Thursday, 25 October 2007 at 8pm on ABC
It’s estimated that wildlife trafficking is worth ten billion US dollars a year on the world’s black market. Profits gained from this illicit trade are thought to be second only to that of drug and gun smuggling. Often run by organised crime and terrorist groups – including Columbian drug cartels, the Russian mafia, Chinese Triad gangs, and even al-Qaeda, since 1999 more than 17,000 illegal wildlife imports and exports have been seized by the Australian government alone.
The unlawful export of live birds and eggs from Australia has existed for many years. If caught, traffickers face heavy fines and jail sentences for dealing in this precious cargo. Jonica Newby investigates two cases of real-life border security – as new forensic science is deployed in the front line of wildlife defence.
Locusts Help Our Understanding Of Human Obesity:
Locusts are one of the major insect pests in the world – invading vast areas of the globe at blistering speeds, demolishing crops as they go. Amazingly, these hungry little insects can start out as shy, harmless creatures before suddenly forming mighty armies in search of a substance essential to life – protein. And, as Maryanne Demasi finds out, these rabid protein seekers are teaching us a lot about human obesity.
The Future Of Clothing:
Pretty soon, you’ll be able to buy underwear that deodorises, shirts that send messages from your mobile and charge your MP3 – you’ll even be able to purchase an invisibility coat! Well, if that’s the future of clothes, a wardrobe malfunction could take on a whole new meaning. Catalyst checks out the very fabric of the future of clothes.
Michelle Gerke Aids The Pain:
Dr Michelle Gerke and her team at the University of Sydney are studying something all of us try very hard to avoid – pain. Michelle chose a career in neuroscience largely due to an accident involving her boisterous brother. Be introduced to Michelle Gerke, tonight on Catalyst.