|Craig Venter may have discovered the key|
to combating global warming
Last week, scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute announced that they had created the world's first full bacterial genome.
This heralds a huge step forward in the development of designer genomes and could lead to a breakthrough in combating global warming.
Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher behind the project, talks to Sir David from California.
They discuss the ethics of the work, its implications for science and ongoing efforts to complete the final stage of the project - the creation of artificial life.
Venter talks about how this might create new energy sources and techniques to combat global warming. He also explains the importance of scientific research and breakthroughs without which "we wouldn't last long" on this planet.Watch the interview with Craig Venter on YouTube
|Charlie Wolf gives his view on|
the US presidential race
This week, the race for the White House lost a couple of notable runners.
John Edwards pulled out of the Democratic race, leaving Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama to slug it out.
And on the Republican side, Rudy Giuliani withdrew after a poor showing in Florida; the state he was hoping would launch his challenge after a lacklustre start to his campaign.
With "Super Tuesday" almost upon us, Republican Charlie Wolf speaks to Sir David about the presidential hopefuls and the likely outcome of Tuesday's elections.
Wolf suggests Giuliani's strategy of skipping the early primaries was misguided and left him without the momentum to challenge in Florida.
He also expresses his surprise at John Edwards' decision to pull out at such an early stage. Wolf says the departure of the two candidates leaves Hillary Clinton and John McCain as the marginal favourites for their respective parties. Manuel Hassassian and Ron Prosor
|Manuel Hassassian and Ron Prosor|
discuss the Israeli blockade of Gaza
Since the border with Egypt was breached on January 23, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians from Gaza have crossed over to stock up on essential supplies.
This follows Israel's blockade of the Hamas-run territory.
Any optimism gained from the Annapolis talks is rapidly diminishing as the stark reality of events in the region unfolds.
Manuel Hassassian, the PLO's ambassador to Britain, and Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, join Sir David to discuss the current situation in Gaza.
Hassassian argues that the blockade of Gaza has only exacerbated the problem and calls on Israel to stop building in the Occupied Territories.
Meanwhile, Prosor contends that rocket attacks from Gaza justify the blockade and that the extremists need to be isolated.
|In her new film, Irshad Manji, explores|
the future of Islam
Irshad Manji has been dubbed "Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare" by one newspaper.
The Canadian Muslim author has courted controversy with her eloquent critique of modern Islam, which she says is obsessed with victimhood and humiliation.
In her new film, Faith Without Fear
, Manji travels across the Arabian peninsular to look at how Muslims could change for the 21st century.
She also challenges conventional views of Islam by seeking to reconcile her more liberal approach with the conservative orthodoxy.
Sir David talks to Manji about the new film and her faith. Manji says she is not attacking her religion but rather the "ideology of fear" that has corrupted modern Islam.
She also calls for Muslims to be self-critical and accepting of free society.
|The veteran politician is advising|
the Bush administration
Henry Kissinger has been described as the most influential figure on US foreign policy since the Second World War.
He effected detente with the Soviet Union, opened up the way to Nixon's visit to China and helped tackle the Communist threat in Latin America.
Kissinger is still deeply involved in the US administration and has been advising George Bush, the US president, on a range of foreign affairs issues.
In this interview Kissinger discusses US relations with other countries, including Russia.Paddy Ashdown
|The UN had hoped to appoint Ashdown as a|
"super envoy" to Afghanistan
With the country's future looking increasingly uncertain, Afghanistan is in urgent need of stability.
A recent report suggested the country was at risk of becoming a "failed or failing state".
The UN had hoped to appoint Paddy Ashdown as "super envoy" to coordinate the international community's work in Afghanistan.
After months of negotiation it appeared that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, supported the move.
But that all changed last week when the Afghan government made it clear it did not want him.
Lord Ashdown joins Sir David to discuss what went wrong. Also on the agenda is Serbia's forthcoming general election and Kosovo's fight for independence.
Ashdown suggests Afghanistan's support for his appointment was withdrawn because of domestic political pressure.
He says the decision could undermine Karzai's support in the international community at a time when "we are losing" the battle in the country.
On Kosovo, Ashdown says Serbia has lost its right to govern and a declaration of independence from the province is inevitable.