Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. This week he hears about the novel techniques that are being used to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Richard Pike, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, tells us how these methods should work as many of them have not been tested before.
The International Day for Biological Diversity in the UK is almost upon us; joining Material World this week Dr. Bob Bloomfield from the Natural History Museum and Dr. Ben Collen, from the Zoological Society of London, to discuss how humans are impacting on species loss and to explain why biodiversity needs to be taken as seriously as climate change.
Could tree rings from conifer trees that are thousands of years old tell us what the climate used to be like? Professor Chris Turney from Exeter University has been studying these ancient trees which have been preserved in peat bogs in New Zealand.
And what is a quantum kilogram? It does not exist yet! The kilogram is the only standard unit that is still based on an artefact. Jonathan Williams from the National Physical Laboratory explains how scientists are trying to redefine the kilogram. He also tells Quentin about the importance of standard measurements in science and engineering, all this on World Metrology Day.