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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 6 November
PRESENTER
GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 6 November  2003
Skull


Bones of Contention

The return of human remains collected in Britain’s colonial past and now in British Museums has been an emotive and controversial issue for a long time. Indigenous communities around the world are demanding the return of the remains of their ancestors.

A panel of experts has just published recommendations to government on a repatriation policy. But one of the working party members, Sir Neil Chalmers, director of the Natural History Museum, has taken exception to important parts of the report. He explains his objections and why it’s important to keep at least some human remains in British collections.

A Secret to long and healthy life

Does it lie in the humble nematode worm? Professor Cynthia Kenyon of the University of California, San Francisco has manipulated the physiology of worms so that they live six times longer than normal and age very slowly. She has created the worm equivalents of sprightly and healthy 500 year old humans.

But does the work have any relevance for the dramatic extension of our youth?

The Atacama Desert – the Next Best Place to Mars

The Atacama Desert in Chile is so dry, not even bacteria can survive there. It’s the deadest and most Mars-like place on Earth.

An international team of planetary geologists including Drs Raphael Navarro-Gonzalez and Chris Mackay explain how they’ve been into the Atacama to re-run a tantalising experiment on the Viking Mars Landers in the 1970s – the results of which then raised the possibility that microbes did lurk in the Martian soil.

Crime and Pollen Grains

Dr Dallas Mildenhall is a forensic botanist in New Zealand and he talks about some of the cases he worked on where crimes have been solved with the help of pollen grains attached to victims and suspects.


Leading Edge returns in a new series on Thursday January 8th, 2004
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