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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 21 February
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 21 February 2008
Image of the DNA double helix
A new examination of the diversity of human DNA offers some insight into the evolution of modern human populations.

DNA diversity

We now have more information about our DNA than ever before to assist in reconstructing our genetic history.

Richard Myers of Stanford University has used the tiny variations in our DNA make-up to produce the most detailed study yet of our origins and subsequent migration around the globe.

To what extent does it support the Out of Africa theory?

AAAS

Geoff Watts also reports from the 2008 meeting in Boston of the American Association of the Advancement of Science which includes:

Earth-like planets

Michael Meyer has been tracing the evolution of rocky planets around other stars in our galaxy.

New evidence suggests that rocky planets like Earth may be far more common that has been thought up to now.

Tracking baseball players

Statistician Shane Jensen has devised an ingenious way of quantifying the fielding performance of baseball players.

It’s harder than the more familiar analysis of pitchers or hitters. Could this be a valuable tool for cricket managers?

Sharks in Antarctica

As southern ocean waters warm, Richard Aronson of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alaska predicts shell crushing crabs and sharks will return to the region.

What effect will this have on the delicate and unique biodiversity?

Memory and predicting the future

Dan Schacter of Harvard University discusses newly discovered links between memory and imagination.
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