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Nepalese Earthquake, Monkey Hands, Maritime Light Pollution, Light in Bacteria

Measuring the earthquake in Nepal, capuchin monkeys demonstrating their dexterity, the effects of maritime light pollution and the relationship between bacteria and light.

Nepalese Earthquake
The earthquake that struck central Nepal last weekend measured 7.8 in magnitude and has affected up to 1.4 million people. Inside Science reporter Roland Pease joins Adam to discuss the topography of Nepal, and its vulnerability to earthquakes. We hear from Roger Bilham, a seismologist at University of Colorado, and Alex Densmore from Earthquakes without Frontiers on seismic activity in the Himalayas and the difficulty in measuring the scale of the disaster.

Monkey Nuts
Capuchin monkeys use stone tools to crack open nuts they want to eat. New research by Madhur Mangalam and Dorothy Fragaszy has shown that they moderate the force they use to open these nuts based on whether the nut shows any cracks from previous strikes. This motor skill demonstrates their dexterity as they are picking the optimal way to complete their task. Scientists hope these findings could help to explain the differences in cognitive processes between non-human primates and hominids who learnt to shape stone tools.

Maritime light pollution
Around a fifth of the world's coasts are illuminated at night by lights and as LEDs grow in popularity we can expect to see these areas get brighter. But until recently the effects of this light on the marine ecology was a relatively unknown and understudied phenomenon. Adam talks to Thomas Davies whose research published this week has highlighted how light is affecting marine organisms; attracting organisms like keel worms whilst repelling others.

Wellcome Collection & Bacteria Light
Artists, microbiologists, doctors and geneticists will gather at the Wellcome Collection in London this weekend for the Bacteria Light Lab, an event exploring how light is providing the tools for discovering more about bacteria and infections, part of the 'On Light' weekend at Wellcome Collection. Inside Science went along to meet artist Anna Dumitriu and Dr Nicola Fawcett and view- what appear at first glance - somewhat esoteric looking pieces of art which are actually shedding light on the hidden kingdom of microbiology.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne.

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30 minutes

Broadcasts

  • Thu 30 Apr 2015 16:30
  • Thu 30 Apr 2015 21:00

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