Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 22nd Jan 2012

Vitamin D: Shedding light on diabetes, MS and cancer

Space-filling of the cholecalciferol molecule (vitamin D3) (c) Ben Mills

Could a ray of sunshine hold the key to preventing MS, diabetes and even bowel cancer? Vitamin D - made naturally in skin exposed to strong sunlight - appears to reduce the risk of developing these, and a rash of other diseases. We examine the evidence to find out why as well as hearing how seaweed looks set to ignite a biofuel boom in the future, why a good night's sleep might make traumatic memories worse and how scientists have made multicellular life in the lab in just 60 days...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 14:43 - Seaweed set to ignite biofuel boom

    Already a major contributor to the food and fertiliser industries, seaweed could also hold the key to low cost biofuels thanks to the creation of an algae-eating E. coli strain.

  • 18:18 - A good night’s sleep may make bad memories worse

    Contrary to the prevailing view - scientists find that sleep can reinforce unpleasant memories. Remaining awake, on the other hand, helps you to forget...

  • 20:28 - Evolving Multicellularity

    Prior to about 1 billion years ago, all life on earth consisted of single-celled organisms. Then something happened to trigger squads of these cells to team up together to produce the first multicellular organisms, like our bodies, and this was a watershed in the evolution of li...

  • 24:52 - Suicidal Comets and Dancing Beetles

    Comets plummeting into the Sun's atmosphere, why exercise can keep diabetes at bay, how the public are helping seismology research and why Dung beetles like to dance...

  • 38:21 - Vitamin D and Cancer

    An international consortium last year confirmed that aspirin can protect people with a genetic predisposition to bowel cancer. Now, they are turning their attention to finding out what Vitamin D could do for cancer...

  • 46:55 - Which oily fish is high in Vitamin D?

    Which oily fish is high in Vitamin D?

  • 54:04 - Are Vitamin D fortified foods a good alternative?

    I'm not happy about the Scottish Government who want to fortify even more foods with their version of Vitamin D, surely we can source our own if we want it. Chemically produced Vitamin D will be no better than most of the other chemically produced products they try to force on u...

  • 55:24 - How does a headache hurt?

    Dear Dr Smith I have always been told that there are no pain receptors in your brain. So what I would like to know is why does in feel like the pain is inside my head when I have a head ache. From Jarryd Dunn



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