Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 26th Jun 2010

What's the point of eyebrows?

Eyes (c) Anna Bal

Why do we have eyebrows?  Can we taste food if we can't smell it?  What's a cold sore?  This week, we take on your science questions, as well as explore the world of social gaming, and find out how much it costs to fly an England flag from your car.  We'll be asking if altitude affects how a football flies, if a large enough fan could propel a spacecraft and how spiders spin webs from one tree to the next.  Plus, why size matters in bird beaks, how plant roots cope with competition and building lungs in the lab!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:49 - Smaller beaks for colder climates

    Birds living in colder climates evolved smaller beaks than their fair-weather cousins to help keep them warmer, a new study shows.

  • 04:40 - Plants can make decisions

    Scientists have discovered that plants are far less passive than we first thought and can integrate information to help them make decisions.

  • 06:55 - Astronomers close in on the mass of elusive neutrino particles

    Astronomers have been looking to distant galaxies for clues on closing the gap on estimates for the mass of the mysterious neutrino...

  • 09:31 - Ocean Algae Mystery Solved

    Scientists have taken steps towards solving a thirty-year oceanographic puzzle, with the discovery that microscopic algae living in mid-ocean areas must be getting essential nutrients from as deep as 250 metres beneath the waves. But exactly how they are getting hold of nitrates...

  • 12:13 - Growing an artificial lung

    Also in the news this week, researchers at Yale University in America have come one step closer to building a functional lung in the laboratory...

  • 19:47 - What is a cold sore?

    I have a question about cold sores. First of all, what is a cold sore and how come some people are most susceptible to them than us, than others?

  • 23:13 - Can we taste without smelling food?

    Can we taste without smelling food? I'm wondering whether we can taste without smelling food because yesterday, I had a blocked nose and onion tasted like potato.

  • 25:52 - How is North determined?

    How is north determined for planets that don't have a magnetic field? And would there serious cartographical stress if the earthís polarity flips around?

  • 39:16 - Do spiders have eyelids?

    Do spiders have eyelids?

  • 39:38 - Does take-off weight vary with latitude?

    I know that the earth isnít totally spherical. If mass stays the same but the gravity differs when moving from the midlatitudes towards the equator or polar region, how will it show for example when you take a Boeing 747 - how many percent can the measured weight differ compared...

 

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