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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 20 July
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 20 July 2006
A bee on a flower [Image courtesy of Roy Kleukers EIS/Naturalis, the Netherlands]
Andrena gravida, a wild bee declining in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

BRITISH BEES AND WILD PLANTS IN CRISIS

A landmark survey of insect and plant biodiversity in the UK and the Netherlands has discovered a severe and parallel decline in the number of bee species and insect-pollinated plants since the 1980s.

The study was led by Dr Koos Biesmeijer at the University of Leeds. It is the first to establish a long suspected link between the loss of pollinators and mutually dependent plant species.

The tandem trend threatens the richness of natural world as well as the pollination services on which many crop farmers rely.

GREENER GADGETS

The 21 st century is awash with wonderful digital gadgets but the disposal of dead and obsolete ones is a growing environmental headache.

Gareth Mitchell reports from the Dana Centre which showcased new ideas to make mobile phones and other digital devices biodegradable and easier and safer to dispose of.

NEW AFRICAN OCEAN STUDIED IN THE MAKING

Tim Wright at Oxford University explains how dramatic geological events in the Afar Depression of Ethiopia last year let geologists study the formation of new crust and the one step in the creation of an ocean in Africa, in unprecedented detail.

EARTHQUAKES STRIKE OIL?

Could shaking the ground help oil companies extract otherwise unrecoverable oil from underground?

It is possible says Dr Emily Brodsky, a seismologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her team has discovered that the shaking of earthquakes has a dramatic effect on the ease at which water flows in and out of rocks.
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