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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 14 July
PRESENTER
GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 14 July 2005
Royal Albert Hall, London

This week on Leading Edge - acoustics, dating human cells, Martian dust devils and parasites.

Dating Human Cells

Geoff Watts talks to scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden about a method of dating human cells, that was inspired by archaeology.

Archaeologists have long used the presence of Carbon-14, an isotope of carbon, to help them date ancient artefacts. Now neuroscientists are using carbon-14 to help them age cells found in our bodies.

Understanding cell turnover rates could help with the treatment of a number of diseases from eczema to depression and anaemia.

Acoustics at the Royal Albert Hall

The Proms season kicks off on Friday July 15th, and in tribute, Geoff pays a visit to the Royal Albert Hall with Trevor Cox, Professor of Acoustic Engineering.

They talk about how acousticians can manipulate concert halls to provide the ultimate concert going experience, and the importance of every surface, from the walls, chairs and even the audience.

Martian Dust Devils

Richard Hollingham visits the Open University in Milton Keynes, to see a Martian dust devil in action.

These swirls of dust that appear as if from nowhere on the surface of Mars, are still quite a mystery, and the OU scientists are hoping that their simulation will help them understand more about how these mini whirlwinds form.

Parasites

An international team of scientists have mapped the genome of 3 devastating parasites responsible for sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis.

The 3 parasites are collectively the cause of millions of deaths, throughout the developing world, each year. The mapping of these parasites genomes could help in the fight to produce better drugs and vaccines.


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