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Optimal prime

March 5, 2013, noon

In 300 BC, Euclid proved that there are an infinite number of prime numbers. Ever since, mathematicians have sought to discover larger and larger examples – with the latest an incredible 17 million digits long! Watch Twig film Prime Numbers: A Pattern in the Primes to learn more about primes – and the financial rewards for unlocking their secrets!

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The king in the car park

Feb. 15, 2013, noon

Earlier this month, researchers at the University of Leicester announced that ancient bones unearthed from beneath a supermarket car park belonged to 15th century English monarch Richard III. Watch Twig film Forensics: Bog Bodies to discover the ways that investigators can unlock the identity of dead bodies.

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The Baths of Caracalla

Dec. 18, 2012, noon

The Baths of Caracalla have survived on the outskirts of Rome for almost two thousand years. The enormous complex was completed in 216 AD under the rule of Caracalla - an emperor infamous for having his own brother murdered. Watch Twig film ‘Arches’ for an insight into how the tunnels of Caracalla are still standing, over 2000 years after they were built.

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Supermassive black hole found in tiny galaxy

Dec. 5, 2012, noon

A black hole has a gravitational force so strong that not even light can escape it. Most large galaxies play host to a supermassive black hole – Sagittarius A* is found in our own Milky Way. Astronomers have proposed that the relationship between the mass of a black hole and the size of its galaxy can help to explain their evolution. Learn more about black holes by watching Twig's featured film.

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Lost and found

Nov. 28, 2012, noon

How do you lose an island? Perhaps when it was never there in the first place! Scientists from the University of Sydney went looking for ‘Sandy Island’ in the South Pacific, only to discover that it doesn’t exist. Watch the Twig film The Longitude Problem and learn how sailors were able to navigate the vast seas before the arrival of GPS and satellite technology.

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The mathematics of election

Nov. 12, 2012, noon

Archbishops, police commissioners, presidents and prime ministers. Elections designed to choose a candidate as fairly as possible occur all over the world. Last week Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term as the 44th President of the United States of America. The race to sit in the Oval Office at the White House, becoming one of the most powerful figures in the world, started over a year ago. Watch the Twig film The Wrong Guy Won to see how pollsters estimate the size of audience at a political rally.

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Nobel Prizes 2012: Economics

Oct. 30, 2012, 2:58 p.m.

In the United States, when a student graduates from medical school they start an internship – a period of supervised on-the-job training designed to ensure they’re ready for the rigorous demands of their chosen profession. Every year, over 20,000 students must be paired up with hospitals, and complex algorithms are employed to ensure that the best possible matches are made.

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Nobel Prizes 2012 awarded

Oct. 30, 2012, noon

A Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry or medicine is considered the highest scientific honour, recognising individuals who have made significant and historic contributions to their respective fields. This week, we profile the scientists amongst this year’s award winners.

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Nobel Prizes 2012: Stem cell research

Oct. 26, 2012, noon

In 1962, Sir John Gurdon replaced the nucleus of a frog's egg cell with the nucleus of a mature cell taken from the intestine of a tadpole. The egg went on to develop into a perfectly healthy cloned tadpole, revealing that the genomes of mature cells still contain the DNA information that enables development into any other type of cell.

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Volunteers discover a planet with four suns

Oct. 16, 2012, noon

Astronomers at the Keck telescope at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, have confirmed the discovery of an unusual planet, about 5000 light-years away from Earth.

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