Our show will include the following stories: computerized cancer treatment, the effect of solar cycles on our climate, and how can lupine replace meat in the future?
Cancer medications work for some patients, and not for others. According to Hans Lehrach, director of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, it's about as predictable as the weather was 150 years ago. But a new idea could change that. Lehrach is developing a virtual database for individual patients.
Tumor samples, as well as genetic and metabolic information are fed into a computer. This allows new treatments to be tested out on the "virtual" patient to see which ones might work for the real one. It's a costly and energy-consuming process at present but the race is on to make the potentially life-saving technique more efficient.
Most climatologists agree that human activity is a decisive factor in global warming. But the question of whether the sun's activity also plays a role nowadays keeps cropping up.
Researchers from Potsdam investigate the scientific basis, or lack thereof, of such claims. Their verdict: a range of factors affect temperatures on earth. The sun's activity is just one of them, and its role is relatively minor.
We're joined by Professor Achim Brauer from the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam to discuss the topic of climate change.
Meat consumption is on the rise and alongside it, an increase in heart disease and obesity. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Freising have come up with a low-fat, high protein substitute for meat: the lupin.
It's a legume native to Germany that's been discovered only relatively recently as a food source. Researchers working on the texture and taste of lupin products have come up with some delicious and nutritious results. Whether it's sausages or pralines you're after, the lupin seems to offer it all.