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23/05/2013

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 23 May 2013

The tornado that tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday 20th May is nothing new to the area, which is situated at the Southern tip of 'tornado alley' and was crippled by an equally devastating tornado back in 1999. But what is it that makes this stretch of land so susceptible to these phenomena and what can its residents do to protect themselves? Professor John Snow from the University of Oklahoma's College of Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences sheds some light on what life is like as a resident of 'tornado alley'.

Year on year, another tree disease or pest is identified within British borders with ash dieback the latest in a long list of pathogens attacking our native species. In light of this, The Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce has compiled its final report this week. Chris Gilligan, chairman of the expert taskforce and Professor of Mathematical Biology at the University of Cambridge, talks us through the report's recommendations.

In August 2011, outbreaks of Schmallenberg Virus in cattle, goats and sheep emerged in some countries of Western Europe. The most dramatic effects of the virus can be seen in stillborn calves and lambs with severe deformities. Just over a year since the virus was first discovered in the UK, a vaccine has been developed in time for the breeding season. Professor Peter Borriello, CEO of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, explains how the vaccine was engineered so quickly.

Professor Hugh Griffiths, the winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's (IET) A F Harvey Prize, is receiving his prize tonight - £300, 000 to continue his work on bistatic radar and using FM radio waves and TV signals as radar. He joins Quentin Cooper in the studio.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz.

  • Tornadoes

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    What is it about Oklahoma's geographical location that causes increased susceptibility to tornadoes? How can residents of ‘tornado valley’ better protect themselves against these rampant acts of Mother Nature?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

  • Tree health

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    The Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce have just issued their first report with recommendations to combat what they call an “unprecedented threat” from non-native pests and diseases.
  • Schmallenberg Virus Vaccine

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    The Veterinary Medicines Directorate has issued the pharmaceutical company MSD Animal Health a provisional licence to provide the new ‘Bovilis SBV’ vaccine to UK farmers. They will be the first in the EU to access the vaccine.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

  • Radio for radar

    Professor Hugh Griffiths, the winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's A F Harvey Prize, is receiving his prize tonight - £300, 000 to continue his work on bistatic radar and using FM radio waves and TV signals as radar. He joins Quentin Cooper in the studio.

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