Star for a day

Star for a day

BBC World Service

About this episode

3000 light years from Earth, a white dwarf star called T Coronae Borealis is on the brink of a “once-in-a-lifetime” explosion. Astrophysicist Bradley Schaefer is enthusiastic about the bright star set to appear in the night sky in the coming months.

Professor Irving Weissman has been researching ways to restore youth using mouse models for decades. He has sewn old and young mice together to join their circulatory systems and has found that giving old mice blood from younger mice reverses some signs of ageing. In his group’s paper, the use of an antibody-based therapy has been shown to restore a declining immune system in ageing mice. Not quite the fountain of youth but potentially a key step in halting many age-related diseases. Roland gets the details from Irving and first-author Dr Jason Ross.

And, in the small town of Cabrières in Southern France, producer Ella Hubber goes on the hunt for some 480-million-year-old fossils with part-time fossil prospectors Eric and Sylvie Monceret. Their latest excavation site is a gold mine of rare, soft-bodied fossils from the period during a time when this part of France was underwater. And at the South Pole.

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Ella Hubber

(Photo: Illustration of the northern springtime constellations of Lyra, Hercules, Corona Borealis, and Bootes. Credit: Alan Dyer/Stocktrek Images)