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Play now 18 mins

23/02/2012

Duration:
18 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 23 February 2012

Speeding neutrinos in doubt
Last September, Italian researchers stunned the world of science with news of neutrinos apparently travelling faster than the speed of light. Now, after detailed searching, they think they have found two subtle technical glitches that could throw that result into doubt. Jon hears the details.

Climategate revisited
When private documents taken from a climate-skeptic think tank last week revealed the organisation’s funding sources and future plans, environmentalists thought they had a riposte to the famous Climategate emails. But that sense of triumph has turned sour when a leading environmentalist, Peter Gleick, admitted this week to using deception to obtain the documents. President of the American Geophysical Union Michael McPhaden explains why they publically repudiated Dr Gleick. And Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment evaluates the harm done.

Male preserve
Predictions that the Y chromosome will wither to nothing are false according to a report in this week's Nature. The Y chromosome contains the key genetic switch that makes embryos male, but is badly corrupted compared to other chromosomes. But Jennifer Hughes of the Whitehead Institute of MIT says new evidence shows the damage stopped getting worse 25 million years ago.

Ancient Forest
A subtropical rainforest was entombed in a blanket of volcanic ash 300 million years ago, only to be rediscovered in Mongolia when a mining company removed overlying layers of coal recently. Professor Hermann Pfefferkorn of the University of Pennsylvania describes the miraculous preservation of trees, leaves and seeds that have allowed his colleagues to re-discover an ecology from before the dinosaurs.

  • Photo of the OPERA neutrino detector and producer Roland Pease

    Photo of the OPERA neutrino detector and producer Roland Pease

    taken by Matous Laznovsky

  • An artist's reconstruction of a 300-million-year-old peat

    An artist's reconstruction of a 300-million-year-old peat

    Used with the kind permission of PNAS

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