Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Mon, 7th Jul 2014

Saddle Up: The Science of Cycling

Tour de France (c) Kate Lamble

Saddle Up! - we look at the science of cyling as the Tour de France comes to the UK, including seeing how long an amateur cyclist can sustain Tour de France speeds, hearing how the bike came by its spokes, and visiting a wind tunnel to learn about the art of aerodynamics. Plus, in the news, chimps use gestures, climate change stops fish finding friends, gut cells reprogrammed to make insulin, and people prefer shocks to thoughts!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:03 - Decoding Chimp communications

    Have you ever wondered where use of gestures to signal our intentions comes from? Well, humans aren’t the only animals to do this.

  • 06:32 - Fishy friends

    Rising carbon dioxide levels might not just cause increased temperatures worldwide. It might also stop fish from finding their friends...

  • 11:46 - Gut reaction: new ways to make insulin

    Scientists tricking stomach cells into producing insulin may provide new hope for people with type 1 diabetes...

  • 16:38 - Evolving for altitude

    Modern-day Tibetans may have our ancient ancestors to thank for handing onto them a gene that makes it easier to survive at high altitudes.

  • 29:44 - Racing aerodynamically

    We visit the wind tunnel which cyclists Wiggins and Froome use to perfect their racing positions...

  • 36:18 - Feeling the burn

    After five minutes cycling at Tour de France Pace, both Kate and Karin are starting to feel the burn.

  • 38:39 - How the bicycle got its spokes...

    The Tour de France has been running since 1903 only stopping for the two world wars. So how much have bikes changed over the last 111 years?

  • 44:19 - Pedalling faster is easier

    Certain cyclists, like climbers, train to pedal at higher speeds, especially uphill. But why is this actually easier?



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