Science in Action

BBC World Service

News & Politics

The BBC brings you all the week's science news.


Are sea level rises overestimated?

November 19th, 2015

Episode 64 of 158 episodes

Scientists in England and France have collaborated to identify the key constraints which could lead to inaccuracies in previous models of potential sea-level rise from the Antarctic ice-sheet. Their updated model suggests that the rise in sea-levels by 2100 could be just 30cm as opposed to the worst case scenario calculations of 1m from previous studies. The research is published in the journal Nature this week. Artificial vocal cords 20 million Americans suffer from voice impairments and many have damaged vocal cords. Scientists from The University of Wisconsin, Madison, bioengineered vocal cord tissue in the lab. The engineered tissue performed better than existing treatment options. With further development, the lab-grown, transplantable vocal cord tissue could offer a promising treatment option for patients with voice disorders. Tap-dancing birds Male and female blue capped cordon-bleu songbirds tap dance as part of their courtship ritual. Scientists have uncovered this by watching videos of the birds’ mating rituals in slow motion. Why are cats such picky eaters? A recent study has shown that despite being carnivores, cats possess genes that protect vegetarian animals from ingesting poisonous plants by allowing them to detect bitterness. It is suggested that this heightened sensitivity to bitter tastes could shed some light on why they are such picky eaters. How do bats land upside down Research from Brown University suggests bats’ ability to land upside down - onto the ceiling of a cave, for example - has to do with the way they use their disproportionately large wings. History of the Future BBC News journalist Melissa Hogenboom continues her exploration of the history of the future at the Science Museum in London. This week, she unravels the story of the gyroscope. (Photo: Caption: An iceberg in the Amundsen Sea. Credit: Pierre Dutrieux, British Antarctic Survey) Presenter: Jack Stewart Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz Assistants: Andrea Szöllössi, Lauren Windle

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