Tag Archives: Nature.com

Top New Science Podcast: UAE’s New Mars Mission, ‘Enhanced Weathering’ & Mexico’s Deep Caverns

Nature PodcastOn this week’s podcast, an ambitious Mars mission from a young space agency, and how crumbling up rocks could help fight climate change. 

In this episode:

00:46 Mars hopes

In a few weeks the UAE’s first mission to Mars is due to launch. We speak to the mission leads to learn about the aims of the project, and how they developed the mission in under six years. News Feature: How a small Arab nation built a Mars mission from scratch in six yearsNews Feature: Countdown to Mars: three daring missions take aim at the red planet

09:53 Research Highlights

Pluto appears to be losing its atmosphere, and solving the mystery of a pitch-black prehistoric mine. Research Highlight: Goodbye, Pluto’s atmosphereResearch Highlight: Why ancient people pushed deep into Mexico’s pitch-black caverns

12:12 Climate rocks

Researchers have assessed whether Enhanced Weathering – a technique to pull carbon dioxide out of the air – has the potential to help battle climate change. Research Article: Beerling et al.

18:41 Briefing Chat

We take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we talk about an outbreak of flesh-eating bacteria in Australia, and how flatworms can regrow their nervous systems. The Atlantic: Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria ProblemThe New York Times: A Worm’s Hidden Map for Growing New Eyes

Top New Science Podcasts: Tooth Enamel And Decay, Heart Attack Patches, ‘Hot Neptune Deserts’ (Nature)

Nature PodcastsOn this week’s podcast, how the molecular structure of tooth enamel may impact decay, adhesive patches to heal heart attacks, and a mysterious planetary core from a half-formed gas giant.

In this episode:

00:46 Unravelling tooth enamel

Researchers have been looking into the structure and composition of enamel in an effort to better understand tooth decay. Research Article: DeRocher et al.

07:02 Research Highlights

An adhesive patch to help heal heart-attacks, and a new technique to inspect the structure of 2D ‘wonder materials’. Research Highlight: A healing patch holds tight to a beating heartResearch Highlight: A snapshot shows off super-material only two atoms thick

09:21 Unusual planet

In the region close to stars known as the ‘hot Neptune desert’ planets of Neptune’s size are rarely found, but this week scientists have uncovered one and are trying to untangle its mysteries. Research Article: Armstrong et al.

14:52 Briefing Chat

We take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we talk about the pitfalls of using CRISPR in human embryos, and renaming of moon craters inadvertently named after Nazi scientists. Nature News: CRISPR gene editing in human embryos wreaks chromosomal mayhemProspect Magazine: Astronomers unknowingly dedicated moon craters to Nazis. Will the next historical reckoning be at cosmic level?

Top New Science Podcasts: Poker’s Life Lessons, Peer Reviews & Mars’ Greenness

Nature PodcastsOn this week’s podcast, life lessons from poker, keeping things civil during peer review, a sweaty synthetic skin that can exude useful compounds, and Mars’s green atmosphere.

In this episode:

00:44 Deciding to play poker

When writer Maria Konnikova wanted to better understand the human decision making process, she took a rather unusual step: becoming a professional poker player. We delve into her journey and find out how poker could help people make better decisions. Books and Arts: What the world needs now: lessons from a poker player

09:12 Research Highlights

A sweaty synthetic skin that can exude useful compounds, and Mars’s green atmosphere. Research Highlight: An artificial skin oozes ‘sweat’ through tiny poresResearch Highlight: The red planet has a green glow

11:21 Developing dialogues

The peer-review process is an integral part of scientific discourse, however, sometimes interactions between authors and reviews can be less than civil. How do we tread the fine line between critique and rudeness? Editorial: Peer review should be an honest, but collegial, conversation

18:47 Briefing Chat

We take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we talk about research into racism, and a possible hint of dark matter. Nature News: What the data say about police brutality and racial bias — and which reforms might work; Nature News: Mathematicians urge colleagues to boycott police work in wake of killingsQuanta: Dark Matter Experiment Finds Unexplained Signal

Top New Science Podcasts: “Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer”

Nature PodcastsAn instrument on the International Space Station is providing new insights into some of the Universe’s most baffling objects. Neutron stars have puzzled scientists for decades. It’s known that these ultra-dense objects are born from the remnants of supernovae, yet what’s under their surface, and what processes that go on within them, remain a mystery.

Now, an instrument called the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer is providing new information to help answer these questions, ushering in a new era of research into these strange stars.

This is an audio version of our feature: The golden age of neutron-star physics has arrived

Top New Science Podcasts: New Skin That Grows Hair, Spontaneous RNA (Nature)

Nature PodcastThis week, Nature looks at a new method to grow hairy skin in a dish, and new research takes aim at the RNA world hypothesis.

In this episode:

00:45 Hairy Skin

Researchers may have developed a way to make skin that can grow hair in the lab, paving the way for treatment of a variety of skin disorders, and perhaps even baldness. Research Article: Lee et al.News and Views: Regenerative medicine could pave the way to treating baldness

08:56 Research Highlights

How mercury moved during the ‘Great Dying’, and the link between mobile phones and gender equality. Research Highlight: Giant eruptions belched toxic metal during the ‘Great Dying’Research Article: Rotondi et al.

11:21 Does DNA predate life?

The RNA world hypothesis posits that RNA formed spontaneously leading eventually to life. Now new research suggests that RNA and DNA formed together, before life. Research Article: Xu et al.News and Views: How DNA and RNA subunits might have formed to make the first genetic alphabet

19:25 Pick of the Briefing

We pick our highlights from the Nature Briefing, including the recent SpaceX launch, and the earliest fossil of a land animal. CBC: Scientists find oldest fossil of a land animalNature News: SpaceX to launch astronauts — and a new era of private human spaceflight

Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.

Other links

Video: We test a home antibody kit for tracking Covid-19 transmission

Top New Science Podcasts: Splitting Water With Light, Missing Matter And Working Memory (Nature)

nature-podcastsThis week, perfecting catalysts that split water using light, the mystery of missing matter in the Universe and how working memory ‘works’ in children.

In this episode:

00:44 Water splitting

After decades of research scientists have managed to achieve near perfect efficiency using a light-activated catalyst to separate hydrogen from water for fuel. Research Article: Takata et al.News and Views: An almost perfectly efficient light-activated catalyst for producing hydrogen from water

05:37 Research Highlights

The hidden water inside the earth’s core, and how working memory ‘works’ in children. Research Highlight: Our planet’s heart is wateryResearch Highlight: A child’s memory prowess is revealed by brain patterns

07:53 Measuring matter

Estimations of baryonic matter in the Universe have conflicted with observations, but now researchers have reconciled these differences. Research Article: Macquart et al.

13:42 Pick of the Briefing

We pick our highlights from the Nature Briefing, including the possibility of a black hole in our solar system, and the biting bees that force plants to bloom. Physics World: If ‘Planet Nine’ is a primordial black hole, could we detect it with a fleet of tiny spacecraft?; Scientific American: Bumblebees Bite Plants to Force Them to Flower (Seriously)

New Science Podcast: New Artificial Eyes, Elephant Seals And Disk-Galaxies

nature-podcastsThis week, crafting an artificial eye with the benefits of a human’s, and understanding how disk-galaxies formed by peering back in time.

In this episode:

00:45 Biomimetic eye

Researchers fabricate an artificial eye complete with a human-like retina. Research Article: Gu et al.News and Views: Artificial eye boosted by hemispherical retina

09:27 Research Highlights

Dazzling elephant seals to avoid predation, and helping blind people ‘see’ through brain stimulation. Research Highlight: Mighty seals humbled by prey that flickers and flashesResearch Highlight: Blind people ‘read’ letters traced on their brains with electricity

11:36 Early disk-galaxy

There’s an open question about how disk-galaxies form, but now new observations are pointing to an answer, from the very early Universe. Research Article: Neeleman et al.News and Views: Galaxy disk observed to have formed shortly after the Big Bang

17:47 Pick of the Briefing

We pick our highlights from the Nature Briefing, including a HIV ‘vaccine’, and incredibly hardy bacteria. Science: Long-acting injectable drug prevents HIV infectionsQuanta Magazine: Inside Deep Undersea Rocks, Life Thrives Without the Sun

Top New Science Podcasts: Image Manipulation, Tully Monster & Air Pollution

nature-podcastsThis week, Elisabeth Bik tells us about her work uncovering potential image manipulation, and a new route for particulate pollution formation.

In this episode:

00:45 Seeing double

Elisabeth Bik spends her days identifying duplicated images in science papers. She tells us about her efforts, and why they’re important. Feature: Meet this super-spotter of duplicated images in science papersNews: Publishers launch joint effort to tackle altered images in research papers

08:11 Research Highlights

New insights on the mysterious Tully Monster, and how football fans can stoke air pollution. Research Highlight: Unmasking the Tully Monster: fossils help to tackle a decades-old mysteryResearch Highlight: The meaty link between a city’s football matches and its foul air

10:29 Understanding air pollution

Particulate pollution is a serious threat to human health, but the way that new particles form is poorly understood. This week, new research suggests a new mechanism for it to happen. Research article: Wang et al.News and Views: Airborne particles might grow fast in cities

15:09 Pick of the Briefing

We pick some highlights from the Nature Briefing, including the closest discovered black hole to Earth, and how wriggly worms are helping physicists model microscopic processes. National Geographic: Closest black hole to Earth found ‘hiding in plain sight’Physics: Worm Viscosity

Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.

Top New Science Podcasts: ‘Sniff-Response’, Carbon Dioxide And Vaccinations Replacing Antibiotics

nature-podcastsThis week, how the ‘sniff-response’ can help clinicians determine a patient’s state of consciousness, and how vaccines could help drive down antibiotic use.

In this episode:

00:45 Sniffing out consciousness

Researchers have found that the sniff reflex can indicate whether a patient is in a vegetative state, and even the likelihood that they will recover consciousness. Research Article: Arzi et al.

08:37 Research Highlights

The stupefying effect of carbon dioxide, and a chameleon gemstone that tricks your eyes. Research Highlight: Rising carbon dioxide levels will make us stupiderResearch Highlight: How a chameleon gemstone changes from red to green

11:12 Vaccination and antibiotic usage

Looking at data from low- and middle-income countries, researchers have determined that vaccination could prevent millions of infections currently treated by antibiotics. Research Article: Lewnard et al.

16:49 Pick of the Briefing

We pick our highlights from the Nature Briefing, including the forgotten mother of climate change science, and a new global study on insect declines. Chemistry World: Eunice Foote: the mother of climate changeScience: Meta-analysis reveals declines in terrestrial but increases in freshwater insect abundances

Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.

Coronavirus: Race To Expand Antibody Testing And Investing In Public Health (Nature Podcast)

Coronapod ReportBenjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss the role of antibody tests in controlling the pandemic, and how public-health spending could curtail an economic crisis. Also on the show, the open hardware community’s efforts to produce medical equipment.

In this episode:

02:08 Betting on antibodies

Antibody tests could play a key role in understanding how the virus has spread through populations, and in ending lockdowns. We discuss concerns over their reliability, how they could be used, and the tantalising possibility of immunity.

News: The researchers taking a gamble with antibody tests for coronavirus

10:25 Economy vs public health, a false dichotomy

Jim Yong Kim, former president of the World Bank, argues that strong investment in public health is crucial to halt the ongoing pandemic and to prevent a global financial crisis. We discuss his work with US governors to massively increase contact tracing, and his thoughts on how researchers can help steer political thinking.

News Q&A: Why the World Bank ex-chief is on a mission to end coronavirus transmission

19:00 One good thing this week

Our hosts talk about staying positive, and pick a few things that have made them smile in the last 7 days, including a tiny addition to the team, a newspaper produced by children in lockdown, and a gardening update.

Six Feet of Separation, the newspaper staffed by kids

22:51 Open hardware

Researchers are stepping up efforts to design and produce ventilators and personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff. We hear how the open hardware movement is aiding these efforts, and the regulations that teams need to consider if their designs are to make it into use.