A high pressure experiment reveals the world’s first room-temperature superconductor, and a method to target ecosystem restoration.
In this episode:
00:44 Room-temperature superconductivity
For decades, scientists have been searching for a material that superconducts at room temperature. This week, researchers show a material that appears to do so, but only under pressures close to those at the centre of the planet. Research Article: Snider et al.; News: First room-temperature superconductor puzzles physicists
The Coronapod team revisit mask-use. Does public use really control the virus? And how much evidence is enough to turn the tide on this ongoing debate? News Feature: Face masks: what the data say
19:37 Research Highlights
A new method provides 3D printed materials with some flexibility, and why an honest post to Facebook may do you some good. Research Highlight: A promising 3D-printing method gets flexible; Research Highlight: Why Facebook users might want to show their true colours
22:11 The best way to restore ecosystems
Restoring degraded or human-utilised landscapes could help fight climate change and protect biodiversity. However, there are multiple costs and benefits that need to be balanced. Researchers hope a newly developed algorithm will help harmonise these factors and show the best locations to target restoration. Research Article: Strassburg et al.; News and Views: Prioritizing where to restore Earth’s ecosystems
28:40 Briefing Chat
We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a 44 year speed record for solving a maths problem is beaten… just, and an ancient set of tracks show a mysterious journey. Quanta: Computer Scientists Break Traveling Salesperson Record; The Conversation: Fossil footprints: the fascinating story behind the longest known prehistoric journey
Opening new frontiers, vaccinating billions and unlocking the secrets of our universe these are the world’s most incredible science megaprojects. This video is powered by Bluebeam.
See how Bluebeam Revu was used at the European Spallation Source – https://bit.ly/312O4nk
As part of the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition, a team of scientists and Sherpa guides sets out to collect information about glacial change in the Himalayas. By extracting ice cores from the highest glacier in the world, the team has begun to uncover details about climate change that have – until now – been hidden in this hard-to-reach ice. The National Geographic Society uses the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.
Learn more at http://www.natgeo.org
Skydiving is one of the most dangerous extreme sports someone can participate in. Here is some of the science behind doing it successfully.
A conversation about the US election and the possible fallout for science, Covid-19, black hole mergers and are maternal behaviours learned or innate?
In this episode:
00:46 US election
In the United States the presidential race is underway, and Nature is closely watching to see what might happen for science. We speak to two of our US based reporters to get their insight on the election and what to look out for. News Feature: A four-year timeline of Trump’s impact on science; News Feature: How Trump damaged science — and why it could take decades to recover; News: What a Joe Biden presidency would mean for five key science issues
With news of the US President Donald Trump contracting coronavirus, the Coronapod team discuss the treatments he has received and what this might mean for the US government. News: Contact tracing Trump’s travels would require ‘massive’ effort
25:33 Research Highlights
How binary stars could become black hole mergers, and a prehistoric massacre. Research Highlight: The odd couple: how a pair of mismatched black holes formed; Research Highlight: A bustling town’s annihilation is frozen in time
27:36 Are parental behaviours innate?
Nature versus nurture is a debate as old as science itself,and in a new paper maternal behaviours are innate or learned, by looking at the neurological responses of adult mice to distress calls from mice pups. Research Article: Schiavo et al.
33:03 Briefing Chat
This week sees the announcement of the Nobel Prizes, so we chat about the winners and their accomplishments. Nature News: Physicists who unravelled mysteries of black holes win Nobel prize; Nature News: Virologists who discovered hepatitis C win medicine Nobel
“We had a sense that we were onto something big,” says Jennifer Doudna, as she recalls the start of her “curiosity-driven” research into CRISPR and reflects on the pace of the field today, in this short conversation with Adam Smith. Speaking from her patio in the early morning in Palo Alto, Doudna describes how she was woken by a call from a journalist: “I assumed she was calling me to ask me to comment on somebody else winning the Nobel Prize!” The award of the prize to her and Emmanuelle Charpentier will, she hopes, be an encouragement to other women. “Sometimes,” she comments, “there’s a sense that no matter what they do, their work will not be recognised in the way it would be if they were a man.”
In this interview recorded shortly after news broke of her Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Emmanuelle Charpentier tells Adam Smith of her surprise at receiving the call from Stockholm, despite considerable speculation that it might be coming her way. She speaks of the “explosion of knowledge and publications” that the CRISPR field has generated, the motivations behind her “brief but intense” collaboration with her co-Laureate Jennifer Doudna, the need for societal involvement in the conversation about the applications of technology and the importance of studying the microbiological world.
“Even near the highest peak in the world, life manages to thrive. Follow a global team of scientists on the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition as they measure the biodiversity in Nepal’s Khumbu Valley and investigate how high alpine species are adapting to global climate change.”
UCLA biomolecular engineer Yvonne Chen explains recent advances her work has made in engineering cellular receptors to better target cancer cells to improve cancer treatments.