16th May 2010

Last updated: 16 May 2010

This week we celebrate 50 years of the laser with a chat with one of the pioneers of laser technology. And Adam hears an alarming report from the Greenland ice sheet.

Seeing the light

They're an essential part of all supermarket checkouts and they can also cure your short-sightedness. Oh yes, and Hans Solo uses them to blast Imperial Storm troopers in Star Wars. Science Cafe reporter, Jeremy Grange, visits Laser Micromachining Ltd in Denbighshire, to learn more about their use in industry. And presenter Adam Walton talks to Professor Colin Webb, who formed one of the first laser companies.

Melting moment...

...but not in a good way. Dr Alun Hubbard , of Aberystwyth University, is currently out in Greenland where he is gathering data on the thinning of the ice sheet. He reports back that the big defrost is under way, with evidence that the melting is accelerating.

Anole anomaly

A lizard called the anole is proving to be something of an exception to the evolutionary rule. The creature, found in the Caribbean, is exciting biologists from Bangor University who have been examining its DNA. Their research is shaking up accepted scientific thinking about how new species evolve.

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