Science Cafe, Adam Walton

Series 5: Prog 14: 15/07/09

This week, recent research which establishes a link between schizophrenia and manic depression. There's an update on the British Steam Car. Adam "takes to the air" in a flight simulator in Wrexham. Also we discuss how the changing seasons affect animals and plants, as well as humans.

Link between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Recent studies in the field of genetics have, for the first time, uncovered a link between two mental heath disorders. Work by three groups of scientists, including a team from Cardiff University's Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics has shown that schizophrenia and manic depression, or bipolar disorder, have a similar genetic basis. The discovery could pave the way for the development of new treatments to combat these mental illnesses, which affect millions of people. Professor Michael O'Donovan from the Cardiff team who worked on the study joins Adam to discuss the details, but says it could be over a decade before new treatments are developed based on the findings.

Come Fly With Me...

A new state-of-the-art flight simulator has recently been installed at Glyndwr University, to help future aeronautical engineers develop new designs of aircraft. Adam visited the University's Engineering section and was guided through a "flight" by Nick Burden

Seasonal effects

How the changing seasons affect the animal and plant kingdom, as well as humans, is explored in a new book by Leon Kreitzman & Russell Foster called "Seasons Of Life" (Profile Books). Adam discusses what causes seasonal changes, and also the phenomenon of SAD or seasonal affective disorder, with Leon Kreitzman

Steaming ahead..

The British Steam Car has arrived in the USA to begin trials in the run up to its attempt on the world land speed record for a steam powered vehicle. Adam talks to project manager Matt Candy, who's at Edwards Airforce Base, about the car, and how its hoped it will reach 170mph.

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