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Earth's largest animals, whales, need a lot of food... that goes without saying. But, new research from a team at Stanford University have found that whales need 10-20 tonnes of food on a feeding day, which is up to three times more than initially thought. Of course that means three times more poop... and as whale poop drives nutrient recycling in …
 
Surely a day doesn't go by without you using plastic. It's a marvel of material science. But hidden behind its convenience, plastic poses serious enviornmental challenges. Is this versatile and ubiquitous material contributing to the climate problem or helping us solve it? Plus, in the news this week: as Omicron spreads across the globe, we get the…
 
What finally made the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland work? Is it now coming under threat? Should we think of peace as a continuing process rather than as a goal? The historian Niamh Gallagher and leader of the Alliance Party John Alderdice reflect on a complex situation... Like this podcast? Please help us by writing a review…
 
ESA's senior science advisor Mark McCaughrean joins Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham to enthuse about the most powerful space telescope ever built. And NASA astronaut Jessica Meir discusses coming back from the ISS to a world in the grip of Covid-19, her first all women space walk, and her preparations as part of the Artemis astronau…
 
This week, Matt contacted us asking "With three space missions currently converging on Mars how do the nations avoid orbital collisions? Do they share data, do they have transponders or space traffic control etc?". Katie King spoke with Chris Bridges, academic at Surrey Space Centre in the University of Surrey to find out how we keep our spacecraft…
 
This week, what's the bottom line on sanitising surfaces against Covid-19? Why, wonders Lester, am I so sluggish for the first few hours of the day? And can you train your chronotype to be a better morning person? Does it make a difference if you sleep on your left or your right? Why is gambling addictive and is addiction a genetic trait? Can porno…
 
Audio-only games... how do they work, and are they fun? We talk to the man behind one called The Vale: Shadow of the Crown. There are finally lots of new games for next generation consoles: Deathloop, FIFA 22, Far Cry 6, Back 4 Blood to name just a few. Oh and the Switch has Metroid Dread, which is pretty darn good. Retro Revival this month examine…
 
Now this might have flown under your radar, but last Wednesday NASA launched the DART mission, a spacecraft on a one-way collision course with an asteroid, in the world's first full-scale planetary defence test. Tricia Smith asked Space Author Colin Stuart, if life as we know it is in danger... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Na…
 
Covid cases in many European countries are suddenly substantially up. But in a dramatic role reversal, the UK has gone from the standout Covid-19 bad boy of Europe to one of the better performers in terms of daily cases and hospitalisations. According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Lloyd Chapman, vaccination is the linchpin…
 
As we strive for a transition to a green future, we're asking "would wood be good" to help us build everything from better buildings to more insulating windows, from steak-cutting knives to nano-engineered, biodegradable glitter. Plus, in the news: as Covid cases take off again in Europe, we review the situation here in the UK; also, making strawbe…
 
ESA's senior science advisor Mark McCaughrean joins Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham to enthuse about the most powerful space telescope ever built. And NASA astronaut Jessica Meir discusses coming back from the ISS to a world in the grip of Covid-19, her first all women space walk, and her preparations as part of the Artemis astronau…
 
Dealing with climate change presents a huge challenge but we focus on one aspect of the problem. Tim Winter, Chair of the board of trustees of Cambridge Mosque and the architect Sam Turner discuss building more sustainably and more imaginatively... Like this podcast? Please help us by writing a review…
 
Covid is surging across Europe, but what's causing it, and will the UK follow suit, or are Europe hot on our heels? Should vaccines be mandatory, and would vaccine passports work? Why does Covid-19 vaccine protection wane with time, and are we looking at a relentless cycle of boosters indefinitely, or will one be sufficient? Dr Chris Smith joins RN…
 
When two atoms join together, the laws of physics tell us that a large amount of energy will be released, but the experiments performed so far by scientists to achieve nuclear fusion have always yielded a lot less energy than the inputs. This week, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which uses an approach called 'inertial con…
 
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