Quentin is joined by Professor Andrew Fazakerley from UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory to discuss the findings of the Cluster mission which is ten years old this week. Its unique constellation of four spacecraft flying in formation around the Earth studies the interaction between solar winds and the magnetosphere – the Earth's 'magnetic shield'. Quentin explores how well the magnetosphere protects Earth from deadly energetic particles produced by storms on the Sun.ESA: Cluster Mission
Image: Illustration of solar wind impact on Earth's magnetosphere
So You Want to be a Scientist?
With just two weeks to go before the final, the amateur scientists have reached a crucial stage in their experiments. In between analysing results and charting data, the four finalists share their thoughts on how being a scientist has differed from their expectations, and how their newly found skills and experiences have changed their perceptions of the scientific community.Book free tickets to the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year final
Quentin speaks to an engineer who has invented a biological concrete that can repair its own cracks. Dr Henk Jonkers of the Delft University of Technology produced the self-healing concrete using a special strain of mineral-eating bacteria. Millions of dormant bacteria are incorporated in the concrete and when the concrete cracks they go to work, secreting calcite, which forms a seal. Dr Jonkers will be speaking at next week’s EU-US Frontiers of Engineering symposium in Cambridge and will talk to Quentin about the safety of the concrete and the implications of his invention.Delft University: Bio Concrete
Image: Shibboleth by Doris Salcedo, 2007
The humble fruit fly is the topic for this week’s Neurofly conference in Manchester. Quentin talks to Professor Andreas Prokop about Drosophila and its contribution to research as a model for human genetic disorders. Our understanding of human sleep patterns, aggression, autism and now Alzheimer’s disease has been shaped by the results of experiments on fruit flies, and Quentin will be discovering why they continue to be so useful in genetic research.Neurofly 2010
Image copyright: Max Westby
Weekly science conversation, on everything from archaeology to zoology, from abacus to the...