Thursday, 02 April 2009 8:00pm
Malaria jumps the gap from monkey to man: could bubbles be a solution to the hard hit mining industry? and how a horse trainer applies his skill to the training of elephants – with remarkable success.
Malaria is the world’s biggest child killer. In Africa it kills a child every 30 seconds. Until recently it was believed humans could only host four species of the malaria parasite – but in Malaysian Borneo, researchers have just found a fifth – and to their surprise it’s jumping the species barrier from monkeys to people. Despite billions of dollars and over a century of intensive research, millions of people continue to die of this preventable disease every year and the malaria parasite continues to outwit attempts to control it. Could this new strain of the disease represent an increased threat? Mark Horstman journeys deep into the jungle to the heart of Sarawak to investigate.
The crash in the world economy has cut orders to the Australian mining industry causing the loss of hundreds of workers’ jobs. One of the solutions to boosting future sales could be new technology. In the 1980s Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson pioneered a way to extract fine particles from mines. This led to the development of a floatation device named after him as the Jameson Cell. Today there are more than 250 of these Cells in operation around the world and the key to their success is the science of bubbles. Dr. Paul Willis checks out the Professor’s latest developments.
Training a horse is one thing, but training an elephant is quite another. When the Nepalese government decided they wanted to find a new way to train their elephants they turned to Andrew McLean, a zoologist and former 3 day eventer, who has devoted his career to devising a method of horse training based on scientific principles. Elephants are huge powerful animals and in Nepal mahouts have been using centuries-old techniques of training passed from one generation to the next. But these techniques are often cruel and elephants can become dangerous. Jonica Newby reports on an incredible story of how an Australian horse trainer taught elephants in two days what it often took them 6 weeks to learn under the traditional methods.
Catalyst will be repeated on ABC2 – Friday, April 03 at 5:30pm