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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 to 16 October
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GEOFF WATTS
Geoff Watts
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Thursday 16 October2008
Josiah McElheny’s interpretation of the galaxy, in sculptural form. [Photo: Todd White Art Photography, courtesy of White Cube]
Josiah McElheny’s Island Universe. [Photo: Todd White Art Photography, courtesy of White Cube]

Alarming decline in West African chimpanzees

As Genevieve Campbell and Christophe Boesche report in this weeks Current Biology, a study in the nesting habits of chimpanzees became almost impossible due to a surprising lack of nests.

Only 10% of the expected population could be located. Geoff Watts discovers whether the chimps can be saved from extinction.

Invisible islands

What did the Big Bang look like?

Using scientifically correct equations and inspired by the chandeliers of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, artist Josiah McElheny and cosmologist David Weinberg set out to represent our galaxy in sculptural form.

Efficient electricity

The planned coal-burning power station at Kingsnorth continues to fuel a fierce row about the carbon dioxide that it should or should not be allowed to emit.

Chemist Andrea Sella from University College, London, thinks we should respect the laws of thermodynamics and return to the drawing board.

Space junk
 
Our planet is surrounded by a cloud of junk ranging from discarded rockets to flecks of paint. There’s even an astronaut's glove in orbit.
 
Although the problem is getting worse, Richard Hollingham reports on a solution.

Routes out of Africa

It is generally agreed that early humans did evolve in sub-Saharan Africa.

Moreover there’s fossil evidence that they reached what is now Israel some 90-130,000 years ago – and the obvious way of getting from the one to the other would be along the Nile Valley.

But new research from the University of Bristol suggests that there were alternative routes.
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