1000 Genomes Project
A consortium of scientists have just completed a pilot study which aims to map the variation in the genetic code of 2,500 people from across the world. They have already found 16 million previously unknown variations in the DNA. Variation in the genetic code is what makes each of us different. The main application of the work is to look at the variations that spell for disease and disorders. But they think that the data will also give us insight into human evolution. Duplications of segments of the genome could well have led to the traits that distinguish human beings from other primate species, they also may be linked to diseases like schizophrenia and autism.
Moments of Genius
Nobel prize winning scientist Sir Tim Hunt describes his favourite moment in the history of science. The experimental German biologist Theodore Boveri, is one of Tim Hunt's heroes. In 1902, Boveri knew nothing about DNA and yet, in a beautiful set of experiments on sea urchin eggs, he worked out what happens when cells divide. This was 50 years before Watson and Crick, and others confirmed that Boveri's theory of chromosomes was absolutely spot on.
If it wasn't for the Earth's magnetic field, the atmosphere would be stripped away by the Sun and we would be bombarded by damaging radiation. Scientists have long recognised this and have tried many times to map the field, to get a better understanding of how it works and how it might change in the future. A hundred years ago, they did it with wooden boats that sailed the oceans for decades taking the most precise measurements possible at the time. Today, they use satellites.
Tracking saiga antelope in Kazakhstan
The saiga antelope is one of the world's most threatened mammals. They have been hunted almost to extinction. Now, conservationists are catching, tagging and monitoring this Central Asian antelope and its diverse steppe habitat renewed hope to try and learn about this elusive creature and it's migration patterns in order to try and increase its numbers.