Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 28th Jun 2008

Evolution and Natural Selection

Portrait of Charles Darwin (c) Julia Margaret Cameron

It's 150 years since Darwin's theory of Evolution was presented to the Linnean Society, and so we've Naturally Selected the Science of Evolution!  We find out why scientists have revisited a textbook example of natural selection in action, find out why horny sheep are gambling on good weather and how bacteria in the lab can evolve into a new species!  We find out why tragedy almost kept Darwin's ideas from ever being seen, by looking at the archives of his own letters.  Plus, why crocodiles chat from inside their eggs, a new way to send messages underwater and why Martian soil would be good for growing cabbages!  And in kitchen science we find out which surface is best for keeping ice cool.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 09:32 - Fastest Melting Ice

    Does the speed of ice melting depend on what surface it's on? We compare an ice cube on a frying pan to an ice cube on a chopping board...

  • 12:49 - Updating Evolution Evidence - The Peppered Moth

    The evolution of the Peppered Moth is a textbook example of adaptation in the face of changing environmental conditions - yet the design of the original experiments have been criticised. Cambridge University scientists have been updating the experiment...

  • 19:12 - Evolution in the Lab

    Evolving organisms on a lab bench allows a perfect view of how they change over time - but sometimes they can surprise us...

  • 25:54 - Evolution in the Wild - Horny Soay Sheep

    In Soay Sheep, having the biggest horns means you're more likely to breed - but it also means you're less likely to survive your first winter...

  • 33:38 - Charles Darwin - In his own words...

    Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution were presented to the Linnean society on the 1st of July, 1858. 150 years on, we look through Darwin's own letters to find out more...

  • 42:07 - Why do copper compounds come in different colours?

    Can you tell me why, copper the metal is “copper in colour”, yet it is blue when in solution with sulphate, copper carbonate is colourless in solution, and when you flame test the element it is a green flame?



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