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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.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 26 May
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 26 May 2005
Chelsea Flower Show

This week on Leading Edge - the Chelsea Flower Show, planetary billiards, SALT and walking octopuses.

Planetary Billiards

An international team of scientists have come up with a single theory that explains three great mysteries about our Solar System: how the moon got its craters, how Jupiter got its Trojans and why the giant planets have tilted orbits.

Geoff Watts talks to Dr Alessandro Morbidelli from the Observatoire de la Côte D'Azur, in Nice, France about these findings, published in the journal Nature this week.

Chelsea Flower Show

Geoff Watts visits the Chelsea Flower Show to see how plants are 'grown' in microchips.

Scientists from John Innes Centre are using their knowledge of the simple rules that control plant development to model plant growth in computers.

Geoff also finds out how horticulture and science can combine to bring about environmental improvement. A new rooftop water recycling system (GROW) uses plants to filter dirty water in homes so that it can be re-used.

Walking Octopuses

Molly Bentley visits the University of California Berkeley to learn that up-right walking is not restricted to creatures with a hard skeleton.

The discovery of walking octopuses suggests a new scenario for the evolution of walking and provides a model for a new generation of soft robots.

South African Large Telescope

SALT - the Southern African Large Telescope is a flagship project intended to demonstrate that the frontiers of science are not entirely reserved for the developed world.

When up and running, this incredible structure will allow scientists to view distant stars and galaxies a billion times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye, and will answer important questions about the nature of the Universe.


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