Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists NewsFLASH episode

Sun, 15th Apr 2012

Conversations over Cocktails and the Pidgeon's Magnetic Myth

A Feral Pigeon or Rock Dove (c) Alan D. Wilson,

How can we hear a conversation in a noisy room?  In this NewsFlash, we find out how a robot can tell us how moving your head alters the way the brain interprets sound, and we discover the epigenetic signature of colon cancer.  Plus, a magnetic mystery - why iron rich cells in the beaks of homing pigeons are not the guiding compass we thought they were...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists NewsFLASH

Full Transcript

  • 00:17 - Conversations over Cocktails: How we Converse in a Crowd

    Picking out a single voice in a noisy room can be a challenge. Our ears are assaulted by a wide range of noises that compete for our attention, yet somehow we are still able to enjoy a coherent conversation. Now, research suggests that the way we move our heads may have a sign...

  • 04:57 - A possible long-term treatment for Fragile X Syndrome

    Researchers have found a possible treatment for Fragile X syndrome – the most common genetic cause of mental retardation in boys and the main single-gene cause of autism.

  • 08:26 - Compass Confusion - The Pigeon's Magnetic Myth

    How do birds navigate long distances? It’s been known for a while that many different animal species are sensitive to Earth’s magnetic field and use this to find their way around. But recent work by scientists in Vienna has shown this may not, unlike previous theories, be the ...

  • 15:00 - The Signature of Colon Cancer

    Cancerous colon cells have a distinctive genetic signature, which could be used to develop personalised treatments, or identify those at risk of developing the disease...



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