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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 15 January
PRESENTER
GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 15 January  2004
Cotton-top tamarin
Cotton-top tamarin
© Saint Louis Zoo photo


Limits To Language

Although monkeys can understand very simple grammatical rules, could they hold their own at a party?
New research suggests that monkeys cannot master the more complex grammars that are central to human language.

Geoff Watts examines where the limits to language lie in animals.

Mars

What is happening right now on the Red Planet? Roger Highfield, science editor of the Daily Telegraph gives us an update.

Controlling Climate Change

And there’s a visit to the Duke Experimental Forest in North Carolina where American scientists are creating the levels of greenhouse gases we expect to prevail across the globe in 50 years time.

Could the forest canopy act as an effective “sink” to soak up carbon dioxide and stem the tide of climate change?

Thunderstorm Downbursts

We also hear from storm chasers who are getting to grips with dangerous and unpredictable winds known as thunderstorm downbursts. They occur when a pocket of cold air up to 2 km across falls rapidly to the ground during a storm.

As the air hits the ground, it spreads outwards in all directions and then curls in on itself like a mushroom cloud in reverse.
In a matter of minutes, the downburst can generate hurricane-scale wind speeds in unpredictable directions, with devastating effect.
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