Cosmic inflation; Chicken from Hell: Crowd Psychology

Theory of Inflation proved?
Astronomers at the South Pole announced that they had discovered gravitational waves rippling the remnant afterglow of the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago. If they have detected these primordial ripples in space-time they will proved Einstein right about their existence and added vital evidence to the Inflation hypothesis of cosmology. This theory holds that the Universe expanded at ever increasing speeds faster than light in its first miniscule fraction of a second. Cosmologists need inflation to be true to explain how the Universe we see around us could have been born out of a single gargantuan Big Bang of creation. The BBC's Jon Amos guides us through the latest developments and we hear views on the new discovery from Inflation Hypothesis founders Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, and from cosmologists Stephen Hawking and Neil Turok.

The Chicken from Hell
It looked like a cross between an ostrich and a giant lizard, stood taller than a human and was three metres long from beak to feathery (probably) tail tip. The newly named species of dinosaur has been nick-named the Hen from Hell and officially christened Anzu wyliei (Wylie's Feathered Demon). The BBC's Victoria Gill has the details and one of Anzu's discoverers, Matthew Lamanna, quantifies the excitement levels of finding a dinosaur new to science.

Crowd Control and Free Speech
What can psychology tells about how best to manage large crowds of demonstrators?

The Art and Science of Taxidermy
Stuffed animals are not just for dusty cabinets in old fashioned museums. Reporter Joel Werner discovers that regular New Yorkers can now attend art classes to express their creativity with dead mice and teeny tiny clothes. Joel also meets the taxidermist saving Lonesome George, the last giant Galapagos Tortoise, of his kind for posterity. And have museum specimens also solved the mystery of the Himalayan Yeti? Could the mythical mountain apeman in fact be a polar bear?

Antarctic Moss rises from 1,500 year frozen slumber
British scientists have successfully revived mosses that have been frozen under the Antarctic ice for 1,500 years. The researchers thawed out the ancient vegetation and were surprised to see new shoots rapidly appear. While bacteria of a similar age have been recovered before, the scientists say these are the oldest plants to be brought back to life.

Fructose Furore
Is the sweet tasting sugar, fructose, responsible for the pandemic of chronic metabolic disease such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and kidney diseases? Fruits are rich in fructose. Fructose is a major component of white table sugar, along with glucose. And as the name suggests, it's a majority component in high fructose corn syrup. Dr Mark Porter talks to experts on either side of the debate.

Brahmaputra River projects
BBC World Service environment reporter Navin Singh Khadka has been on the ground on the Brahmaputra river in the north-east of India, hearing reports of dramatically fluctuating water levels which are being blamed on hydroelectric dams further upstream and over the borders.

The Narwhal's Tusk
The narwhals' distinctive long tusks are super sensitive, research has found. The whales are known for their tusks which can reach 2.6m (9ft) in length, earning them comparisons with mythological unicorns. The tusk is an exaggerated front tooth and scientists have discovered that it helps the animals sense changes in their environment. Experts suggest males could use the tusks to seek out mates or food.

(Photo caption: the sun sets behind BICEP2 (in the foreground) and the South Pole Telescope (in the background) ©Steffen Richter, Harvard University)

Release date:

55 minutes

Last on

Sun 23 Mar 2014 14:06 GMT