8:00pm – Thursday, June 24 on ABC1
Weighty Issue As the fight against Australia’s obesity epidemic intensifies, more and more teenagers are having weight loss surgery. Surgeons say this is necessary for morbidly obese teenagers. But, health sociologists say there are no quick fixes to weight loss and there needs to be greater emphasis on non-surgical techniques. Dr Maryanne Demasi meets 15-year-old Cosimo, as he and his parents elect bariatric banding surgery as a way to lose some of his 150 kilos and regain a brighter health outlook.
Animal Action – Jumping Ants It is not uncommon in the animal kingdom to have a specialised mouth for feeding. The Trap Jaw Ant, for instance, has a whopping set of mandibles for catching and holding prey. But it also uses its mandibles to trigger a remarkable acrobatic escape. Filming at 3000 frames per second and aided by a pair of tweezers, researchers from the Patek lab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst captured this amazing defensive high jump.
Blue Link Australia’ s Exclusive Economic Zone encompasses 8,148,250 sq kms of ocean. But until recently, forecasting what was happening to this vast volume of water relied on limited data. Graham Phillips reports on an ambitious project called ‘BLUElink’ which harnesses a number of technologies into one of the most comprehensive ocean weather forecasting systems in the world.
And there are consequences for everything – from understanding climate change to hiding submarines. A collaboration between the Royal Australian Navy, Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, BLUElink analyses data from multiple sources to describe ocean currents, salinity levels and temperatures. Graham Phillips joins a mission aboard the minesweeper HMAS Yarra to see BLUElink in action as they ride deep currents with a remote controlled submersible vehicle.
Sea Walls In urban areas, sea walls have replaced much of the natural foreshore. And with the ever- increasing threat of sea level rise there will be even more built in the future. But these man-made structures come at an environmental cost. Sea walls reduce intertidal habitats by replacing wide natural shorelines such as rocks and mangroves with vertical structures. Marine creatures effectively lose their microhabitats and find themselves evicted from their homes. Surfing scientist Ruben Meerman meets Dr Mark Browne, who has come up with a simple yet effective solution to the problem.