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 21 November
PRESENTER
GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 21 November 2002
wine

A Chemical Formula For Wine

A biochemical firm claims that it’s finally cracked the code for making fine wine by breaking down and reassembling the individual compounds that give any wine its unique colour, flavour and fragrance. By calling up the chemical profile of an ideal wine – say a great vintage of a Bordeaux chateau, to act as a target, researchers claim they can recreate a Chateau Lafite molecule for molecule.

Geoff Watts examines the new technology that’s set to create tremors through the world of wine – and delves through the numerous chemical compounds that make up fermented grape juice to see how by combining them in the right quantity and combination it’s possible for a bottle - created by digital taste - to garner a score of 90 plus from The Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate – the twin bibles of America’s vinterati.

Discovery of Ancient Protein & DNA In Same Fossil Could Help Scientists Look Further Back in Time

Geoff Watts talks to the scientists who have found samples of DNA and protein in fossil bones more than fifty thousand years old. It's the first time that two substances so important to life have been recovered from such an old fossil and the scientists say that using their techniques it should be possible to go much further back in time.

From the bones of bison which died fifty-five thousand years ago, researchers were able to extract a protein known as osteocalcin, which is involved in making bone. Along with it came strands of DNA. It's the first time that the two most important types of life molecule, DNA and protein, have been recovered from such an old fossil. The reason why this team was able to do it is a new high-temperature method of extracting organic material from ancient bone. Then, using methods developed by one of this year's Nobel prizewinners, Koichi Tanaka, they were able to work out the exact structure of the osteocalcin. The scientists calculate that it should be possible to recover proteins from fossils up to ten million years old, though they believe DNA will only survive for hundreds of thousands rather than millions of years. Neither prediction makes it likely that dinosaurs can be brought back from the dead - though the researchers believe that both kinds of molecule will help establish the evolutionary trees of various kinds of creature, including perhaps humankind.

Remote Sensors That Can Detect Your Brain Waves and Heart Rhythms at a Distance

Imagine going to the medical clinic and having your health checked without your doctor even touching you. Such sensors, that can capture medical data at a distance, may soon make their way into the doctor’s medical bag. While the technology has yet to be tried out on patients, Professor Terry Clark an Electrical Engineer at Sussex University has developed a way of measuring wave forms of the brain and heart that he says is potentially more sensitive and accurate than standard EEG and ECG.
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