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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 6 October
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 6 October 2005
An artist's impression of Cryosat (Photo: ESA)

This week on Leading Edge - Spanish flu recreated, the CryoSat space launch, multi-sensory car warning systems and a breakthrough for diabetic transplants.

Spanish Flu Recreated

Scientists have painstakingly deciphered the precise genetic code of the 'Spanish flu' virus of 1918, that killed tens of millions of people.

It bears a striking resemblance to the H5N1 strain of bird flu that's causing such concern in South East Asia.

Using this sequence, scientists have now recreated this deadly virus from scratch.

Under lock and key at the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, it's hoped that by working out what made this virus so deadly, scientists will be able to protect us from the potential threat of today's avian Flu in South East Asia. 

CryoSat Space Launch

The European Space Agency satellite, 'CryoSat', launches this weekend.

The three year mission will monitor how quickly the ice sheets are thinning at the poles.

The data will reveal exactly what impact rising temperatures are having on the ice and on global sea levels.

Multi-Sensory Car Warning System

In the future, your car will feel and smell very different.

We usually use our eyes to assess danger on the roads. But with distracting noises and lights in cars making a play for our attention, scientists are turning to the other senses to warn drivers of impending danger.

Leading Edge takes the new technology through its paces at the UK's Transport Research Laboratory.

Breakthrough for Diabetic Transplants

Patients with Type-1 Diabetes lack the insulin-producing cells that control blood sugar.

Operations to transplant donated cells into diabetics have limited success, as only about a tenth of the cells survive.

Now Swedish scientists at Uppsala University have come up with a solution that could revolutionise efforts to cure diabetes. 

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