Astronomers pin down the likely origins of mysterious fast radio bursts, Covid-19 in schools, octopuses taste with touch and the latest on what the US election means for science.
In this episode:
00:46 The origins of mysterious fast radio bursts
The detection of a brief but enormously-powerful radio burst originating from within the Milky Way could help researchers answer one of astronomy’s biggest mysteries.
Research article: Bochenek et al.; News: Astronomers spot first fast radio burst in the Milky Way
At the start of the pandemic, there were fears that schools could become hotspots for infections. We discuss the evidence suggesting that this is unlikely to be the case, and the rates of infection in children of different ages.
18:34 Research Highlights
Octopuses taste with touch, and a tool to watch dangerously-reactive metals grow.
Research Highlight: How octopuses taste with their arms — all eight of them; Research Highlight: How to make violently reactive metals and watch them grow
21:28 An update on the US election
Although the winner of this year’s US election is unclear, we discuss the current situation and what it might mean for science.
28:58 Briefing Chat
We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, ancient genomes reveal the migration of man’s best friend, and a new polio vaccine looks set to receive emergency approval.