Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Tue, 21st Apr 2015

Could Earth be Knocked Out of Orbit?

Epsilon Eridani (NASA, Spitzer, 10/27/08) (c) NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

This week, you pit your wits against the Naked Scientists team and challenge us to answer your science questions. Is there an evolutionary reason why humans have rhythm? Do people sneeze in their sleep? Why do crabs walk sideways? And how do stinging nettles sting? Chris Smith, Carolin Crawford and Ginny Smith join Kat Arney get their teeth into your conundra and take a closer look at the stories hitting the headlines, including a sieve that separates oil from water, how you can sniff happiness in sweat and the Hubble telescope celebrates its 25th birthday...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:05 - How far have I travelled?

    I'm turning 45 this week and would like to know how far I have travelled in space, with the orbit of the Earth around the Sun and with the expansion of our universe.

  • 02:10 - Why do stinging nettles sting?

    Is there an evolutionary reason as to why stinging nettles have evolved to sting us? And how does it do this?

  • 07:32 - Funky nanofilm separates oil from water

    Nanotech scientists have been busy making mirrors that can't get dirty and a meshwork capable of instantly separating oil from water...

  • 09:22 - Does waving a fan really cool you down?

    It seems to me that when people fan themselves in hot weather that the energy expended in waving the fan negates the cooling effect of the air movement ? Is it not better to sit still ?

  • 10:36 - Why do comets look green in photos?

    Just been watching the BBC's monthly 'Sky at Night' programme on iPlayer and they were talking about a comet that is now visible with a low-powered telescope or even binoculars. One of the show's presenters helpfully gave us some tips on how to take photographic images of the com...

  • 12:13 - Is it good to listen to music and revise?

    I was watching my daughter doing some revision whilst she was listening to music at the same time, via headphones. It occurred to me that maybe she shouldn't do both as maybe the brain would be concentrating more on the music, which she likes, than the subject she was revising, ...

  • 25:26 - Could Earth be knocked out of orbit?

    I have always been wondering if the earth's orbit is due to a perfectly balanced equation where the sun's gravity is cancelled by the inertia of our velocity, why is it that with all the meteors that have hit the earth why we haven't unbalanced slightly and with compounding, even...

  • 29:56 - What exercises are good for osteoporosis?

    What exercises are good for osteoporosis apart from speed walking?

  • 32:34 - Happy Birthday Hubble

    This month, the space telescope turns 25! We hear about its incredible achievements...

  • 34:02 - Can chromosomes be repaired?

    Can chromosomes be repaired? My daughter has Angelman Syndrome, and I was very excited to hear that there might be "tools" to repair this.

  • 36:42 - Why do I get sleepy in allergy season?

    Why do I get sleepy in allergy season? It happens to me when the snow melts. It happens even worse in spring when, i guess, trees and weeds release pollen. The effect is real. Why? I’ve read that a histamine might be involved, but that doesn’t explain much.

  • 38:56 - Why do we get shivers down our spines?

    What physiology takes place in the body when you get a frisson of delight? For example, when watching exquisite dance or hearing a superlative voice, why do we get a shiver down your spine?

  • 40:56 - How do you make ice cubes clear?

    Is there a straightforward way that I can make clear ice like in pubs and restaurents? I can only make white ice at home...

  • 44:03 - Why are people left-handed?

    I am left handed and it is my understanding that a much smaller percentage of the population is left handed rather than right handed. I am wondering what role genetics plays in determining if a person is left or right handed and what role, if any, environment might have.



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