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Science in Action


The BBC World Service's weekly look at new developments in science from around the world.

The BBC World Service's weekly look at new developments in science from around the world.
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London, United Kingdom




The BBC World Service's weekly look at new developments in science from around the world.




Smelly Socks in Malaria Fight

Mosquitoes find us using their heightened sense of smell, but are they using the odours emitted when we sweat to further the spread of malaria? Roland Pease talks to Professor James Logan, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, about his team’s recent research and how sweaty feet could provide a breakthrough in the study and fight against malaria. Saving the Bialowieza Forest The Bialowieza forest lies in north east Poland and straddles the border into Belarus. The UNESCO...


Bonus Podcast: Death in Ice Valley

A special preview of the new podcast Death in Ice Valley. An unidentified body. Who was she? Why hasn’t she been missed? A BBC World Service and NRK original podcast, investigating a mystery unsolved for almost half a century. Episode One was released on 16 April 2018 and new episodes will be released every Monday. Search for Death in Ice Valley wherever you find your podcasts.


New Planet Hunting Mission

NASA’s latest exoplanet hunting mission is due to launch on April 16th. This mission will look for Earth-like planets closer to home than the previous Kepler exoplanet mission. By looking at stars hundreds or light years away and not thousands, scientists will be able to use ground based telescopes to learn more about these rocky planets. More Snow in Antarctica Scientists have compiled a record of snowfall in Antarctica for the last 200 years and have found that snowfall has increased by...


Tracing the Novichok Trail

How are scientists looking for the trail of the novichok nerve agent used in the Salisbury attacks? Roland Pease speaks to Steven Drielak a “hotzone” forensics expert, who explains the techniques he would use when investigating environmental chemical crimes. Mircroplastics on land and in rivers Much has been covered about microplastics in our oceans, but now Professor Chelsea Rochman from the University of Toronto reviews the evidence for their presence in freshwater and in soil. Whalesong...


The Rise of Novichok Agents

This week Science in Action looks at the history of chemical weapons and in particular the development of novichok agents. Roland Pease speaks to Will England from the Washington Post who first reported on the new type of chemical weapons in the early 1990’s. We also hear from Vil Mirzayanov, the scientist who first disclosed information about the work of the nerve agents, known as novichoks, in Russian labs. Hamish Bretton-Gordon, the former commander of the UK Chemical, Biological and...


The Biggest Explosions in the Universe

An international team of scientists have captured the biggest explosions in the Universe in unprecedented detail for the first time. These Gamma Ray Bursts sometimes last for just a few milliseconds, but for that time are trillions of times brighter than our Sun. The chance of capturing one of these rare bursts, which occur just as a dying star collapses into a black hole, is just an incredible one-in-10,000. Sight and Sound Despite the intuitive feeling that we can listen to something...


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