Science

Patent for a Pig

The American biotechnology firm, Monsanto, has applied for a patent for pig breeding in 160 countries. The patent is for specific parts of the genetic material of pigs which Monsanto's genetic researchers have decoded. If this patent is granted, pig breeding would be possible with the approval of the company. Farmers and breeders are naturally alarmed because these genes have long existed in th

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Patent For A Pig: The Big Business Of Genetics

The seeds of the world are now owned primarily by one company, Monsanto. The American biotechnology firm is aiming to extend its control to pigs by patenting and thus privatising gene sequences, many of which are found naturally in pigs. Monsanto, has applied for a patent for pig breeding in 160 countries. The patent is for specific parts of the genetic material of pigs which Monsanto’s genetic

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Pedigree Dogs Exposed

Pedigree dogs are suffering from genetic diseases following years of inbreeding, an investigation has found. A BBC documentary says they are suffering acute problems because looks are emphasised over health when breeding dogs for shows. The programme shows spaniels with brains too big for their skulls and boxers suffering from epilepsy. The Kennel Club says it works tirelessly to improve

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Phages: The Virus that Cures

With Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) threatening to infect huge numbers of patients who make even short trips to the hospital, and the gradual increase in the number of bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, scientists are turning to new ways to conquer the killer bugs. The emergence of dangerous antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria is most prevalent in the U

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Pipe Down

Pipe Down is an hour long documentary that tells the story of a rural community in Co. Mayo in Ireland, who have been battling the oil giant Shell over their plans to put a dangerous raw gas pipeline through the community and complete construction of a gas processing terminal that is a threat to their delicate environment. The documentary features interviews with Colin Joyce of Shell Ireland; W

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Playing God

Playing God

Adam Rutherford meets a new creature created by American scientists, the spider-goat. It is part goat, part spider, and its milk can be used to create artificial spider’s web. It is part of a new field of research, synthetic biology, with a radical aim: to break down nature into spare parts so that we can rebuild it however we please. This technology is already being used to make bio-diesel to

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Predators in Your Backyard

Across the world scientists are releasing predators, nature’s ultimate killers, close to where people live. In Florida, a new population of panthers, feared as ambush predators, have been released near to the busy town of Naples. In the Italian Alps, bears have been reintroduced after they became virtually extinct, and now try to get into people’s homes in the middle of the night. And in Ye

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Predators: The Ultimate Killing Machines

Predators, a series of six half-hour films, uses miniaturized cameras mounted on the hunters themselves to show the chase from their perspective. The series also uses action replays and computer animations, allowing it to analyze the tactics of predator and prey from every angle. It shows that both are often evenly matched, with no room on either side for the slightest mistake. One of the series p

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Professor Brian Cox: A Night with the Stars

For one night only, Professor Brian Cox goes unplugged in a specially recorded programme from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In his own inimitable style, Brian takes an audience of famous faces, scientists and members of the public on a journey through some of the most challenging concepts in physics. With the help of Jonathan Ross, Simon Pegg, Sarah Millican

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