Sci Cam 009 – 25th February 2014
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Disappearing bees, breakthroughs in fusion, and a guide to flying in February’s edition of the live science magazine show!
First up was Sonja Dunbar talking about the decrease in the number of bees, colony collapse disorder, and what might be some of the causes of these.
1) Not enough honeybees: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0082996
2) The tobacco ringspot virus as a potential cause of Colony Collapse Disorder: http://mbio.asm.org/content/5/1/e00898-13
3) Honeybee pathogens in bumblebees: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7488/full/nature12977.html NOT OPEN ACCESS
If you’ve been inspired to get gardening for our bees, why not take a look at the Royal Horticultural Society’s list of plants that are perfect for pollinators for a few ideas!
Next up was Michael Conterio talking about the physics of flight. He started off talking about the flight of birds:
How hummingbirds fly:
Birds flying in a V time their wing beats to catch the updraft created by the birds in front – http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/01/why-birds-fly-v-formation
Then he moved onto the flight of aircraft, and the common misconception about how airfoils work – http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/wrong1.html – when it’s easiest just to think about the wings pushing air down.
Finally Deborah Durbin talked about recent developments in fusion power, the future prospects for the technology, and why it’s a cleaner form of energy.
The recent breakthrough: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/high-powered-lasers-deliver-fusion-energy-breakthrough/
The ITER reactor: https://www.iter.org/