Introduced in 1935, Queensland, the cane toad was release to target a beetle that was damaging lucrative sugar cane crops. Only 102 toads were initially released, but the toads quickly multiplied and spread across Australia, eating everything except the cane beetles and damaging native animal populations. Environmental ecology is a complex system, difficult to imitate and control.
Professor Emma Johnstone explains the biology and life cycle of coral, from the calcium carbonate exoskeletons and venomous polyps to the photosynthesising symbionts that live in their tissue. But as ocean temperatures rise, the symbiotic relationship between the algae and the coral breaks down, causing the reef to bleach and decay. Ruth Gates, Director of the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, is researching answers to this very real crisis in coral symbiosis.
In a wideranging interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famed astrophysicist discusses the formation of the moon, his college days, the relationship between race and his role as a scientist and why he wants to be buried when he dies.
Senior researcher Madeleine van Oppen and her team at SeaSim are successfully collecting coral samples during their yearly spawning and experimenting with new genetic corals that could be more resilient to future ocean conditions. Scientists at SeaSim are also exploring the cryopreservation of genetic coral diversity, and the development and introduction of heat tolerant algae symbionts to coral larvae.
With time running out for reefs around the world, scientists and marine biologists are stretching the limits, developing new techniques to save these precious structures and the important ecosystems they support.
Meet the Sherpa rescue team that is looking to help decrease the number of injuries and fatalities that take place on Mt Everest. So often, when somebody calls for help, they're too high up to be rescued in time. Join the team on a daring mission as they attempt to save a woman overcome with frostbite and stranded at a place called the Death Zone which is over 8000m high.
With all of the pressing concerns regarding climate change, astrophysicist, Jess Bloom, weighs in some of the effects we're seeing now. Plus, is making our home on another planet our hope for the future That may not actually be the case and it's important to conserve the planet we inhabit now, but Jess discusses why she still thinks exploring space is something to get excited about. (Coarse language.)
Marine biologist, Professor Emma Johnstone, explores the effects of global warming on the future of the world largest and most complex reef ecosystem, the Great Barrier Reef. The question is, as the rate of coral bleaching increases and global carbon emissions remain unwavering, do we use science to intervene in an attempt design more robust stains of coral?
Professor Emma Johnstone meets geoscientist Jody Webster, from the University of Sydney, to explore the history of the Great Barrier Reef. Using multi-beam sonar images to map the reef, Jody can identify patterns in its geological history and pinpoint various life cycles. According to material evidence, the reef has undergone many changes, deaths and renewals, but none have occurred as suddenly those in recent years.
Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Queensland, is home to the National Sea Simulator (SeaSim). SeaSim controls over 3 million litres of seawater that flows through its 33 tanks each day. By adjusting the light, salinity, temperatures, acidity and pollutants, scientists at SeaSim can test coral behaviour under predicted ocean conditions. At the heart of this research is Madeleine van Oppen, in conjunction with Ruth Gates, from the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology.
Coral bleaching occurs when the relationship between algae symbionts and the coral is disrupted, which happens when the plant-cells (algae symbionts) are exposed to high temperatures, causing the algae to stop photosynthesising and produce an irritant. The coral then begins to reject the plant-cells, losing its colour and primary energy source. Once the coral has lost its life-giving plant-cells, it will eventually die.
Most corals only spawn once a year, the only window scientists have to trial hybridisation. Corals release tiny bundles of eggs and sperm that float to the surface of the ocean to break up and fertilise. Within a week, the fertilised eggs develop into planula larvae. Planula, no bigger than a grain of rice, must then begin searching for a suitable location and an algal partner (algae symbionts). Ruth Gates believes this moment holds the key for breeding hardier reefs.
Tattoos: They are on trend but how easy are they to remove? Moon Mining: Scientists look at ways to mine the moon. Muscle fibre Fishing Line: How fishing line, a hairdryer and an electric drill make artificial muscle fibres.
In this special edition of Catalyst, Dr Maryanne Demasi investigates the safety of chemicals that are used in everyday products - in our water, our food and in the air we breathe - and compares the chemical levels in her won body with those of clean living convert and media personality, Sarah Wilson. Is there adequate regulation and testing, or are we in the midst of an uncontrolled, human experiment.
We look into marine life in Australia, to find out what plastics escape our household drains & what kind of damage they can do. And the geology of north-western Tasmania reveals similarities to Antarctica.
Have you ever tried to lose weight and when you did, you put it all back on again? Ever wonder... Why am I still fat? New discoveries are overturning the conventional wisdom that beating obesity is all about eating less and exercising more. Mark Horstman explores these emerging fields of science, and meets ordinary people in their daily struggle with obesity.
Catalyst celebrates 100 years of Einstein's extraordinary universe. Black holes, time travel, and the Big Bang beginning of our universe are all consequences of Einstein's great theory. To celebrate we visit three 'big physics' facilities: CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland; the vast dark matter laboratories under a mountain in Italy; and two three-kilometre rooms, where scientists are hoping to prove a prediction Einstein made over a century ago - that gravitational waves exist.
Is the role of cholesterol in heart disease really one of the biggest myths in the history of medicine? For the last 40-odd years we've been told that saturated fat clogs our arteries and that high cholesterol causes heart disease. It has spawned a multi-billion dollar drug and food industry, with aggressive marketing of 'cholesterol free' products that promise to lower our cholesterol and decrease our risk of heart disease. But what if it isn't true?
Maryanne Demasi meets the doctors who are at odds with neurologists in proposing that an early diagnosis of MS could provide a cure with something as simple as antibiotics. Plus, turning your home into a power station and why dogs love to belt out a song.
Natural selection is a three billion year old product design process that can’t be beaten. It’s not just Velcro. Biomimicry is a way of profiting from nature by observing and adapting natural solutions into technical innovations. In this episode, we see how sharks, sponges and the brittle fish - equipped all over its body with thousands of optically perfect lenses with which it sees - are being studied for commericial potential.
Students will be inspired and excited by the best of cutting edge engineering. Demonstrating a broad range of engineering applications, this series focuses on the engineers themselves - who they are, what they do and how they think. Today: Blackpool's 'Big One' is the biggest, fastest rollercoaster in Britain. This program meets the engineers whose job is to scare the life out of people.
Students will be inspired and excited by the best of cutting edge engineering. Demonstrating a broad range of engineering applications, this series focuses on the engineers themselves - who they are, what they do and how they think. Today: Meet the engineers responsible for improving performance on the football field and athletics track, and learn how engineering can play a role in sport.
Students will be inspired and excited by the best of cutting edge engineering. Demonstrating a broad range of engineering applications, this series focuses on the engineers themselves - who they are, what they do and how they think. Today: The Millennium Bridge in London and the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland are two amazing structures that presented unique challenges for their designers.
In this series of specials for the UK's Channel 4, top surgeons carried out life-changing operations in front of a studio audience, broadcast on live TV. While performing brain surgery on a patient who remained awake, open heart surgery, keyhole stomach repair and pituitary tumour removal, the surgeons answered questions from television viewers at home sent to the studio via Twitter, Facebook and by phone, as well as from the studio audience.
What happens when you take away a village's natural sea defences? Filmed along the Dorset coastline, this film provides up-to-date explanations and examples of the processes and landforms that shape coastal environments.
Dr Giles Yeo investigates the latest diet craze and social media sensation- clean eating. In a television first, Giles cooks with Ella Mills, the instagram entrepreneur behind Deliciously Ella, one of the most popular brands associated with clean eating and examines how far her plant based cooking is based on science. In America, Giles reveals the key alternative health figures whose food philosophies are influencing the new gurus of clean. Inside a Californian ranch where cancer patients are being treated with alkaline food, Giles sees what can happen when pseudoscience is taken to the extreme.
FIT IN 6 MINUTES A WEEK - REVISITED
Continuing our focus on the healing powers of exercise, Catalyst revisits the subject of intensive interval training. If you were told you could get fit with just a few minutes of exercise a week, would you believe it? Anja Taylor puts interval training through its paces, and investigates the science behind why it works.
Anja Taylor looks at the domino effect of environmental and atmospheric factors that drive the globe to wetter, hotter, drier and colder extremes. Mark Horstman looks at ultra-sharp images from below the sea.
Having delved into the science of big mining in Kalgoorlie, our trio continue their transcontinental roadtrip by teeing off on the Eyre Highway. But they're not here just to play the longest golf course in the world. Anja Taylor is thrilled to be joining a team of passionate cave divers at Weebubbie on the Nullarbor.
Has there ever been life on Mars? To answer that question, in 2016 Europe launched a mission that not only unleashed new technology but which started a global battle to conquer the Red Planet. With unprecedented access to the European Space Agency and France's space agency, go from the rover design process through to the launch of Europe's very first module, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.
The Catalyst team look at how our genes can affect exercise performance; Come face to face with 120 metre tunnel borers Florence and Elizabeth; And reveal the good news for Coral trout on the Great Barrier Reef.
With a soaring population how do we keep our cities liveable? And what will the city of tomorrow look like? Catalyst reporter Anja Taylor investigates some innovative ideas for Australia's future cities.
In this six half-hour series and over 3,500 kilometres, Catalyst on the Road propels our curious trio - Anja Taylor, Dr Derek Muller and Simon Pampena - on an interactive road trip across Australia. Along the way they uncover science in some unexpected locations.
Peter Andrews is a farmer and horseman with passion for healing damaged Australian landscapes through a method he calls natural sequence farming. For decades it seemed no one would listen. But, increasingly scientific test results are providing persuasive evidence that the methods can work. And some very high profile supporters are throwing their weight behind Peter Andrews.
Deep beneath the legendary Easter Island in the South Pacific, a team of scientists undertake a groundbreaking expedition: to attempt a first-ever mapping of the vast cave system beneath this enigmatic isle. Protected by sheer cliffs, narrow labyrinths and underwater entrances, many of the caves have not been explored for decades.
In Australia, the conflict between cities and biodiversity is intensifying. This documentary presents experts' views on how Australia's remarkable animals and plants are faring in their struggle against urban sprawl and how we can help them to survive.
Chris and Xand join forces once again as Operation Ouch takes over Alder Hey to reveal the incredible things that go on behind the scenes and on the wards of one of Europe's largest children's hospitals.