What's Tim talking about on radio – 23 June

Tim’s blog

Listen to Tim Thwaites each week on Melbourne Talk Radio.

This week he’s talking about:

  • CHIMPANZEES KILL TO WIN NEW TERRITORY The first solid evidence that chimps will kill their rivals to acquire land has been gathered by US zoologists over 10 years. Their observations could shed light on the origins of aspects of warlike as well as cooperative behaviour in human beings.—Current Biology

A Science report can be found at: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/06/chimpanzees-kill-for-land.html

  • WHY SPIDER WEB GLUE NEVER LETS GO Spider web glue is not only sticky, say American researchers, it is also elastic like chewing gum—and that’s what makes webs so difficult to escape from.—Nature Communications

A New Scientist report can be found at: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627655.000-why-spiderweb-glue-never-lets-go.html

  • FLOODING THE CAR Nearly half the deaths in Australian floods occur in motor vehicles. And they are almost always the result of a voluntary decision to cross flooded areas despite public warnings, Queensland researchers have found.—Australasian Science
  • RATS HAVE AN INNATE CONCEPT OF SPACE Baby rats are born explorers, according to Norwegian neuroscientists. They are able to map out their world before they crawl so much as a centimetre. Their navigation cells work as well as the adult equivalents by the time they open their eyes. And it looks like humans may be the same.—Science

A New Scientist report can be found at: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19059-rats-have-an-innate-concept-of-space–do-humans.html

  • MICROBE SWIMMING STYLE COULD DETECT POLLUTION Watching how protozoans swim could provide a low-cost way of identifying poisons in water. US microbiologists have found that different chemicals alter the swimming style of the microbes in different ways.—New Scientist

A New Scientist report can be found at: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627655.700-protozoan-swimming-style-identifies-water-toxins.html

  • GENETICS REVEAL HOW LOUSY IT IS TO BE A PARASITE Human body lice drink only human blood, but they probably have no idea what it tastes like. And because of their narrow diet, they are dependent on bacteria for important nutrients. Those are just a couple of the conclusions that have arisen from sequencing the louse genome.—Current Biology

A Nature report can be found at: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100621/full/news.2010.308.html