SoT 241: OMG They’ve Got Radio!

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall.

00:00:51 A genetic analysis of the leather coat and fur hat worn by Otzi the iceman has not only revealed what animals he was wearing, but also why.

00:07:07 Zebra finch mothers sing weather reports to their eggs, and the embryos alter the speed of their development accordingly.

00:12:16 Tasmanian devils, nearly wiped out by a devastating facial tumour disease, may be showing signs of resistance to the cancer. This could have a dramatic impact on conservation efforts.

00:20:07 Traces of supernova ash has been discovered in fossils created by bacteria on Earth, which could explain an extinction event 2 million years ago.

00:23:04 Russian scientists have detected an unusually strong spike in radio signals from the vicinity of a nearby star. The internet says it’s aliens. Actual scientists say it probably isn’t.

00:30:46 The “EM Drive” – a space drive that appears to break the laws of physics – has “passed peer review”. But what does that actually mean, and does it mean the drive could be the engine of future spacecraft? Answers: Not much, probably not.

 

This episode contains traces of SETI astronomer Jill Tarter on Science channel’s “Through the Wormhole”, describing the first small steps in the search for alien intelligence.