Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Wed, 26th Jun 2013

Modelling Diseases in Dishes

Two hands forming a heart shape (c) Leon Brocard

Miniature lungs, breasts and other organs are being grown in dishes so scientists can study how they form, why they succumb to disease and how toxins, drugs and poisons affect them. Organ models like these are rapidly replacing animals for many lab experiments. But are the days of the petri dish also numbered, as computer models, like the "virtual physiological human", become more powerful. We talk to scientists using and developing all three. Plus, a new coating stops joint replacements loosening, magnetic therapy for strokes, and plants do long division...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 07:42 - Buying a pint with bitcoins

    The virtual currency 'bitcoin' has long been used by gamers to buy extra features online. Now you can spend your savings on real life pints

  • 09:50 - Keeping an eye on diabetes

    Researchers have developed a fuel cell that runs on tears, which they say could power lens-mounted glucose sensors for people with diabetes.

  • 26:21 - Modelling! Medical mimicry

    Creating artificial models of the human body. How is this done, is it an accurate mimicry system and what can it tell us?

  • 34:08 - A 3D breast in a dish?

    We find out how to scaffold a miniature breast in a dish, and what it can tell us.

  • 39:04 - Computational coding to crack disease!

    We can grow tissue in the dish in order to study biological processes. What about taking that information, and creating a computer model?

  • 48:59 - How does training affect free will?

    I saw an interview with an undefeated boxer about 30 yrs ago. He was asked how he knew when it was time to retire. He described a fight in which he saw his opening and then knocked out his opponent. The interviewer said 'How did that tell you?' And he said 'Up until then I had ne...



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