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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 3 June 
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 3 June  2004
Aura satellite - artist's concept

This week on Leading Edge, Geoff Watts tackles air pollution and noise pollution. Plus, using maths to track culture change and the sounds animals make to attract the opposite sex.


Aura satellite launch

On 19 June, NASA will be launching Aura - a satellite whose mission it is to observe the Earth's climate.

Aura will survey the whole Earth's surface every twelve hours to monitor air quality and climate change.

Noise pollution

In Canada, a novel way of reducing traffic noise has been employed.

At night, giant loudspeakers are playing the sound of ocean waves to hundreds of sleep-deprived residents.

The man carrying out the sound experiment is Tony Leroux and Geoff Watts joins him in his sound lab to take part in the tests.

Cultural evolution

Alex Bentley has been tracking patterns of change in popular culture.

He has found that the same pattern governs seemingly unrelated phenomena from the design of ancient German pottery to modern baby names.

Animal attraction

Animals use basic sounds to convey many complex messages but little is known about how they produce them or what they mean.

At the recent conference of the Acoustical Society of America in New York, researchers discussed the way different animals use sound to attract mates.

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