Science: Water Flow And Quantum Friction, Super Soap Bubbles, Hippos

How quantum friction explains water’s strange flows in carbon nanotubes, and the latest from the Nature Briefing.

In this episode:

00:53 A theory for water’s baffling behaviour in carbon nanotubes

At large scales, water flows faster through a wider pipe than a narrower one. However, in tiny carbon nanotubes flow-rate is flipped, with water moving faster through the narrowest channels. This week, researchers have come up with a new explanation for this phenomenon: quantum friction. If validated, it could allow material designers to fine-tune flows through tiny channels, which could be useful in processes such as water purification.

Research Article: Kavokine et al.

06:43 Research Highlights

Creating soap bubbles that last 200,000 times longer, and hippos’ habit of aggressively spraying dung when they hear a stranger.

Research Highlight: No bursting for these record-breaking bubbles

Research Highlight: Hippos know strangers’ voices — and make a filthy reply

09:08 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a global study reveals how antibiotic-resistant infections have led to millions of deaths, and a genetic mutation that plays a big role in a dog’s size.

Nature News: The staggering death toll of drug-resistant bacteria

Nature News: Big dog, little dog: mutation explains range of canine sizes

Nature Video: 

Preservation: Mangroves National Park In Congo

This Wednesday is International Wetlands Day. Worldwide, wetlands cover 12.1 million km². But more than 30 percent have been lost over the past 50 years, despite them playing a crucial role in mitigating the impact of climate change. One example is the Mangroves National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s the only marine park in the country and it’s home to a wide variety of plants and rare animals, including sea turtles. But the park is increasingly threatened by poaching and illegal logging. The construction of a deep water port in the vicinity has also sparked controversy. Our correspondents report.

Views: The Woodlands Of East Lothian, Scotland

East Lothian, Scotland has some beautiful forests and woodlands. This film was shot at Binning Memorial Wood, Gosford Estate, Pressmennan Woods and Tynninghame Estate.

The Royal Burgh of Haddington is a town in East Lothian, Scotland. It is the main administrative, cultural and geographical centre for East Lothian, which as a result of late-nineteenth century Scottish local government reforms took the form of the county of Haddingtonshire for the period from 1889 to 1921.

Preview: Times Literary Supplement – February 4

Morning News: NATO’s Resurgence, Italy Elects A President, Nuns On TikTok

Our correspondent speaks with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, who says the alliance’s involvement in de-escalating Russia tensions is a sign of its resurgent relevance.

After tortuous votes, Italy’s lawmakers elected a president: the incumbent who did not want the job. No posts have changed, but the political balance surely has. And we meet the nuns racking up followers on TikTok.