Palaeo Ponderings: Can You Dig It?

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Did dinosaurs live in herds? Why are mountains pointy? And what's the best preserved mummy? Plus we had a giant snake, a few skulls, a couple of "feet" and one of the oldest rocks on Earth in the studio. Scientists Lee Berger, Meghan Strong, Jason Head, and Owen Weller team up for an Early Earth QA show

Are we Working Ourselves to Death?

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We devote up to 50 years of our life to it, yet it might just be getting us down. This week The Naked Scientists programme examines work, hearing how our behaviour and our buildings can change to boost our health and productivity. Plus, news of how gut bacteria can control our response to cancer treatment and how a rare opportunity allowed scientists to 'get inside' the human mind.

Trick or Treat: The Science of the Paranormal

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This week, The Naked Scientists delve into the paranormal. We'll be asking why so many of us have supernatural beliefs, exploring the scientific origins behind our favourite monster legends, and bravely embarking on a ghost hunt... Plus in the news, what dinosaurs and zorro have in common, why swearing could do you some good, and how sugarcane ethanol could help cut global carbon emissions.

Under Your Skin

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This week, The Naked Scientists get under the skin of skin. Hear about the new method to treat burn victims, the electronic tattoo that can tell if you've got flu and how to keep your skin in good shape. Plus, in the news this week, the diabetes drug that's treating leukaemia, how bird feeders are affecting beak length, and how the challenge of landing space probes now keep your crisps crunchy.

The Countdown to Artificial Intelligence

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The Naked Scientists are joined by an expert panel to discuss the seven most significant questions people are asking about AI. We explore the risks and positive outcomes of AI, and Chris finds out an artificial podcast presenter may be after his job.

DNA Decoded: Past, Present and Sausage

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This week we delve into DNA and what it can tell us about our past, present and future. And, what happened when we decided to read the DNA sequence of a local sausage. Plus, in the news, what won Nobel Prizes, the world's largest HIV survey, and why doing exercise you don't like makes you more likely to binge on junk food.

What Makes the Best Breakfast?

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Can your intestines grow back? How can you measure your own stress levels? How do electric eels work? Scientists David Rothery, Sarah Madden and Gareth Corbett team up to answer an eclectic and electric selection of questions.

Is the future bionic?

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This week a look at enhancements for future humans: wearable robots, an artificial pancreas, and a replacement retina, as well as limb and head transplants. Plus, in the news, a new hope for global warming, a new therapy to halt MS, what a shock from an electric eel feels like, and how much alcohol remains in food after cooking...

Memories: Making Them & Faking Them

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This week, we take a trip down memory lane. How scientists can implant false memories, wipe memory away, and the link between head injuries and Alzheimer's disease. Plus, in the news, farewell to Cassini, the science of hurricanes, and how scientists are now able to see what's in the atmospheres of remote planets hundreds of light years away.

Drug Discovery: The Future of Pharma

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This week; from Big Pharma to Little Pharma, we look at how new drugs are discovered. Plus, in the news - what powers the Northern Lights on Jupiter, why cuckoos have the last laugh, and 3 decades of a telescope that's changed our view of the Universe.

Fidget Spinners in Space?

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In the latest Q and A show from The Naked Scientists, we answer your questions with the help of an expert panel - plant scientist Beverley Glover, mathematician James Grime, physicist Jess Wade and Angel investor Peter Cowley. What makes plants carnivorous, what's the highest prime number we know of, and how do WWII coding machines work? Plus, how long would a fidget spinner spin for in space, what's the best way to water a plant, and what happened to Google Glass?

Can Science Mavericks Save the World?

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This week, we're exploring the end of the world. From robotic AI takeovers to global floods, when it comes to the extinction of our species, is science really set up to predict or prevent such events? Plus, how gutbugs might be key to keeping healthy for longer, a holodeck for flies and why Pythagoras was beaten to his own theorem.

Diet: Can we be healthy and sustainable?

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This week, food is on the menu! Do any of the diets that you hear about actually work? What's best to eat for the health of the planet? And will the steak of the future grow in a test tube? Plus, scientists fix cells with the wrong numbers of chromosomes and how birds use magnetic fields to navigate.

Black Holes in Sight

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This week we're exploring the cosmos through your senses. How scientists are attempting to see a black hole for the first time, what Saturn sounds like, and what will the surface of Mars feel like. Plus how to make the immune system attack cancer, artificial intelligence invents a magic trick, and how goldfish swap oxygen for alcohol to get through the winter.

Will Machines Take Over the World?

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The science questions that you've been sending in get scrutinised and analysed by biologist Sarah Harrison, statistician Simon White, mental health expert Olivia Remes and machine learning guru Peter Clarke. Find out why smaller dogs live longer than bigger breeds, why some people are more susceptible to hayfever, whether machines are destined to take control of the world, and what science says will make you happy...

Can Nature Clean up Nuclear Contamination?

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Chernobyl was 31 years ago, but as nuclear power is one of the few reliable and low carbon energy supplies, how long before it happens again? We meet the scientists who are are preparing for when the worst happens, looking for ways to use nature to clean up nuclear spills. Plus, news of a slug-inspired glue and the science behind the fastest bicycles.

Marine Month: In too Deep

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This week we round off Marine Month with a trip to the bottom of the ocean, meeting underwater robots and using maths to hunt for sunken treasure ships. Plus, a way to predict organ failure in hospital, and why size really does matter when it comes to speed.

Marine Month: All at Sea

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Our marine month continues as we swim out from the reef into the open ocean, where we'll be meeting one of the deadliest creatures on Earth. Plus, some good news about the Zika virus, how the cordless drill intended for space found its way down to earth, and the real-life spidermen of Cambridge University!

Marine Month: Making Waves

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Marine month continues with the Naked Scientists as we move out from the beach to the coastal waters in search of the world's biggest fish and the corals that glow in the dark to survive. Plus, in the news this week a new personalised cancer vaccine, how to programme human morals into self-driving cars and we investigate the science at work on the courts of Wimbledon...

Marine Month: Life's A Beach

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Here at The Naked Scientists HQ, it's marine month! Throughout four programmes in July, come dip your toes into all things aquatic as we work our way down to the bottom of the deepest ocean. From building superior sandcastles to the Mexican clam that's invading Europe, we kick things off with a trip to the beach. Plus, how scientists have created the brightest light on Earth, new news on fake news and a drumming bird, nicknamed Ringo.

Would You Trust a Robot?

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Would you trust a robot to grow your food, to operate on you, to fight a war on your behalf, or to save your life in an emergency? We look at how robots are on course to alter our lives. Plus, new insights into how the Sun works, and climate change: why we need to wake up and smell the coffee: scientists are saying that warmer weather will affect the flavour of the world's favourite beverage.

Hearts in the Extreme

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The Naked Scientists report back from the British Cardiovascular Society's annual conference, finding out how our tickers deal with extreme exercise and environments, from deep under the sea right into outer space.

Can We Talk To Dolphins?

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The Naked Scientists are joined by marine biologist Danielle Green, physicist Stuart Higgins, psychologist Duncan Astle and astrophysicist Carolin Crawford, to tackle your questions. This week, find out whether you can hear screams in space, how to clean a beach, and just how giant is a Giant Squid?

Cyber Security: When Crime goes Online

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As life moves increasingly online, so do crime and fraud. This week, we uncover some personal secrets from a supposedly blank hard drive, find out how hackers can use baby monitors to spy on people and hear about the next generation of passwords. Plus, news of how Zika virus could be used to combat brain cancer and plans to build a bigger, stronger particle accelerator.

Biology's Biggest Mystery: The Origin of Life

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Journey back 3.7 billion years to the young earth, as we try to find out how life first began. Was it in a soup of colliding chemistry, a deep-sea hydrothermal vent or did life rain down on the earth from the cosmos? Plus, the microbial meal that changed the world.

Why Bother Going to the Moon?

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The Naked Scientists are joined by biologist Kate Feller, physicist Jess Wade, biochemist Andy Holding and Space Boffin Richard Hollingham, to field your science questions. This week, find out what happens to muscles in space, how to rid a car of flatulence, and whether any animals can become invisible. Plus, cyber security expert Paul Harris talks to Chris Smith about the recent cyber attacks - what happened, and how we can protect ourselves.

Would Aliens Understand Maths?

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Love it or loathe it maths is everywhere... from counting bees to interstellar trade with aliens, we explore how maths earned the title of the language of the universe. Plus, getting to know our new ancestor Homo naledi, how a good nights sleep can help to ease your pain and do cats really like milk?

The Lowdown on Language

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This week, The Naked Scientists go global as we explore language - can speaking more than one exercise our brain?; and is our ability to save money purely down to the way we talk? Plus, the rodents that provide new information for stroke therapy and how very hungry caterpillars could solve our plastic problem...

Zooming in on Cancer

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Cancer is a devastating disease, and one of the largest killers in the Western world. This week, in a special show, Kat Arney investigates how scientists are fighting back, from building tumours in the lab to a Google Earth for cancer.

Gut Bugs: Friend or Foe?

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The Naked Scientists go on a tour of the intestine, from top to bottom, in search of the good and bad germs that lurk there and what they mean for our health. Plus, why touchscreens may be harming toddlers' sleep and why scientists all over the world are putting down their pipettes and picking up placards.

Should I Sequence My Genes?

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What surprises might you find lurking in your DNA, and can that information be used against you?

From Stem Cells to Brain Cells

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We speak to scientists turning embryonic cells into nerve cells to treat Parkinson's disease and growing an entire system of organs in the lab. Plus, how antibiotics taken during pregnancy may affect your child's behaviour and why climate change will lead to bumpier flights.

Do air pollution masks actually work?

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The Naked Scientists are joined by cosmologist Andrew Pontzen, biologist Sarah Shailes, neuroscientist Philipe Bujold and biochemist Sarah Madden to pit their wits against your science questions. This week, find out how venus fly traps work, whether psychologists can read your mind and why there is so much variation in herbivore poo.

Inside the Atom: 100 Years On

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100 years since Rutherford split the atom, we investigate the secrets of the building blocks of our Universe. How can we harness the energy locked inside these particles, how have scientists been engineering brand new elements, and are we all the children of starlight? Plus, news of an anti-aging protein, a dinosaur family tree shake up and a new technique which can create millions of stem cells.

Is Modern Life Reducing our Fertility?

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Are trends in modern living helping or harming our ability to reproduce? And how do factors affecting fertility differ between men and women? Plus, fighting brain tumours with artificial antibodies and are internet filters really keeping children safe?

A Crash Course in Space Junk

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There is a floating museum above our heads: millions of fragments from past space missions are hurtling round the earth and could destroy our current satellites. We find out how spacecraft are coping now, and how we might be able to clean up space in the future. Plus, news of a synthetically engineered yeast genome, a breakthrough in OCD and a new ebola vaccine for gorillas.

What causes Brain Freeze?

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Why are we looking for earth-sized planets? Can I unshrink a woollen jumper? What does a black hole actually look like? Chris Smith is joined by David Rothery, Anna Ploszajski, Aimee Eckert and Michael Conterio to answer your science questions.

Conversations about Climate Change

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This week, a crash course in climate change: we meet one strange fish already feeling the pinch, ask if humans are wired to ignore the threat, and look at one way we could all reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, why alcohol consumption can come back to bite you, the seven new planets discovered by NASA and the bees that have been trained to score goals.

Preventing HIV with PrEP

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This week, we investigate the HIV preventative measure PrEP, which could be turning the tide on new infection rates - but is it safe to buy online? Plus, the toughest ever spider's web, a journey back through the history of language and the plant that could help clean up our oceans.

Meteor, Comet or Asteroid: What's the Difference?

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What's the difference between a meteorite, meteoroid, a comet and an asteroid? We tell you how to find your own space rock here on Earth, and hear from a scientists tracking where space rocks come down in the Australian outback. Plus, why quinoa could feed the world in future, and is vaping safer than smoking, or a gateway for a fresh legion of teen smokers?

Can we Create Artificial Gravity?

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Do giraffes get struck by lightning? What's the highest number a person could count to? How do animals have sex underwater? Chris Smith teams up with Tim Revell, Richard Hollingham, Chris Basu and Danielle Green to tackle your science questions, which range from the bottom of the ocean to outer space!

Optogenetics: Lighting up the Brain

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Could a light in your brain cure epilepsy, or send you to sleep? The Naked Scientists investigate the mysterious field of optogenetics, and the treatments it promises to bring. Plus, news of a cancer-detecting artificial intelligence and a vaccination to fight fake news.

The LED Lighting Revolution

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The light bulb is a hundred-year-old technology whose time is finally up. This week, we shine a little light on its replacement to find out what makes it such a compelling alternative and look to the next revolution in lighting. Plus, how scientists are turning to robotics to treat heart failure, the death of NASA astronaut and last man on the Moon, Gene Cernan and do you really eat spiders in your are sleep?

The Science of Laughter

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This week, The Naked Scientists take a look at the science of laughter, asking why we like to laugh, hearing what babies find funny and meeting a joke-building robot. Plus, news of a gene editing technique taking on a deadly disease and a record-breaking knot.

Are more crimes committed during a full moon?

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Does being angry increase your risk of a heart attack? What's a psychopath? And how much does a single cell weigh? This week, Chris Smith answers your questions with Stuart Higgins, Maud Borensztein, Kyle Treiber and James Rudd.

2016: A Year in Science

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The Naked Scientists celebrate the dawn of 2017 with a look at their best bits from 2016, including: the science breakthrough of the year, how to use psychology to get a date and why it pays to look on the bright side.

Humanity's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

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This week: is there anybody out there or are we alone in the Universe? Graihagh Jackson ponders one of the fundamental questions of humanity, from flying saucers and UFOs to why we haven't found any evidence and what it would mean to find ET.

The 12 Scientific Days of Christmas

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The Naked Scientists celebrate the holidays with the 12 scientific days of Christmas. From why 9 ladies like to dance to making those 6 geese eggs into bouncy balls...

What's the Healthiest Way to Eat an Entire Cake?

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Chris is joined by Giles Yeo, Roger Buckley, Andrew Pontzen and Kerstin Goepfrich, and they enjoy a mince pie or two while answering listener questions, including: why isn't love blinding; are glasses or contacts better for your eyes and what would happen if you brought a thimble of neutron star to earth? Plus, the team discuss the supposed benefits of the Mediterranean diet and debate the worst science movie mistakes.

When The Drugs Don't Work...

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Antibiotics are chemicals that kill bacteria but leave us unharmed. However, bacteria are evolving so that our drugs no longer kill them. If this trend continues, the treatable are going to become untreatable... How serious would this scenario be, though? We'll be putting the problem under the microscope this week. Plus in the news, the UK's new Snooper's Charter, the man modelling vascular diseases in a dish, and what happens in your brain when you talk to God...

Is DNA the Basis for all Life in the Universe?

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This week: alien hunting! Life here on Earth uses DNA, but why, and would aliens be made of the same stuff? Plus, news of how your gut microbes are controlling your genes, a new way to fight phobias, and we get a sneak peek at where the first human colonists of Mars might live...

Navigating the Future

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This week the show comes to you from the Royal Institute of Navigation's annual International Conference, with a look at the future of navigation. From the trousers that can track your every move to the spacecraft charting their way through the Universe. Plus, how does GPS work, and are we ready for driverless cars?

What's between my internal organs?

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This week on the Naked Scientists, we've gathered the bright and the brainy to answer your science questions, from why ants are stealing your toenail clippings to what's between your internal organs and could you survive being eaten by a snake?

The History of Hominins: Are Humans Special?

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This week on the Naked Scientists we're exploring our human story, from the use of tools and fire, to ritualistic behaviour. Where did we come from and what makes us special? Chris Smith is joined by some of the world's best fossil experts including one man who's discovered two of our caveman ancestors, and a scientist who can get the original tissues out of remains that are millions of years old.

Your Brain on Horror

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Have you ever wondered why some people enjoy being absolutely petrified by horror films? This week, The Naked Scientists investigate the spooky science of the genre: what does fear look like in the brain, how do you compose the most terrifying soundtrack and can we use psychology to engineer the perfect scare?

The End of Night

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Kat and Chris are turning the lights down low in search of darkness. 80% of Europeans and Northern Americans now can't see the Milky Way. But does this extra light pollution matter? It doesn't harm anyone, or does it? Plus in the news, with the US presidential elections fast approaching, we see what we can learn from animals when it comes to picking a leader. And, do you really lose most of your heat through your head?

Hospital Health Check

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This week we step out of the lab and into the hospital to celebrate one of our most treasured institutions. We find out about the technology that could be changing the future of healthcare and Connie tries her hand as a medical student. Plus, a potential treatment for Sickle Cell disease and do ice baths really soothe sore muscles?

Will We Beat Alzheimer's Disease?

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Alzheimer's: A third of the population may be destined to develop this form of dementia, which robs people of their memories and independence. So what causes it, and what can we do about it? Plus in the news, NICE approves a new drug for an aggressive form of lung cancer, we've got the lowdown on the Nobel prizes, and how a computer code has been released online that could be using your devices to launch cyber attacks.

Why do Cats Have Vertical Pupils?

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Why do cats have vertical pupils? Do clouds defy gravity? What is the brain basis of road rage? The Naked Scientists team tackle these and many more science questions, with help from an all-star guest panel.

A Little Light Relief

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This week we're in for a little light relief, as we explore how light-based technologies are delivering a brighter future, in medicine and beyond. Plus, in the news, a new gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy, scientists make sonic holograms, and the most accurate reconstruction of a dinosaur yet.

Mapping the Milky Way

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This week - Cambridge's key role in the mission to map the milky way! We learn how the Gaia space telescope is pinpointing the positions of a billion stars in our galaxy.Plus, news of a net which will leave mozzies dead or infertile, the DNA double-double helix discovery, and can the moon cause earthquakes?

Moulding the Minds of Tomorrow

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This week, we don our uniforms for a lesson in the science of education: what's the best way to mould the minds of the future? Plus, a new drug that could cure malaria with a single dose and we find out what happened to the ice bucket challenge.

How Old is the Average Atom?

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Can we see the lunar landing sites with a telescope? Why is it cooler at altitude despite being closer to the Sun? Why is there no salt in sea ice? Was it windier when the Earth turned faster? What will end life on Earth sooner, the cooling core or the Sun becoming a red giant? Is modern medicine damaging the gene pool? How old is the average atom? This week David Rothery, Caroline Steel, Andrew Holding and Adam Townsend join Kat Arney to answering the science questions that you've been sending in...

Scrutinizing Science

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This week, The Naked Scientists are celebrating their 15th birthday and so Graihagh Jackson puts science under the microscope and questions its importance in today's world.

Animation: The Reel Deal

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This week, we find out how science can help you get from script to screen in animated movies, from the physics of balancing a giraffe on a tightrope to the researcher putting voice actors in a brain scanner. Plus, news of why we're more prone to viral infections when we're jet-lagged, how a common technique to prevent premature birth could actually cause it and did campfires kill the Neanderthals?

Drugs: Time for a Change?

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100 years since the first UK drug law, we explore the controversial and confusing science behind the drugs debate. From the brain basis of addiction to how ecstasy could treat anxiety, what are the implications of the world's war on drugs?

Do Fish Fart?

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From farting fish to the link between diet and cancer, Kat Arney and Chris Smith take on your questions with Matt Middleton, Giles Yeo and Eleanor Drinkwater...

The Science Too Hot To Handle

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The Olympics is finally upon us and from going for gold in the tropical Rio climate to boosting the efficiency of jet engines, our ability to cope in high temperatures could make the difference between falling or flying. This week on The Naked Scientists we're exploring the many ways in which humans, and machines, can handle the heat. Plus, which country tops the charts when it comes to height? Also, we'll hear how tomatoes hold the key to fending off a deadly parasite.

Fuels Of The Future

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This week we'll need you to fasten your seatbelts because we're taking a trip into the future of fuels. We're asking if biofuels are really that brilliant and finding out how one lab is attempting to reinvent diesel.Plus, new research that could help unclog arteries and the data storage solution that operates at the scale of individual atoms.

A Dog's Life: Intelligence and Inbreeding

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The Naked Scientists bring you a 'ruff' guide to dogs! We chart the ancient origins of our favourite pets, examine how smart dogs could provide clues into human disease and explore the science behind the problems caused by years of inbreeding. Plus, news of why it's not just redheads who are more at risk from the sunny weather, and does Pokemon Go mark a new frontier in gaming?

Concrete Jungles

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The 11th of July was world population day and at current figures there are over 7.4 billion of us living on the planet. That number continues to grow and at the same time the proportion of people living in urban environments is also increasing.This week we're asking if there's space for animals in our concrete jungles and what we can do to persuade people to put nature first. Plus, in the news we learn how new technology is speeding up vaccination production and how ancient bacteria could increase plant growth.

Can toads predict earthquakes?

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This week, we're answering the science questions that you've been sending in, including: is the Earth's core cooling down, how do messages from space probes get back to Earth and why sleeping on your front might increase your risk of Alzheimer's Disease...

Science meets MasterChef!

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The Naked Scientists are hosting their very own dinner party, and the guests include a master distiller, a MasterChef finalist and a master of chocolate, all on hand to help reveal the science behind the perfect dinner party. Plus, the world's fastest supercomputer boots up in China and news of why itchy mosquito bites are more likely to infect.

Autopsy: A Matter of Life and Death

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This week on the Naked Scientists, we observe a post-mortem. The patient was in his seventies but the coroner ordered an autopsy because the cause of death wasn't clear. Chris Smith observes pathologist Alison Cluroe conduct the procedure as she tries to find out why the patient died and sees how this once common practice is still saving lives...

How to Keep your Heart Healthy

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This programme comes to you from the British Cardiovascular Society Conference in Manchester, where leaders in the field have been presenting their latest research on preventing heart disease: one of the leading causes of death. We explore the radioactive toothpaste that can help you predict heart attacks, listen in to a genuine heart transplant and ask whether running really keeps your heart healthy.

Your Home in 2050

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A growing global population means we are facing a considerable housing shortage and it has been estimated that by 2025, as many as 1.6 billion individuals will face crowded substandard housing.But, the need to build more homes comes at a cost as in countries like the U.K., half of the population's carbon emissions come just from the buildings we inhabit. So, can we have sustainable housing that still meets the demands of a growing population? Plus in the news: painkillers that could actually be making your pain worse, the secrets of the earth's magnetic core and the truth behind the naked mole-rat.

Stressed? You're not the only one...

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This week on the Naked Scientists, are we more prone to struggle with stress and if so why? Graihagh Jackson is probing the state of our mental health by taking a stress test to unearth how the human body responds and why; we'll be seeing whether having a 'gut feeling' has anything to do with it and what we can all do to unwind a little more.

The War on Salt

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This week we delve into the science of salt: what does it do in the body, how can it cause problems for farmers, and what avenues are scientists exploring to desalinate sea water and keep us all refreshed? Plus, one in ten adults have ADHD, the contagious cancer that's followed dogs across the world, and how scientists are growing a brain in a dish to find answers to Alzheimer's Disease...

Does Telepathy Exist?

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This week on the Naked Scientists, your questions go under the microscope. Do women have a superior memory? What is the evidence for climate change? Can plants get cancer? Why do we sometimes see stars? And has the universe been through multiple big bangs? Join Dr Chris as he puts an astrophysicist, a neuroscientist, a climate researcher and a plant scientist through their paces tackling the questions you've been sending in...

Phosphorus: Essential to All Life But Are We Running Out?

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If you've followed environmental stories over the years, you'll know this tune. Scientists have long been singing off the same songbook when it comes to fossil fuels, deforestation and pollution. But drum not often banged is the dwindling supply of phosphorus. It's is an essential element for all life. It makes up our DNA and all organisms need it for energy. It cannot be replaced, there is no synthetic substitute. In other words, without phosphorus, there is no life. This week on the Naked Scientists, we investigate whether we're running out of phosphorus for fertiliser and what we can do about it by getting ourselves knee deep in human sewage... Plus in the news, we'll learning how to hide a secret message with a fizzy drink, we'll be getting up close and personal with the cuddle chemical oxytocin and why Monday's Mercury transit was so exciting!

Can Science Prove Whodunnit?

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This week on the Naked Scientists, we've got science on trial! We look at real case studies, finding out how forensics can both help and hinder criminal investigations, including the insects who are first on the scene, how your phone can tell tales, and why DNA can lead you on a wild goose chase.

The Secret World of Shipping

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This week we're taking a look at the industry that transports 90% of global trade but most of us know very little about - shipping! We're all at sea as we navigate our way through driverless ships of the future and how to make an industry that is currently producing the same amount of emissions as Germany, a little greener.Plus how testosterone hardens your arteries, are drones getting out of control, and can a spoon in the bottle stop your sparkling wine going flat?

What happened to Tutankhamun's heart?

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This week on the Naked Scientists, we've gathered a panel of pollies, pundits and professors to answer your science questions: from how prevalent was tooth decay in the neanderthals, to how Neil Armstrong got home from the moon!

Conflict in Conservation

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Would you care about conserving an animal if it threatened your job, your food supply or even your life? This week, we unpick the hidden conflicts and controversies inside conservation, including the tragic fight to save the mountain gorillas, how to tackle poaching smartly and the lions who live in harmony with people. Plus, news of how engineers solved a medical dilemma and a look back at one of the world's greatest mathematical geniuses.

Can You Boost Your Memory?

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Exam season is around the corner, so this week the Naked Scientists take a walk down memory lane to find out what's going on upstairs when you learn and remember things, and investigate if it's possible to boost your brain power. Plus, in the news, prosthetic fingers that can actually feel, the sacred art of origami gets a DNA update and Kat asks whether giant pandas really just don't fancy getting frisky.

Will an artificially intelligent robot steal your job?

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With the recent rise of the machines and robots - could an artificially intelligent robot take your job any time soon? And could they then take over the world, terminator-style? Join Graihagh Jackson as she journies into the world of cyborgs to see if Skynet, Ex Machina and the realms of science fiction could turn into science fact and if so, when? And what can we do about it...

Do you burn more calories when thinking?

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This week: you asked the questions, we have the answers. Our expert panel take on queries like: why don't whales get the bends, does chloroform work like it does in the movies, and would a spinning spaceship simulate gravity? Plus, the week's science news, including the controversial sugar tax, how ExoMars 2016 hunts for life on the red planet and why NASA plan to set fire to a space station.

Cambridge Science Festival: Battle of the Brains

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This week is a Cambridge Science Festival special with the Naked Scientists coming straight from the Cambridge Science Centre alongside a very lively audience!But that's not all, it's battle of brains as six of Cambridge's finest researchers strut their stuff in a competition of mind, matter and ultimate cool. From freeze-dried blood to turbo charged wheat who will come out on top?

The A - Zika of viruses: Preventing Pandemics

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With infectious diseases wiping out millions each year, we look at how we can predict pandemics, whether scientists should be allowed to engineer super viruses, and how war and politics could prevent us from winning the fight against polio. Plus, news of how laughing gas could prevent PTSD, a breakthrough in soft-robotics and why skipping sleep could give you the munchies.

Gravitational Waves: Discovery of the Decade?

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This week, the discovery rocking the world of physics: gravitational waves! But what are they, and why are they set to change how we see the Universe in the future? Plus we take a look at the week's leading science breakthroughs, including a new way to see heart attacks before they happen, fighting superbugs with door knobs, and is there such a thing as being right- or left-brained?

Could The Internet Die?

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From why spicy isn't a taste, to how long it takes a comet to form, we've gone in search of the answers to the questions you've been sending in. We investigate whether the Internet is immune to a breakdown, if a person dreams under anaesthetic, why days are divided into 24 hours, and could an explosive stop a storm? Plus, news of a new cancer therapy that's got everyone talking, and how to recycle wasted energy...

Rules of Attraction: The Science of Sex

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The Naked Scientists have turned the lights down low for a stimulating odyssey through the science of dating and romance, including; which chat-up lines are most likely to get you talking, what statistics can tell us about our sex lives and lessons in love from the animal kingdom.

Caffeine: Friend or Foe?

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Caffeine is one of the only legal psychoactive stimulants but is it good or bad for our health? This week, the Naked Scientists are delving into the science to find out. Plus, the latest on Zika virus, bed bugs get their genomes sequenced, and will going out with wet hair give you pneumonia?

Food Security: Insects for Dinner?

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By 2050 the global population is set to rise to more than 10 billion people. But right now, 1 in 10 people are suffering from chronic hunger. So how do we reconcile a rising population with an already hungry world? Plus in the news, why scientists are one step closer to understanding autism, and we take a moment to say goodbye to the Philae Lander...

Black holes: the inside story...

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What's dark and so massive that not even light can escape its clutches? The answer is one of the most enigmatic phenomena known to physics: the black hole. And this week we explore the workings of these mysterious entities from how they distort time and what what would happen if you fell into one, to why black holes power the brightest lights in the Universe and how scientists are trying to image their interior. Plus, news of a dissolving brain implant, how ultrasound might be making some people sick, and why a real-life spider-man would have to be really, really small...

The Hidden World of Hibernation

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Does midwinter make you want to eat all the food in your fridge, curl up in a duvet and sleep until spring? You're not alone, many plants and animals feel the same way, but you might not be so keen when we tell you just what it would do to your body! Snuggle down as we explore the world of hibernation and how it might be used to help humans. Plus, in the news: detoxing debunked and the miracle of the microbiome.

Why do we have pubic hair?

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In this week's podcast, we're taking on your questions! From how we make decisions to why do we go temporarily deaf when we yawn and if light wears out, these are some of the many conundrums you asked and we answered with the help of an expert panel. Plus, the top headlines in the world of science, including the four new elements discovered, why you can blame your neanderthal heritage for bad allergies and how Harry Potteresque screens could be the next big thing...

Do You Have Skinny Genes?

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With the New Year, there's often a resolution or two to make a new you. But what makes you, you? Given that we share over 99.9% of our genes with each other, there's a lot of variety in that 0.01%. Just look around you now - no two people are alike! Is it just your genes or is there something else at play? In this edition of The Naked Scientists, Graihagh Jackson goes in search of what makes a person, an individual beginning by asking why her brother got sixpack abs and she didn't...

Top Scientific Moments of 2015

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Remember that time that Ginny made Kat eat chocolate spread from a nappy? Or when Georgia broke the drone? It's the end of 2015 and what a year it's been for science! Whilst Chris and Kat take a well deserved break, producers Connie Orbach and Graihagh Jackson have hijacked the show to take you through all their favourite bits of the last 12 months.

Cracking the science of Christmas

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The Naked Scientists have Christmas unwrapped with a look at the science behind our favourite festive traditions, including how to pick the perfect present, the psychology behind board games and how to avoid hangovers. Plus, Star Wars science, a chocolate-covered PhD and Santa's tech-upgrade!

Dishing the Dirt on our Soils

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This month, the United Nations published its much-anticipated report on the state of the world's soils and the results are not good. We'll be asking why, and taking a down-to-earth look at the consequences to see what we can do to reverse the trend. Plus in the news: why life drawing improves self-esteem; how the asteroid Ceres might be an invader from outer space; and the looming antibiotic apocalypse...

Music Technology: Do or Die?

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How will you be receiving your presents this year - a CD, a voucher for iTunes or maybe even a Spotify membership? In 2014, streaming services made more money than CD sales for the first time ever and that trend is continuing.But it's not just the distribution of music that is changing; how musicians make music is also evolving rapidly. This week, we explore the influence of technology on one of mankind's oldest traditions - the art of music making. Plus in the news, the global response to climate change, the mystery of missing starlings and how delightful really is that red sky at night?

Fighting Floods: Who Gets Hit?

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Extreme weather events are becoming more common, and sea levels are set to rise. So could we be about to find ourselves in very deep water? This week we're exploring how to spot where and when floods will occur, and how to avert disaster. Plus, in the news, a GM mosquito to fight malaria, what really killed the dinosaurs, and general relativity 100 years on...

Sugar Tax: Answer to Obesity?

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This week, is sugar the enemy? Difficult as it is to digest, one person in every four in the UK is obese, and treating the condition as well as its knock-on effects, costs the health service 5.1 billion per year. Some say sugar is to blame, but is it the only guilty party? Plus, in the news, pigeons detecting cancer, half of museum specimens might be mislabelled, and how science journals are being hacked...

Big Data, Big Deal?

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More pieces of data have been produced in the last five years than in all of human history put together before then. But what's driving this big data revelation? We'll discover what opportunities it opens up, and we'll uncover the pitfalls we might be facing. Plus, news that scientists uncover the first water on Earth, and we talk to the team who raced a solar powered car 3,000 kilometres across Australia...

Do squirrels ever forget where they hid their nuts?

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The Naked Scientists and some special guests team up to tackle your science questions head-on. Do squirrels ever lose their nuts? Is cracking your knuckles bad for you? And could your gut bugs turn you to crime? Plus, a look at this week's science news.

Electric Cars: Pollution Solution?

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London and many other European cities face the prospect of a 300 million penalty every year over bad air. Engineers say part of the solution lies with electric transport, so this week the Naked Scientists are getting under the hoods of a new generation of vehicles ranging from the first electric buses to tomorrow's supercars. Plus, news about how scientists are making objects levitate in the lab - with sound - and why there are now 3 types of "type 2" diabetes...

Should I Stay, or Should I go... to Mars?

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The Naked Scientists have been on a trip to Mars but we forgot to ask one BIG question, should we even be going at all? We complete the series with a debate featuring a space politician, a geologist, an astronomer and a would-be Mars pioneer. Plus, in the news, will faecal transplants change your personality, and how sci-fi has been predicting technology for years.

Could We Ever Colonise Mars?

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In episode three of our series Destination Mars, we finally arrive at the Red Planet - but what is waiting for us when we get there? We examine possible solutions to the challenges of building a home on an alien planet, including a Star Trek-inspired health scanner and bacteria that can be engineered to grow rocket fuel. Plus, the science headlines from around the world: a brain scan for epilepsy, the bees that are addicted to caffeine and the science behind hallucinations.

Mars: Are we nearly there yet?

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To rocket engineers, the idea of transporting humans to Mars is a one colossal headache. Compared to inert satellites and probes, humans are highly unpredictable, needy and fragile. Radiation is our body's kryptonite; microgravity renders the bones thin and weak and if you broke a leg, it could take months to fix. These are just a few of the hundreds of problems scientists are grappling with when considering how they might send people to the rocky red planet. We'll be taking a closer look at some of those obstacles this week and asking if it's actually possible to get people to Mars. Plus, news that scientists have grown the first kidney from scratch in a petri-dish, how vitamin pills can make cancer spread, and what a 4500-year-old skeleton is revealing about our origins...

Could you be an astronaut?

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Destination Mars: this month we're launching a series of programmes to probe what it's going to take to send people to the Red Planet. We'll be looking at rocket technology, how to keep people fed and watered away from Earth and whether we really can hope to exist sustainably on Mars. This week we're focusing on the space pioneers who will take the first steps towards getting us there. Plus, in the news, four intestinal bacteria that can prevent asthma, a new magnetic material to protect you in car crashes, and a magic bullet to stop bleeding...

Why don't spiders get stuck on their webs?

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We take on your science questions: Can animals feel guilty? Could drones detect landmines? What's the furthest a paper plane could fly, and why don't spiders get stuck on their webs? Plus, a look at this week's science news - a development for Europe's Extra Large telescope, and the health challenges faced at the Rugby World Cup.

How to Save a Life

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This week we find out what it takes to save a life, from doctors performing open chest surgery in the street to helping people recover in the longer term from severe brain injuries. Plus, news of a real invisibility cloak, how caffeine gives us a boost, and why scientists need you to quiz your dog.

Climate Change: Making Waves?

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Climate change - and concerns about rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - are often in the headlines. However, looking back in the history of the earth, it's clear that this isn't the first time carbon dioxide levels have risen. So why should we worry now? We delve into the past to explore the effects climate change can have on the oceans and how that, in turn, can impact the climate. Plus, in the news, a new species of early human ancestor, the scientist who's jumping the Hubble queue with a helium balloon, and why humans are hard-wired for laziness...

Hands-on, Minds Open: The Changing Face of Science

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This week we're asking whether scientists and technologists are in short supply, and how the way that we teach science in schools is changing: some classrooms are pumping out published papers! Plus, in the news, a 2 metre-long scorpion, seabirds with stomachs stuffed with plastic, and the facts behind fat - is butter really all that bad for you?

Pluto, at Long Last...

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This week is a very special, edition of the Naked Scientists as we dedicate a whole hour to the world's favourite dwarf planet - Pluto. But how did it get there in the first place? What has the New Horizons probe uncovered? And what's beyond Pluto? Graihagh Jackson puts the mission under the microscope, talking some of the leading scientists from the New Horizons operation and taking a trip to the edge of our solar system...

Truth and Beauty: The Hidden World of Symmetry

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On the face of it, symmetry may seem simple, but diving beneath the surface reveals a whole new world. Over the last 100 years, the mathematical idea of symmetry has proved to be a guiding light for the world of physics. But what does a mathematician mean by symmetry? How does this link in with the world around us? And could it be the key to the mysterious 'Theory of Everything'? Plus, in the news, a new MRI-based cancer treatment, zero-emission highways and the curious case of Whistled Turkish.

The Yuck Factor: Why We Find Things So Disgusting

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We delve into the disgusting to discover the emotion of disgust and how it affects our lives. From cockroaches dipped in juice to the importance of sanitation, no topic is off limits as we find out about the psychology of this most powerful of emotions and its applications. Plus, in the news, a universal flu therapy, why zebras have stripes, and the robot that can jump on water.

Graphene

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Hundreds of times stronger than steel, transparent, an excellent electrical conductor, and weighing next to nothing, graphene is hailed as a wonder material. But what is it doing for us now? And where will it take us in future? This week graphene goes under the microscope. We hear how industry can mass produce it, we uncover how it can clean up air in cities, produce the world's fastest lasers, revolutionise communications and boost the power of computers. Plus, news of how Earth's earliest life reproduced, how to regenerate human organs, and why animals have different shaped pupils...

Meet your Sex Hormones

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Hormones are the driving force behind reproduction and are what make us keen to go make babies. We follow some of these hormones to hear how they have an influence from birth to death, and also the unexpected consequences they have on society, including causing the stock market to crash. Plus what Philae has revealed about the comet it landed on, how the bugs in your guts might be making you moody, and the key to keeping hamsters happy...

Why do Scientists say "So"?

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From why scientists so often use the word "so" to the feasibility of charging a human by USB, how much Silly Putty it would it take to cover the entire Earth, and whether we could genetic engineer super-abilities into humans, we answer your burning science questions...

The Seven Million Dollar Maths Mystery

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This week, we're investigating the Millennium Prize Problems - a set of mathematical equations that, if solved, will not only nab the lucky winner a million, but also revolutionise the world. Plus, the headlines from the world of science and technology, including why screams are so alarming, how fat fish help the human fight against flab, and what's the future of money?

Make it Digital!

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This week, broadcasting live from the centre of Cambridge, the Naked Scientists delve into the digital age we live in. We look at new, exciting ways to get kids into coding, how big data is changing the world of healthcare, and we take to skies to go drone racing. But what are the problems we face in this technological age? We find out who is using our online data, and explore the dangers of connecting to public Wi-Fi...

BOOM! The Bang behind the bomb, and how to stop it

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Things get a little dangerous as we don our body armour and head out into the battlefield. How do explosives work and what can we do to protect against them? We take a sneak peek at AnUBIS, a device that uses donated human body parts to help to understand the injuries an explosion can cause, and we investigate bomb-proof materials that could also be used in sports. Plus, in the news, why antibiotics at an early age might make you fat, the comet with a cave inside, and why you shouldn't marry your cousin...

Caesium: The Element that Redefined Time

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It's 60 years since the world's first atomic clock was created. But what is time? When did time begin, and how accurate is timekeeping today? We'll be asking why we need leap seconds, we cook up a Big Bang with lasagne and hear how planet Earth is a terrible time keeper. Plus, in the news, scientists uncover the cause of tinnitus, what do your baby's eyes say about its future behaviour, and one of the earliest life forms goes under the microscope...

Bring out your Dead: Plague and Fire

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Tens of thousands of Londoners developed painful, apple-sized, pus-filled boils before dying from the dreadful disease within days. But just as the ordeal of the Black Death seemed to be subsiding, the Great Fire struck the city. But did the conflagration actually save the lives of thousands? In this scorcher of a show, we go in search of the cause of the plague, explore the origins of the Great Fire, and ask whether history might repeat itself?

What does Falling into a Black Hole Feel Like?

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What's the point of mosquitoes? Do your eyes pop out if left open when sneezing? Is the Universe infinitely big? Are birds really related to dinosaurs? What is quantum entanglement? If the space station is held in orbit by gravity, why do things float about inside it? Why does hayfever make your eyes itch? Can animals forecast earthquakes? Find out in this week's show where you're in the driving seat asking us the questions...

Behind Blood donation

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For World Blood Day we've been delving into the history of blood letting, getting stuck into blood donation and exploring exciting new possibilities for making blood that's safe for everyone. Plus, a new test to reveal every virus infection you've ever had, the LHC fires up again after a two year shut down, and a new weapon in the fight against Ebola...

Dark Matter: A Massive Mystery

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Are we on the verge of solving one of the longest standing puzzles in physics? Physicists think we're close to discovering the identity of Dark Matter, the mysterious, invisible substance that accounts for nearly a quarter of the mass of Universe. So how will scientists see it, and why does its discovery matter? Plus, genes for pain, how smartphones can save lives, whether babies can feel pain, and how to make tastier cheese...

How many geckos to hold up a human?

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Colour-switching sticklebacks, geckos with enough adhesive power to hold up a human, bats with built-in sonar and moles with amazing noses - this week we go in search of the world's most incredible animals. Scientists passionate about their species put their cases to our panel. But which animal will be crowned king?

Can astronauts shower in space?

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This week, can we colonise Mars? What's causes that smell after it rains? Can genetics inform skin care? And how do astronauts shower in space? Chris Smith, Richard Hollingham and Max Sanderson join Kat Arney to take on your quandaries, and also discuss some of the science news you might have missed this week: the Russian space race fail, hijacking a jet by hacking, and why humans feel pain...

Safety at 40,000 Feet

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This week, endoscopies for jet engines, how the aviation industry could have us cruising for an infectious bruising, the workings of radar, and whether cheap flights actually cost the Earth. Plus, in the news, why doctors could soon be culturing your cancer, the evolution of music, Messenger smashes into Mercury, and do you want to know if your DNA spells trouble for your future health?

Violent Volcanoes

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Celebrating two hundred years since the devastating eruption of Indonesia's Mount Tambora, this week, accompanied by music from Michael Levy, we explore the science of volcanoes. We find out what causes volcanoes, we ask whether eruptions can be predicted, how we can keep people safe, and we re-create the physics of an eruption in the laboratory.

Game on! The Science of Video Gaming

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This week, the science at play in an industry that dwarfs both Hollywood and the music world: computer games. We hear how video games are altering the brains of players, why lovers of the shoot-em-up could be carving out a niche for themselves in the military, and whether adrenaline-fuelled sessions on a console can be addictive. Plus, why you might need a DNA test before going on holiday in future, evidence that bees are attracted by insecticides, and how colour can affect your body clock...

Could Earth be Knocked Out of Orbit?

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This week, you pit your wits against the Naked Scientists team and challenge us to answer your science questions. Is there an evolutionary reason why humans have rhythm? Do people sneeze in their sleep? Why do crabs walk sideways? And how do stinging nettles sting? Chris Smith, Carolin Crawford and Ginny Smith join Kat Arney get their teeth into your conundra, and take a closer look at the stories hitting the headlines, including a sieve that separates oil from water, how you can sniff happiness in sweat, and the Hubble telescope celebrates its 25'th birthday...

Defying Death...

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The impact of modern medicine is drastically changing our concept of death. Increasingly, people are being resuscitated successfully, sometimes hours after they first died. So this week we toe the line between life and death, learn lessons from those who survived without oxygen for hours, discover how we could live immortally as robots, and hear about a very special type of cryo-ambulance to prep you for long term storage. Plus, news that the Dutch have grown nearly a foot taller in 2 centuries, what your fingers say about your marathon prospects, and the secret language of gibbons...

Egg-cellent Easter Science

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The Naked Scientists take a special holiday look at some egg-cellent Easter science, including a breakthrough in how to unboil an egg, the genetically modified chickens that can't catch bird flu and why the Easter bunny might be knocked off his perch by a toucan. Plus, is a chocolate teapot really useless?

Whodunnit? Fascinating Forensics

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From crime scene to court room and all the evidence in between. Join Chris Smith and Ginny Smith at our reconstructed crime scene to find out how science is used to help solve a forensic investigation, including dissecting pig organs, testing for drugs, planting false memories into our audiences' brains and trying out the world's first lie detector suit...

Brain on fire

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This week, how rogue antibodies turned one woman's existence into a living nightmare of delusions, hallucinations and paranoia, we examine the evidence that ME - or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - might be an autoimmune disease, and why the blues might be down to a hostile immune response. Plus, how tracking eye movements can be used to influence decisions, why remembering causes you to forget, a new 3d-printer inspired by Hollywood's Terminator, and the genetic map of the UK: apparently the Romans didn't fancy breeding with us very much...

Chasing Rainbows: The Quest to Understand Light

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Is it a particle? Or is it a wave? This week we're looking at light. From its earliest origins and what it can reveal about the Big Bang, to why Newton prodded his eye with a needle to probe the origins of colour, how the brain decodes the visual world and bionic implants to reverse blindness. Plus, in the news, a revelation in the remarkable colour-changing capabilities of chameleons, how an ultrasound can combat Alzheimer's Disease, and what people do with their fingers following a handshake...

The Life Parasitic

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This week, the world of parasites. We find out what's living in you and on you, how these invaders hijack your immune system and how they can even control the behaviours and body shapes of their hosts. Plus, in the news, the oldest remains of our first human ancestors are uncovered in Ethiopia, scientists weigh a stegosaurus and NASA's Dawn probe reaches the dwarf planet Ceres, but what awaits it there...?

Eureka Streaker: Experiments that Changed the World

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From Archimedes leaping from his bath shouting Eureka, to Isaac Newton's falling apples and Volta's piles that produced electricity on tap, this week we recreate some of the scientific experiments that changed the way we view the world. Join Ginny Smith and Chris Smith on a journey through two thousand years of discovery that includes bricks on ropes, a singing Solar System, a hydrogen detonation and a spectroscope...

Marijuana: Risk or Remedy?

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Cannabis is as controversial as it is complicated. Does smoking it cause schizophrenia, and can chemicals from the plant cure cancer? Plus in the news, the new breed of chemicals that are putting our ozone layer at risk and why teenage sperms are more likely to be mutants.

Your Smartphone: What's it Saying to Cyber-Criminals?

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This week, how we're haemorrhaging personal information through our smartphones. We hear how snoopers can eavesdrop on your mobile signals while you're out in public to track down your home address. A computer scientist tells us what he discovered on a bunch of second-hand mobile phones picked up off eBay, and the website that grades the threat's you face from any app yu install. Plus, the stories making the headlines from the world of science and technology, including figuring out how much dark matter is in the Milky Way, and a breath test to diagnose Parkinson's Disease...

Meet the Doctors of Love!

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This week, how to hack online dating, the way to maximise your chances on that crucial first date, what makes couples compatible, and the giveaway signs of fertility in the female voice. Plus, in the news, how late-night texting and Facebook-checking is affecting the sleep of young people, the Dutch chimps that now speak Scottish, and why chemistry teachers have a lesson to learn about one of the world's most popular classroom experiments...

Outnumbered: Are your bacteria controlling you?

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This week, why we're passengers in our own bodies, outnumbered by our resident bacteria. We explore how these bugs can alter your brain and behaviour, and "trans-poo-sion": the poo-transplant process that might save your life! Plus, why the chances of ET existing have rocketed this week, and signs that birds count the same way we do...

Lifting the lid on Plastic

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Last year, 100 million tonnes of plastic were produced by industry. At the same time sufficient waste plastic was found floating in the world's oceans to make a string of bottles long enough to make it to the Moon. This week we find out what plastic is, how it is made, how to recycle it and why, in the future, it might literally grow on trees. Plus, reading Roman scrolls buried 2000 years by a volcano, how the magnetic history of a meteorite sheds light on the early Solar system, and an antidote to radiation...

The Secrets of Sleep

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Most people spend around a third of their lives asleep, and yet we know almost nothing about what goes on in the land of nod. So this week we're going "under the covers" to investigate the science of sleeping including hearing from sleep talkers, probing the world of lucid dreaming and finding out what sleep deprivation does to the brain. Plus, in the news, the missing Beagle 2 probe is pinpointed, how the ingredients for life on Earth could have been cooked up in comets, and the computer that knows you better than your best friend...

Fighting Fat with Science

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Are you sitting comfortably? You might want to stand up, because we'll be hearing why, in health terms, sitting is the new smoking! We're also taking a look at the science behind weight loss and why shedding extra pounds is so difficult. Plus news of why colds really do prefer the cold, why most of the world's fossil fuels need to stay in the ground if we're to meet climate change targets, and home from home: how scientists have discovered Earth's twin, deep in outer space...

Dissolving teaspoons: Naked in Wellington

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Dissolving teaspoons, plants that sunbathe, stopping multiple sclerosis, the ARGO floats that monitor the oceans, global warming in Antarctica, and using computers to find Kiwis. Chris Smith and Simon Morton meet some of Wellington's finest researchers, including nanoscientist Nicola Gaston, plant scientist Jason Wargent, MS specialist Anne La Flamme, ocean scientist Philip Sutton, climate researcher Tim Naish and computer scientist Ed Abraham...

Voices in the Dark

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We all have an inner voice. Most of us know they're not real. But, for up to 15% of the population at some points in their lives, they can take on a different tone, as a terrifying experience that cannot be distinguished from reality. Where do they come from, and what do they say to sufferers? And how can the symptoms be treated? In this special guest episode, the Wellcome Trust's Chris Chapman hears the stories of schizophrenics affected by voices and explores a new approach to giving sufferers control over their experiences...

The Science of Christmas

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Seasons Greetings from the Naked Scientists! We invite you to spend the next hour with us as we explore the Science of Christmas. We'll be looking at why crackers are, or aren't, all that funny, the chemistry of Christmas and what makes the ultimate roast dinner as well as whether wine really is the best medicine.

Total wipe out: Mass Extinction

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Mass Extinction! 250 million years ago nearly all life on Earth ended. Back from the brink, history then repeated itself with the disappearance of the dinosaurs 60 million years ago. So are we next? Plus news of how a comet smash could have kick-started life on Earth, whether e-cigarettes are safe, and why science and medical reporting in the media might be untrustworthy...

Good Vibrations

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From the honking of cars to music blaring out of someone's bedroom window, the world around us is saturated with sound. But what exactly is sound, and how do we hear it? From mimicking an owl's wing for quieter aircraft to creating more effective cochlear implants and the science of opera singing, our panel of experts turn up the volume to 11 to answer your questions on anything audible...

The Internet: the good, the bad and the ugly

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This week we delve into the Dark Web, a hidden arm of the Internet where Google doesn't dare to search and where drugs, guns and hitmen are offered up for sale. We explore how the World Wide Web works, and ask whether it can remain unregulated, free and open as it is now? Plus, in the news this week, the worm found lurking in a patient's brain, how scientists have grown pain nerves in a Petri dish, and what do dogs hear when we speak to them?

Does Airport Security Really Make Us Safer?

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Travel by air has increased by over 60% in the last decade and annual global air traffic is expected to reach 3.6 billion passenger journeys by 2016 meaning that there are at least 1 million people airborne aboard planes at any moment in time. But, as air traffic grows, so do concerns about smuggling and security. So keeping people safe is a major priority; but the processes can be intrusive and can also cause unpleasant delays at airports. This week we're looking at how technology - both old and new - can help to alleviate the hold ups and improve safety. Plus, in the news, the science behind fighting the flab, how spiderman has becomes a reality and why bankers have a tendency to cheat...

Inside the Ebola Epidemic

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Ebola has rocked the world in 2014, but why has this outbreak been so devastating? This week we get inside Ebola to find out about the virus itself, and how it causes disease and spreads. We talk to healthcare and charity workers on the ground in West Africa to find out how what is being done to stem the epidemic; we catch up on progress towards a vaccine and we hear how the virus is also crippling gorilla populations. Plus, in the news, the latest on the Rosetta mission to comet 67P-Churyumov-Gerasimenko and how Wikipedia can reveal what diseases are circulating and where...

Combating Cancer

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This week, the latest breakthroughs in cancer including blood tests to pick up the disease much earlier, new genetic treatments to trigger tumours to kill themselves, and a laser technique to zap cancers in hard-to-reach places. Plus, in the news, why working the night shift can curb your intellect, a super-enzyme that could cut millions off energy bills and the gut bacteria that keep you trim...

Supernatural Science

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Do you believe in ghosts? For Halloween the Naked Scientists take a look at the spooky science of the supernatural. Is there evidence that paranormal beings exist and why do so many people believe in them? How do out-of-body experiences happen? What causes coincidences? Where did werewolves and vampires come from? And what tricks do magicians use to fool your senses? Join us for an eerie exploration of how the mind can create nightmarish experiences and mysterious beliefs...

Transport of Tomorrow

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Over the next 50 years, getting to work on time or heading out to the hinterlands for your family holiday will become much, much easier - and perhaps, even pleasurable. We're journeying into the not so distant future, to a world where cars drive themselves, drones deliver your pizzas, planes are bigger, faster, stronger and even see-through, and people holiday in space. The next generation of transportation is very nearly here, and we're taking a magnifying glass to some of the most exciting developments. Plus, we shine a new light on diabetes treatment, a cheap and quick test for ebola, and how physics can prevent ingrowing toenails...

The Cities of Tomorrow

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Continuing the theme of the future of humanity, this week we take a look at what we can expect from our towns and cities in the years to come. Will we be living in wooden skyscrapers, amongst crime fighting lampposts or have our own personalised pollution sensors? Plus, in the news, invasive shellfish, the amphibian version of Ebola, making the mind young again, why new brain cells are essential for learning, and advice to brush your teeth to boost your physical fitness...

Will Climate Change Cost the Earth?

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What does climate change have in store for the future? What will it mean for the man, or woman, in the street? How will it hit the global economy, and what can businesses do to fight back? This week, we hear the perspectives of a climate specialist, an economist, a psychologist and a technologist as we ask, "what are the costs of climate change?" Plus, in the news, the emerging ebola crisis, tastier beers coming on tap thanks to fruit flies, and a breakthrough in prosthetic arm technology...

Powering the Future

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For years we have relied on fossil fuels to produce the light, heat and energy we need to live and work. But these supplies are diminishing, and polluting our environment. So can renewable resources step into the breach annd produce enough energy to power the world? In this special Naked Scientists show, live from the Cambridge Science Centre, we talk to some of the researchers trying to do just that, as well as conducting some energy-related experiments of our own...

Alien Hunters: The Search for ET

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This week, is there anybody out there? We're pushing at the boundaries of science in the search for ET. We take a magnifying glass to the big questions: what is life, where can we find it and could we ever communicate with it? Plus, the blood test that can tell you how long you'll take to recover from surgery, a new mussel-inspired glue that even works underwater and, 76 years after penicillin was first discovered, how scientists are combating antibiotic resistance

Can you 3D-print me a new kidney?

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This week, are we on the verge of being able to print a new kidney or liver? And will every home soon have a machine in it to make medicines so we don't need to head off to the chemist for a dose of antibiotics? This is the world of 3D printing and we'll show you what it promises to deliver... Plus, in the news, is fracking contaminating underground water or is it just leaky pipes? And a new breakthrough therapy for multiple sclerosis...

Hack Attack!

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Have you been hacked? This week we examine the risks from public WiFi, why the Internet of Things is jeopardising the security of your home, the threats frequently lurking inside innocent-looking documents, what your mobile phone says to cybercriminals without your say-so and the new method of marketing: you compromise your competitor's website. Plus, in the news, an update on ebola, do bereaved people really die of a broken heart, and DNA points the finger at a Jack the Ripper suspect...

Does nature do it better?

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This week we're looking to nature to solve some of today's biggest problems - from climate change to water shortages. We hear how spiders hold the key to making the strongest material known to man and how insect ears have inspired the world's smallest microphone. Plus, why Bruce Willis might be making you fat, the Arctic ice sheets that are melting despite headlines to the contrary, and why thousands of languages are on the brink of extinction...

Nuclear Fusion

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This week, we're exploring Nuclear Fusion, the power source of the sun. What is it and how can it help us on Earth? We visit the JET fusion facility to watch a test firing, we hear how lasers can be used to kickstart the process and how a new spherical fusion system could be outputting power within a decade. Plus, in the news, what lights up the Universe, how people are no smarter than pigeons when it comes to gambling and how the eyes can forewarn of forthcoming dementia...

The Naked Scientists in New Zealand

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Dr Chris Smith

Personalised Medicine

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This week we're talking about gene sequencing and how to keep that information safe.

Food for Thought!

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The Naked Scientists have food on the brain this week, as we hear about how sound can affect taste, why our mood can be changed by what we eat, and we try out some unusual flavour combinations. And in the news; why grizzly bears may help us in the fight against diabetes, the comet chaser that has finally reached its target, and self-assembling origami robots...

The brightest light in the Universe

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This week, we hear how one of the brightest lights in the Universe is helping scientists to build better jet engines, fight off antibiotic resistant bacteria and read the biochemical make-up of long-dead dinosaurs. Plus, how fears and phobias can pass from parent to child in a smell, why first impressions really do count, and also the physics of being a lead guitarist...

A trip to the seaside

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This week why whales get dandruff, what seabirds think of wind farms, the plight of coral reefs, we take a look at some giant sea spiders and look at water that can stay liquid below freezing temperature. Plus, we use science to perfect the recipe for a superior sandcastle...

The End of Extinction?

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Will wooly mammoths roam the tundra once more? This week we ask whether improvements in genetic technologies mean extinction is no longer the end, as well as meeting moss that came back to life after 2000 years buried in permafrost, and the million-year-old microbes lurking in the ice of Antarctica. Plus, news that our genes control who we make friends with, how fossil sea urchins hold the key to finding your lost car keys, and what ancient tooth plaque is revealing about the diets of our ancestors...

Returning to the Moon - A giant leap for mankind?

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We celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission by asking, should we return to the moon? We discover what scientific knowledge is still to be gained by going back, what robot missions are being planned as part of the Google Lunar X prize, and do commercial companies hold the key to funding research? Plus, in the news, the electronic lables that can be printed by inkjet, the genes which control how good you are at Maths, and can elephants cry?

Saddle Up: The Science of Cycling

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Chimps use gestures, climate change stops fish finding friends, gut cells reprogrammed to make insulin, and people prefer shocks to thoughts! Plus Saddle Up! - we look at the science of cyling as the Tour de France comes to the UK, including seeing how long an amateur cyclist can sustain Tour de France speeds, hearing how the bike came by its spokes, and visiting a wind tunnel to learn about the art of aerodynamics...

Engineering the Impossible

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From levitating trains and humans to giant, climate-altering balloons, super-steels and earthquake-proof buildings, this month's live show panel reveal the latest advances in extreme engineering. Plus, we get engineering for ourselves, including taking a blowtorch to a paperclip to make metallurgy happen before your eyes...

Ready for Kick Off...

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England might be out of the World Cup this week, but thousands of fans are still cheering their teams on across Brazil. But how does chanting change the behaviour of a football crowd? Why do free kicks and penalties still come down to good old physics? And how can economists use data from the pitch to see whether discrimination still exists in the beatuiful game? Plus, in the news, why scientists have blown up a mountain in Chile, why you could get addicted to sunshine, and are electronic cigarettes safe?

Untangling Alzheimer's Disease

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Alois Alzheimer, who described the first case of the disease now named after him, would have been 150 years old this week. But what have we discovered about the disease since he presented the first Alzheimer's case over 100 years ago? And how can fruit flies, arm hair and video games untangle the most significant threat to our generation? Plus, in the news, how making mosquitoes male could reduce malaria, protecting astronauts from solar radiation, and why is beetle sex a sticky situation...

Freeze Dried Blood!

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Freeze Dried Blood! Every day the likes of probiotic "good" bacteria in yoghurts, and even the enzymes in washing powder, give us a helping hand. This week we investigate how scientists are designing new ways to protect and guard these tiny helpers, including new techniques to freeze-dry human blood. Plus, news of how sleep boosts learning, the effects of foetal nerve transplants for Parkinson's, tree-hugging koalas and why negative Facebook friends can make you moody.

Learning to Learn

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Making brainwaves: from how babies' brains develop, to how children learn language and even unravelling the adolescent mind, this month's live show panel of guests walk us through how we learn to learn! Plus, popping balloons shows why teenagers take risks, and some practical tips to improve your short term memory

The Cost of a Life

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We often hear about amazing new medical developments which could improve disease treatment. But what about the ethical considerations involved in deciding how to use these advances? Hannah Critchlow and Ginny Smith discuss how we decide which drugs we can afford and what the limits are on designer babies. Plus how DJ's help get you in the groove, the risk of dengue fever at the World Cup, and how you can win the 10 million Longitude prize!

Natural born cleaners

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This week we investigate green clean ups. Can nature's recyclers, bacteria and fungi, help us clean up man-made environmental problems from oil spills to mining slag heaps? Plus in the news, how the Gemini Planet Imager is helping astronomers 'see' exoplanets, why pregnant women are at a higher risk of a car crash and why don't octopuses get tied up in knots?

Powering up the National Grid

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This week we look at how our power grids are going to be transformed. From technology which hopes to reduce our energy prices to new ways to include wind and solar power in the grid. Plus, in the news, what Google have up their sleeve for their next smartphone, the proposed takeover of the UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, and why AM radio could be sending birds off course...

Fascinating Fossils

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In front of a live audience at the Cambridge Science Centre, Chris Smith is joined by three paleontologists to discuss fascinating fossils! Alex Liu explains where the first animals evolved from, Stephanie Pierce describes how animals first crawled out of the oceans and Jon Tennant digs into how the dinosaurs died out. The team also answer questions like how big are fossilied spiders? Plus, Dave Ansell and Kate Lamble break down bones and discover how we know how fast dinosaurs ran...

Building the Future

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With the demand for new homes ever increasing, we ask what will the buildings of the future be like? Will new materials like bamboo or plastic take a bigger place in our houses? And how can we make our accommodation greener? Plus, in the news, the first model of all of Earth's ecosystems, what a 115 year old can tell us about aging, how to improve cochlear implants, and what happens if you try and stowaway on a plane...

Huntingtons Disease

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In a special show from Cambridge and New Zealand, Hannah Critchlow investigates the research into Huntington's Disease. How has the search to correct a single gene enhanced our understanding of how the brain functions? How are sheep helping to unpick the pizzle of the human mind? Plus we visit a brain bank to find out how tissue donors are supporting the scientific research.

Why do we laugh when tickled?

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In this question and answer special, the Naked Scientists get stuck into your queries, like why are planets round? Why do we laugh when tickled? Does wearing glasses make your eyesight worse? And how many trees could offset carbon emissions? Plus, in the news, the app that could help you get over jet lag and the Heartbleed bug which could affect your internet security.

Power to your Elbow: Better Batteries

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Bigger, better and longer lasting - this week we go in search of the battery technology that will power the future as well as consider the shortcomings of our present technologies. We also try to tune-in to our own broadcast on a radio powered by moss! Plus, in the news, the genetic switch for spinal nerve regeneration, the ocean deep inside Enceladus, young-smoking dads condemn their sons to adult obesity and why cereals make eye contact with you...

Right Hand, Left Hand

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How handedness spans the scientific world, from the smallest particles in the Universe to the drugs that cure disease and even the way you hold a pen, goes under the microscope this week as we explore the realms of asymmetry. Plus, in the news, the world's first synthetic chromosome, the goo that stops bones breaking, is there a giant planet lurking beyond Pluto, aircraft black boxes and anti-aphrodisiacs...

Devouring Raspberry Pi

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2014 is the Year of Code, with the UK even becoming the first major economy to introduce computer programming to the school timetable. This week we investigate why coding, and getting kids into computer science has become so important. Plus, in the news, why the estimated number of smells a human can detect has gone from 10,000 to a trillion, the astronomers who have detected primordial gravitational waves, and a new supercomputer, in Scotland...

Pit your Wits...

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Pit your wits against the combined brain power of the Naked Scientists, in this question and answer Special as the team try to find out the truth behind the age of the Milky Way? Whether plants die of old age, and how cats make their fur stand on end? Plus, in the news, contagious yawns, and how the number of takeaways on the way to work affects your risk of weight gain...

Turning the tide on flooding

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With climate change expected to bring more bouts of extreme weather and longer periods of drought and flooding, this week we take a look at ways to turn the tide on the looming water crisis. Plus, in the news, the schoolboy who's become the youngest person yet to achieve nuclear fusion, the pedicure-inspired tags which are helping track turtles, the new gene therapy breakthrough for treating HIV and, what's worse for you, cigarettes, or sausages?

AUTOMATE: The World of Robots

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Robots are under examination this week. Engineer Blaise Thomson, from Vocal IQ, designs speech systems for smartphones, Neil Bargh builds robots for science labs, and Airbus systems engineer Paul Meacham, who is building the next rover that will explore Mars, join Chris Smith, Dave Ansell and Ginny Smith to pit their wits against the assembled Cambridge public, answering questions like how would the Mars rover fare in Robot Wars? Plus, we make a motor from scratch and find out what happens when we dunk electronic devices in liquid nitrogen...

The Noro Show

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Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, affects 1 million people each year in the UK. But what is it, and how can you best protect yourself? Plus, in the news, how stress hormones depress the stock market, brain training that can improve vision on the baseball field, a new biological marker to diagnose those at risk of depression and artificial growth factors to speed up wound healing...

Brainy Babies!

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Should you raise your baby to be bilingual? Are video games rotting or rejuvenating children's brains? We find out! Plus in the news, personalised breast milk, modelling the brain with computers, how crude oil spills affect tuna and the next step towards nuclear fusion.

David Willetts AAAS Audio Blog

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UK Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, becomes his own radio presenter; here, on a tour organised by the UK's Science and Innovation Network, he charts his meetings with scientists and entrepreneurs in Chicago, including discovering how researchers are trying to develop new batteries, he meets MIRA the Argonne supercomputer, attends a synthetic biology convention, talks to technology start-up CEOs, addresses the AAAS fellows forum and talks in depth to his travelling companions, Nottingham chemist Martyn Poliakoff and Edinburgh Vice Prinicipal Mary Bownes...

NAKED at the AAAS

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Do scientists resort to propaganda to defend climate change? How do we deal with evolution unbelievers? How do governments and policy-makers decide what science should be funded? Where will the next generation of communicators come from? Why are western countries spending more on baldness than malaria? Live at the AAAS 2014 meeting in Chicago, panellists David Willetts, the UK Minister for Universities and Science, Robyn Williams, of the Science Show on the ABC, MIT Enterprise Forum president, Kathleen Kennedy, IgNobel Awards founder Marc Abrahams and University of Madison-Wisconsin scientist Molly Jahn join Chris Smith to answer questions live from the audience...

Green Food

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We're chewing over the topic of food footprints: How green is your lunchbox? What's the environmental impact of your weekly food shop? Plus, in the news, the prosthetic hand that has allowed an amputee to feel for the first time, a new fatal strain of flu has been identified in a patient in China and Gaia's goal is to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way.

Nanosized Science

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This week we we zoom in on the subject of nano-particles to examine how tiny objects, smaller than the wavelength of light, can be making such large waves in the fields of health, optics, and electronics. Plus news of purple tomatoes on their way to your dinner plates, the medical treatment that could mean the end of peanut allergies, the acid dip that reverts cells to their stem state, and what's in the air in Beijing?

Exorcist, or Exercise: what's healthier?

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Live on location at the Cambridge Science Centre, Chris Smith is joined by exercise scientist Dan Gordon, who also holds the world record in tandem cycling, epidemiologist Nita Forouhi, who studies diet, and David Ogilvie, who investigates how our environment can shape our activity. Together they pit their wits against the assembled public as they answer questions like, is watching the Exorcist a replacement for exercise? Plus Dave Ansell and Ginny Smith find the iron on breakfast cereals, measure the vitamin C in carrots, and see how much exercise it takes to work off a Mars bar...

And now for the weather, in space...

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This week we investigate why the UK is investing in space weather forecasts. Plus how could changes in the Sun's activity affect us here on Earth? In the news, conservationists supporting the sale of a hunting licence for the endangered Black Rhino, gene therapy success for treating blindness-causing diseases, and do humans use anger strategically?

Are old habits hard to break?

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This week we want to hear how you're doing with your New Year's Resolutions as we investigate the psychology of willpower and how long it takes to form a new habit. In the news, does drinking a cup of coffee after studying help students remember their work? Should the UK introduce a minimum price for alcohol? Plus the light activated glue that could change the way cardiac surgery operates.

Why don't microwaves spark off themselves?

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The Naked Scientists tackle your questions, from how hail storms come about to why the Mediterranean Sea has such small tides. And why do people often favour walking on one particular side of the road?Plus, we look at what science might hit the headlines in 2014, from China's ambitions for manned spaceflight, to new graphene-based electronics.

Hydrogen-powered Party Poppers

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It's Christmas, and we're celebrating in style with a look at the science behind the things that grace the festive period. In a special programme recorded live in the kitchen, we produce our own home-made ice cream, hear about the brain-basis of the Boxing Day sales bargain, test fruit-fuelled flamethrowers, investigate candle chemistry, find out about LED fairy lights, probe the origins of the Star of Bethlehem, and make our own hydrogen-powered party popper. Merry Christmas!

Super-shape me!

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How balls of cells assemble into a baby, why cell shape is crucial in cancer, telling cells where to go in an embryo, and getting a handle on how limbs develop: this week's Naked Scientists explores the science of structure. Plus, does classical music make you brainier? News of what your Christmas dinner means to the microbes in your intestines and a breakthrough in tracking the international spread of pandemics...

Diving into Ocean Conservation

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The bid to create the world's largest marine reserve, diseases threatening corals in the Caribbean, what is the best way to conserve coral reefs in Fiji, and why fish microbes matter too. Plus news of DNA sequences extracted from a 400,000 human ancestor in Spain, contraceptive pills for men, pain-free injection patches and the brain basis of dyslexia...

Life, The Universe and Everything

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Live on location at the Cambridge Science Centre, Chris Smith is joined by guests Didier Queloz, who discovered the first exoplanet, Alan Tunnacliffe who investigates organisms which might be able to survive in space, and Gerry Gilmore, who is aiming to map the Milky Way. Together they pit their wits against the assembled public as they go on the hunt for alien worlds and life in space. Plus Dave Ansell and Ginny Smith reanimate yeast, spin an alarm clock to demonstrate how planets make stars wobble, and launch their own hydrogen rocket...

Sniff! Sniff!

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This week, smells, pheromones and anosmia. We talk to a patient with no sense of smell, hear why odours might be more down to the way molecules vibrate that how they are shaped, we look at the role that genes play in what we can smell and hear how pheromones affect how we feel. Plus, in the news, the legacy of double Nobel laureate Fred Sanger who died this week, a new water-repelling material which rejects water faster than ever before, an ode to World Toilet Day, the swarm of tiny satellites which are helping to miniaturise space missions, and we hear about the bacteria that have acquired mammoth genes from an old bone...

Restore, repair, retain!

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This week we discover how we repair and restore everything from ancient manuscripts to the human heart! The team visits the BBC to find out how recently re-discovered episodes of the classic sci-fi series Dr Who were restored and find out about the three million pound project to develop self healing concrete. Plus, in the news, how Typhoon Haiyan has affected the Philippines, where in the world wolves first evolved into dogs, the new drug which could tackle persistent infections and the satellite database which can monitor deforestation from space...

Stopping Multiple Sclerosis

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What is multiple sclerosis (MS), what causes it, why do some people suffer from it, and how can we treat it? This week we hear about a drug that can halt the disease in its tracks for some patients, and how scientists screening chemicals that trigger the brain to make new myelin have stumbled on a therapy that might reverse the symptoms for some sufferers. Plus, in the news, why the US and India are launching probes to Mars within weeks of each other, where the meteor which exploded over Russia in February 2013 came from, how Prozac makes the brain more plastic, and the stem cells which mothers give their babies in breast milk

Cutting Edge in Cancer

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From detecting tumour DNA in our bloodstreams to making cancer cells stand out in an MRI scan, this week, coinciding with the NCRI Cancer Conference, we explore how best ways to detect cancer and monitor tumours during treatment. Plus, in the news, what a dog's wagging tail can tell you about its mood, the chemistry behind fireworks, how wind farms could be made up to 30% more efficient just by moving the turbines around, and the electronic blood that could help to shrink supercomputers...

Extreme Geology

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Live on location at the Cambridge Science Centre, Chris Smith, Dave Ansell, Ginny Smith and guests James Jackson, an Earth Scientist, Tehnuka Ilanko, a volcanologist, and Arwen Deuss, a seismologist, pit their wits against the assembled public as they tackle the extreme Earth. Plus Dave and Ginny make a flame tornado, a volcanic crater and explain why acid rain can be so damaging...

Stopping Superbugs

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What is the scale of the superbug problem? How much is antibiotic resistance costing? Can new antibiotics be made that cannot be bypassed by bacteria? And what new drugs are already in the pipeline. In this infectious episode of the Naked Scientists, we put the rise of antimicrobial resistance under the microscope and ask what scientists are doing to combat the problem. Plus, why the abominable snowman hasn't been discovered...yeti, 46-million-year-old blood from a fossilised mosquito, phage therapy for C. diff and the brain wash-out that happens when we sleep...

Tunnelling Under London

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How do you dig a 26 mile tunnel beneath a city and below the water table? This week we drop in on Crossrail, who are busy constructing a new commuter line below the UK capital, to discover how massive tunnels are made in the modern era. Plus, we take a walk along the World's first and oldest tunnel built below a river to hear how it was made, and we find out what present-day tunnelling is turning up of London's past. Also, news of a drug that can repair the brain damage done by multiple sclerosis, and a planet found floating alone in interstellar space...

Science Centre Showoff

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Live on location at the Cambridge Science Centre, Chris Smith, Dave Ansell, Ginny Smith and guests Rod Jones, an atmospheric chemist, Margaret Stanley, an HPV cancer researcher, and Caroline Goddard, jet engine metallurgist, pit their wits against the assembled public. Plus Dave and Ginny make crisp packet fireworks, prove you can't be heard screaming in space and make an elastic-band-powered fridge...

Science of Sleep

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What's the best way to catch 40 winks? We investigate the science of sleep, including why we need it and why do some people fall asleep at the wrong times? Jason Rhiel tell us how he investigates what makes us sleepy using zebrafish and Mick Hastings explains the effects of shift work on our health. Plus, in the news, nanoparticles deliver vaccines without needles, the 4,000 year old body perfectly preserved in a bog, an animal that can keep track of tides, a new nose grown on a forehead, and nurturing new neurones to treat Parkinson's...

Citizen Science: Research You can Do

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What's the best way to get involved in scientific research from home? Chris Smith and Dominic Ford investigate some of the best citizen science projects which are looking for your help. From categorising galaxies to hunting spiders, mapping your happiness and even discovering the nature of the trillion bacteria in one of your footprints - how will you choose to get involved? Plus, in the news, what a blue whale's earwax can reveal about ocean pollution, Curiosity fails to find methane on Mars, why Raspberry Pi have linked up with Google to boost kids programming skills, and the parasite that stops mice being afraid of cats...

Shedding Light on the Brain

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We expose how electricity powers the nervous system. Chris Smith and Hannah Critchlow speak to a panel of experts about why chillis taste hot and mint feels cool, how ion channels could tackle diabetes and the new technique that uses algae could shed light on the brain. In the news, re-programming stem cells in situ, the TV programme that's changing accents 400 miles away, the insects that use natural gears to propel themselves and how you can tell whether a panda is pregnant.

Get the Frack Out of Here...

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Will fracking bring down energy prices and keep our lights on, or could it be an environmental disaster? Kate Lamble and Ginny Smith speak to a panel of experts about whether fracking could really contaminate water supplies or cause earthquakes. Plus, can methane from Shale Gas extraction contribute to global warming? In the news, whether a country's hygiene is linked to their Alzheimer's rates, why we feel so good when we cheat and how to spot a pregnant panda...

Can you dehydrate in a bath?

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Another special question and answer edition of the show where the team get to grips with your queries, including, cna you dehydrate in a bath? What is tinnitus? What chemicals leak from batteries? Why does water freeze from the top down? Are solar photons making the Earth more massive? And what causes deja vu?

Shark Camouflage in Australia

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This week, we have a final show from Perth in Western Australia. Chris Smith and Victoria Gill find out how camouflage wetsuits might help protect surfers from sharks, hear about a new development in muscular dystrophy treatment, how sea sponges can be used to mend fractures and whether the chemicals that a cell produces just before death can help us reverse the damage caused by stroke. In the news, why money makes the world go round, the comet that will be lighting up the skies in November, the eniromentally green military flares that could result in clearer firework displays and the scientists that have produced the world's most accurate clock.

Australia's First BBQ

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This week, we have another special show from Perth in Western Australia. Chris Smith and Victoria Gill go in search of dolphins, find out how DNA sequencing technology has allowed us to find out what was on Australia's first barbecue, and give a science lesson to children in the outback. In the news, how glucose affects our willpower, why the Antarctic oceans are so different from the rest of the world, and the batteries that store power from renewable energy farms.

Naked in Australia

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This week we have a special show from Perth in Western Australia. Chris Smith finds out whether importing nitrogen fixing legumes could hold the answer to Perth's poor soil fertility and Victoria Gill heads out on a scientific fishing trip to see how Black Bream stocks could give us an insight into the health of estuaries. Plus could gardens hold the answer to preserving the native plants of the Kimberley? In the news, the first measurement of the magnetic field of a black hole, how squid skin could help us hide from infra red cameras and what can David Beckham tell us about playing the piano?

Mapping out the Milky Way

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We hear from the astronomers who are mapping out the Milky Way to work out where its stars came from.

Questions and Answers

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A special question and answer edition of the show where the team get to grips with your queries, including, do hairs know they've cut? Is someone who sweats sooner fitter? How do noise-cancelling headphones work? How do we know what's inside Earth? Why are there no whale-sized insects? Does protein suppress appetite? And could there be a planet with a green atmosphere?

The Science in Sport

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How has new technology changed the face of sport? This week we delve into the science behind the tennis rackets that professional players use, the diets that top athletes follow, and how systems like Hawkeye are revolutionising the way that rules are enforced. Plus, we hear about new evidence that dolphins refer to each other by name, and sucking or chewing a sweet: which does least damage to teeth?

The Science of Schizophrenia

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What do sufferers of schizophrenia experience, and why? Might the immune system be to blame? And could an avatar be the answer to treatment? This week we delve deep into the brain circuitry behind this psychiatric condition to uncover the causes, hear what drugs like ketamine can reveal about hallucinations and how a cartoon representation of the voices plaguing patients can block the symptoms. Plus, chemically induced pluripotent stem cells, a gene that leads carriers into snacking temptation and why babies can tolerate extended periods upside down inside their mothers...?

Souping up Solar

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This week, the latest innovations in solar power technology including a Cambridge team racing from Darwin to Adelaide in a solar car, community co-operatives empowered by solar panels, and how algae harvest the Sun's energy. In the news, how wobbles in the Earth's core are affecting time, how nerves control prostate cancer growth and the turmeric-thalidomide combo being used to combat cancer. Plus, can you produce power from poo?

The Last Organism Alive on Earth

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This week, the latest from the UK's National Astronomy Meeting in St Andrews Scotland including what will be the last organism living on Earth when the end-of-life Sun swells, why space science projects are getting larger, and the amateur astronomer who uncovers supernovae. In the news, a replacement liver grown from stem cells, the bacterial fingerprint in your intestines, nuclear bombs help with forensics and the threat posed by H7N9. Plus, would you explode in space? We do the experiment to find out...

Modelling Diseases in Dishes

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Miniature lungs, breasts and other organs are being grown in dishes so scientists can study how they form, why they succumb to disease and how toxins, drugs and poisons affect them. Organ models like these are rapidly replacing animals for many lab experiments. But are the days of the petri dish also numbered, as computer models, like the virtual physiological human, become more powerful. We talk to scientists using and developing all three. Plus, a new coating stops joint replacements loosening, magnetic therapy for strokes, and plants do long division...

Fascinating Fungi

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Fungi go under the microscope this week as we explore how they barter minerals and carry chemical messages in return for sugars from plants; we also hear from someone who nearly died after consuming a deadly fungus, find out why fungi make the toxins they do, and hear how these organisms might hold the key to the next generation of packaging and building materials - and even surfboards! Plus, news of a light-powered retinal implant to restore sight, whether alcohol is dangerous in pregnancy, and why aspirin prevents cancers...

Extreme Physiology: Everest to Ocean Floor

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How can an ascent to the top of Everest help to save lives in intensive care? This week we're exploring physiology at the extremes: altitude, depth and cold. How does the human body adapt and cope under these conditions? Also, news of improved gene therapy techniques for sight-loss disorders, when do babies become sympathetic, how to cloak your cat (or goldfish), and have scientists discovered the remains of the Tunguska meteorite that smashed into Siberia in 1908?

Can GPS systems be Spoofed?

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The science of satellite navigation and how it can be fooled or "spoofed", a new system to pinpoint a person within a building to within a metre, and how GPS signals can probe and track volcanic dust clouds. Plus, news of what nuclear bomb tests have revealed about the brain, why volcanoes might cause Parkinsonism, HPV and oral cancer and why we comfort-eat high fat foods when we get depressed...

Shedding light on LEDs

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The next generation of LEDs, how LED lighting affects health, a new way to fight flu, treating schizophrenia with avatars and bringing 400-year-old frozen plants back to life.

Do plants get jetlag?

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This week, how plants keep track of time, how scientists are breeding cereal crops with ancient varieties to boost diversity and yields, how insects carry viruses between plants, and the chemical in smoke that triggers fire-dependent plants to germinate. Plus, printing new body parts, the workings of tornadoes and the bug behind potato blight...

Will it rain tomorrow?

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How are weather forecasts made? Are they accurate, and if not why not? And how do we know when extreme weather is on the way? Also, what about on other planets and moons? To find out, we talk to the teams who study weather and climate patterns, both on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. Plus, scientists discover the world's oldest water, signs that selfishness kickstarted agriculture, and why butterflies with more melanin fly further...

Gone Viral: Germs under surveillance

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Under the microscope this week, where new flu viruses including influenza H7N9 come from, the threat from extensively resistant tuberculosis and how doctors keep tabs on how bugs are spreading and who they are infecting...

Art & Antiquities: Conservation and Preservation

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The conservation and restoration of great art once relied on only a good eye and talent with a paintbrush. Now though, scientists and art conservationists are working together to develop new techniques to preserve our cultural heritage.

Testing Legal Highs

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What are legal highs, and how do scientists, doctors and law-makers keep up with new drugs entering the market? Plus, biofuels and why they cost the Earth, the cause of LED droop, a neutron star proves Einstein's theory of general relativity right, and E. coli programmed to pump out diesel.

Stem Cells and Gene Therapy

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We visit the annual British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy conference to explore the latest in this exciting area of medicine...

Meet the ancestors

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Fossilised dinosaur egg embryos, fish fats on 15,000 year old Japanese pots, who put the arsenic in the beer, and we tour the Malapa cave site where Australopithecus sediba was discovered...

The SKA and Radio Astronomy

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We take a tour of the two Australian precursors to the Square Kilometre Array - the Murchison Wide Field Array and the Australian SKA Pathfinder - to discover how big radio astronomy projects will see the universe in a new light. Plus, how understanding the physics of radio detectors helps us make better telescopes...

Naked Genetics Special Episode

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The genetic basis of autism goes under the microscope in this special Easter edition of Naked Genetics, from Kat Arney. One per cent of UK children have autism, a complex range of disorders that can be challenging to understand and live with. But recent advances in genetics are shedding new light on the origins of the condition. Plus, we look at the genes underlying Specific Language Impairment, find out why cancer has the X factor, and meet a hopeless-sounding gene of the month.

The Future of Digital Storage

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What the future holds for digital data storage goes under the spotlight this week - how can we ensure that what we record today - on film, discs or up in the cloud - remains readable for years to come? Plus, news of what the Planck probe has revealed about the early Universe, giant squid, an update from the Mars Curiosity mission, eye implants and nanoparticles to track stem cells...

BANG! Naked Science Festival

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Breasts, bazookas, bosons and bombs: The Naked Scientists take to the stage for the Cambridge Science Festival 2013. An explosive mix of fertile conversation and kitchen science...

John Snow and Cholera

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We celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the epidemiologist John Snow by looking at the historic and modern fight against Cholera. Also, news of what 4000 year old mummies are revealing about arterial disease, a novel antibiotic approach to battling bacteria, the Facebook app that turns likes into predictions about your personality and do animals practise dentistry...?

Dining Out on Food Security

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How Internet searches can give clues to drug side-effects, the science of sink holes, flame-retardant DNA, brain stimulation for anorexia, and feeding the planet in future: why flies might hold the key to better food security...

Extreme Engineering

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This week, research at the extremes: We find out how the new Halley VI station was engineered to withstand Antarctic conditions, and how scientists tackle some of the harshest environments on Earth to do groundbreaking research. In the news we discover a battery you can bend, share our thoughts on open access, find out how yeast can aid in the fight against tropical disease and hear how the ozone hole is closing...

Supersenses: Extraordinary Animals

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New drugs for flu, bees read electrical fields, why moles are sensitive to seismic vibrations and how good is a sharks sense of smell...?

What is Love?

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Love is... neurochemistry? This week, we look at love from a scientific perspective. We go looking for love in the brain and explore the chemistry behind falling, and staying, in love! Plus, how ovaries become damaged with age, and the new virus strain with pandemic potential.

Analysing Asteroids

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We're analysing asteroids in this edition of the Naked Scientists, as Earth is due a very near miss next week! We'll also meet the asteroid miners - companies looking to go prospecting in outer space - to find out how to mine an asteroid. Plus, the new material that can generate electricity from the heat in your hand, and what will the Large Hadron Collider be looking for next...

I'm a Tasmanian Devil, Get Me Out Of Here!

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How can science save the Tasmanian Devil? New research reveals why an infectious cancer that's spreading amongst the animals isn't attacked by the immune system. Plus, the quantum basis of smell, reading a fish's thoughts and are scientists on the verge of a cure for the common cold?

We're Back! Transparent Electronics

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WE'RE BACK! And in this first episode of our new series, a sponge for soaking up oil slicks, how dung beetles navigate by starlight, the world's largest jelly, the rebound effect, how dogs came to be, why DNA is the data storage medium of tomorrow. Plus, a heads-up on transparent electronics, including a device that will superimpose a map of the road ahead onto your glasses...

What's Living in Your Loo?

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As we gear up to launch a new series of the Naked Scientists, here's a taste of things to come with a recording of the second hour of the Naked Scientists 'Science Night' aired on BBC 5 Live, December 30th 2012.

Does a Frozen Body Shatter?

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Can a frozen body be shattered with a hammer, how can speedbumps diagnose appendictis and why are reindeers' noses red? For Christmas 2012 we talk to a host of scientists doing seasonal research, find out how Elite, the blockbuster computer game launched 30 years ago, is about to make a comeback, and answer your brain-busting science questions, including why chewing gum gets tougher the longer you chew it, and we do the experiment to discover whether James Bond really could freeze - then shatter - a baddie...

The Science Behind Broadcasting

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How does radio reach out of the studio? This week, we tune in explore the science and technology of broadcasting to find out how a voice hits the airwaves. We discover the difference between AM, FM and DAB, and use basic physics to build our own microphone. Plus, the 7000 year old cheese and the surprisingly simple solution to a box jellyfish sting.

Unravelling Epigenetics

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Epigenetics controls the activity of genes inside cells and holds the key to new treatments for old diseases. We explore the impacts of epigenetics on embryonic development, cancer, and stem cell biology, and find out how epigenetic changes during pregnancy can even affect your grandchildren! Plus, why parenthood extends your lifespan, and the genetic recipe for the red blood cell.

Protecting Our Oceans

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How should we protect marine ecosystems? We examine the science behind Marine Protected Areas and find out how a new plan could protect the oceans around England. In the news, the sub-zero bacterial ecosystem surviving in an Antarctic lake and fibres inspired by slimy fish. Plus, will mixing spider and human DNA give us superpowers?

Investigating ISIS - The Neutron Source

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This week, join us on a tour of ISIS, the STFC's Neutron and Muon source. We find out how neutrons can probe the properties of materials, help to protect electronic circuits from failure and shed light on the action of antibiotics. Plus, in the news we hear how to print out perfect replacement cartilage.

Can Gravity Leak from Alternate Universes?

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Why does biro ink smell? How can you reset your tolerance to caffiene? Why can't my sat nav and my speedometer agree? We take on your science questions, as well as discover a lonely rogue planet and hear the DNA detective story that stopped an MRSA outbreak in its tracks. Plus, in our Question of the Week, we find out if menstrual cycles synchronise...

Bed Bug Biology

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Bed bug cases are on the rise after a 50 year absence from much of the Western world. But why now? We explore the genetics and bizarre biology of these parasitic pests. In the news, we examine the fungal disease killing Ash trees across Europe that may decimate up to 40% of British woodland...

The Cutting Edge of Cancer Research

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How does cancer spread? How can we target our immune system to take out tumours? This week we visit the National Cancer Research Institute's annual conference to explore the cutting edge of cancer research. We'll find out why cancers become resistant to chemotherapy, and how new research offers us a window to watch a cancer as it spreads.

Ugly Animals Need Love Too

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It's not just pandas, great apes and big cats - ugly animals need our attention too. This week, we find out why some of nature's least attractive species are under threat and explore the arguments for conserving bacteria, fungi and even parasites! In the news we hear how to fix mitochondrial faults, discover a cocktail of bacteria that can see off C. diff and we find out how dung beetles are on the ball when it comes to keeping cool.

Is there a Googol of anything in the Universe?

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Are vegetables intelligent? Is Pi a "normal" number? Are humans the only picky eaters? We take on your science questions, including why women generally don't go bald and how fingers can feel cold even though they're warm to the touch. Plus, we're joined by Matt Parker, the Stand Up Mathematician, who takes on your mathematical brain teasers, and explains how a simple mathematical trick can let you predict the numbers on a barcode!

Listen Up! The Science of Hearing

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How do we tell where sounds are coming from? What does life sound like through a hearing aid? Can we cure tinnitus? We try to answer all these questions and more in our show on hearing.

Tricks of the Mind

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The tricks your mind plays on you are up for analysis this week as we explore the science of taste including why noise diminishes food flavour aboard an aeroplane and how much affects your choice of wine. We also speak to a synaesthete who, quite literally, tastes the people he meets, and we probe the workings of the placebo effect. Plus, pain killers from black mamba venom, why teenagers take risks and the age old chestnut of why names are so hard to remember...

Dodging Death: Growing Old in Good Health

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How can we stay sharp as a senior citizen? This week, we explore the different biological approaches to understanding healthy ageing, discover a protein that may prevents age-related nerve degeneration and find out how to preserve cognitive function as we age. Plus, why Eunuchs lived longer, and how to turn trousers into catalytic converters that filter polluted air!

What shape web does a spider spin in space?

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Can spiders weave webs in microgravity? Can shampooing cause hair loss? How much brain do we use at once? Can a person survive on raw food alone? This week we're answering your science questions, plus news of the IgNobel prize for research into 'hairodynamics' and a way to wipe out bad memories...

Silicon Sailors - Robots take to the waves

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Would you set sail with a robotic skipper? This week, the World Robotic Sailing Championships grace the waters of Cardiff Bay, and we meet the teams to find out how this could lead to a sea change in robot science. Plus, we find out how robots are coming out of the factory and into the home, to care for the elderly and help children learn. In the news, stem cells restore hearing to deaf gerbils, facebook alters voting behaviour, and why a blue berry is the brightest thing in nature...

Is there life under Antarctica?

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Will we find life in a lake trapped under 3 kilometres of ice? How can living above an abandoned mine cut your heating bills? What is the future for diet foods? This week, we bring you the best from the British Science Festival in Aberdeen. We also discuss the Higgs and antimatter, how plastics are affecting our health and how to recreate the colours of fossilised insects...

Cybersecurity: how safe are we online?

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How is data sent safely online, and how can we keep prying eyes away? This week we investigate the basis of cybersecurity, ask if chip and pin is safe and talk to a team of hackers who attempt to penetrate websites legitimately. We also reveal the dangers of wifi as we find out what your mobile phone is revealing about you. Plus the genetic basis of movement, a new form of flexible battery and, in our Question of the Week, how one telephone line can have multiple uses!

The Brain Uncovered: Naked Neuroscience

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How nerve cells make decisions, how genes control behaviour, using light to interrogate neuronal circuits, anxiety attacks, deep brain stimulation to bust addiction, how the immune system can cause psychosis, the genetics of behavioural problems and hallucinogenic flashbacks: fact, or a mind playing tricks on you? This week we launch Naked Neuroscience, a new monthly podcast to open your mind...

The Hydrogen Economy: Fuelling the Future

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Is hydrogen the fuel of our future? As fossil fuel reserves run out, this week we ask whether hydrogen can fill the energy void? We look at work to harness bacteria to transform everyday waste into biohydrogen, hear how scientists are planning to store this gas safely, take to the road in a hydrogen-powered car and investigate the workings of the fuel cells that run them...

Do Dogs Understand People?

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What happens if you're exposed to the vacuum of space? Is using a mobile phone on a flight safe? Which is more contagious - a cough or a sneeze? This week we answer your sticky science questions, such as what makes Jam set? And how does ironing work? Plus, we meet the very first lumberjacks, locate the dark matter in our locality and find out how a small electric pulse can stop a seizure in its tracks...

Curious about Mars...

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Publishing early in recognition of the arrival on the red planet of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover, this week we talk to members of the mission team, revisit some previous successful planetary explorations and hear how UK engineers have made it possible for Rovers to think for themselves. Plus, news of why planets orbit in a plane and whether elephants purr, or just hum...

How Science Goes for Gold

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How can science, technology and engineering aid the world's elite athletes? In this special edition of the Naked Scientists, we discover how physiology, psychology and technology help get us across the finish line. We'll be exploring the biochemical tests that can improve training, and Meera gets put through her paces on a treadmill! We also hear from Gold Medal winner Steve Redgrave and current Team GB competitors about the impact of science on their performance. Plus, how Formula One technology can make better bicycles, and why can technology can get so good, it has to be banned from competition...

How Powered Flight got off the Ground

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From the first flight to supersonic air-travel was achieved in under 50 years. To discover what made it all possible we look at the advances in technology, engineering and materials that were needed, and the social and political pressures that drove the field forward since the first tentative steps toward take-off in the 1870s...

Better to blow up an Earth-bound Asteroid?

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Should we blow up objects on a collision course with Earth? Or will they do less damage left intact? More importantly, is there a gene for hating marmite? And what makes copper such a good conductor? How would a caveman cope in modern society? What's the secret to how balls spin in sport, and why does wrapping vaccines and antibiotics in silk make them last longer. Plus, why physics says Batman's cape won't work...

Super Bainite: Super Strong Steel

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Super bainite, a surprisingly-strong steel, is the subject of this week's Naked Scientists. We discover how it's made in the metallurgical equivalent of a pizza oven, why it makes the best bearings and how, even when it's full of holes, it also makes great armour. In the news, a nanotechnological tool to unblock blood vessels, a dust cloud that's disappeared around a nearby star and have we found the Higgs? Plus, can your cutlery affect the flavour of food?

An Olympic Effort - Keeping Crowds Safe

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Later this month, the 2012 Olympics kicks off in London. With hundreds of thousands of people expected from overseas, is this the perfect trigger for a pandemic? This week we're looking at the public health implications of events like London 2012. We discover why an understanding of crowd psychology can avert disasters, and how mathematical models can predict and prevent jams in human traffic. Plus, a new technique to communicate with "locked in" patients, the evidence for warm blooded dinosaurs, and does ice really help to treat an injury?

Exposing Explosives

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Science and technology can catch criminals and tackle terrorism. This week, we're exploring two ways to sniff out concealed explosives and a new technique to lift fingerprints from surfaces that have been cleaned or burned. In the news, a new way to halt Huntington's disease and how to identify the influential online. Plus, could gene therapy cheat a DNA test?

Why Do I See Stars when I Stand?

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Why does a head injury, or standing up too quickly, make us see stars? Are slug pellets painful? How do flies fly in an elevator? We take on your science questions this week, and find out why we should let food ferment, what makes batteries get hot and if the strings in string theory are real. Plus, a new drive to improve science education, new vistas for Voyager 1 and new veins from stem cells.

SETI, Aliens and the Origins of Life

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How do we look for life beyond Earth? And how did it first get started down here? To help us take on these big questions, we explore the science of SETI and the chemistry of creating life. Plus, science gets cinematic as we meet the scientific adviser for Prometheus, and find out how his work could help us understand alien atmospheres. In the news, how to sequence a baby using just the mother's blood, and the simple intervention that could prevent millions of malaria cases. In Question of the Week, can we create life in the lab from just elements and heat?

Getting Inside your Genes

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This week, we're introducing the new Naked Genetics podcast - This time, Kat Arney takes a look at the world of top models - not the kind that won't get out of bed for less than ten grand, but the model organisms used by researchers all over the world to answer some of the most challenging questions in biology. We'll also be hearing about the origins of polar bears, the extinction of Tasmanian tigers, fitter frogs with faster-changing genomes and promiscuous bees. And move over Beyonce, because our gene of the month is the curvaceous Callipyge - Greek for beautiful buttocks.

Making a Meal out of Microbes

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This week we explore the role of microbes in drug development, food production and soil fertility. We investigate how bacteria such as Streptomyces are used and improved to make antibiotics, discover how gut microbes in cattle can be manipulated to increase growth and reduce environmental impact, and we visit the Chelsea flower show to learn how Rhizobia found in the roots of legumes could be used to improve crop growth and food availability. Also, in the news, how shift-work could affect your fertility, a new method of data storage using DNA, the key to growing the tastiest tomatoes and the world's biggest model Diamond. Plus we explore the micro-climates created by motorways in our Question of the Week!

From PC to Plane - Making New Metals

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How do you make a new metal? This week, we follow a novel alloy from PC to plane, finding out how computer modelling and design can help us create new metals with exciting new properties. We also discover how these newly-designed metals are forged, treated and tested before they form the basis of a new generation of jet engines. In the news, deep-sea dwelling bacteria that are still digesting a meal dating from the time of the dinosaurs, a shot-in the arm for ageing satellites and a brain-interface device to permit paralysed patients to control robotic arms...

Cracking Chronic Fatigue

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) sufferers describe symptoms of severe exhaustion, weakness, muscle pain and fatigue. But why, and what is science revealing about the underlying causes of the condition? We talk to a researcher who is probing the genetic links to the syndrome, a clinician with evidence that the muscles of patients accumulate acid when they exercise and a pathologist with post-mortem evidence of inflammation in the nervous systems of CFS sufferers. Also, in the news this week, the ants that help a pitcher plant to catch its lunch, the missile-hurling zoo chimp who plans his attacks in advance, and does non-coding DNA hold the key to how chromosomes recognise their opposite number? Plus, the cause of cheesy feet goes under the microscope in our Question of the Week...

Naked in Norway

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This week we get Naked in Norway as we visit the University of Oslo to reveal the remains of ancient plesiosaurs and investigate their migration into water, discuss a new concept for more efficient solar cells and discover the fatal effects of climate change on lemming population cycles. We then scour more Scandinavian science to unearth the causes of mass extinction, find out a new way to overcome resistance to radiotherapy, tool around with chimps in the Savannah and round up with a scientific climax in bird masturbation!

Is there such a thing as a "girls' throw"?

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Does exercise lead to a more muscular heart? Why can an unfit cyclist cycle faster than an olympic runner runs? How do kinetic watches work? We answer your questions in this week's Naked Scientists Podcast, and find out why so many dead bugs end up on their backs, how salmonella gets into an egg, and if it's more efficient to fill your freezer than run it half empty? In the news we hear how farming migrated across Europe, why distant stars might have influenced life on Earth, and why rogue DNA can cause heart failure. Plus, we home in on the parts of the pigeon brain that respond to magnetic fields...

Clock This! - The Science of the Circadian Rhythm

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The body clock goes under the Naked Scientists' spotlight this week. We unpick the mechanisms that enable human cells, plants and even bacteria to track the time of day and alter their activities accordingly, and we hear the evidence that night work makes you put on weight and boosts your diabetes risk. In the news, how cells grafted into the eye restore sight to blind mice, the three genes that can convert scar tissue back into beating cardiac muscle following a heart attack, and electrical stimulation that returns movement to limbs paralysed by spinal injury. And on the subject of the body clock, can an e-book at bedtime keep you awake at night?

Saving Submariners and Studying Deep Sea Species

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How can we save the occupants of stricken submarines? What species survive in the deepest depths of ocean trenches? Recognising the centenary of the Titanic tragedy, we're diving deep to meet the Rolls-Royce NATO Submarine Rescue System, we find out about a new initiative to discover what really lives at the bottom of the ocean and hear how volcanoes are acidifying the seas. Plus, what robots can tell us about cocktail party conversations, the mystery of the pigeon's magnetic navigation, and can oil-based face-cream make you fat...?

Naked Oceans - From Plastics to Poo

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This week we bring you a special look at marine pollution from the Naked Oceans team, going from plastics to poo to explore some of the many ways we pollute the seas. We find out the truth behind the Pacific Garbage Patch, discover how human sewage is wiping out corals in the Caribbean, and in Critter of the Month, a marine expert describes which ocean creature they'd like to be and why...

Why did my Dishcloth Detonate?

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Why does sunlight make me sneeze? What causes air turbulence? Why do energy-saving lights take time to warm up? In this week's question and answer show we also investigate why microwaving a dishcloth causes it catch fire, whether mining could change the Earth's orbit and why streetlights shine with an orange glow. In the news, meanwhile, how electrical brain stimulation can make impossible problems tractible, a pint-sized rocket to take spacecraft to the moon and a tornado spotted on the surface of the Sun...

Going Nuclear

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This week we're exploring the future of nuclear energy, including meeting the makers of a new design of nuclear reactor that can consume the fuels that other plants can't burn. We also delve into ways to unclog pipes inside reactors without the risks of going inside. And where do you stand on the nuclear debate? Should we be exploring alternatives, or is there no alternative to a nuclear-future? We talk to two parties on opposite sides of the debate. Plus, what the Messenger probe has found on Mercury, a blood test to predict an imminent heart attack, flushing out evidence of drug use from sewer water, and a way to block baldness in men...

Why Viruses Don't Infect the Same Cell Twice

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Immune-manipulating parasites, bacterial genomes married to disease processes and viruses that bounce off already-infected cells make for an infectious episode of the Naked Scientists this week. Also up for analysis, why the eyes vote no to long space journeys; the problem with prostate cancer prediction; why nanoparticles trigger bacteria to breed superbugs and the contagious question of which cancers you can catch...

Sensors and Sensibility

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Smart sensors can open a window into the environment. In this week's Naked Scientists Podcast we find out how networks of sensors around Heathrow airport can study how planes alter the atmosphere, and how a similar network can monitor an Oxfordshire floodplain. Plus, we find out how the tools of a surgeon are helping to keep jet engines in flying form. In the news, we hear how gut bugs promote blood vessel growth, why fresh fruit and veg gives you a healthy hue and how scientists are analysing antimatter with microwaves...

Wattage from Waste and Watching Our Water

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How can we extract energy from waste? In this week's Naked Scientists we explore the technology that turns muck into methane and consider the fertile issue of nutrient overload resulting from returning the finished products to farmland. And what about water? Why do we individually use ten times more water than we actually need, and what's the solution for a drought-stricken Britain? Plus, in the news, how astronomers have discovered evidence of life in the universe, but only down here on Earth, and the "ungentlemanly" conduct of the upper classes...

Can a Mobile Phone Compromise your Sperm Count?

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What's the point of earwax? Does WiFi damage the brain? Can a mobile phone in a trouser pocket dent a man's fertility? In this week's science Q and A show we also brush up on how they get the stripes in toothpaste, discover whether dropped food follows the 5 second rule and shed light on why some forms of EM radiation more damaging than others. Plus, news of a new microscopic MRI machine for molecules, how computer games can alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia and why what a woman eats, even before becoming pregnant, can have a lifelong genetic legacy for her offspring...

ZAP! Lasers on trial...

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A new liquid crystal laser that can dial-up any wavelength of light you need, a laser-powered projector technology that turns any surface into a touch-screen, and a laser that fires salvoes of X-rays to make light work of unlocking the molecular fabric of matter are the focus of this week's laser-led show. We also meet HECToR, one of the world's fastest computers that just got a tenfold power boost, and David Braben unveils the credit-card sized Raspberry Pi, the world's smallest home micro he's helped to invent...

Reclaiming Wasted Watts - Thermoelectric Generators

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Over two-thirds of the energy in the fuel you put into your car is wasted, most of it in the form of heat that exits along the exhaust pipe. The same is true of large-scale power stations, which are only 50% efficient at best. But now researchers are bringing 200 year old physics to bear against the problem by developing thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that can turn waste heat into useful electricity and this week we find out how. Plus, news that disguising cancer cells as Salmonella could hold the key to producing effective anti-cancer vaccines, why the Y chromosome boosts heart attack risk, and a new drug that can knock Alzheimer's on the head...

Do Diet Foods Make You Fat?

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Could diet foods be making you fatter? How do we learn to like the foods we eat? This week, we indulge in the science of appetite, diet and diabetes. We'll find out how our early experiences of food can alter our diets for life, and ask if low calorie alternatives to sweet and fatty foods can fool the brain into underestimating the energy content of the real thing. Also, how synthetic chemists are searching for compounds to monitor blood glucose and control diabetes. Plus, how regions of the brain can "catch" Alzheimer's from each other, we discover a new microscopy technique that can open a window on the brain in action, and talk to the Australian ecologist who thinks more introduced species, including elephants, could stabilise the Aussie ecosystem.

Are any viruses good for you?

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Has all the air in the world been breathed before? Are any viruses beneficial to health? Can naked farts transmit diseases? You set the agenda in this Naked Scientists Question and Answer show in which we also discover how Inuit cope without fruit and veg, whether muscles can become cancerous and how long before we can teleport to work. Plus, reproducing Alzheimer's disease in a dish, self-distilling vodka, magnetic soap to cleanse the parts other soaps can't reach, and what magic mushrooms do to the brain...

Vitamin D: Shedding light on diabetes, MS and cancer

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Could a ray of sunshine hold the key to preventing MS, diabetes and even bowel cancer? Vitamin D - made naturally in skin exposed to strong sunlight - appears to reduce the risk of developing these, and a rash of other diseases. We examine the evidence to find out why as well as hearing how seaweed looks set to ignite a biofuel boom in the future, why a good night's sleep might make traumatic memories worse and how scientists have made multicellular life in the lab in just 60 days...

Mind Meets Machine

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Where do you stand on becoming part person, part machine? This week we hook up with three pioneers in the field of cybernetics including walking cyborg Kevin Warwick, who volunteered his own nervous system to test out a new way to connect up with the machine world, Markus Groppe, who is trialling an implantable chip to restore vision to the blind, and Andrew Schwartz who's developing neural interfaces to couple the brain's motor circuits to a robot. Plus, news of an H5N1 'flu furore as scientists create the most dangerous virus imaginable, and a voyage to the deepest subsea vents ever discovered...

What's Inside Your Nappy?

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Do stars form outside galaxies? What causes ringing in the ears? How fast does force propagate? Why do spectacles still work when worn backwards? Is the expanding universe tearing galaxies apart? And is any new water being created on Earth? Plus, news of the new satellite surveying the moon, the scientific way to sound out a Stradivarius and how a vaccine based on chimp viruses can protect against Hepatitis C. Plus, in kitchen science, Dave unpacks the contents of a nappy...

What Colour is a Dead Chameleon?

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Are candles environmentally unfriendly? Why does tinfoil touching a filling set my teeth on edge? What colour does a dead chameleon go? Does antiperspirant deodorant make you sweat more elsewhere? Could we tether the moon on a string to stop it escaping? And why is the fine spray in the shower so cold? To find out, join Chris, Dave, Dominic and Helen for this festive Christmas edition of the Naked Scientists, which also sees the team connecting an oven shelf to their heads and a musical Higgs Boson-inspired interlude from Professor Karmadillo...

Monitoring Moods with Mobiles

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Can new technologies probe human thoughts and feelings without us even realising? This week we talk to a researcher who's using mobile phones to tap into peoples' emotions to provide new insights into human behaviour and even spot the triggers that might be encouraging someone to smoke. Plus, how data mining and computer simulations can identify the patterns of behaviour that predate disasters so they can be predicted - and prevented - in future. And with the surge in online social media of the last 5 years, is statistics capable of keeping up when it comes to doing research using these resources? Meanwhile, in the news, we hear what causes cancer to spread, how ancient stone age man used bug-repellent bedding and how a Taxi driver's brain changes as he learns "the knowledge" of London's streets...

Underwater Archaeology and Underwater Welding

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How do archaeologists locate, conserve and recover historical treasures from old shipwrecks? What is erosion revealing on the foreshores of the River Thames? And how do you weld up an oil or gas pipeline one kilometre underwater? This week we're looking at the "appliance of science" beneath the waves as well as hearing how the ageing Voyager space probes have discovered the births of new stars in the Milky Way, how a gene therapy technique can block HIV infection and how a computer programme can spot to what extent a photo's been doctored. Plus, does heading a football cause brain damage?

Imaging the Invisible

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This week, how immune cells can be caught on camera as they exit blood vessels, a new design of lensless microscope and one that sees cells in 3D, how sound and heat can be used to find faults in materials and how something as small as an atom can be seen under an electron microscope. Plus, news that nerve transplants can correct metabolic disorders, the World's first fishhook, bionic contact lenses that project emails into your eyes, are statins safe and why are mirror reflections still blurry close up for the shortsighted...

Is Technology Altering Your Brain?

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Is modern technology changing your brain? How fast does flu fly? Can you build a lightsaber? Your questions are the stars on the Naked Scientists this week, as we discuss the implications of faster-than-light travel, the risks of skydiving through a thundercloud, and ask if dogs can sniff out cancer. Plus, we find out how the brain detects different diets, what happens when black holes collide, and in Kitchen Science, how a coin can make a balloon roar!

Flu Vaccines from Tobacco?

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In a show not to be sneezed at, we look at the evidence that coughs and sneezes are linked to heart attacks. We also probe the Flu Survey, a new citizen science initiative to gather data on the incidence of influenza-like illnesses in the European population; we talk to the company who are mass producing flu vaccines in tobacco plants and catch up with the Columbia University scientific adviser on Contagion, Hollywood's latest infectious offering. Plus, why babies don't tie their umbilical cords in knots and news of a new fat-busting injectible that selectively destroys adipose, evidence that only single strains of HIV are transmitted between partners and the discovery of two pristine primordial gas clouds produced by the Big Bang...

NCRI Cancer Conference

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This week Kat Arney joins us live from the National Cancer Research Institute's conference in Liverpool. We find out how mistakes in cell signalling can cause cancers and why DNA repair pathways offer targets to treat tumours. Also, we explore the latest developments in cancer imaging, including new techniques that allow us to track chemical reactions happening inside the body. In the news, why you need to remove genes to repair nerves, and how clearing out old cells can prevent diseases of old age!

Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy

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This week's podcast is live from the British Society for Gene Therapy (BSGT) conference in Brighton, UK. Some of the world's top gene and stem cell therapists explain how we can manipulate genes to treat a variety of disorders, from cystic fibrosis and haemophilia to cancer and blindness. We hear what life is like as a haemophiliac and answer your questions, including whether gene therapy can alter all the cells in our bodies and how scientists account for the ethics and side effects of this research. Plus, is a human moustache like a cat's whiskers? Find out in Question of the Week!

Why Is Ice Slippery?

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Can moonlight and a magnifying glass be used to start a fire? Why do bananas go brown and does it happen faster in the fridge or the fruitbowl? Why are ice and snow slippery? And how does flyspray work? Alongside your quality science questions in this week's Question and Answer science phone-in, we also hear how how space scientists have spotted a whole planet's worth of water in a nearby system, the surprising discovery that seaweed is making corals seasick, we serve up a digital delight with the kitchen that teaches you both to cook and speak French, and we find out why an antiviral a day could keep Alzheimer's at bay...

Plant Pests and Plant Pathology

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This week, Plant Pests and Plant Pathology - we find out what happens when plants get ill, how to understand and prevent the spread of plant disease, and how they can call up an insect army to defend them if they're attacked. We also find out why some horse chestnut trees are going brown before their time, and meet the pesky critter responsible! Plus, a new technique to cleanly edit out and correct errors in the DNA code, how the plague bacterium hasn't changed in 600 years, and why children, but not chimps, choose to work together.

Outpacing Petrol - Biofuels and Hydrogen

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This week, we're investigating alternatives to petrol. We'll board a biofuel powered bus to meet the plant scientists who are using algae to make biodiesel. We'll find out how to turn household waste into hydrogen, and meet the brains behind Bristol's first hydrogen powered passenger boat! Plus, the brain basis of boundless optimism, why a bacteria-busting chemical keeps injured arteries open, and a run down of this year's Nobel prizes!

Would a Siphon Work in Space?

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Could a Siphon be used in orbit? Why do leaves change colour in Autumn? How is immunity passed from mother to baby through breastfeeding? Why do earthquakes happen away from plate boundaries? How do microwaves heat up food? We storm through your questions this week as well finding out how Twitter can be used to monitor moods around the world, how carbon dioxide can be converted back into a fuel, how biomarkers hidden inside ECG's can predict the risk of a repeat heart attack and how glowing bacteria can send secret messages! Plus, in Kitchen Science, we make flames without fire by making iron burn...

Cheese Making and Cake Baking: The Chemistry of Cookery

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We've whipped up an appetising take on the science of food and cooking for you this week. With a main course of cookery in the kitchen served up by a cake-baking physicist followed by a microbiological look at the cheese board and then the bacterial basis of the Best Before Date for dessert, this three-course scientific combo is an absolute academic feast. Also on the menu this week, how scientists are using brain scanners to reconstruct the movies we see in the mind's eye and we ask whether Einstein was wrong as scientists report particles apparently moving faster-than-light...

Chilling Out - The Science of Cryogenics

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This week, we're chilling out in the world of cryogenics, the science of the super-cold. We'll find out what happens to living tissue when it freezes, and how we can use low temperatures to keep organs, and maybe even one day whole bodies, in suspended animation. We also talk to the company behind an attractive new design of super-efficient fridge that runs on magnetism. In the news we hear how computer gamers have contributed to a breakthrough in HIV, why humans are programmed for overconfidence, and how the nervous system controls the immune system. Plus, we ask, is modern medicine altering the human gene pool?

Supercomputers & Super Computing

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This week, we seek the science of supercomputers! We find out how they work, and how they can answer some of the biggest questions in science. We also hear about the World Community Grid, which offers scientists computer time donated by volunteers worldwide. In the news we hear how computer aided design can help breast restoration, why special stem cells with just one set of chromosomes can aid geneticists, and how Earth's precious gold may have come from outer space. Plus, we explore the workings of the humble calculator in Question of the Week!

Australopithecus Sediba Special

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Reader in evolution at Wits University, Lee Berger, made a life-changing discovery when he uncovered the remains of a new species of hominid, Australopithecus sediba, in South Africa. Here, Chris Smith gets to meet the newest addition to the human family tree...

Why do some animals dump indiscriminately?

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Why do some animals poo wherever the fancy takes them, whilst others are more fussy about the locations of their lavatory actions? What triggers pins and needles? How do some fish survive in both fresh and saltwater? And how are new nerve cells born in the adult brain? We burn through your best science questions this week as well as taking a look at Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, and hearing how a computer model of a heart can revolutionise cardiac drug design and reviewing the evidence that bacteria were already antibiotic resistant over 30,000 years ago...

Science in Scotland

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This week, Chris explores some of the cutting edge research taking place in Aberdeen. We meet a scientist making new cannabis-like chemicals that lack the side effects of the real thing, talk to a man exploring the deepest part of the Pacific - 7 miles down - to find out what's living there. Plus, thalidomide - 50 years on. Scientists now know why it had the damaging effects it did on unborn babies, but can they make a safe form of the agent so it can be used to treat cancers, leprosy and HIV?

Do planes trigger rains?

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The rain in Spain falls mainly on the "plane". Or so the saying goes, but new research has confirmed that aeroplanes do cause clouds to dump their contents prematurely, often around airports, and in this week's show we explore this weather-altering effect of aviation. We also ask industry leader Rolls-Royce to explain how a jet engine works and how their designers have cut noise pollution from planes by over 99% since 1960. In the news, we hear how scientists are forecasting more accurate space weather predictions thanks to a new way to spot sunspots before they even erupt, a new study finds a host of new uses for old drugs, an artificial chromosome looks set to remedy muscular dystrophy and chemists discover diamonds being made in the flame of a candle...

Chemistry By Design

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Are designer molecules poised to take us into a new chemical dimension? This week, we explore how, long before the bunsen burner gets lit, computer aided chemistry can enable us to create in silico imaginary new molecules, reactions and designer catalysts. We also delve into how chemicals are manufactured on a massive scale with a visit to a plant making zeolites. And in the news, how hydrogen-metabolising bugs can supercharge deep-sea mussels, how reprogrammed immune system cells can hunt-down cancer, and nature's stock exchange - how plants and fungi develop a subsoil free-market economy to trade resources.

Do bubbles help washing up?

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Do bubbles help or hinder when doing the dishes? Can we find evidence of material from Earth on the Moon? Can camera lenses cause fires? And is fluoride in drinking water safe? In this Question and Answer show, we tackle your science queries, finding out if higher air pressure means louder sounds and if plants from cuttings remain genetically identical over centuries. Plus, launching Lego men to Jupiter, making brain cells from skin cells, and how vampire bats home in on hot blood...

The Year in Ocean Science

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This week, we take a dive beneath the waves to look back at the last year in Ocean science. We call in on deep sea microbes, spawning corals and even a seahorse surgery. Plus we hear how the Census of Marine Life all got started and find out about some very strange creatures with sex organs on their heads...

The Year in Astronomy

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This week, we look back over the last few months of space science. We'll hear how scientists search for planets in the glare of their parent star, why a simulated mission to Mars will help us to understand how astronauts will cope with isolation, and the challenges of communicating astronomy on television. Plus, what our solar system looks like to a distant observer, and how antique globes tell the story of our understanding.

Digging up the Year in Archaeology

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This week we take a look back at a year's-worth of Naked Archaeology including a dig through some Pomepiian poo for clues about the Pompeiian lifestyle, the art of spear throwing with an atlatl and exposing the most recent neanderthals of the Caucasus. Plus we identify alien donkeys and learn how to make history from prehistory!

Bouncing Bombs and Blacksmiths

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This week, we bring you the best bits of technology from the world of engineering including a guiding light into the workings of a retroreflector, the dual life of bi-stable structures, and a new way to harness energy from our rivers. Plus, we unearth the workings of a copper mine, discover how Barnes Wallis designed his famous bouncing bomb and bring you an atomic insight into the art of metalworking!

Pushing Back the Pain Barrier

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This week, we explore the problem of persistent pain. We find out how chronic pain is currently treated, and look to our DNA for the genetic clues that could lead to future painkillers. In the news, a new TB vaccination that stands out on it's own, how babies make sense of broken toys, and why flying in a flock may be exhausting for pigeons. Plus, in Question of the Week, Diana asks why we have a spare copy of some organs.

Coal Gasification and Carbon Capture

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This week, we find out how to get useful gas from useless coal, and make money from waste carbon dioxide! Underground coal gasification could allow us to access huge amounts of energy in inaccessible coal seams. We find out how it works as well as exploring a new method for capturing waste carbon and turning it into useful chemicals. In the news, dinosaurs inspire new designs for aircraft, spotting a star being ripped apart by a black hole, and the South African bid for the world's biggest radio telescope. Plus, Diana asks what the point is of "junk" DNA?

Passengers in a Bacterial Body

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The good side of microbes goes under the microscope this week as we explore how the 100 trillion bacteria that thrive on us and in us, and even outnumber our own cells ten times over, work with the body to maintain good health. We also hear from the Nobel prizewinner who's turning the stomach bug Helicobacter pylori into an edible vaccine against the flu and how to build better bioreactors to culture them in! Plus, how trees cause clouds to form, more evidence that the building blocks of life came from outer space, how nicotine keeps smokers thin and built-in cardiac stem cells that can mend a broken heart...

Do My Eyes have Anti-Shake Vision?

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What would we see at the edge of the universe? Are there long term health effects of eating spicy food? Why doesn't diesel need a spark to ignite? It's another Naked Scientists science question and answer show, where we take on your questions! Find out how a volcano makes Mars wobbly, why birds' lungs are more efficient than mammalian lungs and how a single speaker can make so many sounds at once. Plus, an outbreak of a new and lethal strain of E.coli and why increasing ocean acidification may be deafening fish.

Metallurgy - Metals at the Molecular Scale

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What happens when a blacksmith meets a metallurgist? This week we explore what's happening at the molecular scale when the smithy works a piece of iron, we meet the superalloys that survive temperatures way above their melting points inside jet engines, and at the Rolls Royce precision casting facility we discover how precision plane engine parts can be cast from a single metal crystal. Also, in the news this week, how the blind brain has a built-in sonar, an attractive new magnetic material turned on by a current, and a new technique to detect troublespots brewing inside arteries. Plus, Kitchen Metallurgy - an experiment to show how you can manipulate metal molecules for yourself!

Scratch 'n Sneeze - Science of Allergies

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This week's Naked Scientists is not to be sneezed at - we're looking at the science of allergies! We explore what happens to cause your body to overreact to harmless things, and find out how potentially fatal peanut allergy can be cured. Plus, how a dose of parasites could keep allergies at bay, and how special filters can engineer a breath of extremely fresh air!

Wet But Not Wild - Farming Fish

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We cast our nets wide this week to catch the science of aquaculture or fish farming! We'll find out how farming marine life can reduce reliance on disappearing wild stocks, and explore the effect on the local environment. Also, how recycled fish poo and waste water can help repair damaged wetlands, and in Naked Engineering we find out how robotic fish can keep tabs on pollution in ports.

Should I Lie Down to Tan?

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Is standing or reclining best for the perfect suntan? Can we see atoms? Why add pennies to Big Ben's pendulum? It's a question and answer show so we shoulder your scientific conundra! We'll find out how web companies keep up with growing data demands, what causes white ridges on fingernails, and why a clean glass keeps cola fizzier. Plus, in Kitchen Science, we find out how to balance a broom whilst blindfolded!

Brains, Batteries and Nuclear Fusion

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Computers that can lip-read, a robot that follows your brain waves, prosthetic arms controlled by thinking about fingers that have been amputated, the future of nuclear fusion, Bandaids for batteries, why oral cancer rates are up 200% on 20 years ago and a brain stimulator for obsessive compulsive disorder. While the team take a well-earned Easter break, join Dr Chris for a look at the latest science from the AAAS in Washington DC.

Diamond Light Source Special

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For Easter this week, we explore how synchrotron radiation can be used to probe and find answers to a variety of scientific questions as we bring you a special programme of highlights from the Diamond Light Source podcast. We hear how changes to key proteins can cause hypertension and pre-eclampsia, how green rust could provide a greener future and discover a new type of magnetic material which could make data storage faster, cheaper and more compact. Plus, we explore a new form of solar cell which could make solar energy more affordable in the future.

DNA-away Disease: Gene Therapy at Work

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Two pioneers in the field of gene therapy join us to discuss how they're developing modified viruses to deliver healthy copies of genes to save patients afflicted by lethal genetic diseases. We also hear how energy can be harvested from footsteps and heartbeats to power nanodevices, and how a new SWARM of satellites is about to be deployed to study the Earth's magnetic field from space. Plus, in the news, how "ums" and "ahs" can boost a baby's learning power, how mankind talked his way out of Africa and how scientists are recreating schizophrenia in a Petri dish...

Are Dogs Ticklish?

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Do dogs get ticklish? What wakes up mosquitoes at meal times? Do animals use weapons? In this fast-paced Question and Answer show we also focus on the nuclear threat from Fukushima and hear how gut bugs raise the risk of heart disease, why flaps for wind turbines have got engineers in a spin, and why tidiness stops stereotyping. Plus, how to make a balloon fireproof and what causes dark circles under the eyes when we get tired...

Keeping the Conversation Flowing

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This week, we go wireless to explore the science of mobile phones. We hear how new error-correction techniques are promising to put an end to poor quality communications, we meet a new system that lets you borrow the antennae of other nearby phones to boost your data download rates, and a major study that's examining the potential health impacts associated with mobile phone use. Plus, in the news, the now not-so-anomalous Pioneer probe anomaly, the chemical cure that can flatten phobias and how a biased worm could overturn an election victory...

Life Where the Sun Don't Shine...

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Life in inaccessible places - including in caves sealed off from the Sun and around deep-sea vents - is the subject of this week's Naked Scientists. In these intriguing environments, bacteria replace plants as the primary producers, extracting energy from the minerals around them to sustain a whole ecosystem. We also hear about the bone-eating worms that make a meal of whale carcasses that fall to the seafloor, an engineering trick for separating mined-metals from mud and, in the news, why the world's waves are getting bigger, how sperm can be grown in a dish and a gene that drives melanoma. Plus, the answer to the question where on Earth would you weigh the most...?

Beyond the Universe - Multiverses and More

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This week, we find out what lies beyond the limits of our Universe as we discuss multiverses, higher dimensions, string theory and supersymmetry. We find out how these ideas develop from basic principles and how the LHC can help to confirm, or refute, their existence. In the news, how quartz creates mountain ranges, progesterone excites sperm, and why birds can't help but fly into things. Plus, Meera and Dave find out how to engineer electrons to travel close to the speed of light, and Simon Singh explains how to discover the distance to a far away star.

Why did a Laser Make My Nuts Glow?

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Can you electrocute weeds? Why do teeth go wobbly? And which cells last a lifetime? In this bumper edition of the Naked Scientists, we tackle your pressing science questions and find out how the shuttle manoeuvres in space, what makes wounds itch, whether reverse osmosis can make moonshine and if static can stick a cat to a wall. Plus, how diamonds deal death to tumours, cooperation in the elephant world and an update on the Japanese earthquake situation. We also hear how a hairy leg can help you bend water to your will, and Diana discovers why potato peelers never need sharpening!

Aspirin's Anniversary

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From anti-ague to anti-Alzheimer's agent: over the 112 years since it was first trademarked, Aspirin has evolved from popular painkiller to powerful preventative against heart attacks, strokes and even cancer. In this week's show we trace its history from the extraction of aspirin-like chemicals from willow bark to the creation of the drug itself. Plus, in the news, how the chemistry of life could have come to Earth in a meteorite and why we need to be careful with stem cells: a new study finds they have an above-average mutation rate. Also, a new technique to etch graphene sheets with single-atom precision, an insight into how our drugs are made and how painkillers hit pain where it hurts...

Boosting Your Bones

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Just the bare bones this week as we find out how exercise strengthens the skeleton and how new scanning techniques can help to pick up osteoporosis earlier and inform its management. We also try out a new gadget for measuring the force muscles can apply and, in the news, discover what a self-healing tumour can tell us about common cancers, evidence that mammalian hearts can repair themselves and a new laser-based tool for diagnosing melanoma. Plus, how the bones of people who died up to a hundred years ago are helping scientists to combat chronic back pain by building a computer model of the backbone...

Checking the Atmosphere and Changing the Climate

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We look to the skies in this week's Naked Scientists show, to uncover ways to monitor and change the chemistry of the atmosphere. We join researchers on board an air-sampling aeroplane to discover how atmospheric chemistry changes once the sun sets, and we discuss options for engineering the climate if things get too hot. In the news, the Ecuadorian population that may hold the genetic key to a disease-free life, and the rocks that move themselves around in Death Valley. Plus, a targeted muscle re-innervation strategy to afford amputees more powerful prosthetic control.

What Makes Mucus Green?

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How do magnets multiply? What keeps an aeroplane in the air? How do wild animals avoid incest? It's open season on science questions in this week's Naked Scientists. We'll find out if oil extraction leaves a cavity, can cranberry juice cut urine infection rates and what happens when two lightning bolts collide? In the news, evidence of bipedalism in an early human ancestor, how oily fish helps avoid common causes of blindness and how smartphones are taking the pain out of cardiac rehabilitation. Plus, in Kitchen Science, the unexpected physics of a flying balloon.

Low Energy, High-Power Processing

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This week we're getting inside the workings of the next generation of chips that are set to pack a bigger computing-punch but at a fraction of the energy-expenditure of todays' models: CTO Mike Muller joins us to explain the revolutionary technology that leading microprocessor-maker ARM is developing. Also, energy-efficient world-wide computing - we find out how distributing data-processing demands around the planet can turn waste energy into useful computations, simultaneously saving CO2 emissions, and in the news this week, a new malarial mosquito threat, rejection-free artificial blood vessels and the electric cap that helps users solve maths puzzle they previously found impossible.

Leprosy: The Low Down

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Leprosy goes under the microscope this week as we uncover the origins of one of the oldest known human diseases, recognised this week on World Leprosy Day. A quarter of a million new cases are diagnosed every year, but how is the illness spreading, what damage does it do to the body and can it be stopped? We also hear what archaeologists are unearthing about the history of leprosy and where it came from in the first place. Plus, why it's time to rethink the workings of the circadian clock, brain scans for bilingualism, cow-stomach bacterial genes for biofuels, and the engineering that lies behind the cat's eye...

Analysing Antimatter

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We're analysing the matter of antimatter this week to find out what is antimatter, how is it made and why's it so rare in the Universe? We talk to researchers at CERN who are capturing anti-hydrogen so scientists can study it properly for the first time, and Dave and Meera call in to the hospital to hear how antimatter holds the key to better body scans. Diana discovers how gravity bends a beam of light and there's also news of a novel way to neutralise HIV, researchers uncover how brains gauge the passage of time, and agriculture on the microscale: scientists have found the world's smallest farmers, they're just one cell wide...

Do Metal Spinal Implants Lure Lightning?

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Does a metal implant turn a person into a living lightning-conductor or radio receiver, is eye-size important, why is frost bad for freezers, where did the first organic molecules come from, what happens to sparkling drinks in space and why does a bump on the head make you see stars? This week, join Chris, Sarah and Dave as they pit their wits against the latest crop of your top questions. Plus, why making new computer chips looks set to become easy PC, how stem cells can get to the heart of Long QT Syndrome, feeding the world in 2050 and a new musical device to keep the drummer in the driving seat...

Would you donate your body to science?

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We're discussing human dissection in this week's Naked Scientists. Chris visits the dissection room to find out how trainee doctors benefit from dissecting real bodies, and why many medical schools are increasingly turning to alternatives. We're joined by physician and film maker Paul Trotman, who followed the lives, and beyond, of three donors to explore the reasons why people choose to donate their bodies, and the impact the process had on the student's lives. In Naked Engineering, we find out how a design that copies the body's own structure and movements can make better artificial limbs. Plus, how womens' tears can manipulate mens' moods, the perfect melody to send shivers up your spine and the headphones which can cancel out the sound of the dentist's drill.

National Pathology Week 2010

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In this special podcast we focus on the highlights of this year's National Pathology Week. We'll be going behind closed doors for a tour of the pathology labs at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and we'll explore the role of veterinary pathologists in diagnosing and treating animal disease.

Back in the Saddle: Getting Paralysed Patients Riding and Rowing

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In this special episode of the Naked Scientists podcast, we explore the world of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), a technology allowing people paralysed from the waist down to row and cycle by using external electrodes to stimulate leg muscles. Michele Vanoncini investigates how it works, what benefits it can bring and talks to some of the people who have used the technique to go for gold...

Blowing out Candles Round Corners

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In this festive episode, can you get drunk through your feet, the chemistry of cocktails, twelve marine critters of Christmas, the best food and drink combos to eschew indigestion, does a carbon fibre bike go faster, why are snowflakes different shapes and a way to impress your peers at the office party by blowing out candles round corners...

Why's Graphene Great?

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Graphene is the focus of this week's Naked Scientists, including how it holds the key to the super-flexible touch screen displays of tomorrow, super-light composites and the next generation of computer chips. In the news, a breakthrough in understanding Alzheimer's Disease, why glider pilots should be paying more attention to how falcons fly and why a new exoplanet has led astronomers to question current theories of planetary formation. Plus, we celebrate the first chunk of cheese to make it into orbit and ask if there's any evidence of a health benefit from wearing magnetic bracelets...

Electrifying the Future

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Current breakthroughs in electricity generation and distribution go under the spotlight in this week's sizzling edition of the Naked Scientists. We talk to the team with the electrical equivalent of cold-storage that can put power "on ice" until it's needed, and we hear how bright sparks in the UK are leading the charge to roll out "energy kiosks" to empower rural communities in Africa. We also check out a new form of small-scale turbine to extract power from rivers whilst minimising the environmental impact. In the news, why young people are more likely to fall victim to the flu, how a dose of worms controlled a man's inflammatory bowel disease and why the discovery of arsenic-loving bacteria is forcing us to rethink the chemistry of life. Plus, in Question of the Week, Diana gets to the bottom of whether it's possible to drink through your rectum...

Why do Men's Bits Shrink in the Cold?

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How heavy is the Earth? How do snakes digest huge meals? Should I fear falling bullets? We take on these questions and more in this Naked Scientists Question and Answer show! We'll discuss the ideal hair for head lice, the mechanics of using a straw and why men's bits shrink in the cold! In the news we explore the link between jetlag and forgetfulness, discover a moon with an oxygen atmosphere, and a new technique to tell someones age by their blood. Plus, in Kitchen Science we find out why a full carton is much harder to shake.

Smart Pills: Drugs to Boost Brain Power

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IQ-elevating agents that can boost brain power are being used by over 10% of university students. But how do these cognitive-equivalents of anabolic steroids for the brain actually work, what are their effects and are they safe? Moreover, is the advantage they confer an ethical one? And if not, should universities be screening students ahead of exams to deter their use? Meanwhile, in the news this week, we find out how lasers can cut complications in cataract surgery, why some people are allergic to wine, we hook up with the highlights from the world's biggest neuroscience meeting including the discovery of how the eye talks to the brain, and we hear how scientists have solved a long-standing mystery relating the structure of the placenta...

The Science of Sustainable Shipping

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We set sail to discover the science of sustainable shipping in this week's Naked Scientists. We visit an enormous wave tank to find out how the sea swell can impact on damaged ships, and look at the problems caused by sulphur-rich shipping fuel. Plus, we hoist the SkySail, an enormous parafoil kite that can be deployed from the deck of a ship to cut fuel consumption by up to 60%. In the news we hear how happiness can be found here and now, why children tire so quickly when walking and how Earth became oxygenated 400,000 years earlier than we thought. Also, we investigate the elegant physics of a lapping cat!

Cancer - Hallmarks and Hit and Run Viruses

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We catch up with cancer research this week including evidence that cancers subvert stem cells to suppress the immune system and how covert "hit and run" viral infections may be triggering a lot more tumours than we first thought. Also, joining us from the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool, cancer biologist Bob Weinberg explains how he sees cancer becoming a controllable chronic condition within just ten years. Plus, the buzz around a new tumour-spotting ultrasound technique, how a burst of electricity to the brain boosts mathematical ability, a new trick to block the brain damage done during a stroke and how bacteria store the genetic fingerprints of past viral adversaries to protect themselves in the future.

Where does Phlegm come from?

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It's National Pathology Week 2010 and to celebrate the launch we're joined by pathologist Dr Suzy Lishman to take on your science questions! We'll find out where phlegm comes from, how petroleum jelly helps healing and the weight of red blood cells synthesised in a human lifetime. Also, can you concentrate lasers with lenses, why does an open carport stop frost, and if carnivorous plants photosynthesise, why do they need to eat insects? Plus, how researchers in Scotland are sniffing out pollution with such sensitivity, they can detect forest fires all the way from Canada! In Kitchen Science, Dave reads his credit card using rust!

AIDS to conquering HIV

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The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) goes under the microscope this week. We find out how the virus hijacks cells to construct new HIV particles and hear how close scientists are to developing a vaccine to block infection. In the news, we learn how bitter taste receptors in the lungs could lead to new asthma treatments, how our ancestors enjoyed some veg with their meat and how gene therapy could offer a way out of depression. Plus, how Lego is helping university students build a creative career in the world of engineering...

The Science of Turbulence

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It's a bumpy ride on this week's Naked Scientists, as we explore the science of turbulence. We'll find out what turbulence is and why it needs some of the most powerful computers in the world to study it. We'll discover how puffs of water can terminate turbulence in tubes, and how convection keeps the temperature just right in new buildings. In the news this week, we hear about a potential new super-vaccine for TB, the comet that turned into an asteroid and the prospect of new low-cost gold-free leads for your hi fi. Plus, in Question of the Week, we find out why some people prefer not to be backwards in travelling forwards...

Neuromarketing - The Brain Basis of Buying Behaviour

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How do advertisers get inside your head? This week we explore the field of neuromarketing - how a knowledge of your brain and behaviour can help marketers to manipulate your buying habits. We'll find out how the brain choses what stimuli to pay attention to and the neurological basis of why celebrity sells. In the news, the first Census of Marine Life and how researchers have got wind of the fact that men really are sweatier than women. Plus, we hit the shops to investigate how retailers trick you into overfilling your basket!

Would an Antimatter Magnet Attract a Normal Matter Magnet?

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Why do you see flashes and patterns when you press your eyeballs? Would an antimatter magnet attract normal matter magnets? What is the hardest human bone to break? We take on your science questions this week, as well as explore the bed of Lake Windermere the gravity hills of Barbados and the first discovered habitable exoplanet. Plus, a flapless aircraft takes flight, how the brain decides which hands to use and why Raman spectroscopy offers a rum deal for anti-drug squads. In Kitchen Science, we find out why spit can form strings of beads...

Neuroimaging

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This week we delve deep into the secrets of the brain. We'll find out how MRIs could be used to read your mind, and how they could help unlock what is going on in the brain of a person suffering from delusions or hallucinations. In the news we'll hear that the process of nerve repair could offer clues to cancer spread, and how it was gorillas that originally gave us malaria. Plus in Naked Engineering, Dave and Meera explore the amazing world of superconductors...

The British Science Festival

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We explore the history of Pi, examine rheumatoid arthritis and seek the science of sleep in this roundup of the British Science Festival. In the news, we hear how to read the history of the solar system on the surface of the moon, and discover a development in quantum computing. Plus, we launch Naked Engineering, stripping off the image of dirty overalls to discover how engineers solve real-world problems. Diana asks if olive oil is healthier than butter in our Question of the Week.

What Happens to a Tankful of Fish in Orbit?

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Why are there two high tides a day when there's only one moon? Would a planet made of glass be transparent? Does dreaming about exercise burn more calories? And what would happen to a tankful of fish launched into Earth's orbit? To find out, and to hear how the solar cells of the future can keep themselves clean, how researchers have uncovered a new way to combat cancer and how astronomers have spotted showers of meteors hitting Jupiter, join Drs Chris, Dominic and Dave as they blast off into a new series of the Naked Scientists in pursuit of the ultimate answers to your wildest and wackiest questions...

Science Down Under 2010

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This week, we go back down under to explore the latest science from the land of kangaroos, bandicoots and the world's largest radio telescope - the square kilometer array. Chris goes on a tour of the universe from the comfort of the SciTech Planetarium, meets Nobel Prize-winning scientist Barry Marshall and the fluffy marsupials under protection at Project Eden. We find out why Australia is the perfect place to look further in to space than ever before, witness the battles between bee sperm and examine how tempting sharks with the scent of food can change their behaviour.

Diving into Naked Oceans!

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To celebrate the launch of the brand new Naked Oceans podcast, we venture beneath the waves to investigate the impacts of oil spills on the marine environment. We hunt down the hidden world of microbes in the Louisiana wetlands, trace the fingerprint of oil in the open oceans, and discuss the likely fallout from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We'll also be exploring the effects of a changing climate on marine habitats, finding out what warmer water means for life at the poles and meeting some of Antarctica's unique marine wildlife. Plus, Carl Safina, President of Blue Ocean Institute explains why he would like to be a Bluefin Tuna!

Digging in the Dirt and Looking at the Stars

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This week, we've got a roundup of recent news and interviews from the Naked Astronomy and Naked Archaeology Podcasts. Digging into Archaeology, Diana O'Carroll will be looking into Bronze Age burial practices, meeting some of our oldest known walking ancestors and finding out how past human migrations are written in our genes. while Looking to the stars, Ben Valsler explores the challenges of building extremely large telescopes, finds out how rubic's cube size satellites can help test new technology and consults a team of experts to answer your questions on dark matter, planets and spacecraft propulsion.

The Tour de France

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The Tour de France is the subject of this week's summer special as we look into the science and engineering of professional road bikes, training the human physique to endure thousands of kilometres on the saddle and eating the right food to keep you on the road. We also go out along some of the stages of the tour, meet a professional sprinter, find out why fans travel thousands of miles to see their cycling heroes in action and meet the doctors, mechanics, and organisers that turn the Tour de France into the well oiled machine that it is!

The Science of Glastonbury

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In this Special edition of the Naked Scientists, we explore the science of the Glastonbury Festival. We find out what it takes to turn a farm into a city and back every year, and how to keep clean water flowing in, and waste flowing out, for nearly 200,000 revellers. We examine the scientific issues being discussed at the festival by groups like Greenpeace and Water Aid, and ask Baba Brinkman, Paloma Faith, Josie Long and Robin Ince if scientific discussion can find a home at a festival of performing arts.

How do Ants Count?

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How do we know that ants count their footsteps? We'll find out in this Naked Scientists Question and Answer show, as well as ask if rubber soles really protect you from electric shocks, if hair will clean itself when you don't, and why a layer of shaving foam stops the mirror from steaming up. Also, the spores that fly on smoke rings, new ways to capture carbon, pain free vaccine patches and the vaginal gel that could block HIV transmission. Plus, Meera investigates vintage computers and in Kitchen Science, Dave discovers how popping candy gets it's pop!

Going Nuclear

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We go nuclear this week to investigate the future of atomic energy, the issues surrounding nuclear waste management and how a proposed new breed of hybrid fission-fusion reactors might help to boost nuclear fuel efficiency and minimise radioactive waste. Also, following the 65th anniversary of the first nuclear bomb test, we hear how the accidental wilderness created where "the Gadget" was detonated is now a flourishing example of biodiversity. In Kitchen Science we build a home-made radiation-detector and we get to the bottom of why humans kiss. Plus, news of malaria-proof mosquitoes, turning hostile bacteria into safe vaccines and scientific scrutiny of high-heel-induced foot discomfort!

Lasers in Medicine

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The role of lasers in biomedicine goes under the spotlight this week as we explore the workings of photodynamic cancer therapy, find out how laser tweezers can be used to force-feed bugs to white blood cells and hear how a new technique uses laser-powered DNA nanoswitches to spot specific genes. Also, why the proton just got smaller, prompting a reevaluation of some trusted laws of physics, how antidepressants in seawater can make shrimps swim towards danger and a novel mechanism for natural selection - beneficial bacteria! Plus, in Kitchen Science, what the patterns produced by laser light shining through a substance can reveal about its structure.

How do you Weigh a Volcano?

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We explore the explosive science of volcanoes this week! We find out what you can learn from drilling into a restless volcano, how gravity is used to "weigh" volcanoes and watch them fill with magma, and we explore the theories behind volcano formation. Plus, we hear about the genes that could mean you'll live to be 100, fossil evidence of the earliest multi-cellular organism and the signs that Sabre-toothed tigers packed a mighty punch, as well as a big bite. In Kitchen Science, we get messy with a cola and wallpaper paste eruption!

What's the point of eyebrows?

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Why do we have eyebrows? Can we taste food if we can't smell it? What's a cold sore? This week, we take on your science questions, as well as explore the world of social gaming, and find out how much it costs to fly an England flag from your car. We'll be asking if altitude affects how a football flies, if a large enough fan could propel a spacecraft and how spiders spin webs from one tree to the next. Plus, why size matters in bird beaks, how plant roots cope with competition and building lungs in the lab!

Seriously Small Structures

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Seriously small structures are the focus of this week's Naked Scientists, as we look at nanostructures and their role in future energy technologies. We'll find out how nanostructures could enable us to safely store and quickly access hydrogen fuel, and to get the best from our batteries. Also, catching swine flu in the act of mutating, why females are more likely to suffer the effects of stress and weaving bomb proof curtains that expand when they're stretched. Plus, in kitchen science, we find out why soap bubbles create such beautiful colours.

50 years of Lasers

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We celebrate 50 years of Lasers on the Naked Scientists this week, by looking into the history, and future, of laser science. We'll hear how lasers have revolutionised manufacturing and could be the answer to our clean energy concerns. Also, how lasers make the most accurate measurements for high precision industries, and how laser tweezers can be used to manipulate things smaller than a red blood cell, and make tiny tools. In Kitchen Science, Dave launches his bid for world domination by building a home-made laser! Plus, how sharks sniff out a snack, the technology that keeps world cup matches safe and accessible, and how the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will affect Louisiana's wetlands.

Creatures in Colonies

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The science of social species goes under the microscope this week. We hear what radio-tagging individual ants is revealing about the way they organise their nests to decide who goes hunting and who stays at home. Meera explores the growth of urban apiculture, including why city-made honey tastes superior to its countryside equivalent, we find out how bees encountering hostility use a stop signal to deter their fellow foragers from befalling the same fate, and in Kitchen Science we explore the physics of flight to see how bees stay airborne. Plus why not cleaning your teeth could cause a heart attack, how early humans eschewed vegetarianism, mongooses that teach each other nut-cracking tricks and how to give a reef a coral transplant!

Do Bacteria Grow on Bars of Soap?

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In this Naked Scientists Question and Answer show, we find out if bacteria will grow on a bar of soap, why bird poo is white and whether or not a moon can have its own moon. Also, do sweeteners alter your metabolism and can we re-stock the oceans with farmed fish? Plus, we explore the oily threat to Bluefin Tuna, a newly discovered way that blood vessels in the brain clear a blockage, how channels on Mars reveal secrets about the Martian climate, and why shape is essential for H. plyori - a gut bug associated with ulcers and cancer. In Kitchen Science, Ben and Dave recreate a classic experiment to show that flames are hollow!

Transmissible Tumours

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Cancers you can catch go under the Naked Scientists microscope this week. We find out how a transmissible facial tumour is devastating devil populations in Tasmania and also hear how the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes cancer. Also, Meera looks into the science of cervical screening, and Ben and Dave reveal how carrots can help us to spot cancer cells. Plus, biofuel hope from the burning bush plant, the battle between Staphylococcus species, and the introduction of Synthia - the first microbe with a genuinely synthetic genome.

Synthetic Biology

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We explore synthetic biology in this Naked Scientists Show, finding out how to learn from, and improve on, the structures and systems we find in nature. We'll meet the team of students who designed a biological sensor to win the international genetically engineered machine competition, or iGEM, and find out how to build bespoke proteins. In Kitchen Science, we feed an egg to some enzymes to find out how biological washing powder works. Plus, what the brain does when it sees a familiar face, genetically modified crops boost resistant bug numbers, how to create hair cells, essential for hearing, in the lab and how Tibetans living the high life have different genes to their lowland neighbours!

Does Beer Kill Brain Cells?

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Is there a cure for spots? Why do we cry? Does alcohol really kill brain cells? It's a Question and Answer Extravaganza on this week's Naked Scientists! We find out what makes a Chameleon change colour, why birds fly into windows and how a hair can change colour along it's length. Also, witnessing the birth of stars, the Neanderthal genome and how washing your hands can change the way you think. Plus, Meera dabbles with green gadgets and smell-free toilets in the home of the future, and Dave shows you how to build a hovercraft in Kitchen Science.

GPS - Where in the World Are We?

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Where in the world am I? We're looking at the science of the Global Positioning System, or GPS, this week. We find out how satellites can tell you your location, as well as communicate with the bossy little box that tells you which way to drive. We discover the potential for "spoofing" GPS with a false location, and how this might be the future of cyber-terrorism as well as explore the cosmic reference frame that the satellites themselves rely on. In Kitchen Science, we get back to basics and locate ourselves using a map and compass! Plus, the first amphibian genome helps to fill the vertebrate family tree, we meet the colourful fish that shine a light on evolution and find out how a technique developed to study eye disease can help find art forgeries.

Archaeogenetics - The Past in Our Genes

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We explore the marriage of archaeology and genetics in this week's Naked Scientists, finding out how modern genetic techniques are helping to reveal more about our past. We ask what archaeogenetics can tell us about human origins and migration as well as the diseases that evolved alongside us. We explore the genome of a 4000 year old man, which tells us he had dry earwax! Also, new data that could help to predict the Asian monsoon, why dreams help you to remember and how it feels to be a pill - after you've been swallowed. Plus, why many of us might have a little bit of Neanderthal in our genes!

The National Astronomy Meeting

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We bring you the highlights from the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting. We discover the top priorities for the next generation of space exploration, find out what the echoes of the big bang can tell us about the birth of the universe and explore gravitational waves - ripples in the very fabric of space and time. Plus, the importance of understanding the Sun, predicting the weather in space and the biochemical options for alien life.

What do worms do in the rain?

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We take on your science questions - If there's something that's been puzzling you, on any scientific topic - get them in now!

Can you Steer a Hurricane...?

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Can you steer a hurricane? In this week's weather-focused Naked Scientists, we find out how aeroplanes are creating clouds, get the low-down on how insurance companies size up storm risks and hear how a hurricane works and whether it's possible to control its course. Also, news of how the Asian monsoon sends pollutants skyward, the world's smallest desalination system, why swine flu spared the older generation and where your coronary arteries came from. Plus, in a weather-related Kitchen Science, we explore the workings of a rainbow.

The Science of Farming

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We dig into the science of farming this week with a look at how agriculture can adapt to a changing climate, how scientists are striving to produce a perfect pea and a new initiative to turn native African fruit trees into the next commercial blockbusters. In Kitchen Science we use chromatography to reveal the colours concealed in chlorophyll, and in this week's news round-up, a new way to finger criminals using the trail of bacteria they leave behind, combating cancer with synthetic lethality, and how scientists have turned mosquitoes into flying vaccinators...

How Do Jellyfish Reproduce?

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How do odour-killing insoles stamp on smelly feet? Do submariners' ears pop? How do Portuguese Man o'War jellyfish reproduce? We take on your science questions this week as well as hearing the highlights from the Cambridge Science Festival and making a tornado from flames. Plus, news of octopuses having high definition temper tantrums, why some people are genetically wired to feel more pain, eyeless scorpions that have evolved their way out of a blind alley and how scientists can see what's going in your mind's eye...!

The Science of Solar: Photovoltaics

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Shedding some light on new advances in solar technology, this week's Naked Scientists explores how nanotechnology can boost solar cell efficiency and how flexible photovoltaics can be rolled up - and rolled out - to help power military operations. In Kitchen Science we reveal how to make your very own solar cell from some old electronics, and in this week's news, the gene combination that's perfect for tuberculosis, the methane time-bomb ticking off the Siberian coast, the first human writing and how doctors are knocking migraines on the head with a magnet.

The Science of Water Security

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We dive into the science of water security in this week's Naked Scientists. We find out how building a dam alters the local weather, and how simple interventions can help bring safe water and sanitation to the millions that still need it. We find out how new groups set up in Africa and Europe are bringing researchers together to help us use water more efficiently in an ever changing world, and discover the leak-stopping technology that really does hold water. Plus, the secret messages that fish send in ultra-violet and a genetic trick to stop Dengue getting off the ground.

Winds, Wings, Whale Fins and Wind Power

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How can we make the most of the wind? In this week's Naked Scientists, we find out how Humpback whales have inspired a new, more efficient design for turbine blades and stall-resistant aeroplane wings and how an inflatable wind generator flies like a kite to extract energy from high altitude winds anywhere in the world. We also hear how a specially-designed wind generator has helped Antarctic-based scientists save 30 thousand litres of diesel. Plus, a simple programme to cut child deaths in the developing world by 30 percent, a new technique for keeping tabs on tumours and a sugar-based solution for keeping virus vaccines fresh without fridges...

Do animals use toilet paper?

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We investigate the toilet habits of the animal kingdom this week as well as taking a pot shot at which way a dirty golf ball swings in mid air, answering whether warmer waters attract more sharks and if there's a genetic basis to intelligence. We also get an update on what geologists studying the recent earthquake in Haiti are learning from information beamed back from space, and how a new tech-driven initiative called Crisis Camps is helping to streamline aid efforts after a catastrophe. Plus, laser-sensitive nanoparticles that can help to identify tumours, the genome of a 4000 year old man and whether elephants can run...

Pollution & Plastics

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Could plastics be polluting your body? This week, we hear how hormone-mimicking chemicals leaching from plastics can cause coronaries, strokes and diabetes. Even the plastic mineral water bottle isn't safe - snails grown in them produce more offspring. Also, how oestrogen in lakes can feminize fish and cause their populations to plummet, Meera takes a trip to the sewage works to see how we clean up our act and, in Kitchen Science, Ben and Dave play with mud to find out how a water filter works. Plus, the hot news this week: how sperm get turned on, recreating colourful dinosaurs and understanding how mosquitoes smell the world.

Augmenting Reality

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The high-tech scanners that can home in on chemicals produced by cancers, how bats and dolphins share genes for echolocation and why barefoot runners have a smoother track record. Also this week, augment your reality: find out how new technologies can add extra information to the way you see the world by making a mobile phone into a virtual tour guide or even a pocket mechanic! Plus, how virtual reality worlds are helping to rehabilitate stroke victims, and, in a theatrical twist, for Kitchen Science Dave discovers the workings of a baffling stage illusion...

Explosive Science!

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On this explosive Naked Scientists, explore the science of explosions, looking at what happens when a landmine explodes and how to study shockwaves. Plus, how to make safer 'insensitive' munitions, and the 'ecology' of insurgency. Plus, how infected cells accelerate the infection rate, why your memories are stored in a grid and in Kitchen Science we show you how to do a controlled explosion in your own home!