Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 5th May 2007

Question and Answer Show

Albert Einstein (c) Oren Jack Turner, Princeton, N.J.

This week Drs Chris, Dave and Phil find out how a venomous spider has got scientists swollen with excitement because it's bite has Viagra-like properties, how maggots are fighting off MRSA from ulcers, and NASA are testing their next generation telescope aboard a jumbo jet. The docs also explore the science of getting geostationary satellites into space, the basis of bacterial intelligence, and how much water trees drink on a hot day. Plus, in kitchen science, Dave and Ben put their heads in a box...to find out how a pinhole camera works.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

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  • 13:21 - Maggots and MRSA

    Andrew Boulton explains how Maggots help to cure infection with MRSA, or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which doesn't respond to conventional antibiotics.

  • 19:05 - Why did my pyrex bowl suddenly break?

    I was wondering if you could help me understand something that happened in my kitchen last week: I was warming up some leftovers in the microwave when the food caught fire, presumably because I'd overlooked a piece of tin foil from the wrapping. I switched off and unplugged the m...

  • 22:10 - How high are geostationary satellites?

    When one of the space agencies places a Geostationary Communication Satellite into orbit, approximately what height are they positioned above the Earth? And how do they insure that they are released at exactly the right orbital velocity in order that the satellite remains in a t...

  • 39:11 - Why is scratching on a blackboard so nasty?

    Why is it that the sound of someone scratching their fingers down a blackboard makes people wigg out? I personally can't stand the feel of cotton wool rubbed between my fingers. One of my buddies hates the feeling of drying a wooden spoon with a tea towel, and another can't stan...

  • 40:39 - How did apollo missions slow down in space?

    When sending a spacecraft to the moon (230,000 miles away) - at a rough guess at about 8,000 mph, how did the command module reduce its speed in space (no friction) to land in a graceful way on the Moon?

  • 42:19 - Are bacteria intelligent?

    Do bacteria have intelligence? How do they find their food?

  • 45:54 - Why can a microwave be metallic?

    I have an oven which doubles as a microwave, itís lined with stainless steel, but I canít put metal dishes, foil or cutlery in there. Why should this be?

  • 47:59 - Pinhole camera

    Make a moving image of what is going on outside using just a cardboard box and the power of a hole.

  • 52:33 - Where does a tree's water come from?

    If a large tree will drink 60 gallons of water per hour, where does all that water come from and where does it go?

 

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well, as you may all know. I love experiments and stuff involving microwaves, so my favourite was Rene's question about her dish exploding. Excellent answer as well. paul.fr, Wed, 9th May 2007

Do you have audience figures for online listeners? If these figures are quite high, would it be feasable to set up a VoIP line to allow those online listeners the oppertunity to ask their questions? paul.fr, Wed, 9th May 2007

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