For Science! James Purser, Magdeline Lum and Maia Sauren chat each fortnight about the science stories of the previous fortnight and work out how they are going to affect "Real Life". Thu, 04 Jun 2020 08:07:26 +0000 Copyright 2017(c) James Purser (James Purser) (James Purser) Angry Beanie Thu, 04 Jun 2020 08:07:26 +0000 en For Science! For Science! For Science! Science Angry Beanie No <![CDATA[Episode 29 - Would you take a fecal pill?]]> Sadly our original recording with Dr Katie Mack ended up as so much static due to a computer glitch, however Mags, Mel and James are back with another episode with topics ranging from the realities of a career in science, through fecal pills, nobel prizes and Killer whales that can talk to the Dolphins.

Fecal Pills

Killer whales learn to talk to dolphins

Nobel Prizes
Physics -
Chemistry -
Medicine -

Science Careers

Mags Lunar Eclipse Shots

Explosm Comic

]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:26:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 28 - Octomum devotion]]> It's National Science Week, so we thought we'd bring out another episode, because there is no such thing as too much science.

This episode we talk Ebola. What's happening, why is the media so bad with stuff like this and we ponder why Homeopaths without Borders isn't mucking in.

We also have a look at two stories that look at different aspects of diabetes, true motherly devotion from a cephelopod, sleeping in space and crayfish who can regrow brain cells from their blood.

New method of encasing insulin producing cells might solve rejection issue

Diabetes as a survival tactic

Octopus Mum spends 4 and half years tending her eggs

Getting to sleep in microgravity isn’t as easy as you might think

Crayfish can regenerate nueral cells from their blood

]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:03:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 27 - Rubber Ducky]]> One day we'll be organised, promise!

This episode we talk about:

Rubber ducky shaped comets -

The spread of tropical species as the oceans warm -

Flapdoodle and the plight of the Redhead -

Someone left smallpox in an old samples fridge -

CSIRO is cutting funding to education resources -

And for good measure here's the Act that gives the CSIRO its reason for existing -

]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:34:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 26 - The silence of the crickets]]> This episode finds the For Science! crew in a slightly less ranty frame of mind. This means of course that there are more science stories, and we even get philosophical at one point.

Stories covered:

As always our intro and outro music is Sudden Goodbye by Alex Beroza and can be found here

]]> Sun, 08 Jun 2014 03:06:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 25 - The Epic Rant]]> When we started this episode we were going to be talking a lot more science news than we ended up doing, all we can say is that the ranting is justified.

Stories covered this episode:

- Where did Mel go

- How did Mags make a mushroom cloud in her classroom

- Science funding / Medical Research Fund

- Group crowd funds the recovery of a historic probe:

- Are we biased against single cell lifeforms? 

- Drinkable sunscreen? Yeah no:

]]> Sat, 31 May 2014 06:06:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 24 - The dinosaur of lurvve]]> While Mel is swanning around western Europe, being all international scientist of mystery, ex regular and extremely welcome guest Maia has returned for an episode.

This fortnight we're talking about:

Thanks again to Maia for stepping into the breach, it was fun and awesome as always.

Our intro and outro music is Sudden Goodbye by Alex Beroza and can be found here

]]> Mon, 12 May 2014 11:51:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 23 - The pitch drop disappointment]]> A mixed bag of stories this episode. We cover some ground, starting with bird life in and around Chernobyl, insect sex, new advances in biological printing and finally ending up somewhere in orbit.

28th Anniversay of Chernobyl disaster shows some bird species adapting quite well to the higher levels of radiation -

UOQ Pitch drop experiment produces 9th drop since 1930 -

But! The pitch broke during a beaker change, breaking the run of uninterrupted drops.

Cave insects where the female appears to have a penis (but doesn't really) -

New vaginal canals have been grown/printed from patients own cells -

SpaceX finally launches, bringing a new space suit, supplies and a set of bacterial experiments -

Oh, and they brought a set of legs up for Robonaut2, the International Space Stations resident robot helper -

]]> Sun, 27 Apr 2014 09:26:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 22 - Space heritage, Comet harpooning and goats]]> We have defeated the gremlins and finally managed to record episode 22, and what an episode it is.

We are joined by Doctor Alice Goreman to discuss a paper she wrote about the problem of preserving our orbital heritage, why we should be thinking about it, and how we might go about the task of preserving our history even as it orbits several thousand miles above our heads.

We also talk about the following stories and papers:

Botox as a treatment for Asthma:

Tasmanian Devil facial tumour disease evolves:

Flight paths of birds around wind farms:

Goats are cleverer than sheep:

Also we have intro music! It's Sudden Goodbye by Alex Beroza which can be found here

]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:04:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 21 - Space Junk, Chicken Plungers and Zero G Surgery]]> In this episode of For Science!

Mags reveals the secret to excercise is the undead

Chickens tell us how dinosaurs walked - Paper / Video

Bacteria that "eats" electricity - Article

Five second rule - Article

Surgery in Space - Article

]]> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 10:02:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 20 - Poo Sausages, Coal Fires and Space]]> We're back!

It's been a while but James, Mags and Mel have returned for 2014.

Let's see, for this episode we're looking at:

  • Why the Victorian Government withdrew funding for NICTA
  • What's happening Space, including a promise from Mags to get closer to the SKA on her next trip to Perth
  • Probiotic Sausages (with the probiotic bacteria sourced from baby poo)
  • A fish that literally swallows swallows
  • The coal fire at Morewell in Victoria

Oh and "How Things Work" is now an official segment. This episode is a musical number James found on youtube called Chromosome. You can find the original here:

]]> Sat, 01 Mar 2014 09:53:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 19 - Grants, Mole Day and Golden Trees]]> Well episode 19 is finally here. Many apologies for the lateness, this real life thing keeps getting in the way.

Anyway, this episode finds Mel, Mags and James discussing the National Health and Medical Research Council Grants, what Mole Day means to chemists, how jelly's from space don't know up from down and gold in dem dar trees.

Oh, and we talk about World Vasectomy Day (warning you may find out more about James than you wanted to know).

Also, due to real life thing, How Things Work segment has been moved to episode 20.

]]> Sun, 03 Nov 2013 00:27:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 18 - Nobels, Bees and Stupid patent tricks]]> It's been a busy few weeks since the last episode of For Science!

This episode Mags, Mel and James talk diesel and bees, water on mars (which Mags explains a whole lot better than James) and of course we talk about the Nobel Prizes.

]]> Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:43:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 17 - Martian methane, Self Brewing and Bohemian Gravity]]> Well it's been an interesting few weeks since the last episode of For Science! but we're slowly making our way towards episode 20.

For episode 17, Mel, Mags and James talk about people who's digestive systems act like distilleries, the results of the search for methane on mars and the excellent "Bohemian Gravity"  (a little of which you will hear in the show).

Oh and Mags has a little rant about what it takes for effective engagement in schools.

To hear the rest of Bohemian Gravity, just click play below.

]]> Sun, 29 Sep 2013 08:06:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Headbanging termites, Frozen Frogs and Brain to Brain]]> For Science! returns with Dr Mel, Mags and James exploring everything from bacterial immune systems through termite warning systems and how frogs are able to survive deep freeze.

We also talk about the passing of Professor John Mainstone, the curator of the famous Pitch Drop experiment at the University of Queensland and the sort of dedication that it takes to run an experiment for some 52 years. Here's the audio interview we mention during the episode:

and here is the live feed of the experiment in question (you never know, you could catch a drop falling)

]]> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 09:40:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Artificial meat, Why the Y? And Curiosity marks a year]]> For Science! returns to the interwebs featuring James and Mags, once again joined by Dr Melanie Thomson to discuss some of the science news of the past few weeks.

For episode 15 we have a look at the recent artificial meat announcement, tracing human history via the Y chromosome (and what may in fact lie in store for the Y chromosome in the future) and we celebrate the first earth year for the Curiosity Rover.

]]> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 11:07:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Science Surveys, IVF and Vibrating Moths]]> We finally defeated the gremlins and managed to actually record episode 14 of For Science!

For this episode Mags and James were joined by Dr Mel Thomson from Deakin University. Dr Thomson is a micro-biologist who's currently involved with a project looking at the effectiveness of using maggots as a debridement treatment for a particularly nasty bacteria.

This episode we talk about:

Three Parent IVF Techniques

The ABC's Science Forum

Using sugar instead of radioactive dies to detect tumours under and MRI

Moths that vibrate their genitals to throw bats off their game

and the value of the recent Australian Acadamy of Science "Science Survey".

]]> Sat, 20 Jul 2013 10:12:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 13 - Turtles, Mags Rant and Goodbye Maia]]> Well it's been a little while but we're back.

In this episode we talk Robotic Pets, Turtle embryos (smarter than you think), micro batteries and Fairy Wrens who learn.

We also introduce two new segments, Mags Rant where Magdeline sallies forth on things that make her passionate and Where's The Science At, where we try and keep you up to date with sciencey events coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Sadly, we also say goodbye to Maia.

]]> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 11:02:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 12 - Melting Mammoths, Dinobirds and Bitter Roaches]]> For Science! returns to talking about the Science news in what turns out to be the second last episode featuring Maia (not sure what's going on? I blogged about it here)

This episode we tackle:

Also, I talk about a TED talk by Jack Horner, I've linked to it below. I would really recommend you go and watch it (after listening to this episode of course)

]]> Sat, 01 Jun 2013 05:09:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 11: How Not To Science]]> Last episode we had a look at what it takes to Science. From the basic process, to the importance of statistics to whether the annecdote has a legitimate place within science.

This time round we decided to have a look at Schlock Science. Each of us has a look at what most bugs us about the world of crappy or psuedo science, whether it's dodgy "studies", Press Releases dressed up in lab coats or those who try to use scientific terminology to push their own ideological ends.

Fun :)

]]> Sun, 19 May 2013 00:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 10: How To Science]]> For this fortnights episode we've decided to go back to basics and explore exactly what it takes to Science.

I explain the basic process of science while Maia tackles stastics and Mags explores why anecdotal data still has a place in the scientific method, even if it's not where some people think it should be.

]]> Sat, 04 May 2013 07:18:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Episode 9: Larvae Space Suits]]> Another short one but a good one.

We look at how fruit fly larvae can survive a vacuum using a nano shield made from detergent an charged ions, talk about the latest "Biggest Optical Telescope Evah!" and ponder, are we all living in a simulation?

Show notes

Nano suits for microbes:

Are we living in a simulation:

Giantest Optical Telescope (so far):

]]> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:19:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Worm bots, printed circuits, clones from poo, and why is fog cloudy?]]> Episode 8 of For Science! has us on a bit of a life sciences bent (with a foray into robotics and electronics)

First up we discuss the news of a child in the US who appears to have been functionally cured of HIV

Then we have a look at the work being done by engineers at MIT to develop robotic locomotion with a difference (and there is a video you really should watch

Completing our look at things technical we talk about the latest in circuits that can be printed directly onto skin. (Note, if you don't know what Goatse is, DO NOT LOOK IT UP).

After that we have a look at Lake Vostok and whether the new bacteria could be something new, or just something we haven't noticed, and and we talk about the mounting evidence for ancient environments conducive to life on Mars.

Finally we talk about synthetic lifecloning from poo and a project that involved introducing human brain cells to mice that produced interesting results

]]> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 10:42:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Russian Meteors, Science Awards and Upulie talks Real Scientists]]> For our second episode of 2013 we were sans Maia, however we did manage to cover some interesting stuff.

First up of course we had the amazing meteor over the Ural mountains in Russia. What has to be THE most video event of its kind certainly brought home to many of us that the Solar system may not be the empty void that we imagine.

NASA Page for the Ural Meteor:

Next we had a look at a couple of different sets of Science Awards. The first lot are those run by the Australian Acadamy of Science, the second are something new created by those kings of the tech world Mark Zuckerburg and Sergey Brin.

AAS Awards:

Breakthrough Prize for Life Sciences:

Finally we caught up with Upulie Divesekera about her new project "Real Scientists", a rotational twitter account that will be populated by Real Scientists describing their work, what their days are like and the cool things they get to do.

Twitter account:


]]> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 10:35:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Asteroids, Maia in New Zealand, Sharks and Awesome Teenage Scientists]]> Here it is, the first episode for 2013.

I have to admit we did have to shake out a few cobwebs but I think we did alright. We cover a whole range of different topics from shark fetuses that can detect predators outside of their eggs to an awesome 16 year old from Hobart who built her own system for voice controlling a wheel chair.

We also talk about Maia's recent trip to New Zealand for the NZ Open Research Conference, and because we're talking Open Research we touch on the tragic case of Aaron Schwartz.

Show Notes:


Heavens Above: excellent site for tracking various sky things. Will be able to tell you if you can see the Asteroid

NASA Asteroid Page

Maia in New Zealand:


NZ Open Research Conference 2013


Sharks babies sense predators:

UWA Oceans Institute

Yaya Lu:

Voice activated wheelchair Page

]]> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 02:20:00 +0000
<![CDATA[HIV helps to cure cancer, anti-aromatics and TURTLES!]]> Well, episode 5 is the last for the year and I think we've got a pretty decent rundown for you.

  • HIV used to help attack cancer
  • Turtles!
  • Anti-Aromatics
  • Did you know they think there are two higgs bosons?

Also here are a couple of links we promised in the show: - A bit of a key for looking beyond the Atomic structure (Electrons, Nuetrons and Protons)

and of course the excellent video produced by PHD Comics, explaining the Higgs itself.

From Maia, Magdeline and myself, thanks for listening and have a merry christmas (if you celebrate it) and a happy new year.

]]> Sun, 23 Dec 2012 00:22:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Dissolving Snails, Zombie Parasites and how transformers work]]> Episode 4 of For Science! brings us tales of the end of the world via Mayan Calendar mishaps (no, not really), water on mercury and did you know that zombies are actually quite common place?

We also talk about a proposed year long study of astronauts on the International Space Station and Maia lets us in on the science of induced magnetism and how it drives our power delivery networks.

]]> Sun, 09 Dec 2012 10:20:00 +0000
<![CDATA[BYO cyborg roach, Mags on Sharks and nostril cells help a dog walk again]]> Time got away from us last week, so we're a little late.

However to make up for it, we have an excellent episode for you featuring:

  • Invisibility Cloaks
  • Mags on Sharks
  • Mind Controlled Robots
  • Faster Interwebs for all

And more.

Don't forget you can comment here, or on our Facebook PageGoogle+ Page or on the twitters

]]> Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:38:00 +0000
<![CDATA[How to eat a triceratops, Science Funding and the PM's Science Awards]]> A little late and a bit longer than the last episode, here's episode 2 of For Science!

This week we're discussing How To Eat A Triceratops, Science Champions, Science funding and the Prime Ministers Science Awards.

Here are the videos from each of the PM's Science Award winners that we talk about:

Ken Freeman

Michael van der Ploeg

Anita Trenwith

]]> Sat, 03 Nov 2012 00:28:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Nobels, Tesla Museum and Rescue Roaches]]> For the first episode of For Science! We're going to dig through the winners of last weeks Nobel  Prizes and try and explain what it was exactly that they won for, pay homage to the Oatmeal and the Tesla Museum project and explore the idea of Cyborg Cockroaches who can scurry into demolished buildings looking for victims to rescue.

]]> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 10:29:00 +0000