8:00pm – Thursday, May 6 on ABC1
Magic Lab Magical illusions rely on the way our brain interprets visual information. By trial and error magicians have learned to capitalise on this fact in their sleight of hand trade. Now, neurologists in the U.S. are finding exactly what’s going on in our brains when we’re deceived by a hand that’s quicker than the eye.
Jonica Newby visits Las Vegas to meet some magicians who are revealing their trade secrets for science.
Toxic Crops Double the food with half the resources by 2050 – that’s what scientists say we need to do to provide world food security for a predicted population of 8.5 billion people. Climate change will make the job harder, but another challenge is yet to make its impact fully known.
Plants love carbon dioxide, so the increased levels of CO2 in our atmosphere due to anthropogenic causes should help plants to thrive. However, Australian scientists report that plants redirect this boon toward the production of toxins that help protect them against predator attack, such as animals and insects. Experiments have also indicated that there is a reduced level of protein in some crops. This will have long ranging impacts on food supplies for humans and livestock. One crop, cassava, an important staple in many poor nations, also shows signs of producing less of its edible tubers.
Graham Phillips reports how increasing levels of CO2 will affect food security.
Big Prawns One of the great advantages of growing food in saltwater is that, essentially, it’s drought-proof farming.
No wonder then that scientists are turning to marine aquaculture to develop more efficient ways of producing food for our tables.
In a process similar to that used in developing the breed lines in livestock, the best prawns are selected for future generations. But when each female prawn can have around a quarter of a million babies, tracing the parents can be tricky. That’s where DNA fingerprinting comes in.
Surfing scientist Ruben Meerman went to see how CSIRO scientists on the Gold Coast are turning the tiger into the king of the prawn jungle.