Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Mon, 14th Apr 2014

Why do we laugh when tickled?

tickle (c) David Shankbone@en.wikipedia

In this question and answer special, the Naked Scientists get stuck into your queries, like why are planets round? Why do we laugh when tickled? Does wearing glasses make your eyesight worse? And how many trees could offset carbon emissions? Plus, in the news, the app that could help you get over jet lag and the Heartbleed bug which could affect your internet security.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 03:26 - How can rodents help model addiction?

    There was an experiment where they isolated the pleasure receptors in the brains of rats and they enabled the rats to stimulate themselves basically by pressing a button. So, I'm wondering if that constituted addiction because the rats just gave up food and basically kept pressin...

  • 06:24 - Why do the farts of others smell worse?

    Why does someone's air biscuit, or the technical term for flatulence, why does that smell bad from someone else when it's not so bad when you smell your own?

  • 13:22 - How many trees to combat climate change?

    Are you aware if someone has done a back of the envelop calculation of the number of trees needed to stop the rise of Carbon Dioxide concentration? There are probably better technologies to "suck up" CO2 from the atmosphere, but, nonetheless, some of us can plant trees while w...

  • 16:45 - An app to help jet lag

    Is there a better way to get over jet lag than just waiting 1 day per time zone to recover?

  • 21:42 - Does wearing glasses make uncorrected vision poorer?

    At my last eye examination the optician said that I did not need to use glasses for driving but glasses could improve my vision. When I started to use them I noticed my eyesight improved for driving but if I forgot to put them on I also noticed my vision without glasses had signi...

  • 26:36 - Why are number plates reversed in my rear-view mirror?

    How come the image of roadsigns, number plates etc appear the wrong way around in my rear view mirror, yet the countryside I have just passed trough appears the right way around?

  • 28:10 - Why do plants close their leaves at night?

    Why do some plant close their leaves at the evening?

  • 29:54 - Were fossils from Mars found on Earth?

    I remember the widespread media coverage regarding the Martian meteorite ALH84001, back in 1996. Researchers were suggesting that certain features in there resembled micro-fossils - i.e. evidence for life on Mars. For some time it was possible to follow the debate back and fo...

  • 33:00 - Britain's first cloned dog

    This week, a British pet dog has been cloned in Korea. But can a clone ever be man's best friend?

  • 35:36 - Could you grow better gut flora?

    I was wondering if there are times when diet is more important than other times. In particular I am on antibiotics for strep at the moment. The doc gave me the usual talk about killing both good and bad bacteria... So was wondering, if I were to eat something like a Spinach-an...

  • 38:42 - Is it free to charge mobiles while driving?

    For some time I have been trying to find an answer to my question; if I charge my mobile devices at home it costs me money (power bills). If I recharge whilst driving, does this cost money? Thank you Alan McNamara

  • 40:04 - How do we measure the distance to galaxies?

    I have a question about measuring the distances and recession speeds of galaxies, which is also linked to dark matter/energy. My understanding is that measurements indicate that space is expanding, and it is this that is responsible for the redshift observed by inter alia Hubb...

  • 48:02 - Why do we laugh when tickled?

    My curiosity is about tickles. Why do we laugh (to an extent!) when tickled, and why can it be only done in certain areas of the body? Is there an evolutionary explanation for it? I understand cars purr when patted, is it by the same physiologic mechanism that this happens in hum...

  • 49:51 - What does scratching my dog's tummy do?

    Why does my dogs leg always go berserk when I scratch his belly in the right place? Regards Adrian



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