunyan, Carlos Lois. Persistence of neuronal representations through time and damage in the hippocampusScience, 2019: Vol. 365, Issue 6455, pp. 821-825 DOI: 10.1126/science.aav9199
August 19, 2019

Episode 340 - Insects revolutionizing agriculture

Insects are often thought of as the enemy of farmers, but they can help improve farming. From helpful worm pheromones, to farming crickets and hungry termites. Worms can help boost the resilience of crops like wheat, corn and maize to common threats. Worm pheromones help plants fight back against bacteria, viral and fungal invaders. If insects are the super food of the future, how do you successfully farm them on a large scale? What nutrient rich feed do insect farms need to give their herds? If you are growing crickets and locusts do they need different food? What food is best for termites and how can they be used to help better manage forest?

References:

  1. Daniel F. Klessig, Murli Manohar, Shine Baby, Aline Koch, Wiseborn B. Danquah, Emily Luna, Hee‐Jin Park, Judith M. Kolkman, B. Gillian Turgeon, Rebecca Nelson, Jan E. Leach, Valerie M. Williamson, Karl‐Heinz Kogel, Aardra Kachroo, Frank C. Schroeder. Nematode ascaroside enhances resistance in a broad spectrum of plant–pathogen systems. Journal of Phytopathology, 2019; 167 (5): 265 DOI: 10.1111/jph.12795
  2. P. Straub, C.M. Tanga, I. Osuga, W. Windisch, S. Subramanian. Experimental feeding studies with crickets and locusts on the use of feed mixtures composed of storable feed materials commonly used in livestock production. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 2019; 255: 114215 DOI: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2019.114215
  3. Martin F. Jurgensen, Chris A. Miller, Carl T. Trettin, Deborah S. Page-Dumroese. Bedding of Wetland Soil: Effects of Bed Height and Termite Activity on Wood Decomposition. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 2019; 0 (0): 0 DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2018.12.0492
August 12, 2019

Episode 339 - Australian Science - life on gold, in the oceans and in deadly gas

To celebrate National Science Week in Australia we are turning our attention to Australian research on the global scale. This week it means tales from microbiology. Stories of how life can survive or sometimes thrive in strange situations. Whether it be Fungi that eat gold, or bacteria chewing deadly gas, microbiology is always full of surprises. How do the tiniest parts of the food-web of our oceans hunt for food in the swirling of stagnant currents of the ocean? How do bacteria turn deadly gas into a food source? Is the secret to tuberculosis's resistance its ability to survive off deadly gas? How do bacteria turn carbon monoxide and hydrogen into something palatable?

References:

  1. Cordero, P. R., Bayly, K., Leung, P. M., Huang, C., Islam, Z. F., Schittenhelm, R. B., . . . Greening, C. (2019). Atmospheric carbon monoxide oxidation is a widespread mechanism supporting microbial survival. The ISME Journal. doi:10.1038/s41396-019-0479-8
  2. Islam, Z. F., Cordero, P. R., Feng, J., Chen, Y., Bay, S. K., Jirapanjawat, T., . . . Greening, C. (2018). Two Chloroflexi classes independently evolved the ability to persist on atmospheric hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The ISME Journal. doi:10.1101/457697
  3. Lehmann, E. (n.d.). Gold-coated fungi are the new gold diggers. Retrieved from https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2019/Gold-coated-fungi-are-the-new-gold-diggers
  4. Bohu, T., Anand, R., Noble, R., Lintern, M., Kaksonen, A. H., Mei, Y., . . . Verrall, M. (2019). Evidence for fungi and gold redox interaction under Earth surface conditions. Nature Communications, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-019-10006-5
  5. Holland, D., & University of Melbourne. (2019, August 05). The superheroes of nutrient detection living in our oceans. Retrieved from https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/the-superheroes-of-nutrient-detection-living-in-our-oceans#
  6. Brumley, D. R., Carrara, F., Hein, A. M., Yawata, Y., Levin, S. A., & Stocker, R. (2019). Bacteria push the limits of chemotactic precision to navigate dynamic chemical gradients. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(22), 10792-10797. doi:10.1073/pnas.1816621116
July 29, 2019

Lagrange Point Episode 337 - Stopping deforestation, saving species and conservation

As the climate changes different species are at risk. Some will thrive and others will struggle, so how do we target conservation efforts to better protect at risk species? Deforestation is a big issue in developing countries, but is there a win-win for the population and the planet? When sea levels rise, we think about flooding and erosion, but not what will happen to the forests and birds who live in them. Trees in the city live fast and die young, which means we need a whole new set of forest management techniques.

References:

  1. Paul J. Taillie, Christopher E. Moorman, Lindsey S. Smart, Krishna Pacifici. Bird community shifts associated with saltwater exposure in coastal forests at the leading edge of rising sea levelPLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (5): e0216540 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216540
  2. C. David L. Orme, Sarah Mayor, Luiz dos Anjos, Pedro F. Develey, Jack H. Hatfield, José Carlos Morante-Filho, Jason M. Tylianakis, Alexandre Uezu, Cristina Banks-Leite. Distance to range edge determines sensitivity to deforestationNature Ecology & Evolution, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0889-z
  3. Ian A. Smith, Victoria K. Dearborn, Lucy R. Hutyra. Live fast, die young: Accelerated growth, mortality, and turnover in street treesPLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (5): e0215846 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215846
  4. Johan A. Oldekop, Katharine R. E. Sims, Birendra K. Karna, Mark J. Whittingham, Arun Agrawal. Reductions in deforestation and poverty from decentralized forest management in NepalNature Sustainability, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0277-3
July 14, 2019

Episode 335 - Oceans, ocean size algae, deserts and fresh water in strange places

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink or nutrient for that matter. The Ocean can sometimes be a inhospitable place with barely any nutrients to survive off. Other times it can be home to large ocean spanning algae blooms. The oceans from the Pacific to the Atlantic can hold lots of secrets (even fresh water) beneath the surface. This week we look at 3 different papers which outline strange parts of the ocean, from large algae blooms to hidden aquifers.

References:

  1. Greta Reintjes, Halina E. Tegetmeyer, Miriam Bürgisser, Sandi Orlić, Ivo Tews, Mikhail Zubkov, Daniela Voß, Oliver Zielinski, Christian Quast, Frank Oliver Glöckner, Rudolf Amann, Timothy G. Ferdelman, Bernhard M. Fuchs. On-Site Analysis of Bacterial Communities of the Ultraoligotrophic South Pacific Gyre. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2019; 85 (14) DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00184-19
  2. Mengqiu Wang, Chuanmin Hu, Brian B. Barnes, Gary Mitchum, Brian Lapointe, Joseph P. Montoya. The great Atlantic Sargassum belt. Science, 2019; 365 (6448): 83 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw7912
  3. Chloe Gustafson, Kerry Key, Rob L. Evans. Aquifer systems extending far offshore on the U.S. Atlantic margin. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44611-7
June 30, 2019

Episode 333 - Saving which bees and where

Saving the bees has gotten widespread understanding, but it is more nuanced than a simple sound bite. Which bees are in danger and where? How many bee species are out there and are under threat? Can domesticated bees spread disease to wild populations? How do wild flowers help feed bees but also spread disease? Can different types of crop cycles help both wild and domesticated bees thrive? We know of colony collapse disorder and pesticides, but what other threats are out there to bee populations? Does the urban sprawl play a role in destabilising the gender balance of the bee populations? Why do bee populations drop off as you approach the city?

References:

  1. Samantha A. Alger, P. Alexander Burnham, Humberto F. Boncristiani, Alison K. Brody. RNA virus spillover from managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) to wild bumblebees (Bombus spp.). PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (6): e0217822 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217822
  2. Dimitry Wintermantel, Jean-François Odoux, Joël Chadœuf, Vincent Bretagnolle. Organic farming positively affects honeybee colonies in a flower-poor period in agricultural landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13447
  3. Gordon Fitch, Paul Glaum, Maria-Carolina Simao, Chatura Vaidya, Jill Matthijs, Benjamin Iuliano, Ivette Perfecto. Changes in adult sex ratio in wild bee communities are linked to urbanization. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39601-8
June 10, 2019

Episode 330 - A cells journey, from birth to death

This week we dive into the complicated history of cells and try to figure out if you are still the same ship. How does a cell know what it wants to grow up to be? What helps it make the decision to be an optic nerve, a neuron or part of your jawbone? How old are all the cells in your body? Are they all the same age, and what does age even mean anyway? This week we dive into the complicated history of cells and try to figure out if you are still the same ship. 

References:

  1. Rafael Arrojo e Drigo, Varda Lev-Ram, Swati Tyagi, Ranjan Ramachandra, Thomas Deerinck, Eric Bushong, Sebastien Phan, Victoria Orphan, Claude Lechene, Mark H. Ellisman, Martin W. Hetzer. Age Mosaicism across Multiple Scales in Adult Tissues. Cell Metabolism, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.05.010
  2. Ruslan Soldatov, Marketa Kaucka, Maria Eleni Kastriti, Julian Petersen, Tatiana Chontorotzea, Lukas Englmaier, Natalia Akkuratova, Yunshi Yang, Martin Häring, Viacheslav Dyachuk, Christoph Bock, Matthias Farlik, Michael L. Piacentino, Franck Boismoreau, Markus M. Hilscher, Chika Yokota, Xiaoyan Qian, Mats Nilsson, Marianne E. Bronner, Laura Croci, Wen-Yu Hsiao, Jean-Francois Brunet, Gian Giacomo Consalez, Patrik Ernfors, Kaj Fried, Peter V. Kharchenko, Igor Adameyko. Spatiotemporal structure of cell fate decisions in murine neural crest. Science, 2019; 364 (6444): eaas9536 DOI: 10.1126/science.aas9536
May 20, 2019

Episode 327 - Hippos and Algae, Lions and Porcupines, plus Narwhals.

What connects Hippos, Algae and keeping the rivers of Africa healthy? What causes Lions to square-off against Porcupines? What is keeping the Narwhal population healthy despite it's genetic diversity? We look at the strange interconnection between species and how small changes in one ecosystem can destabilise a whole species.

Hippos help keep the rivers and lakes of Africa healthy...through their poo.

Hippos are essential in pumping silicon from the savannah into the rivers and lakes of Africa.

Lions hunt lots of creatures, but what needs to happen for them to try attacking a Porcupine?

Porcupines vs Lion sounds like a March Mammal Madness battle, but what causes a Lion to go after such a tough prey?

The Narwhals population is rebounding but it its still at risk due to it's shallow gene pool.

Can a species survive with a shallow gene pool?

References:

  1. Schoelynck, J., Subalusky, A.L., Struyf, E., Dutton, C.L., Unzué-Belmonte, D., Van de Vijver, B., Post, D.M., Rosi, E.J., Meire, P., Frings, P. Hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius): The animal silicon pumpScience Advances, 2019 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav0395
  2. Julian C. Kerbis Peterhans, Gastone G. Celesia, Thomas P. Gnoske. Lion-Porcupine Interactions in Africa, Including Impacts on Lion Predatory BehaviorJournal of East African Natural History, 2019; 108 (1): 1 DOI: 10.2982/028.108.0101
  3. Westbury, M.V. Narwhal genome reveals long-term low genetic diversity despite current large abundance sizeiScience, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.03.023
May 6, 2019

Episode 325 - Racing against time, from Box Jellyfish to Alzheimers

Medicine is often a race against time, to diagnose, to develop and to treat. This week we're looking at new research which speeds up the detection of Alzheimers in patients and provides a chance to test out potential treatments. We also find out how University of Sydney researchers may help deliver a quick antivenom to those stung by the deadly box jellyfish. Plus ways to turn leftover bits of junk in blood plasma, into useful diagnosis tools that may help save time and lives in treatment without wasting more time on tests.

References:

  1. Man-Tat Lau, John Manion, Jamie B. Littleboy, Lisa Oyston, Thang M. Khuong, Qiao-Ping Wang, David T. Nguyen, Daniel Hesselson, Jamie E. Seymour, G. Gregory Neely. Molecular dissection of box jellyfish venom cytotoxicity highlights an effective venom antidote. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09681-1
  2. Maria D Giraldez, Ryan M Spengler, Alton Etheridge, Annika J Goicochea, Missy Tuck, Sung Won Choi, David J Galas, Muneesh Tewari. Phospho-RNA-seq: a modified small RNA-seq method that reveals circulating mRNA and lncRNA fragments as potential biomarkers in human plasma. EMBO Journal, 2019 DOI: 10.15252/embj.2019101695
  3. Andreas Nabers, Henning Hafermann, Jens Wiltfang, Klaus Gerwert. Aβ and tau structure-based biomarkers for a blood- and CSF-based two-step recruitment strategy to identify patients with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 2019; 11: 257 DOI: 10.1016/j.dadm.2019.01.008

Medicine is often a race against time, to diagnose, to develop and to treat. This week it's stories of scientists and doctors racing against the clock.

New research which speeds up the detection of Alzheimer's in patients and provides a chance to test out potential treatments.

We find out how University of Sydney researchers may help deliver a quick antivenom to those stung by the deadly box jellyfish.

Plus ways to turn leftover bits of junk in blood plasma, into useful diagnosis tools that may help save time and lives in treatment without wasting more time on tests.

There are whole bundles of random RNA fragments in blood plasma, but these can be used to help diagnose specific issues.

The box jellyfish is just one of the many things in Australia that is trying to kill you, but now it's slightly less deadly thanks to University of Sydney researchers.

April 22, 2019

Lagrange Point Episode 323 - Keeping your immune system in fighting shape

How can we keep our immune systems in fighting shape? What happens when our immune systems are responding well or are missing key genes? is there targeted gene therapies that can be used to help save lives of those most at risk from infection?  How does our body hunt down and stop Listeria in it's tracks? Plus undercooked wild game or pork can lead to parasitic infections, but how does the body fight back?

References:

  1. E Mamcarz et al. Lentiviral gene therapy with low dose busulfan for infants with X-SCIDThe New England Journal of Medicine, April 17, 2019; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1815408
  2. Kazuhito Sai, Cameron Parsons, John S. House, Sophia Kathariou, Jun Ninomiya-Tsuji. Necroptosis mediators RIPK3 and MLKL suppress intracellular Listeria replication independently of host cell killingThe Journal of Cell Biology, 2019; jcb.201810014 DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201810014
  3. Nicola Steel, Aduragbemi A. Faniyi, Sayema Rahman, Stefanie Swietlik, Beata I. Czajkowska, Bethany T. Chan, Alexander Hardgrave, Anthony Steel, Tim D. Sparwasser, Mushref B. Assas, Richard K. Grencis, Mark A. Travis, John J. Worthington. TGFβ-activation by dendritic cells drives Th17 induction and intestinal contractility and augments the expulsion of the parasite Trichinella spiralis in micePLOS Pathogens, 2019; 15 (4): e1007657 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007657
April 1, 2019

Episode 320 - Extinction events and their causes

Life has been around on earth for a long time, but there have been many extinction events that have wiped out large numbers of species. This week we find out how scientists peel back the layers of rock to uncover what caused these extinction events. Plus we find out about current extinction events and what we can learn from the past to protect species today.

References:

  1. DePalma, Robert A.; Smit, Jan; Burnham, David; Kuiper, Klaudia; Manning, Phillip; Oleinik, Anton; Larson, Peter; Maurrasse, Florentin; Vellekoop, Johan; Richards, Mark A.; Gurche, Loren; Alvarez, Walter. Prelude to Extinction: a seismically induced onshore surge deposit at the KPg boundary, North DakotaPNAS, 2019
  2. Ben C. Scheele et al. Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversityScience, 2019 DOI: 10.1126/science.aav0379
  3. Seth A. Young, Andrew Kleinberg, Jeremy D. Owens. Geochemical evidence for expansion of marine euxinia during an early Silurian (Llandovery–Wenlock boundary) mass extinctionEarth and Planetary Science Letters, 2019; 513: 187 DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.02.023
March 18, 2019

Episode 318 - Stubborn Moose, repulsive smells and Otters with tools

We recap March Mamma Madness Round 1, and look at some latest science stories that relate. From what happens inside your brain when you smell a repulsive smell, to making the right call on fleeing or standing your ground. Plus we look at using archaeological techniques to help understand the history of animal tool use like with otters. 

References:

  1. Ahmed A. M. Mohamed, Tom Retzke, Sudeshna Das Chakraborty, Benjamin Fabian, Bill S. Hansson, Markus Knaden, Silke Sachse. Odor mixtures of opposing valence unveil inter-glomerular crosstalk in the Drosophila antennal lobeNature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09069-1
  2. Michael Haslam, Jessica Fujii, Sarah Espinosa, Karl Mayer, Katherine Ralls, M. Tim Tinker, Natalie Uomini. Wild sea otter mussel pounding leaves archaeological tracesScientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39902-y
  3. B. A. Oates, J. A. Merkle, M. J. Kauffman, S. R. Dewey, M. D. Jimenez, J. M. Vartanian, S. A. Becker, J. R. Goheen. Antipredator response diminishes during periods of resource deficit for a large herbivoreEcology, 2019; e02618 DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2618
March 4, 2019

Episode 316 - Mice that sing and see in infrared, balancing predators and 2019MMM Preview

We preview 2019 March Mammal Madness, and find out about interesting animals from across the world. We look at ways to augment vision to help see in infra-red, and use singing mice to study human conversation. Plus we find out about balancing predators and prey.

References:

  1. March Mammal Madness
  2. Yuqian Ma, Jin Bao, Yuanwei Zhang, Zhanjun Li, Xiangyu Zhou, Changlin Wan, Ling Huang, Yang Zhao, Gang Han, Tian Xue. Mammalian Near-Infrared Image Vision through Injectable and Self-Powered Retinal Nanoantennae. Cell, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.01.038
  3. Matthew T. Farr, David S. Green, Kay E. Holekamp, Gary J. Roloff, Elise F. Zipkin. Multispecies hierarchical modeling reveals variable responses of African carnivores to management alternatives. Ecological Applications, 2019; 29 (2): e01845 DOI: 10.1002/eap.1845
  4. Daniel E. Okobi Jr., Arkarup Banerjee, Andrew M. M. Matheson, Steven M. Phelps, Michael A. Long. Motor cortical control of vocal interaction in neotropical singing miceScience, 2019 DOI: 10.1126/science.aau9480
February 18, 2019

Episode 314 - Ancient life and life in extreme places

From the bottom of the ocean, to the earliest days of the earth, life has managed to not just survive but thrive. We look at several cases which change our understanding of the earliest life on earth and just what that might mean for understanding life on this planet and beyond. From moving life fossilised in mud, to using isotopes to study metabolism and discovering whole new methods of getting food, life continues to astound researchers with its inventiveness.

References:

  1. Min Sub Sim, Hideaki Ogata, Wolfgang Lubitz, Jess F. Adkins, Alex L. Sessions, Victoria J. Orphan, Shawn E. McGlynn. Role of APS reductase in biogeochemical sulfur isotope fractionationNature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07878-4
  2. Abderrazak El Albani, M. Gabriela Mangano, Luis A. Buatois, Stefan Bengtson, Armelle Riboulleau, Andrey Bekker, Kurt Konhauser, Timothy Lyons, Claire Rollion-Bard, Olabode Bankole, Stellina Gwenaelle Lekele Baghekema, Alain Meunier, Alain Trentesaux, Arnaud Mazurier, Jeremie Aubineau, Claude Laforest, Claude Fontaine, Philippe Recourt, Ernest Chi Fru, Roberto Macchiarelli, Jean Yves Reynaud, François Gauthier-Lafaye, Donald E. Canfield. Organism motility in an oxygenated shallow-marine environment 2.1 billion years agoProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019; 201815721 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1815721116
  3. Stephanie A. Carr, Sean P. Jungbluth, Emiley A. Eloe-Fadrosh, Ramunas Stepanauskas, Tanja Woyke, Michael S. Rappé, Beth N. Orcutt. Carboxydotrophy potential of uncultivated Hydrothermarchaeota from the subseafloor crustal biosphereThe ISME Journal, 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41396-019-0352-9
February 11, 2019

Episode 313 - Cross continent pop hits from whales and deep divers

The greatest pop hits can cross continents, but what about oceans? We all know whales make songs, but not only are they very complex, they can be covered, repeated and spread like a Number 1 summer hit across oceans to the far flung corners of the globe. Plus reaching the deepest depths of the ocean is tough for humans, but easy for whales. How do they accomplish these great feats? We also touch on the impact of naval sonar on the battle between squids and whales. 
Reference:

  1. Jeanne M. Shearer, Nicola J. Quick, William R. Cioffi, Robin W. Baird, Daniel L. Webster, Heather J. Foley, Zachary T. Swaim, Danielle M. Waples, Joel T. Bell, Andrew J. Read. Diving behaviour of Cuvier's beaked whales ( Ziphius cavirostris ) off Cape Hatteras, North CarolinaRoyal Society Open Science, 2019; 6 (2): 181728 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181728
  2. Melinda L. Rekdahl, Ellen C. Garland, Gabriella A. Carvajal, Carissa D. King, Tim Collins, Yvette Razafindrakoto, Howard Rosenbaum. Culturally transmitted song exchange between humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the southeast Atlantic and southwest Indian Ocean basinsRoyal Society Open Science, 2018; 5 (11): 172305 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.172305
  3. Brandon L. Southall, Kelly J. Benoit-Bird, Mark A. Moline, David Moretti. Quantifying deep-sea predator-prey dynamics: Implications of biological heterogeneity for beaked whale conservationJournal of Applied Ecology, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13334
February 11, 2019

Episode 313 - Cross continent pop hits from whales and deep divers

The greatest pop hits can cross continents, but what about oceans? We all know whales make songs, but not only are they very complex, they can be covered, repeated and spread like a Number 1 summer hit across oceans to the far flung corners of the globe. Plus reaching the deepest depths of the ocean is tough for humans, but easy for whales. How do they accomplish these great feats? We also touch on the impact of naval sonar on the battle between squids and whales. 

 

Reference:

  1. Jeanne M. Shearer, Nicola J. Quick, William R. Cioffi, Robin W. Baird, Daniel L. Webster, Heather J. Foley, Zachary T. Swaim, Danielle M. Waples, Joel T. Bell, Andrew J. Read. Diving behaviour of Cuvier's beaked whales ( Ziphius cavirostris ) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Royal Society Open Science, 2019; 6 (2): 181728 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181728
  2. Melinda L. Rekdahl, Ellen C. Garland, Gabriella A. Carvajal, Carissa D. King, Tim Collins, Yvette Razafindrakoto, Howard Rosenbaum. Culturally transmitted song exchange between humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the southeast Atlantic and southwest Indian Ocean basins. Royal Society Open Science, 2018; 5 (11): 172305 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.172305
  3. Brandon L. Southall, Kelly J. Benoit-Bird, Mark A. Moline, David Moretti. Quantifying deep-sea predator-prey dynamics: Implications of biological heterogeneity for beaked whale conservation. Journal of Applied Ecology, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13334
January 21, 2019

Episode 310 - Glial cells and Neurons, putting a stop to degenerative neurological conditions

A brain injury like a stroke or a neuro degenerative condition like Huntingdon's or Parkinson’s disease can be a long and arduous ordeal. It can be difficult to diagnose and there are no clear treatments, but scientists are working hard to solve it. We find out about the important role Glial cells play in supporting neurons and how things can go wrong if they are disrupted. We also find out about ways to use the abundance of Glial cells to make new neurons. Plus we get a better understanding of cell death and repair and the roll proteins can play in slowing down those processes to give your brain time to recover.

  1. Mikhail Osipovitch, Andrea Asenjo Martinez, John N. Mariani, Adam Cornwell, Simrat Dhaliwal, Lisa Zou, Devin Chandler-Militello, Su Wang, Xiaojie Li, Sarah-Jehanne Benraiss, Robert Agate, Andrea Lampp, Abdellatif Benraiss, Martha S. Windrem, Steven A. Goldman. Human ESC-Derived Chimeric Mouse Models of Huntington’s Disease Reveal Cell-Intrinsic Defects in Glial Progenitor Cell Differentiation. Cell Stem Cell, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.11.010
  2. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. (2018, December 20). Parkinson's disease protein buys time for cell repair. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 5, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181220080000.htm
  3. Penn State. (2018, November 5). New gene therapy reprograms brain glial cells into neurons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 5, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181105122433.htm
January 7, 2019

Episode 308 - Farewell to phantom limb pain, and better prostheses

 Having a traumatic injury, serious infection or cancer is bad enough let alone if you have to have an amputation. But once that amputation has occurred how do you make life easier for the amputee? Prostheses are helpful, but they can require retraining your brain and lack the sense of touch. Plus phantom limb pain can make life painful and frustrating. This week we find out about surgical and biomedical treatments to help improve prostheses and give amputees better quality of life.

References:

  1. Bowen, J. B., Ruter, D., Wee, C., West, J., & Valerio, I. L. (2019). Targeted Muscle Reinnervation Technique in Below-Knee Amputation. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 143(1), 309-312. doi:10.1097/prs.0000000000005133
  2. Cheesborough, J., Smith, L., Kuiken, T., & Dumanian, G. (2015). Targeted Muscle Reinnervation and Advanced Prosthetic Arms. Seminars in Plastic Surgery, 29(01), 062-072. doi:10.1055/s-0035-1544166
  3. Nathanaël Jarrassé, Etienne de Montalivet, Florian Richer, Caroline Nicol, Amélie Touillet, Noël Martinet, Jean Paysant, Jozina B. de Graaf. Phantom-Mobility-Based Prosthesis Control in Transhumeral Amputees Without Surgical Reinnervation: A Preliminary Study. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 2018; 6 DOI: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00164
  4. Arizona State University. (2018, November 7). New prosthetic hand system allows user to 'feel' again: The Neural-Enabled Prosthetic Hand (NEPH) system marks first time bidirectional prosthesis can be used in home setting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 5, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181107093757.htm
December 31, 2018

Episode 307 - Ancient druidic treatments, wasp venom and peptide cages

The arms race against antibiotic resistant bacteria continues. As the world faces down this challenge, we turn to stranger and stranger places for treatment. So how can you turn ancient druidic treatments into modern new antibiotics? How do you make wasp venom actually a useful treatment? Can you trap bacteria inside a cage and just starve them to this? This week we find out about the fight back against bacteria.

References:

  1. Luciana Terra, Paul J. Dyson, Matthew D. Hitchings, Liam Thomas, Alyaa Abdelhameed, Ibrahim M. Banat, Salvatore A. Gazze, Dušica Vujaklija, Paul D. Facey, Lewis W. Francis, Gerry A. Quinn. A Novel Alkaliphilic Streptomyces Inhibits ESKAPE Pathogens. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2018; 9 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.02458
  2. Sina Krokowski, Damián Lobato-Márquez, Arnaud Chastanet, Pedro Matos Pereira, Dimitrios Angelis, Dieter Galea, Gerald Larrouy-Maumus, Ricardo Henriques, Elias T. Spiliotis, Rut Carballido-López, Serge Mostowy. Septins Recognize and Entrap Dividing Bacterial Cells for Delivery to Lysosomes. Cell Host & Microbe, 2018; 24 (6): 866 DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.11.005
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2018, December 7). Engineers repurpose wasp venom as an antibiotic drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 29, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181207112651.htm

 

Antibiotics from druidic recipes in the Irish countryside.