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Science
LEADING EDGE
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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 26 June
PRESENTER
GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 26 June 2003
A familiar face?

How do faces become familiar to us?

Witnesses are notoriously unreliable at recognising people from crime scenes. This has led to increased investigation into face recognition over the last 30 years.

Characters from soap operas and the Simpsons have been used in a vast new study to understand how we learn people's faces.

Mike Burton at Glasgow University reveals that mental images of people's faces come together much quicker than expected.  And there are a host of different characteristics people take on board for unfamiliar faces, compared to the familiar ones.

'Dumb-bell' molecules
Dave Leigh at Edinburgh University is creating and manipulating special molecular devices - rotaxanes.

These 'dumb-bell' shaped molecules could act as a mini abacus.  They could store up to 100 gigabites of data per square inch and offer some intriguing mechanical 'weaving' properties.  Properties that could vastly change the chemical nature of a polymer.

Revealing the secrets of stilton
Christine Dodd and her team at Nottingham University have identified a whole set of bugs in stilton.  The bugs could be be contributing this great English delicacy's smell, taste and texture.

The research could help to predict a cheese's character and control the variable taste of different cheese batches.

Next week 
Reports from the Royal Society's Summer science exhibition - including an artistic re-evaluation of the images and reputation of physicist Robert Hook
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