SoT 168: It’s Not Milk It’s Bean Juice

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Dr. Kate Naughton and Lucas Randall

Download_greenA team of bioengineers is trying to make artificial milk in a lab and without animals. They call it “Muufri”.
In order to study penguins up close, without disturbing them, researchers from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique used small baby-penguin sized rovers. The rover – cleverly disguised as a penguin – was able to monitor penguins and even quick-tempered elephant seals without alarming the animals.
A man who had brain surgery for a serious medical condition unexpectedly found his arachnophobia cured.
It was a bad week for commercial spaceflight, after Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket exploded seconds after launch and then Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo broke apart during a test flight.

Kate Naughton is a geneticist and marine biologist.

Download here. Duration: [0:40:54]

  • sacha

    I cant believe people did an experiment to shave wild animals to show that it would “tax” them in cold weather. Really? Harming animals was necessary to come to that conclusion…and you all laughed about it. Very disappointing choice.

    • Hi Sacha, thanks for your comment.

      I’m sorry, but I don’t think the voles were really harmed. At least not significantly. They had to work harder, yes, and their metabolisms sped up to compensate for the heat loss. That in itself is interesting. But did they suffer? No, I don’t think they did.

      If you can think of a better, kinder way to investigate how voles prioritise energy savings during adverse conditions, I’m sure the scientists in Poland would be delighted to hear it.

      And for anyone wondering what we’re talking about, Sacha is referring to this article: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/inkfish/2014/10/07/scientists-recommend-vole-shaving/ on Episode 165: http://scienceontop.com/165

      Cheers,
      Ed.