Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 26th May 2012

Making a Meal out of Microbes

Streptomyces (c)

This week, we explore the role of microbes in drug development, food production and soil fertility. We investigate how bacteria such as Streptomyces are used and improved to make antibiotics, discover how gut microbes in cattle can be manipulated to increase growth and reduce environmental impact, and we visit the Chelsea flower show to learn how Rhizobia found in the roots of legumes could be used to improve crop growth and food availability. Also, in the news, how shift-work could affect your fertility, a new method of data storage using DNA, the key to growing the tastiest tomatoes and the world's biggest model Diamond. Plus, we explore the micro-climates created by motorways in our Question of the Week!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:28 - Digging for Antibiotics

    Surprising as it sounds, the majority of antibiotic drugs actually come from microbes themselves, particularly Streptomyces bacteria which naturally live in the soil. Strathclyde University’s Paul Hoskisson studies these bugs to understand their metabolism, how they grow, and l...

  • 08:21 - Microbes and Muck - Making cattle eco-friendly

    Aberystwyth University scientist Jamie Newbold discusses how changes to farming practices can alter the microbes inside animals and that makes the animals much more efficient at growing and also much less environmentally unfriendly...

  • 19:49 - A new DNA-based memory chip

    Researchers have developed a DNA-based memory chip for storing information inside cells that could allow us to track cell divisions to study cell processes like development, ageing and the changes that occur in cancer.

  • 22:49 - Perfecting the Tastiest Tomato

    Professor Harry Klee discusses the cocktail of chemicals that constitute a much more flavoursome fruit of a tomato..!

  • 30:24 - The Square Kilometre Array

    This week the decision was finally made about where the most powerful telescope has ever been conceived will be built starting in 2015. We speak to Bernie Fanaroff, Director of the South African bid.....

  • 34:32 - Private Space Missions, Atlantic Swims and Jubilee Diamonds

    We explore a future of private space missions, how swimming the atlantic can provide insight into the state of our oceans, how gardens can be designed to avoid allergies and the construction of the World's biggest Diamond...

  • Chemical solution to the perfect tomato

    Widespread public dissatisfaction with "supermarket-perfect" tasteless tomatoes could soon be a thing of past now scientists have discovered the chemical combination the constitutes a flavoursome fruit.

  • Butterflies on the move with climate change

    Increasingly warm summers in the UK have allowed a species of butterfly to expand their range by using a wider range of host plants, showing climate change can change things for the better for some species.



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