Naked Scientists Special Editions Podcast

Sinopsis

Probing the weird, wacky and spectacular, the Naked Scientists Special Editions are special one-off scientific reports, investigations and interviews on cutting-edge topics by the Naked Scientists team.

Episodios

  • Are phone masts going to get larger?

    Are phone masts going to get larger?

    04/09/2019 Duración: 04min

    Mobile phone companies could be set to erect bigger and taller phone masts as part of government plans to roll out 5G networks and improve coverage in rural areas. How might taller masts help with connectivity - and what is 5G anyway? Tech-xpert and Angel Investor Peter Cowley explains to Chris Smith and Katie Haylor... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Antimicrobial resistance and future plastics

    Antimicrobial resistance and future plastics

    20/08/2019 Duración: 03min

    Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to many of the agents we use to deal with them, including antiseptics. The bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii is one example and causes hard to treat skin, chest, and urine infections in hospitals. Now, a team at the University of Newcastle, Australia have discovered a gene that renders Acinetobacter resistant to the chemical chlorhexidine that's used in hand disinfectants. But the gene evolved long before the antiseptic was invented, so what was it doing previously? As well as finding out, Adam Murphy also heard from lead author Karl Hassan how the discovery could help us to make more environmentally-friendly forms of plastic. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Stronger earthquakes from oilfield wastewater

    Stronger earthquakes from oilfield wastewater

    01/08/2019 Duración: 05min

    A research team from Virginia Tech, led by Ryan Pollyea, has found that earthquakes 8 kilometres below the earth's surface are increasing in intensity. Published in the journal Nature Communications, the team's work has found that a super-dense liquid called oilfield wastewater is seeping deep into the sheets of the earth, causing massive pressure changes that could be increasing earthquake intensity. Matthew Hall got into contact with Ryan Pollyea and Martin Chapman from Virginia Tech to see what all the rumble is about... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • The science behind heatwaves

    The science behind heatwaves

    28/07/2019 Duración: 03min

    A heatwave has been sweeping across Europe recently, causing record temperatures across the continent and creating a lot of consternation in the Naked Scientist office. But where do heatwaves come from. And what's going to happen in the future. Adam Murphy spoke to Manoj Joshi, professor of climate dynamics from the University of East Anglia, starting with what a heatwave even is... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Decoding the Minimal Genome

    Decoding the Minimal Genome

    25/07/2019 Duración: 04min

    Your genome contains all of your genetic information, and it's pretty long - the Human Genome Project estimated that humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. But according to synthetic biology, you can survive on only 473! At least a very simple bacterium can. Of this "minimal genome", scientists previously didn't know what nearly a third actually did. But now Mark Wass has been telling Heather Jameson how his team at the University of Kent may have cracked 66 of the mystery genes... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • The Largest Seaweed Bloom on Earth

    The Largest Seaweed Bloom on Earth

    23/07/2019 Duración: 03min

    The world's largest patch of seaweed appears every summer in the mid-Atlantic. Since 2011, the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt has been growing to monstrous sizes - thousands of kilometres long - and it's been clogging up beaches along the Americas with metres of stinking brown sludge. Now, scientists in Florida and George have used satellite tracking to figure out what's going on - as Phil Sansom explains... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • The nervous system of worms

    The nervous system of worms

    22/07/2019 Duración: 04min

    The nervous system is a complicated network of specialized cells, called neurons, that allow the transfer of information from one part of our body to another. To help our understanding of the nervous system in humans, scientists have been mapping the connections between neurons in a type of round worm, called C Elegans. C Elegans are so small that they are barely visible by the naked eye. So to obtain images of the worm, a special microscope, called an electron microscope is used. They take images along the worm, using an electron microscope and each image is analysed, and the neurons are marked. These marks are then put together to form a map of the neurons through the body of the worm. A map, known as a connectome. Connectomes give us more information on how signals transfer through our bodies, and which neurons are used for which actions. For example, how does the signal that tells my brain that it is hungry compare to a signal of pain from stubbing my toe? Due to the complicated nature of the nervous syst

  • Oumuamua is alien technology no mua-more

    Oumuamua is alien technology no mua-more

    18/07/2019 Duración: 06min

    You might remember from a year or so ago stories of an alien fly-by. The unidentified object was famously referred to as Oumuamua, which means "scout" in Hawaiian. Now a paper just out in the journal Nature Astronomy has revisited the story to probe whether Oumuamua really is alien technology, or just a cigar-shaped hunk of rock hurtling through the solar system. Matthew Hall got in touch with co-author Dr. Alan Fitzsimmons from Queens University Belfast... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Extremely Fast: The Future of Electric Racing

    Extremely Fast: The Future of Electric Racing

    02/07/2019 Duración: 06min

    In June, Izzie Clarke explored the extremely fast science of speed and headed to the race tracks with McLaren in their 600LT Spider supercar. But whilst Formula 1 and petrol racing have a huge fan base, we're also seeing the rise of electric racing, Formula E. In this bonus interview, Izzie spoke with Rodi Basso, Motorsport Director of Mclaren Applied Technologies, about the future of the sport. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Making crops more light sensitive

    Making crops more light sensitive

    27/06/2019 Duración: 04min

    With a rising global population, and the impending impacts of climate change, we need more food, and reliable food sources safeguarded for the future. But varying light levels mean that plant growing conditions aren't always consistent, as Katie Haylor has been finding out... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Boaty McBoatface and the Antarctic mystery

    Boaty McBoatface and the Antarctic mystery

    26/06/2019 Duración: 04min

    In March 2016 the public voted to name a new polar research vessel "Boaty McBoatface", ultimately though, it was decided that "RRS Sir David Attenborough" was a more fitting choice. But the name "Boaty McBoatface" lived on and was instead given to one of the ship's autonomous submarine vehicles. Now, data from Boaty's first research mission in Antarctica has revealed a worrying new mechanism related to rising sea levels. Boaty has discovered that winds above the southern ocean, which have been strengthening in recent years, due in part to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, are driving warmer surface water down into the depths of the ocean and warming the water right at the bottom of our oceans. Warmer oceans mean melting ice caps, so this new discovery is vital to help us accurately predict the rate that global sea levels will rise and plan for the consequences. Heather Jameson spoke to Southampton University's Alberto Naveira Garabato who led the project. For information regardi

  • Smarter, safer robots

    Smarter, safer robots

    25/06/2019 Duración: 04min

    Robots are increasingly used to take over repetitive tasks in industry and agriculture, but they are still limited in what they can do. This also means that humans still need to work alongside them and often things can go badly wrong. 13000 injuries and 60 deaths were caused by accidents due to contact with machinery between 2014-18 in the UK alone. Engineers are working on ways to make robots safer, cheaper and more efficient. Ankita Anirban speaks to Matthias Althoff from the Technische Universitt Mnchen, in Germany, about his recent work on modular robots. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Fish: a small world after all

    Fish: a small world after all

    24/06/2019 Duración: 05min

    The world is facing a global fish issue - a fissue, if you will. One third of all fish stocks are being overfished, and most of the efforts to prevent this involve exclusive zones in the ocean managed by individual countries. But a study released this week shows how the world's fisheries are all closely connected in a "small-world" network, and how overfishing in one zone can affect all of its neighbours. Izzie Clarke spoke with James Rising from the London School of Economics to find out how. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Asthma: mapping the human lung

    Asthma: mapping the human lung

    23/06/2019 Duración: 05min

    The chest disease asthma is becoming more common. It can lead to life-threatening breathing difficulties when the airways constrict and the lung tissue overproduces mucus; this is usually an allergic reaction that can be worsened by air pollution. But our understanding of what's going on in an asthmatic lung is still quite limited. But now for the first time, scientists at the Sanger Institute near Cambridge have used a new technique to document and examine every cell in lung samples from both healthy and asthmatic patients, to discover what's changing when a person develops asthma. Chris Smith spoke to researcher Felipe Vieira Braga. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Cracking the secret of Antarctic ice holes

    Cracking the secret of Antarctic ice holes

    21/06/2019 Duración: 05min

    Holes in the Antarctic sea ice have been forming for decades, and are a mystery to science For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Pitch perception - a special skill?

    Pitch perception - a special skill?

    20/06/2019 Duración: 04min

    When it comes to understanding how the brain functions, scientists have done a great deal of work on studying macaque monkeys, our evolutionary relative. We share 93% of our DNA and in a lot of ways, our brains are very similar. Even for high level operations such as learning, memory and decision-making, our brains work in comparable ways.. However, when it comes to sound, scientists have discovered that humans seem to have a unique edge in how we perceive pitch. Ankita Anirban spoke to Bevil Conway, from the National Institute of Health in Maryland, on his recent work comparing how humans and monkeys respond to sound. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Recyclable crisp packets using nanotechnology

    Recyclable crisp packets using nanotechnology

    19/06/2019 Duración: 04min

    At the end of 2018, Walkers launched their own recycling scheme for crisp packets after more than 300,000 people signed an online petition demanding that they change to a fully recyclable material for their packaging. Crisp packets are made from plastic and coated with a thin layer of metal. The metal layer is essential to prolong the shelf life of the food by providing a barrier to oxygen and water, but it makes the packets very difficult to recycle. Aiming to tackle this problem is Dermot O'Hare and his team at the University of Oxford, who have developed a new coating using nano-technology which, they say, could produce fully recyclable crisp packets and other plastic food packaging. Heather Jameson spoke to Dermot to learn more For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • Higher fatal flu risk for CRISPR twins

    Higher fatal flu risk for CRISPR twins

    11/06/2019 Duración: 04min

    CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. Long name, but easy to picture: the sequence is synonymous to a word processor for a book, the book being DNA, which allows scientists to not only read the book, but to also edit a specific 'passage' of the book. Using CRISPR technology, DNA edits were performed on female twin embryos by Chinese scientist Jiankui He, who has since lost his standing in the scientific community. Xinzhu Wei Rasmus Nielsen, from the University of California Berkeley, followed up with the birth of the twins in an article published in the journal Nature Medicine and found a 21% increase in early mortality for the mutated genes. Matthew Hall visited Florian Merkle, a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Metabolic Science right here in the University of Cambridge, to discuss the goal of He's experiment. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • How to mend a broken heart

    How to mend a broken heart

    10/06/2019 Duración: 05min

    Around 1.4 million people alive in the UK today have survived a heart attack, but survivors can suffer from debilitating heart failure, because the heart is damaged during the attack. Ten years ago The Naked Scientists spoke to Sian Harding from Imperial College London about some promising new "heart patches" that could be grown in the lab. Ten years on, production is more reliable and plentiful, and it's hoped that safety trials on humans could begin within the next couple of years. Heather Jameson spoke to Sian to learn more... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

  • An antibiotic made from metal

    An antibiotic made from metal

    09/06/2019 Duración: 04min

    Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria evolve to sidestep the drugs we use to kill them. With resistance rising, we could be facing an "antibiotic apocalypse", where even trivial infections become untreatable. What's worse, almost no new antibiotics are being developed by the major pharmaceutical companies. Now, though, Kirsty Smitten has uncovered a new option based on the heavy metal ruthenium. It can destroy antibiotic resistant bacteria, including those known as gram negatives, traditionally regarded as much harder to treat... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

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