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Sister Doctor Squared
42 minutes | Aug 4, 2022
18. Firestarter: not just a song by The Prodigy
How amazing is it to sit around a campfire? Watching those beautiful, flickering flames; listening to the gorgeous crackle of firewood. It's mesmerising. Humans are innately fascinated by fire, but our relationship with fire is complex. Sometimes, fire fascination turns into something more dangerous. Sometimes, humans intentionally set fires. And guess what? It seems that some birds do this too! In episode 18 of Sister Doctor Squared, Aleena and Janine explore some research around firestarting behaviour. For the inner square segment, Janine continues in the theme of intelligent birds, while Aleena regales us around her recent experience of context-specific memory! Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website. Mastering of this episode, plus Intro and Outro music by Dr Adrian Diery.
46 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
17. Go with your gut? What does the science say?
Have you ever had a really strong gut feeling about something? You don't know why. You don't know where it's coming from, but it's telling you something very clearly. Should you trust it? In this episode, Aleena and Janine delve into the science behind gut instincts. Aleena then hijacks the inner square segment to update everyone on the latest kitchen renovation dramas, while Janine introduces a whole new segment to the podcast: what brought out her #InnerDumbass?! Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website. Mastering of this episode, plus intro and outro music, by the ever-talented Dr Adrian Diery
94 minutes | May 2, 2022
16. The truth about Tourette Syndrome with Seamus Evans
Tourette Syndrome Awareness Week is running from 2 - 8 May 2022! So, Janine and Aleena are raising understanding and busting some myths around Tourette Syndrome, especially as Janine's little boy has this condition. The sisters are joined by their first ever guest - Seamus Evans! Seamus is an awesome TV and radio broadcaster and now passionate public speaker. As an ambassador for the Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia (TSAA), Seamus speaks about his personal experience with Tourette Syndrome, and how he has learned to manage the condition, and ultimately turn it into his superpower. Aleena and Janine share insights from the science on Tourette Syndrome, including the prevalence and underlying genetics. Aleena, Janine and Seamus all then stick around to nerd out in the inner square segment, which leads to much "Type 1 fun". You'll have to listen in to understand wtf that means ;) Full show notes at Sister Doctor Squared website. Mastering of this episode, plus intro and outro music, by the ever-talented Dr Adrian Diery
43 minutes | Mar 28, 2022
15. Fight, flight, or... “freeze”?
WARNING: This episode contains discussion related to traumatic experiences that may be distressing for some listeners. Janine excitedly shares details of her new pet dog Calli (#RescueGreyhound), who massively inspired this episode, since Calli displays a very strong "freeze response" in times of stress. Aleena and Janine take a look at some research into the freeze response, which is distinct from the fight or flight response, in both humans and other animals. Essentially, this is where the parasympathetic nervous system takes over during a stressful event, and there can be actual muscle paralysis. It has been documented when the brain assesses that fight and flight are not viable options. Janine also shares loads of cute and insightful stuff about her new rescue greyhound, and Aleena introduces a new segment to the podcast, without clearing it with Janine first... Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website. Mastering of this episode, plus intro and outro music, by the ever-talented Dr Adrian Diery
43 minutes | Jan 29, 2022
14. New Year’s Resolutions: can we use science to make them stick?
Welcome to 2022! You might have mixed feelings about what is to come in the year ahead... a new year often brings a lot of hope, excitement and promise, but with so much uncertainty in the world at the moment, many are feeling quite despondent, and justifiably so. It follows that many of us have been less successful with attaining resolutions and goals over the past few years, mostly due to Covid-related disruption. Aleena and Janine decided to check out the research literature around New Year’s resolutions – what can we learn that might be helpful in setting the right goals for us this year and in getting them to stick? They also square out about the world's first *true* millipede, and explore the most efficient way to change a doona cover. Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website Mastering of this episode, plus intro and outro music, by the ever-talented Dr Adrian Diery.
38 minutes | Dec 15, 2021
13. Muck up day 2021!
In the spirit of the traditional 'muck up day' on the last day of school in Australia, Aleena and Janine mix things up a bit in this episode... They reflect on Sister Doctor Squared turning 1, the many random and interesting things they've learned during the first year, and conduct the first ever Sister Doctor Squared Awards Ceremony, complete with lame and inexpensive sound effects - you don't want to miss those! Plus, they share the first ever Sister Doctor Squared music playlist - many hours of listening pleasure for you coming right up... Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website. Mastering of this episode, plus intro and outro music by the ever-talented Dr Adrian Diery.
44 minutes | Nov 19, 2021
12. Scared of needles? Science has some answers.
With vaccination rates currently a topic of daily conversation, Aleena and Janine have been looking into what factors might be behind poor vaccination rates in some settings. They are surprised to find that fear or phobia of needles could be an important contributor to vaccine hesitancy. They also got their square on when voluntary primary-school level maths practice took over at their recent lunch date. Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website. Mastering of this episode, plus intro and outro music by the ever-talented Dr Adrian Diery.
33 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
11. Distorted sense of time: how is this possible?
Aleena and Janine investigate how the passage of time can often feel slower or faster even when, objectively, we know that time is always passing at a constant rate. Why do some days drag on while others disappear in a flash? How is it possible that things can feel like they are happening in slow motion during traumatic events? Aleena also shares the latest scientific experiments involving knives made out of human poo (yes, you read that right), and Janine has been questioning the reality of her very existence thanks to a certain YouTube video. Full show notes at Sister Doctor Squared website. Mastering of this episode, plus intro and outro music, by the ever-talented Dr Adrian Diery.
34 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
10. Why is cancer so rare in whales?
Janine was helping some students with high school genetics when she came across some fascinating research suggesting that whales and other cetacean mammals hardly ever get cancer. She and Aleena were super intrigued and just had to know why, especially as there is such a strong history of cancer in their family. Meanwhile, Aleena tells us how she spent a recent Friday night exploring the ins and outs of Excel pivot tables, and Janine outlines her accidental experiment which proves once and for all that her new favourite pens are not magical at all. Full show notes at Sister Doctor Squared website. Audio mastering, plus into and outro music by Dr Adrian Diery
43 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
9. Antibiotic resistance: what's the deal?
Aleena was recently offered antibiotics by a doctor, for a situation where antibiotics were completely inappropriate. She called immediately called Janine and it was decided that they just needed to do an episode about this massive issue. Meanwhile, Aleena has been partnering with her cat and doing some citizen science experiments, while Janine is stuck in another research rabbit hole: this time about counterfeit fruit and fruit piracy (of course!). Full show notes at Sister Doctor Squared website. Audio mastering, plus intro and outro music by Dr Adrian Diery.
39 minutes | May 11, 2021
8. The 'nocebo' effect: just as important as the placebo effect?
Janine and Aleena kick off by summarising the well-established 'placebo' effect, before focusing in on the lesser-known 'nocebo' effect. What's the difference? How might these affects play a big role in treatment effectiveness? Can these effects be minimised? Janine also confesses to sub-par performance on a university assignment and Aleena shares some long-overdue pool noodle wisdom. Full show notes at Sister Doctor Squared website. Audio mastering, plus intro and outro music, by Dr Adrian Diery
55 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
7. Why do bowerbirds hoard and steal blue stuff?
Aleena and Janine respond to a listener request for an episode about their own scientific research. They're happy to oblige! They kick off with Janine's past research into satin bowerbirds and explain just why males collect, hoard, and steal so much random blue stuff! Meanwhile, Aleena discusses her own peculiar past habit of collecting local bus tickets, and Janine is trying to do a self-portrait - but not the standard kind (the existentialist kind, of course!). Full show notes at Sister Doctor Squared website. Audio mastering, plus intro and outro music, by Dr Adrian Diery
46 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
6. Why do we cry?
In this episode, Aleena and Janine get stuck into the research around human crying. Why do we do it? How did this bizarre behaviour even evolve? Why are humans the only animals shedding tears due to emotion? Should we hold in the tears or let them flow? Meanwhile Aleena then shares her newfound appreciation for protective eyewear for doggos and Janine explains how she is attempting to keep her new mobile phone for more than 5 years and nerds out about battery science! Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website Intro and Outro music by Dr Adrian Diery
30 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
5. What is La Niña? Can it really lead to diarrhoea?
In this episode, Aleena and Janine respond to a listener question (#exciting!): Deepak got in touch to ask them to explain the La Niña weather cycle that he keeps hearing about in the news in Australia this Summer. They start by breaking down the science that causes La Niña (and El Niño) weather patterns across the globe. Then they go deeper into some research showing how this global weather system can lead to or worsen diarrhoeal disease and even increase the likelihood of future pandemics. Meanwhile, Aleena explains why she can now recite the Nato Phonetic Alphabet, and Janine regales us with tales of a card game for any fellow evolutionary biology nerds! Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website Intro and Outro music by Dr Adrian Diery
37 minutes | Dec 29, 2020
4. Clutter in your home? What does the science say?
Aleena and Janine open this episode by chatting about how physics may partly explain your messy house. They go deeper into the scientific literature about clutter in your home - how bad is it really? And what can you do about it? Do Marie Kondo's methods really work? What does 'sparking joy' even mean?! They are well placed to chat about all of this as they recently (and finally) cleared their remaining stuff out of the childhood home (it only took them 20 years!). And of course they found quite a few items that speak to their longstanding inner squares... Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website. Intro and Outro music by Dr Adrian Diery
34 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
3. Why are we so obsessed with true crime?
WARNING: This episode contains discussion related to violent crime that may be distressing for some listeners. In episode 3, Aleena and Janine admit to spending countless hours engaging in true crime media. They really want to get to the bottom of why they, and so many of us, are so obsessed with this stuff! The research they present sheds light on the psychology and evolutionary biology that might be behind our motivations. Meanwhile Janine explains her recent deep dive into primary school handwriting rules and downloadable fonts, while Aleena reveals how she tried to use science to win a culinary debate in the family (it didn’t go so well). Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website. Intro and Outro music by Dr Adrian Diery
28 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
2. Multitasking: myth or not?
In this episode, Aleena and Janine delve in to the evidence behind multitasking – is it a myth or not? Janine’s consistent inability to multitask has always been a source of much amusement within the family. Aleena, on the other hand, has always appeared to be an effective multitasker. Their research delivers some clear evidence on whether multitasking is possible and one of them has to eat their words. Meanwhile Janine explains her recent foray into straw-hoarding and Aleena rants about the lack of transparency when it comes word-inclusion decisions for Scrabble and Words with Friends. Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website.
41 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
1. The Novel Coronavirus
Aleena and Janine kick off the Sister Doctor Squared podcast by discussing the most pressing issue in our world right now: coronavirus. In this episode they delve into some aspects of the underlying biology of the virus, and also people’s psychological responses to the pandemic. Somehow they also end up discussing toileting and cat poo. Full show notes at the Sister Doctor Squared website.
8 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
Introducing Sister Doctor Squared
Well hello there! This is a podcast where sisters Aleena and Janine get super chatty about research into science, health, psychology and more. In this short intro episode, they explain who the hell they are and that they already have a ridiculously long list of topics that they’ll probably never get through, and rattle off a few of the ideas (hope you like!). Aleena and Janine embrace how they’re 100% squares and proud of it. Plus there is some cool music to bop along to. Enjoy. Learn more at the Sister Doctor Squared website.
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