Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Mon, 18th May 2015

Can astronauts shower in space?

Astronaut (c)

This week, can we colonise Mars? What causes that smell after it rains? Can genetics inform skin care? And how do astronauts shower in space? Chris Smith, Richard Hollingham and Max Sanderson join Kat Arney to take on your quandaries, and also discuss some of the science news you might have missed this week: the Russian space race fail, hijacking a jet by hacking, and why humans feel pain...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:09 - Could humanity colonise Mars?

    Given our current technological level, is it possible for us to colonise Mars? If so, how? If not, what are the major barriers?

  • 06:38 - Why are some people better multitaskers?

    I had a fellow nurse at work dare me to rotate my right foot/leg clockwise while drawing a '6'. Also to rotate my right foot /leg clockwise whilst turning my wrist/hand ANTI clockwise as he was 'chuffed' no one would be able to. However, I could do it with absolute ease! First go...

  • 10:02 - Can we modify cows to make ivory?

    Since I first learned of the concept of "gene splicing" some decades ago, I have wondered why no one has addressed the following: Why not genetically engineer beef cattle so their horns will be "naturally" made of ivory? Yes, ivory. Both substances are (to my untrained eye) re...

  • 11:08 - Plane hacking hijack

    Do planes need better cyber security? Ethical hacker Chris Roberts hacked an aeroplane engine - in flight - and altered the plane's course

  • 15:55 - Can satellites collide?

    I just wanted to know why satellites in orbit do not collide with one another? I hear there are hundreds of these flying objects in space. Do they have a predetermined orbit path before launch?

  • 18:46 - Why do we get relief from crying?

    I'm wondering what crying is, from the neurophysiological standpoint. What is happening when one is anguished or sad, and really feels like crying? Is that different from when we just cry, without the option of holding back? Why does it feel like a relief? There are several reaso...

  • 22:37 - Why the space race is off for Russia

    The Soviets were the first to send a man into space, so why are so many Russian spacecraft failing since?

  • 25:09 - Why does some rain smell?

    As it has been so sunny recently, we will inevitably have rain to ruin this lovely sunshine. What I have been wondering is why does some rain have a certain smell and some rain doesn't, and what is it that is giving the rain its smell?

  • 33:11 - How does colour affect food?

    Is there a relationship between the influence of colour when it comes to food and what children think, taste and say when we change the colour of everyday food?

  • 37:08 - Does a fever raise temperature equally?

    Does a fever raise temperature equally over the entire body? When a person runs a fever, will sometimes their head warm more than their chest?  What about the temperature of body parts that are less involved in symptoms, like the trunk, pelvis, legs and arms?  Will their temperat...

  • 39:17 - Why do humans feel pain?

    It may be hard to swallow just after stubbing your toe, but there is a purpose to pain, and a reason humans get it worse than most...

  • 42:08 - How does space travel affect the human body?

    Since the human body is evolved to conditions present on Earth, what are some of the critical challenges that the human body faces in space travel?

  • 49:13 - Can I predict the future?

    Lately I've been getting a strong feeling when I think something specific is going to happen. Some things are small and irrelevant and some things are quite overwhelming. For example, I was doing my hair for school one morning and had a feeling that my best friend was going to do...

  • 50:58 - How should we collaborate on space projects?

    What are the problems we face with international co-operation in space projects?

  • 53:32 - How do Davy's miners' safety lamps work?

    Humphrey Davy invented the safety lamp in 1815 to prevent naked flame igniting the so-called fire-damp gas in mines. I believe that basically a gauze shield surrounded the flame. However air could enter or there would have been no flame for the lamp. My question therefore is why ...



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