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Rank #40 in Science category

Science

Discovery

Updated 2 months ago

Rank #40 in Science category

Science
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Explorations in the world of science.

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Explorations in the world of science.

iTunes Ratings

552 Ratings
Average Ratings
403
72
34
19
24

Love

By Fast Aging Activist - Sep 29 2019
Read more
Love the Fly Gal, learned so much from it.

Great Stuff

By WWaldenHenry - Jul 13 2019
Read more
Easy to listen to, informative, not so stiff, fun yet serious.

iTunes Ratings

552 Ratings
Average Ratings
403
72
34
19
24

Love

By Fast Aging Activist - Sep 29 2019
Read more
Love the Fly Gal, learned so much from it.

Great Stuff

By WWaldenHenry - Jul 13 2019
Read more
Easy to listen to, informative, not so stiff, fun yet serious.
Cover image of Discovery

Discovery

Latest release on Aug 12, 2020

All 299 episodes from oldest to newest

Introducing The Bomb

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Emily’s grandad worked on the bomb that fell on Hiroshima. Could another man – Leo Szilard - have stopped it? This is the new series from the BBC World Service – search for The Bomb wherever you get your podcasts.

Aug 12 2020

2mins

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On the menu

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Shark, bear and crocodile attacks tend to make the headlines but humans fall prey to a much wider variety of predators every year, from big cats and snakes, to wolves, hyenas and even eagles that’ve been known to snatch the odd child. The details can be grim and gory as many predators have developed specific techniques for hunting us humans down. But it was always so, as biologist Professor Adam Hart discovers. Archaeological evidence suggests early hominins in Africa were more hunted than hunter, spending much of their lives scavenging for food and fending off attacks from the likes of sabre-tooth-cats and giant hyenas. Much more recently, legends abound about some of the more infamous serial killers of the animal kingdom, such as the 'man-eaters' of Tsavo and Njombe - the latter, a pride of about 15 lions in Tanzania who, it is claimed were responsible for an astonishing 1500 deaths between 1932 and 1947.

Today, estimates and sources vary but most suggest carnivorous predators are responsible for hundreds if not thousands of human deaths every year. But how much of this is active predation and how much is mistaken identity or sheer bad luck? Adam speaks to experts in human-wildlife conflict dedicated to reducing attacks on both humans and predators in Africa and India, where the tensions between protecting agricultural interests and preserving predator habitats are most problematic. He discovers the grim reality for many poor rural populations dealing with the sharp end of living in close proximity to large carnivores and discusses the potential solutions for driving down attacks on both humans and predators that are caught up in the struggle for survival. Closer to home, Adam meets a wolf-tracker, who helps to monitor wild wolf populations that have spread up through Italy and France, attacking livestock with increasing confidence. Could humans be on the menu next?

Producer: Rami Tzabar

(Picture credit: Evgeny555/Getty Images)

Aug 10 2020

27mins

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Human Genome Project's 20th Anniversary

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Adam Rutherford celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most ambitious and revolutionary scientific endeavours of all time - the Human Genome Project.

Its scope and scale was breath-taking, set up to read every one of the 3 billion nucleotides, or letters of genetic information, contained within the DNA in every cell of the human body. It took seven years, hundreds of scientists, cost almost $3 billion and, amazingly, came in under budget and on time.

Adam reflects back on that momentous time with Ewan Birney, Director of the European Bio-informatics Institute, part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Twenty years ago, he was a PhD student working on the project, in the months leading up to the first draft.

The Human Genome Project underpins many branches of science, from human evolution and synthetic biology to forensic genetics and ancestry testing. But a key motivation for the project was to alleviate human suffering. While the ‘cures’, hyped by the media back in 2000, were not realistic our understanding of disease has been revolutionised.

Adam talks to Cancer Research UK Scientist, Dr Serena Nik-Zainal, from Cambridge University, who explains why the sequencing of the human genome has been so crucial to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. The Human Genome Project is also playing a crucial role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Kenneth Baillie has been treating critically ill patients at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary since the pandemic started. As the Lead on GenOMICC, a global collaboration on genetics and critical illness, he has joined forces with Genomics England and the NHS, to pinpoint genetic signals in these patients to help identify the best treatments.

Producers: Beth Eastwood & Fiona Roberts

Picture: DNA Genetic Code Colorful Genome, Credit: ktsimage/Getty Images

Aug 03 2020

26mins

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Brian Greene

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Brian Greene studies the universe at the largest and smallest scales imaginable. When he was just twelve years old, Brian wandered round Columbia University in New York looking for someone to teach him mathematics, with a letter of recommendation from his school teacher. While his mother wanted him to make money, his father encouraged Brian to pursue his passion, which was trying to understand the nature of the universe.

He studied physics at Harvard University and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. While at Oxford he learnt about a bold new Theory of Everything which predicts that the universe is made not of particles but rather tiny strings which vibrate in multiple dimensions. Now a Professor at Columbia University, he has worked on string theory ever since.

He talks to Jim Al-Khalili about the rise and fall of string and superstring theory and why when he first started to think about what would happen to the universe at the end of time, he experienced a feeling of ‘hollow dread’.

Jul 27 2020

27mins

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Jane Goodall

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Jane Goodall, aged 86, reflects on the years she spent living with the wild chimpanzees in Gombe in eastern Tanzania and tells Jim Al Khalili why she believes the best way to bring about change is to ‘creep into people’s hearts’. Jane shot to fame when she appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1963 and appeared in a documentary film directed by Orson Welles. Her ground breaking observations introduced us to the social and emotional lives of wild chimpanzees and changed our view of what it is to be human. Images of her younger self play wrestling with baby chimps make Jane feel slightly apprehensive now but at the time she didn’t give it a second thought. However, she did take care to protect her young son. Seeing distressing footage of chimps who were living in captivity, she gave up fieldwork to become an activist, working to liberate chimpanzees that were being used for medical research or sold for meat or as pets, and setting up chimp sanctuaries for animals that were no longer able to live in the wild. For the last thirty years, she has campaigned gently but relentlessly to protect wild animals and wild places, touring the world and performing on stage in front of huge audiences. Her global youth programme, Roots and Shoots has inspired and empowered millions of people to understand and respect nature, leading some to call her ‘the mother Theresa of the environment’. A label she dislikes.

Producer: Anna Buckley

Photo credit: the Jane Goodall Institute / By Bill Wallauer

Jul 20 2020

27mins

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Bed

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After a long journey, there’s nothing nicer for Katy than climbing into her own bed. It’s often the first major purchase we make when we grow up and leave home.

Its significance was not lost on our ancestors. The bed was often the place where societal attitudes to sleep, superstition, sex, and status were played out, sometimes in dramatic form.

So where did the bed come from, and what can this everyday object tell us about ourselves?

A sleeper in early modern times believed that sleep was akin to death, with the devil waiting to pounce after darkness. So bed-time rituals were performed at the bedside and wolves’ teeth were often hung around the sleeper’s neck. Iron daggers were dangled over the cradles of infants at night to prevent them from being changed into demon babies.

While we may have outgrown a fear of the devil, sleep expert and neuroscientist Prof Russell Foster fears the modern-day obsession that’s disrupting our sleep – our mobile devices. His advice? Prepare your bed for a good night’s sleep and defend it with a passion.

Also featuring resident public historian Greg Jenner, and Prof Sasha Handley, expert on Early Modern History and sleep during this time.

Producer: Beth Eastwood.

Picture: Bed, Credit: Igor Vershinsky/Getty Images

Jul 13 2020

26mins

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Covid-19: Recovery

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Claudia Hammond and a panel of international experts look at the latest research into Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus which is sweeping through the world.

Our panel of experts discuss how many people make full recoveries but others are finding that life hasn’t yet returned to normal months after infection. In India and Sweden, clinics are being set up to follow survivors of the virus and doctors are discovering that people are having difficulties assimilating what happened to them. And we hear about how three generations of one Spanish family all survived and how they are all recovering differently, including the 96 year old grandmother.

On the panel are Seema Shah, Professor of Medical Ethics at North Western University, Professor David Heymann, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Soo Aleman from the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, Dr David Collier, Clinical director of the William Harvey Clinical Research Centre, Queen Mary University of London and Dr Netravathi M, Professor of Neurology at the National Institute for Mental Health and Neuroscience in Bangalore in India.

The Evidence is produced in association with Wellcome Collection.

Producers: Geraldine Fitzgerald and Caroline Steel
Editor: Deborah Cohen

Jul 11 2020

50mins

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Toilet

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You may call it the toilet, the loo, the privy, the potty, the can or even the bathroom, but whatever you call it, this everyday object has its roots in Bronze Age Pakistan. It even had a seat!

But how did the toilet come to be? Given one third of the world’s population still live without one, how much is our embarrassment around toilet habits to blame? And what scientific developments are underway to help make them truly universal?

Water and Sanitation Expert, Alison Parker, from Cranfield University believes part of the solution lies in a waterless toilet which creates ash, water from the waste it receives, and the energy it needs to operate, from the waste it receives.

Even in the UK, we don’t always have access to a toilet when we need one. Over the past decade, the number of public conveniences has dropped by a half, leaving older people and the disabled, who may need easy access, unable to leave their homes. Raymond Martin, Managing Director of the British Toilet Association, hopes to stop our public conveniences going down the pan.

Also featuring resident public historian Greg Jenner.

Producer: Beth Eastwood

Picture: Bathroom/Getty Images

Jul 06 2020

27mins

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Wine glass

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Have you got one of those wine glasses that can hold an entire bottle of wine? Katy Brand does and she’s even used it for wine - albeit because of a sprained ankle, which would have stopped her from hobbling back and forth to the kitchen for refills.

But if we skip back a few hundred years, the wine glass was tiny. Footmen brought their masters what was essentially a shot glass. They quaffed back their wine in one. So how did we go from those dinky little things to the gargantuan goblets we have today? Is it because letting the wine breathe in a bigger glass makes it smell and taste better? Or is it a reflection of our drinking habits?

Join Katy and the show's resident public historian, Greg Jenner, is glass expert Russell Hand from Sheffield University and Barry Smith, Director for the Study of the Senses at London University.

Producer: Graihagh Jackson

Picture: Wine glass, Credit: Albina Kosenko/Getty Images

Jun 29 2020

27mins

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The Evidence: Covid 19: vaccines and after lockdown

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Claudia Hammond and a panel of international experts look at the latest research into Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus which is sweeping through the world.

We look at vaccines to stop the spread of the coronavirus. And as travel opens up in many countries and visiting family and friends is allowed, how do we navigate this new world while avoiding catching the virus.

On the panel are Dr George Hu, clinical psychologist & Section Chief of Mental Health at Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital in China, Vaccine expert - Professor Gagandeep Kang Executive Director of the Translational Health Science Technology Institute in Faridabad India, Dr Jenny Rohn is an expert in microbiology and viruses at University College London and Dr Margaret Harris, a Spokesperson at the World Health Organisation.

The Evidence is produced in association with Wellcome Collection.
Producers: Geraldine Fitzgerald and Caroline Steel
Editor: Deborah Cohen

Jun 27 2020

48mins

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