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Play now 28 mins


28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 03 July 2009

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

  • A New El Nino?

    If you do a web search on El Nino, you can quickly get an idea of how much of an impact the weather phenomenon can have globally, on our lives:
    So when we saw this week in the journal Science that researchers have identified a new type of weather event – called a Central Pacific Warming Event - which could have an impact on forecasting, we thought it was something we should investigate further.

    Science Magazine
  • Royal Academy Summer Science Exhibition

    Every year in London a science exhibition is hosted by The Royal Society – the UK’s national academy of science, just down the road from Buckingham Palace.

    It’s a showcase of British research, with interactive exhibits, manned by the scientists and engineers behind the work. The idea is that the public gets to meet them, talk directly with them about their work, and get their questions answered.

    The Royal Society’s illustrious fellows have included Newton and Darwin, its just begun to celebrate its 350th anniversary, so it’s a great time to see what they have on display. Sue Broom went to do just that for us.

    The Royal Society
  • Secrets of Dinosaur Teeth

    We probably think we have a pretty good idea what dinosaurs ate – we’ve seen it in the movies often enough. There are large meat eaters like T-Rex who rip flesh from their victims. Then there are the ambling giants, such as Diplodocus, herbivores who munch their way through vegetation. The problem is we don’t have much information. When remains become fossilised only the hard structures – bones and teeth – are preserved and soft tissues like skin and organs decay away.
    Now though scientists have been able to piece together the eating habits of a dinosaur called Edmontosaurus by doing an incredibly detailed analysis of its teeth.

    PNAS – Mark Purnell’s report
  • Baboon and Human DNA

    What could Baboons, and their evolutionary story, teach us about fighting Malaria?
    Understanding the behaviour and evolution of primates can help us get a better understanding of our own, but tracking the evolution of specific genes is a much more complex step.

    For the first time researchers have looked at how we and baboons cope with Malaria. In humans a very specific genetic change can mean the difference between being susceptible to the disease or being immune. Now work published in the journal Nature shows that exactly the same gene can control whether baboons get sick.

    Nature: Evolution of a malaria resistance gene in wild primates



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