8:00pm – Thursday, June 7 on ABC1
Transit of Venus; At-home genetic test kits; Wearable robots; Hidden message of a cat’s purr.
Transit of Venus After the transit of Venus occurs this year, it will be more than a century before the next one and astronomers are just as keen to study the event now as Lt. James Cook’s expedition was in 1769. Back then, the observation from the island of Tahiti was to be a yardstick for measuring the entire solar system. Now, astronomers are observing it to help find exoplanets. Graham Phillips is aboard the Australian Maritime Museum’s replica of the Endeavour at Lord Howe Island, while Mark Horstman joins stargazers at Sydney Observatory.
Decoding the Risks Do you want a glimpse into the future? The secrets hidden within our DNA hold extraordinary power. In fact, businesses now sell at-home genetic test kits with the promise of predicting your risk of disease before it strikes. But how good are they? Maryanne Demasi offers up her own DNA to put these personal genome kits to the test.
Exoskeleton Mobility is key for people paralysed by spinal injuries or disabled by disease – not only for their independence, but for their health. Wheelchairs are limited by steps and other obstacles, and don’t allow the user to stand upright. Once a sci-fi dream, wearable robots now offer a real opportunity to restore mobility and freedom. Mark Horstman visits New Zealand to test drive the world’s first self-supporting, independently-controlled robotic exoskeletons, and meet the paraplegic engineer who builds them.
Cat’s Purr The purring of a happy cat, it’s one of nature’s simple pleasures, isn’t it? Well, not really, not since scientists came along and discovered something a tad disturbing. Apparently, there’s more than one message being delivered by puss. Jonica Newby enlists the help of cat owners and their purr-fect felines to help demonstrate what cats are really saying.