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Science & Medicine - Raaga.com - A World of Music

Science & Medicine

The Algae that Changed the Earth
Science in Action BBC
access_time13 hours ago
The earliest life forms on Earth were bacteria, but three billion years ago, life was suddenly transformed. Eukaryotes - precursors to all plants and animals - took over. The evidence has only just been found in algae microfossils. In August and September 1977, Nasa's probes Voyager 2 and Voyager 1 were launched. Since then the two spacecraft have been exploring our Solar System and interstellar space. Exceeding all expectations, the probes have taught us so much about our planets and beyond. The Voyager mission's chief scientist, Professor Ed Stone, looks back over Voyager's highlights. Much like Europe, South Africa is experiencing an increase in the number of undocumented migrants. Who, when they die, can be hard to identify. Forensic scientists are looking at radioisotopes to try to work out the origin of migrants whose journey has tragically ended in the mortuary. On Monday 21st of August 2017, a 70km wide stripe of the continental United States will go dark, as the Moon blocks out the Sun. It has been nearly a century since the United States experienced a total solar eclipse from coast to coast. Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Caroline Steel Main image: Algae floods in a pond (Credit: Getty Images, Alex Wong)
#ICYMI: Baseball TweetTalk, with Neil deGrasse Tyson
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time1 day ago
In the latest installment of our popular episodes where hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly invite Neil deGrasse Tyson into the studio to explain the thinking behind his popular, and sometimes controversial, sport tweets, we turn our attention to baseball. Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe to our channels on: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://www.tunein.com/playingwithscience NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch/listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Carbon - the backbone of life
Discovery BBC
access_time4 days ago
Carbon is widely considered to be the key element in forming life. It's at the centre of DNA, and the molecules upon which all living things rely. Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary Science at the Open University, explores the nature of carbon, from its formation in distant stars to its uses and abuses here on earth. She looks at why it forms the scaffold upon which living organisms are built, and how the mechanisms involved have helped inform the development of new carbon based technology, and products - from telephones to tennis rackets. One form of carbon is graphene which offers great promise in improving solar cells and batteries, and introducing a whole new range of cheaper more flexible electronics. Carbon is also the key component of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane. To counter some of the effects of man-made climate change, Scientists are now developing novel ways to speed up this mechanism - using waste materials created from mining and industry. Monica Grady also looks to space, and the significance of carbon in the far reaches of the universe. There is lots of carbon in space, some in forms we might recognise as the precursors to molecules. As elemental carbon seems to be everywhere what are the chances of carbon based life elsewhere? Image: Steam and exhaust rise from the chemical company Oxea (front) and the coking plant January 6, 2017 in Oberhausen, Germany. Photo by Lukas Schulze Getty Images
Increased Deadly Heatwaves
The Science Hour BBC
access_time6 days ago
Europe’s been hit with temperatures exceeding 40°C and it’s proving lethal. Up to 74% of the world’s population will have to endure life-threatening heat like this for 20 days a year, thanks to climate change. Reported incidents of medical fraud are on the rise and it’s the patients who are feeling the effects. From the world of tech, political bots are on the rise, programmed to manipulate social media and create fake news in an attempt to sway voters. Both France and the UK are going to ban combustible engines by 2040. Could better lithium-ion batteries for electric cars hold the answer? Plus, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of lithium’s discovery. We’ve all heard of the term “a broken heart.” Until recently it has been thought of as a metaphor, but now doctors think the heart can stop as a result of an emotional event. Of the thousands of bodies sent to coroners in the United States, around 1,000 are still unidentified 12 months later. In New York, forensic specialists are turning to an unconventional method to identify them – they are enlisting the help of artists like Venezuelan sculptor Mario Palli. (Picture caption: A tourist cools himself with a bottle of water © Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/GettyImages) The Science Hour was presented by Roland Pease with comments from Victoria Gill, BBC Science Reporter Producer: Graihagh Jackson
Geekin’ Out on Hip-Hop, with Logic
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time7 days ago
Drop That Track! Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses the fusion of hip-hop and science, the legacy of violence in hip-hop, the culture of music, and much more with rapper Logic, co-host Chuck Nice, and rapper/educator/DJ Steve Tyson, a.k.a The Intellect. NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch/listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
#ICYMI: Planet NASCAR, with Neil deGrasse Tyson
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time8 days ago
Is Planet NASCAR governed by the same laws of physics as the rest of Planet Earth? You wouldn’t know it from some of the responses to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tweets about the sport. Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice bring Neil into the studio to unpack the physics in his NASCAR tweets. Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe to our channels on: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://www.tunein.com/playingwithscience NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch/listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Risk of Lethal Heat Waves
Science in Action BBC
access_time8 days ago
Europe has been hit by a deadly heat wave with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. The combination of high humidity and high temperatures is proving lethal. A new study has shown that between 48% and 74% of the world’s population will have to endure life-threatening heat for 20 days a year. The world is racing to be at the forefront of rechargeable battery technology. The UK has just followed France in pledging to only sell electric vehicles by 2040, with India setting the same target for 2030. However the high demand for elements such as lithium and cobalt must be met, some of which come from politically unstable areas. What alternative batteries are being developed? Stars orbiting the supermassive black hole in the centre of our galaxy obey Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Penguin tail feathers are chemically analysed to reveal their migration routes. Sea snakes near the coast of Australia lose their stripes to rid their bodies of pollutants. The number of unidentified dead bodies in the populous Gauteng province in South Africa is rising. Part of this is due to the high number of undocumented immigrants to the region. The forensic science service is under increasing pressure to put a name to the dead. With often only skeletal remains, the scientists are resorting to ‘geo-profiling’ the bones to get an idea of who this person might be and where they came from. Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Caroline Steel Image: Heat waves. Credit: David McNew / Getty Images
Breast density; Health education; Switching outcomes
Inside Health BBC
access_time10 days ago
Breast Density - the major risk factor for breast cancer that you may have never heard of. Health Education - a long term approach to changing attitudes to illness by encouraging children to be less dependent on doctors and pills. Switching Outcomes - one reason why so few clinical trials result in real changes in practice that benefit patients.
And then there was Li
Discovery BBC
access_time11 days ago
From the origins of the universe, though batteries, glass and grease to influencing the working of our brains, neuroscientist Sophie Scott tracks the incredible power of lithium. It's 200 years ago this year that lithium was first isolated and named, but this, the lightest of all metals, had been used as a drug for centuries before. From the industrial revolution it proves its worth as a key ingredient in glass and grease, and as the major component in lithium ion batteries it powers every smartphone on the planet. In mental health lithium has proved one of the most effective treatments. And its use to treat physical ailments is now making a comeback. We explore how the chemistry of lithium links all these apparently unrelated uses together. Main Image: Lights from mobile phones in Bucharest on February, 2017. Credit: ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI / AFP / Getty Images )
Gene-editing Human Embryos
The Science Hour BBC
access_time13 days ago
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the heart condition that can lead to seemingly fit and healthy people collapsing with heart failure. Scientists using the precise gene-editing technique, Crispr CAS 9, have identified one of the genes responsible for the disease, and attempted to repair it in very early stage human embryos in the lab. How good are we at reading facial expressions? Can you tell the difference between anger and disgust just from the face? It turns out it is harder than you think. Facebook’s artificial intelligence computers have been communicating with each other in a strange language. Is this an example of robotic evolution? Sexual selection - who you decide to have babies with - is usually decided at the dating stage. But the choice does not have to stop at copulation. Mechanisms such as sperm competition, and cryptic female choice, can happen after sex. This has been studied in salmon. Can the lessons learnt about sexual compatibility be applied to humans? Ayahuasca is said to be the strongest psychedelic drug in the world. It can produce terrifying hallucinations and seems to trigger mental health problems in some people. But can it be used as a treatment? (Picture: Human embryo twin Credit: Getty Images) The Science Hour was presented by Gareth Mitchell with comments from Nature Features editor, Kerri Smith Producer: Caroline Steel
Understanding GMOs and the Future of Food
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time14 days ago
Get the facts about GMOs and the Future of Food with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chuck Nice, plant geneticist Pamela Ronald, and filmmaker Scott Hamilton Kennedy. SoundCloud Description: 251 characters with spaces Investigate the complications, misinformation, passion and confusion around GMOs, sustainable farming, and the future of food, with Neil Tyson, Chuck Nice, plant geneticist Pamela Ronald, and Scott Hamilton Kennedy, director of “Food Evolution” which Neil narrates. NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Gene Editing Human Embryos
Science in Action BBC
access_time15 days ago
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the heart condition that can lead to seemingly fit and healthy people collapsing with heart failure. It affects one in 500 people worldwide. It’s a heritable disorder. Scientists using the precise gene editing technique, Crispr CAS 9, have identified one of the genes responsible for the disease, and attempted to repair it in very early stage human embryos in the lab. An app to help identify invasive Harlequin ladybirds in the UK has been mapping their spread across the globe. All living flowers ultimately derive from a single ancestor that lived about 140 million years ago. Pollination rates drop overnight as pollinators get confused by artificial lights. Big data analysis on Earth’s known minerals have been used to predict that there are more than one and a half thousand more minerals yet to be discovered. This big data analysis even tells scientists what to look for and where to find them. Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Caroline Steel Image caption: Human embryo twin © Getty Images
#ICYMI: Biomechanics of the Perfect Golf Swing
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time16 days ago
Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice investigate the science that is making golf swings that much sweeter, from biomechanics to cutting edge technology, with sport biomechanist “Dr. Phil” Cheetham and pro golfer Rob Labritz. Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe to our channels on: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://www.tunein.com/playingwithscience NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Antibiotics, Lung Cancer, Dying of a Broken Heart, Gender Bias
Inside Health BBC
access_time17 days ago
Margaret McCartney unpicks recent headlines suggesting its okay not to finish your antibiotics; Lung Cancer screening in the high risk; Can you die a broken heart? Evidence suggests this is a real condition called Takotsubo syndrome and is much more common than previously thought. And gender bias in trials.
Oxygen: The breath of Life
Discovery BBC
access_time17 days ago
Oxygen appeared on Earth over two billion years ago and life took off. Now it makes up just over a fifth of the air. Trevor Cox, professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford, England, tells the story of oxygen on Earth and in space. Without oxygen, there would be no life on Earth, yet it was not discovered until late in the 18th Century. During the Great Oxidation Event, three billion years ago, cyanobacteria, thought to be the earliest forms of life on our planet, started to photosynthesise and these tiny creatures were responsible for putting the oxygen into our atmosphere, so we can breathe today. But it is not just for breathing. Ozone is three atoms of oxygen, and when it is in the stratosphere it stops harmful UVB rays from the sun reaching us. And if we are ever to leave our home planet, we will need to find a way to generate enough oxygen to keep us alive. Trevor visits the Science Museum in London, to discover how astronauts on the space station get their oxygen. Trevor Cox is not only an acoustic engineer, he also plays the saxophone. When he finds out the role that oxygen, in the air, has on the sound of his playing he gets a surprise. (Photo: Hovering clouds near Nagqu, approx 4,500 meters above sea level, north of Lhasa on the Tibetan plateau. Credit: Frederic J Brown/ AFP/Getty Images)
Biggest Explosions in the Universe
The Science Hour BBC
access_time20 days ago
Adam Rutherford speaks to Professor of Extragalactic Astronomy at the University of Bath, Carole Mundell, who explains how she and other astronomers captured the most complete picture yet of the most powerful type of explosion in the universe - Gamma Ray Bursts. Could future treatments for HIV be revolutionised by an injection? HIV/Aids researchers from around the world have been meeting in Paris this week. Anti-retroviral drugs have transformed HIV into a manageable long-term condition. So Professor Joe Eron and colleagues from the United States tested an injectable, slow-acting form of the medication. The jab performed as well as the daily tablets, keeping the virus at bay. Claudia Hammond finds out more. The Dutch authorities have just busted and closed down AlphaBay and Hansa, two of the most significant market places on the so called dark net, the internet that is not indexed by the main search engines. Jamie Bartlett, author of a book about the dark net, explains how it was done. How do we end up speaking the way we do? We hear from Glasgow in Scotland, home to one of the most distinctive dialects of English, to see how social status and age affect the way we speak. Presenter Nastaran Tavakoli-Far reports. Sight and sound work together to build up a picture of the world around us, and when the two senses are not aligned our brains have to work much harder to filter out distractions. Although this relationship is largely unexplored, it could tell us more about how to aid those with hearing impairments and even what effect technology, such as smartphones, might be having on our ability to concentrate. People love to watch dancers moving perfectly in time – whether it is ballet or a flash mob. But what is so special about synchronised movement? Claudia Hammond talks to Dr Guido Orgs, who is both a lecturer in psychology at Goldsmiths University of London and a professional dancer. (Image caption: Illustration of a Gamma Ray Burst © Nasa/D.Berry) The Science Hour was presented by Claudia Hammond with comments from freelance science writer David Robson Producer: Caroline Steel
StarTalk Live! Citizen Science from San Francisco (Part 2)
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time21 days ago
Bill Nye, co-host Eugene Mirman, space activist Ariel Waldman, SF Sketchfest co-founder Janet Varney, and comedian Claudia O’Doherty are back to finish their chat on citizen science, space exploration, Science Hack Days, and more, recorded live at SF Sketchfest 2017. NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
#ICYMI: Pitching Physics with Ron Darling
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time21 days ago
To break down the physics of a pitch, this week Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly welcome former New York Mets starting pitcher and 1986 World Series winner Ron Darling Jr. and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe to our channels on: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://www.tunein.com/playingwithscience NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
The Biggest Explosions in the Universe
Science in Action BBC
access_time22 days ago
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 whilst looking elsewhere, our visual and auditory perceptions are - from the earliest points - processed together in the brain. Sight and sound work together to build up a picture of the world around us, and when the two senses aren’t aligned our brains have to work much harder to filter out distractions. Although this relationship is largely unexplored, it could tell us more about how to aid those with hearing impairments and even what effect technology, such as smartphones, might be having on our ability to concentrate. Old animals We humans like to think we live long lives, some of us are lucky enough to make it into triple digits. But we can’t compare to the humble tubeworm, casually hanging around on the ocean floor and researchers have discovered that they can live up to 300 years old! Iceland’s Molten Rock Origins Iceland’s volcanoes are one of the country’s most famous geological features. The island sits on a volcano hot spot and straddles two tectonic plates, the Eurasian and North American plates, otherwise known as the North Atlantic Ridge - making it highly volcanically active. New research into the Volcano Hot Spot under Iceland has revealed something unusual. New measurements of the Mantle region within Earth, appears to be feeding material in the form of a plume to the surface, where Iceland is located. Picture: Star being destroyed, Credit: Nasa Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Jack Meegan
PPIs, Aspirin and cancer, Radiotherapy and smoking
Inside Health BBC
access_time24 days ago
There are growing concerns about the widespread use of PPIs, the acid suppressing family of drugs used to treat indigestion and the most prescribed in the world. They are recommended to be used for weeks in typical cases of heartburn, but most people including Mark, take them for months or years. But one reason why PPIs are being used so widely is to protect the lining of the gut from aspirin and combining these two drugs may also have benefits against cancer. Mark hears preliminary findings on the so called chemo-protective effects of aspirin. And radiotherapy is a crucial part of modern cancer treatment so why does it get so little attention compared to drugs? Plus why radiation and smoking are particularly poor bedfellows.
Mercury - Chemistry's Jekyll and Hyde
Discovery BBC
access_time25 days ago
The most beautiful and shimmering of the elements, the weirdest, and yet the most reviled. Chemist Andrea Sella tell the story of Mercury, explaining the significance of this element not just for chemistry, but also the development of modern civilisation. It's been a a source of wonder for thousands of years - why is this metal a liquid? and what is its contribution to art, from the Stone Age to the Renaissance? We look at how Mercury is integral to hundreds of years of scientific discoveries, from weather forecasting to steam engines and the detection of atomic particles it has a key role. However Mercury is highly toxic in certain forms and ironically the industrial processes it helped create have led to global pollution which now threatens fish, wildlife and ourselves. We ask is it time to say goodbye to Mercury? Picture: Hg, mercury metal drops, credit: AlexeyVS/Getty Images
8.3 Billion Tons of Plastic in the World
The Science Hour BBC
access_time27 days ago
The plastic industry has produced enough garbage in its 67-year existence to bury Manhattan under two miles of the non-biodegradable trash, according to a study published in Science Advances. Unlike other materials, plastic is unable to break down. As a result, three-quarters of all plastic is not recycled, but sent to landfills. Roland Pease talks to Professor Roland Geyer, from the University of California. An entrepreneur from Niger has created an irrigation system that allows farmers to control the watering of their crops from afar by simply using their cell phones. Click’s Sasha Gankin talks to Abdou Maman Kané about his tele-irrigation system. Chimpanzees are very communicative animals, they tend to use gestures foremost with vocalisation just to emphasise the flick of a wrist or a stretch of the hand. In an attempt to get a grasp on why, and how, we humans made the shift from gesture-led communication to talking, we need to see how well we can decipher our ape relatives. A new online study called the 'Great Ape Dictionary' want you to have a go. Geoff Marsh talks to Kirsty Graham, from the University of St Andrews. Could machines start to compete with humans in making complex and life-changing decisions, like those made by lawyers and judges? And more fundamentally: with our future liberty at stake, is the world ready to leave their fate in the hands of machines? Marnie Chesterton reports. Should the free movement of data be the fifth freedom next to the already established freedoms of European citizens? Many argue that apart from lifting barriers, the EU has not yet maximised the growth potential of the data economy. Gareth Mitchell talks to Sandy Pentland at a digital data conference in Tallinn. For life expectancy to rise, good health in childhood is crucial. In Ghana the government is tackling childhood malnutrition by giving pupils free meals at school – with the help of some new technology developed by Imperial College London. Thomas Naadi reports. (Photo caption: Stack of plastic bottles for recycling against blue sky © Getty Images) The Science Hour was presented by Gareth Mitchell with comments from BBC Science Radio reporter, Bobbie Lakhera Producer: Caroline Steel
StarTalk Live! from SF Sketchfest 2017 (Part 1)
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time28 days ago
Host Bill Nye, co-host Eugene Mirman, space activist Ariel Waldman, SF Sketchfest co-founder Janet Varney, and comedian Claudia O’Doherty team up to talk about citizen science, space innovations and how we hack our way to the stars. Recorded live. NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
#ICYMI: The Murky World of Doping in Sports
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time28 days ago
Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly dive into the widespread world of doping in cycling, football and other sports with the help of Lance Armstrong, Neil deGrasse Tyson, skeptic and author Michael Shermer, psychologist Dr. Tom Hildebrandt and bioethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan. Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe to our channels on: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://www.tunein.com/playingwithscience NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Plastic Planet
Science in Action BBC
access_time29 days ago
More than 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been manufactured since the material was initially mass-produced in the 1950s. Plastic is low cost, easy to manufacture and versatile, which is why it has permeated throughout our daily lives, from shopping bags to bottles. A new global study has quantified the production and consumption of plastic over the decades. Revealing a very big problem. If our current rate of plastic waste generation continues, it’s predicted that by 2050 there will be over 13 billion tonnes of it discarded into landfills and the environment around us. Transparent Hearts Our hearts, as muscles, are very complex and dense, making them opaque even to our most powerful microscopes. This can be particularly problematic for creating 3D structural images of the tissue, which is important for those studying heart disease and its potential treatments. Yet, a quick and simple way to turn heart tissue transparent has recently been developed, providing scientists with an opportunity to discover more about our most complex organ. Sex-changing Clownfish Clownfish – made famous by the Disney film Finding Nemo – have been shown to undergo sex-changing behaviour. When the larger female in a pair dies, the male (possibly triggered by hormones) grows and becomes female, even able to breed and lay viable eggs. Earth’s Protective Forcefield Since 2012, NASA’s Van Allen probes have been measuring the Van Allen Belts; belts of radiation cocooning the Earth protecting it from high energy particles blasted out by solar winds and eruptions. Recent measurements have shown that there has been an anthropogenic effect on the belts. Very Low Frequency (VLF) signals, which provide a way for people on land to communicate with underwater crafts such as submarines, are interacting with electrons in the Van Allen belts. The interplay between the two is creating man-made layers that act as a barrier to the highest energy, or ‘killer’ electrons heading towards Earth. Picture: Dirty used coloured plastic bottle pile, credit: sebasnoo Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Jack Meegan
Hepatitis B vaccine, Sheds, Obesity Paradox, Taking part in clinical trials
Inside Health BBC
access_time1 month ago
The Hepatitis B vaccine has been added to the childhood national programme joining the 5 vaccines already given to all young babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection & Immunity at the University of Oxford, and Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, explains why. Margaret McCartney and Mark Porter visit men in north London looking for the physical and mental benefits of community sheds. The obesity paradox - can being overweight sometimes be beneficial? Gavin Murphy, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Leicester and Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow, debate the latest research suggesting that obese people are more likely to survive heart surgery than their slimmer peers. Are clinical trials good for you? We examine the evidence behind conventional wisdom that people taking part in research tend to fare better - whatever their illness.
Eating Well in Lyon: Healthy Diets to prevent Bowel Cancer
Discovery BBC
access_time1 month ago
Anu Anand is in Lyon, looking at what we eat and drink and the risk of bowel cancer
Giant Iceberg Cleaves Off Antarctica
The Science Hour BBC
access_time1 month ago
One of the biggest icebergs ever recorded has just broken away from Antarctica. The 6,000 sq km block was spotted by a US satellite as it cleaved off the Larsen C Ice Shelf on Wednesday. Roland Pease talks to British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Jan De Rydt about where this super-berg might be heading next. What flavour do you like your books? Electronic or paper? A new study shows that E-books score better than paper books in helping to improve language development in very young children. The arms race between plant-eating insects and plants, has had millions of years to evolve some pretty amazing interactions. Not least the tomato plant that produces chemicals which make the plant taste so horrible that caterpillars turn cannibalistic. Trinidad and Tobago has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world. Because of genetic factors, men of African heritage are more at risk of developing the disease and getting more aggressive forms than men of other ethnicities. Can doctors and clinicians change the attitudes of men who are reluctant to come forward for the tests that can pick up the disease early? With many proven examples of racist, sexist and prejudiced systems, Cathy O’Neil tells Gareth Mitchell that it is time to start worrying about algorithms. (Photo caption: A classic tabular Iceberg in Antarctica © C.Gilbert / British Antarctic Survey) The Science Hour was presented by Roland Pease with comments from BBC News Health reporter, Smitha Mundasad Editor: Deborah Cohen
The Science Behind “Game of Thrones”
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time1 month ago
Dragons, violence, magic & more: Explore “Game of Thrones” through the lens of science, with Neil deGrasse Tyson, actor Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), comic co-host Michael Ian Black, author Helen Keen, and psychologist Travis Langley. NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
#ICYMI: Extended Classic: The Physics of the Tour de France
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time1 month ago
Now updated for the 2017 race: Aerodynamics, Newton’s Laws, drafting, power to weight ratio, nutrition, technology and more! Get smarter about the Tour de France with hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly and their guests Lance Armstrong, Neil deGrasse Tyson and John Eric Goff. Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe to our channels on: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://www.tunein.com/playingwithscience NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Caterpillar Cannibals
Science in Action BBC
access_time1 month ago
The arms race between insects that eat plants and plants, has had millions of years to evolve some pretty amazing interactions. Not least the tomato plant that produces chemicals that make caterpillars turn cannibalistic. When the caterpillar eats another caterpillar, it’s not eating the tomato plant and it’s effectively reducing the number of other caterpillars that could attack the plant. Arctic Iceberg The crack in the Antarctic ice shelf, Larsen C, has completed, leading to a giant iceberg breaking free. The more than 200m-thick tabular berg will not move very far, or very fast, in the short term. But it will need to be monitored. Currents and winds might eventually push it north of the Antarctic where it could become a hazard to shipping. Early Life All living organisms on Earth need the compound iron-sulphur in their cells in order to live. This suggests that this chemical could have been a fundamental component of the pre-biotic soup that led to life. We know that the component iron and sulphur elements were abundant on the early Earth, but they weren’t in the correct form to make these essential iron-sulphur clusters. New work shows that when the conditions are right, the clusters can form With UV light being one of the key ingredients for the reaction. This means that the surface of our early planet could have been a good place for the spark of life to begin, not the deep sea hydrothermal vents as other people think. Picture: Could this be a cannibalistic caterpillar? Credit Dr.P F Donald Producer: Fiona Roberts Presenter: Roland Pease
Robo-docs, using AI to diagnose; Pancreatic cancer; Statins and muscle aches
Inside Health BBC
access_time1 month ago
Are we on the cusp of a new era where computers rather than doctors will be doing the diagnosing. Ali Parsa, founder of Babylon Health, believes we are and is developing an online tool using artificial intelligence that diagnoses quicker and more accurately than a doctor. He debates the issues with resident sceptic Dr Margaret McCartney. Mark Porter visits the world's first national tissue bank for pancreatic cancer, set up to aid research into a disease that has seen no outcome improvement for over 40 years. Plus statins and muscle aches; could the drugs' bad press in the media actually increase the odds of people experiencing side effects - the so called nocebo effect?
Catching Prostate Cancer Early in Trinidad
Discovery BBC
access_time1 month ago
Anu Anand on detecting and treating prostate cancer in Trinidad and Tobago.
Hold a Soft Robotic Heart in Your Hands
The Science Hour BBC
access_time1 month ago
Scientists have been meeting at London’s Royal Society since 1660 and this week, the Summer Science Exhibition celebrates the latest in cutting-edge science. Claudia Hammond gets to grips with a soft robotic heart which beats in time to your own pulse and is designed to show how different diseases affect the shape, size and blood flow. After 25 years of restrictions on banning single-occupant cars, Jakarta’s authorities have decided to ditch it. But live data from Google Maps has shown how the gridlock has returned immediately. If we wound back the clock some 66 million years ago, there may have been a gridlock of another kind – a logjam of frogs! New research shows how these creatures thrived after the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. But some of these dinosaurs might not quite be as lizard-like as we might think. New fossils from China suggest they resembled chickens. Back in today’s world, we have the smart sensors tracking bat squeaks in unprecedented detail and Raspberry Pi, the small but mighty microcomputer, has won the UK’s top engineering innovation prize. We also grapple with the mysteries of time and hear about a new app to help with paranoia. (Photo caption: Heart In Your Hands © Rusty Squid) The Science Hour was presented by Claudia Hammond with comments from BBC Science Correspondent Helen Briggs Producer: Graihagh Jackson
Cosmic Queries: Primatology
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time1 month ago
Bone up on our neighbors on the evolutionary tree: chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, monkeys and more, when Neil deGrasse Tyson, co-host Chuck Nice, and primatologist Natalia Reagan answer fan submitted questions about primates, extant and extinct. NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
#ICYMI: Out of This World Sports, with Neil deGrasse Tyson (Repeat)
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time1 month ago
This week, Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice explore what it would be like if we held the Olympics on Mars, or went ice skating on Europa, or played baseball on the Moon, using Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular tweets that look at sports through the lens of science. Their only guest: astrophysicist and master tweeter, @neiltyson. Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe on: iTunes Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://tunein.com/radio/Playing-with-Science-p952100/ SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Bird Migration
In Our Time: Science BBC
access_time1 month ago
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss why some birds migrate and others do not, how they select their destinations and how they navigate the great distances, often over oceans. For millennia, humans set their calendars to birds' annual arrivals, and speculated about what happened when they departed, perhaps moving deep under water, or turning into fish or shellfish, or hibernating while clinging to trees upside down. Ideas about migration developed in C19th when, in Germany, a stork was noticed with an African spear in its neck, indicating where it had been been over winter and how far it had flown. Today there are many ideas about how birds use their senses of sight and smell, and magnetic fields, to find their way, and about why and how birds choose their destinations and many questions. Why do some scatter and some flock together, how much is instinctive and how much is learned, and how far do the benefits the migrating birds gain outweigh the risks they face? With Barbara Helm Reader at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow Tim Guilford Professor of Animal Behaviour and Tutorial Fellow of Zoology at Merton College, Oxford and Richard Holland Senior Lecturer in Animal Cognition at Bangor University Producer: Simon Tillotson.
Dinosaurs of China
Science in Action BBC
access_time1 month ago
Fossils from China are changing the image of dinosaurs. Rather than huge lizards, it seems that some dinosaurs might have more closely resembled massive chickens. Since the discovery of the transitional fossil Archeopteryx, a small dinosaur with broad wings, feathers and a long tail, we’ve known that birds and dinosaurs are close relatives. Now, incredibly well-preserved feathery fossils from the Liaoning province in North Eastern China are being shown in an exclusive exhibition at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham. These fossils provide a new insight into just how bird-like many dinosaurs would have appeared, revealing many familiar characteristics to our own modern birds. Nanocolours Imagine having planes and cars covered in vivid, bright colours like the exotic birds and butterflies found in hot climates. It could soon be possible with metallic nano-sponges. These tiny networks of holes and tubes soak up light, rather than water. Nano-sponges mimic nature’s network-based colour structures, such as that responsible for the beautiful blue plumage of the South American plum-throated Cotinga (bird). Unlike paint, which contains coloured pigments that absorb light of a particular wavelength, structural colours arise through light interacting with a material’s surface structure. This means that nano-sponges can be simply applied as a metal coating, to produce colours from auroral greens to velvety reds. Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Fiona Roberts
High costs of cheap medicines, Can a simple blood test help identify cancer, undescended testes, Aspirin
Inside Health BBC
access_time2 months ago
Price rises of everyday medicines due to some manufacturers utilising monopolies; Can a simple routine blood test help identify cancer; A definitive guide on undescended testes with evidence for the best time to intervene if a baby boy's testes do not drop and the downsides of delay; Aspirin and the risk of stomach bleeds in the elderly.
The USA’s Deadly Racial Divide – black women & breast cancer
Discovery BBC
access_time2 months ago
Anu Anand explores why more black women are more likely to die of breast cancer in the US
Neonicotinoids Harm Bees
The Science Hour BBC
access_time2 months ago
Bee populations have been declining worldwide and this week, European trials have new evidence that the neonicotinoid insecticides are part of the problem. In the mammalian kingdom, scientists have been looking at the differences between male and female mice. The results have huge repercussions for drug testing which mostly use male mice. From the world of health - Brazilian scientists are grappling with the shortage of yellow fever vaccines and asking if they cut the dose to make stocks go further, would it still work? And could a reduction in the number of new brain cells we grow explain some cases of depression? It is early days but some hope that this idea could lead to the discovery of new drugs. A virtual reality exhibition is making its way from the Sheffield Doc/Fest in England to South America. From here, we are space-bound as we look to the beauty and mystery of a single star recorded by the poet Byron two hundred years ago. Finally, we turn to an age-old question that pre-dates this lyricist: Do we think in words, images, or abstract concepts? (Picture credit: A bee gathers pollen from a flower on a gooseberry bush © Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images) The Science Hour was presented by Roland Pease with comments from Jonathan Amos, BBC Science Correspondent Producer: Graihagh Jackson
Extended Classic: Cosmic Queries – A Stellar Sampling
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time2 months ago
Extended Classic: Cosmic Queries – A Stellar Sampling by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neonicotinoids Harm Bees
Science in Action BBC
access_time2 months ago
The first large-scale, field studies looking at the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees show largely negative effects. It’s been suspected for a number of years now, that the systemic, seed-coating, pesticides affect the survival and reproductive success of honeybees and wild bees. But testing this in the field, where other factors have to be ruled out, has so far proved very difficult. Now, the results from trials in the UK, Hungary and Germany, as well as separate trials in Canada, are affirming these concerns. The picture is still complicated, and it seems other factors, such as diet, disease and stress also play a role. But perhaps most concerning is the persistence and spread of these chemicals in the environment. Antarctic Terrestrial Biodiversity You might be surprised at just how many plants and animals live on Antarctica. Aside from penguins and seasonally nesting seabirds, the icy continent is home to grasses, mosses, lichens, springtails and other invertebrates. They survive in ice-free patches. 1% of the continent is thought to be permanently ice-free, in places such as the coast, on the steep sides and tops of mountains and in dry valleys. You’d think that with global warming predicted to increase these ice-free areas by 25% over the next 100 years, it would be a good thing – more habitat and a less harsh climate. But concerns about an increase in invasive species could threaten the survival of this terrestrial Antarctic biodiversity. ‘Celestial Sleuth’ Identifies Lord Byron’s ‘Single Star’ Exactly 200 years ago, poet Lord Byron was so impressed by a night’s sky that he wrote about it in his seminal narrative poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”. The problem was, when he spoke of “The Moon is up ” as he wrote in the fourth canto, published in 1818, “…A Single Star is at her side.” He got it wrong! Celestial sleuth and Texas State University astronomer and physicist, Professor Donald Olson, has deduced the exact night, in August 1818, that Byron recalls, and the star was in fact not a star, but the planet Jupiter. However, the magnificent twilight colours of which he also waxes lyrical “of all colours seem to be melted to one vast Iris of the west…” is a correct observation, as the dust from the massive 1815 eruption of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia would have been creating some spectacular sunsets at that time. Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto IV Stanza XXVII. The Moon is up, and yet it is not Night - Sunset divides the sky with her -- a Sea Of Glory streams along the Alpine height Of blue Friuli’s mountains; Heaven is free From clouds, but of all colours seems to be Melted to one vast Iris of the West, Where the Day joins the past Eternity; While, on the other hand, meek Dian’s crest Floats through the azure air -- an island of the blest! Stanza XXVIII. A Single Star is at her side, and reigns With her o’er half the lovely heaven; but still Yon sunny Sea heaves brightly, and remains Rolled o’er the peak of the far Rhaetian hill, As Day and Night contending were, until Nature reclaimed her order -- gently flows The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil The odorous Purple of a new-born rose, Which streams upon her stream, and glassed within it glows, Stanza XXIX. Filled with the face of Heaven, which, from afar, Comes down upon the waters; all its hues, From the rich sunset to the rising star, Their magical variety diffuse: And now they change; a paler Shadow strews Its mantle o’er the mountains; parting Day Dies like the Dolphin, whom each pang imbues With a new colour as it gasps away - The last still loveliest -- till -- ‘tis gone -- and All is gray. Photo: Honey bee, credit: Paul F Donald Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Fiona Roberts
#ICYMI: Hockey: Fan Questions and More
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time2 months ago
Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice are back for Season 2 of Playing with Science! First up: answers to our fan’s questions about the physics of hockey. Feat. Prof. Alain Haché, Neil Tyson, and NHL Nashville Predators Left Wing Colin Wilson. (Warning: Adult Language.) Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe to our channels on: Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://www.tunein.com/playingwithscience NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Screen and Treat in Tanzania
Discovery BBC
access_time2 months ago
Anu Anand on how vinegar and a head torch are used to tackle cervical cancer in Tanzania.
Through the Eye of a Needle
The Science Hour BBC
access_time2 months ago
We are talking about stereo blindness today – where you are not able to see the world in three dimensions. So what are the implications if you see the world as flat rather than deep? It turns out that those in some jobs tend to have better 3D but a 2D world has not held some people back – it’s possible that the great artist Rembrandt was stereoblind. He certainly did not lack inspiration and neither do the robot-builders inspired by marine organisms. We are looking at the latest trends in ‘soft robotics’ with a machine where you never need to charge the batteries – it gets all its energy from water. In other tech news, scientists have a souped-up candy floss machine that is spinning new heart valves for children. Could our cup of morning coffee be facing extinction? The climate is changing and Ethiopian coffee has already been affected. As the monsoon arrives in the Bengal Bay, scientists are trying to get better at measuring the amount that ends up in the aquifers as valuable drinking water. Out into the backyard, we hear about the world’s most dangerous garden. Elsewhere, a more cordial – and chatty – relationship with your plants but can they hear you? (Picture caption: Woman sews by hand © Getty Images) The Science Hour was presented by Gareth Mitchell with comments from freelance science writer David Robson Producer: Graihagh Jackson
Extended Classic: Cosmic Queries - The Science of Love
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time2 months ago
What’s love got to do with it? Neil Tyson, co-host Chuck Nice, and Dr. Helen Fisher answer your Cosmic Queries on the science of love. Now extended with Neil, Chuck, and Natalia Reagan discussing International Transgender Day of Visibility, sexuality, and more! NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Why Bird Eggs are not all ‘Egg-shaped’
Science in Action BBC
access_time2 months ago
Bird’s eggs are not all shaped like a chicken’s egg, there is a huge diversity in the shape of bird’s eggs. From the almost spherical eggs of owls, to the conical guillemot egg and the zeppelin-shaped Mallee fowl eggs. It seems that the flying ability of a bird species is a major evolutionary driving force to what shape eggs they lay. Making Heart Valves Replacement heart valves are not a new thing. There are plastic ones and you can use animal heart valves. The main problem is these are all one fixed size. What if a growing child needs a new heart valve? This is where the new technique of engineering these vital valves comes in. Researchers at Harvard University have come up with a way to create heart valves that grow with the body. And one of the bits of kit they use is a bit like a souped-up candyfloss machine! Measuring Underground Water Reserves in Bengal Water stored under the ground in the Bengal Basin in North India is a vital source of fresh water for over 100 million people. The usual way to measure how much water is in these deep ancient porous sedimentary reservoirs is to measure the water level in a borehole. But new work has shown that when it rains (as in the monsoon), the increased weight of surface water from rainfall, lakes, rivers and flooding press down on the surface of the earth, increasing the pressure of water underground and thus giving a false reading of how much groundwater is there. New Mining Technologies in Chile Mining for copper, gold and other metals is big business in Chile. But prospecting for good sites in rugged and remote locations can be dangerous. Two new prospecting techniques, one using drones and the other measuring micro earthquakes are helping to find the best sites to mine safely and remotely. Picture: Shaping of eggs, credit: Science/PA Wire Presenter: Roland Pease Producer: Fiona Roberts
#ICYMI: Baseball: Physics at the Plate (Part 1) (Repeat)
StarTalk Radio StarTalk Radio
access_time2 months ago
During off-season, Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly went to SXSW for a few “exhibition games” with the folks at TuneIn. First up, the science of pitching, hitting, and catching with Toronto Blue Jays catcher JP Arencibia, astrophysicist Charles Liu and Holden Kushner, host of MLB on TuneIn. Don’t miss an episode of Playing with Science. Subscribe on: iTunes Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/playing-with-science/id1198280360?mt=2 Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/startalk/playing-with-science TuneIn: http://tunein.com/radio/Playing-with-Science-p952100/ SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/startalk_playing-with-science GooglePlay Music: https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iimke5bwpoh2nb25swchmw6kzjq NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. Find out more at https://www.startalkradio.net/startalk-all-access/
Taking On Tobacco - Lung Cancer in Uruguay
Discovery BBC
access_time2 months ago
For more than 65 years we have known that smoking kills. So how can it be that a Mexican wave of tobacco use, disease and death is heading at breakneck speed towards the world’s poorest people? Millions will die of lung cancer and it is hard to grasp that this is a largely preventable disease. Uruguay in South America could hold the key to breaking this wave. Under a President who is a cancer specialist they introduced some of the most radical tobacco control policies in the world and attracted the wrath of corporate tobacco giant, Philip Morris, in the process. Anu Anand reports on Uruguay’s crusade to save its citizens. Image: Roberto, life long smoker who has lung cancer Credit: Anu Anand