Science videos to watch over the break

This year, Cosmos spoke to hundreds of different researchers about everything under the sun – and one or two things beyond it. Here’s ten of our favourite videos from the year.

Visiting the surface of the moon in Adelaide

At the University of Adelaide, a new lab has been built that simulates extraterrestrial environments, including the regolith lunar surface.

We went behind the scenes at the Extraterrestrial Environmental Simulation – Exterres – Laboratory to meet the makers, researchers and rovers testing tech for space exploration.

Barbie dolls and body image

Barbies have been a popular toy for more than 60 years, with an estimated 58 million dolls sold every year.

But for decades, parents and researchers have worried about the impact of Barbie’s unrealistic body shape on impressionable young children.

We chat to Dr Zali Yager: an expert in body image, mental health and wellbeing.

What must we all do in the critical decade to respond to global warming?

Action we take during the current decade will determine whether we are able to meet the Paris Agreement targets and avoid catastrophic climate change.

In this Cosmos Briefing, we learn what we must do in “the critical decade” to respond to the threats imposed by global warming.

What’s going on with the Adélie penguins  in Antarctica?

The Adélies gave us the phrase “penguin suit” and are found on almost the entire coastline in the white continent.

But recent research has identified a problem with massive reduction in the numbers of breeding Adélie Penguins in some places in Antarctica.

Home-grown mRNA: inside the facility that can make it

While Moderna has announced it will be making mRNA vaccines on Australian shores by 2024, there are places that could already be doing part of the process.

One such facility is based in Adelaide, and run by BioCina. BioCina has the technology and regulatory approvals to do microbial cell culture: the first step of the mRNA production process, and is currently using the technology to make other pharmaceutical products.

Cosmos took a look inside the facility to see how this production process might work, and chatted to BioCina’s CEO, Ian Wisenberg.

Microchipping footballs – how is the technology progressing?

As the football season drew to an exciting close, our American correspondent, Richard A Lovett, asked how close we are to putting microchips in balls, in a way which would end the endless arguements?

Talking the beauty of birdsong

We’ve all heard the gorgeous chorus of birds singing, whether that be a pet songbird or Magpies sitting in the tree outside your window. But what really is birdsong and how is it different to the calls that all birds can make? Why do some birds sing?

Cosmos journalist Imma Perfetto chatted to Dr Dominique Potvin, a behavioural ecologist, evolutionary biologist, ornithologist, and senior lecturer in Animal Ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, to find out.

Andrea Boyd is the ‘Aussie voice to space’

Andrea Boyd knew she wanted to work in the space field since she first saw Star Trek as a kid. The South Australian has ended up in a career as close to space as possible without leaving the ground.

Boyd is the ‘EUROCOM’ flight controller at the European Space Agency (ESA), meaning she’s the person who gets to talk to the astronauts on the ISS.

Is peer review failing?

In this video interview, science journalist Clare Kenyon talks with cofounder of Retraction Watch, Ivan Oransky, and expert image consultant, Elisabeth Bik, about the problems facing peer review, asking the question: ‘What can we do about peer review?’

Ancient kangaroos in Papua New Guinea

A study has found that we might have been a bit premature deciding that all areas of Australia and Papua New Guinea lost their megafauna by 40,000 years ago.

Jacinta Bowler talked to researchers at the Flinders University Palaeontology Lab in the video above to understand what the team found.

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