554 episodes

A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

BBC Inside Science BBC Podcasts

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 34 Ratings

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A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Are implanted brain chips the future?

    Are implanted brain chips the future?

    Elon Musk’s implanted brain chip, Neuralink, is coming to the UK for clinical trials. Is controlling computers with our minds a future reality or is it all hype? Neuroscientists Dean Burnett and Christina Maher weigh in.
    Zoologist Jules Howard ponders the strange effects drugs in our sewage have on frogs from his garden pond.
    How do we measure the distance to distant galaxies? Astrophysicist Edward Gomez answers a listener's burning question.
    And a 101 on blood groups from Dr Lise Estcourt.

    Presenter: Marnie Chesterton
    Producers: Ella Hubber, Gerry Holt, Sophie Ormiston
    Editor: Martin Smith
    Production Co-ordinator: Jana Bennett-Holesworth

    BBC Inside Science is produced in collaboration with the Open University.

    • 28 min
    How do we solve antibiotic resistance?

    How do we solve antibiotic resistance?

    The looming danger of antibiotic resistance may have fallen out of the public consciousness but is still very much in the mind of those in public healthcare and research. As promising new research is published, the University of Birmingham’s Laura Piddock and GP Margaret McCartney get to the bottom of why antibiotic resistance is still so difficult to tackle.
    Marine biologist Helen Scales joins us in the studio to talk about her new book “What the Wild Sea Could Be” which uses changes in the Earth’s past to predict what we can expect to happen to our oceans in the coming years.
    Cosmologist Andrew Pontzen speculates on what happens in and around the extreme environment of a black hole as news of the first observations of the “plunging zone” comes to light.
    And as the EU head to ban smoky flavoured crisps we ask what the science behind this decision is with Food scientist Stuart Farrimond.
    Presenter: Marnie Chesterton
    Producers: Ella Hubber and Hannah Robins
    Researcher: Caitlin Kennedy
    Editor: Martin Smith
    Production Co-ordinator: Jana Bennett-Holesworth

    • 28 min
    Why do we sleep?

    Why do we sleep?

    Guest presented by Liz Bonnin.
    We all instinctively know that sleep is incredibly important but science doesn’t actually have a satisfying answer for why we need to sleep. There are multiple theories, but now, new research from Imperial College London has suggested that the leading idea might actually be incorrect. Science journalist Ginny Smith explains.
    Nearly 80 years ago, one of the rarest elements in the world, promethium, was first discovered, but it’s properties have only now been revealed. Andrea Sella, Professor of Chemistry at University College London, tells us what this means.
    What’s the scariest animal on the planet? Lions, crocodiles, or maybe tigers might come to mind. Yet a recent study has found that animals around the globe fear our voices far more than sounds of any other predators. Professor Liana Zanette explains how her research could help conservation efforts.
    Finally, we answer one of your questions. Listener Mary Evans got in touch to ask: ‘do you think it's likely that people who are widely travelled and used to eating local food and drinking tap water would have more diverse bacteria in their gut?’ Expert on all things microbiome, Megan Rossi, joins us in the studio to answer Mary’s query. If you have any questions you think we can tackle, you can always email us at insidescience@bbc.co.uk.
    Presenter: Liz Bonnin
    Producers: Hannah Robins, Ella Hubber, Sophie Ormiston
    Researcher: Caitlin Kennedy
    Editor: Martin Smith

    • 28 min
    Micro Nuclear Reactors

    Micro Nuclear Reactors

    Guest presented by Liz Bonnin.
    As the UK strives to achieve net zero by 2050, nuclear energy is looking more and more likely as a key player in reaching this goal. But it’s not just massive power plants like Hinkley point C - there’s are newer smaller reactors on the scene: small and micro modular reactors. 100 to 1000 times smaller than a conventional reactor, faster to build, and put together entirely in a factory before being shipped out, theoretically, anywhere: are micro modular reactors the future of nuclear energy or too good to be true? Dean of Engineering at the University of Liverpool, Eann Patterson, has just published a paper proposing a fleet of micro modular reactors to bear the burden of our energy load and he joins us to discuss the reality.
    What came first, the chicken or the egg? Science writer, broadcaster and now egg expert Jules Howard joins us to answer this age old question. His book Infinite Life tells the story of how the egg propelled evolution – whether it’s bird, insect, or mammal.
    This month, scientist Alexandra Freeman’s appointment to the House of Lords was announced. With a background in risk and evidence communication, Alexandra tells us why she applied, what she hopes to achieve, and how the public can get involved.
    Presenter: Liz Bonnin
    Producers: Hannah Robins, Ella Hubber, Sophie Ormiston
    Editor: Martin Smith
    Production Co-ordinator: Jana Bennett-Holesworth

    • 28 min
    Is gene therapy the future?

    Is gene therapy the future?

    Last week, a girl who was born deaf had her hearing restored following gene therapy. In the US, the first commercial gene therapy for sickle cell disease has just begun. And Great Ormond Street Hospital has found great success in their trials and a gene therapy for children lacking an immune system. Gene therapy is clearly having a moment. But how do these groundbreaking therapies actually work? And will they ever be truly accessible to everyone? Geneticist Professor Robin Lovell-Badge answers all.

    Also this week, atmospheric scientist Laura Wilcox answers an interesting listener question about the effect volcanoes can have on the weather and sticks around to dig into the connection between aerosols and weather in different regions.
    The exhibition “Bees: A Story of Survival” opened at the World Museum in Liverpool this month. Part of the show explains the how honeybees communicate through vibration. Physicist Martin Bencsik, who collected and studies these vibrations, plays us a few and explains their meaning.
    And did you get a chance to see the auroras that covered a large part of the Northern Hemisphere last weekend? The intense solar activity that caused them has some people alarm. Jim Al-Khalili, who has written a science fiction novel based on the concept, talks what is protecting us from solar flares and what could go wrong.
    Presenter: Marnie Chesterton
    Producers: Ella Hubber, Sophie Ormiston and Hannah Robins
    Editor: Martin Smith
    Production Co-ordinator: Jana Bennett-Holesworth

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Stefka.Caran ,

Fantastic

Very enjoyable podcast about latest science news.

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