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Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of science... the thrill of discovery... and the agony of failed experiments... the human drama of scientific advancement... This is the Blue Streak Science Podcast!

Feb 22, 2017

What The Hell Was That?

Loyal listener Sam Danby, an Englishman living in Norway, was the first listener to get the answer correct when he answered with: (insert answer here).

What? You thought we'd reveal the answer here in the show notes? As if!

Blue Streak Science News Roundup

These are summaries of our discussions on the podcast. For the full conversation please listen to this episode of the Blue Streak Science Podcast.

The great extermination: How New Zealand will end alien species
The government of New Zealand is embarking on an ambitious project to rid the country of many alien invasive species, particular predators, by 2050.

The Project is called Predator Free 2050 and if successful it would eradicate the introduced species of rats, stoats and possums nation-wide in just 33 years.

Fossilised tree and ice cores help date huge volcanic eruption 1,000 years ago to within three months
From on 24 January, a fascinating story of scientific detective work that utilizes clues from a variety of disciplines. An international team of researchers have determined, to within three months, a medieval volcanic eruption in east Asia. They have also shown that the so-called "Millennium eruption" of Changbaishan volcano, one of the largest in history, cannot have brought about the downfall of an important 10th century kingdom, as was previously thought.

Scientists retrieve 80-million-year-old dinosaur protein in ‘milestone’ paper
Two new studies suggest that it is possible to isolate protein fragments from dino­saurs much further back in time than ever thought possible. One study, led by Mary Schweitzer, a paleontologist from North Carolina State University in Raleigh who has chased dinosaur proteins for de­cades, confirms her highly controversial claim to have recovered 80-million-year-old dinosaur collagen. The other paper suggests that protein may even have sur­vived in a 195-million-year-old dino fossil.

Trump’s travel ban is already stopping scientific collaboration
Last week President Donald Trump signed an executive order that denies Syrian refugees entry to the US, suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocks citizens of seven countries from entering the US for at least 90 days. Those affected by the travel ban include scientists, some of whom are speaking out about how the order will affect their work and the broader scientific community.

And I do have an update on this article. The ban has been temporarily stayed by a federal judge in the state of Washington and the decision is now being considered by the 9th Circuit Court.

Wetlands Can Help Fight Climate Change
Coastal wetlands are among the best marine ecosystems to fight climate change, new research confirms. A study published this week in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment compared the carbon sequestration potential of a handful of marine ecosystems and found that mangroves, salt marshes and seagrass meadows have the greatest impact on climate change.

Physicists doubt bold report of metallic hydrogen
Two physicists say that they have crushed hydrogen under such immense pressures that the gas became a shiny metal — a feat that physicists have been trying to accomplish for more than 80 years. But other researchers have serious doubts about the claim, the latest in a field with a long history of failed attempts.

Pub Quiz!

Enjoy your favorite adult beverage while we test the brain trust of the Blue Streak Science Podcast.

Please, no wagering.

The Blue Streak Science Podcast comes to you from North America, Great Britain, and Australia.