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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 08 November
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 08 November 2007
Bombardier_beetle
A Bombadier Beetle
(credit: Andy McIntosh)

The Bombardier Beetle

The Bombardier Beetle has the amazing ability to spray its predators with a toxic blast of steam.

Its extraordinary powers of defence have now inspired a new generation of technology.

Quentin Cooper talks to Andy McIntosh, Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion at the University of Leeds and Richard Walker from Quintiles about how its rear end has helped develop new fuel injection systems, fire extinguishers, new types of nebuliser and even needle free injections.

Ionic Liquids

When is a liquid not a liquid? When it’s a salt. Why a new generation of solvents could revolutionize chemistry.

Ionic liquids are being used to purify drugs, clean up industrial waste, extract metals and make bio diesel more engine friendly.

Are ionic liquids heralding a new era of green chemistry?

Quentin is joined by Tom Welton from Imperial College London and Andy Abbott from Leicester University to find out. 

NEXT WEEK:   Are we heading for global fish stock extinction?
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