Unexpected black hole in our galaxy
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
5d ago
A black hole just discovered in our Milky Way galaxy, weighing 33 times the mass of the Sun, and dating back to near the time of the Big Bang, gives new clues to the origins of this dark astronomical mysteries. And dancing with a Sun-like star in our galactic neighbourhood, it offers a great opportunity for astronomers to take a detailed look in coming years, as astronomer Professor Gerry Gilmore of Cambridge University tells the programme. Presenter Roland Pease has headed to the lab of Professor Ludovic Orlando in Toulouse, France where they are extracting ancient DNA from horses as part of ..read more
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Bird flu in Antarctica
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
1w ago
The highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, H5N1, has arrived on the continent. Australian bird specialist Megan Dewar, from the Federation University of Australia, has led a mission aboard the research ship the Australis. Science in Action remembers physicist Peter Higgs 60 years after his Nobel prize winning theory of the Higgs particle. The unfolding scandal of manipulated data behind claims of incredible room-temperature superconductivity. Science writer Dan Garisto has seen the details in a Rochester University internal investigation. And the alga – single-celled seaweed – with superpowers ..read more
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Earthquake in Taiwan
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
2w ago
A powerful earthquake hit Taiwan on Wednesday morning, but thanks to the country’s early warning system and engineering-preparedness, there was little destruction and few deaths. Seismologist Ross Stein, CEO of earthquake consultancy Temblor, Inc., shares his analysis. The highly pathogenic bird flu H5N1 has been detected in cattle in the US and in a cattle handler in Texas. To learn more about this special animal-to-human transmission, Roland speaks to virologist Richard Webby of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Cen ..read more
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Out of Africa
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
1M ago
The last great "out of Arica" movement of our ancestors swept out of the northeast of the continent 74,000 years ago. Archaeologist John Kappelman of the University of Texas brings us an update to this complex tale in the form of animal carcasses. We take a trip to Oxford to meet some of postgraduate researcher Ally Morton-Hayward's archive of preserved brains. Not only is Ally shining a light on these underappreciated brains, she is also using them to unlock a rich treasure-trove of information about our ancestors and how they were preserved. How do you develop and promote a vaccine against a ..read more
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Impacts of global warming
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
1M ago
After a twelve-month set of climate records driven by global warming it is time to take stock of how we’re impacting the planet as a species. Coral biologist Kate Quigley, of the Minderoo Foundation and James Cook University, dives into the 8th mass bleaching event at the Great Barrier Reef. We explore how deadly heat stress continues to threaten this underwater paradise and induce mass sickness in the corals that call it home. Heading onto land we reunite with Mike Flannigan, Professor of Fire Science at Thompson Rivers University, after a record-breaking Canadian forest fire season in 2023 w ..read more
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The first stars in the universe
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
1M ago
Astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope think they have seen the glow from the first generation of stars after the Big Bang. The Anthropocene is meant to mean the latest geological era in which humanity is shaping the rocks and environment of our planet. But an unexpected vote by a commission has declined the idea of making this an official definition. Roland hears from one of its leading proponents what happened and why it matters. And, new research indicates that bumblebees can show each other how to solve puzzles too complex for them to learn on their own. Professor Lars Chittka pu ..read more
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Largest ever covid safety study
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
2M ago
A monumental Covid vaccine safety study of 99 million vaccinated people confirms just how rare adverse effects are and combats growing vaccine misinformation. Co-director of the Global Vaccine Data Helen Network goes through the results of this massive study. This week, Science in Action is bringing you not one, but two extraordinary astronomical discoveries. First, Webb Fellow Olivia Jones on the star hidden in the heart of only supernova visible from Earth. Second, astrophysicist Samuel Lai on what is possibly the brightest object in our universe – a whopping 500tn times brighter than our su ..read more
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Climate scientist wins defamation case
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
2M ago
High-profile climate scientist Michael Mann has been embroiled in a 12-year battle against conservative commentators who claimed his data was fraudulent. Last week, he was awarded $1m in a defamation lawsuit. Michael joins Science in Action to discuss the case and the impact it may have. Also, this week, Karyn Rode from the US Geological Survey has been using cameras on collars to track polar bear movement and diet. She tells Roland how the data reveals the devastating effect of sea ice loss on the bears. Widescale blackouts in Africa, known as loadshedding, are getting worse. Chemist and winn ..read more
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Particle physics v climate change
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
2M ago
Should CERN be spending $17 billion on a new atom smasher whilst we face, climate change, the most pressing crisis of our time? Materials-turned environmental scientist Mark Miodownik and CERN physicist Kate Shaw debate the issue. One of the issues Mark argues more people should be tackling are the climate change driven forest fires which recently ravaged Chile and killed more than 100 people. Chilean climate scientist Raul Cordero discusses the factors which led to the devastating fires. And Nasa physicist and oceanographer Susanne Craig explains their freshly launched satellite PACE, which h ..read more
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Unethical data gathering in China
Science In Action
by BBC World Service
2M ago
Starting upbeat this week, engineer Teddy Tzanetos, team lead of NASA’s Ingenuity mission, talks on the Mars-based helicopter which defied all expectations. Our big story this week is on the scientific papers and research databases which contain the DNA profile of thousands of people from persecuted ethnic minorities in China. This data is often collected in association with security forces. Computational biologist and campaigner Yves Moreau now leads the call for scrutiny and the retraction of these papers and databases, which lack evidence of free and informed consent. We often cover the eve ..read more
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