Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 18th Jul 2009

Making Babies - Fertility and Pregnancy

A heavily pregnant woman. (c) Petercantfail

The latest in the science of fertility, IVF and pregnancy...  We find out how pre-implantation tests could improve the success of IVF and how stress during pregnancy affects foetal development. Plus, why knowledge is its own reward, how a jockey's posture makes horses run faster and how science publishing on the web is about to change. In Kitchen Science, Dave finds out how a bag of liquid cushions a developing baby inside its mother!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 19:11 - Dropping Eggs

    How to stop an egg from breaking when dropped without any padding, and what it has to do with a womb.

  • 26:46 - Improving IVF

    Many people manage to get pregnant doing it nature’s way. But some people need a little bit of medical help and that’s when they turn to In Vitro Fertilization. For some people, this is the only they're able to have their own children, but at the moment, it is far from perfect...

  • 35:11 - Blood Tests for IVF Success

    We've now heard how you can test embryos for vital clues as to which ones are probably the healthiest and therefore likely to result in a successful pregnancy, but what about testing mothers directly so that you can predict who's got the best IVF prospects? Well Dr Cathy Allen ...

  • 40:36 - Is fertility affected by genetics?

    Is it true that a woman’s degree of fertility or the amount of oestrogen that she produces depends on her genes? I’d be grateful if you could consider this.

  • 42:54 - Stress During Pregnancy

    Pregnant women are advised to eat well, to lay off the booze, not to smoke and to take it easy and put their feet up. But little is said about avoiding stress. Now, it seems that stress during pregnancy might affect the way that the foetus would develop as Meera Senthilingam f...

  • 48:28 - Do animals suffer from post natal depression?

    Are female humans are the only mammals that suffer from post-natal depression?

  • 53:44 - Why is black skin good in hot climates?

    How does black skin give better survival in hot places? Black colour absorbs heat while white colour reflects it, then black colour at hot places should burn the skin, but actually it is not so. Why?

  • 55:07 - Why does cereal go Snap, Crackle and Pop!?

    Hello, Naked Scientists, could you please tell me what's happening when you hear the snap, crackle and pop with Rice Crispies? Thank you.



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Great podcast, once again.  I've got a couple of questions about the show.

Thirst for Knowledge

In the research into rhesus monkeys and future rewards do you know if the researchers took precautions to prevent the Clever Hans effect - where researchers can give unconscious signals to the animals which can affect an experiment's results?

Also, do you publish links to the research papers that you feature in the podcasts?

Why do we need salt?

Kat said "But we hear so much about salt being really bad for you in your diet giving you high blood pressure". 

A news item, from the Science Questions and Answers podcast on 17th May, detailed research that a common virus (CMV) may be the cause of high blood pressure.  In light of this does salt give you high blood pressure?

Kevan Gelling, Tue, 4th Aug 2009

Hi Kevin.

On this page - you can find all of the items for that show - including this one: which is a write up of the Thirst for Knowledge story - that has a reference at the bottom, as we've been trying to do with all of our news coverage recently.

I'm not sure about the salt issue - I think the link to blood pressure is pretty well established though.  I'll ask Chris and Kat for comment... BRValsler, Tue, 4th Aug 2009

Thanks.  I couldn't see for looking.
Kevan Gelling, Wed, 5th Aug 2009

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