iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for 27/11/2009

Play now 28 mins


28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 27 November 2009

Treating cancer tumours often involves complicated and costly surgical operations, but new research has opened the way for a possible therapeutic vaccine that can destroy large tumours in mice. Small bioengineered plastic disks, which are designed to prevent cancer growth were implanted under the skin of mice. These discs then redirected the immune system to recognize and attack cancerous cells, even destroying large tumours. Jon Stewart speaks to David Mooney from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard who led the team behind the work.

It was a hundred and fifty years ago the John Murray, a publisher in London, first produced a book that was to revolutionise science thinking; Darwin's "On the Origin of Species". Geoff Watts has been to the John Murray Publishing House in London to speak to direct descendants of both Murray and Darwin. He finds out why Darwin chose this particular publishing company to promote his book.

The Brazilian government is seeking to repave BR-319 route between Porto Velho and Manaus. But the plan is controversial because the 900km road cuts right through the Amazon rainforest. The road has been inaccessible for most vehicles since 1988, and not everyone is keen for the road to be reopened, particularly conservationists who are worried the repaving will mean many species – both animals and plants - will be lost forever. Eric Camara from the BBC Brazilian Service has travelled the length of the road to find out what the people who will be affected by any change really think.

Habitat loss that has happened in the Amazon is a known threat to biodiversity, but what about other potential threats? Jon Stewart speaks to Professor William Sutherland who's research has just been published in the journal "TREE – Trends in Ecology and Evolution". He argues that it's vital to identify how new developments like nanotechnology or mobile phones could effect the environment and scientific research – both in good ways and bad.

Marcus du Sautoy has just been appointed as Oxford University's Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and speaks to Science in Action about his passion for maths. He argues that mathematics is the key to many of greatest scientific and technological advances in history and that it even forms the basis for great works of art, from music to literature.



  1. Image for Science Hour

    Science Hour

    Science news and highlights of the week from BBC World Service. The Science Hour is a weekly…

  2. Image for Science in Action

    Science in Action

    New developments in science and science news from around the world, weekly from BBC World Service.

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