Winter Walks: Sils Im Engadin, Switzerland (4K)

Sils is “the loveliest corner of the whole earth”. These are the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote his “Zarathustra” while staying in this picturesque village located between the lakes of Sils and Silvaplana. Sils is also a place in which to escape the madding crowd, whichever of the two parts of the village – Sils-Maria or Sils-Baselgia – you decide to stay in.

Science: RNA Test Detects Pre-Eclampsia, Machine Vision, Recycling Urine

RNA in blood reveals signs of pre-eclampsia before symptoms occur, and the issue of urine in our sewage and what can be done about it.

In this episode:

00:46 Predicting pre-eclampsia

Cell-free RNA circulates in the blood and can give clues as to what is going on in the body. This can be used to detect disease before symptoms occur. Now researchers have analysed cell-free RNA in pregnant people and have found it can give early warning signs of a serious, and sometimes fatal, disorder of pregnancy — pre-eclampsia.

Research Article: Moufarrej et al.

07:19 Research Highlights

Upgrading machine vision by modelling it on human eyes, and stacked skeletons which could show attempts at repair after European tomb raiders.

Research Highlight: Retina-like sensors give machines better vision

Research Highlight: ‘Spines on posts’ hint at ancient devotion to the dead

09:55 The problems of pee

Sewage and the way it is managed can cause serious problems, for example contaminants in waste can lead to harmful algal blooms. One of the major causes of this is urine, and so some researchers have been promoting a deceptively simple solution — separate out the urine.

News Feature: The urine revolution: how recycling pee could help to save the world

Book Review: Toilets – what will it take to fix them?

16:40 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how China has planned to make this year’s Winter Olympics carbon neutral, and how a new radio telescope in Namibia will help us understand black holes.

Nature News: China’s Winter Olympics are carbon-neutral — how?

Nature News: 

Marine Life: Preserving Coral Reefs In Maldives

The One Ocean Summit opens this Wednesday in the French port of Brest. Seas and oceans cover around 70 percent of the surface of our planet, but continue to face an onslaught of problems, from pollution to rising temperatures. In the Maldives, coral reefs are dying because of climate change. However, locals are doing their best to save them. Our France 2 colleagues report, with FRANCE 24’s Wassim Cornet.

Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic country in the Indian subcontinent of Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 750 kilometres from the Asian continent’s mainland.

Public Transit: Seattle’s $54 Billion Railway (Video)

This could be the most ambitious public transit project in America.

SEATTLE has become one of the most attractive cities in the United States.

The tech boom has helped bring in some 1,000 new residents every week. Of course, all those new Seattleites need a way to get around, and things are getting crowded.

In response, the city has been expanding its rail system, and fast. The latest project, Sound Transit 3, will invest $54BN over the next 25 years to expand the network five-fold.

With the passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, American cities are getting a chance to rethink their public transit systems with fresh infrastructure funding.

And Seattle’s expansion might be the country’s most ambitious project yet.

Preview: Times Literary Supplement – February 11

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Views: Merano In South Tyrol, Northern Italy (4K)

Meran or Merano is a city and comune in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Generally best known for its spa resorts, it is located within a basin, surrounded by mountains standing up to 3,335 metres (10,942 feet) above sea level, at the entrance to the Passeier Valley and the Vinschgau.

In the past, the city has been a popular place of residence for several scientists, literary people, and artists, including Franz Kafka, Ezra Pound, Paul Lazarsfeld, and also Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who appreciated its mild climate. Meran is on the borderline between several climates. Officially, it has an oceanic climate. However, it is close to being humid subtropical due to the mean temperature in July being just under 22 °C; even on those terms, the overnight lows in the winter bring the mean temperatures low enough for the city as a whole to have continental influences with more distinct seasons.

The area is well known for its wines, both white and red, and vineyards extend right into the city. The local wine, Meraner Leiten (Meranese di collina), is a light red wine, best drunk young. There are also extensive orchards, and apples are exported throughout Europe. The Forst Brewery on the edge of the city produces a popular range of beers, sold throughout northern Italy.