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The Rat

This CD ROM is a comprehensive teaching and learning resource that provides a detailed study of the functional relationship between organ systems in the rat. It has been designed to improve students overall understanding of anatomy and physiology in mammals from gross morphology to microscopic detail. It also allows students to explore biological features of evolutionary significance that determine the position of mammals and other classes within the vertebrate kingdom. (CD required from Assistant)


Radio Recordings

An Earth Made for Life - Programme 3: Sex, Death and War

Gabrielle Walker ,
In the second series of An Earth Made for Life Gabrielle Walker continues her quest to understand why complex life is found on our planet, but not on any of our celestial neighbours. From the outback of Australia to the walls of the Grand Canyon Gabrielle unearths evidence of the dramatic changes that took place on our planet billions of years ago which may have triggered the rise of animals.

Aping Evolution - 1

Professor Steve Jones ,
Professor of Genetics Steve Jones challenges evolutionary psychology, the controversial new science of how our brains and minds developed. Girls like pink better because in Stone Age times they needed to be good at picking berries and women have better sex with rich men - or so some evolutionary psychologists would have us believe. Critics say this isn't science, but conjecture. Evolutionary psychology seeks to explain human behaviour from the hunter-gatherers or our nearest relatives, the chimpanzee, and has some seductively simple theories. One argument is that we have Stone Age brains in 21st-century skulls, from which we can account for everything from the violence that men show to their stepchildren to why racism exists. Is evolutionary psychology a truly useful addition to the canon of ideas to come out of Darwinian evolution or a just-so science that can be adjusted to suit the researchers' prejudices? Steve Jones examines the history of the new science, the methods used and asks if it can explain the human drive to language, religion and culture.

Aping Evolution - 2

Professor Steve Jones ,
Professor of Genetics Steve Jones challenges the controversial science of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychologists say human behaviour, such as who we marry, when we have children and even the quality of our sex lives, can be explained by having a Stone Age brain in a 21st century body. Professor Jones examines the scientific evidence for such claims and asks if we should be worried if contentious theories escape the world of science and enter the arena of social policy.

Biomimicry: Inspired by Nature

Prof Trevor Cox ,
Scientist and broadcaster Prof Trevor Cox explores a new wave of biomimicry - copying nature - which aims to recreate the processes and systems, from self-cleaning lotus leaves to the Namibian fog-basking beetle, which can harvest moisture from the dry desert air. Trevor meets the people attempting to emulate nature's genius. Their goal is not just to copy nature's structures, but to recreate the processes and systems that evolution has taken billions of years to perfect.

Book of the Week - The Hungry Years

William Leith ,
Hunger is the loudest voice in my head. I'm hungry most of the time'. One January morning in 2003, William Leith woke up to the fattest day of his life. That same day he left London for New York to interview controversial diet guru Dr Robert Atkins. What started out as a routine assignment set Leith on an intensely personal and illuminating journey into the mysteries of hunger and addiction. "The Hungry Years" charts new territory for anyone who has ever had a craving or counted a calorie. This story of food, fat, and addiction will change the way you look at food for ever.

Cosmic Ocean 1

Leo Enright ,
Programme 1: Water - a unique molecule. Our planet is dominated by water: it covers nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface, is fundamental to plate tectonics, carves the landscape through erosion and is necessary for all life on Earth – and therefore all life as we know it.

Cosmic Ocean 2

Leo Enright ,
Programme 2: Water elsewhere. NASA’s mission statement is to “follow the water”. The recent dramatic results from the small armada of probes on Mars suggest this approach is now paying off. It appears the planet was bathed in a watery past. But the surface is now dry and barren. Scientists are now using experiments on board both European and American probes to work out where all of the planet’s water has gone.

Darwin: My Ancestor 1

Ruth Padel ,
Writer and poet Ruth Padel investigates the qualities of her great great grandfather Charles Darwin and attempts to discover the man behind the science.

Great Lives - Captain James Cook

Greg Dyke ,
James Cook is one of Britain's foremost explorers. His three voyages to the Pacific added greatly to the fields of navigation, anthropology and biology. His aim was to go, "farther than any man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for a man to go".

Human Alien

Sue Nelson ,
Making A Human Alien reveals how human beings could be made super-human in the name of space exploration. Scientists are already working on new ways to keep humans alive for long periods, far from the Earth. Sue Nelson explores how in order to travel in space we will need to become human aliens.

In Our Time - Darwin the Genius of Evolution - Part 1

Melvyn Bragg ,
Melvyn tells the story of Darwin's early life in Shropshire and discusses the significance of the three years he spent at Cambridge, where his interests shifted from religion to natural science. Featuring contributions from Darwin biographer Jim Moore, geneticist at University College London Steve Jones, fellow of Christ's College Cambridge David Norman and assistant librarian at Christ's College Cambridge Colin Higgins.

In Our Time - Evolutionary Psychology

Melvyn Bragg ,
With Janet Radcliffe Richards, Reader in Bioethics, University College, London; Nicholas Humphrey, Professor of Psychology, New School for Social Research, New York; Professor Steven Rose, Professor of Physic, Open University.In_Our_Time/Janet Radcliffe-Richards, Steven Rose, Nicholas Humphrey - Evolutionary Psychology.pdf

In Our Time - Genetic Engineering

Melvyn Bragg ,
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the implications of the developments in genetic engineering. With Grahame Bulfield, geneticist, honorary professor, Edinburgh University and Director of the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh; Bryan Appleyard, features writer for The Sunday Times and author of Brave New Worlds: Genetics and the Human Experience.In_Our_Time/Graham Bullfield and Brian Appleyard - Genetic Engineering.pdf

In Our Time - Intelligence

Melvyn Bragg ,
With Dr Ken Richardson, educational psychologist, former Senior Lecturer, Open University and author of The Making of Intelligence; Professor Michael Ruse Philosopher of Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario and author of Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction?In_Our_Time/Ken Richardson and Michael Rouse - Intelligence.pdf

In Our Time - Neuroscience in the 20th century

Melvyn Bragg ,
With Professor Susan Greenfield, director of the Royal Institution, Professor of Pharmacology, Oxford University and Professor of Physics at Gresham College; Professor Vilayanur Ramachandran, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Director of the Brain Perception Laboratory, University of California in San Diego and Professor at the Salk Institute.In_Our_Time/Susan Greenfield and VS Ramachandran - The Brain.pdf

In Our Time - Oceanography

Melvyn Bragg ,
With Margaret Deacon, visiting Research Fellow at Southampton Oceanography Centre and author of Scientists and the Sea, Tony Rice, Biological Oceanographer and author of Deep Ocean, Simon Schaffer, Reader in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of Darwin College.In_Our_Time/Margaret Deakin, Simon Scheffer, Tony Rice - The Sea.pdf