IFLScience - The Big Questions
What Do Alcohol and Drugs Do To The Brain?

What Do Alcohol and Drugs Do To The Brain?

December 2, 2022

For as long as humans have walked this Earth, we have been using chemicals to alter our state of mind. Drugs and alcohol have been used in rituals and medication, for inspiration and escapism, as well as a way to cope with the world. Only in more recent decades have we begun to appreciate the physiological effects that substances have on our brains through science. Host Dr Alfredo Carpineti spoke to neuropsychopharmacologist Professor David Nutt about these effects and a new approach to manufacturing alcohol without the negative consequences.

What Are The Limits Of Computers And Supercomputers?

What Are The Limits Of Computers And Supercomputers?

November 18, 2022

Computers and supercomputers, whether we like them or not, run our lives. They have revolutionized every aspect of society and we rely on their technology to push beyond our limits. But what about their limits?  What are they, when will we reach them, and can we avoid them? Host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by Professor Mazhar Ali of the Delft University of Technology, whose team has developed a one-way superconductor with exciting applications in computing, to discuss this and more.

How Does Your Diet Impact The Body’s Ability To Fight Disease?

How Does Your Diet Impact The Body’s Ability To Fight Disease?

November 4, 2022

What and how we eat plays a huge role in keeping us healthy. The role of diet in helping us when we are fighting off diseases is also enormous, but not discussed often enough.

Dr Alfredo Carpineti sat down with Dr William Li to talk about cutting-edge research on how diet helps us stay healthy, and the role it plays in supporting medical treatments. Dr Li is a physician, scientist, president, and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and author of Eat To Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. You can read his book, with plenty of science and recipes, here: https://drwilliamli.com/book-li.

The content or material provided through the IFLScience publications is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical or other professional advice or opinion.

Is Math The Greatest Subject In The World?

Is Math The Greatest Subject In The World?

October 21, 2022

In school, math is one of those polarizing subjects that people either love or hate. For each person complaining they will never use Pythagoras theorem outside of class, there is somebody else pointing out that math is actually about learning skills like problem-solving. In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti asks a controversial Big Question: "Is math the greatest subject in the world?" To make the case is British mathematician Professor Nira Chamberlain, listed by the Science Council as “one of the UK’s top 100 scientists”. His reasoning should get even the biggest math skeptics on board.  

 

How Does Imagination Work?

How Does Imagination Work?

October 7, 2022

Every second of every day, whether we’re actively aware of it or not, we’re using our imagination: from what we might have for dinner to life on other worlds. But how can our brains conjure up stuff that we are not looking at or even images of things that don’t exist? Our host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by cognitive scientist Professor Tyler Marghetis from the University of California, Merced to discuss how imagination works, how we can have "Eureka!" moments, and if imagination works the same for everyone.

Why Is The Universe Made Of Matter And Not Antimatter?

Why Is The Universe Made Of Matter And Not Antimatter?

September 23, 2022

Everything we see, from galaxies to capybaras, is made of matter. But matter has a mirrored version of itself known as antimatter. If the two come into contact they annihilate one another, turning into pure energy. Why does the universe prefer one over the other? This is a fundamental mystery of the universe, and at the forefront of the search for an answer is the Alpha Experiment at CERN. In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by experimental physicist and Alpha spokesperson Professor Jeffrey Hangst to understand the nature of mysterious antimatter.

How Do We Know When A Species Is Extinct?

How Do We Know When A Species Is Extinct?

September 9, 2022

It’s no secret that species extinction and biodiversity loss are making our environment increasingly less stable. As it feels like we inch closer to waving goodbye to threatened animals like the Javan rhino, a question springs to mind: How do we know when a species is extinct? How, for instance, do we know there aren’t some animals left just hiding in a bush somewhere? In this episode, host Rachael Funnell puts the question to Dr Barney Long of Re:wild, whose mission is the conservation of endangered mammal species and ways of recovering their populations.

Can Humans Live Forever?

Can Humans Live Forever?

August 26, 2022

We live in a society that idolizes youth for sure, but also with age comes wisdom. However, aging is not all it’s cracked up to be. Could we keep getting older without the drawbacks of being old? Other animals do it, so maybe one day it could apply to humans too. In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by Dr Andrew Steele, author of Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old, to talk about the medical fight against old age at a cellular level and whether humans could ever live forever. 

Is The Future Of Farming Underwater?

Is The Future Of Farming Underwater?

August 12, 2022

As the human population increases so too does our demand for food, but in the face of the climate crisis scientists are seeking alternative and sustainable solutions to traditional agricultural practices. In this episode of IFLScience, The Big Questions, we teamed up with BBC Earth to speak with Luca Gamberini of Nemo’s Garden to ask: Is the future of farming underwater?

Nemo’s Garden is working to create an alternative system of agriculture that uses the oceans and other bodies of water to establish a more sustainable way of farming. In this episode, host Rachael Funnell speaks to Gamberini about the complexities of farming underwater and how their innovative agricultural practices could help to protect and conserve the planet.

This episode is presented in partnership with BBC Earth as part of #OurGreenPlanet – an impact initiative that aims to protect our green spaces by sharing the extraordinary stories of people around the globe dedicating their lives to positive change. In association with Moondance Foundation.

How Will The Universe End?

How Will The Universe End?

July 29, 2022

Studying the Universe told us the cosmos began with the Big Bang. But how will everything end? In a cold and desolate nothingness? Or will everything collapse back into itself in a Big Crunch? In this episode, host Dr Alfredo Carpineti is joined by theoretical astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack, the Hawking Chair in Cosmology and Science Communication at the Perimeter Institute, who has written extensively about the subject. Together they discuss what the curtain call of the Universe might look like. 

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