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Childhood Stress

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 29 January 2009

The Effects of Childhood Stress on the Immune System
Elizabeth Shirtcliff of the University of New Orleans in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences writes how children who have been physically abused, or suffered severe deprivation in their infancy show long term damage to their immune systems. She discusses her findings on the programme.

Genes and Social Networks
Some people tend to the - “life-and-soul-of-the-party” types while others remain the wallflowers. Researcher James Fowler at the University of San Diego has discovered that where we are in a social network depends to some extent on our genes.

The Aurora Borealis
The Aurora Borealis is one of the world’s great spectacles. These sheets of flickering light, high in the Earth’s atmosphere, have become an established tourist attraction. Astronomer Chris Lintott recently crossed the Arctic Circle to see the Northern lights and discovered the science behind them.

Fifty Years of Pheromones
Its 50 years since the discovery of pheromones. Phemerones are chemical signals like airborne hormones, by which insects communicate their presence to each other. Tracey Logan reports on the potential value of pheromones to agriculture - and on their possible role in other human affairs:

Battlefield Archaeology
Alan Birkbeck and Dr Tony Pollard of Glasgow University are carrying out eighteenth century forensics. They are recreating ballistically what happened at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, when the Jacobites were defeated by Government troops. To do this they have built their own cannon.


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