SoT 159: Everything’s A Chemical

September 3, 2014

Download_greenHosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall, Jo Alabaster.

About ten years ago an entomologist at the University of Colorado found 250 forgotten boxes in a storage cupboard. Inside were 13,000 grasshopper specimens collected more than 40 years ago, which provide a fascinating insight into climate and other environmental changes in that time.
A chance observation has led to the discovery that the blood of certain abalone has antiviral properties, which could lead to better treatments for the herpes simplex virus.
The vitamin K injection at birth helps prevent newborn babies from severe intestinal or cerebral bleeding. A small but growing number of parents are declining the shot, and the anti-vaccination movement seems largely to blame.
Drilling through 800m of ice has enabled scientists to find the first solid evidence on life in a subglacial lake. Yes, there’s bacteria there too.
Giant panda Ai Han has possibly demonstrated a learned behaviour – she pretended to be pregnant in order to get special treatment!

Jo Alabaster is a science communicator currently studying a BSc (Applied Sciences) via Open Universities Australia. She blogs and can often be heard as a reporter on the Skeptic Zone podcast.

Download here. Duration: [0:44:11]