Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 16th Jun 2012

Why Do I See Stars when I Stand?

Eyes (c) Anna Bal

Why does a head injury, or standing up too quickly, make us "see stars"? Are slug pellets painful? How do flies fly in an elevator?  We take on your science questions this week, and find out why we should let food ferment, what makes batteries get hot and if the strings in string theory are real.  Plus, a new drive to improve science education, new vistas for Voyager 1 and new veins from stem cells.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:21 - Can slugs and snails feel pain?

    Chris I'd like to know if slugs and snails feel pain? They are the bane of my horticultural life and I would like to know which is the most humane way of dispatching them, apart from natural predators? K x

  • 05:02 - Can food really "ferment"?

    Dear Chris, I have two related questions: 1. It has been suggested that the Vikings extracted cod liver oil by "fermenting" liver (the raw livers were emptied into open vessels and left there, and when the weather grew warmer, the cod liver oil separated from the livers a...

  • 07:10 - How efficient are rechargeable batteries?

    Hi, Naked Scientists. My name is Gabrielle Keighley and my dad has a question that he was wondering that you could answer please. He recently bought some rechargeable batteries for some of our toys and as he was doing the first charge, we wondered about the efficiency of rech...

  • 08:56 - Is there an evolutionary reason for being repelled by cockroaches?

    Dear Chris, I love the podcast. I have a random question: is there a evolutionary reason why humans seem to find cockroaches so repellant? I know some cultures eat them, but overall they seem to gross people out. Thank you so much, Lisa

  • 11:12 - Why do bits of my kids grow at different rates?

    Why do bits of my kids grow at different rates? Legs lengthen, then arms, one foot gets bigger before the other...

  • 13:12 - Why do some batteries get hot?

    Hi Chris I just picked up the remote for my hifi to discover it was hot. It was, of course, the batteries generating this amount of heat. Naturally, the remote would not work, so I removed the batteries and replaced them with new ones. My question is: Why do the electr...

  • 15:14 - Homegrown portal vein replacement

    The first replacement tissue-engineered vein grown from a patient's own stem cells has been successfully transplanted into a 10-year-old Swedish girl.

  • 19:34 - How does a fly fly in an elevator?

    Why is it that a fly caught in an elevator (or lift) doesn't hit the floor when it goes up (or, conversely, hit the ceiling if the lift goes down)?

  • 21:01 - What causes us to "see stars"?

    What causes us to "see stars" when we bash our heads? I also notice the same phenomenon when I stand up suddenly and feel light-headed when blood pools in my legs. This is especially confusing, since the two "stimuli" operate by different mechanisms: a blow to the head versus a b...

  • 23:42 - Could I see neutrino interactions in a deep mine?

    Hi, I thought up this question whilst sitting in the dark between taking photos a few hundred feet underground in a slate mine. I'm aware that weakly interacting neutrinos can make through a few hundred feet of rock and these can be detected by equipment. I've also heard that...

  • 26:30 - Improving Education

    Is science education up to scratch? Universities have complained that the A-Level curriculum doesn't prepare students for a degree, so exam boards are taking a stand to improve education...

  • 34:17 - What exactly is string theory?

    What exactly is the string theory? Do these 'strings' really exist? And how can we know they exist if they have not been proven? I would really like to know! I love your programme and am telling all my friends about it. Take care and keep up the good work. Catherine Hiscox

  • 43:37 - Putting a Value on Biodiversity

    A major seven year study has been launched in the UK to investigate the link between biodiversity and the services nature provides - such as food, clean air, water and flood protection....

  • 48:56 - Slow waves

    Make some beautiful and strangely behaving waves using nothing more than a bottle of oil and water

  • Western Amazonia - Wild and Empty

    A study, published in the journal Science this week, has found that Pre-Columbian populations tended to avoid settling in the western Amazon basin, while the eastern and some of the central areas were much more densely populated. Much debate has centred around the effect of Euro...

  • Why do women live longer than men?

    Hello Dr's! We've all heard that women on average live longer than man. My question is, ignoring any outside influences like smoking, risk taking, eating habits etc, is there any fundamental difference between the longevity of the male vs. female body? Steve



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