SoT 347: Carbonite

December 5, 2019

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall

[00:01:24] For the first time, doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have purposefully put at least one human patient in suspended animation. This could be a great help to surgeons dealing with traumatic emergencies such as gunshot or stab wounds.

[00:10:06] The first geomorphologic map of Saturn’s moon Titan has been released. Showing lakes (of liquid methane), dunes (of organic molecule particles) and exposed icy bedrock.

[00:12:49] NASA’s Curiosity rover has been analysing the air above Mars’ Gale Crater and found unexpected, and fluctuating, levels of oxygen.

[00:20:10] An international team of astronomers have announced the direct detection of water vapour in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s fourth largest moon Europa for the first time. This is the strongest evidence yet that liquid water exists beneath the Europa’s surface.

[00:26:46] Molecular astrophysicist Clara Sousa-Silva has written an article in Scientific American calling for more research into the signatures of gases that could indicate the presence of life on other planets.

[00:32:53] Palaeontologists in Argentina have excavated a number of nearly 100 million year old snake fossils. Interestingly, these snakes had hind legs, but not front legs.

This episode contains traces of BBC One Breakfast hosts discussing an innovative technique used by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture to boost dairy production.