Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Thu, 24th Jan 2013

We're Back! Transparent Electronics

Concept for an Augmented Reality phone (c) Leonard Low from Australia

WE’RE BACK! And in this first episode of our new series, a sponge for soaking up oil slicks, how dung beetles navigate by starlight, the world’s largest jelly, the rebound effect, how dogs came to be, why DNA is the data storage medium of tomorrow. Plus, a heads-up on transparent electronics, including a device that will superimpose a map of the road ahead onto your glasses...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:28 - Oil-spill selective sponge

    A new marshmallow-like material that can selectively absorb oil and be rung out ready for re-use has been demonstrated by researchers in Japan...

  • 04:18 - Dung Beetles Navigate by the Light of the Milky Way

    Dung beetles navigate by the light of the Milky Way, becoming the first insects known to use the night sky in this way to orient themselves. In fact, it’s the first evidence of any animal using the diffuse light from the whole Milky Way, rather than the stars themselves, as a n...

  • 06:27 - Polymer can turn swimming pool to jelly

    One kilogram of a new polyisocyanide polymer can turn an Olympic-sized swimming pool to jelly within minutes. And as the material mimics connective tissues in the body, it could have a key role in healthcare...

  • 10:35 - Energy Efficiency on the Rebound

    Does improved energy efficiency translate into a saving for the planet? Or does it just mean people use more resources because they are correspondingly cheaper?

  • 14:36 - Dog domestication DNA changes revealed

    A comparison of the genetic make-up of dogs and wolves has revealed the most crucial DNA changes that brought man's best friend into being.

  • Structure of the homodimeric restriction enzyme EcoRI (cyan and green cartoon diagram) bound to double stranded DNA (brown tubes) (c) Boghog2 at wikipedia

    20:33 - DNA: the new digital storage medium?

    What’s the most efficient way to store data? You might think it’s a microchip or a laser-disc, but instead the answer’s inside your own cells. DNA may actually be the best option for archiving data...

  • Blue marble. Earth from space (c) NASA

    29:04 - New technologies and endangered species - Planet Earth Online

    Around this time each year, for the past four years, an international group of scientists has put together a list of 15 key global conservation issues. Published in the journal 'Trends in Ecology and Evolution', the project highlights new technologies that could have an impact o...

  • Concept for an Augmented Reality phone (c) Leonard Low from Australia

    34:04 - Transparent Electronics

    Could a contact lens beam a map of the road ahead directly onto your retina? Dr Andrew Flewitt, from the Electronic Devices and Materials Group at Cambridge University, is working on materials that can make electronics invisible...

  • Augmented reality glasses (c) TTP, Cambridge

    41:29 - Augmented Reality Glasses

    What if you could see your digital information – emails, maps, your diary – in front of your eyes all the time, overlaid on relevant bits of the real world? The Technology Partnership in Cambridge are working on just such a wearable augmented reality device...

  • Solar panel (c) George Slickers

    46:54 - Thin-film solar films

    Any type of wearable, portable electronic device is likely to need a way to generate power on the go, and systems embedded into packaging or everyday objects are rarely likely to be plugged in. But how should we power these devices? One option, being researched by PhD students...

  • 54:12 - Can high-frequency sounds repel mosquitoes?

    Dear Chris, I was at the local store the other day and I happened to see a small device being sold that claimed to emit high frequencies (that humans can't hear) that repel mosquitoes. My question is :Is there any peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that high frequency sounds ca...



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