SoT 332: Muddy, Liefie and Lixy

June 2, 2019

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall, Jo Benhamu

[00:00:34] Penny gives us a trip report on her recent trip to Lake Mungo – a dry lake in remote Australia that’s known for the discovery of 20,000-60,000 year old human remains.
[00:09:58] All we know about Denisovans – a species of hominid that split off from the human lineage alongside the Neanderthals – comes from a little finger bone, three teeth and a sliver of bone. But now the discovery of a jawbone, found two and a half thousand kilometers away suggests they might have been quite widespread throughout Asia.
[00:15:50] Scientists at University College London accidentally invented a material that could revolutionise a wide range of technologies, such as batteries.
[00:27:41] As the antibiotic resistance crisis deepens, scientists are turning to genetically modified viruses as a treatment for bacterial infections.
[00:49:57] Millions of species of fungi and bacteria work together to form a vast, interconnected web of organisms throughout the world’s forests. Now scientists have mapped this “wood wide web” using a database of more than 28,000 tree species in more than 70 countries.

This episode contains traces of Megan Dice from News12 reporting on the declaration of New Jersey’s official state microbe.