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Question of the Week - From the Naked Scientists

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Each week we set out to solve one of the world's weirdest, wackiest, funniest and funkiest scientific puzzles. And along with the answer there's a brand new question to think about for next time...

Each week we set out to solve one of the world's weirdest, wackiest, funniest and funkiest scientific puzzles. And along with the answer there's a brand new question to think about for next time...
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Location:

Barrington, United Kingdom

Description:

Each week we set out to solve one of the world's weirdest, wackiest, funniest and funkiest scientific puzzles. And along with the answer there's a brand new question to think about for next time...

Language:

English

Contact:

Dr. Chris Smith The Naked Scientists 36 West Green Barrington Cambridgeshire CB2 5SA +44 (0) 7092 01 96 9


Episodes

What effect does ethanol have on the brain? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.03.04

3/3/2019
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Donald asked us what specific effects ethanol has on the brain and why certain regions are more impacted than others when we have a drink. This week, Joe Galea, from the University of Birmingham, helps us to distil the answer...

Duration:00:03:46

Why can some people imitate accents? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.02.18

2/17/2019
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Lia asked us why some people seem to be naturally good at imitating voices and accents. To get the last word, Adam Murphy got an answer from Jonathan Goodman, from the Language Sciences Department at Cambridge University...

Duration:00:03:34

Why do candles smoke and smell? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.02.04

2/3/2019
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Richard was wondering why do candles make more smoke and smell after they've gone out. Jenny Gracie has been sniffing out an answer from Duncan Graham at the University of Strathclyde and Ricky Carvel from the University of Edinburgh to help shed some light on the question...

Duration:00:03:42

What language do deaf people think in? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.01.28

1/27/2019
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Bree asked: If a person is born completely deaf and can't hear a thing, what language do they think in? We asked Dr Mairead MacSweeney, director of the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London...

Duration:00:03:48

Do plants eat dirt? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.01.21

1/20/2019
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Marcus was wondering how trees, such as giant oaks, can grow so huge and not make a hole in the ground. Where does their mass come from if not from the dirt? Jenny Gracie has been digging deep to find an answer, with help from Andrew Weatherall from the National School of Forestry at the University of Cumbria...

Duration:00:03:01

Why is old soap useless? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.01.14

1/13/2019
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When a bar of soap gets used a lot and gets smaller, it seems to struggle to form suds properly. Is something other than just a smaller surface area going on? Eva Higginbotham has been scubbing up to answer this question with the help of Phillip Broadwith, Business Editor at Chemistry World, and Paul Dauenhauer from the University of Minnesota...

Duration:00:04:04

What happens to bubbles in space? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.12.17

12/16/2018
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This week, Malcolm's been watching the science fiction film, Passengers. He wanted to know what happens to air bubbles in water if gravity was suddenly turned off. Adam Murphy spoke to Stuart Higgins from Imperial College London, and to David Kinahan from Dublin City University, to get an answer to this weighty question...

Duration:00:03:33

Can dogs recognise each other as dogs? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.11.26

11/25/2018
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Do we know if a Great Dane meeting a Chihuahua recognises it as another dog? We asked Professor Donald Broom from Cambridge University and Dr Charlotte Duranton to help us sniff out the answer to Dotty's question.

Duration:00:03:57

How can planes fly through hurricanes? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.11.19

11/18/2018
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This week, Daniel wants to know why hurricane researchers seem to use propeller-driven planes when flying into the eye of the storm. Eva Higginbotham spoke to Dr Anna Young of the University of Cambridge's Whittle laboratory, to find out what's 'up' in the field of aeroplane engines.

Duration:00:04:01

When did we become modern day humans? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.11.12

11/11/2018
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With the help of Cambridge University's Professor Robert Foley, Sam Brown took a trip back in time to answer Stuart's question: If you could bring a baby from the past to grow up in the present, how far back could you go before people would notice that this was a time travelling baby?

Duration:00:03:31

How do wombats produce cube-shaped poo? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.10.29

10/28/2018
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Poo comes in many shapes and sizes. We are used to seeing it on the street or accidentally stepping in different forms including tubes from dogs, pellets from rabbits or big splats from cows, but I have never come across cubic poo. Tamsin Bell asked Dr Louise Gentle from Nottingham trent University to help us out with this stinker...

Duration:00:03:24

Is second hand smoke more dangerous than smoking a cigarette? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.10.22

10/21/2018
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Is it true that second hand smoking or passive smoking is more likely to give you cancer than smoking a cigarette? Tamsin Bell put this to Stefan Marciniak from the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research...

Duration:00:04:14

Why do I feel the pressure of Wellington boots in water? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.10.01

9/30/2018
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When standing barefoot in water, we don't feel the water pressure on our feet. But when wearing Wellington boots, we do feel a pinching - why? We asked Colm-cille Caulfield, Professor at Cambridge University, to help us wade through the science of Daniel's question...

Duration:00:03:40

Why is Blu-Tack sticky? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.09.24

9/23/2018
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Tom asked us "Why is Blu-Tack sticky?" Adam Murphy spoke to Jennifer Gaughran, researcher at Dublin City University, to see if she could help with a question that had us stuck...

Duration:00:02:46

Could we terraform the Moon? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.09.17

9/16/2018
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Chad asked us "Is it possible to terraform the Moon, so that humans could live there long-term?". Tamsin Bell spoke to David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences at the Open University, to see what he had to say...

Duration:00:03:17

Do wild animals get allergies? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.09.03

9/2/2018
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On Twitter, Andrew asked us: "Do wild animals suffer from allergies, and if so, does this occur at the same rate as in humans?" We spoke to Wild Immunologist Andy Flies, from the University of Tazmania, to sniff out an answer...

Duration:00:02:59

Are there more stars in the sky or grains of sand on the earth? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.08.20

8/19/2018
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Are there more grains of sand on Earth or stars in the sky, and who counted them? We search heaven and Earth to answer Jeff's question, recruiting astronomer Michael Merrifield from Nottingham University to help out...

Duration:00:03:30

How do Non-Stick Pans Work? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.08.06

8/5/2018
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Martin asked us "What's the science behind non-stick pans? What prevents the sticking?"; To help out with this sticky situation, we spoke to Jess Wade, a materials scientist at Imperial College London, to get her take...

Duration:00:03:33

What is the minimum land area required to sustain one human being? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.07.31

7/30/2018
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Charlie asked us to field the question, "what is the minimum area required to sustain one human being in terms of oxygen and food?" Marika Ottman brought this cultivation conundrum to Marco Springmann, the Senior Researcher on Environmental Sustainability and Public Health at the University of Oxford...

Duration:00:03:50

How does the Brain Respond to Audiobooks? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.07.16

7/15/2018
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Tuomo asks, "Does your brain respond differently when you're listening to an audiobook compared to when you're reading a book? And does this affect how much information you can retain?". Isabelle Cochrane put this to Dr Matt Davis, Programme Leader in Hearing Language at Cambridge's MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit...

Duration:00:03:35