Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Mon, 21st Jul 2014

The End of Extinction...

Wooly mammoths (c) Charles R. Knight

Will wooly mammoths roam the tundra once more? This week we ask whether improvements in genetic technologies mean extinction is no longer the end, as well as meeting moss that came back to life after 2000 years buried in permafrost, and the million-year-old microbes lurking in the ice of Antarctica. Plus, news that our genes control who we make friends with, how fossil sea urchins hold the key to finding your lost car keys, and what ancient tooth plaque is revealing about the diets of our ancestors...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 00:53 - Friendships down to your genes

    Genes don't just control the way we look and what diseases we may develop: they also determine who we choose to make friends with...

  • 06:34 - Doing the Levy walk

    Many animals across the world walk the same way to find food, and evidence of this hunting behaviour is even present in the fossil record...

  • 12:01 - Supermoon

    Many people will have noticed the moon looking especially big and bright recently. This is because of a phenomenon known as the supermoon.

  • 13:57 - Alzheimer's risk factors

    Up to a third of cases of Alzheimer's disease could be preventable by being fitter and healthier, new research suggests...

  • 17:57 - Ancient tooth plaque

    Why was a population of ancient humans munching on a rather foul tasting weed, even after the dawn of agriculture?

  • 21:58 - Bringing back the woolly mammoth

    Could a resurrection of an ancient species, as seen in Jurassic Park, ever actually be possible?

  • 43:56 - Million year-old microbes in ice

    When bacteria or viruses become extinct this is usually a cause for celebration, but can we ever be sure that they are gone?

  • 50:04 - What DNA is needed to bring a species back?

    How much of an extinct animal’s genome is needed to bring it back? Can we just sort of do a plug and play with the missing bits and fill them in with something else?



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