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The Conduct Science Podcast

New topics every week from neuroscience to climate change, from the deep ocean to deep space. Tom and Mitch will guide you through science with the help of expert scientific guests.

This week on The Method Section, Tom takes a look at teaching in the animal kingdom. Who can do it, where do we find it, and what is it anyway? Tom takes you on an adventure through the scientific literature and animal kingdom describing exactly what teaching is from two different points of view and the animals in which we find it in. Teaching has always been considered something unique to animals with complex cognition.... why then do we find it in ants? Stay tuned, to The Method Section. Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom tackles diseases in a population. With the current activities in the world some people may be confused about what a disease is in the first place, how are they caused, through what organisms and methods are they transferred? How do the health administrations and governments of the world model disease transmission and decide what measures to implement and when do they know if it's getting better or not? Join Tom as he takes a look at the coronavirus, how it and other viruses spread, and what you can do to help prevent it spreading more. Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, join Tom as he explores why we age! Is aging an inherent process that we must go through? If so What mechanisms are in place that cause it to happen and why did those mechanisms evolve in the first place? Is it population control or is it just the selection of preferred early life characteristics that have bad late life consequences? What can we learn from looking at other animals about aging and will we be able to stop it in the next 50 years? Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom investigates brain size and complexity and how it relates to animal intelligence. Does having a bigger brain correlate to the intelligence of an animal or is it the relative brain size and complexity that determines it? Or is it none of these? Find out a bit about the history of comparative brain size studies, what we learnt from them and why they needed to change! Tom takes a look at the marine mammals, specifically cetaceans and looks at their case of being intelligent, are they as smart as people think? Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom takes a look at the first ever multi-cellular organism that has been discovered that doesn't need oxygen to survive. Henneguya salminicola is a Myxozoan parasite of salmon that has no mitochondria or aerobic resipiratory pathway. This is a huge discovery that could start a paradigm shift in how we look at organisms as we know it today. Join Tom as he takes a look at the paper and breaks it down for you! Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom talks about the formation of planets in our solar system! How did they form in the first place? What did our primordial solar system look like, what effects of the universe shaped it? Have you ever wondered why there are no gas giants close to the Sun or why looking far away in space is actually looking back in time? New research of a planetesimal called "Arrokoth", in the Kuiper belt, is changing how we look at planetary formation. Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom takes a look at CRISPR. Gene editing via CRISPR and the Cas-9 protein was heralded as one of the biggest scientific acheivements of the last decade, but what exactly is it? How does one program a protein to precisely cut strands of DNA? The discussion of what CRISPR technology is being used for now and in the future is a rigourous one filled with all kinds of ethical bounderies and gray areas. Listen now to find out where they are drawing the line! Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom goes through the process of writing a project proposal to get funding. If you are an aspiring scientist or even an experienced one, this is something you will have to do time after time. This is an opportunity for you to showcase yourself, you team, and your project and why it deserves funding over others. Tom explores here the classic pitfalls researchers make when applying for funding and the things you can do to maximise your chances. Also included is a set of questions you can ask yourself to get you started. Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom explores the mirror system hypothesis and how language transformed humanity! Did language derive from an archaeic gestural "langauage" that linked the sender and reciever of signals? What cytocarchitecture do we possess that enables us to be a language ready species? With language being such a unique asset to humans, how did it transform and shape our evolutionary pathway? Language, as it turns out maybe the reason for everything we know today! Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

This week on The Method Section, Tom takes a look at social cognition and language. Why are social cognition and language so tightly linked? Explore why language is such a fundamental property of humanity, why it led to our success and why it is thought as the crucial mechanism for the advancement of cultural complexity. Here you will also find out about the underlying mechanisms of language and where else we see them in the animal kingdom, and why exploring the evolutionary history of animals that don't have the uniquely human trait of language is important to understanding it. Music by: Joakim Karud - https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud.

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