BBC Inside Science

A weekly programme that illuminates the mysteries and challenges the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.


Vaccine Hesitancy and Ethnicity; The Joy of catnip; Lake Heatwaves

Reports this week talk of some BAME ethnic minorities being significantly less likely to take a covid vaccine if offered. Vittal Katikireddi and Tolullah Oni both sit on the SAGE ethnicity subgroup, and they discuss with Alex Lathbridge where the figures come from and quite what they might mean. Some of these same groups have suffered some of the worst outcomes from infection. Addressing any underlying problems that bely the figures will take a nuanced approach. Researchers in Japan and Liverpool have been investigating cat's prediliction for the herbs Catnip and Silver Vine. It turns out that there may well be a deep evolutionary reason they have evolved to love rubbing it in their fur so much: a key ingredient is a good mosquito repellent. As Professors Masao Miyazaki and Jane Hurst describe. It could help keep the mozzies away but you might end up being tailed by cats. And researcher Iestyn Woolway of the European Space Agency Climate Group, at Didcot UK, describes his work modelling the world's lakes' reaction to a warming climate over coming decades. It's not very comforting, with increased duration and intensity of what he calls "Lake Heatwaves". Presented by Alex Lathbridge Produced by Alex Mansfield Made in associataion with the Open University. Note: This podcast has been edited since the original broadcast to prevent any possible inference that the Tuskegee syphilis study involved the deliberate infection of subjects. In the Tuskegee study, African American patients who were already infected with syphilis had diagnosis and treatment deliberately withheld from them in order to observe the progression of the lethal disease over several decades (even after a perfectly simple treatment - penicillin - became available).


 2021-01-21  30m