Mapping out the Milky Way

Mapping out the Milky Way

This autumn, the Gaia spacecraft will be launched on a mission to find out where the Milky Way’s stars came from. I catch up with two of the astronomers at the Lund Observatory who’ve worked on designing the spacecraft, and with one of the astronomers who’s hoping to use data from the spacecraft to calculate where and when the stars of our galaxy formed.
Plus, I hear about a new technique which is being used to work out what the atmospheres of planets around other stars are made of, and about observations of a recent gamma ray burst which are helping us to unravel what triggers these strange cosmic phenomena.

Genes, infections and immunity – Naked Genetics 13.08.14

Genes, infections and immunity

Sneeze (c) CDC

Why can some people stay fit as a fiddle, while other seem to catch every bug that’s going? As you might expect, the answer lies in our genes. Plus, a multitude of mutant mice, the state of gene therapy for epilepsy, and an unseeing gene of the month.

Listen Now
   Download as mp3

In this edition of Naked Genetics

Full Transcript

  • Tuberculosis bacteria (c) Janice Carr

    00:57 – Dr Julian Knight – Genes and immunity

    Why do some people fight off infections easily while others become seriously ill? The answer is in our genes, as Dr Julian Knight explains.

  • mouse (c) Rasbak

    08:56 – Many new mouse mutations

    Researchers have published the first results from an ambitious study to knock out, or delete, every gene in mice.

  • Lung Cancer (c) Emmanuelm

    13:03 – Tracing lung cancer

    Cancer Research UK scientists have announced an ambitious project to track the evolution of lung cancer in more than 800 patients.

  • Obese Mouse (c)

    16:24 – Is fatness in the genes?

    Scientists have discovered that mice carrying a faulty version of a gene called Mrap2 gain weight, while eating the same as normal mice

  • Cholera Bacteria (c) Ronald Taylor, Tom Kirn, Louisa Howard

    17:09 – Genes and cholera

    Researchers studying people in Bangladesh have tracked down genetic regions that affect susceptibility to cholera infection.

  • An eye (c) jefras a.k.a Joăo Estęvăo A. de Freitas

    28:33 – Gene of the month – Eyeless

    Our gene of the month is Eyeless – a master switch that’s used across many different organisms to create eyes.

Supported by





Subscribe Free

Related Content


NOAA's Space Weather Centre

NOAA’s Space Weather Centre

Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham are joined by a cosmic hedgehog with a report from NOAA’s space weather centre in Colorado and details on how to own the latest affordable pocket spacecraft to the moon. Studio guests include space artist Vix Southgate and rocket insurer David Wade – plus the final stage of Sue’s brave attempt to become an astronaut. It will end in tears…