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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 22 September
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 22 September 2005
Hands Playing Piano

This week on Leading Edge - a mouse boosts down's syndrome research, zoobank, childhood practice makes perfect and remote-control humans.


Mouse Boosts Down's Syndrome Research

After years of effort, British scientists have pulled off a first for genetic engineering. They've created a mouse strain containing nearly a whole copy of Human Chromosome 21.

In humans, an extra copy of this chromosome causes Down's Syndrome, and in the mouse model, similar characteristics of the disorder are also present.

Scientists hope the breakthrough will help them identify the genes responsible for each characteristic of the syndrome, paving the way to therapies in the future.

ZooBank

About one and a half million animal species have already been discovered, and anything from eight to fifty million have yet to be. In a world that's worried about biodiversity, researchers need this information at their fingertips.

Where can you find a list of all these creatures? Well surprisingly, you can't.  But a new British venture called ZooBank could soon be coming to the rescue.

Childhood Practice Makes Perfect

If painful sounds resonate from the piano when your child goes near it, will encouraging him to practice improve his chances of becoming an accomplished player? New research suggests it could.

Brain scans of concert pianists reveal that practising the piano, particularly in childhood, really does make perfect.

Remote-Control Humans

Computer scientists have created a new breed of computer game to control your every move.

Taking the bends of a racing track at 180 miles an hour can now literally fling your body from side to side. Leading Edge explores the science behind the action. 

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