In Our Time | 15 February 2018 | 0h 48m | Listen Later | iTunes
Discusses fungi: organisms which are not plants or animals but a kingdom of their own. The millions of species of fungi play a crucial role in ecosystems, enabling plants to obtain nutrients and causing material to decay. Without fungi, life as we know it simply would not exist. They also make possible the production of bread, wine and certain antibiotics.
Origin Stories | 29 April 2016 | 0h 21m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Pardis Sabeti, a computational biologist who uses maths and computers to look into the genomes of humans and infectious microbes to see how they are evolving. Summarises the ideas in her book Outbreak Culture: The Ebola Crisis and the Next Epidemic. Sabeti was named one of Time Magazine’s People of the Year in 2014 for her role in the fight against Ebola.
The Book Club | 15 June 2016 | 0h 30m | Listen Later
Interview with Jennifer Ackermann, author of “The Genius of Birds”, which documents the remarkable wits of our pea-brained feathered friends. Sprinkled with remarkable stories about the cleverness of birds.
In Our Time | 15 May 2014 | 0h 46m | Listen Later | iTunes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss photosynthesis, the process by which green plants and many other organisms use sunlight to synthesise organic molecules. Photosynthesis arose very early in evolutionary history and has been a crucial driver of life on Earth. In addition to providing most of the food consumed by organisms on the planet, it is also responsible for maintaining atmospheric oxygen levels, and is thus almost certainly the most important chemical process ever discovered.
In Our Time | 21 June 2018 | 0h 51m | Listen Later | iTunes
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how some bats, dolphins and other animals emit sounds at high frequencies to explore their environments, rather than sight. Bats that echolocate have a range of frequencies for different purposes and techniques for preventing themselves from becoming deafened by their own sounds. Some prey have evolved ways of detecting when bats are emitting high frequencies in their direction, and some fish have adapted to detect the sounds dolphins use to find them.
American Innovations | 10 May 2018 | 0h 43m | Listen Later | iTunes
Brings to life the drama of Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA, along with the critical role of Rosalind Franklin’s X-ray crystallography.
Ideas Books | 5 May 2016 0h 28m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with biologist Sean B Carroll about his book, “The Serengeti Rules”. Covers how wolves can change the physical shape of rivers and why, on the plains of the Serengeti, 150 kg is the number that determines whether you’re likely to be eaten or not. Explains how nature produces the right numbers of zebras and lions on the African savanna and the processes for regulation that apply at all scales in biology.