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:
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All episodes (148)

  • 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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  • Bovine TB; Big Cat; Shark teeth

    Thu, 25 Apr 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Scientists at the Royal Society discuss future strategies in controlling bovine TB. Proof that a non-native Big Cat prowled the British countryside at the turn of the last century.Researchers think that clues to marine biological diversity over millions of years may be locked up in sharks’ teeth.

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  • Iranian earthquake;Zebrafish;Curiosity driver Paolo Bellutta

    Thu, 18 Apr 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Iran has been struck by its most powerful earthquake for more than 50 years, with tremors felt across Pakistan, India and the Middle East.The genome of the tiny zebrafish has been sequenced in great detail, but why is this animal of such biological significance to researchers?Curiosity driver,Paolo Bellutta, drops by to talk to Quentin.

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  • Science publishing, Transatlantic turbulence, Rapid evolution

    Thu, 11 Apr 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Victor Henning is joined by Jason Priem of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, author of a recent horizon scanning feature in Nature, to discuss the future of science publication and how this wealth of research will be managed in the future.New research, published in Nature Climate Change, suggests that turbulence could double by 2050. And changes to our environment are effecting evolution much quicker than we thought.

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  • Chemical weapons,Nuclear weapons,BRAIN,Foot and Mouth

    Thu, 4 Apr 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    With representatives of the 188 nations that have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention about to meet in the Hague, how can we make it more effective and reactive? Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) is the formal name for the $100 million dollar initiative just announced by President Obama. What kind of difference could this make to research? Researchers have engineered an entirely new vaccine for foot and mouth. Recent nuclear tests by North Korea along with this week’s announcement of plans to restart their plutonium reactor have led to international condemnation, and raised fears they could engulf the world in nuclear war. How scientifically credible is that threat?

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  • Edinburgh's International Science Festival

    Thu, 28 Mar 13

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Quentin Cooper talks about ideas which are "dangerous" to Professor Colin Blakemore and Professor Chris Rapley. Plus, what is the lasting value of science festivals?

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  • Planck, Elusive Giant Squid, Emotive words

    Thu, 21 Mar 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Adam Rutherford discusses new science results from the Planck space telescope and the surprising family tree of the Giant Squid.

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  • Clay on Mars, Neanderthals, Cholera,Tapeworms

    Thu, 14 Mar 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Researchers have mapped the genomes of tapeworms to reveal potential drug targets on which existing drugs could act. Tom Koch-discusses John Snow who famously identified a pump as being the source of a cholera outbreak in 1854. NASA has reported that its Curiosity rover has made another significant discovery on Mars and a study of Neanderthal skulls suggests that they became extinct because they had larger eyes than our species.

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  • Deer,Herschel,Facial contrast,Potatoes

    Thu, 7 Mar 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Is culling the only option for controlling deer? What makes the potato such a successful vegetable that it can grow in many different climates? Why facial contrast can make us look younger and the Herschel space telescope loses it's sight.

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  • Junk DNA, Mine fires, Homer

    Thu, 28 Feb 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Is junk DNA really rubbish? Scientists dispute recent findings about our genetic code. What causes spontaneous combustion in mines. And dating of The Iliad by Homer. With Quentin Cooper.

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  • DNA,Identical Twins,Dark Energy, Viruses

    Thu, 21 Feb 13

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Why does a virus manage to infect us and make us ill so quickly? And how on earth do we see the invisible dark energy that makes up most of our universe? Also with the recent case of the French identical twins who have been implicated in serial rape, Quentin asks forensic geneticist Gill Tully how DNA helps the police to find perpetrators. Plus, Tim Spector, a genetic epidemiologist, suggests that identical twins might not actually be as similar in their genes as we previously thought.

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  • Coronavirus, Horsemeat, Blackbirds, DNA

    Fri, 15 Feb 13

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The new coronavirus; can it be transmitted between humans? How to trace the source of processed horsemeat. Using DNA to store data. And city blackbirds mating early.

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  • TB, SATELLITES, LAKE ELLSWORTH, ANTARCTIC BASE

    Thu, 7 Feb 13

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Failures in science and lessons learnt; new TB vaccine trials and drilling in Antarctica. Also mobile phones in space. Presented by Quentin Cooper.

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  • Rail, Radioactive, Universe, Quantum Biology.

    Thu, 31 Jan 13

    Duration:
    28 mins

    This week we discuss the engineering of high speed rail, the storage of radioactive nuclear waste, how our evolution is linked to that of the universe and quantum biology.

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  • Noise & plane design, Birdflu, Dogs, Mackerel

    Thu, 24 Jan 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Are ever stricter noise and energy consumption restrictions making plane design harder? Controversial birdflu research. Dog domestication. And why mackerel is off the menu.

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  • Smog,Exploding Stars,Animal Replacement

    Thu, 17 Jan 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Air pollution in the Chinese capital Beijing has reached levels judged as hazardous to human health. An international team of nuclear astrophysicists has shed new light on the explosive stellar events known as novae. The UK’s leading humane medical research charity, the Dr Hadwen Trust (DHT), and Queen Mary, University of London, have joined forces to lead the global development of human-relevant methods and alternatives to animal use in diverse areas of bio-medical research.

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  • Kepler,Arctic Drilling,Apophis,Brain Science

    Thu, 10 Jan 13

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Will the Nasa Kepler mission become one of the Space Agency's most famous and significant achievements? Quentin Cooper speaks to William Borucki, Principal Scientist on Kepler, who believes it will be. Also Dr. Stephen Lowry from the University of Kent describes how data collected from the fly by of the asteroid Apophis will help scientists track its course - and determine if it will hit the Earth. Dr. David MacInroy from the British Geological survey talks about the difficulties of Arctic drilling and Dr. Tim Behrens from University College London on why some areas of the brain are proving very popular with neuroscientists.

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  • Norovirus, superheroes and army underpants.

    Thu, 3 Jan 13

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Winter vomiting, superhero physics and why military scientists design underpants.

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  • Material 27 Dec 12: Unsung Heroes of Science

    Thu, 27 Dec 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Recorded in front of an audience Quentin Cooper and guests Adam Rutherford, Mark Miodownik, Vivienne Parry, Kevin Fong and Dallas Campbell, debate their unsung heroes of science.

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  • IQ tests, life on Mars, Santa up a chimney

    Thu, 20 Dec 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Why IQ tests don't test intelligence, how a broken boiler control is hampering the search for life in Antarctica, why that frozen continent is a good model for life on mars and how Santa gets down a chimney courtesy of children’s presenters Dick and Dom.

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  • Material World::Prizes, Hobbits, archaeology+maths.

    Thu, 13 Dec 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The 3 million dollar physics prizes - but is giving science prizes fair ?How scientific is the home of Hobbits, Maths for the future of computing and solving the mystery of Piltdown man, who was really behind this 100 year old archaeological hoax?

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  • Material World: Climate Talks; James Watson

    Thu, 6 Dec 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    With the on-going climate talks in Doha not hitting the headlines Quentin Cooper asks whether such large scale and largely incomprehensible meetings are effective at delivering anything worthwhile on climate change. Can science take the initiative from the policymakers and present the subject in a way which interests and inspires the public? We also interview James Watson the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA on the reissue of his classic work on the subject 'The Double Helix'

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  • Energy;Rats;Olive Oil;Romantic Chemistry

    Fri, 30 Nov 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Dr Dave Reay analyses the latest statement on Energy delivered by the Energy Secretary.The world’s largest ever rodent eradication project is taking place in South Georgia. Olive oil could be used to preserve ancient stone buildings and there's a Romantic Chemistry exhibition at the Royal Society.

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  • Books, Intelligent roads, Old computers 22 Nov 12

    Thu, 22 Nov 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    How to write award winning Science books, building intelligent roads to conserve energy and make our journeys safer and restoring a sixty year old computer.

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  • Material World; Wood burning for energy;Super Symmetry;;Drones;Sweat

    Thu, 15 Nov 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Can burning biomass in the form of wood appear to be a better idea than it really is? Can emotions be transmitted between humans via Chemosignals in people's sweat? Are reports of supersymmetry's demise highly exaggerated? Plus Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal of consortium ASTRAEA talks to Quentin about the testing of civilian applications for Unmanned Aircraft, AKA drones. .

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  • Bird deaths, Coffee, Ancient Tools

    Thu, 8 Nov 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Why are birds migrating to the UK falling out of the sky and dying? Loss of the wild Arabica coffee crop could have significant implications for the sustainability of high quality coffee and a haul of stone blades from a cave in South Africa suggests that early humans were already masters of complex technology more than 70,000 years ago. . .

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  • Material World 1st Nov: Trees,1000 Genomes,Energy

    Thu, 1 Nov 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    John Loughhead and Malcolm Wilkinson discuss the various challenges and possible solutions to storing electrical energy. Scientists have sequenced the genomes of 1,000 people to help researchers understand indicators of disease or medicinal effectiveness. And Ash dieback may be in the headlines but many other trees species are also being affected by disease. .

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  • Material World 25 Oct: Earthquake, Ancient Tablets, See-through Soil

    Thu, 25 Oct 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Reaction to the six-year prison sentences handed to seven Italian scientific advisors for inadequate L’Aquila earthquake risk communication.Dr Jacob Dahl is trying to decrypt one of the oldest known written languages, proto-Elamite.And Dr Leonel Dupuy describes his breakthrough in the development of a see-through soil.

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  • Material World 18th Oct: Badgers, Ants and New Planets

    Thu, 18 Oct 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Lord Krebs, architect of the previous badger culling trial, on the scientific evidence surrounding the controversial policy. Plus Chris Lintott on the discovery of a new planet, Adam Hart talks about flying ants and Stuart Clark with space stamps.

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  • Material World 11th Oct: Nobel Prize Winners

    Thu, 11 Oct 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin speaks with three of this year's winners of the Nobel Prize; Prof. Sir John Gurdon for Physiology or Medicine, Prof. Serge Haroche for Physics, and Prof. Brian Kobilka for Chemistry.

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  • Material World 4th October 2012: Retractions

    Thu, 4 Oct 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Retractions: what happens when published research is wrong? And ecologists ask the public to help them identify 2 million bat calls and test tube spiders

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  • Material World 27th September 2012: Gravity Fields

    Thu, 27 Sep 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper visits the "Gravity Fields" festival in Grantham, Lincs., which aims to celebrate the legacy of the town's most famous son, Sir Isaac Newton.

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  • Material World 20 September 2012: Climate computer modelling, flies and bumblebees

    Thu, 20 Sep 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    This week on Material World; how climate computer modelling is being used to determine future UK energy policy. Also how flies could help feed the world and bees find their food.

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  • Material World 13 September 2012: Social Media, Engineering, Voyager, Botany

    Thu, 13 Sep 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Material World this week is full of record breakers: an experiment involving 61 million people, an update on what is happening with the furthest-flung man-made object from Earth; the Voyager space craft, the largest botanical project ever completed - the Flora of Tropical East Africa and the biggest award for engineering - The Queen Elizabeth Prize.

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  • Material World 6 September: British Science Festival

    Thu, 6 Sep 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper features some of the highlights of the British Science Festival in Aberdeen, including research into foods that could make us feel full for longer.

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  • Material World 30 August: Piano tuners' brains, exoplanets, and chimp justice

    Thu, 30 Aug 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Piano Tuners’ brains change over the course of their career, a solar system with two suns is discovered, geological unconformity on Mars, and chimps don’t do justice.

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  • Material World 23rd August: Mars; bomb-proof make-up; toilets of the future; hearing loss & bird song

    Thu, 23 Aug 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper puts the peregrine among the pigeons and asks whether age-related hearing loss means birds with high song are missed off the all-important British bird surveys

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  • Material World 16th August 2012: Parkinson's disease, brain controlled suit

    Thu, 16 Aug 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    How a child with total paralysis could kick a football using a brain-controlled suit and the study of radiation impact on animals and plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

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  • Material World: 06 Aug 12: NASA's Curiosity

    Mon, 6 Aug 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Quentin Cooper reports on the latest surface rover mission to Mars - NASA's Curiosity - twice as long, twice the science, and five times as heavy as its famous forebears.

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  • Material World 2nd Aug 2012: Phonics and neuroscience, mythical networks, and do animal have empathy?

    Thu, 2 Aug 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    We take a look at phonics and neuroscience, find out what mathematics can teach us about the historical basis of the oldest classical texts and discuss whether or not animals have empathy.

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  • Material World 26th July 2012: Simulating a whole bacterium, UK tsunamis, melting Greenland ice, and herd behaviour.

    Thu, 26 Jul 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Scientists simulate the behaviour of the simplest bacterium; UK faces potential tsunami threat from underwater landslides; rapidly melting ice in Greenland causes a stir; Selfish herd behaviour in sheep.

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  • Material World 19th July 2012: Crowd funding

    Thu, 19 Jul 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    We take a look at crowd funding as a new means to fund scientific research. Matt Salzberg has set up Petridish.org to connect scientists and potential donors. Science communicator Alice Bell will join Quentin in the studio to discuss potential ethical pitfalls.

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  • Material World: Latest Airport Security Tech

    Thu, 12 Jul 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    With long queues expected at Heathrow during the Olympics, Angela Saini visits the Farnborough International Air show to find out how technology could be used to speed up airport security.

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  • Material World: 5th July 2012: Higgs-like particle discovered and exciting new science presented at the Royal Society

    Thu, 5 Jul 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Scientists at CERN have discovered a Higgs-like particle. Also, show & tell at the Royal Society: a new method to read fossils, the sound of bubbles and the genetic spread of peoples in the UK

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  • Material World: 28th June: Science publishing, science in social policy, science wins prizes and science in packaging

    Thu, 28 Jun 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The arguments for greater access to information in Science publishing. Why science methodology has a place in assessing social policy. Science wins prizes and the role of science in future packaging.

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  • Material World 21 JUN 2012, SWYTBAS, The Final

    Thu, 21 Jun 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Adam Rutherford presents the final of So You Want to Be A Scientist.

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  • Material World:14th June The Influence of Mathematician Alan Turing, and more from ‘So you want to be a Scientist’.

    Thu, 14 Jun 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    How the ideas of mathematical genius Alan Turing formed the digital age, and more from ‘So you want to be a Scientist’.

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  • Material World 7th June 2012: Legionnaires’, Venus and stripes

    Thu, 7 Jun 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Why the bacteriology of Legionnaires’ disease makes it so hard to detect, why the Transit of Venus is good for science and the truth behind the illusion of stripes.

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  • Material World 31st May 2012: 80 years of Neutrons & the horrible noises we love to hate

    Thu, 31 May 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    80 years of Neutrons, why helium gas is no laughing matter & the horrible noises we love to hate

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  • Material World 24th May 2012: Perceptions of energy generation, light loving bugs, new faster chips, & not predicting earthquakes

    Thu, 24 May 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Energy generation perceptions, light loving bugs, fast chips, and predicting earthquakes.

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  • Material World 17th May 2012: Pollen and war crimes, art and emotion science versus politics and underground railways

    Thu, 17 May 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Why pollen provides the key evidence in the Bosnian war crimes trials, experimenting with arts and emotions and why all tube networks are fundamentally the same.

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  • Material World 10th May 2012: Alchemy, hormones and Afghan astronomy

    Thu, 10 May 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The influence of alchemy on modern science, how hormones can determine profit and loss in financial markets and Afghanistan’s schools using astronomy as a way into science.

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  • Material World 3rd May 2012: North Sea wind power, Bending Gamma rays horrid noises and how to hack.

    Thu, 3 May 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Developing North Sea wind power, Bending Gamma rays to help cure cancer, the nature of horrid noises and a hackers guide to hacking.

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  • Material World 26th April 2012: Intelligent travel, cosmic rays and voices.

    Thu, 26 Apr 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    How to keep the cars of the future moving on the roads of the future. The origins and dangers of cosmic rays, and what factors determine how you speak?

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  • Material World 19th April: Breast cancer breakthrough, maths of politics, CT scan, SYWTBAS

    Thu, 19 Apr 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    A breast cancer breakthrough, reclassification may lead to better treatment, how maths can improve politics, the history of CT scans and stripes on parade in our experiment.

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  • Material World 12th April :

    Thu, 12 Apr 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Titanic telecommunications, undersea earthquakes and do people sound how they look.

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  • Material world 05 Apr Strings, spies and science

    Thu, 5 Apr 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Henry Moore’s scientific influence, how to spy on line and is science boring?

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  • MW 29 Mar;Gas Bacteria, Geoengineering, SYWTBAS

    Thu, 29 Mar 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Gas eating bacteria, how to save the world and what stripes might do to your figure.

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  • Material World 22 Mar: auctions, marine pharmaceuticals, sleep

    Thu, 22 Mar 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    The science and tricks behind closed-bid auctions; searching the ocean depths for medicines; horrible noises; a very short introduction to sleep.

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  • MW 15 Mar; Hominin puzzle, Art, Robots and Avatars

    Thu, 15 Mar 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    A new set of hominin remains from a cave in China are difficult to fit on the Human family tree, while human-like "Robots and Avatars" assemble at a new exhibition in Liverpool.

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  • MW 8 Mar; Antarctic, Meteors, Noises, Starquakes

    Thu, 8 Mar 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper investigates aliens in Antarctica, a controversial collision that may have changed the climate, why we hate nasty noises and how star-quakes could help us discover habitable planets.

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  • Material World 01 March Science advisers, lab animals, oldest forest

    Thu, 1 Mar 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin looks in to the role of government science advisers, the use of animals in research, and a 400 million year old forest.

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  • Material World 23 Feb Y-chromosome, Kilogram, Neutrinos, Fuel

    Thu, 23 Feb 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper asks if Y-chromosome degeneration will make men extinct, how to redefine the kilogram, how neutrinos are not so fast after all and how to turn sunshine into fuel.

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  • Material World 16 Feb: Star on the brink of a supernova explosion; Our global water footprint; New Elizabethans

    Thu, 16 Feb 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Star on the brink of a supernova explosion; Our global water footprint; New Elizabethans.

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  • Material World 9 Feb Freud, Climate, Vostok, LARES

    Thu, 9 Feb 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    How would Freud fare as a scientist today?; cold winters and global warming; what's next after Russians penetrate Antarctic Lake Vostok?; and LARES, the disco ball bound for space.

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  • Material World 2nd Feb 2012: A genome ethics survey, having friends takes brains, emotional art and triggering an ice age

    Thu, 2 Feb 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin discusses sharing genetic information, the link between brain size and how many friends you have, researching emotion in art and what triggered the little ice age.

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  • 26 Jan The next flu pandemic, an Arctic bulge, faces and voices and the Panama Canal.

    Thu, 26 Jan 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Weighing up the risks and benefits of flu research, a fresh water bulge in the Arctic, how faces affect voices and cutting carbon by widening the Panama Canal.

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  • Material World: 19 January. 3D Maps, Darwin, Do Stripes Make You Thinner and the Kharma Empire.

    Thu, 19 Jan 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin hears about mapping the world in 3D, Darwin’s lost fossils, what stripes do for your body image, and drought and the fall of an empire.

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  • Material 12 Jan 12 Computers, Dark matter, Pests

    Thu, 12 Jan 12

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin reports on teaching computer science, mapping dark matter, emerging garden pests and amateur science to investigate nasty noises.

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  • Material 05 Jan 12 End of the World

    Thu, 5 Jan 12

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Quentin asks if the world will end in 2012 and if not, why do people make apocalyptic predictions?

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  • MW 29 Dec 11: SYWTBAS judges' meeting

    Thu, 29 Dec 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Adam Rutherford joins our panel of judges, chaired by Sir Paul Nurse, to find out which four of the ten shortlisted entrants will have their ideas turned into experiments.

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  • New planets, brain chips, amateur scientists, Christmas trees and robins - 22 Dec 11

    Thu, 22 Dec 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    A new planet the size of the Earth, simulating the brain with analogue chips, the last four in the long list of potential amateur scientists, how robins choose a sexy mate and how a warming climate is bad for your Christmas tree

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  • The Higgs, MPs Meet Scientists, Moon art – 15 Dec 11

    Thu, 15 Dec 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper presents the latest on the search for the Higgs particle, hears about a scheme to pair scientists with members of Parliament, announces the next group of shortlisted candidates for So You Want to Be a Scientist and sniffs the smell of the Moon from a lunar exhibition in Liverpool.

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  • Rare Metals, Collecting Carbon, Strange Shrimp - 08 Dec 11

    Thu, 8 Dec 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper asks if it's worth extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and how industry is planning for a world shortage of rare elements. A 500 million year old monster eye with 16 000 lenses and the first finalists shortlisted from listeners who want to be a scientist.

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  • Permafrost; Space Worms; DNA Barcoding - 01 Dec 11

    Thu, 1 Dec 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    This week, Quentin Cooper hears about the impact of thawing permafrost on climate change; how generations of space worms may lead the way for humans to reach Mars; and how DNA barcoding is identifying species and spotting fraud.

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  • 24 Nov 11: Scientists on risk, Insect flight

    Thu, 24 Nov 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The UK’s top science advisers discuss communicating risk and uncertainty to politicians and the public. And Quentin explores the secrets of locust flight.

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  • MW: Geo-engineering; Mars; Canary Island 17 Nov 11

    Thu, 17 Nov 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin investigates risk and regulation of geo-engineering; the risks of getting to Mars; and a new volcanic island that may be rising from the Atlantic.

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  • Fracking; Hidden Heroes; SYWTBAS? Periodic Knitting

    Thu, 10 Nov 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    This week: fracking for oil and gas and listening to the ground, Hidden Heroes at the Science Museum and a last chance for amateur scientists.

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  • Fission at Fukushima; Airships – The Future of Air Travel; Legend of the Sunstone

    Thu, 3 Nov 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Has nuclear fission restarted at the Fukushima NPP in Japan. Is the future of air travel airships? Is there truth in the legend of the Viking SunStone

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  • Material World at the National Maritime Museum.

    Thu, 27 Oct 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Material World this week comes from the London Science Festival. Quentin Cooper presents an outside broadcast recorded in front of an audience at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The programme celebrates citizen science and do-it-yourself discovery, as part of 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?', Radio 4's search for the next BBC Amateur Scientist of the Year.

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  • EU stem cell ruling, The Population Process, Viruses, SYWTBAS?

    Thu, 20 Oct 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Following the EU ruling that human stem cells can’t be patented, Quentin discusses the issue with Christophe Then, the Greenpeace campaigner who championed the issue, and Alexander Dennon, a laywer who specialises in stem cell regulations. Also on the programme, the methodology behind population change and the man who’s developed an early warning system for pandemics.

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  • Stem cells, Black Death,Lawrence M Krauss and KickSat project

    Thu, 13 Oct 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper on the latest advances in stem cell technolgy, cloning and gene therapy, he unpicks the organism that caused the Black Death and converses with Lawrence Krauss

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  • Nobel Prizes 2011

    Thu, 6 Oct 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper runs through the 2011 Nobel Prizes for Medicine or Physiology, Physics and Chemistry and discovers why the winners deserved to win.

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  • 'So you want to be a Scientist?', Neutrinos faster than light and Catalytic clothing

    Thu, 29 Sep 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Material World announces the return of 'So You Want to Be a Scientist?' - the search for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year. Also neutrinos faster than light and catalytic clothing.

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  • Ehsan Masood on biodiversity, slippery surfaces, drugs from ladybirds and fire.

    Thu, 22 Sep 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Ehsan Masood reports on attempts to protect biodiversity, to mimic the slippery slope of the pitcher plant, to isolate new drugs from the harlequin ladybird and to be ready for the next big wildfires.

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  • Quentin reports from the British Science Festival in Bradford on new discoveries in science.

    Thu, 15 Sep 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Quentin reports from the British Science Festival in Bradford on thorium reactors, plants to clean up explosives, lie detection, ethical tissue and artificial volcanoes to counter global warming.

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  • Quentin on human ancestry, beautiful genomes and gold from the sky.

    Thu, 8 Sep 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin reports on a possible human ancestor, beautiful genomes and what happened to all the gold on – or in - Earth. Quentin Cooper hears about the fossils of a small but surprisingly well-formed possible human ancestor from South Africa; how one writer has come to understand and live with her beautiful genome; and how all the gold we can mine once rained down from above.

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  • Hand axes, New lithium batteries, Cloning wildcats, The moon

    Thu, 1 Sep 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper hears about the first skilled toolmakers, a battery that won’t set your laptop ablaze, cloning wildcats and, despite Apollo 18, why we should go back to the Moon.

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  • Oldest fossils, Tracking cholera, Playing with uncertainty and Counting species.

    Thu, 25 Aug 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Oldest fossils, tracking cholera, playing with uncertainty and counting species. Quentin looks at the oldest fossils; tracks cholera across continents, plays games with weather forecasts and asks how many species there really are on Earth. This week, Quentin Cooper looks at what may be the oldest fossils on Earth; he tracks cholera across continents, plays games with weather forecasts to understand uncertainty and asks how many species there really are on Earth. Producer: Martin Redfern

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  • Jaws, Plesiosaurs, Time perception, Surgery, Bees

    Thu, 18 Aug 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper looks at tactile surgery, brainy bees, the evolution of jaws, viviparous sea monsters and our split-second perception of time

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  • Mob psychology, multiple sclerosis, chimp communication and shrunken heads.

    Thu, 11 Aug 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    This week Quentin Cooper investigates the psychology that turns a peaceful protest into a rioting mob. He hears about a major international study that is tracking down the genetic background to multiple sclerosis. As a new documentary is released about Project Nim, he revisits the classic experiment to bring a chimpanzee up like a human child. And he learns how Amazon tribes shrank human heads.

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  • Quentin on Milgram’s Obedience Studies, the science behind illusioneering and our lopsided moon.

    Thu, 4 Aug 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper discusses Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments on their 50th anniversary, the science behind illusioneering and new research which suggests our Moon’s lopsided shape is due to a collision with a companion moon.

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  • Material World: Searching for Higgs, badger cull, diamonds, music and neuroscience

    Thu, 28 Jul 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin hears how scientists are closing in on the Higgs, if culling badgers is scientific, how diamonds reveal the first continental drift and how neurons inspire music.

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  • Material World

    Thu, 21 Jul 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Coopers hears about the arrival of NASA’s Dawn spaceprobe at the asteroid Vesta, the last Space Shuttle flight, reducing animal experiments, and the physics of cricket.

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  • Material World: Hidden landscapes, Mythical monsters and Tibetan singing bowls.

    Thu, 14 Jul 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    This week, Quentin Cooper explores hidden landscapes under the ice of Antarctica and underwater volcanoes off its coast. He hears of a vast land that emerged from the North Atlantic, only to be lost again beneath the waves. He asks what the quest for mythical monsters can bring to human psychology and the study of rare species. And he hears the mathematical secrets of the Tibetan singing bowl.

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  • Krill, Royal Society sensations, Science of body art

    Thu, 7 Jul 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper hears how krill fertilise the ocean; he visits the Royal Society’s Summer exhibition to investigate sight, sound and smell and hears how science meets art in the artist’s body

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  • Climate models, Early universe, Happy faces, Mobile Phones

    Thu, 30 Jun 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin looks at climate models, the early Universe, happy faces, and how mobile phones influence behaviour

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  • Material World: City stress, Darwin's library, science/health reporting

    Thu, 23 Jun 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper on city stress, Darwin’s annotated books and the debate of how science/health should be presented in the media. The producer is Tamsin Barber

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  • Material World: Ocean Drilling, Future technology for air planes, Dreams and Oxford English Dictionary

    Thu, 16 Jun 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper hears about some of the latest science research including: plans to drill the ocean floor to study climate, disasters and life underground; advanced technologies for the planes of the future; the influx of science words being added to the Oxford English Dictionary and why, what and when we dream. The producer is Martin Redfern

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  • Heart, Neolithic Building Boom, Amber

    Thu, 9 Jun 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper on how to make broken hearts heal themselves, how dating techniques have revealed a building boom in the Neolithic and an old tail in the hunt for fossils in amber.

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  • new E-coli strain, Teeth, science innovation, zero gravity

    Thu, 2 Jun 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    New E-coli strain found in Germany. Early cavemen had foreign brides! Researchers have studied hominid teeth from two caves in South Africa. They looked at the ratios of different types or isotopes of strontium in the teeth which they thought might reflect changing diet due to seasonal migration. Instead, they found a significant difference between the teeth of males and females. Professor Julia Lee-Thorp, from Oxford University, explains more. Writer Mark Stevenson, has curated a series of talks at the British Library. His talk 'The Age of Entanglement' looks at human interaction with science and innovation and whether we are too dependent on technology. Quentin talks to Mark Stevenson and Sir Martin Taylor. Fly Your Thesis! Postgraduate students from Leicester are back from a series of flights in France with the European Space Agency aboard a plane sometimes dubbed the vomit comet. David Gray and Dr Charly Feldman from Leicester University, join Quentin.

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  • Icelandic eruption, Electron shape, Urban gardens

    Thu, 26 May 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Adam Rutherford investigates the latest Icelandic eruption, the shape of the electron and the benefits of urban gardens

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  • Smallpox, Colour photograph, Higgs Higgs!

    Thu, 19 May 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Smallpox, should it be destroyed? One hundred and fifty years of the first colour photo and when will we know if we’ve found the Higgs'?

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  • New epoch, Fungi discovery, Domesday Project

    Thu, 12 May 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    A new human geological epoch, a surprising fungi discovery and the rediscovery of the Domesday Project.

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  • Einstein proved right; how fat can cause dementia; the science of tornadoes; and mapping English orchards

    Thu, 5 May 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Being overweight can raise your chance of dementia according to a new study, but what's the connection?; The tornadoes in the USA last week broke all records - is something going on?; The satellite that has proved (at last) a key part of Einstein's theory of gravity; and the 2000 varieties of apples to be found in Olde English orchards

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  • Ocean tea, Shuttle search for antimatter, Cosmati Pavement, Robot ethics

    Thu, 28 Apr 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin investigates ‘ocean tea’ in the Arctic and salt in the South; how the Space Shuttle will search for antimatter, restoring the ground under Kate and William’s feet and re-writing Azimov’s laws for robot ethics

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  • Material World: Deepwater Horizon, Chernobyl, Penguin clean up, Saturn

    Thu, 21 Apr 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Deepwater Horizon, the world's worst oil disaster, 1 year on; Chernobyl, the world's worst suclear accident, a quarter of a century later; Penguin clean up on Tristan da Cunha; and Saturn and its amazing moon Enceladus.

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  • Material World: Fossils, Biofab, Harrison Timekeeping, Gagarin

    Thu, 14 Apr 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Oxford University's Leila Battison describes fossils of some of the first life forms on Earth, found by Loch Torridon in northwest Scotland. Also Dr Drew Endy, director of BIOFAB, the world's first open-source synthetic biology factory, on how he hopes to provide generic genetic parts to bioengineers to speed up developing new organisms. Quentin goes to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to see one of the oldest chronometers being refurbished ahead of the 300th anniversary of the 1714 Longitude. And Doug Millard, Space Curator from the Science Museum talks about Yuri Gagarin and the technology used to blast him into space.

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  • Material World: Pre-pregnancy screening, mathematics of Life, scientific travel archive

    Thu, 7 Apr 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to Professor Alison Bruce from Brighton University about the latest developments at the Fukushima plant in Japan. Dr. Fred Kavalier a GP and former genetics consultant discussues pre-pregnancy screening and what genetic conditions it could possibly help detect. Professor Ian Stewart will explain why maths is fundamental to biology, which is also the subject of his latest book "Mathematics of Life" and Royal Society Head Archivist Keith Moore is describing some of the scientific travel manuscripts that have been scanned and put online for all to enjoy.

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  • Japan, Beaked whales, Birds, Sergei Korolyov

    Thu, 31 Mar 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Japan is to decommission four stricken reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant. Adam Rutherford talks to Dr. Jim Smith and Professor Gerry Thomas. Scientists from the University of St Andrews have found that beaked whales are particularly sensitive to unusual sounds. Professor Ian Boyd explains. A new study shows that large birds of prey and sea birds crash into wind turbines and power lines because they do not look where they are going. Adam talks to Professor Graham Martin. The play 'Little Eagles' tells the story of Sergei Korolyov, chief designer of the Soviet space programme. Writer Rona Munro joins Adam to explain more.

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  • Japan, Penguins, Films, Sports Science 24 Mar 11

    Thu, 24 Mar 11

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to Professor Robin Grimes, the Director of the Centre of Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College, London about the latest developments at the Fukushima nuclear plant. We speak to an ornithologist who is battling to save penguins in one of the remotest parts of the world - the islands of Tristan da Cunha - following an oil spill. Also on the programme; can Hollywood put real science into the movies and the latest in sport engineering and how it can lead to gold medals.

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  • Japan Nuclear Power Crisis

    Thu, 17 Mar 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    In this week’s programme, Material World examines and explains the science behind the nuclear power plant crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Quentin talks to Professor Andrew Sherry, Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, about the science and engineering of nuclear power stations. Professor Richard Wakeford explains what radiation is and its effects. Professor Geraldine Thomas, Chair in Molecular Pathology, Imperial College London, explains the health effects of exposure to radiation. Malcolm Grimston, expert on nuclear energy technology and policy from Chatham House discusses what went wrong in Japan and implications and lessons for elsewhere.

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  • Space, Daffodils, Watt, Ig Nobel 110.03.11

    Thu, 10 Mar 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Adam Rutherford presents the weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. Joining him on the programme this week is Dr Ian Crawford from Birkbeck College, University of London, who will be discussing the future of human space flight and what it holds now that the final shuttle missions are almost completed. Also on the show; we find out what daffodils are really made of and we visit the science museum where the orginal workshop of engineer James Watt is about to be opened to the public. Finally, the champion of science that makes us laugh and think Marc Abrahams, the creator of the Ig Nobel awards, is in the studio.

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  • Women, Meteorites, Squirrels 03 03 11

    Thu, 3 Mar 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The UNESCO 2011 Women in Science Awards recognises five outstanding women scientists. Quentin talks to Clare Lloyd, Professor of Respiratory Immunology at Imperial College, about the importance of these awards in encouraging female scientists. Researchers in America have discovered a meteorite which is rich in the gas ammonia. It could lend weight to the argument that life on earth may have been seeded from space. Quentin talks to Professor Sandra Pizzarello, who led the research and Dr Caroline Smith, Curator of Meteorites at the Natural History Museum in London. Following last week’s piece on grey squirrels, Quentin responds to a listener’s email asking about black squirrels. Helen McRobie from the Anglia Ruskin University joins Quentin to explain more about these creatures.

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  • Earthquake, Squirrels, Carbon animals, RHS 24 Feb 11

    Thu, 24 Feb 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Before the earthquake in New Zealand last September, the fault line it occurred on wasn’t known about. Following the damaging and deadly aftershock, there are concerns whether the whole area is much more vulnerable than we previously thought. Quentin is joined by Dr Elisabetta Mariani, who has just returned from drilling the major fault line in New Zealand. Two thirds of people in the UK now think that grey squirrels should be controlled or even removed- according to a survey by the European Squirrel Initiative. Quentin finds out more from Dr Craig Shuttleworth. Tiny Antarctic marine creatures collected 100 years ago by Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott give new clues about change in polar animals. Dr David Barnes, joins Quentin to explain more. The Royal Horticultural Society is announcing a new campaign to raise nearly £600,000 for a new research facility. It is the only independent organisation that funds research into gardening. Dr. Roger Williams explains more.

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  • Human impact on flooding, Van Gogh’s fading paint, Tempel 1, Solar flare 17 Feb 11

    Thu, 17 Feb 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Scientists have discovered that green house gases have significantly increased the risk of extreme rainfall. Dr Richard Allan and Professor Mark Maslin join Quentin to explain more. X-ray analysis has been used to explain why the bright yellows in his paintings have faded to brown over time.... Quentin talks to Professor Koen Janssens, from the University of Antwerp, who led the research. On February 14th NASA’s Stardust-NExT mission hooked up with the Tempel 1 Comet, which back in 2005 had been subject to a vicious and unprovoked assault by another NASA probe, Deep Impact. Quentin talks to Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from Queen’s University, Belfast. The largest solar flare in four years has erupted from the sun. The eruption, called an X-flare is the strongest type and can affect communications on Earth. Dr Alan Thompson from the BGS joins Quentin to explain more.

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  • Science in Egypt, Marine Invaders, Climate change, Flea jumping

    Thu, 10 Feb 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    As the protests continue in Egypt, Quentin talks to Professor Hassan Azzazy, from the American University in Cairo about how the regime has effected science and research and how he hopes that a regime change may benefit Egyptian scientists in the future. Engineering the Future (EtF) is an alliance of the UK’s leading engineering and technological institutions. On 8 February they published a report, commissioned by DEFRA, on the challenges of adapting the UK’s infrastructure to the threat of climate change. Quentin speaks to Professor Will Stewart and Professor Eric Sampson. Scientists from Cambridge University have solved the mystery of how fleas jump. Professor Malcolm Burrows and Dr. Gregory Sutton have discovered that fleas jump by pushing off with the toes instead of their ‘hips’.

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  • Cyclone,Extrasolar Sys,Ramsay,Lake Vostok

    Fri, 4 Feb 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Cyclone Yasi – the strongest cyclone in a century - has battered the state of Queensland, Australia, leaving a trail of destruction. Quentin finds out about the extreme weather that has occurred in the country. The team from the Kepler Space Mission have announced the discovery of an extrasolar system consisting of a Sun-like star called Kepler-11 with six transiting planets. Few stars have more than one known transiting planet, making this very unusual. English Heritage are dedicating a blue plaque to chemist and nobel prize winner Sir William Ramsay. Discoverer of noble gases, Sir William has been described as the greatest chemical discoverer of his time. A Russian team are metres away from reaching the water surface of Lake Vostok, the largest and deepest of the freshwater lakes beneath Antarctica's ice sheet. The project, launched more than 20 years ago, has been repeatedly delayed by technical glitches and concerns from the international community.

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  • Oldest galaxy; Living art; Back to bed bugs & Chemical engineering

    Thu, 27 Jan 11

    Duration:
    26 mins

    Quentin finds out more about what may be the oldest galaxy ever seen. There is also a look at a part art/part science exhibition containing living dolls. Bed bugs complete with smells make a come back on Material World and we look at why more and more people want to become chemical engineers.

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  • UK Swine flu autopsies, Genetic study of bed bugs, Science out of the classroom 20 Jan 11

    Thu, 20 Jan 11

    Duration:
    26 mins

    As swine flu is still an ongoing concern,Quentin looks at the latest reports from UK autopsies of last winter's swine flu deaths and how the research may help with diagnosis. He talks to pathologist Professor Sebastian Lucas and Dr Imogen Stephens. Bed bugs have plagued us since prehistoric times, but pesticide-resistant strains have now taken over New York and threaten to spread across the planet. The first genetic study of bed bugs promises to find the causes of that resistance and more about the bugs' biology. Quentin talks to the study’s co-author Om Mittapalli and Professor Mike Siva-Jothy. How do we get more children interested in science? A report from the Association for Science Education claims that if we want pupils to become enthusiastic about science then you have to take them out of the classroom. Marianne Cutler, the Executive Director of the Association for Science Education explains why.

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  • Medical Research bureaucracy, Corruption and Earthquakes, Music Moods

    Thu, 13 Jan 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Medical research in the UK is being hampered by bureaucracy and burdensome regulation according to a report published this week. Quentin hears how damaging the delay can be to UK science and how things can be improved. Corruption is the leading cause of death in earthquakes according to seismologist Roger Bilham in this week's edition of Nature. Corrupt governments fail to enforce simple building regulations which could save many lives when the ground starts shaking, he argues. Quentin finds out about the global transparency index. Chills in music arise in the same way as cocaine-fuelled highs, according to neuroscientists. Tracking the mental, chemical and physiological changes of volunteers hearing their favourite music, the researchers found primitive 'reward' centres of the brain fire up at moments of peak emotion. Valorie Salimpoor, who led the research, reveals the ups and downs of the musical experience.

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  • International Year of Chemistry

    Thu, 6 Jan 11

    Duration:
    29 mins

    2011 is the International Year of Chemistry: Quentin hears about the largest synthesised molecule, how legitimate research on neurochemicals was subverted by designer-drugs makers, the value of rare earth elements, and green chemistry.

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  • So You Want to be a Scientist catch-up 30 Dec 10

    Thu, 30 Dec 10

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Quentin Cooper catches up with the four finalists of the So You Want to be a Scientist talent search. And he reports on the public impact of the Royal Society's Year of Science

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  • New Hominid; Einstein; Cooking for Geeks 23 Dec 10

    Thu, 23 Dec 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    DNA analysis of the fragment of finger bone found in Siberia has shown that it is likely to be a new species of hominid: we discuss the findings; Quentin meets former chemistry professor Peter Plesch who reminisces about family friend Albert Einstein; and Jeff Potter, author of 'Cooking for Geeks', tells Quentin how to cook a perfect Christmas turkey in just 15 minutes.

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  • Science and Disasters, Deepwater Horizon, Haiti Earthquake 16 Dec 2010

    Thu, 16 Dec 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    2010 - year of disasters. Floods, wild fires, volcanoes, earthquakes, and a record breaking oil spill. Material World has time and again been reporting on some of the disasters that have struck over the year. And earth scientists gather at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco to review their data from each event, Quentin Cooper asks how science helped, and what the lessons are for the future.

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  • Drugs policy, Space travel and Genome sequencers

    Thu, 9 Dec 10

    Duration:
    26 mins

    Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. In the programme this week he discusses the new government proposals to include fewer science voices on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Getting into space is still proving harder than it looks, Quentin looks back on recent mishaps in man's attempts to conquer space. Also in the programme, will we soon be sequencing our own genomes in our own homes?

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  • Cold weather, African self-sufficiency, Maple seed flight, Red dwarfs; 02 Dec 10

    Thu, 2 Dec 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    This week on Material World, we find out why some places in the UK are particularly cold. What makes these ‘frost hollows’ so much colder than their surrounding regions. Could Africa feed itself within a generation, apparently it could according to a leading figure in the field of international development. A new flying vehicle based on the maple seed has been developed by students in the US. The new invention could be used to map remote canyons on Earth and Mars, as well as gather atmospheric climate date for years at a time. And many, many more stars in the sky than we thought.

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  • Recession and a warming world, Liquid Universe, Stranded cetaceans, Alan Turing; 25 Nov 10

    Thu, 25 Nov 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Gareth Mitchell discusses the recession and its impact on the climate, high energy nuclear collisions at CERN, stranded cetaceans and Alan Turing's papers.

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  • fighting crop disease, anti-matter, Tycho Brahe 18 Nov 2010

    Thu, 18 Nov 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper presents this week’s digest of science in and behind the headlines. In this edition: the development of disease resistant crops the better to feed our swelling population; trapping anti-hydrogen atoms to unravel one of the great mysteries in physics; and exhuming the body of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe to find out whether he really died of a bladder infection.

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  • Large Hadron Collider, snow and global warming, invisible material 11 Nov 2010

    Thu, 11 Nov 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper presents this week’s digest of science in and behind the headlines. In this edition: The Large Hadron Collider and how smashing lead ions together help our understanding of what happened at the birth of our Universe; after the first snowfall this season, a look at what scientists have discovered about last year’s cold snap and how it relates to global warming; and the first steps to an invisibility cloak that will hide any object wrapped inside.

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  • Space Station; Dragonflies; Turbine 04 Nov 2010

    Thu, 4 Nov 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The International Space Station - is it worth the cost? Giant Dragonflies from the First Forests; The Electrical Generator that Changed the World.

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  • Indonesia Tsunami; Merapi Volcano; Space Tourism; First Electronics 28 Oct 10

    Thu, 28 Oct 10

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Indonesian disasters: Quentin hears from the experts about the causes of this week's Sumatran earthquake and tsunami, and the latest eruption of Mount Merapi on Java, and how science can help. And pollution from space travel. As the world's richest line up for the first private flights into space, experts warn that rocket exhausts could exacerbate the problem of global warming. Also, after the last in the series A History of the World in a Hundred Objects celebrates the latest in electrical gadgetry, Quentin sees the humble glass electrical valve that kick started the whole electronic revolution.

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  • Science & The Spending Review 21 Oct 2010

    Thu, 21 Oct 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Science Minister David Willetts tells Quentin Cooper and a panel of experts about the effects of the spending review on the research budget.

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  • Stem cell trials, Archaeology & human remains, Interplanetary encounters: 14 Oct 2010

    Thu, 14 Oct 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Stem cell trials - Geron's spinal cord therapy starts after years of regulatory wrangles. Human remains and archaeology - researchers complain of burdensome regulations. And a brief encounter with a comet chaser NASA's Deep Impact space probe is closing in on the Comet Hartley 2; Quentin hears about the science astronomers hope to learn from the encounter.

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  • Nobel Prizes, the Sun & climate 07 Oct 2010

    Thu, 7 Oct 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    This week the latest science Nobel Laureates have been announced and Quentin will not only look at who got what and why, but how the awards are being used to argue against UK government plans to cut science funding; and new research into the Sun’s effect on the Earth’s climate seems to be contrary to expectations.

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  • Gliese 581 g, Dry water, Mobile and internet use, Crick 30 Sep 2010

    Thu, 30 Sep 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Discovery of new planet Gliese 581 g, a demonstration of dry water, patterns in mobile phone and the internet usage and the lost correspondence of Francis Crick.

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  • Sept 23rd 2010

    Thu, 23 Sep 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Gene therapy, 20 years after the first trial. Forensic archaeology in the search for the 'disappeared' from Northern Ireland's troubles. And British geology in your pocket.

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  • So You Want To Be A Scientist Final

    Thu, 16 Sep 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin hosts the live final of the "So You Want To Be A Scientist" competition. The four finalists present their findings to a panel of judges. Who will be this year's best amateur scientist?

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  • 9th September 2010

    Thu, 9 Sep 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Quentin Cooper presents this week’s digest of science in and behind the headlines. In this edition; Business Secretary Vince Cable has unveiled plans for a squeeze on public funding for scientific research. Quentin discusses what this could mean for British Science. An attempt to answer the question of why human evolution defies the principles of natural selection and why, although we dominate the planet, we have become the weakest ape, physically. The European eel is on the decline with no obvious reason why. The ‘Eeliad’ project will use GPS find out what happens on their migration across the Atlantic Ocean. A week before the So You Want To Be A Scientist final, Nina Jones and her mentor Dr Bernie Hogan talk to Quentin about their findings as they continue to analyse the results from their Facebook experiment.

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  • Cluster Mission, SYWTBAS Update, Bioconcrete, Fruit Flies 02 Sep 10

    Thu, 2 Sep 10

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The Cluster mission is ten years old this week; Quentin discusses how its findings help us understand the protective properties of the magnetosphere against solar winds. The problem of cracking concrete and its potential bacterial solution is discussed as he looks at bio-concrete which uses a strain of mineral-eating bacteria to do the job. As the humble fruit fly stars in its own conference Quentin takes a closer look at how important Drosophilia are in genetic experiments; and he interviews all four So You Want To Be A Scientist finalists at the crucial results phase of their experiments.

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