Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 14th Feb 2010

Do Animals use Toilet Paper?

Sun Bear in captivity at the Columbus Zoo, Powell Ohio (c) Ryan E. Poplin

We investigate the toilet habits of the animal kingdom this week as well as taking a pot shot at which way a dirty golf ball swings in mid air, answering whether warmer waters attract more sharks and if there's a genetic basis to intelligence. We also get an update on what geologists studying the recent earthquake in Haiti are learning from information beamed back from space, and how a new tech-driven initiative called Crisis Camps is helping to streamline aid efforts after a catastrophe. Plus, laser-sensitive nanoparticles that can help to identify tumours, the genome of a 4000 year old man and whether elephants can run...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 22:04 - Is intelligence genetically inherited?

    Can people have intelligence passed down genetically? My parents are both fairly knowledgable and can absorb information easily, so since I seem to take after them, is this nature or nurture?

  • 25:42 - Why is most oil localised to the middle east?

    If petroleum is derived from ancient fossilised organic materials, then why do the deposits appear mostly localised in the Middle East?

  • 28:31 - How do you make an elephant run?

    How do you make an elephant run?

  • 29:41 - Which way would a dirty golf ball turn?

    In an article in the December 2009 golf digest, they were talking about a ball with mud on the one side of the ball. Now I would assume with the extra weight on, lets say, the left side, the ball should move toward its left side when hit? They say the opposite. They say mud on th...

  • 44:16 - How does light travel through glass?

    I believe that light is considered to be both waves and particles.  My understanding is that particles are physical objects.  If that is true, how is light able to travel through glass?  Is it just the light waves that travel through glass or can the particles also penetrate glas...

  • 45:40 - Dancing Raisins

    Make raisins dance in front of your eyes using nothing more sophisticated than some fizz.

  • 53:13 - Do warmer waters attract more sharks?

    I am a high school student who is currently doing some research on sharks and their connection to global warming. Is there any more data available that could further support the theory that warmer waters are bringing sharks into certain areas? Have there been any reports about ho...

  • 54:30 - Can you phone home from a black hole?

    Is it possible to make a phone call from a black hole?

  • 57:40 - Why do sweeteners taste different to sugar?

    I was told once that sweeteners work because they trigger the same receptors as table sugar (sucrose). My question is, if they trigger the same receptors then why do they taste so different?



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