Show 4 – First Broadcast 06/06/08
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Science in the News.
Promising Cancer Vaccine Developed at Duke University; Scientists at Duke University in the US have developed a cancer vaccine which sets the body’s own immune system against the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma. Treatment with the vaccine doubled the mean survival time of the patients in a small scale trial, and a larger trail is now planned in 20 centres across America.
Stonehenge could have been resting place for royalty: Noel interviews Professor Mike Parker-Pearson who, with Professor Andrew Chamberlain (archaeologists at the University of Sheffield) have just revealed new radiocarbon dates of human cremation burials at Stonehenge, which indicate that the monument was used as a cemetery from its inception just after 3000 B.C. until well after the large stones went up around 2500 B.C.
Cloning for baldness; Manchester Company Intercytex, have developed a treatment for baldness based on cloning dermal papila cells and growing them outside the body. The cells can then be implanted into the scalp where the regenerate new follicles
The Movers and The Shakers.
Noel interviews the internationally acclaimed academic Yorick WIlkes, Professor of Natural Language Processing at the University of Sheffield and Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute talks about his life’s work and inspirations. He first became famous in the 1960s for his work on the machine translation of language. His book, “Grammar, meaning and the machine analysis of language” published in 1972 quickly became a standard text for everyone in this new field. You can buy his most recent book on this topic, Machine Translation: Its Scope and Limits , at amazon (published March, 2008).
We discuss Professor Wilk’s big new project, Companions which aims to change the way we think about the relationships of people to computers and the Internet by developing a virtual conversational ‘Companion’.
To you, To Me
Ross was fascinated by this youtube video of Boston Dynamic’s ‘BigDog’ robot covering all sorts of terrain and correcting itself after slipping. It still looks like Barry and Paul Chuckle carrying a chest of drawers.
Noel went on to talk about the bonds soliders often forge with robots in combat. (Washington post article here)
Neil Ardley was also an author, writing many scientific books for Dorling Kindersley, and selling over 10 million books before he retired in 2000.
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