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BBC Inside Science

300 EpisodesProduced by BBC Radio 4Website

Dr Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

27:47

Moving Mountains; Invasive Species; Football Stickers

Moving Mountains
Removing the tops off mountains was common practice in the eastern United States to strip mine for coal. Critics have previously called for it to be banned because of the health risks. But in China, the same thing is now happening but on a much larger scale, all to create new land for people to live on. In a comment piece in this week's Nature journal, Chinese scientists call this unprecedented geo-engineering "folly", and liken the practice to "performing major surgery on Earth's crust". Dr Adam Rutherford talks to Dr Emily Bernhardt from Duke University in the US about the potential risks of the Chinese mountain moving.

Alien Invader Species
Inside Science bug man, Tim Cockerill, responds to headlines that alien killer snakes, capable of killing dogs, cats and even children, are on the loose in Britain. He goes to look for the supposedly terrifying reptiles, and finds out instead, about a colony of aesculapian snakes, whose biggest meal might be a rat. In search of more danger, he goes on to Sheerness in Kent, to hunt for the "alien" yellow-tailed scorpion. These arachnids don't prove much of a threat either, he discovers. As long as you keep your trousers tucked in your socks.

Longitude Prize: Zero Carbon Flight
If our use of air travel continues to rise at the current rate, by 2050, it'll make up 15 per cent of global warming from human activities. If the Longitude Prize topic chosen is flight, the challenge will be to design and build a zero or close-to-zero-carbon aeroplane that is capable of flying from London to Edinburgh, at comparable speed to today's aircraft. Marnie Chesterton speaks to physicist Helen Czerski and Professor Callum Thomas, from Manchester Metropolitan's Centre for Aviation, Transport and the Environment, about the possible options.

Football Stickers
"Got, Got, Got, Need!". With the football World Cup upon us, footy-mad kids barter to fill their world cup sticker books. Adam talks to mathematician Professor Yvan Velenik from the University of Geneva, about the myth that some stickers are rarer than others, and shares his statistical analysis about how many stickers you would need to buy, to fill the book.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

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