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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 to 15 September
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 15 September 2005
Deep Impact
An artists impression of a gamma ray burst

This week on Leading Edge  - Swift spots death throes of most distant star on record, power walking, fuel blocks from thorn bush and Fritz Haber: should we admire or despise him?


Swift Spots Death Throes Of Most Distant Star On Record 

Less than a year after its launch, NASAs Swift satellite has observed an exploding star at the edge of the currently observable Universe.

The discovery confirms astronomer Don Lamb's predictions that brief, intense bursts of gamma-rays from dying stars might be used to illuminate the cosmic dark ages when the first stars and galaxies formed.


Power Walking

Hikers may soon be able to charge up their mobile phone simply by walking.

A new design of rucksack described in the journal Science converts the mechanical energy generated by walking into electricity.

What's more, bio-medical engineer Arthur Kuo believes it the design will make walking less effortful.


Fuel Blocks From Thorn Bush

Fuel blocks made from Namibian thorn bush are due to arrive in the UK in October.

They're greener than wood or charcoal. And according to Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, they'll bring unexpected benefits for endangered cheetahs.


Fritz Haber: Should We Admire Or Despise Him?

The chemist Fritz Haber is a controversial figure. He invented the Haber process which fixes nitrogen from the air and is used to make fertilisers: the same process was used to make explosives during World War One.

The author of a new biography, Daniel Charles and professor of the history and philosophy of Science David Knight discuss how far scientists should be held responsible for their discoveries. Fritz Haber is not generally admired but is he any worse than the scientists who worked on the atom bomb during World War Two?

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