Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 29th May 2010

Do Bacteria Grow on Bars of Soap?

A white bar of soap in a light blue plastic soap dish. (c) TheLewisRepublic

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!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:55 - Good and bad news for bluefin tuna

    New research pinpoints the favourite breeding spots of west Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico spelling both good and bad news for these imperilled fish: conservation efforts now know where to target efforts but the bluefins’ spawning grounds overlap with the recent Dee...

  • 05:48 - Brains bust blood clots

    Cells lining blood vessels in the brain can grab clots and other obstructions and dump them outside the vessel to restore blood flow, US researchers have found...

  • 13:38 - Shape matters for Helicobacter infection

    Researchers in Seattle have found that the spiral shape of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is key to its ability to infect the stomach lining. Dr Nina Salama from the group, that published in the journal Cell, explains that the key genes that determine the shape could be targe...

  • 21:03 - Is there really life in outer space?

    Why does Steven Hawking claim there’s almost certainly life in space? Should we be scared of aliens?

  • 32:47 - Why is bird poo white?

    Hi Naked Scientists,  I was seating with a cup of coffee on a chair in my back yard in the morning, watching a seagull flying above me, wondering if I'd have the time to avoid it's poo, if the seagull felt such a need right above me.  And then I remembered my car, and the fact...

  • 34:20 - RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010

    Meera explores the RHS Chelsea Flower show to discover how the help our rainforests and entice wildlife into her garden...

  • 55:55 - Why can't the heart repair damage?

    Why is it that most parts of your body can repair themselves after damage, but your heart does not seem to be able to? Alan in Durham City UK

  • 59:27 - Do sweeteners alter metabolism?

    Hi everybody, congratulations again on a great show, you're awesome. I have a question regarding metabolism. I subscribe to a running magazine in which I found an article which stated that athletes should always avoid aspartame and sucralose (ingredients in zero calories s...

  • 61:29 - Can a moon have a moon?

    Can a moon have a moon?  Do any of the moons in our solar system have moons?  Is it theoretically possible for this to happen, or would the gravity of the planet being orbited make the arrangement too unstable? Thanks for the great podcast.

  • 62:42 - Could we 'restock' the oceans by releasing captive bred fish

    We have been encouraged to eat more fish, yet many wild fish stocks are endangered or decreasing, and fish farming can be detrimental to the environment.  Would we lessen these problems if we were to "stock" the oceans by breeding large numbers of fish in captivity and then relea...

  • 64:04 - Why do some foods make your urine smell strange?

    Why does eating sugar puffs make your wee smell funny?

  • Blowing out a candle (c) Dave Ansell

    Blowing out a candle

    As I was playing with candles this week and had a high speed camera I thought it would be interesting to watch one being blown out in slow motion...



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49 LW ! Bernhard Franz, Sun, 30th May 2010

When you answered and discussed the question on genetic diversity I think you forgot an important issue on why genetic diversity is important: changes in the environment and/or the ecology. Such changes will likely be less detrimental for species with high genetic diversity than for species with low genetic diversity. The chance of survival of any species must be greater if there are enough (genetic) differences among the individuals so that not all of them react the same to the change. henrik_hansson, Fri, 4th Jun 2010

Yes, indeed, I agree wholeheartedly; that's a very important point. chris, Fri, 4th Jun 2010

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