Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 5th Dec 2010

Electrifying the Future

High Voltage Warning Sign (c) Sodipodi @ wikipedia

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...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:55 - Why pandemic flu kills the (apparently) least vulnerable

    Researchers in Buenos Aires and Nashville have come one step closer to finding out why it is that those members of a population who should be the fittest (i.e. young and middle-aged adults) are the most likely to die during a pandemic flu outbreak...

  • 04:40 - How worms can treat bowel diseases

    For many years scientists have known that carrying intestinal parasites seems to reduce the risks of inflammatory diseases and allergies. But now a patient treating himself with a dose of worms to combat inflammatory bowel disease has given doctors a unique insight into how suc...

  • 19:10 - Drug that can wipe away pain memories

    Scientists have discovered that they can switch off chronic pain by wiping out the brain's memory for the event that caused the discomfort...

  • 23:17 - Planet Earth Online - Antisocial Ants

    Planet Earth Podcast Presenter, Richard Hollingham, visited a small, hot, humid room at the University of Leeds. Inside this controlled environment he met Bill Hughes - who studies ants’ social, and antisocial, behaviour – as well as some unexpectedly large insects…

  • 28:19 - Energy Kiosks - Providing Power to Rural Africa

    Across the developed world we tend to take it for granted that we can simply plug in a kettle or a computer and there’s electricity on tap; but in many parts of the world this simply isn’t an option. Much of rural Africa is “off grid”, and as electricity grids are expensive to ...

  • 36:20 - Naked Engineering - Green Tide Turbines

    Small-scale turbines that can harness energy locally from winds, tides or rivers can be a valuable asset in bringing power to remote populations, which makes the technology that Green Tide Turbines are working on potentially extremely valuable. Meera and Dave went to find out mo...

  • 54:10 - Is it safe to beam power down from orbit?

    A Californian outfit has patented the rights to produce electricity from the Sun and transport it to Earth by high energy beams. Will this technology, if put into practice, mean that areas around the beam-down sites will be deadly? (Because of misalignment and space weather and t...

  • 55:51 - Would a sea water enema help hydration?

    Dr Chris, I hope the subject might get your attention but I guess as a Doc....! a matter of survival and in dire need of fluids without potable drinking water would an anal infusion of sea water work?  If it would how much fits down there, a glass, a litre? ...



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