Interronauts | The CSIRO Podcast

By Jesse Hawley

16 June 2017

Interronauts is our podcast that puts a rose-tinted magnifying glass to science news from around the world, Australia, and inside our organisation. Hosted by Jesse Hawley and Sophie Schmidt from our communications team.

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[Bonus bowerbird episode]: Collected cut stories, feral cats, festive heart attacks, Croque-MonScience, bloopers, and more misc.

For fear of wasting food, have you ever scrounged about in your fridge, gathering ingredients like a feasting bowerbird and bungled them together into an oddly satisfying meal?

Not sure why that’s relevant, because here’s a bonus episode of our podcast, Interronauts! In this episode we talk about how living on farms helps symptoms of asthma and allergies, festive heart attacks, being over-run by ever so destructive feral cats, defining all of plants, and a pocketful of bloopers, misc. and bonus tatters. We also speak with Angus Macoustra about CSIRO’s new supercomputer, Bracewell.

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

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!)

Episode 11: Eggs to live birth — how pregnancy evolved, Alzheimer’s link with iron deposits, bonobos don’t overimitate, and Cassini’s grand finale

This fortnight Jesse and Sophie have a special selection of science news, plucked from all over town in this, their penultimate episode. In their first ontogenetic episode yet, they chat about breaking news from Yale on the evolution of pregnancy in marsupials and eutherians (ourselves), childhood learning in apes (bonobos’ inability to copy silly stuff), a chat with Dr Olivier Salvado about iron deposits’ relationship with Alzheimer’s, and finally the living funeral of NASA’s Cassini as it plummets into the Saturnian atmosphere — and you’re invited!

Episode 10: Caterpillars brainwashed into cannibals, Sampling the Abyss, Croque-MonScience, and transforming uggo fruit into stars


Join Jesse and Sophie as they snap back to reality, whope there goes gravity…*ahem* — as they discuss last fortnight’s science news: plant defences that turn herbivorous caterpillars into cannibals, our RV Investigator’s voyage to Sample the Abyss, the new project to rescue imperfect fruit and veg and turn them into healthy food products, and finally their new segment: Deconstructed Croque-MonScience, where Sophie guesses research findings and methods based on the title of a paper.

Episode 9: Where brains store faces, ancient origins of humans, blood vessel algorithm, and Aus spider guide magic

Join Jesse and Sophie as they cast their net overboard to snag last fortnight’s science news before heaving it aboard with their gelatinous biceps for us all to sort through. Here’s the catch: they talk about how it is that we’re able to remember (tens of) thousands of faces with relative ease, our new algorithm that can model blood vessel growth to pre-empt tumours, the ancient origins of Homo sapiens (100 000 years older than expected), and, they speak with Robert Whyte, co-author of A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia — the latest and most comprehensive guide to those wonderful eight-legged friends.

Episode 7: Polyamorous hammerheads, fit devils fade fastest, renewable fuels, and a chat with the Jellyfish Goddess

Dive back into science news with the Interronauts! Jesse and Sophie are back with a brand new episode, studio, the whole kit and caboodle (kitten cavoodle?). They talk about why it is that the fittest Tassie devils are most likely to succumb to the deadly facial tumours, how to pipe renewable hydrogen, why some shark mammas hook up with multiple pappas, and they speak with Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin about her to-date co-discovery of 204 species of sea animals (including a DOLPHIN!).

Episode 6: The Great Dying, anal mandrills, cutting cow methane w/ seaweed, & Neanderthal jewellery

Join Jesse, Sophie, and Adrian as they talk about how the world’s worst extinction was caused by microbes, mandrills that don’t groom those with sickly faeces, Neanderthal’s making jewellery, and their chat with Dr Rob Kinley about his research feeding seaweed to cows to neutralise their methane emissions. Methane special!

Episode 5: T. rex lovers, toxin-testing lab-on-a-glove, the largest dino print & Martian atmospheres

Join the Interronauts—Jesse, Sophie, and Adrian—as they go dinosaur hunting along the west Australian coastline with Dr Steve Salisbury (not Turok). They also chat about sensitive dinolovers, CSIRO’s new lab-on-a-glove, and Mars’ ghost of an atmosphere. Let’s zip ourselves up and get mailed back to the Cretaceous.

Episode 4: Carp herpes, glass tardigrades, nasal origins, splashier splashes, and sheep with Fitbits

Join Jesse, Sophie, and Adrian as they dive deep on the evolution of the human nose, tardigrades (check ’em out) and how they dry out for 30 years, why water droplets splash, and some work on climbing foxes. They also speak with Dr Ken McColl about the ambitious plan to release a strain of herpes to target pest carp in Australian water ways. Woo it’s a bumper episode!

Episode 3: Gate-crashing gut flora, storing movies on DNA, Arthropods of Our Homes, & titanium bones

Jesse, Sophie, and Adrian get together to chat about the uninvited microbes that stumble into our guts, how you can store Amazon gift cards on DNA, the mutations behind mirror movement disorder, and CSIRO’s 3D printing of a titanium sternum and polymer tissue. We also speak with Michelle Trautwein about her new project ‘Arthropods of Our Homes’ to catalogue the Australian arthropods we share our homes with. Enjoy the show, why don’t you.

Episode 2: Spartan ants, graphene from soybeans, VNs, and a chat with Antarctica

Jesse, Sophie, and Adrian join interroforces to discuss the antimicrobial properties of dragonfly wings, how roundworm genes might inform weight gain, how desert ants navigate their way home, and from CSIRO, a new way to make graphene (the world’s strongest material), pesky mobile Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and we cross over for a live chat—podcast live—with Asaesja Young, one of our communicators in Antarctica. Enjoy!

Pilot Episode: Whale Menopause, Panda Thumbs, Frisky Wrens, and Antarctic Voyages

Jesse, Sophie, and Adrian talk about menopausal whales, panda thumbs, Tasmanian tiger brains, and frisky wrens. They also have a chat with Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith about the launch of the new ASKAP radio telescope, and discuss research around CSIRO: mouse plagues and trips to Antarctica.