Material World

Material World

Weekly science conversation, on everything from archaeology to zoology, from abacus to the antipodean rodent zyzomys, by way of meteorites. Presented by Quentin Cooper, and airing every Thursday, 4:30 pm.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Inside Science:Bovine TB:Coral Sunscreen;Space Junk

    Thu, 4 Jul 13

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The government have announced a plan to rid England of bovine TB within 25 years. Corals could save us from sunburn in summers to come. Why we need to tackle the problem of space junk.

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  • Ancient Horses; Uncertainty; Cutlery and Taste

    Thu, 27 Jun 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    How 700 000 year old horse DNA could change the way scientists study evolution; why scientists are seldom certain of their findings and how cutlery changes the taste of food.

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  • MRC; Snails; Applause

    Thu, 20 Jun 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Pioneering work in the treatment of TB set the gold standard for future clinical trials. Geneticists at the University of Nottingham have confirmed a unique and close relationship between the snails of Ireland and those of a small region in the Pyrenees. When the curtain falls, what determines the length of the rapturous ovation?

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  • Digital spying;Dornier 17;Germination;Cheetahs

    Thu, 13 Jun 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Monitoring information has become much simpler in the digital age. Encrusted sea-life helped protect the Dornier 17 from the worst ravages of the sea. Understanding the process whereby seeds control germination might one day help in the battle against malaria. Cheetahs rely more on manoeuvrability than maximum speed when out hunting.

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  • Cheltenham Science Festival

    Thu, 6 Jun 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Professor Elspeth Garman commemorates a century since the publication of an idea that made discovering protein structures possible: The Bragg Equation. How can we better understand and perhaps control the spread of drug-resistant HIV? FameLab, started in the UK in 2005,is a world-leading science communication competition. Why is the model so successful. Do media portrayals of crime reflect the real-life people and real-life science involved?

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  • Multiverses;Culture-driven Evolution;Lee Smolin-Time

    Thu, 30 May 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Have Planck’s observations proven that there could be millions of universes beyond our own or is the evidence far from proof? Could culture, rather than random genetic mutations, have driven the evolution of humans? Throughout history the concept of time as an illusion has been commonplace. Relativity reveals that time is not absolute. Lee Smolin argues that this denial of time is holding back both physics, and our understanding of the universe.

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  • Tornado;Tree health;Vaccine;Radar

    Thu, 23 May 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    What is it about Oklahoma's geographical location that causes increased susceptibility to tornadoes? How can residents of ‘tornado valley’ better protect themselves against these rampant acts of Mother Nature?The Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce have just issued their first report with recommendations to combat what they call an “unprecedented threat” from non-native pests and diseases. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate has issued the pharmaceutical company MSD Animal Health a provisional licence to provide the new ‘Bovilis SBV’ vaccine to UK farmers. They will be the first in the EU to access the vaccine.Professor Hugh Griffiths, the winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's A F Harvey Prize, is receiving his prize tonight - £300, 000 to continue his work on bistatic radar and using FM radio waves and TV signals as radar. He joins Quentin Cooper in the studio. . .

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  • Quantum computer; Ancient water; Stem cells; Dambusters

    Thu, 16 May 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    One of the world's most powerful, commercially available, "quantum" computers is to be installed at NASA's Ames research centre.Scientists have discovered the oldest fluid water system in the world, buried deep beneath Ontario, Canada.A technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, which involves transferring the nucleus of a donor cell into that of a female egg cell, has been successfully applied to humans cells.To mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters mission, Material World is taking a look at some of the spectacular, yet largely unknown engineering achievements of World War II.

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  • EU science funding;Pear-shaped nuclei;Hyades

    Thu, 9 May 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    With scientific research in the UK receiving an estimated 4.9 billion euro from the European Research Council’s FP7 program, what would happen to this funding if the UK were to leave the EU altogether? The discovery of pear-shaped nuclei in radium isotopes hold huge promise in furthering our understanding of nuclear structure and also, testing the standard model of particle physics. By examining White Dwarfs stars in the nearby Hyades Cluster, we can gain invaluable insights into the fate of our own solar system when, as predicted, the sun ceases to exist in 5 billion years.

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  • Bees;Petal Shapes: Heart gene therapy

    Thu, 2 May 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    EU states have voted in favour of a proposal to restrict the use of certain pesticides that have been linked to causing serious harm in bees. Patients in the UK have begun being enrolled into trials to see if an engineered virus can be used to heal their damaged and struggling hearts.Petals get their shape from a hidden molecular map within their buds that tells them how to grow. Scientists from the John Innes Centre and University of East Anglia discovered that these concealed maps are made up of patterns of arrows that act as instructions for how each cell in the bud should grow.

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