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23/06/2011

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 23 June 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.

  • Stress and the City

    Stress and the City

    A depressed man.

    Living in a major city is associated with a greater lifetime risk for mental disorders. For example living in a major city increases the risk of anxiety disorders by 21 %, and being brought up in a city doubles your risk of schizophrenia. However until now there has been no research into the biology of these associations. Research published in Nature is the first to show that two distinct brain regions, that regulate emotion and stress, seem to be affected by city living. Quentin talks to the author of this paper, Prof. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg and Dr Craig Morgan, who also carries out research in this area.

  • Darwin’s Books

    Darwin’s Books

    View of Darwin's Library in Down House about 1876-77
    Photo by: Cambridge University Library

    Notes and comments scrawled by Charles Darwin on the pages of his own personal library have been made available online for the first time. 330 of Darwin’s most heavily annotated books can now be read at the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s website. This is part of an ongoing collaborative project between the University of Cambridge, the Darwin Manuscripts Project, the Natural History Museum, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. It was acknowledged by Darwin, himself how important his reading had been in gathering evidence for his ideas and the development of his theory of Natural Selection. Quentin finds out more from Cambridge University’s Dr Alison Pearn about what these annotations reveal and their significance.

  • Health Reporting

    Health Reporting

    Newspapers

    A report published this week suggests that 68-72% of dietary health claims in newspapers fail to measure up to standard criteria for convincing evidence. Quentin discusses what should be reported and how with one of the report’s authors Dr William Lee, King’s College London and Roger Highfield, Editor of New Scientist.

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