Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 9th Jun 2012

SETI, Aliens and the Origins of Life

Hubble_deep_field_image (c) NASA

How do we look for life beyond Earth?  And how did it first get started down here?  To help us take on these big questions, we explore the science of SETI and the chemistry of creating life.  Plus, science gets cinematic as we meet the scientific adviser for Prometheus, and find out how his work could help us understand alien atmospheres.  In the news, how to sequence a baby using just the mother's blood, and the simple intervention that could prevent millions of malaria cases.  In Question of the Week, can we create life in the lab from just elements and heat?

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 24:14 - Rewriting arterial disease

    An overlooked cell lurking in the walls of arteries could be the cause of the vascular disease that leads to heart attacks and strokes, new research has revealed.

  • 26:22 - Mapping Seasonal Malaria

    We discuss how rainfall can be used to map regions affected by seasonal Malaria to improve drug treatment programmes...

  • 41:34 - Getting Life Started on Earth

    One of the most fundamental questions about how life began in the first place must be answered here on Earth. We explore the updated accounts of some classic experiments on the chemistry of creating life...

  • 50:03 - What is intelligent life?

    What is intelligent life?

  • 50:37 - Were Miller's results right- or left-handed??

    We know that the amino acids we use on Earth are all left handed. How about the molecules found in Stanley Millerís experiments? Were they of an even distribution of right and left handed forms or was there a bias?

  • 52:03 - What technology could help find alien life?

    What potential technologies for communication are out there that we are NOT using. Obviously there are optical and radio telescopes. Is there anything else we could try?

  • 54:52 - Can we create a living organism from basic elements?

    Hi Chris and other scientists. I listen to your podcast weekly. Love them. Has there been any progress in creating a living organism from basic elements (CHONPS) and some heat? Seems like with so many advances in human biology, science should be able to produce a simple organism...



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