Science Podcast: Unequal Surge In Research Papers, Energy Without Oxygen

The pandemic’s unequal toll on the research community, and a newly discovered mitochondria-like symbiosis.

In this episode:

00:48 The pandemic’s unequal toll on researchers

Although 2020 saw a huge uptick in the numbers of research papers submitted, these increases were not evenly distributed among male and female scientists. We look at how this could widen existing disparities in science, and damage future career prospects.

Editorial: COVID is amplifying the inadequacy of research-evaluation processes

09:18 Research Highlights

How a parasite can make viral infections more deadly, and the first known space hurricane.

Research Highlight: Intestinal worms throw open the door to dangerous viruses

Research Highlight: The first known space hurricane pours electron ‘rain’

11:36 Energy without oxygen

Millions of years ago, a microscopic protist swallowed a bacterium and gained the ability to breathe nitrate. This relationship partially replaced the cell’s mitochondria and allowed it to produce abundant energy without oxygen. This week, researchers describe how this newly discovered symbiosis works.

Research Article: Graf et al.

News and Views: A microbial marriage reminiscent of mitochondrial evolution

19:22 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the weakening of the Gulf Stream, and a new satellite to monitor deforestation in the Amazon.

The Guardian: Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists

Science: Brazil’s first homemade satellite will put an extra eye on dwindling Amazon forests

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