Question of the Week - From the Naked Scientists-logo

Question of the Week - From the Naked Scientists

Science >

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...
More Information

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

Will SpaceX's satellites clog up the sky?

10/14/2019
More
Listener Pete asks, "SpaceX has launched the first 60 of what is to be a mesh of some 12,000 satellites. Two questions: how will this completed mesh impact 1) ground based optical and microwave astronomical observations, and 2) the ability of future space missions, manned and otherwise, to navigate through the cloud of objects?" To answer this question, Phil Sansom got in touch with two experts: UCL's Ingo Waldmann, and ESA's Holger Krag... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the...

Duration:00:03:36

When should you refrigerate cooked chicken?

9/29/2019
More
Julie wrote in with this question for us: "I have received such conflicting advice from TV food cooks. Some say that cooked chicken should be allowed to cool down to room temperature before refrigeration whilst others say to put the hot cooked chicken into the refrigerator immediately. Which is right?" Mariana Marasoiu nibbled away at this question with Paul Wigley from the University of Liverpool... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:22

Can fingernails stop rhino poaching?

9/22/2019
More
John asked, "I'd like to know if enough people in the world donated their finger and toe nail clippings, could enough keratin be produced to satisfy the demand and thus stop the poaching of wild animals in Africa?" Mariana Marasoiu spoke with Jon Taylor from Save the Rhino International and Simon Hedges from Asian Arks about whether rhino horn alternatives can help save them... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:04:51

Why does pasta water boil over?

9/16/2019
More
This week's question is a curious cooking query from Anthony. "When pasta or rice is added to boiling water, there is a sudden surge of the boiling water to the point that the pot boils over with bubbles. Why is this?" Phil Sansom got in touch with Phillip Broadwith, business editor of the magazine Chemistry World... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:39

Why is wildlife around Chernobyl thriving?

8/19/2019
More
This week, a question from Bill. "My question is about Chernobyl and why it is that wildlife seems to be thriving there and yet we understand that humans still can't survive there. Why is this?" Phil Sansom spoke to someone who's actually been there - Victoria Gill, a science correspondent for BBC News... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:45

Will climate change affect monsoons?

8/4/2019
More
Saugat asked "what is the exact cause of monsoon rain, and how will it be affected because of global warming?" Ruth Geen, from the University of Exeter, works with modelling the effect of climate change on monsoons and helped Emma Hildyard pour some insight into this... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:50

QoTW: Can you tell if its sunrise or sunset?

7/28/2019
More
This week, Manik from Canberra asked if it's possible to tell whether it's sunrise or sunset from looking at a photo or a painting. Ankita Anirban spoke to painter James Gurney and physicist William Livingston to shed light on the situation... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:41

Can a huskys fur keep it cool in summer?

7/14/2019
More
This week we are answering a question from Alex: "Are huskies (or dogs in general) able to insulate themselves from the cold of winter and from the heat of a hot summer's day as well?"Matthew Hall asks Christof Schwiening from Cambridge University's Department of Physiology... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:46

Can a transfusion change your blood type?

7/7/2019
More
This week we are answering a question sent in by Mark: "is it possible to have so many blood transfusions that your blood type changes?" Emma Hildyard asks Cedric Ghevaert, from the Department of Haemotology at the University of Cambridge... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:49

Do candles really clear nasty smells?

5/19/2019
More
Patrick sent us this question: "My wife wants me to light a candle after doing my number two, to get rid of the smell. Does this actually do anything?"Phil Sansom has been sniffing out an answer, with the help of Kit Chapman from Chemistry World. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:05:04

How long after eating is that carbon exhaled?

5/12/2019
More
Greg asked, "When I exhale, my breath contains carbon atoms. How long ago were they in my food or drink?" We were hungry for answers, so Ruby Osborn asked Fred Warren from the Quadram Institute Bioscience to break it down... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:38

How to see faint stars

4/28/2019
More
Sean asked "Why is it that when you look directly at a small faint star it disappears, but when you look at a point near it, you can see it again?" Ben McAllister has been searching far and wide for the answer to this cosmological conundrum... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:04:31

Can purple carrots turn your skin purple?

3/31/2019
More
We received this question from Aidan, "Consuming orange carrots in high excess can turn your skin orange, because of the beta-carotene. What about purple carrots?" Jack Tavener and Katie Haylor have been crunching through some research to get to the root of this question.If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review. Plus, for more podcasts by The Naked Scientists head to nakedscientists.com/podcasts. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:04:01

Why do socks disappear in the wash?

3/17/2019
More
We received this question from Chani... "My socks never stay together in the wash. One always disappears. Is there a scientific explanation for where those socks go? Why are they so unhappy in monogamous relationships?"Izzie Clarke asked Rob Eastaway, mathematician and author of "How Many Socks Make A Pair", to sort out the odds. For more podcasts, head to nakedscientists.com or like and subscribe to The Naked Scientists or Question of the Week on your favourite podcast app. Like this...

Duration:00:03:47

Effect of ethanol on brain?

3/3/2019
More
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... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:46

Why can some people imitate accents?

2/17/2019
More
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... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:34

Why do candles smoke and smell?

2/3/2019
More
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... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:42

QotW - What language do deaf people think in?

1/27/2019
More
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... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:48

Do plants eat dirt?

1/20/2019
More
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... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:03:01

Why doesnt old soap make suds effectively?

1/13/2019
More
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... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

Duration:00:04:04