Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 27th Jan 2008

Flu and Viruses

Influenza Virus (c) CDC/ Dr. F. A. Murphy

In this week's not-to-be-sniffed-at infectious episode of the naked scientists, we find out the facts of flu, including how the virus hijacks your cells, how new strains of the virus emerge to trigger epidemics and pandemics, and how scientists can combat the threat with vaccines.  Also under the microscope is a new technique to identify viruses within just 2 hours, providing patients with a fast track to the right treatment!  Also, how bone marrow transplants can overcome organ rejection, how to stop a terrorist with a mobile phone, and the new material 30 times blacker than our current blackest black! Plus, in kitchen science, we'll be pouring cold water on claims of centrifugal force...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 11:21 - The Blackest Black

    The new standard in black has been discovered! Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic have developed a material using carbon nanotubes that absorbs over 99.9% of all light that falls on it - over 30 times darker than the current 'blackest' black!

  • 14:30 - How much energy to flourescents take to turn on?

    Fluorescent lights are already efficient when theyíre running but Iíve heard that it takes a lot of energy to turn a fluorescent light tube on. So is it more efficient to turn off a fluorescent tube immediately when youíve finished using it or is it better to leave it on and the...

  • 15:35 - Inverted Bucket

    Have a bucket full of water upside down over your head, and stay dry!

  • 17:14 - Why are some magnets stronger than others?

    I recently bought some tiny magnets from a hardware store to stick things up on my wall. I bought these magnets called rare earth magnets. Theyíre so strong that now I canít unstick them from each other. Itís amazing, can you tell me how these tiny magnets thatíre about 1.5cm in ...

  • 24:02 - Influenza - Flu Facts

    We suss out the facts of flu with Cambridge university researcher Ed Hutchinson...

  • 29:41 - Finding Flu Fast

    We find out about a revolutionary new way to diagnose our winter bugs in two hours rather than two weeks. Itís going to lead to numerous benefits in treating flu and other respiratory viruses.

  • 36:43 - Virus Vaccination

    Weíve already heard about how flu actually causes disease, how it invades us, how it hijacks our cells and makes us feel generally grotty but how do we actually prevent it? Dr John Wood came in to tell us about making and testing 'Flu vaccines.

  • 43:03 - Treadmill runway?

    A plane is standing on a runway that can move (some sort of band conveyor). The plane moves in one direction, while the conveyor moves in the opposite direction. This conveyor has a control system that tracks the plane speed and tunes the speed of the conveyor to be exactly the...

  • Why didn't I catch the flu?

    Iíve been in contact with someone whoís had the flu quite badly but I didnít catch it. Why would that be?



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How funny - thanks for telling us!

Chris chris, Thu, 31st Jan 2008

FYI: if you want to know how flu is going on this side of the Atlantic. I keep tabs on how things are on your side because how you go is generally how we go... And how Australia goes in June/July/August is how we seem to go during our season. Great show, by the way... Keep making science interesting! RenRen, Fri, 1st Feb 2008

Thank you, we're very grateful for your feedback. And if you'd like to write an article for us about what you do, that would be wonderful!

Chris chris, Fri, 1st Feb 2008

I would be honored to write something up. There are two options, however... I could write as an epidemiologist and just talk about how we go about investigating disease, or I could write as an epidemiologist for the State of Maryland, which would require clearance from my superiors. I'm also a Medical Technologist, and I include the laboratory component to my job as an "epi". Is there a particular topic you guys need covered? RenRen, Fri, 1st Feb 2008

It's funny that you picked that picture for your show podcast. I am the influenza surveillance coordinator for the State of Maryland in the US, and I have that same picture on our site where I publish our surveillance findings. It must be a popular pic. RenRen, Thu, 5th Nov 2009

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