Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 28th Feb 2010

The Science of Water Security

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We dive into the science of water security in this week's Naked Scientists.  We find out how building a dam alters the local weather, and how simple interventions can help bring safe water and sanitation to the millions that still need it.  We find out how new groups set up in Africa and Europe are bringing researchers together to help us use water more efficiently in an ever changing world, and discover the leak-stopping technology that really does hold water.  Plus, the secret messages that fish send in ultra-violet and a genetic trick to stop Dengue getting off the ground.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:48 - Fish use UV to spot the difference

    Healthy coral reefs come packed with colourful fish and a new study reveals that the some fish send out private messages using patterns of ultra violet light that us humans – and many other animals – can’t see.

  • 05:36 - Grounding Mosquitoes

    Researchers in Oxford and California have found a way to stop female mosquitoes from growing wings, keeping them grounded and stopping the spread of diseases like Dengue fever.

  • 09:05 - Gigantic shellfish fiends discovered in Cretaceous seas

    New fossil evidence suggests there were gigantic sharks lurking in Cretaceous seas, around 90 million years ago, but they weren’t terrifying monsters – these sluggish fish probably sat about on the seafloor, munching on shellfish.

  • 11:35 - Invasion of the Alien Star Clusters

    One quarter of the star clusters in our galaxy may, in fact, be aliens, according to a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

  • 14:44 - A Leak-Stopping System that really Holds Water

    An estimated 32 billion cubic metres of clean water are lost through leaky pipes every year. But there might be a solution. A Southampton-based company have come up with a leak-stopping system that really does hold water...

  • 21:19 - Dam a River - Change the Weather

    Most of the water that we use comes from reservoirs. These artificial lakes are often created by damming a river then simply tapping the water off. Simple as this sounds though, there are environmental consequences, including an effect on the local weather...

  • 30:09 - NEPAD Water Initiative

    Eugene Cloete explains how the NEPAD water initiative aims to bring together scientists working in the field of water research to tackle the lack of safe water and sanitation in Southern Africa...

  • 35:37 - WATCHing Water and Global Change

    Richard Harding explains how the WATer and global CHange Network, WATCH, is setting about monitoring how water usage and climate change will effect availability of water in the future...

  • 44:01 - Water Pressure

    Do a classic experiment to show why dams have to be so high and submarines so strong.

  • 50:53 - Why do dolphins surf the bow waves of ships? Fun or food?

    My question is why do dolphins surf the bow waves of ships? Fun or food? The perceived wisdom is that they are very friendly and just having fun and I wonder about that. I was on a Brittany Ferries ship out of Portsmouth to Santander a couple of years ago, and they are ver...

  • 53:37 - How can I determine direction of water flow through a pipe?

    Is there any way I can determine the flow direction of cold water through 15mm copper pipe without tracing back to the pump?  

  • 54:46 - Why do wet clothes become see-through?

    I've had a burning question in the back of my mind since I went to a scientific meeting of ocular scientists down in Sarasota, Florida. There was this lovely young scientist from Budapest who forgot her bathing suit and put on shorts and a white T-shirt when she went swimming, a...



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