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Carramore International Limited


BBC World Service - Discovery


Explorations in the world of science.


  • Metamorphosis: Blowflies and dazzling disguise
    Blowflies may be some of the most reviled insects on the planet, but as Erica McAlister discovers, they are central to the surprisingly long tradition of forensic entomology and how there's more than meets the eye in the distinctive structural colour of the morpho butterfly wing, whose dazzling sheen is a key for camouflage and commerce. (Photo: A fly on a leaf. Credit: Christina Bollen/Getty Images)

  • Metamorphosis: Drosophila melanogaster, hoverfly
    Dr Erica McAlister uncovers a treasure trove of remarkable insights from the insect world including the innocuous flies that are Drosophila melanogaster. More is known about these flies than any other animal on the planet, as a model for human genetics. And the hoverfly that arguably undergoes the biggest transformation of any animal and how insect metamorphosis could be a tool to track future climate change. Producer: Adrian Washbourne Presenter: Dr Erica McAlister (Photo: Drosophila melanogaster. Credit: nechaev-kon/Getty Images)

  • Metamorphosis: Jumping fleas and mighty mouthparts
    Dr Erica McAlister uncovers a treasure trove of remarkable insects from the humble flea whose jump enables them to fly without wings and the mystery of the hawkmoth’s tongue, whose varying length has offered the simplest and most effective proof of Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection in action. Producer: Dr Adrian Washbourne Presenter: Dr Erica McAlister (Photo: Dr Erica McAlister. Credit: Dr Erica McAlister)

  • The Life Scientific: Harald Haas
    Imagine a world in which your laptop or mobile device accesses the internet, not via radio waves – or WiFi – as it does today but by using light instead: LiFi. Well, that world may not be as far away as you might think. In fact, the technology is already here; and it’s thanks in large part to the engineering ingenuity of Harald Haas, Distinguished Professor of Mobile Communications and Director of the Li-Fi Research and Development Centre at the University of Strathclyde. He tells Jim Al-Khalili about the two decades he has spent researching optical wireless communications, building up to his LiFi breakthrough in 2011, where he made waves in the scientific community and beyond by showing how a simple desk lamp could be used to stream a video. Harald’s research could well have a very real impact on people’s lives, reinventing the way we connect online – but, as Jim hears, his early life was dogged by a very real fear he may have the same devastating disease that took his mother's life at an early age; an experience that shaped his early years and which has driven him to succeed in his own life and career. (Image: Harald Haas. Credit: Harald Haas)

  • The Life Scientific: Anne-Marie Imafidon
    Anne-Marie Imafidon passed her computing A-Level at the age of 11 and by 16, was accepted to the University of Oxford to study Maths and Computer Science. She's used to the 'child prodigy' label that's followed her throughout her career, but that doesn't mean she's had an easy ride. It was a combination of personal experience and the discovery that the number of women working in the STEM sectors - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - was in free-fall that inspired Anne-Marie to found Stemettes: a not-for-profit social enterprise introducing girls to STEM ideas and careers in fun and accessible ways. It's now in its tenth year and still growing, while Anne-Marie has received an MBE, enjoyed a successful stint as the numbers guru on the TV series Countdown, and is the current President of the British Science Association. In conversation in front of an audience at the UK's 2023 Cheltenham Science Festival, she tells Jim Al-Khalili about her quest for equality and diversity across the scientific community - and explains why she thinks everyone has the potential to be a 'child prodigy', given the right opportunity... (Image: Anne-Marie Imafidon. Credit: Anne-Marie Imafidon)