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Up Close podcast

Can't give it up: The science behind addiction and the brain

By Andi Horvath

Behavioral neuroscientist Prof Andrew Lawrence discusses addictive and compulsive behaviors around drug and alcohol use, the power of psychological dependence, and how the brains of addicts differ from those of the rest of us.

Germ warfare: Young researchers seeking answers to diverse microbe threats

By Andi Horvath

Two young science researchers discuss their investigations of microbes that threaten, respectively, human health and our food supply. We chat with Claire Gorrie about aspects of the drug-resistant bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, and how it's implicated in serious infections. And Rebecca Vandegeer tells us how the Barley Yellow Dwarf virus strips our wheat crops of their defences, posing a threat to food security.


Hello, Pet! Our love can hurt our animal friends

By Peter Clarke

Bioethicist Peter Sandøe discusses our complicated relationship with animals and the associated moral dilemmas, including how our love for companion animals can actually cause harm and the difference between society’s treatment of pets and production animals.

Hello. I'm Peter Clarke. Welcome to Up Close. We human animals, homo sapiens, have a very mixed relationship with the other animals on this planet. We're fascinated by them. We admire them. We even love them. But, simultaneously, we oppress them, kill them, make them suffer and, perhaps, even deny ourselves the full realisation of their intelligences and their emotions.

Brain in a Dish: the therapeutic potential of stem cells and organoids

By Andi Horvath

Epilepsy researcher Steve Petrou and developmental neuroscientist Miranda Dottori discuss the potential of organoids, miniature immature organs grown in dishes, particularly for future epilepsy and autism research.


Cell Sell: The ethics of the transnational human tissue market

By Elisabeth Lopez

Stem cell expert Megan Munsie and bioethicist Dominique Martin discuss medical tourism and the hidden transnational trade in transplant organs and stem cells, considering their ethics, legislative implications and what the future might hold.

Hello. I'm Elisabeth Lopez. Thanks for joining us.

Weeds girdle the globe: The marauding march of invasive plant species

By Andi Horvath

Plant population specialist Prof Roger Cousens talks about how the spread of undesirable plants, or “weeds”, has dramatically redefined the world’s natural landscapes and coastlines, and what this means for us economically, aesthetically and environmentally.


Wild and domestic: A cultural history of human-animal relations

By Andi Horvath

Environmental historian Prof Harriet Ritvo recounts the often ambiguous relationships between the human and animal worlds through history, and explores our need to both tame and take inspiration from the wild.


Disciples of the interdisciplinary: Researchers crossing boundaries to unleash creativity

By Andi Horvath

Neuroscientist and science communicator Dr Daniel Glaser discusses the synergistic dividends that arise from research efforts that cross traditional research domains.


I’m Dr Andi Horvath. Thanks for joining us. Today, we bring you Up Close to where science and art collide, where unexpected new innovations can arise. I'm talking about the interdisciplinary space where the traditional research disciplines cross-fertilise to be a source of synergy, creativity and new knowledge.

Brain ever changing: Neuroplasticity and its role in mental health

By Andi Horvath

Behavioural neuroscientist Prof Anthony Hannan gives a neuro-researcher’s view of the dynamic, bidirectional interplay of brain and body, and the protective and destructive implications for both our mental and physical health.


Cannabis research: The state of the science in an age of weed liberalization

By Eric van Bemmel

Psychiatrist and clinical researcher Prof David Castle discusses how cannabis represents both a public health risk and a wide-ranging therapeutic opportunity, as the once “evil weed” gains greater legal acceptance for recreational and medical use.