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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 March
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 27 March 2008
HECToR The Supercomputer
HECToR The Supercomputer
© P. Tuffy, University of Edinburgh

EDINBURGH SCIENCE FESTIVAL 2008 SPECIAL

HECToR The Supercomputer

What’s the size of 60 wardrobes standing side by side, can perform 63 million million calculations a second and answers to the name Hector?

Answer: the UK’s new supercomputer based at Edinburgh University.

Quentin Cooper is at Edinburgh’s International Science festival and is joined by Professor Arthur Trew, Director of Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre and Professor Richard Kenway, Mathematical Physics, Edinburgh University to find out how Hector can help develop life saving drugs, model climate change and help us better understand the behaviour of the smallest fundamental particles.

Skin Cancer

Between 2000 and 2004, 1000 people in Scotland were diagnosed with malignant melanoma.

Quentin Cooper meets two researchers who are looking at the genetics of skin cancer: Dr Elizabeth Patton, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, The University of Edinburgh and Professor Ian J. Jackson Senior Scientist, MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

They are looking at how the gene for red hair – found in mammoths, red setters, birds and humans is helping to understand skin cancer and the way the body might be able to fight it.

Next week: Redefining the kilogram - weight for light!
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