Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 4th Jul 2010

How do you Weigh a Volcano?

Arenal Volcano (c) Matthew.landry @ Wikimedia

We explore the explosive science of volcanoes this week! We find out what you can learn from drilling into a restless volcano, how gravity is used to "weigh" volcanoes and watch them fill with magma, and we explore the theories behind volcano formation.  Plus, we hear about the genes that could mean you'll live to be 100, fossil evidence of the earliest multi-cellular organism and the signs that Sabre-toothed tigers packed a mighty punch, as well as a big bite.  In Kitchen Science, we get messy with a cola and wallpaper paste eruption!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:51 - Scientists discover melanoma stem cells

    In the world of cancer research, there's growing evidence for cancer stem cells – rogue stem cells that fuel the growth of tumours. And now researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in the US have found them in melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

  • 04:50 - Genes for centenarians

    Scientists have identified a series of genetic markers capable of predicting, with 77% certainty, who will live to more than 100.

  • 07:38 - Never arm-wrestle a sabre-toothed tiger

    Far from being cute kitties, sabre-toothed tigers were lethal hunters, roaming North and South American until around 10,000 years ago, searching for bisons, camels and other unfortunate animals. Today we know them for their super-sized teeth – they had exceptionally large canine...

  • 09:45 - Oldest evidence for multi-celled life discovered

    Scientists working in West Africa have uncovered an incredible clutch of fossils that appear to represent the earliest ever remains of complex life.

  • 12:08 - Coring an Atom with an X-Ray Laser

    Researchers in America have used a very powerful x-ray laser to strip away the electrons from an atom of neon. But they also have been able to very carefully strip away only those electrons which are closest to the atom’s centre, creating the atomic equivalent of a cored apple....

  • 17:12 - Drilling Deep Into a Restless Volcano

    Believe it or not - drilling into a volcano can be a great way to understand the processes going on underfoot. The Campi Flegrei caldera has been restless for 40 years, and Dr Chris Kilburn is drilling into it to take a look...

  • 23:41 - Weighing Volcanoes with Gravity

    The key to understanding the behaviour of a volcano must lie, partly at least, in understanding the plumbing system that brings magma from deep inside the earth up to the surface so that it can erupt. One way to do this is to observe the changes in the gravity field that occur ...

  • 33:19 - Forming Volcanoes - A Geological Controversy

    Gillian Foulger expalins how volcanoes form, and how certain types of volcano may not form in the way most geologists think...

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