Material World - 01/11/2012
Gareth Mitchell looks into the various challenges and possible solutions to storing electrical energy, and the real threats facing British trees.
In a few weeks the Government will unveil its new energy bill. Recently energy sources and prices have occupied a lot of headlines, and a couple of weeks ago much was made over an industrial process to convert air into petrol. What links all these things together is the often under-reported issues surrounding energy storage. John Loughhead and Malcolm Wilkinson discuss the various challenges and possible solutions to storing electrical energy to bridge the gaps between a varying energy demand and an intermittent renewable supply.
Just a little over a decade ago a massive international effort went into the first sequencing of a human genome. This week, scientists writing in the journal Nature present a study that has sequenced the genomes of over a thousand individuals, from many different countries. It hopes to provide a reference map of local variabilities to help researchers understand indicators of disease or medicinal effectiveness in individuals.
Also on the programme; the real threats to British trees. Ash dieback may be in the headlines but between 3 to 4 million larches have been felled since 2009, horse chestnuts are seldom being replanted because of the destruction caused by the leaf miner moth and bleeding canker and will the elm ever recover from Dutch elm disease? Professor Clive Brasier, Andrew Halstead and Dr. Micheal Pocock discuss the 10 current epidemics that are infecting trees in Britain.