iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Clay on Mars, Neanderthals, Cholera, Tapeworms

Listen now 30 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Clay on Mars, Neanderthals, Cholera, Tapeworms

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 14 March 2013

Dr. Matthew Balme from the Open University talks to Quentin Cooper about the latest results from the Mars Curiosity Mission. The finding of neutral water, he says, indicates that many more types of microorganism may have once inhabited the Red Planet.

Ellie Pearce, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology in Oxford, explains why big eyes in Neanderthals may have led to a stunted social life, and eventually their extinction.

Is John Snow, born 200 years ago this week, really the man who should be remembered as the father of modern epidemiology? He is credited with tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho in 1854 to a single water supply in Broad Street (now Broadwick Street). Canadian bioethicist and author of "Disease Maps" Professor Tom Koch argues that there were others involved, and that such findings are seldom so straightforward.

Finally a novel approach to finding drugs for tapeworms. Scientists have sequenced the genomes of four tapeworms and have published their work in the journal Nature. They are now trying to identify drugs that interact with human proteins and seeing if they would also work in the same way in tapeworms. Dr. Magdalena Zarowiecki, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, explains how this method could be a cheap and quick way of finding a treatment for some of the world's most neglected diseases.

  • Tapeworms

    For the first time, researchers have mapped the genomes of tapeworms to reveal potential drug targets on which existing drugs could act.
  • Cholera

    Tom Koch
    Tom Koch - adjunct professor of medical geography at the University of British Columbia - discusses John Snow who famously identified a pump as being the source of a cholera outbreak in 1854.
  • Life on Mars?

    NASA has reported that its Curiosity rover has made another significant discovery on Mars after the robot drilled into a rock that contains clay minerals.
  • Did large eyes cause the demise of Neanderthals?

    Photo by:Leted

    A study of Neanderthal skulls suggests that they became extinct because they had larger eyes than our species.


Inside Science

Image for BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.

Free download

  1. Image for Material World

    Material World

    Weekly science conversation, on everything from archaeology to zoology, from abacus to the…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss