Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 3rd Sep 2011

Why do some animals dump indiscriminately?

Burning questions (c) Original Image - D. McAbee

Why do some animals poo wherever the fancy takes them, whilst others are more fussy about the locations of their lavatory actions? What triggers pins and needles? How do some fish survive in both fresh and saltwater? And how are new nerve cells born in the adult brain? We burn through your best science questions this week as well as taking a look at Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, and hearing how a computer model of a heart can revolutionise cardiac drug design and reviewing the evidence that bacteria were already antibiotic resistant over 30,000 years ago...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:52 - Good News for Broken Hearts

    A completely computer-generated model of the human heart that can successfully predict the effects of anti-arrhythmic drugs has been developed by scientists in the US...

  • 04:41 - Antibiotic resistance is ancient

    Bacterial antibiotic resistance genes have been discovered in soil frozen for over 30,000 years, Canadian scientists have shown.

  • 07:09 - Controlling light wave by wave

    Tiny gold rods may give us almost complete control over light waves.

  • 10:22 - Mood Altering Microbes

    Probiotics, the "friendly" bacteria, seem to have the potential to treat anxiety and depression related disorders due to the effects they have on brain activity...

  • 25:33 - The James Webb Telescope

    Dr. Matt Mountain explains the design of the James Webb Telescope and how infra-red will be used to study the very first galaxies that ever formed...

  • 35:48 - What determines the rate at which a planet spins?

    What determines the rate at which a planet or satellite rotates around its axis? Have these rates changed over time? Is it just a coincidence that our moon rotates around its axis at the same rate that it revolves around the Earth?

  • 47:17 - Are 'pins & needles' damaging?

    If you sit cross-legged for an extended period of time, you get 'pins & needles' in your legs. I know this is caused by restricted blood circulation as a result of your legs pushing down on and 'squashing' your blood vessels... however my question is this - is this dangerous to ...

  • 48:54 - What loses heat fastest, a white or black surface?

    A black object will absorb thermal radiation more readily than a white object. So does a black object emit thermal radiation more readily than a white object?

  • 51:07 - Why do some animals defaecate indiscriminately?

    What's the zoological term for animals like horses and rodents that defaecate indiscriminately anywhere, anytime? Is there an evolutionary advantage? My guess is, if you have to stop what you're doing every time you want to take a poo, it makes you kind of a "squatting duck" fo...

  • 55:12 - How do new neurones develop?

    Neurons don't divide, but new neurons are created from stem cells? How do these new neurons come to be used in the brain? I presume they don't migrate, but instead extend their dendrites and axons. But aren't the neuron bodies still building up in specific sites of generation?



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