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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 27 April
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 27 April 2006
A Giant Tortoise
George, the last Geochelone nigra abingdoni

Lonesome George

A Galapagos Islands giant tortoise, nicknamed Lonesome George, is the last of his sub-species known to exist.

In 1972, George was taken to the Charles Darwin Research Station in an effort to breed him with closely related species, but these efforts have so far been unsuccessful.

This week, Quentin Cooper is joined by Professor William Holt, of the Institute of Zoology, and Dr Henry Nicholls, author of the book Lonesome George, to discuss preserving the genetic diversity of rare animals. 

Mega Plumes

In 1986, a small research vessel discovered a huge hydrothermal system off the Juan de Fuca ridge in the Northern Pacific.

This newly discovered phenomenon, the mega plume, is defined by the sheer magnitude of water and heat it contains and is thought to be the initial belch preceding the formation of a hydrothermal vent.

Last year in the Indian Ocean, another enormous mega plume, four times the size of any other ever recorded, was discovered.

Dr Bramley Murton and Dr Jon Copley of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, talk to Quentin about the fact and fiction of mega plumes.
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