Question of the Week - From the Naked Scientists

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Each week we set out to solve one of the world's weirdest, wackiest, funniest and funkiest scientific puzzles. And along with the answer there's a brand new question to think about for next time...

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Website
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/qotw/
Description
Each week we set out to solve one of the world's weirdest, wackiest, funniest and funkiest scientific puzzles. And along with the answer there's a brand new question to think about for next time...
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-03-05 13:52
last episode published
2019-03-04 00:00
publication frequency
10.06 days
Contributors
Dr Chris Smith author   owner  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
405
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Education Science & Medicine Health Natural Sciences Higher Education

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
4.03.2019

What effect does ethanol have on the brain? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.03.04

Donald asked us what specific effects ethanol has on the brain and why certain regions are more impacted than others when we have a drink. This week, Joe Galea, from the University of Birmingham, helps us to distil the answer...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
18.02.2019

Why can some people imitate accents? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.02.18

Lia asked us why some people seem to be naturally good at imitating voices and accents. To get the last word, Adam Murphy got an answer from Jonathan Goodman, from the Language Sciences Department at Cambridge University...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
4.02.2019

Why do candles smoke and smell? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.02.04

Richard was wondering why do candles make more smoke and smell after they've gone out. Jenny Gracie has been sniffing out an answer from Duncan Graham at the University of Strathclyde and Ricky Carvel from the University of Edinburgh to help shed some ...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
28.01.2019

What language do deaf people think in? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.01.28

Bree asked: If a person is born completely deaf and can't hear a thing, what language do they think in? We asked Dr Mairead MacSweeney, director of the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
21.01.2019

Do plants eat dirt? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.01.21

Marcus was wondering how trees, such as giant oaks, can grow so huge and not make a hole in the ground. Where does their mass come from if not from the dirt? Jenny Gracie has been digging deep to find an answer, with help from Andrew Weatherall from th...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
14.01.2019

Why is old soap useless? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 19.01.14

When a bar of soap gets used a lot and gets smaller, it seems to struggle to form suds properly. Is something other than just a smaller surface area going on? Eva Higginbotham has been scubbing up to answer this question with the help of Phillip Broadw...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
17.12.2018

What happens to bubbles in space? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.12.17

This week, Malcolm's been watching the science fiction film, Passengers. He wanted to know what happens to air bubbles in water if gravity was suddenly turned off. Adam Murphy spoke to Stuart Higgins from Imperial College London, and to David Kinahan f...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
26.11.2018

Can dogs recognise each other as dogs? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.11.26

Do we know if a Great Dane meeting a Chihuahua recognises it as another dog? We asked Professor Donald Broom from Cambridge University and Dr Charlotte Duranton to help us sniff out the answer to Dotty's question.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
19.11.2018

How can planes fly through hurricanes? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.11.19

This week, Daniel wants to know why hurricane researchers seem to use propeller-driven planes when flying into the eye of the storm. Eva Higginbotham spoke to Dr Anna Young of the University of Cambridge's Whittle laboratory, to find out what's 'up' in...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
12.11.2018

When did we become modern day humans? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.11.12

With the help of Cambridge University's Professor Robert Foley, Sam Brown took a trip back in time to answer Stuart's question: If you could bring a baby from the past to grow up in the present, how far back could you go before people would notice that...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
29.10.2018

How do wombats produce cube-shaped poo? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.10.29

Poo comes in many shapes and sizes. We are used to seeing it on the street or accidentally stepping in different forms including tubes from dogs, pellets from rabbits or big splats from cows, but I have never come across cubic poo. Tamsin Bell asked Dr...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
21.10.2018

Is second hand smoke more dangerous than smoking a cigarette? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.10.22

Is it true that second hand smoking or passive smoking is more likely to give you cancer than smoking a cigarette? Tamsin Bell put this to Stefan Marciniak from the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
30.09.2018

Why do I feel the pressure of Wellington boots in water? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.10.01

When standing barefoot in water, we don't feel the water pressure on our feet. But when wearing Wellington boots, we do feel a pinching - why? We asked Colm-cille Caulfield, Professor at Cambridge University, to help us wade through the science of Dani...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
23.09.2018

Why is Blu-Tack sticky? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.09.24

Tom asked us "Why is Blu-Tack sticky?" Adam Murphy spoke to Jennifer Gaughran, researcher at Dublin City University, to see if she could help with a question that had us stuck...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
16.09.2018

Could we terraform the Moon? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.09.17

Chad asked us "Is it possible to terraform the Moon, so that humans could live there long-term?". Tamsin Bell spoke to David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences at the Open University, to see what he had to say...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
2.09.2018

Do wild animals get allergies? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.09.03

On Twitter, Andrew asked us: "Do wild animals suffer from allergies, and if so, does this occur at the same rate as in humans?" We spoke to Wild Immunologist Andy Flies, from the University of Tazmania, to sniff out an answer...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
19.08.2018

Are there more stars in the sky or grains of sand on the earth? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.08.20

Are there more grains of sand on Earth or stars in the sky, and who counted them? We search heaven and Earth to answer Jeff's question, recruiting astronomer Michael Merrifield from Nottingham University to help out...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
5.08.2018

How do Non-Stick Pans Work? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.08.06

Martin asked us "What's the science behind non-stick pans? What prevents the sticking?"; To help out with this sticky situation, we spoke to Jess Wade, a materials scientist at Imperial College London, to get her take...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
30.07.2018

What is the minimum land area required to sustain one human being? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.07.31

Charlie asked us to field the question, "what is the minimum area required to sustain one human being in terms of oxygen and food?" Marika Ottman brought this cultivation conundrum to Marco Springmann, the Senior Researcher on Environmental Sustainabil...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
15.07.2018

How does the Brain Respond to Audiobooks? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.07.16

Tuomo asks, "Does your brain respond differently when you're listening to an audiobook compared to when you're reading a book? And does this affect how much information you can retain?". Isabelle Cochrane put this to Dr Matt Davis, Programme Leader in ...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
1.07.2018

Why do humans get bored? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.07.02

Theo and Simon Hall asked Why do humans get bored? And what is the evolutionary advantage of boredom? Adam Murphy put this question to Dr. Brian Little at the University of Cambridge to get his less than boring answers...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
24.06.2018

How do astronauts weigh things in space? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.06.25

Chris Taylor wonders how astronauts can weigh things in space. Marika Ottman asks Michael Foale, a former NASA Astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station, to weigh in and assess the gravity of the situation...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
3.06.2018

Could we eat alien life? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.06.04

Eamonn asked us to chew over this alien question: If some-day we managed to travel to another planet and discovered aliens, what is the likelihood that we could eat them? We turned to Gareth Corbett, gastroenterologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Camb...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
20.05.2018

Why does my nose drip cycling in cold weather? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.05.21

Listener Mike asked us to sniff out an answer to cold conundrum... When I cycle my bike in cold weather my nose runs, it doesn't happen in warm weather and is their anything I can do to help with it?We took this snotty situation to Ears nose and throat...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
5.03.2018

How does size affect death from falling? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.03.05

Matt asked how big an animal or human has to be before a fall would kill it. Katie Haylor put this perilous pondering to physicist Stuart Higgins from Imperial College London...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
12.02.2018

Do lobsters feel pain? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.02.12

Switzerland has now banned boiling lobsters live. Do they experience pain; how do we know? Georgia Mills asked Professor Bob Elwood from Queen's University, Belfast, for his take on this hot topic.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
5.02.2018

Is it better to walk or run in the cold? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.02.05

Izzie Clarke's been chilling out with this Question of the Week from Trent...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
29.01.2018

Why does fresh pasta rise during cooking? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 18.01.29

Martin wanted to know why fresh pasta rises to the surface of the pot when it's ready. We asked Dr Chris Brock from London South Bank University.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
18.12.2017

Do fish yawn? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.12.18

The Waite family wanted to know if fish yawn, so Heather Wark spoke to Iain Barber from Nottingham Trent University, to find out.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
11.12.2017

Could a space rocket be launched from a gun? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.12.11

Anthony wanted to know if firing space rockets out of giant guns would be a better way to blast off. Heather Wark spoke to Dr Stuart Grey of Strathclyde University to find out...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
20.11.2017

Why do people pick their noses? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.11.20

This week we answered the sticky query, Why do people pick their noses?. Lewis Thomson put it to Liverpool GP Dr Laura Wark.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
6.11.2017

What happens if your car is struck by lightning? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.11.06

Elizabeth wanted to know whether she'd be safe if her car was hit by lightning or whether the engine would cut out. Izzie Clarke spoke to Philip Garsed from Cambridge University to spark up the debate on this electrifying question.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
30.10.2017

How long can we survive for without a head? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.10.30

In the 1940's there was a chicken who survived for 18 months without a head, how long can humans survive for without a head?
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
22.10.2017

Is it safe to live near a cell phone tower? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.10.23

Jayson wanted to know if living near a cell phone tower could be affecting his and his family's health. Stevie Bain spoke to physicist Tony Kent from the University of Nottingham to shed some light on the situation.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
8.10.2017

Are flies easier to swat if you move slowly? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.10.09

Jon wanted to know whether approaching a fly slowly would make it easier to swat. With the help of animal vision specialist Kate Feller from Cambridge University, Michael Wheeler's been swotting up on swatting flies.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
24.09.2017

How much alcohol does cooking remove? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.09.25

Zettie wanted to know how much alcohol stays behind in food when you cook with it. Alexandra Ashcroft asked Vayu Maini Rekdal, from Harvard University, to turn up the heat on this question...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
17.09.2017

How smart is your pet dog? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.09.18

David wanted to know how our pet dogs compare to other animals, such as primates and dolphins, when it comes to intelligence. Stevie Bain spoke to Ben Ambridge from the University of Liverpool, and author of 'Are You Smarter than a Chimpanzee?', to fi...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
10.09.2017

Why do clothes dry below 100 degrees celsius? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.09.11

This week, we aired out Norm's question: if water is a solid, as ice, below 0 degrees Celsius, a gas above 100 degrees Celcius and a liquid between this range, why does washing dry when the air temperature is below 100 degrees Celsius. Alexandra Ashcro...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
20.08.2017

Could green humans harvest energy from the sun? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.08.21

This week, Mark has a conundrum about chloroplasts: If we could go green and harvest energy from the sun, like plants, how big would our skin need to be to sustain a normal level of activity? Georgia Mills recruited Christopher Mason, associate profess...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
13.08.2017

Does washing dishes leave toxic detergent residue on plates? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.08.14

Caitlin asked whether detergent residues left on crockery and cutlery could be bad for our health. Katie Haylor spoke to Rob Chilcott from the University of Hertfordshire to find out.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
25.06.2017

Can Anti-Noise Silence a Highway? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.06.26

Is it possible to create noise-cancelling headphones, but for an apartment?
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
11.06.2017

Why Warm up Muscles? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.06.12

Jim asked whether being in a warm room - like in a hot yoga class - really does help your muscles to warm up quicker. Katie Haylor spoke to Christof Schweining from the University of Cambridge to find out.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
14.05.2017

Can we exercise our brain to improve at difficult tasks? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.05.15

Like physical activity, can we exercise our brain to improve at difficult mental challenges? Izzie Clarke spoke to Duncan Astle from Cambridge University about this tiring task...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
7.05.2017

Why do musical instruments sound different when playing the same note? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.05.08

Why does the same musical note sound different when played on different instruments? Why does, for example, an A-sharp on a piano sound different to an A-sharp on a trumpet?
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
23.04.2017

Why are blue lights harder to see? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.04.24

David wanted to know why the blue lights he saw in Christmas trees were often harder to make out. Izzie Clarke spoke to Dr George Dobre from Kent University to shed some light on the issue.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
9.04.2017

What noise does a falling missile make? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.04.10

Listener George wondered why, in films, missiles make a descending sound as they fall? And what would it sound like if it fell into a bottomless pit? Izzie Clarke asked Peter Main from King's College London to explain what actually happens...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
26.03.2017

What is the most efficient way to run up stairs? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.03.27

We investigate the most energy-efficient way to climb stairs: one or two at a time?
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
20.03.2017

Can mosquitoes transmit HIV? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.03.20

Can mosquitoes transmit HIV from one person to another? Ricky Nathvani investigates...
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
13.03.2017

When should I replace my bulbs with LEDs? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.03.13

Ricky Navthani has been trying to shed some light of Philip's question, about when he should replace his old CFL lights for more efficient LEDs.
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author
27.02.2017

How does my tea become pee? - Naked Scientists Question of the Week 17.02.27

When you drink tea and use the toilet shortly afterwards, is that the same liquid?
Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientists author