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Quantum computer; Ancient water; Stem cells; Dambusters

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 16 May 2013

One of the world's most powerful, commercially available, "quantum" computers is to be installed at NASA's Ames research centre. It will be shared between Google, NASA, and researchers via the Universities Space Research Agency, providing access to a machine which is up to 3600 times faster than a conventional computer. Dr Geordie Rose, Chief Technical officer at D-Wave Systems, the comparny who developed this computer, and Professor Alan Woodward, from the Department of Computing at Surrey University are on the show.

Scientists have discovered the oldest fluid water system in the world, buried deep beneath Ontario, Canada. The waters have been isolated for at least 1.5 billion years and if microbial life is found, it could suggest that buried biomes might exist deep beneath the surface of Mars. Professor Chris Ballentine from the University of Manchester, head of the research project, tells us more.

Embryonic Stem Cells are cells with the unique capability of being able to develop into any kind of cell in the human body. Now a technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, which involves transferring the nucleus of a donor cell into that of a female egg cell, has been successfully applied to humans cells. Dr Paul De Sousa, a stem cell researcher from the University of Edinburgh, explains why these findings are important both to the scientific world and the world of healthcare.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters mission, Material World is taking a look at some of the spectacular, yet largely unknown engineering achievements of World War II. Beyond bouncing bombs were the lesser known military operations like PLUTO, Mulberry Harbour and Tern Island. Dr Colin Brown, Engineering Director at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers tells us more.

  • Quantum Computer

    quantum computer.jpg
    One of the world's most powerful, commercially available, "quantum" computers is to be installed at NASA's Ames research centre.
  • Buried biomes

    Ballentine picture.jpg
    Scientists have discovered the oldest fluid water system in the world, buried deep beneath Ontario, Canada.
  • Embryonic Stem Cells

    Human_embryonic_stem_cell_colony_phase.jpg
    A technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, which involves transferring the nucleus of a donor cell into that of a female egg cell, has been successfully applied to humans cells.
  • Dambusters

    Bouncing_bomb_tranining_-_IWM_FLM_2343.jpg
    To mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters mission, Material World is taking a look at some of the spectacular, yet largely unknown engineering achievements of World War II.

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