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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 25 May
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 25 May 2006
A chimpanzee in the wild
Scientists believe HIV really was passed from chimpanzees to humans

The Origin of HIV

It has long been suspected that HIV originated in wild chimpanzees and passed to humans via bush meat - but until now the only evidence has come from testing chimps in captivity.  Geoff Watts talks to Professor Paul Sharp from the University of Nottingham about new evidence that has been collected from wild chimpanzees in Cameroon that seems to confirm that our nearest genetic cousins are indeed the source of this devastating virus.

RHS Chelsea flower show

Geoff kicks off the summer season with a trip to the annual flower show at Chelsea.  He talks to the historic rose society about how they are using DNA fingerprinting to trace the heritage of some of our best loved and fragrant roses, and discovers why mushrooms and toadstools are the hidden gems of the countryside.

Zombie worms

Andrew Luck-Baker reports from a research vessel out in Monteray Bay, California, that is scouring the ocean depths for whale carcasses.  When whales die they provide a huge source of food for many strange creatures living at the bottom of our oceans, and none is stranger than a ghoulish red worm called Osedax - the bone-eating zombie worm.

Invisibility Cloak

Harry Potter had one, as did the romulan ship from Star Trek's USS Enterprise, and now according to physcists, you could have one too.  Scientists at Imperial College London claim that using specially designed materials that are able to guide light round an object, as if the object had never been there could make the object appear invisible.  It's still the stuff of science fiction, but could the invisibility cloak soon be science fact?
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