BBC Inside Science
Sanchi oil tanker, Gut gas-monitoring pill and Chimpanzee portraits
Thursday, 11 January
After the Sanchi oil tanker collided with another ship it discharged its cargo of 1 million barrels of condensate oil. This could cause one of the biggest oil disasters in 25 years. What is condensate, can it be cleaned up and how toxic to marine life is it if large amounts of it leak or the tanker sinks? Adam talks to Simon Boxall from Southampton Oceanography Centre.
A long-held belief that babies look more like their fathers is being put to the test by scientists at St Andrews University. They are launching an on-line citizen science experiment asking members of the public to see if they can tell from a group of chimps which are the close relations. Geoff Marsh takes the test and talks to researcher Cat Hobaiter about why it might be advantageous for a baby primate to look like its father more than its mother and what they hope to learn from humans' ability to recognise chimp family trees.
A new swallow-able, electronic pill that sniffs out the gas produced in your gut could be the answer to accurately diagnosing and distinguishing between ailments of the gut. The gastrointestinal tract is hard to access so when something goes wrong, conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, lactose intolerance and over production of bacteria. can be hard to distinguish from one another and so accurately diagnosed. Professor Kourosh Kalantar Zadeh from RMIT in Melbourne explains why his device, which senses gases in the gut and transmits its findings back to a smartphone in real time,, is more accurate and less invasive than current breath tests or endoscopies and colonoscopies.
And Janet Kelso answers listener questions on human evolution and why modern Europeans still carry Neanderthal DNA.