biology

#360      29 min 26 sec
Can't give it up: The science behind addiction and the brain

Prof Andrew Lawrence

Behavioral neuroscientist Prof Andrew Lawrence joins host Dr Andi Horvath to discuss addictive and compulsive behaviors around drug and alcohol use, the power of psychological dependence, and how the brains of addicts differ from those of the rest of us.

#357      19 min 45 sec
Germ warfare: Young researchers seeking answers to diverse microbe threats

Claire Gorrie
Rebecca Vandegeer

In our annual PhD episode, two young science researchers discuss their investigations of microbes that threaten, respectively, human health and our food supply. We chat with Claire Gorrie about aspects of the drug-resistant bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, and how it's implicated in serious infections. And Rebecca Vandegeer tells us how the Barley Yellow Dwarf virus strips our wheat crops of their defences, posing a threat to food security. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#355      35 min 43 sec
Hello, Pet!: Our love can hurt our animal friends

Prof Peter Sandøe

Bioethicist Peter Sandøe discusses our complicated relationship with animals and associated moral dilemmas, including how our love for companion animals can actually cause harm and the difference between society’s treatment of pets and production animals. Presented by Peter Clarke.

#354      34 min 17 sec
Brain in a dish: The therapeutic potential of stem cells and organoids

Dr Mirella Dottori
Assoc Prof Steve Petrou

Epilepsy researcher Steve Petrou and developmental neuroscientist Mirella Dottori discuss the potential of organoids -- miniature immature organs grown in dishes -- for future epilepsy and autism research. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#352      33 min 29 sec
Cell sell: The ethics of the transnational human tissue market

Associate Prof Megan Munsie
Dr Dominique Martin

Stem cell expert Megan Munsie and bioethicist Dominique Martin discuss medical tourism and the hidden transnational trade in transplant organs and stem cells,and consider the ethics, legislative implications and what the future might hold. Presented by Elisabeth Lopez.

#349      27 min 01 sec
Wild and domestic: A cultural history of human-animal relations

Prof Harriet Ritvo

Environmental historian Prof Harriet Ritvo recounts the often ambiguous relationships between the human and animal worlds through history, and explores our need to both tame and take inspiration from the wild. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#344      35 min 17 sec
Brain ever changing: Neuroplasticity and its role in mental health

Prof Anthony Hannan

Behavioural neuroscientist Prof Anthony Hannan gives a neuro-researcher’s view of the dynamic, bidirectional interplay of brain and body, and the protective and destructive implications for both our mental and physical health. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#335      24 min 58 sec
Go with the gut: Our symbiotic relationship with our intestinal bacteria

Assoc Prof Spencer Williams

Chemistry researcher Assoc Prof Spencer Williams talks about the rapidly emerging understanding of human microbiota -- the diverse and numerous microorganisms that reside on and within our bodies -- and particularly how the composition of our gut flora can determine the state of our own health. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#331      35 min 06 sec
Contagion calculation: Forecasting and tracking outbreaks of influenza

Assoc Prof Jodie McVernon

Epidemiologist Assoc Prof Jodie McVernon discusses research into tracking and predicting the spread of influenza and other viral diseases like Ebola. Presented by Dr Shane Huntington.

#328      41 min 10 sec
Mind shift: How always-on digital technologies are changing our brains

Prof Baroness Susan Greenfield

Neuroscientist Prof Baroness Susan Greenfield examines the scientific bases of how constantly-on digital environments may bring about changes in our brains. Presented by Dr Shane Huntington.