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Darwin's Tunes

Mon, 17 Sep 12

Duration: 18 mins

Is our taste in music, and how it's changed over the centuries, governed by creative genius or simply by survival of the fittest sounds, chosen by us the consumer? Does Darwin's theory of natural selection apply to more than just life on the planet? The idea of survival of the fittest and cultural evolution can be applied to many aspects of our lives; from fashion to the naming of our children. In a world of digital sampling scientists have designed an experiment to see if they can create the perfect song by asking individuals to choose which tunes survive and reproduce to create new tunes and which ones die out. If they can do this, where does that leave today's musical producers and composers? Do we still need a trained mind to compose truly amazing music?

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Frankenstein's Moon

Mon, 10 Sep 12

Duration: 18 mins

What can astronomy tells us about great literature? Forensic astronomer Don Olson tells Andrew Luck-Baker about two of his investigative cases He explains how plotting the path of the moon in 1816 solved a controversy about Mary Shelley's novel 'Frankenstein'. The Texas State University professor also outlines his theory that a star referred to in Shakespeares Hamlet was inspired by a spectacular supernova which blazed in sky one year during the playwright's childhood.

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Lloyd Peck

Mon, 3 Sep 12

Duration: 18 mins

Jim Al-Khalili finds out about the life scientific of the Antarctic biologist, Lloyd Peck who studies whether the underwater animals can adapt to rising sea temperatures

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Barbara Sahakian

Mon, 27 Aug 12

Duration: 18 mins

Jim Al-Khalili talks to neuroscientist Barbara Sahakian about her Life Scientific.

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Saving the Ganges River Dolphin

Mon, 13 Aug 12

Duration: 18 mins

Discovery this week goes in search of the Gangetic River Dolphin, an extraordinary creature which inhabits the muddy waters of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. Not long ago the dolphin was a common sight for people along these mighty water ways, but now it is one of the worlds rarest freshwater mammals. Andrew Luck-Baker joins Indian biologists studying the dolphins and the threats to them along the stretch of the Brahmaputra in the state of Assam . In a joint project between Aaranyak, an Indian conservation organisation, and the Zoological Society of London, the scientists are also mobilising local communities to protect this special animal and the ecosystem they share with it.

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NASA's Curiosity robot lands on Mars

Mon, 6 Aug 12

Duration: 18 mins

After the most daring and complex landing of a robot on another planet, the search for evidence of life on Mars enters a new era. NASA's Curiosity rover is now sitting inside Gale Crater, a vast depression close to the Martian equator. The one tonne machine is the most sophisticated science robot ever placed on another world. Over the coming years, Curiosity will climb a mountain at the crater's heart, gathering evidence on one of science's greatest questions - was there ever life on Mars? The $2.5 billion project will discover whether Mars once had conditions suitable for the evolution and survival of life. BBC Space specialist Jonathan Amos talks to mission scientists about where Curiosity is going and what it will do as it trundles up Mars' Aeolis Mons.

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Future Flight: Prog 2 of 2

Duration: 18 mins

Gareth Mitchell meets the engineers who are designing flying cars and green aircraft.

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Future Flight: Prog 1 of 2

Duration: 18 mins

Gareth Mitchell meets the engineers who will transform the way we fly around the world. He finds out how aircraft may take on new shapes in the future.

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Artificial Photosynthesis

Mon, 16 Jul 12

Duration: 18 mins

Prof. Andrea Sella reports on the race to better nature at harnessing the sun's energy, using cheap inorganic chemistry to turn photons into useable fuels.

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Gene Therapy

Mon, 2 Jul 12

Duration: 18 mins

Geoff Watts explores new techniques in gene therapy for cystic fibrosis

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