Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Mon, 9th Jun 2014

Freeze-dried Blood!

water in oil (c) Tim Sackton

Freeze Dried Blood! Every day the likes of probiotic “good” bacteria in yoghurts, and even the enzymes in washing powder, give us a helping hand. This week we investigate how scientists are designing new ways to protect and guard these tiny helpers, including new techniques to freeze-dry human blood. Plus, news of how sleep boosts learning, the effects of foetal nerve transplants for Parkinson's, tree-hugging koalas and why negative Facebook friends can make you moody.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 13:14 - Quickfire Science: Ecstasy

    This week, the ‘Godfather of ecstasy’,who synthesised and tested over 200 psychoactive substances, died peacefully in his sleep.

  • 16:01 - Why are Koalas tree-huggers?

    Koalas hug the trunks of Eucalyptus trees very tightly. But not just to hang on. Scientists have now found that they use it to keep cool.

  • 19:13 - Can bad moods be contagious?

    Had bad day? Think twice about posting a miserable status update on social media, because you might be bringing all your friends down too.

  • 24:11 - The toughest cells in nature

    Bacteria can produce spores, natural packages which last for hundreds of years. Can we use these to keep drugs on the shelf for longer?

  • 31:16 - Suspending vaccines for transport

    Krishnāa Mahbubani has been developing a way to put vaccines into suspended animation so they don’t need refrigerating.

  • 38:16 - Encapsulating enzymes

    How do we protect substances we need to survive harsh environments like washing powder or even our stomachs?

  • 46:13 - Freeze drying blood!

    So we have ways of protecting proteins, enzymes, and bacteria - but what about something infinitely more complicated - human blood!

  • 51:44 - Would cremated ashes help plant growth?

    Would cremated ashes (human or animal) have any affect on the growth of a plant? We are thinking of starting a business where we put cremated ashes in a pot with a plant, and would like to know how this would affect the growth of the plant.



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