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How our brains understand meaning and complex thoughts. Gareth Mitchell talks to Joshua Greene from Harvard University about his new research scanning the human brain which reveals why it works lik...e a computer to make sense of complex ideas. This week's short-listed Royal Society Winton science book prize is Alex Bellos's 'Alex Through The Looking Glass. Marnie Chesterton talks to Alex about the emotional relationship we have with maths and how numbers play a part in every aspect of our lives. Can we switch obesity off with the flick of a genetic switch? New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has been looking at how there may be genes that control whether we burn fat or store it. But could this research end up being used in the clinic? Gareth talks to professor of metabolism and medicine, Sadaf Farooqi about the research and its potential. There are thousands of bacteria and fungi in the dust in your house. Most are unknown to science but is this huge diversity of microbes a problem? Gareth talks to Noah Fierer who has analysed the dust in homes across America who says while there may be huge diversity most of it is harmless and could even be doing us some good.
Metadata describing this Open University audio programme
Series: Inside science
First transmission date: 2015-08-27
Original broadcast channel: BBC Radio 4
Published: 2015
Rights Statement: Rights owned or controlled by The Open University
Restrictions on use: This material can be used in accordance with The Open University conditions of use. A link to the conditions can be found at the bottom of all OU Digital Archive web pages.
Duration: 00:30:00
Note: Radio 4 version
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Producer: Pam Rutherford
Presenter: Gareth Mitchell
Contributors: Gareth Mitchell; Joshua Greene; Alex Bellos; Marnie Chesterton; I. Sadaf Farooqi; Noah Fierer
Publisher: BBC Open University
Production number: PEK46001259
Available to public: no