Cover image of Science in Action
(199)

Rank #68 in Science category

Science

Science in Action

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #68 in Science category

Science
Read more

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

Read more

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

iTunes Ratings

199 Ratings
Average Ratings
148
29
8
10
4

Great podcast! Love every episode of it.

By Davo91 - Feb 06 2015
Read more
Great podcast! Love every episode of it.

Great for science-phobes like me!

By Uptown Lakes - Apr 17 2011
Read more
Thank you for making science so accessible. Love it!

iTunes Ratings

199 Ratings
Average Ratings
148
29
8
10
4

Great podcast! Love every episode of it.

By Davo91 - Feb 06 2015
Read more
Great podcast! Love every episode of it.

Great for science-phobes like me!

By Uptown Lakes - Apr 17 2011
Read more
Thank you for making science so accessible. Love it!
Cover image of Science in Action

Science in Action

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.

Australia burning

Podcast cover
Read more
Australia’s annual wild fires have started early this year, drought is a factor but to what extent is ‘Bush fire weather’ influenced by climate change?

A two million year old fossil tooth reveals some biological answers to who its owner was.

Why Climate change may have killed off the world’s first superpower

And a hologram produced from sound waves.
(Image: Firefighters tackle a bushfire to save a home in Taree, Australia. Credit Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images)
Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle

Nov 14 2019

29mins

Play

Climate in crisis

Podcast cover
Read more
Pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are largely unachievable says a major audit of commitments to the Paris Climate Accord.

Air pollution in Delhi is so bad, breathing the toxic particles has been likened to smoking. Can a scientific assessment of the multiple causes help provide a way forward?

We examine a new way of making new plastic – from old plastic.

And why sending some stem cells to the international space station might help astronauts travel further.
(Image: Tourists wearing masks to protect themselves from smog in New Delhi, India. Credit: Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle

Nov 07 2019

29mins

Play

Wildfires and winds in California

Podcast cover
Read more
The Santa Ana in the south, and the Diablo in the north, are winds that are fuelling the terrible fires raging in California this week. They’re also blamed for bringing down power lines that sometimes start the fires. Roland Pease talks to Janice Coen of the National Center for Atmospheric Research NCAR who has been developing a highly detailed model to forecast how wind, mountains, and flames interact during a wildfire.

The glaring gaps in human genetics are in Africa – much overlooked because the companies and universities sequencing DNA are mostly based in Europe, the US and other advanced economies. A ten-year attempt to fill in some of those gaps came to fruition this week, with the release of a study covering thousands of individuals from rural Uganda. Deepti Gurdasani, of Queen Mary University London, explains the data reveal both new medical stories, and the scale of past migration within Africa.

There are also gaps in the climate record from Africa. Knowing past climates could help massively in understanding the prospects for climate change in coming years on the continent. Journalist Linda Nordling has just published an article in Nature that shows that the records exist – old weather data collected since the 19th Century. It’s just they’re scattered, unexamined, in vaults and collections across Africa.

Adam McKay of Nasa and Alan Fitzsimmons of Queens University Belfast talk to Roland Pease about the latest observations of the interstellar interloper Comet Borisov.

(Photo: A firefighter sets a back fire along a hillside during operations to battle the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, California. Credit: Philip Pacheco/AFP/Getty Images)

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Deborah Cohen

Oct 31 2019

28mins

Play

Is quantum supremacy ‘garbage’?

Podcast cover
Read more
A quantum computer has performed a calculation considered impossible for conventional computers, but how meaningful is the result? As our guest reveals, this quantum state can be hugely significant and garbage – at the same time.

Also we look at a new method of gene editing, which avoids cutting up DNA, get to grips with where the worlds worms live and watch elements being created in distant solar collisions.
(Photo: A quantum circuit from Google's Sycamore computer. Credit: Google)
Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle

Oct 24 2019

37mins

Play

Malaria's origins and a potential new treatment

Podcast cover
Read more
A variety of malarial parasites have existed amongst the great apes for millennia. How did one of them jump species and why did humans became its preferred host? And from Antarctica we hear about a potential new treatment for malaria found in a deep sea sponge.

Also, why improved monitoring is changing our perceptions of earthquakes and the story of an endangered Polynesian snail.

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle

(Photo: Gorilla. Credit: Hermes Images/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Oct 17 2019

29mins

Play

From batteries to distant worlds

Podcast cover
Read more
Nobel prizes this week went to a range of discoveries that you might be familiar with, in fact you might be using one of them right now – the lithium ion battery. The scientists credited with its Invention got the chemistry prize. And the tantalising prospect of life on other planets plays into the physics prize win.

And we also see what salamanders have to offer in the treatment of arthritis
(Picture: Illustration of the Earth-like exoplanet Kepler-452b and its parent star Kepler-452. Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech/Science Photo Library)

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle

Oct 10 2019

29mins

Play

Drought likely to follow India’s floods

Podcast cover
Read more
India has experienced some of the worse monsoon weather in years, but despite the extreme rainfall climate models suggest a drought may be on the way, with higher than average temperatures predicted for the months following the monsoon season.

We also hear warnings over the state of the world’s aquifers, with water levels in many places already low enough to affect ecosystems.

We examine the consequences of two historic eruptions. How Indonesian volcano Tambora changed global weather and why papyrus scrolls blackened by Italy’s Vesuvius can now be read again.

And from Australia the discovery of a new species of pterosaur in Queensland.
Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle
(Photo: Commuters make their way on a waterlogged road following heavy rainfalls in Patna.Credit:Getty Images)

Oct 03 2019

30mins

Play

Global climate inaction

Podcast cover
Read more
This week’s IPCC report on the state of the world’s climate looks very much like their earlier reports on the subject. The document cautiously expresses a picture of a future with greater climate extremes.
Activists are frustrated by the lack of action. We look at why the scientific message is often hampered by politics.

Fish could provide micronutrients to the world poor, but as we’ll hear this would need a major shift in commercial fishing practices globally.

Baby bottles from thousands of years ago suggest Neolithic people gave animal milk to their children.

And when did the Sahara develop? New findings in deposits from volcanic islands provides some evidence.
(Image: Greta Thunberg. Credit: AFP/Getty Image)
Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle

Sep 26 2019

30mins

Play

South East Asia choking - again

Podcast cover
Read more
Staying indoors might seem a good way to avoid air pollution, but scientists studying the fires in Indonesia have found there is little difference between the air quality in their hotel room and the atmosphere outside. Both levels are high enough to be considered dangerous for human health. To add to the problem, fires continue to burn underground in the peaty soil long after they were started.

In the Arctic ice melt this summer has been particularly severe, however the picture in complicated by climatic conditions. A new mission to the region involving trapping a ship in ice over winter hopes to provide answers.

Nearly 500 million of year ago the earth’s sky was darkened by a massive asteroid explosion, blotting out the sun. New data on this event may provide an insight into contemporary climate change.

And how about a device which turns the conventions of solar panels on their head and generates electricity in the dark?
(Researcher Mark Grovener from Kings College London measures air quality in Indonesia.
Credit Marlin Wooster KCL)

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle

Sep 20 2019

30mins

Play

Embryoids from stem cells

Podcast cover
Read more
Scientists know very little about the first few days of the life of a human embryo, once it's been implanted in the womb. Yet this is when the majority of pregnancies fail. Professor Magdalena Zernika-Goetz at Cambridge University is a leader in the field of making 'model embryos' in both mice and humans. Model embryos until now have been grown in the lab from donated fertilised eggs, but these are hard to come by and governed by strict laws and ethical guidelines. Now researchers in the University of Michigan have used human pluripotent stem cell lines (originally isolated from embryos, but kept and nurtured as clumps of dividing cells in petri-dishes for many years) to make a model embryo that has shown signs of development and organisation in the crucial 7-10 day window. Magdalena and Roland Pease discuss how helpful these will be to understanding crucial early stage pregnancies and as a tool to test drugs, treatments and disease processes. The ethical side of growing human embryos from stem cells is addressed by Stanford University ethicist Professor Hank Greely.

Astronomers have detected water vapour in the atmosphere of a planet called K2-18b orbiting within the habitable zone of a distant star. The lead scientist, Professor Giovanna Tinetti of University College London, talks to Roland about the discovery and what she hopes to explore when a satellite telescope called ARIEL is launched by ESA in around a decade.

And an amateur astronomer has discovered a comet that appears to have arrived from outside our Solar System. This observation follows on from that of Oumuamua which looked like it was an asteroid that had escaped from an exoplanetary system. Roland asks professional astronomers Alan Fitzsimmons of Queens University Belfast and Simon Porter from South West Research Institute in Colorado what they make of the latest interstellar visitor.
(Picture: A set of five embryo-like structures in a microfluidic device developed in the lab of Jianping Fu. The top row consists of “immunostaining” images in which key proteins are tagged with dyes to label different cell types, whereas the bottom row shows standard photos taken through a microscope. Parts of the bottom images were blurred to more clearly show a correlation between the rows. Image credit: Fu Lab, Michigan Engineering)
Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Deborah Cohen

Sep 12 2019

26mins

Play
Loading