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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 10 November
PRESENTER
GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 10 November 2005
Image of the proposed asteroid
An image of the proposed asteroid "tractor". © Dan Durda - FIAAA/B612 Foundation

This week on Leading Edge - towing asteroids, gravitational waves, zero waste and a genetically modified solution to avian flu.

Towing Asteroids

Geoff Watts learns about a novel way to stop asteroids colliding with Earth.

Stanley Love from NASA's Johnson Space Centre talks about his team's proposal to send up a "gravity tractor" - a spacecraft that will hover near a potentially dangerous asteroid, and use the effects of gravity to change its trajectory away from Earth.

Gravitational Waves

Geoff also talks to Dr Norna Robertson of Stanford University about another gravity experiment - not using it this time, but an attempt to understand the nature of this mysterious force.

Einstein first predicted the existence of gravity waves back in 1917, and now 90 years later we are on the brink of detecting them for the very first time.

A massive instrument known as LIGO has just switched on and could produce the evidence that scientists are looking for.

Zero Waste

Rami Tzabar reports from San Francisco about an initiative by the city to become waste free.

Zero waste is the new buzz word among environment enthusiasts, and the restaurants of San Francisco are leading the way in making sure that what leaves them in the form of food scraps to be composted will ultimately return to subsequent diners' plates in organically grown ingredients.

Avian Flu Resistant Chicken

Geoff Watts talks to scientist Helen Sang from the Roslin Institute about the prospect of producing genetically modified chickens that are resistant to Avian Flu.

The work is in its infancy, but if successful, could go a long way in halting the spread of this deadly disease, and reduce the chances of the virus mutating and infecting humans.


Leading Edge returns in a new series on Thursday February 2, 2006

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