Britain's Labs

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01The Institute For Cancer Research2010053120110607

In the first of four programmes looking at Britain's leading laboratories, Professor Iain Stewart visits the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton in Surrey.

The laboratory grew out of the Royal Marsden Hospital with which it shares a site and the two work closely together.

The ICR is one of the main centres for the investigation of the genetic causes and possible cures/remedies for cancer.

The effort is going into identifying the genetic drivers for the disease and then finding a way to turn these off.

The work has been hugely accelerated by the completion of the Human Genome Project and by information technology which allows researchers to sift through genetic data at unprecedented speed.

Iain hears about new drugs which are being developed and about how we will think differently about the nature of cancer in years to come.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Iain Stewart explores genetic approaches to the treatment and prevention of cancer.

In the first of five programmes looking at Britain's leading laboratories, Professor Iain Stewart visits the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton in Surrey.

01The Institute For Cancer Research2010053120110607

In the first of four programmes looking at Britain's leading laboratories, Professor Iain Stewart visits the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton in Surrey.

The laboratory grew out of the Royal Marsden Hospital with which it shares a site and the two work closely together.

The ICR is one of the main centres for the investigation of the genetic causes and possible cures/remedies for cancer.

The effort is going into identifying the genetic drivers for the disease and then finding a way to turn these off.

The work has been hugely accelerated by the completion of the Human Genome Project and by information technology which allows researchers to sift through genetic data at unprecedented speed.

Iain hears about new drugs which are being developed and about how we will think differently about the nature of cancer in years to come.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Iain Stewart explores genetic approaches to the treatment and prevention of cancer.

In the first of five programmes looking at Britain's leading laboratories, Professor Iain Stewart visits the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton in Surrey.

02Bristol Centre For Nanoscience2010060120110614

A nanometre is to a normal metre as a CD is to the earth! The infinitely small scale at which scientists are working is difficult to grasp - even for a scientist like presenter Prof Iain Stewart.

In Bristol he sees how researchers are working on nano diamonds as a way of creating new solar panels that work well in temperate climates, and how the ears of mosquitoes are being studied in 'the world's quietest room' to help minaturise and improve microphones.

He also sees how, most remarkable of all, scientists can now work with human tissue at the level of individual cells.

This has huge implications for the development of regenerative medicine and therapies in future.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Iain Stewart is amazed how nano materials may revolutionise computers and solar power

02Bristol Centre For Nanoscience2010060120110614

A nanometre is to a normal metre as a CD is to the earth! The infinitely small scale at which scientists are working is difficult to grasp - even for a scientist like presenter Prof Iain Stewart.

In Bristol he sees how researchers are working on nano diamonds as a way of creating new solar panels that work well in temperate climates, and how the ears of mosquitoes are being studied in 'the world's quietest room' to help minaturise and improve microphones.

He also sees how, most remarkable of all, scientists can now work with human tissue at the level of individual cells.

This has huge implications for the development of regenerative medicine and therapies in future.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Iain Stewart is amazed how nano materials may revolutionise computers and solar power

03Rothamsted Research2010060220110621

Presented by Prof Iain Stewart.

Rothamsted Research is the oldest agricultural research centre in the world.

It has planted wheat experiments that have been running since the 1840s.

But these days, amid worries over food security, scientists are being asked to redouble their efforts to make crops more productive and cheaper, and more sustainable to grow.

Their approach is often genetic - looking to use genetic investigation into plants to identify ways in which their cropping or resistance to pests can be enhanced.

This use of GM as a 'tool' in experiment has been very successful.

But the use of genetically modified crops is currently banned in Britain - something the scientists discuss.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Stewart visits Rothamsted Research, the world's oldest agricultural research centre.

03Rothamsted Research2010060220110621

Presented by Prof Iain Stewart.

Rothamsted Research is the oldest agricultural research centre in the world.

It has planted wheat experiments that have been running since the 1840s.

But these days, amid worries over food security, scientists are being asked to redouble their efforts to make crops more productive and cheaper, and more sustainable to grow.

Their approach is often genetic - looking to use genetic investigation into plants to identify ways in which their cropping or resistance to pests can be enhanced.

This use of GM as a 'tool' in experiment has been very successful.

But the use of genetically modified crops is currently banned in Britain - something the scientists discuss.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Stewart visits Rothamsted Research, the world's oldest agricultural research centre.

04Stem Cells2010060320110712

Prof Iain Stewart travels to Scotland to visit the Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

Here a brand new lab is being built which will be linked to Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary - the principle hospital in the area - so that scientists and clinicians work closely in their efforts to treat diseases, using stem cell technology.

Stem cells in all living creature are characterised by their ability to renew themselves through cell division - creating identical cells time after time - which then differentiate into a diverse range of specialized cell types.

Iain is shown the lab by leading scientists including Ian Wilmut, famous for his pioneering work in creating Dolly the sheep.

Iain discovers recent breakthroughs in regenerative medicine involving adult stem cells, rather than the more controversial embryonic stem cells.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Iain Stewart explores stem cell technology at the CRM in Edinburgh.

04Stem Cells2010060320110712

Prof Iain Stewart travels to Scotland to visit the Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

Here a brand new lab is being built which will be linked to Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary - the principle hospital in the area - so that scientists and clinicians work closely in their efforts to treat diseases, using stem cell technology.

Stem cells in all living creature are characterised by their ability to renew themselves through cell division - creating identical cells time after time - which then differentiate into a diverse range of specialized cell types.

Iain is shown the lab by leading scientists including Ian Wilmut, famous for his pioneering work in creating Dolly the sheep.

Iain discovers recent breakthroughs in regenerative medicine involving adult stem cells, rather than the more controversial embryonic stem cells.

Producer: Susan Marling

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Prof Iain Stewart explores stem cell technology at the CRM in Edinburgh.

05 LAST20100604

Professor Iain Stewart visits Britain's leading laboratories.

05 LAST20100604

Professor Iain Stewart visits Britain's leading laboratories.