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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 24 January
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 24 January 2008
Bacterial Cell-Cell Signalling
Bacteria talking chemically to make colour pigments.
© University of Cambridge

Talking Bacteria

Bacteria can do the seemingly extraordinary and talk to each other.

How they communicate to regulate numbers, decide when is the best time to attack a host’s immune system or even see off rivals.

Quentin finds out why listening in on their chemical chatter could provide new ways of tackling superbugs like MRSA.

Quentin is joined by David Spring from the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge and Steve Diggle from The University of Nottingham Quorum Sensing Research Group.

Self Healing Materials

Quentin Cooper enters the world of the minuscule to find out how materials that can sense damage from everyday wear and tear and heal themselves.

Taking inspiration from the way blood flows around the body and how plants get water researchers are finding ways to look into the nano voids in materials to engineer planes and cars that can heal themselves.

Quentin is joined by Ian Bond from the Department Aerospace Engineering at Bristol University and Frank Jones from the Department of Engineering Materials at Sheffield University.

Next week: Understanding our biological system - virtually!
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