The Public Library of Science has announced the six finalists for their ASAP Accelerating Science Award Program. They hired me as a freelancer to record an interview with finalist Professor Matt Todd about his Open Source Science project to crowd-source a cure for Malaria. Adrian Tan worked as my videographer.
Recently in Science
At Nerd Nite Sydney in the Cafe Lounge, Dr Peter Jonason lecturer in personality and individual differences from the University of Western Sydney, spoke about the evolutionary functions of the different kinds of sexual relationships people choose to have from casual, to committed. He hung around after the gig, we went outside the noisy club, and spoke to me about the behavioral ecology of sexual relationships.
Peter Karl (PK) Jonason, Ph.D
Your brain has a backup! Ian Woolf explores Cognitive Reserve Theory - how using your brain can help keep the symptoms of Alzheimers disease away as long as possible, by building up your brain's backup.
Education and Dementia in the Context of the Cognitive Reserve Hypothesis: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analyses and Qualitative Analyses
Cognitive Reserve and Lifestyle
Build Your Cognitive Reserve - Yaakov Stern
Should Grandma Join Facebook? It May Give Her a Cognitive Boost, Study Finds
How to Build and Maintain Cognitive Reserve
A savings account for your brain
Staying Sharp: Can You Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?
Can You Delay Dementia?
The latest advice in avoiding Alzheimer's
Losing your self
I've been writing a story about a hamburger being made from muscle cells grown in a petri dish. Here's a limerick the story inspired:
The problem with laboratory grown meat
Is the fact that the meat has to eat,
cultured cells must be fed,
with blood from the dead,
Its a pity the flavour's so sweet!
Angus Devenson is the organiser of RoboWars Sydney 2013. He spoke to me about the sport of building and battling robots, funded by the crowd. RoboWars Sydney 2013 will be on the 3rd and 4th of August, in Redfern.
Dr Sara Lal and PhD student Diarmuid Kavanagh spoke to me about their research into wiring up driver's brains to detect fatigue, and intervening before it causes accidents, at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney. This interview was recorded as part of the Science Communication Education Project, in which I was Project Officer.
The Fourth Dimension and How to Get There by Rudy Rucker
BBC Doctor Who Sound files
Carbon-Nanotube Optoacoustic Lens for Focused Ultrasound Generation and High-Precision Targeted Therapy
Guo Research Group
Super-fine sound beam could one day be an invisible scalpel
Mechanical Evidence of the Orbital Angular Momentum to Energy Ratio of Vortex Beams
Coke cans focus sound waves beyond the diffraction limit
Focus: Focusing Sound without a Lens
English: The current TARDIS seen at BBC TV Centre and taken by me Zir (talk) 23:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC) Please credit © zir.com if used outside of Wikipedia Category:Doctor Who images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The academic paper on which I was a junior author has been made open access by UTS!
The research-teaching nexus as a driver for science communication skills enhancement (Bonfiglioli Catriona; Kirkup Leslie; Woolf Ian 2009)
An historical account of the `WearComp' and `WearCam' inventions developed for applications in `Personal Imaging'
rcomp.org/wearcompdef.html>Definition of "Wearable Computer" One on One: Steve Mann, Wearable Computing Pioneer
A GNU/Linux Wristwatch Videophone
Cyborg Luddite Steve Mann on Singularity 1 on 1: Technology That Masters Nature is Not Sustainable
Wearable Computers Are the Next Big Devices
Olympus and Apple Join Google With Wearable Computing
InterAxon thought controlled computing
Cyborg: Digital Destiny and Human Possibility in the Age of the Wearable Computer
Google Glass gets a sleeker, Japanese competitor
Google Glass tech specs revealed
The LifeBoat Foundation
Professor Mann's University of Toronto page
Steve Visual Filter for continuous live webcast as well as viewing (i.e. visual reality modification in realtime). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Diffusion science show has been cut by 2SER, to make room for new
shows by new volunteers.
After 19 years on air, and 15 years of contributions from me, it was the
final Diffusion Science Radio broadcast from 2SER last night.
Now you will only be able to hear the show by subscribing to the
podcast at www.diffusionradio.com, listening on one of the 14 stations
on the Community Radio Network that broadcast us around Australia, on
the National Science Foundation's Science360 internet radio station in
the USA, and on Astronomy.FM in the UK.
Diffusion has 700 weekly subscribers to the podcast, with 10 000
downloads every month.
Its the end of an era of funny, quirky, weird and wonderful science that
started in 1995. Over 50 volunteers have broadcast more than 180
interviews as captured by the podcast at www.diffusionradio.com, along
with well researched reports, panel discussions, book reviews, science
songs, trivia games and radio plays.
Diffusion has been an institution where volunteers were trained by
fellow volunteers to do all the jobs of producing a radio show, from
operating the panel, conducting interviews, presenting, script writing,
editing and producing.
In 2005 the Discovery show was asked by a cable Science network to
change its name, due to similarities.
In 2011 astronomer Matt Dawson named a planetoid "VictoriaBond". The
Minor Planet Ephemeris Service says:
"Victoria Bond is the name of the popular Australian science show
presenter of "Diffusion Science Radio". Her catchphrase "Planetoid! I
love that word!" and accurate astronomy coverage have endeared her to
listeners worldwide". Ironically, the voice saying the phrase in our
theme music actually belongs to Jacqui Hayes.
Later in 2011, Diffusion won the 2SER Best Talk Show award.
Then in 2012 Diffusion was granted $10 000 for content development from
the Community Broadcasting Foundation.
I'm now looking to find funding for professional recording gear, courses in marketing my journalism, while singing the words to Jonathan Coulton's "Still Alive".
Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For Brain Awareness week 2013, the Museum of Human Disease held Get Into Your Head to help people experiment with their brains. I visited the Museum and spoke with Thomas Fath, Christine Froud, and Bridget Murphy about the experiments.
Joe Patkes, is Red blood cell serology manager for the Red Cross blood service for NSW. He's had 22 years experience in the blood transfusion business, 7 years with the Australian Red Cross, and before that, 14 years in the United States. He spoke with me about blood types and transfusions. Please excuse the occasional buzzing from the machines in the background.
Mark Changizi's "The Vision REvolution" is about the latest research into the way humans see the world. Mark uses the metaphor of super-powers to entertainingly communicate how we see, and how our ancestors saw, and the special abilities we possess but take for granted, such as X-ray vision, and colour empathy.
Clostridium difficile (Photo credit: AJC1)
Professor Thomas Borody of the Center for Digestive Diseases is
researching which illnesses are caused by the bacteria in the bowel
going wrong, and developing bacterial therapies to restore health. In
1999 I spoke to him about how bowel flora affects the brain, and the
triple-S, sick flora syndrome.
Since that time research around the world has started to catch up, and for one illness at least, clostridium difficile infection, this poo transplant will become the standard treatment. Other illnesses may follow.
English: Tournefortia argentea (habit). Location: Kure Atoll, Near coast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A traditional herbal medicine based on the Octopus bush has been found effective against Ciguatera fish poisoning in bioassay tests. The active ingredient Rosmarinic acid has been patented. Clinical trials are yet to be done, but its the most hopeful news for Ciguatera Fish Poisoning sufferers I've seen in the ten years I've been poisoned. The active ingredient actually seems to work against the action of ciguatoxins and also act to remove them from the body.
Deutsch: Ciguatoxin CTX2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Protective effect of Heliotropium foertherianum (Boraginaceae) folk
remedy and its active compound, rosmarinic acid, against a Pacific
ciguatoxin - Journal of Ethnopharmocology
Professor Gabriella Weaver from Purdue University gave the keynote speech at the Enhancing Learning in Science Through Inquiry and Technology Forum held last week at the University of Technology Sydney. She's designed and run a curriculum that engages first and second year science students in contributing to authentic scientific research. I spoke with her in the tea break.
You can find out more about the Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education CASPiE that allows first and second year science students to engage in ongoing, authentic scientific research at www.caspie.org.
The universe is expanding at an ever faster rate! Professor Robert Kirshner from the Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics spoke to me about supernovas and their use in measuring the acceleration in the expansion of the Universe, at the fourth annual Southern Cross Astrophysics conference at the Sydney Maritime Museum.
A 16 minute film about Ciguatera Fish Poisoning created By Julie Hollenbeck, Mark Newbill and Ray Trujillo, Jr.
Ciguatera, the most reported "seafood toxin illness in the world" that a majority of the planet has never heard of, infects hundreds of thousands of people a year, some of whose very will to live is tested by the devastating and debilitating chronic neurological affects of the fish-borne toxin.
"Reef or Madness" a short documentary film by University of Miami Marine Affairs and Policy students Julie Hollenbeck and Mark Newbill, that recounts the struggle of chronic Ciguatera sufferers who seek to regain some semblance of their healthy and productive lives following Ciguatera infection and the incapacitating symptoms that can last for years. While Ciguatera is a recognized medical illness, many marine toxin specialists have yet to agree on how long people may suffer with the symptoms of the fish poison, leaving long-term chronic sufferers to feel as if they're more crazy than sick. Their families and physicians wondering the same. "Reef or Madness" will give a "voice" to the sufferers of chronic Ciguatera, who face doubt, confusion and scorn from themselves, their families and friends as well as the medical and scientific communities.
If people knew that the fish they're about to eat is like playing Russian roulette with their health, they might think twice before taking that first bite.
This film was created for $143 using personal, leveraged and collaborative resources.
Marlie Productions, 2010 ©
Leigh Russell at Dorkbot Sydney demonstrated the behaviour of non-Newtonian liquids by putting a potato starch solution on a speaker and playing tones from his synthesizer through it, producing shoggoth-like effects. The stuff looks like its alive and trying to escape! This one is safe for the kids to try.
This video was broadcast (with my permission) on "Tokudane," which is a weekly morning show on the Fuji Television Network on Japanese TV.
From Mission: Impossible and Doctor Who, to Accelerando and Rainbow's End, we've been teased with gadgets just out of reach. The age of glasses with cameras and microphones and computers is upon us at last! I give an overview from $20 spy sunglasses on ebay to Project Glass from Google.