Interronauts | Episode 12: Elephant scarecrow, the OG, Adam & Eve of flowers, tarantula venom to save sheep, and Interronauts farewell

By Jesse Hawley

11 August 2017

3 minute read

Well listeners, this is it for a little bit — Season One of Interronauts is over. In our last episode, we’ve got new technology from CSIRO: giving scarecrows a brain, we’ve got the evolution of the first flower ever (what!?), we’ve got more research on how tarantula venom can help treat enwormed sheep, and plenty more science shenanigans. (Don’t forget to listen back through our back catalogue!)

Science news


We speak with Dr Ash Tews, CSIRO senior research scientist about VPDaD — the Vertebrate Pest Detect and Deter, a new high-tech scare crow to ward away crop pests of any variety.

CSIRO news

Taking the bite out of sheep parasites with spider venom

“Gastrointestinal parasites cost the Australian sheep industry around $400 million each year in treatment costs and lost productivity, with huge implications for animal welfare. The most common way of de-worming Australia’s more than 67 million sheep is by “drenching” them. No, that doesn’t mean cold-shocking the worms with the Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead, it’s a quick drug dose that’s delivered orally.

But the huge problem facing our farmers is that most worm populations are now showing resistance to the drugs which are used, making it more and more difficult to cure infections. This drug resistance is leading our scientists to work with The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) to look for new treatments derived from the venom of animals such as spiders, scorpions and assassin bugs,” from our blog. Read more here.

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