SoT 252: Our Favourite Science Stories of 2016

December 27, 2016

Hosts: Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Lucas Randall, Jo Benhamu

[00:02:28] Explainer: gravitational waves and why their discovery is such a big deal

[00:07:42] One Year Ago Today, Pluto Became a World.

[00:12:19] The Most Mysterious Star in the Galaxy

[00:18:01] One drug is ‘new hope’ for three killer infections

[00:21:37] FDA bans antibacterial soaps containing triclosan

[00:25:48] Using a Dyson hand dryer is like setting off a viral bomb in a bathroom

[00:32:42] A Blood Test To Determine When Antibiotics Are Warranted

[00:37:13] Clones no more as a secret population of Tasmanian devils discovered

[00:39:58] Tasmanian devils are evolving rapidly to fight their deadly cancer


Jo Benhamu is a clinical trials coordinator in radiation oncology.

Read Full Transcript

Sot 252: Our Favourite Science Stories Of 2016

2016, Ed Brown, Dr. Shayne Joseph, Lucas Randall, Jo Benhamu

Please note: this is an automatically generated transcript, and probably very very bad.

Ed Brown:
[0:27] Hello and welcome to episode 252 of Science on Top! Today is Sunday the 18th of December 2016 I'm Ed Brown and I'm joined by Lucas Randall.
Clinical nurse consultant and radiation oncology trial coordinator and budding ethi- person who likes ethics it's Jo Benhamu!
Jo Benhamu:
[0:48] High Ed thank you for that lovely introduction.
Ed Brown:
[0:51] And all he wants for Christmas is for it to not be Christmas it's Dr shayne Joseph.
Shayne Joseph:
[0:59] Lol thanks ed.
Ed Brown:
[1:02] PS if you've been anywhere near a shop recently you know it's Christmas time and that means it's the end of 2016 the year that brought us Trump.
Brexit Zika virus and killed off nearly all your favourite celebrities fingers crossed for david attenborough fingers.
Lucas Randall:
[1:21] Dude!
Shayne Joseph:
[1:21] Don't say that out loud what are you doing?
Lucas Randall:
[1:25] Randall X-Wing Beetlejuice Beetlejuice.
Ed Brown:
[1:28] Narrabri crossing my fingers that cancels it out that's I read it in a book of superstition.
Lucas Randall:
[1:33] I saw a great meet today courtesy of that Diane of our mutual friend Diane who.
Posted it was it is a picture of an episode of Arrested Development and it started with me why 2016 is so going to be my year narrator 2016 was in fact nobody here.
Shayne Joseph:
[1:54] The secret is just turned just another revolution of the sun today.
Jo Benhamu:
[2:00] He is holding the fabric of the university Gabba.
Shayne Joseph:
[2:02] The Highlander.
Ed Brown:
[2:09] Ok there can be only one and it's cute.
Shayne Joseph:
[2:11] I know.
Ed Brown:
[2:15] Alright.
Lucas Randall:
[2:15] Where.
Ed Brown:
[2:17] Let's get down to business this is our last episode of the year which means it's time to have a look back at some of it,
big stories of the stories that we found the most interesting of 2016,
Explainer: Gravitational Waves And Why Their Discovery Is Such A Big Deal

[2:29] and I think really there's no better way to start off then with the gravitational waves that we had to discover is now confirming that we've actually.
Detected gravitational waves which is opening the doors to a whole new method of astronomy.
Lucas Randall:
[2:45] Yeah absolutely because prior to this that would this was one of the year the last standing predictions of Einstein that hadn't been confirmed.
Take another one.
[2:58] Thank you very much so so it hit the big issue with the Wii gravitational waves if you if you recall from will be covered the story earlier in the year was.
Ed Brown:
[3:10] 4 times in the last 2 years.
Lucas Randall:
[3:13] How how in hell do you detect the damn things are you know because they're not they're not going to be very big,
and so this is where they are like oh it's moment came in in over the US and they managed to detect something that was basically a ripple in space time that was on the order of a think was a thousandth of a.
2004 the width of an atom or something with decal.
Ed Brown:
[3:36] Of the width of a proton the nucleus of an app.
Lucas Randall:
[3:39] Bestest Minto.
NPR wait we went through all the details about them but I mean it what an incredible experiment and to to have a detection quite early in the piece but once I am able to do it and we can we talked about how that the employer instrument is setup before which is really really cool bit,
really quite straightforward in terms of their the principal the thing but can you just imagine measuring something so ridiculously small,
but the outcome of this detection is that now all the first thing is weird because we had to text and so close together it does tend to indicate that potentially there are a lot more really really big as in massive black holes out there,
then we thought and that's that's kind of you both cool to know and also a little bit scary but some.
You know when you think it I remember back to the the reporting the story that to the sheer size of these,
these objects was was just stunning the for the first section they were two objects that were are more than 30 times the mass of our sun that that collided and during the collision no accelerator something like 30% of the speed of light soaps,
just the amount of energy needed,
those involved in such a thing in involved in that murder is just stunning to to think about especially considering how far away they were they were in a basically in a galaxy far far away.
United to have.
Ed Brown:
[5:06] That would mean they would of happened a long time ago.
Lucas Randall:
[5:09] Yeah absolutely and I can't wait to feel nice enough,
it's better you know and maybe this time I don't think there's been another detection since then I think we would have heard about it but some.
It's it's fantastic that it is really it has opened up a new way of detecting things and you got a bear in mind that with with any other detected the effects.
Black holes have on their surrounding things before we haven't directly detected a black hole prior to this so.
That's all so amazing.
Jo Benhamu:
[5:47] I want one of things I love about it as you're saying because it is just how I mean it obviously this is in a bit in order to have discovered.
The the physics involved is incredibly complex but the experiment itself is just so elegant and so ridiculously simple in NZ.
Inhouse executed and I think of it there are so many examples in science with sometimes you something that is so simple in this execution that actually I'm cover something so.
Really quite incredible.
Lucas Randall:
[6:19] Yeah yeah I totally agree in and you know when it comes down to thinking of what,
thinking it through what would what would be the impact of a gravitational wave on and on our spacetime on on on our local environment and then thinking that's rude ok they would be as a contraction in a stretching that would occur or stretching and under contract,
um how would we detect that the name to say ok let's set up please is that,
didn't measure you know the time between this point in that point and then back over another course and then we should see that that,
time actually slightly changed as the space in between the lasers get stressed it's a really simple as you said it's a simple concept,
what's up here awesome awesome technology Odyssey in an awesome application of it but still really quite straightforward and then.
Week we gotta we gotta detection really soon after that that that you had to take them online.
Ed Brown:
[7:14] And this is all based on just the one instrument which is.
Two instruments used in conjunction if we were to have more such detectors built around the world.
Over sensitivities going to increase and we're just going to open up the doorway to that new methods of astronomy even wider which would be really cool.
Lucas Randall:
[7:32] Yeah absolutely Herald of the the intern newly names gravitational wave astronomy it is nice to have on your business card I think.
Ed Brown:
[7:42] And the other big astronomy news I guess was that we got all the data back from the New Horizons space probe and it's now been much more than a year since.
One Year Ago Today, Pluto Became A World.

[7:54] V flyby happened in 2015 and we've discovered so much about pluto with discovered clouds it has a slushy subsurface ocean all sorts of incredible stuff about what.
Before that was just a fuzzy dot with the best image that we had of it which is pretty cool lucas.
Lucas Randall:
[8:13] Yeah there's so many things have already come out of that mission and it wasn't a conifer,
hey very slow at transmission of that that data over the years so you know we will learning things as the year on folder it's kind of like when you you know you discover a show that still new so you have to wait until every.
Episode Airs.
Ed Brown:
[8:33] I hate that.
Lucas Randall:
[8:35] Hand and it was kind of like yeah I made it,
exciting of them because it is maintaining interest in it rather than everything should have been dumped on the meteor at once but you know we covered a few things which we talked about the other clouds on pluto and the fact that it actually has an atmosphere and what the atmosphere is comprised of we talked about these dark sections on the what the,
possibly could be we talked about the mountainous regions on pluto that we we had no expectation of them being there and that the place is as is.
Jo Benhamu:
[9:07] 9 kilometre Cliffs.
Lucas Randall:
[9:10] Frickin druid glyphs.
Shayne Joseph:
[9:13] Ed advice.
Lucas Randall:
[9:14] Yeah and then and then of course most recently we talked about the other slushy ocean below the surface of of the be renamed putnika.
My name is I prefer to call it because I can say about it so this you know that this of this there's a lot going on out there in the end it so it's a really interesting world it and when you when you consider.
[9:38] I just ate this search for for for life.
You're beyond Beyond Earth we have to think about all of the possible environments where life my existence and pluto has become a potential,
place that could have a life we we we do know that that's only within our experts on Earth on there on the one in a data point do we have,
water is is important for life and ended it appears to exist on pluto and of all the places in the.
In the solar system it's just the most unlikely it's a find itself we find it there it could mean that environments with liquid water are much more common than than than.
Then we might have originally thought which is really really cool but yeah I mean I luv this mission TV.
The did The Scientist come out of this and also the way that the engagement has been handled with the public and and by and through the media and so forth I think it was a very good.
Experience for foremost the science reporting has generally been pretty good on it as well but I just I think it's at a sign hopefully of a bum.
[10:48] Of some of the awesome missions are they coming up over the next 2 years and there are a few that I'm really looking forward to it and this missions not finished tonight's been given a new target it will it'll it'll do another fly by and hopefully will get even more exciting data from Mac from other objects out there.
Ed Brown:
[11:03] Install plenty of data to crunch.
Shayne Joseph:
[11:05] I'll just got a sale I got a reputation.
And I remembered that we had this talk brother cubic about the planets and describe pluto on Charon.
And it said something more along the lines of I know they both that and this is a place this is at a time when all we had of.
Audio gain knowledge we have a headache wish I was a little. And it was ed.
Anabatic South Wales Daiso .7 hour only for email only blue corner of the Solar System doing nothing they submitted to determine of deserts desert world.
Baby bodysuit Kendrick of sunlight doing nothing.
And a movie and then when the Horizon sped past and we got all these images and we're it and I realised this is actually a really don't never complain.
It was crazy like I regret everything we got back from all this happens on this place this far at work.
Was not in the house.
Ed Brown:
[12:19] Alright and I think let's finish off with the astronomy news with tabby's star this is still the weird alien MegaStructures.
The Most Mysterious Star In The Galaxy

[12:29] Starbucks isn't an alien megastructure it's just one of those stars that is there's at least two or three stories we talked about with something new some fairy was I deposited or disprove.
so so much unknown about this weird star.
Lucas Randall:
[12:46] This is absolutely the WTF story of the year I think because.
Ed Brown:
[12:48] Ffff what is called.
Lucas Randall:
[12:52] Yes but it also wheat we just.
We may never know that's the thing with it's at least not now I don't if this.
If you don't recall what's going on with tabby star basically it has a very irregular,
pattern of becoming dinner and then brightening it up again there are all sorts of things that can cause a star to to dinner and then Brighton and we generally understand those processes quite well but one thing that,
tends to be true for most of those different processes as they are on a schedule they are quite regular with with the.
With the cause is one of them that we love to see if it is true that's when something in our,
usually we will let you know word finder a planet going in front of the star in it just the planet moving in front of the star for just happen to be lined up just right means that the Stars Lightwood am ever so slightly and then from that we can extrapolate you know how big is this planet is going on in front of it.
For that to be considered as a Transit of a planet we need to see it twice so we can get an idea of what each year is so when we see something that's that sort of dimming over a period of weeks or months and then and then getting brighter again then give me again it's like what the heck is going on here this is just,
bizarre and of course it lead to a whole lot of series being thrown out there that hate maybe this is a sign,
over Dyson sphere and it's that sexy come from Earth,
place of of being a solid science because it was proposed years before this detection that hate if there was an advanced alien civilization out there one way that we may be able to take them as if they built.
[14:32] The Dyson sphere so this was something that was proposed that long before but they if they build the Dyson sphere this is wanted to text you might look like and that's basically,
quite similar to what we saying with the Stars so you know it's not like it was hey maybe it's ok it's like well you know I was already got this guy's name I forget I apologize to him I can't but we've already got this guy who suggested that that I'm an alien civilization with a Dyson sphere at the Texans would look like this,
and that's kinda what you're saying but will we know well maybe eventually but.
It's a really hard thing that the moment too too kind of tired out but we do know is this is something that is not currently easy to explain.
[15:15] But if you just look at it basically if you just consider Occam's Razor this so many things we have to eliminate first in clinical just don't know about yet,
I'm sorry it's it's it's it's very engaging as a story for that reason alone because we don't know and and maybe some will come up with something or maybe another observation of some other object will help us explain what's happening,
personally and as a person on the show before,
I'd love it to turn out to be something in between us and the start that's heading towards us and occasionally sort of eclipse in the start out of really cool but then again it could also be really,
Ed Brown:
[15:50] It's an alien invasion.
Jo Benhamu:
[15:52] Living in The Fifth Element.
Lucas Randall:
[15:56] Noodles I had to be something really really big even if it is way closer to it this far because we are not in the single point of space we are moving so you know you have to,
consider the,
does the earth moving from from one extreme of it's over to the other it in between 6 months that's quite a big area plus our son is actually moving up and down and around the the centre of the Milky Way so you know just,
looking at the alignments of things that's incredibly unlikely story but it would be cool we don't know and it's possibly who knows but they probably should probably not probably something much more.
Shayne Joseph:
[16:29] What I meant to be just effective use of regular work it's just that it's not free book.
Is really cool because you said most things in the universe in top right of a very defined schedule and this one doesn't.
And I can't was why for me.
Lucas Randall:
[16:52] I don't recall reading that.
Ed Brown:
[16:54] Ring a bell it is certainly possible that a lot of.
Shayne Joseph:
[16:55] I did waves never made it was more bad news that goes where.
Ed Brown:
[16:58] Does it vary the brightness fake news it was it was posted trophy reporting there.
Shayne Joseph:
[17:05] Bus trip report.
Lucas Randall:
[17:06] Yeah but I could be something as Monday nurse.
I'm incredible I could be there are a lot of stuff out there but it could be something as mundane as we are.
Sweet we might have some objects out in the kuiper belt or in your cloud even which just happens online up and just happen to be on a1a on a orbital velocity that.
Just keeps Connor getting in the way of this stuff I mean we do know that some plants are even some of the planets if you look at them in the sky though they don't appear to move compared to the stars very much Night by night because.
Shipper so far out so it could be something as mundane as that but there it there this is the thing that's so many.
Potential mundane explanations for this that would just be down to a little bit of a chance alignment and and we have relied on chance alignment hurt to find exoplanets is one of the ways we do it so you could happen.
But Tom is going to call the thing of the other possibilities.
Ed Brown:
[18:02] Definitely will this year also saw a lot of.
One Drug Is 'New Hope' For Three Killer Infections

[18:06] Exciting medical breakthroughs including a medication that could see the end of three parasitic infections for Chagas disease Leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness jo this is this like a new hope for.
Something ridiculous like 30000 sufferers of these.
Jo Benhamu:
[18:24] More than that I think is approximately 50000 people are killed every year and they are between the three parasites there around 20 million people affected every year.
And that's one of the reasons I thought the story was.
Important because you know that but there's so much work going on looking at treating disease but ultimately it's people who live in third world countries that I think are predominantly affected by so many of his parasitic.
Conditions and you know anyone who's listened to call them of all know that eating tour Paris live his.
Pretty gross so.
Anything randall love that'll help alleviate some of the suffering that people experience after being infected with these conditions this is a good thing so yeah I mean it.
It's settling in it's early stages it was dumb.
Is a compound that's been developed by of the drug company novartis and came about after testing some absurd number of different compounds having something like.
Status to something like 3 million different compounds for coming up with this one and and what is so unusual about it is that it has the potential to Target.
Three different parasites they are.
Apparently I mean I want one of the problems is that a lot of the existing drugs that can treat these infections are you know have significant toxicity is and in order to give them that usually go to be given intravenously which is very difficult,
countries which are very resource poor so I'll let you know and that explicitly say so but I'm assuming that this will be something that could be administered orally and that they're not 100% certain in fact that in the long term it will.
[20:02] Turn out to be administered as one medication but but certainly it's very promising Mentos of being able to Target these three different,
parasites and it does so by our tackling proteasome this week but essentially degrades damaged proteins in the in the young.
In the cells so.
I suppose it to watch this space it's it's not actually up to phase 1 trials yet they still like a goat eating animal testing and it certainly acting.
Jo promising it nice but um hopefully they'll be able to do some phase 1 trials in the near future randall dinner hopefully make a difference.
Ed Brown:
[20:39] The other cool thing about this was that they were able to discover these compounds by testing over 3 million other compounds to get the ones at work.
Jo Benhamu:
[20:47] Yes exactly.
Ed Brown:
[20:49] Which just shows that of doggedness painstaking tenacity that's required for this sort of.
Jo Benhamu:
[20:56] Absolutely I think of things that people often don't realise about,
put it put it aside some of the criticisms that get level that pharmaceutical companies and certainly it you know there times when they're very much deserve,
but the 3rd you know the basic science that goes into developing these drugs so you know the level of discarding of information that has to go on before you actually find something that's useful is.
Incredibly time consuming and Incredibly expensive so you know it took to actually get to something useful is there is a massive undertaking.
Ed Brown:
[21:30] Very cool and I will have to follow that and see what happens in a few years time.
Fda Bans Antibacterial Soaps Containing Triclosan

[21:38] That's being a Pharmaceuticals also this year the fda announced a ban on the use of a triclosan the common antibiotic found in many soaps and shayne this is.
It's only going to be in soaps and not the other like I think shampoos and things in that lol so use it.
Shayne Joseph:
[21:56] Yeah it was it was big news of the time because it's a bit this is been a very long while being a king by environmental activists and.
Healthcare Professionals use another value for years that we don't actually need these things in common site because you don't need that higher grade of antibacterial ingredient in some of it you use every single day like this Hospital.
Virus ed.
Ed Brown:
[22:20] And it's tough it just gets washed off it's not even on your hands a very long anyway.
Shayne Joseph:
[22:23] Yeah exactly so I'm and there's been a minute repeater size of Shayne of these actually no difference in Corvette doesn't have any real benefit over regular site for a like regular you and there are some indications that could be hot.
So I suppose if you're busy aramadin massing use because it was one of those things that all the sudden he told you she's never change it sometime it's a beautiful of products.
So it is big it's a big deal for 10:30 I'm not sure how that's cool.
Ed Brown:
[22:55] Caroline heard anything.
Jo Benhamu:
[22:56] It similar is it safe to similar position to go to the decision to remove microbeads as well so I see.
Shayne Joseph:
[23:03] Which is fucked up as well this is not fair at all for years but what I tried to Hammer out the ins and outs of it but yeah I mean obviously the lobby groups for this Target.
Very much against this bad because I started a business and babe because they are you that was being used for years and safe and effective but yes.
Yeah it's a funny one.
Ed Brown:
[23:25] Atleast a good decision has been made and I was he will see how it pans out but it's it's a step in the right direction.
Jo Benhamu:
[23:31] I suppose that in the interim you know why they're waiting for a to make it's way through the courts.
The of the lobby groups that have actually succeeded in in getting these some of these some substances remove this product should focus on educating the public about choosing alternatives in the meantime.
United that that's one way it actually make a difference while they're waiting for the products come off the shelves.
[23:55] Nah me know I know that when I you know when I go to the supermarket and buy so but I go out of my way to look for something that does not contain an antibacterial and people need to know to actually.
Tic Tacs I do that.
Shayne Joseph:
[24:09] Yeah and why we do that as well that's the important thing I guess yes I mean perception is that you know I can use even advertise here.
And quite recently that you don't kill my mother said of jo music video is safe is effective you know it did better than normal soap and.
Bacteria Cinema 10 education process process the world why is this not an issue and what and why can also be harmful if you keep pushing it and that's that.
Jo Benhamu:
[24:36] Eczema and I am again I can start finding similarities yet but it's similar it reminds little bit of the whole issue around SPF in sunscreen and,
you know people thinking about you no more is better than not realising that actually doesn't make a difference in it and it's a similar kind of contact here in the public have this perception when it comes to germs that you know.
Killing 99.9% of bacteria is actually sort of something that is meaningful when it it it really isn't.
Shayne Joseph:
[25:04] What year are mandated to number those that you know is it doesn't use that against like.
Lab dryers for sale in the bacteria in your house.
Jo Benhamu:
[25:21] No no.
Shayne Joseph:
[25:22] Because let's face it you know your normal Flora is kind of there for a reason or it's not if you get rid of it.
Come and take your place so yeah but trying to explain this in a simple way that's also think it engaging to the public in the heart.
It's all up to us you know so I can give you to go to do that but it's at 663 me how to do it.
Using A Dyson Hand Dryer Is Like Setting Off A Viral Bomb In A Bathroom

Ed Brown:
[25:50] Which I think is it as good of leaving as any to talk about the study that suggested dyson hand dryers,
could spray you with 1300 times as many germs as paper towels.
Not the paper towels spray you with Jeff anyway the point was if they were suggesting that dyson Sphere dangerous that there would be a spraying out a bit cloud of virus particles.
Put the big problem with this study was it turned out as we were discussing it on the show of course Peter Miller pipes up and says yeah I had a look at the paper and there's a bit conflict of interest in saying one of the two lead researches.
Has been paid by the European tissue Symposium which is the Trade Association.
Lucas Randall:
[26:32] I love Daddy.
Shayne Joseph:
[26:34] Ok
Ed Brown:
[26:39] The Trade Association representing the majority of tissue paper producers throughout Europe who kinda have a vested interest in people not getting the dyson airblade machines it's hand.
It doesn't discredit the study completely but it casts a shadow over it that means how much can you really trust it so.
Shayne Joseph:
[27:00] I'm looking at the experimental setup it does seem like a very thorough let me set up I think it's a Bach.
Hand made culture do they took swabs of those zones and cultured until hand me bacteria or viruses grow up.
I don't remember I don't think the numbers of that worrying was just of poverty in Brazil slushy hire.
Number but willing to travel with you this evening thanks ed this automatically.
Ed Brown:
[27:36] Well it means that you can't trust.
Anything in the paper you can I trust the data that they've given you cannot trust a methodology that they did that they stuck to it necessarily you just at this is a bit what a single paper relies on trust.
And that trust is broken then you have to look it replications of the study and other papers because this is it's discredited.
Lucas Randall:
[27:57] Bridge St Sydney the methodology seems fairly easy to replicate I don't see anything hard I mean it.
Shayne Joseph:
[28:05] Meaning of results it does seem like I like I said if I was worried about I was wondering about the significance of the figures but looking at it so yes 60% more parks.
Virus protection randall Dyson hand using paper.
[28:28] High intensity Jetty going to oversleep blower animal particles in a paper towel.
Weather out that's 10% translates to dangerous spread of.
Lucas Randall:
[28:39] Anderson Silva criticism that term the Dyson themselves levelled at this this search study as I was saying well this is artificially high in absurdly high levels of pathogens.
Jo Benhamu:
[28:52] 10 reflective real world.
Lucas Randall:
[28:53] Realistic.
Yeah but but you know if if if the intent was to show that this is possible that they could be spread it reminded me a little bit of a of a Mythbusters episode you'll know it's late well now we got a rat set it up so that we get meaning for it.
[29:08] Cuz otherwise when looking at one part per min x million.
To find you know so yeah maybe they have rested up too to see what the actual spread is because of that was the out if that's what they looking boys what's the spread and how far does it go then it probably doesn't really matter they could have used I do not have in it doesn't.
[29:28] Geronimo.
Shayne Joseph:
[29:28] Siddhartha probably should have something like that would have been a bit better because I will see you soon as you start saying I know we could meet I'll just piss me more things off.
And I using this better than that method but not but not stating what those things you're growing up I can just E coli British comedy, which basically is everywhere.
Audiosonic TV one 11th it doesn't matter.
Fingersmith and then that will be something we worry about.
Jo Benhamu:
[30:06] To be honest I actually you know and I suppose for me it's a nurse because hand washing is such an important part of my work.
I have often whenever I go into public toilet inside I'm just really struck by you know,
of the things that concern me other than the the hand dryers like the fact that there's maybe no so poor that the water is so the water pressure is so low that you can't effectively wash your hands and there is so many things in the design of public toilets that actually don't facilitate.
Good hand washing.
Lucas Randall:
[30:41] Reflector you have to put your damn hand on the handle and pull the door towards you.
The hell is wrong with designers of toilet doors have an outward opening doors you can use your butt.
Jo Benhamu:
[30:54] Coil including clearly you haven't mastered the art of you know carrying ligo Point Pizza clean paper towel to open the door with.
Lucas Randall:
[31:03] Nothing but that's the thing you end up having to do that and then you're standing there with a paper piece of paper towel and is not it does not it.
Ed Brown:
[31:09] Ethics in the hallway.
Lucas Randall:
[31:11] Fishes and then you have to all trial launch the paper towel across the room to get into the pit.
Ed Brown:
[31:16] That's assuming there is paper towel and I haven't switched to hand dryers.
Lucas Randall:
[31:20] You might have to ask the dyson off the wall and use that time.
Ed Brown:
[31:23] Wow.
Lucas Randall:
[31:25] Twitter.
Ed Brown:
[31:25] I strongly suggest against that that's like putting your hand into the pool with bacteria in order to do that I wouldn't do that I think the bottom one though.
Jo Benhamu:
[31:35] Yes.
Ed Brown:
[31:35] Wash your hands properly cuz it doesn't matter how much it will spread around if there's no germs on your hands in the first place I think that's it for take away from it.
Shayne Joseph:
[31:45] Jo MapleStory talking it before but the other triclosan essentially what was the fda is recommendation in the first place was gonna wash your hands soap and water.
Ed Brown:
[31:57] And just to clarify I'm like a MythBusters experiment at no time did they explode the ed dryers it wasn't.
Lucas Randall:
[32:04] I should have died.
Shayne Joseph:
[32:08] It is disappointing dinner.
Ed Brown:
[32:09] I think all scientific studies should end with explosions but damn controlled half asleep.
Shayne Joseph:
[32:14] Is that so so much.
Lucas Randall:
[32:16] Italy psychological ones this and these brown with a k will you failed to identify.
Shayne Joseph:
[32:23] Ok if you got quite.
Ed Brown:
[32:27] Idea.
Lucas Randall:
[32:28] I think I was thinking more of the Yarra Peter venkman jo beginning of Ghostbusters where's that now you got it wrong again didn't the psycho.
Ed Brown:
[32:37] Creepy on the number of levels at let's move on or we will never finish the show at the other medical breakthrough I think fit.
A Blood Test To Determine When Antibiotics Are Warranted

[32:46] We should talk about was the blood test that was developed that can quickly determine if you have a bacterial infection and therefore need antibiotics.
Orchids of virus and antibiotics won't help you at all after this is really cool because so many GP's will just prescribe antibiotics whether or not.
You need them because he haven't got time to take a blood test send it to pathology get the results back determine whether or not you've got.
Bacterial infection or viral infection and then treat accordingly so that could be it.
Jo Benhamu:
[33:19] Vietnam I thought this is really cool cuz says as he said it's such a major problem getting bans biotic resistance and dumb.
It is very very challenging for doctors be able to know when to prescribe antibiotics and when not to especially when you got a patient sitting in front of you demanding them which as we know they do.
So are what these scientists the Stanford of done is some they looked it more than 1000,
blood samples and they've identified 7 genes which will allow them to distinguish between viral and bacterial infections.
Thing that I couldn't quite gather from this is how quickly I can get these results because ultimately you're still left with the problem of having to do a blood test.
And you know you're not going to be able to get that results immediately you still going to have to send of a blood test to wait for results so you're not going to see you still still do have the problem of the patient sitting in the Jeep his office.
Remind me something now but at least I suppose it does give some certainty to whether you're in other treatment using is actually useful.
Shayne Joseph:
[34:21] Except that I like what I work in pathology in and I know they can be out that they can be like a 2 david Turner.
Between getting a blood test results so if this is yet another 2 day turnaround something in the meantime somebody could be you have viral.
Penny wouldn't necessarily know what I might be developing one and I'll be sued over this this isnt actions can literally wrap up within a day or two so that Seattle tomorrow to the site.
Detection system where you can say with in say 1520 minutes if you've got this but I'm not sure what I'm looking at the paper and I can't figure out if they used.
But what sort of things I used to take this above the PCR test or was it just a quick colour change from.
Jo Benhamu:
[35:06] Yeah I got I couldn't quite tell from what was there either are YouTubers more quick to do that then I am but nonetheless their game yet it seems like.
I hope so but it seems like a face value it looks like a really fantastic solution to a really important problem but when you actually take it out.
Require get there yet.
Shayne Joseph:
[35:30] Ethics essay using gene expression editor some way to quickly do a colour change essay for these 47 Target.
And yes I can do this I'm just pulling numbers out of my every day here but I wouldn't do this with a time frame of when the patient going to be in the doctors office waiting.
Jo Benhamu:
[35:46] In the in the surgery yet.
Shayne Joseph:
[35:47] Qantas Territory.
And in the future we could definitely this so we noticed when I just give you a patient in a the highest grade any but if you can on the off chance they might have a septic infection.
Jo Benhamu:
[36:09] Exactly it is that I think a lot of these Discoveries I really just showing us that there is a potential for something bad but with with enough you know enough work they could potentially develop something that you know will be ghetto.
Bedside results,
there a little bit my finger prick test that they can do now that they were never able to do before in terms of just getting a sitter very basic iron level lol rum and various other things so.
Shayne Joseph:
[36:40] Yes I know it will be interesting to see how hard disc where this goes and if I sleep now.
Of antibiotic resistance and the pitfalls of if you get this right of these is very strong antibiotics for something it may or may not be a problem but even so everything would still cause it would still basically enables I think 2 weeks then.
The time we can use antibiotics.
Jo Benhamu:
[37:10] Hopefully.
Shayne Joseph:
[37:11] Which is the real problem at the moment.
Ed Brown:
[37:13] Elephant our last story before the show but the big story of the year was all about tasmanian devils a little.
Clones No More As A Secret Population Of Tasmanian Devils Discovered

[37:23] Fairy friends that is struggling with the deadly facial tumour big.
Stories about these where one shows of the evolving to deal with this cancer and given time it might not be a problem they considered.
Evolved to coexist with it the other story was all about how is another population and isolated population that hasn't been affected yet.
That is been discovered which could mean does this isolated chance to clean them essentially.
Lucas Randall:
[37:53] Yeah I'm a sweet deal with the second bit first about the the isolated populations as I remember I never talked about this before that the d.
The discovery was based on their own on only the discovery of some scat on some some droppings from from these devils and there was no genetic markers within the the sky,
jo indicated they were at they had something different.
Unique combination of jeans and that one of the biggest issues one of the biggest problems facing the devils of the fact that they actually have very little to no diversity so when something like this which is a transmissible form of of cancerous tumor that can.
The can move from one devil to another and unfortunately they have his social behaviour where they bite each other's faces as a part of their in a row.
Getting a long whatever it's of it it spreads and it has spread like Wildfire through the population of of while devils so,
you know what is the biggest fears that scientists as well it was with such a low genetic diversity and and us out of the year,
the likelihood of death of some particular subset of devils having some some natural resistance to this period means that the chances of of,
wet weather in the storm a significantly shortened you then look at the predictions and the reality of the decline of the Devil.
Population which has been significant never lost a massive percentage of their of their entire population I can't remember I think it's something like 80%.
[39:29] Meet up about 80% and 90% in some some other areas where I used to live I mean that that that is horrificly.
Bigger impact on the population so defines indications of ever ever ever different the slightly different genetic.
Makeup in the in a population is very encouraging but that in and of itself is not enough that just because they're slightly genetically different means and it doesn't mean at all that they're going to be resistant to the yard to the face of humans,
Tasmanian Devils Are Evolving Rapidly To Fight Their Deadly Cancer

[40:00] but what was very encouraging was the rate at which the devils were evolving.
This is not something that had been anticipated day Dave actually you know interest amazing how life finds a way and life things to.
Away with the tables because I have found that that the some part of the population are actually starting to develop,
recovery to this which is which is not being the case before so that that's a really encouraging thing and it means that the the other mitigation methods that.
Goin on Witcha the re-release programs and and putting devils and safe Harbour and and like I forget the name of the program but basically that they're putting the minute like a and r,
if you like so that they can re re re release for me for that the wild devils get wiped out we may not be down to that then then maybe some other,
you know some other hope for the devils but yet so it's an interesting story that would I go I guess with with sort of follow-up from the beginning.
[41:00] Hand in the case of the desert the attenborough tumor.
Shayne Joseph:
[41:03] First report of the mid 90s today work is this is this facial tumour in and out spray.
Ed Brown:
[41:09] Penny 1990.
Shayne Joseph:
[41:10] I will get.
Lucas Randall:
[41:11] Surprises me that long Attenborough.
Yeah I so I am just looking at a young and a map at the moment of the detection Sandy and 1996 in the top North Eastern corner of Tasmania of Mount William.
Shayne Joseph:
[41:26] What gets me most the most that resemble the evolution of the visit so this list of Target sexually mature devils mostly so apparently this is cut their average student.
Birthing great I guess so I think I think every of female alarm tazzy devil gives birth to three waiters doing a light on my ovary and now this is been cut to General one because of.
Peppa United latest diseases spread and kill any even with this lower birth rate you still getting this evolution.
Overnight to overcome this we just want to call and Saturday's Lucas ed unprecedented because as good as you said before shower giant all of these animals it shouldn't really happen that fast but it has.
Ed Brown:
[42:15] It also shows that Evolution can happen over smaller time frames when you have smaller Generation X.
Shayne Joseph:
[42:22] Randall so intense pressure is a massively intense selection pressure so.
Science On Top

Ed Brown:
[42:29] I think weekend of the show on the something of a high noted there an optimistic note at least.
Go through all of the examples of bad media reporting of bad science that we had listed here but I'm not going to depress you all with that I think.
Shayne Joseph:
[42:47] Sweetheart got about that long enough you'll see a banana.
Ed Brown:
[42:49] Next year is going to be very interesting from a post truth point of view.
Fitter will do with it next year of course you can get all the information on the stories we talked about today at
Making find all the ways to get in touch with us since spread the word on social media and leave a review on iTunes.
Thank you Jo Benhamu for joining us today.
Jo Benhamu:
[43:19] Thank you it's been lovely as always.
Ed Brown:
[43:21] And of course thank you shayne and lucas.
This episode was edited with an unfathomable amount of patience time and effort by the very talented Marcos Benhamu.
Have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone will be taking a short break but will be back again probably around the end of January.
But in the meantime of course we'll have our bloopers episode so keep an eye on for bad thank you everyone for listening will be back again next year putting science on top of the agenda. Join us then!