Superbugs - BepiColumbo Mission: Returning to Mercury


If you go into hospital without one, there’s a one-in-ten chance of picking one up while you’re there: a hospital acquired infection. It could be minor or it could be an antibiotic-resistant superbug like MSRA or C. difficile.

Science though is fighting back in some surprising ways – including replica hospital rooms and biological testing chambers – to try and understand how infections spread and how they might be stopped.

Quentin meets research scientist Clive Beggs, of Bradford University’s Infection Research Group (BIG) and Kevin Kerr, Consultant Microbiologist and Director of Infection Prevention and Control for Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

BepiColumbo Mission: Returning to Mercury

You wait 30 years and then two space trips to the planet Mercury come along at once. Why are NASA and a joint European-Japanese consortium sending missions back to the closest planet to the Sun? What do they hope to discover about the hostile environment that Mercury endures?

And just how do you get around the difficulties of trying to put a probe in orbit around Mercury when it’s being accelerated by the massive gravitational pull of the Sun? The answer is in name of the European-Japanese mission: BepiColumbo. Quentin is joined by the UK’s two leading scientists working on the BepiColumbo Mission, Dr David Rothery of the Open University and Professor George Fraser of Leicester University’s Space Research Centre.

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30 minutes

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Thu 22 Nov 2007 16:30

Inside Science

BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.