Image for Scientists make ‘laboratory-grown’ kidney, Russia alcohol crackdown, Stopping fish becoming extinct

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Scientists make ‘laboratory-grown’ kidney, Russia alcohol crackdown, Stopping fish becoming extinct

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 21 April 2013

Scientists make ‘laboratory-grown’ kidney
Globally, at least 200,000 people are on waiting lists for replacement kidneys. Now a US team have taken the first steps towards creating usable artificial kidneys. Prof Martin Birchall, University College London, explains that a kidney "grown" in the laboratory has been transplanted into animals and started to produce urine. BBC Health and science reporter James Gallagher joins us to discuss this development.

Iran earthquake
The most powerful earthquake in Iran for half a century happened this week. More than 60 times the energy was released compared to the one nearby ten years ago which destroyed much of the city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. Yet so far the death toll from Tuesday's earthquake is considerably lower. To explain this and more Dr Roger Musson from the British Geological Survey joins Quentin Cooper.

Robot wars
Prof Noel Sharkey fell in love with artificial intelligence in the 1980s, celebrated when he programmed his first robot to move in a straight line down the corridor and, for many years, judged Robot Wars on TV. Now, as using drones in real-life robot wars becomes a reality, Noel explains why he thinks AI is a dangerous dream.

3-D printed house
In a short story by Jorge Luis Borges a fastidious cartographer begins to unfold an enormous map of a region which he has drawn to the exact 1:1 dimensions of that region. Borges's story comes to mind when you stand in front of the giant 3-D printer in Amsterdam that is going to print a house. The KamerMaker 3-D printer is fashioned from the carcass of a shipping container and is six metres tall. Gareth Mitchell travels to Amsterdam to interview the DUS architects behind this project, Hedwig Heinsman and Hans Vermeulen.

Photo Credits: 1. Ott Lab, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. 2. AFP/Getty Images. 3. Courtesy of John Manderson


6 items



  1. Image for Click


    How computers and digital technology affect our lives around the world. Presented by Gareth…

  2. Image for Discovery


    The science documentary series that looks in depth at the most significant ideas, discoveries and…

  3. Image for Health Check

    Health Check

    The BBC World Service's weekly round up of global health stories and topical issues in medicine.

  4. Image for Science Hour

    Science Hour

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

  5. 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