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20150409

Dr Lucie Green investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Dr Lucie Green and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

20150409

Dr Lucie Green investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Dr Lucie Green and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

20150416

Tracey Logan investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150416

Tracey Logan investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150423

Tracey Logan investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150423

Tracey Logan investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150430

The news in science and science in the news.

20150430

The news in science and science in the news.

20150507
20150507
20150514
20150514
20150528
20150528
20150604
20150604
20150611
20150611
20150618
20150618
20150625
20150625
20150702
20150702
20150709

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150709
20150709

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150709
20150716

The flyby of Pluto. Adam Rutherford with early pictures from New Horizons space probe.

It's billed as the last great encounter in planetary exploration. For the past nine years the New Horizons spacecraft has travelled 5bn km (3bn miles) to get to Pluto and on July 14th it performs its historic fly-by encounter with the dwarf planet.

Adam Rutherford examines the first images from the New Horizon's probe and hears the first interpretations from mission leaders and scientists at the NASA New Horizon's space centre as the data arrives back to earth. Expect new light to be shed on the Solar System's underworld.

For people who grew up with the idea that there were "nine planets", this is the moment they get to complete the set. Robotic probes have been to all the others, even the distant Uranus and Neptune. Pluto is the last of the "classical nine" to receive a visit. Of course, this 2,300km-wide ice-covered rock was demoted in 2006 to the status of mere "dwarf planet", but scientists say this shouldn't dull our enthusiasm.

It was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh on 18 February 1930 and is named after the Roman god of the underworld. It lies an average of 5.9bn km from Sun and orbits every 248 years and has a thin nitrogen atmosphere that comes and goes.

As Adam Rutherford reveals, nothing about this corner of the solar system has been straightforward. Little is known about Pluto's creation -but as the New Horizons probe passes Pluto for this first close up of the dwarf planet , scientists anticipate new insights into how planets and moons form.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

20150716

The flyby of Pluto. Adam Rutherford with early pictures from New Horizons space probe.

It's billed as the last great encounter in planetary exploration. For the past nine years the New Horizons spacecraft has travelled 5bn km (3bn miles) to get to Pluto and on July 14th it performs its historic fly-by encounter with the dwarf planet.

Adam Rutherford examines the first images from the New Horizon's probe and hears the first interpretations from mission leaders and scientists at the NASA New Horizon's space centre as the data arrives back to earth. Expect new light to be shed on the Solar System's underworld.

For people who grew up with the idea that there were "nine planets", this is the moment they get to complete the set. Robotic probes have been to all the others, even the distant Uranus and Neptune. Pluto is the last of the "classical nine" to receive a visit. Of course, this 2,300km-wide ice-covered rock was demoted in 2006 to the status of mere "dwarf planet", but scientists say this shouldn't dull our enthusiasm.

It was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh on 18 February 1930 and is named after the Roman god of the underworld. It lies an average of 5.9bn km from Sun and orbits every 248 years and has a thin nitrogen atmosphere that comes and goes.

As Adam Rutherford reveals, nothing about this corner of the solar system has been straightforward. Little is known about Pluto's creation -but as the New Horizons probe passes Pluto for this first close up of the dwarf planet , scientists anticipate new insights into how planets and moons form.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

20150723
20150723
20150730

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150730

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150813

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150813

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150820

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150820

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150827

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150827

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150903

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20150903

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151008

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151008

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151022

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151022

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151105

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151105

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151203

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151203

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151210
20151210
20151217
20151217
20151224

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20151224

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160114

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160114

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160204

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160204

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160211

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160211

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160218
20160218
20160303

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160303

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160310

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160310

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160317

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160317

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160505

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

20160505

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Ancient Farmers' Genomes, Alice At Cern, Astrophysics Questions20151126

Ancient genome research shows the effect of the introduction of farming to Europe.

Ancient farmers' genomes

New research looking at the DNA of people who lived in Europe as early as 8500 years ago shows signs of evolution, of natural selection, and of how farming has changed Europe in the last few millennia. The huge sample of 230 ancient individuals includes 26 Neolithic people from Anatolia thought to be the very first farmers.

Cern's ALICE Experiment

Adam visits CERN in Geneva, to see ALICE (A Large Ion Collision Experiment). ALICE is designed to investigate one of the four fundamental forces in the Universe. The strong nuclear force is the most powerful, but only over a very short distance. It is what holds quarks together, and quarks stuck together in the right conformation make neutrons and protons. Protons and neutrons stuck together plus electrons make up atoms, which is what everything is made of

Listeners Questions on Astrophysics

Space physicists, Dr. Carole Haswell from the Open University and Dr Andrew Pontzen from UCL answer your questions about the force of gravity, the size of stars, the volume of matter and more.

Producer:Fiona Roberts.

Ancient Farmers' Genomes, Alice At Cern, Astrophysics Questions20151126

Ancient genome research shows the effect of the introduction of farming to Europe.

Ancient farmers' genomes

New research looking at the DNA of people who lived in Europe as early as 8500 years ago shows signs of evolution, of natural selection, and of how farming has changed Europe in the last few millennia. The huge sample of 230 ancient individuals includes 26 Neolithic people from Anatolia thought to be the very first farmers.

Cern's ALICE Experiment

Adam visits CERN in Geneva, to see ALICE (A Large Ion Collision Experiment). ALICE is designed to investigate one of the four fundamental forces in the Universe. The strong nuclear force is the most powerful, but only over a very short distance. It is what holds quarks together, and quarks stuck together in the right conformation make neutrons and protons. Protons and neutrons stuck together plus electrons make up atoms, which is what everything is made of

Listeners Questions on Astrophysics

Space physicists, Dr. Carole Haswell from the Open University and Dr Andrew Pontzen from UCL answer your questions about the force of gravity, the size of stars, the volume of matter and more.

Producer:Fiona Roberts.

Antarctic Ice Sheet Instability, Groundwater, Accents, Fluorescent Coral20151119

Melting Antarctic ice sheet will not lead to as big a sea level rise as previously thought

Antarctic ice-sheet instability

A new study models how the ice sheets in Antarctica will react if greenhouse gases rise at a medium to high rate. They predict the most likely outcome is a rise in global sea level of about 10cm by 2100. Previous research had put this figure at 30cm: this has not been ruled out by the new research, but it's been ruled much less likely.

Groundwater

The Earth's groundwater has been quantified - it's estimated to be 23 million cubic km. (which is equivalent to the Earth's entire land surface covered in a layer some 180m deep.) However, just 6% of the water is available for our use and to take part in the hydrogeological cycle. That small fraction is referred to as "modern" groundwater: it is extractable because it is near the surface, and can be used to supplement above-ground resources in rivers and lakes. But it's also the most sensitive to over use, climate change and to human contamination.

Fluorescent coral

Adam visits the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton to see some fluorescent corals and asks how they can be utilised for medical imaging.

Accents

How are our accents changing? A three year study at University of Glasgow has found that Scottish accents haven't changed as much as English accents (which have become much more homogenised over the past 100 years). By listening to recordings from first World War Scottish prisoners of war, the Sounds of the City project has noticed that changes to Glaswegian accents have occurred over a much longer time frame than previously thought. But these changes have occurred locally - not in the same way or to the extent that it is thought English accents have evolved.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

Antarctic Ice Sheet Instability, Groundwater, Accents, Fluorescent Coral20151119

Melting Antarctic ice sheet will not lead to as big a sea level rise as previously thought

Antarctic ice-sheet instability

A new study models how the ice sheets in Antarctica will react if greenhouse gases rise at a medium to high rate. They predict the most likely outcome is a rise in global sea level of about 10cm by 2100. Previous research had put this figure at 30cm: this has not been ruled out by the new research, but it's been ruled much less likely.

Groundwater

The Earth's groundwater has been quantified - it's estimated to be 23 million cubic km. (which is equivalent to the Earth's entire land surface covered in a layer some 180m deep.) However, just 6% of the water is available for our use and to take part in the hydrogeological cycle. That small fraction is referred to as "modern" groundwater: it is extractable because it is near the surface, and can be used to supplement above-ground resources in rivers and lakes. But it's also the most sensitive to over use, climate change and to human contamination.

Fluorescent coral

Adam visits the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton to see some fluorescent corals and asks how they can be utilised for medical imaging.

Accents

How are our accents changing? A three year study at University of Glasgow has found that Scottish accents haven't changed as much as English accents (which have become much more homogenised over the past 100 years). By listening to recordings from first World War Scottish prisoners of war, the Sounds of the City project has noticed that changes to Glaswegian accents have occurred over a much longer time frame than previously thought. But these changes have occurred locally - not in the same way or to the extent that it is thought English accents have evolved.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

El Nino Special20160107

How the current El Nino event is affecting lives in the UK and around the world.

El Niño is releasing vast quantities of heat normally stored in the Pacific, causing floods, droughts and fires. Adam Rutherford discusses the latest with our El Niño expert Roland Pease.

This weather event arrives every 2-7 years but it's hard to work out how profound it will be. Back in May last year, the Met Office climate scientist Adam Scaife correctly predicted an El Niño. He returns to give an overview of this phenomenon.

How does an altered weather pattern in the Pacific end up altering the weather in Cumbria. Tim Stockdale and Richard Allan at Reading University explain the science behind the current events.

The rains are coming to drought-ridden California as a result of El Niño. Jack Stewart explains why this is not entirely a good thing.

Professor Sue Page from Leicester University and Professor Martin Wooster from KCL study the Indonesian fires exacerbated by an El Niño event. They describe the devastating effects of these fires. An estimated 15,000 deaths can be attributed to the previous El Niño burning and it has added 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

El Nino Special20160107

How the current El Nino event is affecting lives in the UK and around the world.

El Niño is releasing vast quantities of heat normally stored in the Pacific, causing floods, droughts and fires. Adam Rutherford discusses the latest with our El Niño expert Roland Pease.

This weather event arrives every 2-7 years but it's hard to work out how profound it will be. Back in May last year, the Met Office climate scientist Adam Scaife correctly predicted an El Niño. He returns to give an overview of this phenomenon.

How does an altered weather pattern in the Pacific end up altering the weather in Cumbria. Tim Stockdale and Richard Allan at Reading University explain the science behind the current events.

The rains are coming to drought-ridden California as a result of El Niño. Jack Stewart explains why this is not entirely a good thing.

Professor Sue Page from Leicester University and Professor Martin Wooster from KCL study the Indonesian fires exacerbated by an El Niño event. They describe the devastating effects of these fires. An estimated 15,000 deaths can be attributed to the previous El Niño burning and it has added 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

El Nino, Echolocation, Seasons, Snakes20150521
El Nino, Echolocation, Seasons, Snakes20150521
Flu, Coffee Yeasts, Wave Machine, Cochlear Implants20160324

The flu season is running later this year. And it has been unusually virulent.

Professor Wendy Barclay, virologist at Imperial College London, tells Tracey Logan about the constant race to keep up with flu mutations in order to build an effective vaccine.

Wine has a microbial terroir which is thought to affect its taste. A new paper suggests coffee and chocolate might do too. Aimee Dudley from the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute in Seattle has studied global populations of yeast found on cacao and coffee beans. She explains that these yeast varieties are genetically diverse. Tracey Logan travels to coffee supplier Union, to meet scientist-turned-coffee-buyer, Steve Macatonia, and unpick the flavours of coffee.

In Delft, the world's biggest artificial waves are pitted against a new kind of super-strong sea wall. The Delta Flume team, led by Mark Klein Breteler, has created a giant concrete channel with a wave generator. Reporter Roland Pease turns up in time to see the team testing their artificial waves against a 10 metre dyke.

People with cochlear implants hear a degraded version of speech. Using subtitles helps train the brain to understand it faster. Matt Davis and Ed Sohoglu from the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Science Unit in Cambridge suggest that this feeds into a model of how the brain learns called Perception Learning.

Predicting how the flu virus mutates could help make better vaccines to fight it.

Flu, Coffee Yeasts, Wave Machine, Cochlear Implants20160324

The flu season is running later this year. And it has been unusually virulent.

Professor Wendy Barclay, virologist at Imperial College London, tells Tracey Logan about the constant race to keep up with flu mutations in order to build an effective vaccine.

Wine has a microbial terroir which is thought to affect its taste. A new paper suggests coffee and chocolate might do too. Aimee Dudley from the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute in Seattle has studied global populations of yeast found on cacao and coffee beans. She explains that these yeast varieties are genetically diverse. Tracey Logan travels to coffee supplier Union, to meet scientist-turned-coffee-buyer, Steve Macatonia, and unpick the flavours of coffee.

In Delft, the world's biggest artificial waves are pitted against a new kind of super-strong sea wall. The Delta Flume team, led by Mark Klein Breteler, has created a giant concrete channel with a wave generator. Reporter Roland Pease turns up in time to see the team testing their artificial waves against a 10 metre dyke.

People with cochlear implants hear a degraded version of speech. Using subtitles helps train the brain to understand it faster. Matt Davis and Ed Sohoglu from the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Science Unit in Cambridge suggest that this feeds into a model of how the brain learns called Perception Learning.

Predicting how the flu virus mutates could help make better vaccines to fight it.

Gravitational Waves, Uk Spaceport, Big Brains And Extinction Risk, Conservation In Papua New Guinea20160218

Gravitational waves were announced last week, in what may be the science discovery of the decade. The Ligo detector, the most sensitive instrument on the surface of the planet, detected the ripples given off by the collision of two black holes. Adam Rutherford puts a selection of listener questions to UCL cosmologist Dr Andrew Pontzen.

In March 2015, Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick, Stornoway, Newquay, Llanbedr and Leuchars were shortlisted by the government as possible sites for a "cosmodrome" or spaceport. With the UK space industry worth an estimated £40 billion by 2030, various stakeholders met for the UK spaceport conference at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London to discuss the progress of the project. What would the impact be for scientists, industry and the public?

Big brains have traditionally been considered an advantage. Animals with larger brains are better at using tools, working as a social group and assessing how to react to predators. But when Dr Eric Abelson cross referenced relative brain size against the mammals on the endangered list, he found something surprising. Many animals with the bigger brains are threatened within extinction. He talks to Adam about why that may be.

Tim Cockerill, ecologist and adventurer, returns from Papua New Guinea to discuss how one group of indigenous people have decided to work with scientists in order to conserve and study their local environment.

Adam Rutherford puts listeners' gravitational wave queries to cosmologist Andrew Pontzen.

Gravitational Waves, Uk Spaceport, Big Brains And Extinction Risk, Conservation In Papua New Guinea20160218

Gravitational waves were announced last week, in what may be the science discovery of the decade. The Ligo detector, the most sensitive instrument on the surface of the planet, detected the ripples given off by the collision of two black holes. Adam Rutherford puts a selection of listener questions to UCL cosmologist Dr Andrew Pontzen.

In March 2015, Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick, Stornoway, Newquay, Llanbedr and Leuchars were shortlisted by the government as possible sites for a "cosmodrome" or spaceport. With the UK space industry worth an estimated £40 billion by 2030, various stakeholders met for the UK spaceport conference at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London to discuss the progress of the project. What would the impact be for scientists, industry and the public?

Big brains have traditionally been considered an advantage. Animals with larger brains are better at using tools, working as a social group and assessing how to react to predators. But when Dr Eric Abelson cross referenced relative brain size against the mammals on the endangered list, he found something surprising. Many animals with the bigger brains are threatened within extinction. He talks to Adam about why that may be.

Tim Cockerill, ecologist and adventurer, returns from Papua New Guinea to discuss how one group of indigenous people have decided to work with scientists in order to conserve and study their local environment.

Adam Rutherford puts listeners' gravitational wave queries to cosmologist Andrew Pontzen.

Hiroshima Radiation, Anthropocene, Bonobo Noises, Physicist Henry Moseley20150806

Adam Rutherford presents discussion on the radiation effects from the Hiroshima bomb.

In the 70 years since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what are the long term effects of exposure to radiation? Adam Rutherford talks to Professor Richard Wakeford who has been studying radiation for many years about his research following the nuclear bombings as well as nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima. Marnie Chesterton talks to one of the short-listed entries for the Royal Society Winton book prize, Gaia Vince for her book, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made. Other short-listed entries are:

*The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam - a scientific and personal memoir of a life with OCD.

*Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Johnjoe Mcfadden and Jim Al-Khalili

*Alex Through the Looking-Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life by Alex Bellos

*Smashing Physics by Jon Butterworth - an insider's account of the discovery of the Higgs boson

*Life's Greatest Secret: The Story of the Race to Crack the Genetic Code by Matthew Cobb

Also, Adam talks to Zanna Clay about research into our closest relatives, the bonobos and the unique 'peep' noises they make and why they could provide clues to the evolution of human language. Roland Pease reports on one of Britain's great yet little known physicists, Henry Moseley. He died in the First World War but in just 18 months of research transformed ideas about X-rays and the atom and the Periodic Table of elements.

Hiroshima Radiation, Anthropocene, Bonobo Noises, Physicist Henry Moseley20150806

Adam Rutherford presents discussion on the radiation effects from the Hiroshima bomb.

In the 70 years since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, what are the long term effects of exposure to radiation? Adam Rutherford talks to Professor Richard Wakeford who has been studying radiation for many years about his research following the nuclear bombings as well as nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima. Marnie Chesterton talks to one of the short-listed entries for the Royal Society Winton book prize, Gaia Vince for her book, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made. Other short-listed entries are:

*The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam - a scientific and personal memoir of a life with OCD.

*Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Johnjoe Mcfadden and Jim Al-Khalili

*Alex Through the Looking-Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life by Alex Bellos

*Smashing Physics by Jon Butterworth - an insider's account of the discovery of the Higgs boson

*Life's Greatest Secret: The Story of the Race to Crack the Genetic Code by Matthew Cobb

Also, Adam talks to Zanna Clay about research into our closest relatives, the bonobos and the unique 'peep' noises they make and why they could provide clues to the evolution of human language. Roland Pease reports on one of Britain's great yet little known physicists, Henry Moseley. He died in the First World War but in just 18 months of research transformed ideas about X-rays and the atom and the Periodic Table of elements.

Sex-change Tree, Pluto's Cryovolcanoes, Sellafield's Plutonium, Ant Super-organisms20151112

Adam Rutherford asks whether Britain's oldest tree has changed sex.

Britain's oldest tree changes sex - The science behind the headlines - this week it was reported that the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire (known to be a male tree, over 2-5000 years old) had started to produce berries (female) on one of its branches. Dr. Max Coleman from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh explains that sexuality in plants is more fluid than in animals.

Cryo-volcanoes on Pluto

The latest observations from the New Horizons mission to Pluto show possible volcanic-type structures made from ice. The mountains have what appear to be caldera-like depressions in the top.

Unlike volcanoes on Earth, that erupt molten rock, the suspected volcanoes on Pluto, would likely erupt an icy slush of substances such as water, nitrogen, ammonia or methane.

Sellafield's plutonium

The nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria has amassed around 140 tonnes of plutonium on site. This is the largest stockpile of civil plutonium in the world. For now it is being stored without a long-term plan, which is costly and insecure. At some point a decision will need to be taken on how it is dealt with. The estimated clean-up costs are between £90-250 billion, which means the pressure to make the right decision is massive. Should we convert it into useable fuel or get rid of it? And how secure is it in its current state?

Ant super-organisms

Ants behave as a super-organism when under predation threat - complex chemical communication in rock ants are key to how they behave as a unit to different threats.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

Sex-change Tree, Pluto's Cryovolcanoes, Sellafield's Plutonium, Ant Super-organisms20151112

Adam Rutherford asks whether Britain's oldest tree has changed sex.

Britain's oldest tree changes sex - The science behind the headlines - this week it was reported that the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire (known to be a male tree, over 2-5000 years old) had started to produce berries (female) on one of its branches. Dr. Max Coleman from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh explains that sexuality in plants is more fluid than in animals.

Cryo-volcanoes on Pluto

The latest observations from the New Horizons mission to Pluto show possible volcanic-type structures made from ice. The mountains have what appear to be caldera-like depressions in the top.

Unlike volcanoes on Earth, that erupt molten rock, the suspected volcanoes on Pluto, would likely erupt an icy slush of substances such as water, nitrogen, ammonia or methane.

Sellafield's plutonium

The nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria has amassed around 140 tonnes of plutonium on site. This is the largest stockpile of civil plutonium in the world. For now it is being stored without a long-term plan, which is costly and insecure. At some point a decision will need to be taken on how it is dealt with. The estimated clean-up costs are between £90-250 billion, which means the pressure to make the right decision is massive. Should we convert it into useable fuel or get rid of it? And how secure is it in its current state?

Ant super-organisms

Ants behave as a super-organism when under predation threat - complex chemical communication in rock ants are key to how they behave as a unit to different threats.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015

In a special programme to mark, amongst other things, the centenary of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, Adam Rutherford is joined by The Film Programme's Francine Stock to explore the theme of time-travel - in science, in film and as film. With studio guest, science writer Marcus Chown, they'll discuss time-machines - as imagined by scientists and film-makers; the grandfather of all paradoxes; the notion of the multiverse and how the pioneers of cinema created their own 'time-machines' through the art of editing. And to mark Back the Future Day, otherwise known as 21 October 2015, they talk to director Robert Zemeckis about how and why he imagined a future with hover-boards but, oddly, no smart phones.

Producers: Stephen Hughes and Rami Tzabar.

Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015

Adam Rutherford and Francine Stock explore time travel in science and cinema.

Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015

Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015
Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015

In a special programme to mark, amongst other things, the centenary of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, Adam Rutherford is joined by The Film Programme's Francine Stock to explore the theme of time-travel - in science, in film and as film. With studio guest, science writer Marcus Chown, they'll discuss time-machines - as imagined by scientists and film-makers; the grandfather of all paradoxes; the notion of the multiverse and how the pioneers of cinema created their own 'time-machines' through the art of editing. And to mark Back the Future Day, otherwise known as 21 October 2015, they talk to director Robert Zemeckis about how and why he imagined a future with hover-boards but, oddly, no smart phones.

Producers: Stephen Hughes and Rami Tzabar.

Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015

Adam Rutherford and Francine Stock explore time travel in science and cinema.

Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015

Time Travel In Science And Cinema20151015
Uk Science And The Eu, Sex Of Organs, Artificial Colon, Gorillas Call When Eating20160225

What does a Brexit mean for UK science?

Britain faces a referendum on whether to leave Europe. Science, and scientists, often cross borders in collaborations, so what would the implications be for a British exit from the EU? The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee have an ongoing inquiry into how EU membership influences British science. Inside Science condenses the pertinent points.

The stem cells that make up our organs 'know' whether they are 'male' or 'female', and that this sexual identity could influence how they grow and behave. Dr Irene Miguel-Aliaga, at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London, wanted to ask a very basic question: whether it is just the cells of the sex organs of a fully developed organism that 'know' their sexual identity, or whether this is true of cells in other organs too - and whether that matters. It was previously thought that non-reproductive organs are the same in both sexes, and function differently because of the differences in circulating hormones, but her new research suggests that cells know their sex.

At Birmingham University, chemical engineers have built a working prototype of an artificial human colon, the first of its kind. The colon does the last bit of moving your food out of your body, mixing it, squeezing the last few nutrients and excess water out of it. The team want to use it to measure drug delivery to the colon.

Talking with your mouth full is an unattractive trait, but for other, non-human, great apes it is a normal part of meal time. The noises recorded by a team at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology are from the silverback Western lowland Gorilla. Primatologist Eva Luef explains that this humming and singing during meal time is a way of signalling without wasting valuable eating time.

Write On Kew Festival At Kew Gardens, Preserving Global Biodiversity20151001

Adam Rutherford is at Kew Gardens to discuss challenges in preserving global biodiversity.

Write On Kew Festival At Kew Gardens, Preserving Global Biodiversity20151001

A special edition recorded in front of an audience at Write on Kew, the Royal Botanical Garden's new literary festival. Adam Rutherford examines the science behind the global challenges and innovative solutions to preserving the essential biodiversity of the planet. From new perspectives on how plant populations can be made more resilient, to the remarkable genetic diversity of plants just being revealed by new analytical techniques, to coffee - and how one of our most prolific yet threatened commodities be protected from a changing climate. Do we need a radical new approach - are the large scale climate fixes offered by geoengineering the right solution? Adam Rutherford is joined by panellists: Kew's Director of Science, Kathy Willis; evolutionary botanist, Ilia Leitch, Kew's research leader in plant resources, Aaron Davis and author Oliver Morton.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

Write On Kew Festival At Kew Gardens, Preserving Global Biodiversity20151001
Write On Kew Festival At Kew Gardens, Preserving Global Biodiversity20151001

Adam Rutherford is at Kew Gardens to discuss challenges in preserving global biodiversity.

Write On Kew Festival At Kew Gardens, Preserving Global Biodiversity20151001

A special edition recorded in front of an audience at Write on Kew, the Royal Botanical Garden's new literary festival. Adam Rutherford examines the science behind the global challenges and innovative solutions to preserving the essential biodiversity of the planet. From new perspectives on how plant populations can be made more resilient, to the remarkable genetic diversity of plants just being revealed by new analytical techniques, to coffee - and how one of our most prolific yet threatened commodities be protected from a changing climate. Do we need a radical new approach - are the large scale climate fixes offered by geoengineering the right solution? Adam Rutherford is joined by panellists: Kew's Director of Science, Kathy Willis; evolutionary botanist, Ilia Leitch, Kew's research leader in plant resources, Aaron Davis and author Oliver Morton.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

Write On Kew Festival At Kew Gardens, Preserving Global Biodiversity20151001
56Science's Fascination With The Face20140724

Adam discusses the ethics and privacy issues surrounding facial recognition programmes.

Face recognition

The software that analyses images of your face, captured online or when you're out and about, has rapidly improved. Adam visits Amscreen, to test the cameras they deploy at supermarket checkouts to determine your age and sex, to inform advertisers of the best demographic to target. This raises ethical and privacy issues which Adam discusses with privacy expert Professor Colin Bennett and author of "The formula, about algorithms and the algorithm culture", Luke Dormehl.

Quantifying expressions

Is a look of contempt, or a smile, a universal expression or do they vary across cultures? Marnie Chesterton visits Glasgow University's Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, where the scientists are building a huge database of faces, in order to unpick and quantify our expressions. Dr Oliver Garrod from the Generative Face Grammar Group demonstrates how they can capture your face, and animate it.

Evolutionary psychology

There is a long list of evolutionary explanations for the human condition. Mostly these are quite trivial. Teen boys develop acne on their faces to deter females from fertile but psychologically immature mates. Babies cry at night to prevent parents further procreating, resulting in potential sibling rivals. At the other end of the scale, these sorts of explanations have been used to suggest deeply problematic ideas, such as rape being an evolutionary strategy.

Professor David Canter, a psychologist from University of Huddersfield has railed against this fashion for 'biologising' our behaviour. And evolutionary biologist Professor Alice Roberts is also critical of 'adaptionism' - the idea that everything has evolved for an optimal purpose.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

56Science's Fascination With The Face20140724

Adam discusses the ethics and privacy issues surrounding facial recognition programmes.

Face recognition

The software that analyses images of your face, captured online or when you're out and about, has rapidly improved. Adam visits Amscreen, to test the cameras they deploy at supermarket checkouts to determine your age and sex, to inform advertisers of the best demographic to target. This raises ethical and privacy issues which Adam discusses with privacy expert Professor Colin Bennett and author of "The formula, about algorithms and the algorithm culture", Luke Dormehl.

Quantifying expressions

Is a look of contempt, or a smile, a universal expression or do they vary across cultures? Marnie Chesterton visits Glasgow University's Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, where the scientists are building a huge database of faces, in order to unpick and quantify our expressions. Dr Oliver Garrod from the Generative Face Grammar Group demonstrates how they can capture your face, and animate it.

Evolutionary psychology

There is a long list of evolutionary explanations for the human condition. Mostly these are quite trivial. Teen boys develop acne on their faces to deter females from fertile but psychologically immature mates. Babies cry at night to prevent parents further procreating, resulting in potential sibling rivals. At the other end of the scale, these sorts of explanations have been used to suggest deeply problematic ideas, such as rape being an evolutionary strategy.

Professor David Canter, a psychologist from University of Huddersfield has railed against this fashion for 'biologising' our behaviour. And evolutionary biologist Professor Alice Roberts is also critical of 'adaptionism' - the idea that everything has evolved for an optimal purpose.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

57Experimental; Rosetta; Moocs20140731

Alice Roberts indulges in some science experiments for kids, including Bubblecano!

ExpeRimental

There's an online wealth of science demonstrations you can try at home with your kids. But what's sometimes lacking is the encouragement of questioning the science in these DIY experiments. Science teacher and film maker Alom Shaha has devised a series of videos with the Royal Institution showing parents experimenting with home-made lava lamps, bubbles and bottle cannons. He hopes that amidst the mess and mistakes, some scientific thinking can be nurtured.

Rosetta

The European Space Agency's robotic spacecraft Rosetta is about to start its detailed study of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In the audacious and risky mission, the craft will follow the orbit of the comet as it approaches and passes the Sun. It will attempt to land a probe on the surface of the icy, rocky mass. It's hoped the mission will provide great insight into what comets are made of, how they behave as they heat up, creating its gassy coma and tail. And it's hoped Rosetta and its lander will be able to tell about where Earth's water and even some of the building blocks for life might have come from.

MOOCs

Massive Open Online Courses are free and open to anyone with access to the internet. You can study a huge range of topics from cancer and dental photography to quantum physics, and even the archaeology and history of Hadrian's Wall. Critics say these higher education courses are just a PR exercise by universities, and that it will set up a two tier system in education. But Kathryn Skelton from FutureLearn, a platform for many of these MOOCs, argues that they encourage people who would not normally extend their education to take part and the universities providing the courses can gain great insight into the changing face of teaching methods.

Evolutionary Psychology

Last week Adam Rutherford and Alice Roberts had a robust discussion on the biologising of the human condition, with Professor David Canter. Listeners wrote in to complain that we didn't give an evolutionary psychologist a right to reply, so this week, listener and evolutionary psychologist Rob Burriss has his say.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

57Experimental; Rosetta; Moocs20140731

Alice Roberts indulges in some science experiments for kids, including Bubblecano!

ExpeRimental

There's an online wealth of science demonstrations you can try at home with your kids. But what's sometimes lacking is the encouragement of questioning the science in these DIY experiments. Science teacher and film maker Alom Shaha has devised a series of videos with the Royal Institution showing parents experimenting with home-made lava lamps, bubbles and bottle cannons. He hopes that amidst the mess and mistakes, some scientific thinking can be nurtured.

Rosetta

The European Space Agency's robotic spacecraft Rosetta is about to start its detailed study of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In the audacious and risky mission, the craft will follow the orbit of the comet as it approaches and passes the Sun. It will attempt to land a probe on the surface of the icy, rocky mass. It's hoped the mission will provide great insight into what comets are made of, how they behave as they heat up, creating its gassy coma and tail. And it's hoped Rosetta and its lander will be able to tell about where Earth's water and even some of the building blocks for life might have come from.

MOOCs

Massive Open Online Courses are free and open to anyone with access to the internet. You can study a huge range of topics from cancer and dental photography to quantum physics, and even the archaeology and history of Hadrian's Wall. Critics say these higher education courses are just a PR exercise by universities, and that it will set up a two tier system in education. But Kathryn Skelton from FutureLearn, a platform for many of these MOOCs, argues that they encourage people who would not normally extend their education to take part and the universities providing the courses can gain great insight into the changing face of teaching methods.

Evolutionary Psychology

Last week Adam Rutherford and Alice Roberts had a robust discussion on the biologising of the human condition, with Professor David Canter. Listeners wrote in to complain that we didn't give an evolutionary psychologist a right to reply, so this week, listener and evolutionary psychologist Rob Burriss has his say.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

58New Dinosaur; Gm Chickens; Lightning; Rosetta; Diatoms20140807

Professor Alice Roberts reveals Laquintasaura, a new dinosaur found in South America.

Dinosaur

A jumble of bones found in Venezuela belong to a group of very early dinosaurs, that could have been herd animals. Paul Barrett from the Natural History Museum explains to Professor Alice Roberts how a jumble of bones found in a 'bone bed' belong to a number of individual Laquintasaura venezuelae dinosaurs. They are an ancient, small, omnivorous dinosaur, which could have survived the Tertiary/Jurassic extinction event 200 million years ago.

Genetically Editing Chickens

Diseases devastate livestock around the world. In chickens for example the deadly strain of bird flu and the lesser known bacterial infection Campylobacter, does not only harm the chickens but is also a real threat to human health and welfare. Scientists are continually trying to develop vaccines, but the strains of bacteria keep evolving resistance to them. One of the solutions being explored at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, is genetic. Using a subtle form of genetic modification, called genome editing. The team are trying to find the genetic components of natural resistance in a wide group of chicken breeds, which they can then insert into the genome of livestock fowl in the hope of breeding healthier, safer chickens.

Lightning

A listener asks why lightning is jagged. Rhys Phillips from Airbus Group in Cardiff makes lightning in a lab. He has the answer.

Rosetta

The European Space Agency's robotic spacecraft Rosetta has reached the orbit of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and is about to start its detailed study. In the audacious and risky mission, the craft will follow the orbit of the comet as it approaches and passes the Sun. It will attempt to land a probe on the surface of the icy, rocky mass. It's hoped the mission will provide great insight into what comets are made of, how they behave as they heat up, creating its gassy coma and tail. And it's hoped Rosetta and its lander will be able to tell about where Earth's water and even some of the building blocks for life might have come from.

Diatoms

A type of phytoplankton, found in water, called Diatoms build hard silicon-based cell walls. Researchers, at the University of Galway, have shown it's possible to chemically transform the shells of living diatoms so they could carry drugs into our bodies in entirely new ways.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

58New Dinosaur; Gm Chickens; Lightning; Rosetta; Diatoms20140807

Professor Alice Roberts reveals Laquintasaura, a new dinosaur found in South America.

Dinosaur

A jumble of bones found in Venezuela belong to a group of very early dinosaurs, that could have been herd animals. Paul Barrett from the Natural History Museum explains to Professor Alice Roberts how a jumble of bones found in a 'bone bed' belong to a number of individual Laquintasaura venezuelae dinosaurs. They are an ancient, small, omnivorous dinosaur, which could have survived the Tertiary/Jurassic extinction event 200 million years ago.

Genetically Editing Chickens

Diseases devastate livestock around the world. In chickens for example the deadly strain of bird flu and the lesser known bacterial infection Campylobacter, does not only harm the chickens but is also a real threat to human health and welfare. Scientists are continually trying to develop vaccines, but the strains of bacteria keep evolving resistance to them. One of the solutions being explored at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, is genetic. Using a subtle form of genetic modification, called genome editing. The team are trying to find the genetic components of natural resistance in a wide group of chicken breeds, which they can then insert into the genome of livestock fowl in the hope of breeding healthier, safer chickens.

Lightning

A listener asks why lightning is jagged. Rhys Phillips from Airbus Group in Cardiff makes lightning in a lab. He has the answer.

Rosetta

The European Space Agency's robotic spacecraft Rosetta has reached the orbit of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and is about to start its detailed study. In the audacious and risky mission, the craft will follow the orbit of the comet as it approaches and passes the Sun. It will attempt to land a probe on the surface of the icy, rocky mass. It's hoped the mission will provide great insight into what comets are made of, how they behave as they heat up, creating its gassy coma and tail. And it's hoped Rosetta and its lander will be able to tell about where Earth's water and even some of the building blocks for life might have come from.

Diatoms

A type of phytoplankton, found in water, called Diatoms build hard silicon-based cell walls. Researchers, at the University of Galway, have shown it's possible to chemically transform the shells of living diatoms so they could carry drugs into our bodies in entirely new ways.

Producer: Fiona Roberts.

5920140814

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

5920140814

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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65Cosmic Inflation Latest; Indian Space Success; Science And Language; Wax Venus20140925

Claims of evidence for cosmic super-expansion just after the Big Bang are questioned.

BICEP - gravitational waves and dust

One of the biggest scientific claims of 2014 has received another set-back. In March this year, the BICEP2 research team claimed it had found a swirling pattern in the sky left by the rapid expansion of space just fractions of a second after the Big Bang. This announcement was quickly criticised by others, who thought the group had underestimated the confounding effects of dust in our own galaxy. And now, new analysis from the European Space Agency's Planck satellite suggests dust found in our own galaxy may have confounded what was thought to be a universal revelation.

India's Mars satellite enters orbit

India has successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, becoming the fourth nation or geo-bloc to do so. Following a few teething troubles with a planned engine burn shortly after launch on 5 November 2013, and a long journey, the Mangalyaan probe has started sending back images of the Red Planet. It is the first time a maiden voyage to Mars has entered orbit successfully and it is the cheapest mission to-date.

Science of language

Professor Steven Pinker talks to Adam Rutherford about the language of scientists and the science of language. He has a new book out, "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century", discussing how the latest research on linguistics and cognitive science can improve writing.

The Anatomical Venus

Adam visits the Wellcome Collection to see an 18th-Century Florentine Wax Venus - complete with removable abdominal organs. He discusses our preoccupation with death, with Joanna Ebenstein. And finds out if these beautiful, if slightly unnerving, statues were the cutting edge of anatomical learning, or a gory sideshow.

Producer: Fiona Roberts

Assistant Producer: Jen Whyntie.

65Cosmic Inflation Latest; Indian Space Success; Science And Language; Wax Venus20140925

Claims of evidence for cosmic super-expansion just after the Big Bang are questioned.

BICEP - gravitational waves and dust

One of the biggest scientific claims of 2014 has received another set-back. In March this year, the BICEP2 research team claimed it had found a swirling pattern in the sky left by the rapid expansion of space just fractions of a second after the Big Bang. This announcement was quickly criticised by others, who thought the group had underestimated the confounding effects of dust in our own galaxy. And now, new analysis from the European Space Agency's Planck satellite suggests dust found in our own galaxy may have confounded what was thought to be a universal revelation.

India's Mars satellite enters orbit

India has successfully put a satellite into orbit around Mars, becoming the fourth nation or geo-bloc to do so. Following a few teething troubles with a planned engine burn shortly after launch on 5 November 2013, and a long journey, the Mangalyaan probe has started sending back images of the Red Planet. It is the first time a maiden voyage to Mars has entered orbit successfully and it is the cheapest mission to-date.

Science of language

Professor Steven Pinker talks to Adam Rutherford about the language of scientists and the science of language. He has a new book out, "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century", discussing how the latest research on linguistics and cognitive science can improve writing.

The Anatomical Venus

Adam visits the Wellcome Collection to see an 18th-Century Florentine Wax Venus - complete with removable abdominal organs. He discusses our preoccupation with death, with Joanna Ebenstein. And finds out if these beautiful, if slightly unnerving, statues were the cutting edge of anatomical learning, or a gory sideshow.

Producer: Fiona Roberts

Assistant Producer: Jen Whyntie.

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Dr Lucie Green investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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Dr Lucie Green investigates the news in science and science in the news.

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6920141023
70The Making Of The Moon20141030

Lucie Green investigates the past, present and future of the moon.

It's the nearest and most dominant object in our night sky, and has inspired artists, astronauts and astronomers. But fundamental questions remain about our only natural satellite.

Where does the Moon come from?

Although humans first walked on the Moon over four decades ago, we still know surprisingly little about the lunar body's origin. Samples returned by the Apollo missions have somewhat confounded scientists' ideas about how the Moon was formed. Its presence is thought to be due to another planet colliding with the early Earth, causing an extraordinary giant impact, and in the process, forming the Moon. But, analysing chemicals in Apollo's rock samples has revealed that the Moon could be much more similar to Earth itself than any potential impactor. Geochemist Professor Alex Halliday of the University of Oxford, and Dr Jeff Andrews-Hanna, Colorado School of Mines - who is analysing the results from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar mission - discuss the theories and evidence to-date.

Are we going back?

Settling the question of the Moon's origin seems likely to require more data - which, in turn, requires more missions. BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos tells us about the rationale and future prospects for a return to the Moon, including the Google Lunar XPrize.

As the Moon's commercial prospects are considered, who controls conservation of our only natural satellite?

If commerce is driving a return to the Moon, who owns any resources that may be found in the lunar regolith? Dr Saskia Vermeylen of the Environment Centre at Lancaster University is researching the legality of claiming this extra-terrestrial frontier.

Producer: Jen Whyntie.

70The Making Of The Moon20141030

Lucie Green investigates the past, present and future of the moon.

It's the nearest and most dominant object in our night sky, and has inspired artists, astronauts and astronomers. But fundamental questions remain about our only natural satellite.

Where does the Moon come from?

Although humans first walked on the Moon over four decades ago, we still know surprisingly little about the lunar body's origin. Samples returned by the Apollo missions have somewhat confounded scientists' ideas about how the Moon was formed. Its presence is thought to be due to another planet colliding with the early Earth, causing an extraordinary giant impact, and in the process, forming the Moon. But, analysing chemicals in Apollo's rock samples has revealed that the Moon could be much more similar to Earth itself than any potential impactor. Geochemist Professor Alex Halliday of the University of Oxford, and Dr Jeff Andrews-Hanna, Colorado School of Mines - who is analysing the results from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar mission - discuss the theories and evidence to-date.

Are we going back?

Settling the question of the Moon's origin seems likely to require more data - which, in turn, requires more missions. BBC Science correspondent Jonathan Amos tells us about the rationale and future prospects for a return to the Moon, including the Google Lunar XPrize.

As the Moon's commercial prospects are considered, who controls conservation of our only natural satellite?

If commerce is driving a return to the Moon, who owns any resources that may be found in the lunar regolith? Dr Saskia Vermeylen of the Environment Centre at Lancaster University is researching the legality of claiming this extra-terrestrial frontier.

Producer: Jen Whyntie.

7120141106

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

7120141106

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

7220141113

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

7220141113

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news.

73Comet Landing Detects Organics Molecules; Lunar Mission One; Biological Warfare20141120

Philae lander detects organic molecules on Comet 67P.

Rosetta scientist, Professor Monica Grady from the Open University discusses the latest news from last week's historic comet mission. Philae, the Rosetta robot probe, made history last week when she finally landed on the surface of Comet 67P. But she ended up lying on her side, and only in partial sunlight. Her batteries were on borrowed time. After around 60 hours, Philae powered down, and went into hibernation mode. However, her instruments harvested some data and now the first results are in.

UK-led crowdfunded Moon mission

Lunar Mission One aims to land a robotic spacecraft on the unexplored lunar South Pole by 2024. It's a space mission with a difference: it could be funded by you. For a small fee supporters can send a human hair to the Moon in a Blue Peter-style time capsule. And the spacecraft will drill up to 100 metres below the surface to ask questions about the Moon's origin, aiming to find out more about the minerals that exist there, several of which are potentially valuable. Our reporter Sue Nelson went to the British Interplanetary Society's Reinventing Space conference in London to hear more.

The Selfish Gene debate

As another bout of biological warfare breaks out between two scientific superpowers, Adam Rutherford gets to grips with evolutionary theory, with social insect expert Professor Adam Hart. He hears from Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson and finds out why, after forty years of promoting the idea of kin selection, E O Wilson now dismisses the whole idea as 'rhetoric'.

Presenter: Adam Rutherford

Producer: Anna Buckley

Assistant Producer: Jen Whyntie.

73Comet Landing Detects Organics Molecules; Lunar Mission One; Biological Warfare20141120

Philae lander detects organic molecules on Comet 67P.

Rosetta scientist, Professor Monica Grady from the Open University discusses the latest news from last week's historic comet mission. Philae, the Rosetta robot probe, made history last week when she finally landed on the surface of Comet 67P. But she ended up lying on her side, and only in partial sunlight. Her batteries were on borrowed time. After around 60 hours, Philae powered down, and went into hibernation mode. However, her instruments harvested some data and now the first results are in.

UK-led crowdfunded Moon mission

Lunar Mission One aims to land a robotic spacecraft on the unexplored lunar South Pole by 2024. It's a space mission with a difference: it could be funded by you. For a small fee supporters can send a human hair to the Moon in a Blue Peter-style time capsule. And the spacecraft will drill up to 100 metres below the surface to ask questions about the Moon's origin, aiming to find out more about the minerals that exist there, several of which are potentially valuable. Our reporter Sue Nelson went to the British Interplanetary Society's Reinventing Space conference in London to hear more.

The Selfish Gene debate

As another bout of biological warfare breaks out between two scientific superpowers, Adam Rutherford gets to grips with evolutionary theory, with social insect expert Professor Adam Hart. He hears from Richard Dawkins and E.O. Wilson and finds out why, after forty years of promoting the idea of kin selection, E O Wilson now dismisses the whole idea as 'rhetoric'.

Presenter: Adam Rutherford

Producer: Anna Buckley

Assistant Producer: Jen Whyntie.

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Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news. With Adam Rutherford.

7720141218

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Series that investigates the news in science and science in the news. With Adam Rutherford.

78Listeners' Science Questions20150101

Adam Rutherford and guests oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski, cosmologist Dr Andrew Pontzen and zoologist Dr Tim Cockerill answer the listeners' science questions.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

78Listeners' Science Questions20150101

Adam Rutherford and guests oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski, cosmologist Dr Andrew Pontzen and zoologist Dr Tim Cockerill answer the listeners' science questions.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

7920150108

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

7920150108

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

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8020150115
81Gmos; International Year Of Light; Coral Health20150122

Proposed failsafe for genetically modified organisms and the International Year of Light.

It is likely that scientists will soon engineer strains of "friendly" bacteria which are genetically recoded to be better than the ones we currently use in food production. The sorts of bacteria we use in cheese or yoghurt could soon be made to be resistant to all viruses, for example.

But what if the GM bacteria were to escape into the wild?

Researchers writing in the Journal Nature propose this week a mechanism by which GMO's could be made to be dependent on substances that do not occur in nature. That way, if they escaped, they would perish and die.

George Church, of Harvard Medical School, tells Adam Rutherford about the way bacteria - and possibly eventually plant and animal cells - could be engineered to have such a "failsafe" included, thus allowing us to deploy GM in a range of applications outside of high security laboratories.

Adam reports from this week's launch in Paris of the International Year of Light marking 100 years since Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Amongst the cultural and scientific events at UNESCO in Paris, Nobel Prize winner Bill Philips explains how using lasers can achieve the most accurate atomic clocks imaginable and we hear how Google X is embracing new ways to manipulate light to ignite some of the team's futuristic technologies

And as the global decline in coral reefs continues as a result of human activity, Adam talks to Hawaii based biologist Mary Hagedorn who is using unusual techniques normally adopted for fertility clinics, to store and regrow coral species that are in danger

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

81Gmos; International Year Of Light; Coral Health20150122

Proposed failsafe for genetically modified organisms and the International Year of Light.

It is likely that scientists will soon engineer strains of "friendly" bacteria which are genetically recoded to be better than the ones we currently use in food production. The sorts of bacteria we use in cheese or yoghurt could soon be made to be resistant to all viruses, for example.

But what if the GM bacteria were to escape into the wild?

Researchers writing in the Journal Nature propose this week a mechanism by which GMO's could be made to be dependent on substances that do not occur in nature. That way, if they escaped, they would perish and die.

George Church, of Harvard Medical School, tells Adam Rutherford about the way bacteria - and possibly eventually plant and animal cells - could be engineered to have such a "failsafe" included, thus allowing us to deploy GM in a range of applications outside of high security laboratories.

Adam reports from this week's launch in Paris of the International Year of Light marking 100 years since Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Amongst the cultural and scientific events at UNESCO in Paris, Nobel Prize winner Bill Philips explains how using lasers can achieve the most accurate atomic clocks imaginable and we hear how Google X is embracing new ways to manipulate light to ignite some of the team's futuristic technologies

And as the global decline in coral reefs continues as a result of human activity, Adam talks to Hawaii based biologist Mary Hagedorn who is using unusual techniques normally adopted for fertility clinics, to store and regrow coral species that are in danger

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

8220150129
8220150129
8320150205

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Producer Alex Mansfield.

8320150205

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Producer Alex Mansfield.

84Earth's Core; What Can Chemistry Do For Us?; Ocean Acidification; Darwin Day20150212

Adam Rutherford investigates new insights into what lies at the centre of the Earth.

Adam Rutherford explores new insights into what lies at the very centre of the Earth. New research from China and the US suggests that the innermost core of our planet, far from being a homogenous iron structure has another, distinct region at its centre. He talks to the study's lead researcher Xiangdong Song and to geophysicist Simon Redfern about what this inner-inner core could tell us about the very long history of the Earth and the long suspected swings in the earth's magnetic field.

Professor Andrea Sella, from University College London is a recipient of the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Prize, in recognition, like Faraday himself, of exemplary science communication to the lay public. Andrea gave his prize lecture this week, describing chemistry as one of the 'crowning intellectual achievements of our age'. How justified is the claim? What have chemists ever done for us?

The sea forms the basis of ecosystems and industries, and so even subtle changes to the waters could have serious knock on effects. Dr Susan Fitzer from the University of Glasgow has been wading into Scottish lochs to study shelled creatures; they form a vital basis for marine ecosytems and the global food industry. But what effects could ocean acidification have on this vital organism?

And to mark Darwin Day Adam Rutherford examines the origins of Creationism and its most recent variation Intelligent Design. Why do opinion polls in the US routinely find that about half of the population denies the truth of Darwin's theory and believes instead that humans were created supernaturally by God at some point within the last few thousand years? He hears from historian Thomas Dixon, and from Eugenie Scott, former director of the National Centre for Science Education - a US organisation committed to keeping evolution (and now climate change) in the US schools' curriculum.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

84Earth's Core; What Can Chemistry Do For Us?; Ocean Acidification; Darwin Day20150212

Adam Rutherford investigates new insights into what lies at the centre of the Earth.

Adam Rutherford explores new insights into what lies at the very centre of the Earth. New research from China and the US suggests that the innermost core of our planet, far from being a homogenous iron structure has another, distinct region at its centre. He talks to the study's lead researcher Xiangdong Song and to geophysicist Simon Redfern about what this inner-inner core could tell us about the very long history of the Earth and the long suspected swings in the earth's magnetic field.

Professor Andrea Sella, from University College London is a recipient of the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Prize, in recognition, like Faraday himself, of exemplary science communication to the lay public. Andrea gave his prize lecture this week, describing chemistry as one of the 'crowning intellectual achievements of our age'. How justified is the claim? What have chemists ever done for us?

The sea forms the basis of ecosystems and industries, and so even subtle changes to the waters could have serious knock on effects. Dr Susan Fitzer from the University of Glasgow has been wading into Scottish lochs to study shelled creatures; they form a vital basis for marine ecosytems and the global food industry. But what effects could ocean acidification have on this vital organism?

And to mark Darwin Day Adam Rutherford examines the origins of Creationism and its most recent variation Intelligent Design. Why do opinion polls in the US routinely find that about half of the population denies the truth of Darwin's theory and believes instead that humans were created supernaturally by God at some point within the last few thousand years? He hears from historian Thomas Dixon, and from Eugenie Scott, former director of the National Centre for Science Education - a US organisation committed to keeping evolution (and now climate change) in the US schools' curriculum.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

8520150219

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

8520150219

Adam Rutherford investigates the news in science and science in the news.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

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