biology

#398      29 min 09 sec
The baby makers: The science behind healthier embryos and better IVF

Prof. David Gardner

Reproductive biologist Professor David Gardner explains what we're still learning about healthy embryo development, how it's being applied to improve IVF technologies, and the unexpected insights it may offer into how cells implant themselves and proliferate -- including how cancers take hold. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#393      32 min 55 sec
Antagonize your ageing: The science behind living healthier for longer

Prof Andrea Maier

Geriatrician Professor Andrea Maier describes what happens to our cells as we age, and explains the causes of age-related diseases. She also discusses how positive lifestyle choices and preventive medical interventions can help us live healthier for longer. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#389      38 min 35 sec
Genetic find and replace with CRISPR: Technology that will revolutionize medicine and agriculture

Prof Jacob Corn

Molecular biologist Prof Jacob Corn describes how gene editing is carried out with CRISPR-Cas9. He explains why this technology has the potential of revolutionizing the treatment of diseases such as sickle cell anemia and malaria. Besides human health, CRISPR-Cas9 can also contribute to improving agriculture and, consequently, food security. Jacob also discusses the possible ethical challenges posed by the widespread application of gene editing. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#385      30 min 34 sec
Outbreak! Human pandemics and how to manage the inevitable

Prof Eddie Holmes

Virologist Eddie Holmes explains how viral and bacterial pandemics of the type that spawned the Black Death and Ebola remain an unpredictable and inevitable part of our future. Professor Holmes describes how new technologies like genomic sequencing help us explore the origins and evolution of pathogens linked to pandemics as far back as Ancient Rome, and how evolving biosecurity and surveillance systems offer us a chance of containing outbreaks. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#384      22 min 09 sec
Exploring the impact of city lights on birds, and building better detergents

Mitchell Nothling
Anne Aulsebrook

In our annual PhD episode, we chat with two young researchers on their diverse investigations. We hear from bioscientist Anne Aulsebrook, who is looking at how urban lighting and light pollution is impacting the health and behaviour of wild birds that make their home in our cities. We also speak to chemical engineer Mitchell Nothling about his research into how enzymes like those found in our digestive systems could be harnessed to create sustainable and more efficient detergents. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#382      33 min 27 sec
Going viral: Global food security under threat from crop and livestock diseases

Prof John Fazakerley

Virologist and infectious diseases expert Prof John Fazakerley details the myriad threats to the global food supply from pathogen infestations in crops and livestock, and how new genetic and surveillance technologies are lending hope to keeping them in check. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#371      33 min 01 sec
Slippery descent: Untangling the complexity of our evolutionary history

Prof Bernard Wood

Renowned paleoanthropologist Bernard Wood explains how continuing research into fossil and other evidence of our evolutionary history produces insights but also reveals how much we have yet to learn. How good, for example, are we at telling our recent ancestors and close relatives from those of the apes? How can we know how many species preceded our own? And can we tell which of those species are our ancestors, and which are non-ancestral close relatives? Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#369      39 min 00 sec
The necessity of kindness: Altruism in animals and beyond

Prof Lee Dugatkin

Evolutionary biologist and historian of science Prof Lee Dugatkin joins Dr Andi Horvath to discuss displays of altruism in insects, animals and humans, and how the often harsh evolutionary imperatives of survival can actually accommodate, promote or depend on acts of kindness and justice.

#368      31 min 43 sec
Decision neuroscience: Emerging insights into the way we choose

Prof Peter Bossaerts

Decision science researcher Prof Peter Bossaerts argues that investigating brain activity as we make decisions is generating new insights into how we deal with uncertainty and risk. Once the domain of economists and psychologists, the study of human decision-making is increasingly taking a neuron-level view, with implications well beyond economics and finance. Presented by Eric van Bemmel.

#360      29 min 26 sec
Can't give it up: The science behind addiction and the brain

Prof Andrew Lawrence

Behavioral neuroscientist Prof Andrew Lawrence joins host Dr Andi Horvath to discuss addictive and compulsive behaviors around drug and alcohol use, the power of psychological dependence, and how the brains of addicts differ from those of the rest of us.