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Play now 18 mins

03/11/2011

Duration:
18 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 03 November 2011

Fukushima update
A radioactive gas has been detected at the site, which was badly damaged by an earthquake and tsunami in March. Reactors went into meltdown and engineers have been working to bring them under control ever since. The official word is that they are on track to achieve a stable shutdown by the end of the year, so does the new detection of radioactivity show that something is wrong? Paddy Regan, Professor of Nuclear Physics at the University of Surrey, and an expert in Radiation Science, joins us on the programme to explain what is happening at the plant.

Moon Express
Jon Stewart visits Moon Express, the company trying to be the first commercial venture to land on and mine the Lunar Service. It already has a contract from NASA to develop lunar landing technology.

Modern Humans
New analysis of a human jawbone found in the UK back in 1927, and thought to be about 35,000 years old, has shown it to be a lot older, closer to 44,000 years old. What that means is that humans and Neanderthals were living in Europe together. Professor Tom Higham, the Deputy Director of the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at the University of Oxford had the second look, and joins Jon Stewart on the programme.

Ice Age Animals
The end of the last Ice Age saw a massive extinction of large mammals, two thirds of species disappeared. Why they died out has not ever fully been investigated. Did we hunt them to death, or did a changing climate lead to their demise, or was it a combination of factors? A team led by Professor Eske Willerslev from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, used the lasted DNA techniques, and also studied archaeological remains from North America and Eurasia to find out.

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