Fukushima ice wall; Martian menus; Science practicals; Eye tracker


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Dr Adam Rutherford asks whether the proposed ice wall around the Fukushima nuclear plant will finally halt the radioactive leaks they've suffered since the tsunami in 2011.

BBC Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes gives an insider's view on the current crisis and public reaction to the £300m rescue plan announced this week. Plus, Prof Neil Hyatt from Sheffield University describes the challenges ahead in building the ice wall, and decontaminating the water used to cool the crippled nuclear reactors.

Amongst the many challenges of sending a manned mission to Mars is the problem of 'menu fatigue'. Eating the same ready meals for several years could send anyone over the edge. NASA recently completed a four month Mars simulation on a barren volcano in Hawaii, their mission was to invent dishes to recreate on the Red Planet. Cooking doesn't get tougher than this.

School practicals may be popular with students and teachers but recent research suggests that they might not be a useful way to teach science. Is the aim to train up the technicians of the future, or teach children how to think scientifically? Science teacher and writer Alom Shaha and Prof Jim Iley, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, discuss how to make science demo more effective. And the best way to make cheese on toast.

Finally, Dr Pete Etchells from the University of Bath shows us his instrument - an eye-tracker used in psychology experiments. Recent applications include discovering why professional cricketers are better than amateurs, and whether horses are conscious.