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Extragalactic neutrinos, Hepatitis C in Egypt, Satellite Maps

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 24 November 2013

Results from an experiment buried in the Antarctic ice, which could help explain one of the biggest mysteries in the Universe – where do cosmic rays come from? Well the “Ice Cube” South Pole Neutrino Observatory consists of a vast array of sensors buried up to 2 kilo-meters deep to capture small particles called neutrinos. The Ice Cube captures one every six minutes but they’re mainly from within our solar system. But now scientists say they’ve found 28 events which come from outside our galaxy and which have possibly originated from the same place as cosmic rays.
Turning on this new “neutrino telescope” is being billed as a new chapter in astronomy. Professor Francis Halzen, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of a team of scientists who have been sifting through the first data sets collected.

Hepatitis C in Egypt
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting mainly the liver, caused by a contagious virus that is transmitted through contaminated blood. Egypt is the country worst-affected by Hepatitis C in the world, with around 12% of the population affected. BBC Arabic’s Claire Read has been in Cairo finding out why infection rates have remained persistently high for a number of decades.

Satellite Maps Forest Loss
University of Maryland scientists have used data from NASA’s Landsat Satellite Program to produce a global map that shows exactly how much of the earth’s surface is covered by forest. The interactive map also charts how much forest has been lost or gained so far this millennium. But scientists in the UK and in Borneo have uncovered an interesting but perhaps worrying result – the map classifies the expansion of oil-palm plantations in Southeast Asia as forest gain. Science in Action explores the implications of this.

(Photo credit: The South Pole © Getty Images)


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