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OU on the BBC: BBC Inside Science - Mapping minecraft and morphine from yeast

Updated Friday 29th August 2014

The new series of BBC Inside Science sparks to life with a look at how an engineer is using yeast to make morphine 

Scene from Minecraft showing planets Creative commons image Icon Mike Prosser under CC BY-SA 2.0 license under Creative-Commons license In BBC Inside Science, Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

On this week's programme:

Adam Rutherford will be chatting to Professor Andrea Sella from University College London about two recent papers on ammonia including one on how it can be made using solar cells. This solves the problem of needing high temperatures for the traditionally used Haber-Bosch reaction.
A researcher from Stanford University will also explain how they are attempting to engineer yeast so it can make morphine for legal pharmaceutical use. Issues explored will include the obvious implications for the illegal opium trade worldwide. 
Other subjects include a catch up on the volcanic eruptions in Iceland from the ground and how the British Geological Survey are adding the UK’s geological maps to the coding game Minecraft.

Listen to Inside Science

Tune in to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 4 September at 16:30 to listen to this week's programme. More information and a link to listen again later will be available from the BBC's Inside Science pages.


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