Episode: Manipulating mouse memory; London pollution; Nature of knowing; Snail fur

BBC Inside Science Logo
Manipulating mouse memory; London pollution; Nature of knowing; Snail fur
Manipulating mouse memory Optogenetics allows researchers to use light to turn the genes involved in memory, in the brain, off and on. It's a powerful tool for seeing exactly where specific types of memory are formed and processed. Researchers at MIT have been using the technique to manipulate fearful or pleasurable memories associated with a particular location, in mice. This is so they can see how memories are overwritten in the brain's processing regions. London pollution Cities in Britain have moved on a great deal from air pollution events, like the London smog of 1952, where 4000 people died in a week. But a recent report has put London air pollution levels as bad as some of the worst in the world, on a level with Mexico City and Beijing. Pollution is a mixture of gases and tiny particulate matter (or PM) -particles too small to be filtered out by our noses, and which end up going straight into our lungs. Dr Rossa Brugha and reporter Marnie Chesterton take a bicycle ride through London's busy streets and parks with an air pollution monitor. Back in the studio, Rossa and Adam talk through the results... Nature of knowing Philip Ball, the programme's on-call polymath and author of 'Invisible, the Dangerous Allure of the Unseen', comes into the studio to answer a listener's question about how science can possibly understand the unseeable, if it is supposed to be dealing with the observable universe. Snail fur and how to grow a new head Why is it that some animals can regrow lost body parts and others, like us, can't? Even some closely related species, for instance salamanders, can regrow a lost tail, but fellow amphibians, the frogs, can't regrow lost legs? One of the best-studied 're-generators' is the sea creature - Hydractinia, or Snail fur, because it grows like fur on the back of the snail-shell homes of hermit crabs. By studying Hydractinia's regenerative powers at the cellular level, researchers think that most animals, including us, may have the potential to regrow lost limbs using stem cell systems lying dormant within us. Producer: Fiona Roberts.

BBC Inside Science
Users who viewed this episode also viewed...

BBC Inside Science > Gravitational Waves, UK Spaceport, Big Brains and Extinction Risk, Conservation in Papua New Guinea

Gravitational waves were announced last week, in what may be the science discovery of the decade. The Ligo detector, the most sensitive instrument on the surface of the planet, detected the ripples given off by the collision of two black holes. Adam Rutherford puts a selection of listener questions to UCL cosmologist Dr Andrew Pontzen...

Originz > EPISODE 161 - The Origin of the Number Zero

Is Glass a Solid or A Liquid Worlds Oldest Fire This Species is Close to Extinction and That is a Good Thing The Truth About Long Hair Decoding the Lost Diary of David Livingston The Origin of the Number Zero Word Origins Corking Good How One Womans Discovery Shook the Foundations of Geology

BBC Inside Science > Gene-edited twins, Placenta organoids in a dish, When the last leaves drop

Claims by a Chinese scientist that he has gene-edited human embryos, transplanted them producing genetically edited twins, who will pass on these changes to their offspring, has the scientific community outraged. The work, which was carried out in secret, has not been officially published or peer reviewed, but if the claims are to be taken seriously, this work severely flaunts international ethical guidelines at many levels...
Comments (0)

Login or Sign up to leave a comment.

Log in
Sign up

Be the first to comment.