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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 to 29 June
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 29 June 2006
Tulip

Genetic bar-coding of plant species by analysing their DNA

Botanists at Kew Gardens , the Natural History Museum and the Royal Botanical Gardens have recently embarked on a project to catalogue every plant species of the world.

Botany can rapidly get complicated when it comes to telling one plant species from another using physical features, which in part explains why it's estimated that as many as 80% of all plants on the planet are still unknown to science.

This ambitious project won't be simply looking at what the plants look like but will be looking at what they are made of by analysing their DNA.

Professor Mark Chase of Kew Gardens and Dr Johannes Vogel, the Keeper of Botany at London's Natural History Museum join Quentin Cooper to discuss the bar-coding of plant species.

History of Cancer

In 1971, President Richard Nixon announced that by the time of the American Bicentennial, five years later, we would have a cure of cancer.

In the early 20th century, radiation was hyped up as a cure for cancer, then decades later various chemicals were. None of these have been the mythical cure but each one has twisted the dial slightly and extended our arsenal against cancer and indeed, proven useful as treatments for other, unrelated diseases.

Adam Wishart, author of One in Three, A Son's Journey into the History and Science of Cancer and Karol Sikora, Clinical Oncologist at London's Hammersmith Hospital join Quentin Cooper to take a look at some of those cures and what is the reality nowadays after a diagnosis of cancer.
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