Science Cafe, Adam Walton

Series 5: Prog 10: 17/06/09

This week Adam Walton hears about the project to monitor the jellyfish population in our coastal waters and discover why their numbers are increasing. We talk to the Welsh scientist who runs the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hardron Collider, who explains the plans to switch it back on in September. We also hear from the team leader of a group of scientists from Bangor University who recently visited Bangladesh to advise on improving the soil by using organic waste matter.

Tagging jellyfish

It's that time of year when you may be thinking of venturing out onto the beaches around Wales, for a dip if you're feeling brave, or maybe to explore the rock pools. Well if you are, keep an eye open for some bright orange-topped tags, washed up with jellyfish. It you find one and return it you could be contributing to some fascinating research being carried out at Swansea University. Scientist there have been tagging jellyfish off the Welsh coastline, in the EcoJel project being run in conjunction University College Cork. Dr Victoria Hobson of the research team in Swansea joins us on the programme

Big Bang machine back soon

After a much publicised switch-on, and then a breakdown last Autumn, plans are now in place to power up the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator, the biggest in the world, which straddles the French and Swiss borders outside Geneva. Once up and running again, the LHC should be poised to tackle some of the fundamental questions about the Universe, as scientists tap into it's unprecendented power. Dr Lyn Evans of CERN, originally from Aberdare, the project leader, tells Adam Walton about the plans being put in place

The not so glamorous side to space

If we ever get around to sending astronauts on long deep-space missions in the future, it may enhance our knowledge of the Universe, but it's unlikely to be very kind to our bodies and our looks. Astrobiologist Dr Lewis Dartnell from University College London says that long term spaceflight would make us short, fat and ugly - which doesn't make for an attractive advert for the job. Lewis gave a talk on the subject, and also how creatures from other worlds might look, at the recent Cheltenham Science festival

Soil enrichment in Bangladesh

Scientists from Bangor recently returned from a trip to Bangladesh. It was the first of several planned visits for staff and students, which are designed to develop and share ideas - from improving their soil, and boosting food supply, to controlling the management of waste. Leading the team who went out to Bangladesh was Dr Rob Brook of Bangor University's School of Environment & Natural Resources, who explains the idea on this week's programme

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