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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 05 May 2011

Quentin Cooper presents his weekly digest of science in and behind the headlines. He talks to the scientists who are publishing their research in peer reviewed journals, and he discusses how that research is scrutinised and used by the scientific community, the media and the public. The programme also reflects how science affects our daily lives; from predicting natural disasters to the latest advances in cutting edge science like nanotechnology and stem cell research.

  • Tornadoes in the USA

    Tornadoes in the USA

    The outbreak of tornadoes that ravaged the southern US last week was the largest in the country’s recorded history. The three-day period from 25th-28th April saw 362 tornadoes strike. More than three hundred and seventy seven people have died and many are still missing. We ask Josh Wurman, President of the Centre for Severe Weather Research in Colorado, what made last month's storms so exceptional, how researchers like him are investigating tornadoes, and how much there still is to learn.

  • Why being overweight can cause dementia?

    Being overweight or obese in mid-life could increase the risk of developing dementia in later life, scientists in Sweden have found. Previous studies have indicated a link between obesity and dementia, but this is the most comprehensive study to date to show an increased risk with just being overweight. But do we know why being overweight can affect memory? Dr. Simon Ridley, from Alzheimer's Research UK, joins us from Cambridge.

  • Mapping English Orchards

    Mapping English Orchards

    People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has completed a 5 year survey to map England’s traditional orchards - a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority Habitat. The inventory provides for the first time an accurate picture of the number of traditional orchards remaining, as well as a county by county league table about their age and condition. We speak to Anita Burrough, the Orchard Project Officer at PTES.

  • Gravity Probe B Announcement

    NASA first got involved with the Gravity Probe B (GP-B) space mission in 1963. The project was designed to test two predictions derived from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Yesterday NASA announced the results of this long running mission. We talk to Professor Tim Sumner from Imperial College, about whether Einstein got it right.


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