European ancestry; Cern is 60; Graphene plasters; Penguins
Adam Rutherford investigates new genetic research that indicates most present-day Europeans derive from at least three ancestral populations. Also, Cern turns 60.
New genetic investigation of ancient human remains, combined with archaeological evidence, is shedding new light on the origins of the early European populations. The international team has provided a detailed analysis of waves of immigration from the near east into Europe, and the emerging agricultural practices that came with it, which has come to dominate the traditional practices of indigenous residents.
CERN - Artificial retina
The human eye and the parts of the brain that process images are second to none when it comes to pattern recognition and concentrating on the important images and ignoring the rest. They have inspired physicists to create a processor that can analyse particle collisions 400 times faster than any other device. In these collisions, protons, that is, ordinary matter, are smashed against protons at close to the speed of light. These processes may produce new particles and help scientists understand matter's mirror - antimatter. Professor Tara Shears, a particle physicist at the University of Liverpool, explains how this algorithm could help sift through data from collisions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Since it was discovered 10 years ago, the wonder material graphene has taken the world by storm. What's not to like about it? A sheet of carbon one-atom thick, it was the first two-dimensional material discovered. It's stronger than steel, conducts electricity better than copper. We are told it will be used in touch screens of the future. It may be the secret to miniaturising electronics when current chip technology runs out of steam. But at the other end of the technology market a team at Surrey University has found it useful to blend graphene with rubber bands to make cheap effective bio-sensors.
In a new citizen science project, 'penguinologists' are asking the public to classify images of penguin colonies in Antarctica, to help the team monitor their health. Thousands of images taken by remote cameras monitoring over 30 colonies around the Southern Ocean are being posted online. We hear why penguins are at risk from habitat and climate change and what the public can do to help.
Producer: Fiona Roberts.