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Female orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus).

Orangutans, green buildings and an Antarctic GP

7 June 2010

With efforts to improve energy efficiency focussed on green transport to sustainable power generation, growing your own food to reducing waste, it's often easy to forget that the very buildings we live and work in could also be made energy efficient.

But how do you retrofit old buildings without ruining their architectural character? One researcher from the UK Energy Research Centre explains where you might start.

Scientists at the University of Birmingham tell Sue Nelson how they're trying to understand when and why humans developed the ability to walk on two legs; with the help of some human subjects, a manmade rainforest canopy and some orangutans.

We also hear from the British Antarctic Survey's GP at Rothera Research Station in the West Antarctica Peninsula who explains what life's like on the base.


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The Planet Earth podcast - 'Orangutans, green buildings and an Antarctic GP'.

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Finally, find out which other stories you should be reading about on the Planet Earth online website – from citizen scientists and international biodiversity, to plastics in Antarctica and a hair-raising video onboard a ship in storm-force winds around Greenland.

As always, download the podcast and then tell us what you think. You can email us at or if you're on Facebook or Twitter, comment there – see the links below.

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