Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 30th Apr 2011

Brains, Batteries and Nuclear Fusion

JET vacuum vessel (c) EDFA-JET

Computers that can lip-read, a robot that follows your brain waves, prosthetic arms controlled by thinking about fingers that have been amputated, the future of nuclear fusion, Bandaids for batteries, why oral cancer rates are up 200% on 20 years ago and a brain stimulator for obsessive compulsive disorder. While the team take a well-earned Easter break, join Dr Chris for a look at the latest science from the AAAS in Washington DC.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 05:30 - How to Stop a Robot from Wandering off when your Mind Wanders

    If you're using electrical activity in your brain to control a prosthetic or a wheelchair, you don't want it wandering off or responding to every tiny thought about motion. So a new type of decoding can help to make sure the controller really wants to make the movent before the ...

  • 09:41 - Phantom Limbs controlling Prosthetic Limbs

    What happens if someone loses a body part? Can an artificial replacement be wired back up to the brain so it can be controlled? Todd Kuiken is pioneering this approach at the University of Chicago and Chris met up with him, together with his patient Glen Lehman, and surgeon Mart...

  • 38:42 - A Viral link for Throat and Mouth Cancer

    Over 90% of Throat and Mouth cancers contain the genetic signature of the Human Papilloma Virus. Scientists think that people having oral sex is spreading the virus to the mouth...

  • 47:21 - Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat OCD

    Doctors are reporting significant success in treating OCD by using deep brain stimulation, which is carried out by implanting electrodes into patients’ brains...

  • 52:20 - Not Enough Nitrogen to Feed the World

    Life needs accessible nitrogen - but for over 100 years we've known that the amount of nitrogen available may not be enough. Professor Jim Galloway explains why fertilising soil may cause more problems than it solves...

  • Giving a Voice to Silent Speech

    By using electrodes to detect facial muscle movements when mouthing words silently, Michael Wand and colleagues have devised a system for silent speech recognition. The device could offer hope to patients who can move their mouths but not make sounds with their voices.



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