bbc.co.uk
Home
Explore the BBC
Radio 4
PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcast
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

About the BBC

Contact Us

Help


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

Science
LEADING EDGE
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
PROGRAMME INFO
Thursday 21:00-21:30
Leading Edge brings you the latest news from the world of science. Geoff Watts celebrates discoveries as soon as they're being talked about - on the internet, in coffee rooms and bars; often before they're published in journals. And he gets to grips with not just the science, but with the controversies and conversation that surround it.
radioscience@bbc.co.uk
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 04 July
PRESENTER
GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 04 July 2002
Exposing the secrets of the seas in Leading Edge

This week Leading Edge goes to the Royal Society where specialists across the spectrum of science are show-casing their latest investigations and inventions.

Oceanographers working on The Argo Project are looking at changes in the seas' movements, temperature and salinity in an attempt to understand and predict climate change.
This international project will be using 3,000 specially designed buoys to study the top 2000 metres of the oceans. Geoff Watts finds out how the scientists decide where to put the buoys and how they collect the data.

Until recently it's been difficult to study insects flying more than a few metres above the ground. Geoff Watts talks to researchers at Rothamsted Experimental Station in Harpenden who have been using a Vertical Looking Radar to measure the size and wing-beat frequency of individual insects flying up to 1km high. By comparing this data with specimens caught in traps, the team can identify which species of insect are flying at what altitudes. This could help show how variation in the abundance of airborne insects affects insectivorous species like bats and birds. And farmers could benefit by knowing when to expect pests.

For some years scientists have known they can trap and move microscopic objects using a laser beam, according to the laws of refraction and Newton's third law of motion. Now a team of scientists from St Andrews University have now modified this technique so that they can manipulate tiny objects. They trap molecules in propeller shaped laser beams that rotate, and by using simple controls even an inexperienced operator can spin microscopic objects. Geoff Watts finds out how this has applications in everything from understanding how DNA is damaged to driving microscopic pumps.

Joining Geoff to give his expert opinion on these exciting experiments will be Roger Highfield, Science Editor of the Daily Telegraph. Amongst the many new developments, they discover more about the missing matter in the universe, gain an insight into how artists see, and learn how scientists can genetically engineer a rainbow.
Listen Live
Audio Help
DON'T MISS
Leading Edge
LEADING EDGE
Current Programmes
Previous Programmes
Science, Nature & Environment Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy