An explanation for giant ice structures on Pluto, and dismantling the mestizo myth in Latin American genetics.
In this episode:
00:46 The frozen root of Pluto’s polygonal patterns
In 2015, NASA’s New Horizons probe sent back some intriguing images of Pluto. Huge polygonal patterns could be seen on the surface of a nitrogen-ice ice filled basin known as Sputnik Planitia. This week, a team put forward a new theory to explain these perplexing patterns.
Research article: Morison et al.
06:15 Research Highlights
How Pamplona’s bull-running defies the dynamics of crowd motion, and self-healing microbial bio-bricks.
Research Highlight: Running of the bulls tramples the laws of crowd dynamics
Research Highlight: It’s alive! Bio-bricks can signal to others of their kind
09:06 How the mixed-race ‘mestizo’ myth has fostered discrimination
The term ‘mestizo’ emerged during the colonial period in Latin America to describe a blend of ethnicities – especially between Indigenous peoples and the Spanish colonizers. But this label is a social construct not a well-defined scientific category. Now researchers are challenging the mestizo myth, which they say is harmful and has a troubling influence on science.
17:22 Briefing Chat
We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how interrupted sleep could be a route to creativity, and the development of vaccines to target respiratory syncytial virus.
New Scientist: Interrupting sleep after a few minutes can boost creativity