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Dr Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

Dr Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Dr Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ebola model, Partula snails, Malaria origin

10/17/2019
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Zoonotic diseases are infections that transfer from animals to people, and include killers such as bubonic plague, malaria, ebola and a whole host of others. Trying to understand how diseases make the leap from animals to humans – so called spillover – and how outbreaks occur is a crucial part of preventing them. But outbreaks are complex and dynamic, with a huge number of factors playing a role: What animal is hosting the disease, the environment in which it lives, the changing climate,...

Duration:00:27:56

Extinction Rebellion, UK net zero emissions and climate change; Nobel Prizes

10/10/2019
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Extinction Rebellion is in the news with its stated aim of civil disobedience and protest, and goal to compel governments around the world to act on the climate crisis. Meanwhile, the UK government this week announced that it was overruling its own Planning Inspectorate, by approving in principle new gas-fired turbines at the Drax power station in North Yorkshire. The Inspectors had advised that the new developments would undermine UK climate policies on carbon emissions. In the UK we are...

Duration:00:27:52

HIV protective gene paper retraction, Imaging ancient Herculaneum scrolls, Bill Bryson's The Body

10/3/2019
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In November 2018 news broke via YouTube that He Jiankui, then a professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China had created the world’s first gene-edited babies from two embryos. The edited gene was CCR5 delta 32 - a gene that conferred protection against HIV. Alongside the public, most of the scientific community were horrified. There was a spate of correspondence, not just on the ethics, but also on the science. One prominent paper was by Rasmus Nielsen and...

Duration:00:35:37

Oceans, ice and climate change; Neolithic baby bottles; Caroline Criado-Perez wins RS Book Prize

9/26/2019
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's special report on the oceans and cryosphere makes pretty grim reading on the state of our seas and icy places. Ocean temperatures are rising, permafrost and sea ice are melting, sea levels are rising and marine life is either moving or suffering the effects of temperature changes and acidification. Dr Phil Williamson, research fellow at the University of East Anglia, worked on the report and he explains to Adam Rutherford how the watery and icy...

Duration:00:35:26

MOSAiC Arctic super-expedition, Likely extinction of the Bahama nuthatch, Tim Smedley's book on air pollution

9/19/2019
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On Friday, 20 September, a powerful icebreaker called The Polarstern will set sail from Tromsø, Norway, with the aim of getting stuck into the polar ice. The plan is for the ship to spend the next year drifting past the North Pole, and this should enable scientists to collect unprecedented data on the Arctic. The Polarstern is the ‘mothership’ of a substantial international collaboration called the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (or project MOSAiC)....

Duration:00:30:47

Model embryos from stem cells, Paul Steinhardt's book on impossible crystals, Mother Thames

9/12/2019
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One of the most fundamental developmental stages we humans go through is extremely poorly understood. The first few days of the embryo, once it's been implanted in the womb is incredibly hard to study. Yet it's the time when the majority of pregnancies fail. Professor Magdalena Zernika-Goetz at Cambridge University is a leader in the field of making 'model embryos' in both mice and humans. Model embryos until now have been grown in the lab from donated fertilised eggs, but these are hard to...

Duration:00:35:56

Inventing GPS, Carbon nanotube computer, Steven Strogatz and Monty Lyman discuss calculus and skin

9/5/2019
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Global Positioning System, or GPS is perhaps the best known of the satellite navigation systems, helping us find our way every day. Back in the 1970's Bradford Parkinson and Hugo Fruehauf were two of the inventors who miniaturised atomic clocks and launched them in Earth orbit satellites. This was part of the US Department of Defense's plan to track ships and aircraft and guide targeted missiles. In the intervening years, Brad and Hugo had no idea just how far the civilian applications of...

Duration:00:30:27

Amazon fires, Royal Society Book Prize shortlist announced, John Gribben on quantum physics

8/29/2019
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Satellite data has shown an 85% increase in the number of fires across Brazil this year. There are more than 2,500 fires active across the Amazon region. This represents the most active number of fires since 2010. The increase in fires has been attributed to deliberate deforestation and clearing for agriculture or mining. The new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsanaro, supports the commercialisation of the Amazon forest and this is said to have encouraged the wide scale burning. Professor of...

Duration:00:28:14

UK's black squirrels' genetic heritage; nuclear fusion in the UK and the Royal Society's science book prize

8/22/2019
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Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to spot the uncommon black grey squirrel in the UK. The bizarre mutation that causes a change in fur colour has finally divulged its historic evolution. Dr Helen McRobie at Anglia Ruskin University studies the black version of the introduced grey squirrel. She explains to Gareth Mitchell how the grey squirrel might have got the genetic mutation for black fur back when it was in North America. She describes how she stumbled across a finding that questions how...

Duration:00:28:17

UK power cut, Huge dinosaur find in Wyoming, Micro-plastics in Arctic snow

8/15/2019
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Following the simultaneous outages of two UK power plants last Friday, affecting nearly 1 million people across the country, we at Inside Science wanted to get back to the basics of electricity and get our heads round how the National Grid keeps the nation running. Keith Bell explains the difference between AC and DC (Alternating and Direct current), and why it's essential to keep the frequency of the grid steady at 50Hz. They’re calling it ‘Mission Jurassic’. A site so full of dinosaur...

Duration:00:33:42

Making the UK's dams safe, AI spots fake smiles, How many trees should we be planting?

8/8/2019
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In the light of the evacuation of the Derbyshire town of Whaley Bridge due to damage to the Todbrook reservoir dam and the threat of a catastrophic collapse, questions inevitably arise as to how ‘future proofed’ UK dams are? This is doubly worrying in light of climate change and the increasing likelihood of extreme weather events. With the average age of UK dams being over 100 years and the UK climate forecast to become wetter and warmer, should we be concerned? Gareth Mitchell speaks to...

Duration:00:28:06

Lovelock at 100; Hydrothermal vents and antibiotic resistance in the environment

8/1/2019
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James Lovelock is one of the most influential thinkers on the environment of the last half century. His grand theory of planet Earth - Gaia, which is the idea that from the bottom of the Earth's crust to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, Earth is one giant inter-connected and self-regulating system, has had an impact way beyond the world of science. As Lovelock celebrates his hundredth birthday (he was born on 26th July 1919) he is still writing books and thinking about science. Science...

Duration:00:30:13

False positives in genetic test kits, Impact of fishing on ocean sharks, Sex-change fish

7/25/2019
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Dr Adam Rutherford uncovers the worrying number of false positive results that the DNA sequencing technologies used by 'direct to consumer' genetic test kits are producing. Many of these tests offer analysis on your ancestry, but some also offer to check you out for the likelihood of you being at risk of some genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis or certain types of breast cancer. The tests look for variants in your genome, little changes in your DNA that alter the risk of developing a...

Duration:00:28:05

Turing on the new £50 note, Moon landing on the radio, 25 years since Shoemaker-Levy comet

7/18/2019
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Code-breaker and father of computer science, Alan Turing has been chosen to celebrate the field of science on the new £50 note. Adam Rutherford asks Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, Sarah Johns how and why he was selected and he asks Sue Black, Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University, who campaigned to save Bletchley Park, what this accolade means. In 1969, while millions watched the Apollo 11 moon landing on the television, BBC radio was providing...

Duration:00:27:57

Earliest modern human skull, Analysing moon rocks, Viruses lurking in our genomes

7/11/2019
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A new study shows that 210,000-year-old skull found in Greece is the earliest evidence for modern humans in Eurasia. A second skull found in the same site is found to be a Neanderthal from 170,000 years ago. These findings suggest that modern humans left Africa earlier and reached further than previously thought. Analysing moon rocks The Apollo missions were scientific explorations, bringing back hundreds of kilograms of moon rock to help us understand the formation of the Moon, the Earth...

Duration:00:31:14

X-Rays on Mercury, Monkey Tools, Music of Molecules, AI Drivers

7/4/2019
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The 2019 Royal Society Summer Science exhibition in London is free to enter and continues until Sunday 7th July. BBC Inside Science this week comes from the Society’s HQ in central London. BepiColombo and the X-rays from Mercury Prof Emma Bunce, has been part of the team that last year launched an x-ray telescope on a space probe to Mercury. It will be a long journey, not arriving until 2025. As Emma describes, the MIXS instrument, designed and built in the UK, will analyze the x-rays...

Duration:00:34:49

Global Food Security, Reactive Use-By Labels, Origins of the Potato

6/27/2019
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On the day that the UK government launches a year long “food-to-Fork” review of food production in the UK, we present a food themed special edition. Global Food Security Maia Elliot is an analyst and writer for Global Food Security, who recently held a competition for young food researchers to present their work in a compelling way in less than 3 minutes. Maia and the winner, Claire Kanja of Rothamstead Research discuss with Adam the broader issues “Food Security” seeks to address, and also...

Duration:00:32:17

Rinderpest destruction, Noise and birdsong, Science as entertainment

6/20/2019
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Rinderpest – Sequence and Destroy Last week the UK’s Pirbright Institute announced that it had destroyed its remaining stocks of the deadly cattle virus Rinderpest. This repository was one of the biggest remaining stores of it since it was announced in 2011 that vaccines had eradicated it in the wild. Dr Michael Baron, amongst others, has been arguing for years that because we can now obtain a full sequence of such viruses, we no longer need to run the risk of such scientific samples ever...

Duration:00:35:34

Net-Zero carbon target, Science Policy Under Thatcher, Screen time measures

6/13/2019
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Net-Zero Carbon Target The UK is set to become the first member of the G7 industrialised nations group to legislate for net-zero emissions after Theresa May’s announcement this week. The proposed legislation would commit the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net-zero’ by 2050, which would mean that after reducing emissions as much as possible, any remaining emissions would be offset through schemes such as planting trees or investing in renewable energy infrastructure. Dr Jo House, from the...

Duration:00:30:27

CCR5 Mutation Effects, The Surrey Earthquake Swarm, Animal Emotions

6/6/2019
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Some people have a genetic mutation in a gene called CCR5 that seems to bestow immunity to a form of HIV. This is the mutation which controversial Chinese scientist Jianqui He tried to bestow upon two baby girls last year when he edited the genes in embryos and then implanted them in a mother. A paper in the journal Nature Medicine this week uses data from the UK Biobank to look at the long term health patterns associated with this gene variant. It suggests that whilst the HIV-1 immunity may...

Duration:00:37:48