Science NewsFLASH

Naked Scientists NewsFLASH episode

Mon, 31st Jan 2011

Better Biofuel? Ask a cow...

Bos taurus with a nose ring of the type that is used to wean calves. Family: Bovidae. Location: Münster, NRW, Germany (c) Guido Gerding

In this NewsFlash, we find out why our model of the circadian clock might be wrong, how the bacteria that live inside a cow’s gut could help make better biofuels, and why groups of animals make better decisions.  Plus, how some bacteria make rapid changes to their genome – avoiding the immune system as well as preventing us from making effective vaccines.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists NewsFLASH

Full Transcript

  • 00:27 - Resetting the Circadian Clock

    Biological clocks play an essential role in physiology and in controlling behaviour – from regulating sleep cycles in animals to balancing photosynthesis in plants. Now, research published in Nature suggests that our model of how the clock works might be wrong...

  • 03:20 - Chewing the cud (and how it got there)

    Researchers in America this week have dramatically enlarged the catalogue of known genes which allow an organism to break down plants. This new information could be very useful in producing biofuel from plant matter.

  • 04:42 - Rapid Change in Bacterial Genome

    New research sheds light on how some bacteria are capable of extremely quick genetic change, incorporating whole sections of DNA from other cells to evade our immune system and invalidate our vaccines...

  • 11:43 - Many heads are better than one

    Animals come to better decisions more quickly in larger groups, according to research published in the journal PNAS this week...



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