Science Show on Cambridge 105 featuring “SCIENTISTS AT WORK”

We’ve recorded dozens of scientists and entrepreneurs talking about what their work involves.  We hear from experts in Cambridge, England as they talk about their inventions, discoveries and interests. We shout to twitter @105science. Contact The Science Show via Roger Frost on science@cambridge105.fm .

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Scientists at work 35 The biotechnologist – Difinigen clone liver cells for pharmacology

We talk to Dr Marcus Yeo about how human cell production benefits drug development. Dr Yeo is from DifiniGEN, a Cambridge company that grows liver cells used to test if new drugs are harmful. Their technology comes from the Nobel Prize-winning work of Cambridge university’s Sir John Gurdon. The ability to grow special cells from stem cells also offers the possibility for organ replacement in the future.

Follow-up link:

  • DifiniGEN definigen.com

18/02/2013 Tagged 105science, biology, Chris Creese, DNA, health, Roger Frost

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Scientists at work 34 The atmospheric scientist – John Pyle – atmospheric ozone

We visit the Centre for Atmospheric Science in Cambridge University and speak to Professor John Pyle about modelling the lower atmosphere using supercomputers.

Follow-up link:

  • Centre for Atmospheric Science atm.ch.cam.ac.uk
  • See also ‘The earth scientist’, interview 41 in this series with Dr Ingrid Cnossen who works for the British Antarctic Survey.

Tagged 105science, atmosphere, BAS, environment, British Antarctic survey, ionosphere, science, modelling

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Scientists at work 33 The entrepreneur – Hildago Equivital and Felix Baumgartner’s skyjump

Our guest Anmol Sood of Hildago was on the team that monitored Felix Baumgartner health as he jumped from the edge of space and reached a speed of over 800 mph. Based in Cambridge UK, the company makes the Equivital Lifemonitor and are expert at handling data from sensors.

Follow-up link:

  • See Anmol Sood on BBC Breakfast: www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19958528
  • Equivital from Hildago www.equivital.co.uk

15/12/2012 Tagged Chris Creese, health, physics, Roger Frost

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Scientists at work 32 The experimental psychologist – Cambridge Cognition tests for Alzheimers disease

Dr Jenny Barnett of Cambridge Cognition speaks about the neuropsychological tests they develop including one designed for the early detection of dementia. Their test is to be used in a government-funded field trial. And Jenny has advice for how to improve memory.

  • Cambridge Cognition www.cantab.com

17/11/2012 Tagged Chris Creese, health, Roger Frost

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Scientists at work 31 The science outreacher – Cambridge science centre

The Cambridge Science Centre is a really useful educational attraction in the city centre. Founder Dr Chris Lennard tells Roger Frost what the centre aims to do for science education. The Cambridge Science Centre opened in 2013 at 18 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, near the round church.

Follow-up link:

  • Cambridge Science Centre cambridgesciencecentre.org.

03/11/2012 Tagged Roger Frost, science education

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Scientists at work 30 The social psychologist – cleanliness and perception

Does cleanliness affect perception? University of Cambridge psychology PhD student, Dario Krpan thinks so. He discusses how the state of our body affects how we perceive things. For example, feeling more clean might harshen our judgement, and feeling pious might make us feel more clean.

20/10/2012 Tagged biology, psychology, Chris Creese, health, Roger Frost

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Scientists at work 29 The eco-home builder – solar panels by Polysolar

Pete McKeown, director of Cernunnos Homes and Hamish Watson, director of Polysolar tell Chris Creese about their special solar panels and offer some smart ideas for using solar energy.

Follow-up link:

  • Cernunnos Homes http://www.cernunnos-homes.co.uk
  • Polysolar http://www.polysolar.co.uk

05/10/2013 Tagged 105science, Chris Creese, environment, home energy, physics, Roger Fros

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Scientists at work 28 The ice chemist – Robert Mulvanney British Antarctic Survey

We hear how British Antarctic Survey scientists drill ice to discover how the world has changed over thousands of years. Dr. Robert Mulvaney of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge talks to the Science Show’s Roger Frost. He finds out that not all global warming is his fault or ours.

Follow-up link:

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19348427
  • http://www.antarctica.ac.uk//bas_research/science/climate/icecore/page1.php
  • http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=1892

Tagged chemistry, Chris Creese, conservation, environment, Roger Frost, chemistry 02/10/2012

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Scientists at work 27 The conservation scientist – Andrew Balmford Wild Hope

Speaking to The Science show’s Chris Creese, the author of “Wild Hope” explains what ecosystems do for us, and how we can help ourselves by helping the environment. Cambridge conservation scientist, Andrew Balmford, explains why there’s hope for saving the planet.

Follow-up link:

Andrew Balmford’s book, “Wild Hope: On the Front Lines of Conservation Success” http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wild-Hope-Front-Conservation-Success/dp/0226035972

14/09/2012 Tagged biology, Chris Creese, conservation, environment

 

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Scientists at work 26 The ecology researcher – Marten Sheffer Critical Transitions

The Science Show’s Chris Creese reports from the Ecological Society of America conference in Portland, USA. She chats with ‘critical transitions’ expert Marten Scheffer (Netherlands). They talk about Marten’s book and a collaboration on a film with artist Tone Bjordam.

Follow-up link:

Tagged biology, Chris Creese, environment, conservation, Roger Frost 29/08/2012

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Scientists at work 25 The computer scientist – Raspberry Pi computer and its aims

Cambridge University’s Dr Rob Mullins and Alex Bradbury, developed the inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer to bump start computing, much like the Acorn BBC Micro did thirty years ago.

Follow-up link:

Tagged biology, technology, maths, physics, Roger Frost 11/08/2012

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Scientists at work 24 The ecologist – phenology and public involvement in research

Chris Creese reports from the Ecological Society of America conference in Portland USA. She has the stories on how the Internet is enabling ordinary people to become get involved in scientific discovery. She talked about how we can all get involved in science research to Jake Weltzin of the USA National Phenology Network and Brendan Weiner from ‘Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation’.

Follow-up link:

Tagged Chris Creese, environment, maths, biology 11/08/2012

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Scientists at work 23 The engineer – Bloodhound the fastest car on earth

Roger Frost finds out about Bloodhound, an engineering initiative for students to build the world’s fastest car. He speaks with Ian Galloway, Bloodhound’s Education Professional Development Director about the bid to break the world land speed record.

Follow-up link:

  • The BLOODHOUND Project is an engineering adventure for the 21st century bloodhoundssc.com

Tagged engineering, physics 19/08/2012

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Scientists at work 22 The bird watcher – Cambridgeshire wetland birds

Learn about wetlands and bird habitats as Chris Creese grabs binoculars and speaks with Peter Herkenrath, Chairman of the Cambridgeshire Bird Club.

Follow-up links:

Tagged biology, environment, physics 28/07/2012

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Scientists at work 21 The experimental psychologist – Alzheimers disease – love addiction

Experimental psychologist Brianne Kent talks to Chris Creese about memory, Alzheimer’s disease; and why love is a drug. Brianne Kent was working on a PhD in experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge. She studied Alzheimer’s disease and how memories form in the brain. Brianne also tells about dopamine, a brain chemical that figures in drug addiction and falling in love.

Follow-up link:
The fight against Alzheimer’s disease at the Alzheimer Society: alzheimers.org.uk
The article “Your Love is my drug” by Brianne Kent in BlueSci www.bluesci.org/?p=7474
A book by Helen Fisher “Why do we love: the nature and chemistry of romantic love“ at Amazon Books www.amazon.co.uk/Why-We-Love-Chemistry-Romantic/dp/0805077960

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Scientists at work 20 The water company – supplying a city with water

Stephen Kay of the Cambridge Water Company talks to Nicola Terry on how the city is supplied with water. We learn about our underground source of water and an intriguing range of pipes. We also hear about a lovely ‘Dry Garden’, containing not-so thirsty plants, which CW established at Cambridge University Botanical gardens.

Follow-up link:

  • Find a water use calculator; tips for water economy and recommended garden plants at Cambridge Water Company www.cambridge-water.co.uk.

Tags: water supply, bore hole, lead pipe, Cambridge Water,Cambridge University Botanical gardens, Nicola Terry,cambridge-water.co.uk

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Scientists at work 19 The sun seeker – travel advice

The Science Show’s Chris Creese looks at the science behind travel health advice and offers tips on sun cream and more.

Follow-up link:

  • Look up the area to where you’ll be travelling at the World Health Organisation who.int/ith/en and figure out what you’ll be up against and what vaccinations you may need.

Tags: immunisation, holiday, sun cream, factor, ultaviolet, travel advice

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Scientists at work 18 The data logger company – agriculture

Roger Frost meets Tony Peloe from Cambridge firm, Delta-T, who supply plant and environment monitoring equipment to plant growers and researchers.

Follow-up link:

  • Delta-T www.delta-t.co.uk

Tagged biology, Nicola Terry, physics, technology, datalogger, data logging, pyranometer, soil humidity, Delta-T,

Roger Frost 19/02/12

 

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Scientists at work 17 The plant scientist – plants coping with drought

With water shortages and hosepipe bans in summer, Nicola talks to plant scientist Dr Helen Holmes about the importance of water and how plants respond to a lack of it. Helen is based at the University of Cambridge Department of Science and works on projects with Rothamstead Research in Hertfordshire.

Tagged biology, plant, stress, water uptake,Rothamstead, Nicola Terry, Helen Holmes

24/03/2012

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Scientists at work 16 The chocolatier – making chocolate

Chocolatier Cheryl Brighty of Artistry in Cocoa, tells Nicola Terry how chocolate is made from a cocoa pod.

Follow-up link:

  • Artistry in cocoa www.artistryincocoa.co.uk

Tagged biology, making, chocolate, cocoa, chemistry,artistryincocoa, Nicola Terry

Roger Frost 19/05/2012

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Scientists at work 15 The Antarctic scientist – hydrothermal vents

Roger Frost visits the British Antarctic Survey HQ at Madingley. We hear from scientist Dr Alastair Graham about the work of BAS and about the life around hydrothermal vents.

Follow-up links:

  • BAS at www.bas.ac.uk
  • www.antarctica.ac.uk/about_bas/news/news_story.php?id=1688

Tagged biology,hydrothermal vents,British Antarctic Survey,BAS, Cambridge,Antarctic, crabs, Alastair Graham

Roger Frost 10/03/12

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Scientists at work 14 The home insulation advisor – heat loss from houses

Nicola Terry hitches a ride on the Heatseekers vehicle in Cambridge as speaks with Dawn Morley.  Dawn explains how their infra red camera is able to see where a house loses its heat. They take their infra red camera on the streets and use it to measure the temperature of the outside walls of a house and see which walls and windows waste heat.

  • Follow-up link Heat Seekers on 0800 111 4968 or homeheatseekers.co.uk

Tagged home energy, Nicola Terry, physics,Heat Seekers, Dawn Morley, infra red camera,infrared, camera

10/03/12

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Scientists at work 13 The architect – Cambridge eco-homes

Roger Frost visits a super-insulated city home that minimises its use of energy and has a garden for insulation on the roof. He talks to architect Jeremy Ashworth about the ways that his building saves energy.

  • Thanks to Ashworth Parkes Architects Limited www.ashworthparkes.co.uk
  • For case studies see openecohomes.org
  • Cambridge Carbon Footprint cambridgecarbonfootprint.org

Tagged home energy, physics, architect, openecohomes, ecohomes, cambridgecarbonfootprint,Cambridge Carbon Footprint, cambridge

05/05/2012

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Scientists at work 12 The materials scientist – properties of materials

Stuart Dye from Granta Design in Cambridge explains how the company help engineers choose materials to make a product.

Tagged engineering, chemistry, materials, choosing, physics, Granta Design, Cambridge, Nicola Terry, Stuart Dye

22/01/2012

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Scientists at work 11 The building scientist – home energy use

Science Show reporter Nicola Terry asked a local environmental scientist Dr Ray Galvin to tell us about houses and heat loss. He offers a scientific look at ways to reduce our use of energy in the home. He also suggests that we might look at dehumidifiers and heat pumps to reduce our energy bill.

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Scientists at work 10 The entrepreneur – purifying water from fracking shale

Roger Frost speaks with Matt Bruff of Altela Inc, a Denver company making technology that turns the most polluted water useful again. The company licence large-scale water recycling plants that handle the massive quantities of polluted water that arise when extracting oil and gas. Matt Bruff in Cambridge and he tells how their technology gives water that’s pretty much fit to drink.

  • Thanks by the gallon to Altela Inc altelainc.com

Tagged chemistry, Chris Creese, physics, Roger Frost 14/07/2012

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Scientists at work 09 The statistician – choosing a university

Looking for a place at Oxbridge? This show looks at the information available to help students make a better choice of university. Roger Frost talks to former college admissions tutor John Green on the need for scientific data and intelligent ways to analyse it.

  • Read more at myoxbridgechoice.com.

Tagged biology, university, admissions, statistics, maths 07/04/2012

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Scientists at work 08 The journal editor – parasitology and parasites

Journal editor Sally Hirst talks about a group of micro-organisms called parasites.

 

Tagged biology, health 30/06/2012

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Scientists at work 07 The gardener – weeds and herbicides

As the season switched from spring to summer we look at weedkillers. How do weedkillers (aka herbicides) work? How can a weedkiller target one plant and not another? Roger Frost asked plant scientist, Chris Creese and gained some intriguing answers.

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The first twenty five scientists at work interviewed on Cambridge 105  

Subscribe to the weekly interviews for free at itunes (search 105science; Cambridge 105) or see http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/science-show-on-cambridge/id554635186

  1. The cancer researcher – working to save the Tasmanian devil 10/2015
  2. The diet doctor – promoting a Mediterranean diet 10/2015
  3. The inventor – making an IR camera for art museums 10/2015
  4. The technical specialist – working to improve phone signal reception 10/2015
  5. The science teacher – writing a dictionary of science jargon 11/2015
  6. The conservation scientist – monitoring species at the IUCN 11/2015
  7. The gardener – working with weeds and herbicides 11/2015
  8. The journal editor – understanding parasitology and parasites 11/2015
  9. The statistician – helping us to choose a university
  10. The entrepreneur – purifying the water from fracking shale
  11. The building scientist – reducing energy use at home
  12. The materials scientist – working to categorise materials
  13. The architect – designing an eco-home in Cambridge
  14. The home insulation advisor – talking about heat loss
  15. The Antarctic scientist – studying hydrothermal vents
  16. The chocolatier – making chocolate from beans
  17. The plant scientist – studying how plants cope with drought
  18. The data logger company – selling equipment to agriculture
  19. The sun seeker – understanding travel advice
  20. The water company – working to supply a city with water
  21. The experimental psychologist – working on Alzheimers disease and ‘addiction to love’
  22. The bird watcher – looking at Cambridgeshire wetland birds
  23. The engineer – developing Bloodhound, the fastest car on earth
  24. The ecologist – involving the public in phenology research
  25. The computer scientist – developing the Raspberry Pi computer
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Scientists at work 06 The conservation scientist – about the IUCN

The ‘International Union for Conservation of Nature’ is the world’s oldest and largest environmental organisation and has a base in Cambridge in Huntingdon Road. Nicola Terry hears from with the IUCN’s Rebecca Miller about her work.

  • Read more at iucn.org
  • Find the “IUCN Red list” of threatened species at iucnredlist.org
  • Enter your own species sightings at www.inaturalist.org
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Scientists at work 05 The science teacher – writing a dictionary of science jargon

Cambridge science teacher Dr William Hirst tells Roger Frost how learning the language of science can improve children’s success at school. Dr Hirst is the author of a science dictionary for ages 10 -14 called “William’s Words in Science”

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Scientists at work 04 The technical specialist – mobile phone signal reception

Chris Cox  of IPACCESS in Cambourne explains to Roger Frost how mobile phones talk to radio masts; how signals decrease inside buildings and how femtocells (aka ‘small cells’) can improve a weak signal.

  • Follow-up link IP access ipaccess.com

Tagged technology, physics, Roger Frost 05/02/12

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Scientists at work 03 The inventor – making an IR camera for art museums

When the news told of the discovery of ‘another’ Mona Lisa, Roger Frost visited local inventor Lawrence Robinson of OPUS Instruments.  He learned about the OSIRIS infra-red camera which had been used to verify the find by ‘seeing’ under the paint of paintings.

Follow-up link

  • OPUS Instruments www.opusinstruments.com.

Tagged infrared, technology, physics, Roger Frost First played on the Science Show 05/02/12

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Scientists at work 02 The diet doctor – promoting a Mediterranean diet

The sponsors of the London Olympic games included a fizzy drink maker; a fast food restaurant and a chocolate brand, so we go in search of advice on a healthy diet. Cambridge doctor Simon Poole offered his knowledge on healthy food. He talks about the difference between Omega-3 and Omega-6 and the Mediterranean diet.

Follow-up links

  • Dr Poole can be contacted via the website: the Taste of the Mediterranean at www.tasteofthemed.com

Tagged biology, health, 23/04/2012

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Scientists at work 01 The cancer researcher – working to save the Tasmanian devil

Hear about a cute animal with the less cute name of the Tasmanian Devil. It is fast becoming extinct as it can suffer from an unusual cancer that is contagious. The Science Show’s Chris Creese asks Sanger Institute researcher Elizabeth Murchison what’s going on.

Follow-up links

  • Watch Elizabeth Murchison on “Fighting a contagious cancer” in a TED talk (disturbing images) www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_murchison.html.
  • The Sanger Institute on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus www.sanger.ac.uk
  • Save the Tasmanian Devil at www.tassiedevil.com.au

Tagged biology, health, cancer. 16/06/2012

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Astronomy with Paul Fellows of Cambridge Astronomical Association + astronomy events in Cambridge

What is about the study of the stars that captivates so many? Paul Fellows of the Cambridge Astronomical Association explains about his subject. Hear about dark matter, isotopes, space probes and the association’s weekly events in Cambridge.

What’s on in Cambridge UK for the public

  • All ages are welcome to join a weekly astronomy event at the Institute of Astronomy off Madingley Road. Talks and star gazing when possible. Every Wednesday in University term time at 7pm. Car park near the entrance on the right. Walk on further to the Hoyle Building. To see what’s planned for weeks ahead, look up the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy and click on Public talks. Or see www.ast.cam.ac.uk/public
  • Cambridge Astronomical Association members talks and meetings – see www.caa-cya.org/

Events for school-age people

  • Mondays – Cambridge Young Astronomers age 11+ group
  • Thursdays –  Cambridge Young Astronomers age 7-11 group

For example
Monday 5th January 2015 19:15 CYA 11+ group The Moon
Saturday 31st January 2015 10:00 CYA 7-11 group Back to the Future
Monday 2nd February 2015 19:15 CYA 11+ group Occultations
Saturday 28th February 2015 10:00 CYA 7-11 group Eclipse

Cambridge Astronomical Association 

  • Join the mailing list http://www.caa-cya.org/newversion/reminders.php
  • Join the association, form at http://www.caa-cya.org/newversion/joinus.php

And that’s pretty much all from the Science Show on Cambridge 105 as the show takes a holiday.  For news of that follow us on twitter@105science. You can still pick up all 60 of our podcasts at http://cambridge105.fm/podcasts/science-show/ or go to the iTunes Store and search for 105 science or Cambridge 105. Finally, many thanks to astronomer Paul Fellows and the dozens of guests who informed us how science takes shape in Cambridge today. Bye from me, Roger Frost.

 

 

 

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Ensuring quality wheat – CAMGRAIN 105science

This podcast is about what happens when wheat leaves the farm. We take up the story after the August crop harvest and speak with Dr Andrew Wingate who tells how CAMGRAIN deliver quality assured wheat.

Ideas in this show: 

  • How is wheat tested and cleaned after it arrives from the farm?
  • The grain supply chain
  • What are strong and weak wheat flour?
  • What is gluten?
  • Microwave ovens and metal – with Daniel Edward

CAMGRAIN is a farmer-owned central storage co-operative, set up 20 years ago to provide facilities for storing, analysing, cleaning and distributing grain to the food industry such as those who mill, brew and make breakfast cereal. Find out at www.camgrain.co.uk. Listen to the show at a link below.

REPEAT – new edit

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World War One, the Chemists War, Michael Freemantle – 105science

How the First World War, that began in 1914, put the world’s chemists to work making chemicals to harm as well as heal though overall with horrific outcomes. The author of two books about the First World War, Dr Michael Freemantle will remind us that Chemistry was not only the destructive force in the war but it also protected the troops, and healed the wounded.  Dr Michael Freemantle has written:

The Chemists’ War: 1914-1918

Gas Gas! Gas! Quick, Boys: How Chemistry Changed the First World War

Chemical warfare – notes

At one point CHEMICAL WEAPONS were considered by the British to be a MORE humane way to kill people. A speech recorded at the USA National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that the use of chemical weapons may best be understood by listening to the scientists who had firsthand knowledge of their development.

Writing in the late 1960s, chemist James Conant, who directed US GAS production during World War One, said: To me, the development of new and more gases seemed no more immoral that the manufacture of explosives and guns. . . . I did not see in 1917 . . . why tearing a man’s guts out by high explosive shell is to be preferred to maiming him by chemicals attacking his lungs or skin. All war is immoral.

On the German side, Otto Hahn, a future Nobel prize winner in chemistry, was recruited by Fritz Haber to the German chemical weapons program. Otto Hahn went to the eastern front to see the capabilities of this new weapon. The experience left him profoundly shaken: I was very ashamed and deeply agitated. First we attacked the Russian soldiers with our gas, and then, when we saw the poor chaps lying on the ground slowing dying, we restored their breathing with our rescue equipment. The total insanity of war became obvious to us. First one attempts to eliminate the unknown enemy in his trench, but when one comes face to face with him, one cannot bear it and sets about helping him. Yet often we could no longer save the poor victims.

Metal helmets – notes

For the first couple of years of World War I, none of the countries provided steel helmets to their troops. Soldiers of most nations went into battle wearing cloth caps that offered no protection. German troops wore a traditional leather Pickelhaube – that pointy German hat. The lethal head wounds inflicted by on the French led them to introduce the steel helmet in 1915. It was not until 1916, two years into the war that they were issued to all the British. But after they introduced metal helmets, the War Office was amazed to discover that the incidence of head injuries increased. So why should the number of head injuries increase when men wore metal helmets rather than cloth caps? The answer is that if a man arrived alive at the field hospital with a head wound, he would be listed as head wound, but if the man was dead, he would be listed as ‘dead’. Introducing metal helmets decreased the number listed as dead, but increased the number listed as head wound.

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Choosing a guitar – 105science

With many different types of guitars, we find out how much more is involved in the sound we get from various models, and whether or not this impacts on the price. Are we just paying for a brand name or the association with a particular musician? Today’s guest is Graham Buxton, a name that local music fans and musicians will recognise from a long musical pedigree. Graham has spent many years advising new musicians as to the pros and cons of each instrument. Neil asks Graham about the kind of guitars that are available. If it is perhaps true that we are paying for a brand, there is a level of quality which is behind the names which accounts towards the price. That is the case whether we’re talking about tools, foods or fashions for example. Hear the Interview with Graham Buxton here, and the whole show below.

Next Show Saturday 2.30pm 25th October 2014 – WW1 – the chemists war

What’s on

  • Applications for the Cambridge Science Festival 2015 http://www.cambridgesciencefestival.org/GetInvolved/Participate.aspx
  • The Big Biology Day is a one day Science Festival for all ages that celebrates the life sciences and engages everyone with hands-on activities, crafts and displays. Amongst many other activities, you will be able to have a go at dissecting owl pellets, test your brain with mirror writing, discover what cells and mitochondria do…. and get to meet lots of animals. “The Big Biology Day” is at the Hills Road Sixth Form College, from 10am till 4pm Saturday, 18th October
  • On October 20th and running until November 2nd, all over Cambridge, we also have the ‘Festival of Ideas.’ This festival includes workshops, activities and lectures celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences through hundreds of events, many of which are free. Local museums, Art Houses, Theatres and the Cambridge Junction are opening their doors for the festival, and of course, as you might imagine, the range of events is huge. The website, http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/events, lists 25 pages of events which cross all fields of scientific interest, although of course, in the best of radio traditions, we have to tell you that other subjects ARE available.
  • On Wednesday 22nd October, from 7pm until 9pm, The Cambridge Science Centre presents an evening entitled “The Science of Fiction: Future”. Asking the question “Can fiction predict the future?” The Science Centre will put your questions to best-selling author Alastair Reynolds, futurist Melissa Sterry, astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell and historian Melanie Keene. There’s a recommended donation of £3.00, payable on the evening at the Cambridge Science Centre on Jesus Lane.
  • Chain Reaction will be running at the Guildhall in the Market Square in Cambridge on Saturday 22nd November, involving families, schools and local companies who will get stuck into building a huge chain of crazy contraptions that trigger one another around the room and across the stage. Contact the Cambridge Science Centre on Jesus Lane.
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Fracking for shale gas and purifying fracking water – 105science

Fracking was once uneconomic, but today’s energy crisis has led to new options. Just as the government has issued licences to drill in the UK, so too there have been protests in the UK. This podcast wises-up on what ‘fracking’ is by looking out to the USA experience where 95% of their oil and gas wells are hydraulically fractured.

There are lots of issues around our topic … green issues, sustainability issues … but today we look at how the process works. It used to be, at least from the movies we’ve seen, that people would find oil, drill a hole and oil would gush to the surface. Using oil to power machinery started the industrial revolution. Getting oil then was relatively easy. It’s long been known that a type of rock called shale holds amounts of oil and gas. Shale is a rock formed from mud silt, clay, and organic matter. The grain of shale is fine so it’s not very permeable. To get the gas from it, it needs to be cracked open to make it permeable. That’s achieved by pumping millions of litres of water underground.

You’ll hear from Matt Bruff of Altela Incorporated when he visited Cambridge this summer. Matt works in the industry concerned with purifying the water that comes back out of the oil well. His company processes the water – as he’ll explain – letting solids settle and then desalinating the water. Click here for just the interview. Click below for the broadcast show.

There are valid objections to ‘fracking’ in our lovely countryside. As a quick list, one concern is that water used is contaminated by chemicals and picks up other substances on its way through layers of earth.
Another is that the cement pipes which protect the ground water might leak. Another is that maybe the rock fractures might make their way to the surface. Or their might be small earthquakes.
Another concern is that in having a fresh source of energy, we might take our eye off the target for developing alternative energy solutions and being frugal with our use of carbon based fuels.

 

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Growing food crops interview with Dr Julian Little of Bayer Crop Science – 105science

This podcast focuses on the science of food crops. The growing world population leads to a demand to farm the land several times more effectively than we used to. But growing crops comes with risks. The farmer wants more of a guarantee that their efforts bear fruit. Consumers obviously want a guarantee that their food is free from harmful extras. What can be done to ensure the farmer’s crop succeeds? And what is being done to ensure our food is safe to eat? Roger Frost talks with Dr Julian Little, a crop specialist at world leading science company Bayer Crop Science in Cambridge. Click below to hear the full show, click here for just the interview with Dr Julian Little.

  • Find advice on pests, weeds, new seeds and plant diseases at http://www.bayercropscience.co.uk/.
  • Surprising facts on Bayer, the company at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer

Science news this week by Daniel Edward:

  • Daniel reports on a social psychology study of tourist’s choice of restaurant.
  • Plus the mystery of a pulsar (radio emitting star) that vanished. We collect the theories on the likely cause.

 

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Molecular Gastronomy with Peter Barham plus Improving cycling using psychology – 105science

We talk with Peter Barham, a professor of ‘Molecular Gastronomy’ about what his delicious subject entails.  He wrote the book “The Science of Cooking”. His idea is that “a kitchen is like science laboratory”, and that cookery is indeed an experimental science. Professor Barham has worked with restaurant chefs including Heston Blumenthal of the celebrated “Fat Duck” restaurant in Berkshire.
He was giving a talk in Cambridge for the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research. (Listen to show at the link below below or just  the interview here). You can find more talks at the C.S.A.R. website. (http://www.csar.org.uk)

TOUR DE FRANCE – IMPROVING CYCLING PERFORMANCE with PSYCHOLOGY
A surprising report, from guest Science Show presenter Daniel Edward, on how cycling performance is being improved with a programme to change not physique but cyclists’ attitude to the pain of working at their limits.

SCIENCE NEWS in this show

  • The Emperor penguin is in peril and deserve endangered species status. http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2014-06/whoi-sfe062714.php
  • The Malaria parasite changes your body smell in order to attract other mosquitoes to your skin. http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2014-06/ez-bor062714.php

WHAT’S ON AT Cambridge Science Centre
Extreme Engineering – discover how to build the world’s tallest buildings, design an earthquake-proof structure, and find out how shrinking electronics is changing our lives. The Science Centre has new exhibits on ‘materials for on extreme environments’ and also ‘engineering and speed’. Find the summer programme dates at http://www.cambridgesciencecentre.org

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Fluid physics and chemical engineering with Dr Mark Haw – 105science

Hear about measuring the properties of materials that are not just solids or liquids or gases but are all three in one. The soil under your feet is one such material – it is of course a solid with air and water mixed in. Knowing how soil behaves is especially helpful when you intend to build on it! And how soil behaves is even more interesting when you’re trying to build on top land that might be hit by an earthquake.

Dr Mark Haw tells how important are the physical properties of materials. He lectures at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow about “Multi-phase systems” and “Flow response of suspensions and granular media’, so you might not connect that with anything you ever learned. But he’ll be explaining about the fact that his branch of engineering, like many areas of research today, turns out to be a complete mix of disciplines.  Dr Haw was in town to give a talk on what ‘life’ consists of, at the Cambridge Science Festival. In this interview you’ll hear him mention the fictional Dr Frankenstein, asking how we might turn a body made of sewed together parts, into a living thing.

Listen to the interview with Dr Mark Haw or listen to the entire broadcast below.

 

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Civil Engineering with Professor Robert Mair – 105science

Asking someone to send you an “engineer” will conjure up all sorts of people who build and fix things. But today’s show is about civil engineers. Professor Robert Mair of the University of Cambridge Engineering Department will explain what are they and what do they do. Hear the interview at this link, or listen to the whole show at the link below.

What’s the difference between a civil engineer and a washing machine engineer? Is it that a civil engineer wears a suit? Maybe not, but we’ll be getting the answer and you’ll hear about the civil engineering in “Crossrail”, a £15 billion project to a build train route from Reading, tunnel across London and then on to Essex and Kent. Work started five years ago and the first trains will run in 2019.

Hear about engineering in these show podcasts:

• Learn about aerodynamics and the need for bumps on airplane wings from Prof Holger Babinsky at the University of Cambridge.
• Steve Groves of Nissan tells about the technology behind the world’s best selling electric vehicle. Called the Nissan LEAF this car drives across town without adding pollution or traffic noise.
• Dr Michelle Oyen from bioengineering at the University of Cambridge explains how materials science is put to use in medicine where there’s a need for replacement tissues. We hear about measuring the properties of bone and ‘hydrogels’. We discuss the uptake of engineering by girls.
• An engineering initiative to build the world’s fastest car – called Bloodhound – is aimed at recruiting students to engineering. We speak with the project’s education officer about this unusual car.

What’s on

Maps are crucial tools for survival. An exhibition at The Polar Museum traces the development of maps of the Polar oceans and coastlines. The gallery has a life-size submarine control room, electronic charts and an original 16th century atlas depicting fictional Arctic islands, just to name a few finds. Till Sat 31 May 2014

The Fitzwilliam Museum is exhibiting collections from eight local Museums from artworks to scientific artefacts, historic instruments to zoological specimens. Art, science and exploration is open daily till July 2014
On Wednesday, 28th May 2014, the Cambridge Science Centre on Jesus Lane provides an opportunity to see a robot able to learn to track objects.
On Friday, May 30th 2014, also at the Cambridge Science Centre offers a session called Computer Mind-Readers. Peter Robinson, Professor at the University of Cambridge Computer Lab will show how computers can interpret our emotions. Normal admission charges apply.

More shows

You can pick up Science Show podcasts on iTunes. Just search for ’105 science’ or ‘Cambridge 105′
The next broadcast on Cambridge 105 will be at our summer show time of 5:30pm on Saturday 14th June 2014

 

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Aerodynamics – Professor Holger Babinsky – 105science

This week we find out about aerodynamics and what it involves. We meet Professor Holger Babinsky at Cambridge University Engineering Department. He talks about wind tunnels and the need for bumps on aeroplane wings.  Listen to the interview or hear the full show at the link below.

See How wings really work – http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/how-wings-really-work

More shows about Engineering

A look at bioengineering where they study  materials like bone and ‘hydrogels’. Science Show podcast – Bioengineering

A look at  the engineering effort that goes into making a battery-powered low-pollution car, the Nissan LEAF. Science Show podcast – the Nissan LEAF car

Can money buy you happiness?

Associate professor of psychology, Ron Rowell says “Everyone has been told if you spend your money on life experiences, it will make you happier, but we found that isn’t always the case.” Everyone’s invited to learn how spending habits affect happiness by contributing to this research programme. Go to www.BeyondThePurchase.org. Press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-05/sfsu-cmb050114.php

Something fishy about the recommendation to eat fish

A study that questions those recommendation to eat fish with omega fatty acids is published in The Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-05/ehs-ifs050114.php

WHAT’S BEEN ON

A Pint of Science where you can learn about science at the pub. Here in Cambridge there will be talks from the 19th to 21st May at three town centre pubs including the Portland Arms. Topics include ‘hacking our senses’, ‘the ageing brain – how to keep it fit’, and ‘modifying memories’. To learn more and book tickets, see www.pintofscience.com

Molecular Gastronomy, The Science of Taste and Flavour is a talk on Monday 19th May at 19:30 by Professor Peter Barham. At Churchill College, Storey’s Way, Cambridge.

2050: Sustainable UK a talk on on Thursday 15th May at 7pm. Science author and broadcaster, Dr John Emsley questions if the ‘green solution’ is a better alternative. He thinks that organic farming and natural materials cannot feed, clothe and house 9 billion humans. Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Road, Cambridge.

Advances in Research and Practice of Tunnelling Under Cities, a talk on Monday 5th May. Urban congestion is a serious problem in many cities, so the creation of underground space, and underground transport, is essential for future megacities. Professor Robert Mair, Department of Engineering explains how tunnels can be built in cities. Monday 05 May, 19:30-21:00 at Churchill College, Cambridge.

OUR NEXT SHOW

Listen on Cambridge 105 on Saturday 17th May at our special new summer slot of 5.30pm

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Climate change + Crop development in Africa – 105science

Can we believe that the climate will change in the long term, when we can’t even predict tomorrow’s weather? Our guest Tim Palmer is a Professor in Climate Physics at the University of Oxford, and President of the Royal Meteorological Society. In this interview with Professor Tim Palmer he reminds us that we are quite good at predicting the weather. He will also tell us what the job entails and how maths and physics are at the core of making predictions.

A Cambridge project is seeking to improve farming practices in Africa by sharing advances in biotechnology.  They’re called Biosciences for Farming in Africa (www.b4fa.org). Chris Creese meets one of their founders Dr David Bennett. There’s a  ‘demonstration farm’ in Cambridge called the National Institute of Agricultural Botany Innovation Farm, Lawrence Weaver Road, off Huntingdon Road. See www.innovationfarm.co.uk

What’s on in Cambridge, UK in March 2014

The Cambridge Science Centre on Jesus Lane aims to be the all year round science festival. They are open 7-days days a week with a series of special events. Until June, each weekend they’re running an exhibition of optical tricks and illusions. They’ve called it Perception – described here as a “sensory experience using illusions to uncover how our brain makes sense of the world”. Look them up at http://www.cambridgesciencecentre.org

A talk on Wednesday 2nd of April called “If Donald Rumsfeld were a scientist” – by Professor Stephen Emmott, Head of Computational Science at Microsoft Research in Cambridge
The past five decades have been characterised by spectacular scientific advances, spanning particle physics, molecular biology and neuroscience. Yet some of the most ‘basic’ building blocks of biology, the brain and the biosphere remain poorly understood.  Prof Emmott asks What are some of the outstanding known unknowns? On Wednesday 02 April 2014, 19:00-20:00 Institute of Continuing Education, Madingley Hall.

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The Nissan LEAF electricity powered car – 105science

About the technology behind the world’s best selling electric vehicle. Called the Nissan LEAF, it’s a car to drive across town with the thought that you’re not pumping out pollution, or adding to the traffic noise as you do. We speak with Nissan’s Vehicle Evaluation Manager Steve Groves to hear about the science of its battery and of the innovative technology in this car. Thanks to the Cambridge Institution of Engineering and Technology for running the event at Cambridge University Engineering Department. Contact the IET mailing list. Listen to the show below. Or hear the interview with Steve Groves here.

Car info for the curious

  • The Nissan LEAF is a production car, selling now, that has a top speed of ninety miles per hour. It  won a World Car of the Year Award
  • LEAF stands for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car. The models sold across Europe are made in the UK, in Sunderland .
  • Little or no road tax or London ‘congestion charge’. A regular petrol fuelled car costs 20p a mile in fuel, the Nissan LEAF can cost just 2p of electricity a mile.
  • The 24kWh battery charges from a regular 13a socket or at  public places such as the Grafton Shopping Centre car park or the park and ride car parks.

What’s on in Cambridge

  • The Cambridge Science Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary from 10th to 23rd March. Check their website at www.cam.ac.uk/SCIENCE-FESTIVAL
  • On Thursday 06 March at 7pm – a guided tour of the Herbarium at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Run by Cambridge Natural History Society. Booking is essential. http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/50379
  • On Tuesday 04 March at 7pm there’s ‘A Trail of Research from Opium to Vitamin B12’ with Professor Sir Alan Battersby FRS talking on ‘biosynthesis’ and telling how chemists can discover the reactions by which living systems construct molecules. He will explain how chemical research has changed over the last 60 years. This is at St Catharine’s College. Open to all. http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/48029
  • On March weekends The Cambridge Science Centre run a special weekend exhibition called Perception. It’s described as an extraordinary sensory experience. The exhibition will use illusions to uncover how our senses work and tricks your brain uses to make sense of the world. From 10:00am – 5:00pm. See www.cambridgesciencecentre.org

The Science Show
You can pick up and subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes, just search for 105 science. To stay in touch, follow us on twitter @105science. If you have a science event to promote, a question about science to share, email us at SCIENCE@CAMBRIDGE105.FM.

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Bioengineering research in Cambridge – 105science

Dr Michelle Oyen is a Reader in bioengineering at the University of Cambridge. Dy Oyen explains how materials science can be put to use in medicine where there’s a need to create surgical implants and new tissues. We hear about measuring the properties of bone and ‘hydrogels’ and discuss the uptake of engineering by girls.

SCIENCE NEWS

A new invention: a one-way sound machine allows you to hear without being heard! Hoping for its use in isolating noise from a motorway, we explain how this ‘acoustic circulator’ works. To learn more see the research page of Professor Andrea Alù

PODCASTS

Pick up our podcasts on iTunes. Our next live show on Cambridge 105 will be in two weeks on Saturday 22nd February at 3:30pm

WHAT’S ON IN CAMBRIDGE

Wednesday 19th February

  • There’s an evening of family events in museums across Cambridge from 4.30pm — 8.30pm. At The Polar Museum there are the sights and sounds of ice, while at the Botanic Gardens there’s by torchlight trip through the Glasshouses. And there’s more happening at your favourite Museum in town.
  • Lighting the future – next generation LED lighting‘. Lighting uses 20% of all electricity but we could half that using gallium nitride LED lighting and save £2 billion a year in electricity. Professor Sir Colin Humphreys’ Cambridge group have developed a less costly way to make LED lamps and the electronics, company Plessey, is already manufacturing the new LED’s in Devon, England. Wednesday 19 February 9 pm at Pembroke College

Monday 17th February 

  • Dr. Helen Mason gives a talk called ‘Our Active Sun’. Thanks to Solar space observatories we know how the sun’s activity has been changing. Dr Mason will review what we know about active regions in the sun, and how they affect our environment. 8:30PM at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences.

Friday 14th February

  • Community Energy Forum run by Transition Cambridge. They say that the electricity market is dominated by big energy companies. And while big companies do invest in renewable energy, one idea is that a local community could own and run a renewable energy scheme. They would even get a reasonable return on the investment. In Germany, for example, most renewable energy schemes are owned by individuals or communities. The question is whether we should pursue this in Cambridge? The Community Energy Forum is from 7:30pm. There will be speakers from some existing projects to build the case for a community energy project. Details

Thursday 13th February

  • A talk “A brief history of fungi on plants”. Ali Ashby, from Cambridge University Department of Plant Sciences, will address what is currently known about the co-evolution of plants and fungi, how this facilitated the development of key fungal plant associations, such as the partnership of plants with mycorrhizas and how these associations influence the modern world and could ultimately impact on our future. She will discuss the link between fungi and both the evolution of Orchids and the depletion of the carboniferous coal deposits and why fungi ruled the Earth following the two great extinction events. From 19:30-21:00 At Lord Ashcroft Building (LAB 027), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Wednesday 12th February

  • Tunnelling under London – Keeping Big Ben Upright. Professor Robert Mair says that congestion is a problem in many cities, so the development of underground transport is essential for our future cities. How can tunnels be built in ground sometimes as soft as toothpaste? The talk will describe the latest underground construction techniques. Time 21:00-22:00. In the Nihon Room, Pembroke College
  • From the 12th to the 23rd February 2014 you can see the city in a brand new light during Cambridge’s 2014 “e-Luminate Festival”. They’ll be projecting light on the city’s architecture and showing off the latest technology.


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