Programme 3: 4th November 2007

Adam Walton examines the science behind the headlines and reveals the latest scientific research in Wales

Sunday 4th November at 5.03pm

(Repeated Wednesday 7th November at 9.30pm)


Over the last few weeks the first cases of the livestock disease bluetongue have been reported in the UK. The disease, which is transmitted to cattle and sheep by midges has killed animals across mainland Europe. In this week's programme Science Cafe reporter Nan Pickering visits Bala to meet a research biologist who's working with farmers to see how bringing livestock into sheds might reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

Meanwhile Adam talks to Professor Matthew Baylis of Liverpool University who's coordinating the research about the alarming rate of bluetongue's spread and what his research is telling farmers about preventing the disease.

Remembering Laika

On 3rd November 1957, fifty years ago this week, the Soviet Union launched the spacecraft Sputnik 2. On board was the first living creature to go into orbit: Laika, a dog who had been picked up from the streets of Moscow. For Laika it was a one-way ticket into space and it's likely that she died from stress and overheating shortly after the mission started. So what did scientists learn from putting Laika into space? And what have they learnt from the many other species which have been sent into orbit? Astronomer and author Dr. David Whitehouse joins Adam to discuss Laika's fateful mission and the wider role of animals in space research.

Rocket Man

And on the subject of space flight, Adam meets Richard Osborne, also known as 'The Rocket Man' to discuss the rocket power that has launched every spacecraft from Sputnik to the Space Shuttle into orbit. Every space rocket works on the same basic principle as the fireworks which have been launched in gardens and at public displays over the last few days. So, how does a rocket actually work, is there a better way to get into space and what does it feel like when you see a rocket you've built yourself soaring into the sky? The Rocket Man reveals all...

Espresso Science

Every week at the Science Cafe there's a shot of Espresso Science from the Techniquest @ NEWI Science Discovery Centre in Wrexham. This week, Adam meets Dr. Diane Gray and discovers how to make a balloon scream!
Listen online Espresso Science 2 - Listen online now


Bluetongue FAQs

Richard Osborne's UK Rocketman Site

UK Rocketry Association


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