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What do miniature solar cells, making clothes that dissolve in the rain and new treatments for motor neurone disease all have in common? Chemistry - according to Professor Tony Ryan of Sheffield University. He develops innovative materials with nanotechnology. In this week's, The Life Scientific, Tony Ryan talks to Jim Al-Khalili and explores issues around the still controversial science of nanotechnology, including how safe it is and how scientists need to learn to talk to the public.

Much of Tony's work involves unlikely collaborations to discover novel ways of solving problems and of communicating science. He argues that chemistry can solve today's global challenges such as supporting the needs of 7 billion people in terms of food and power.

Clothes that absorb a dangerous greenhouse gas and sheets of plastic solar cells are just a few of his ongoing projects. He says chemistry needs to learn how to recycle every atom, whilst still providing all the things that people want - energy, food, electronics, clothing, and drugs.

Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald.

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28 minutes

Last on

Tue 21 Feb 2012 21:30

Inside Science

BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.