Tag Archives: Nature.com

Covid-19 Podcast: Death Rates Are Falling – What This Means For Pandemic

The COVID-19 mortality rate is falling around the world. We discuss the reasons behind this – the role of new drugs, the treatment strategies the have been learned, or re-learned, and the ever-present worry that these hard won victories could be undone by rising infection rates.

In this episode:

00:44 An increase in survival rates

The COVID-19 mortality rate is falling around the world. We discuss the reasons behind this – the role of new drugs, the treatment strategies the have been learned, or re-learned, and the ever-present worry that these hard won victories could be undone by rising infection rates.

News Feature: Why do COVID death rates seem to be falling?

10:53 More vaccine good news

This week, Moderna released preliminary results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the third positive indication from a string of vaccine announcements. Although the full data are yet to be published, do these results give us more reasons to feel hopeful?

News: COVID vaccine excitement builds as Moderna reports third positive result

Science Podcasts: Birds & Sensory Pollution, Covid-19 Vaccine And Tiny Bats

Researchers try to unpick the complex relationship between sensory pollutants and bird reproduction, and how to combat organized crime in fisheries.

In this episode:

00:46 Sensory pollution and bird reproduction

Light- and noise-pollution have been shown to affect the behaviour of birds. However, it’s been difficult to work out whether these behavioural changes have led to bird species thriving or declining. Now, researchers have assembled a massive dataset that can begin to give some answers. Research article: Senzaki et al.

10:17 Coronapod

Interim results from a phase III trial show compelling evidence that a coronavirus vaccine candidate can prevent COVID-19. However, amid the optimism there remain questions to be answered – we discuss these, and what the results might mean for other vaccines in development. News: What Pfizer’s landmark COVID vaccine results mean for the pandemic

23:29 Research Highlights

A tiny bat breaks a migration record, and researchers engineer a mouse’s sense of place. Research Highlight: The record-setting flight of a bat that weighs less than a toothbrushResearch Article: Robinson et al.

25:39 Organised crime in fisheries

When you think of fishing, organised crime probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. However, billions of dollars every year from the fishing industry are lost to criminal enterprises. We discuss some of the impacts and what can be done about it. Research Article: Witbooi et al.

32:13 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a time-capsule discovered on the Irish coast provides a damning indictment of Arctic warming, and some human remains challenge the idea of ‘man-the-hunter’. The Guardian: Arctic time capsule from 2018 washes up in Ireland as polar ice meltsScience: Woman the hunter: Ancient Andean remains challenge old ideas of who speared big game

New Science Podcast: U.S. Election Science Imapct, Trump Covid, Black Holes

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 scienceNews Feature: How Trump damaged science — and why it could take decades to recoverNews: What a Joe Biden presidency would mean for five key science issues

12:36 Coronapod

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 formedResearch 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 prizeNature News: Virologists who discovered hepatitis C win medicine Nobel

Health Videos: ‘How Vaccines Work With The Adaptive Immune System’

As the world waits for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, we delve into how vaccines actually work. What are the different types of vaccine? How do they trigger and train the immune system, and what is the role of herd immunity?

Top Science Podcasts: The Vikings Migration Mapped, Covid-19 Trial Is Halted, Tiniest Ultrasound Device

Nature podcast discusses: Mapping the migration of the Vikings, a leading Covid-19 vaccine trial was abruptly halted and the world’s smallest ultrasound device.

In this episode:

00:45 Following the Viking footprint across Europe

To better understand who the Vikings were, and where they went, researchers have mapped genomes from hundreds of archaeological artifacts. Research Article: Margaryan et al.

08:00 Coronapod

Phase III trials of a leading coronavirus vaccine were abruptly paused last week – we discuss how news of the event leaked out, and the arguments for transparency in clinical trials. News: A leading coronavirus vaccine trial is on hold: scientists reactNews: Scientists relieved as coronavirus vaccine trial restarts — but question lack of transparencyIf you are involved in a clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine or treatment, please fill in our survey.

21:05 Research Highlights

A burnt grain silo gives insight into ancient tax collection, and how hummingbirds survive the cold Andean nights. Research Highlight: Ancient tax collectors amassed a fortune — until it went up in smokeResearch Highlight: Why some of the world’s zippiest birds go stiff and cold every night

23:40 Ultra-tiny ultrasound

Scientists have developed an ultrasound detector which is smaller than the wavelength of sound it detects, providing highly detailed imaging at a cellular level; Research Article: Research Article: Shnaiderman et al.

29:53 Briefing Chat

We discuss some of the latest stories highlighted in the Nature Briefing. This week we talk about why California has an orange hue, and the strangeness at the edge of the Solar System. Forbes: The Science Behind Mysterious Orange Skies In CaliforniaBBC Future: The weird space that lies outside our Solar System

Top New Science Podcasts: Damaged Quantum Bits, Convalescent Plasma & Ancient Ichthyosaurs

August 26, 2020: Protecting delicate quantum bits from radiation, convalescent plasma for serious Covid-19 patients and a competition to replicate findings from ancient computer code.

In this episode:

01:04 Quantum computers vs ionizing radiation

The quantum bits, or ‘qubits’, central to the operation of quantum computers are notoriously sensitive. Now, researchers have assessed the damaging effects that ionizing radiation can have on these qubits and what can be done about it. Research Article: Vepsäläinen et al.

08:15 Coronapod

We discuss the US Food and Drug Administration’s decision to authorize convalescent plasma for emergency use in COVID-19 patients. As accusations of political interference fly, what might this mean for the future of the US coronavirus response?

20:39 Research Highlights

Finding new populations of a long-lost elephant shrew, and the hunting method of ancient ichthyosaurs. Research Highlight: An elephant-nosed creature ‘lost to science’ was living just next door; Research Highlight: An extinct reptile’s last meal shows it was a grip-and-tear killer

22:34 The reproducibility of computer code

Many scientists have published papers based on code. Recently though, a gauntlet was thrown down for researchers to try to replicate their code, 10 years or more after they wrote it. Tech Feature: Challenge to scientists: does your ten-year-old code still run?

28:06 Briefing Chat

We take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we discuss a cancer diagnosis in a dinosaur, and how to brew yourself a career outside of academia. Science: Doctors diagnose advanced cancer—in a dinosaur; Nature Careers Feature: The brews and bakes that forged career paths outside academia

Top New Science Podcasts: 3D Printed Aerogels, Covid-19 Data & Sulfur

In this Nature podcast: a new way to produce aerogels opens up their use, the countries that collect Covid-19 data effectively, and understanding how sulfur can change state between two liquids.

In this episode:

01:05 Printing aerogels

Aerogels are materials with impressive insulating properties, but they’re difficult to handle, due to their innate fragility. Now, researchers have shown a new way to 3D print the most common form of aerogel, opening up a range of potential new applications. Research Article: Zhao et al.

07:00 Coronapod

To provide targeted public health interventions during the pandemic, it’s vital that data are collected and shared effectively. We discuss the countries doing this well, and find out how fragmented systems are preventing epidemiologists from giving up-to-date information on outbreaks.

21:11 Research Highlights

Fats in the blood as a possible marker of autism, and the selfish component to solar panel adoption. Research Highlight: Fats in the blood linked to autismResearch Highlight: Self-interest powers decision to go solar

23:24 Liquid-liquid transitions

It’s been thought that some liquids may be able to exist in two distinct states, but evidence has been scarce. Now, researchers show that sulfur can exist in two liquid states, and have discovered some insights into how this might occur. Research Article: Henry et al.Video: 24 hours in a synchrotron

30:09 Briefing Chat

We take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we discuss the English language’s dominance in science, and how to make squid transparent. Symmetry: Physics in a second languageOneZero: The First Gene-Edited Squid in History Is a Biological Breakthrough

Top New Science Podcasts: Locust Swarm Triggers & Covid-19 Antibodies

Nature PodcastThis week’s Nature Podcast looks at: Triggering swarming behaviour in locusts, antibody therapies as a bridge to Covid-19 vaccine, and new insights into how humans synchronize.

In this episode:

01:56 Understanding swarming behaviour

Swarms of migratory locusts regularly devastate crops across the world, but why these swarms form has been a mystery. Now, a team of researchers have identified a compound that causes solitary locusts to come together in their billions – a finding that could have practical applications for preventing this behaviour. Research article: Guo et al.; News & Views: Catching plague locusts with their own scent

08:48 Coronapod

We discuss the role that monoclonal antibodies may have as therapeutics to treat COVID-19. Although promising, there are numerous hurdles to overcome before these drugs can be used. News: Antibody therapies could be a bridge to a coronavirus vaccine — but will the world benefit?

15:30 Research Highlights

A satellite’s fecal find reveals that Antarctica’s emperor penguin population is much larger than previously thought, and changing how genes are named to avoid Excel’s autocorrect. Research Highlight: Satellites find penguins by following the pooResearch article: Bruford et al.

17:49 An out-of-sync arts project

A collaborative art-science project featuring a network of connected violinists has given new insights into how humans synchronize. Research article: Shahal et al.

23:51 Briefing Chat

We take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we find out about the odd immune system of the anglerfish, and the beetle that can pass through a frog’s digestive system without coming to harm. Wired: The Anglerfish Deleted Its Immune System to Fuse With Its MateResearch paper: Sugiura

Top New Science Podcasts: Pluto’s Dark Side Yields Dwarf Planet’s Secrets

Nature PodcastsIn 2015, after a nine-and-a-half-year journey, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft raced past Pluto, beaming images of the dwarf planet back to Earth.

Five years after the mission, researchers are poring over images of Pluto’s far-side, which was shrouded in shadow during New Horizon’s flypast. They hope that these images will help give a better understanding of how Pluto was born and even whether a hidden ocean resides beneath the world’s icy crust.

This is an audio version of our feature: Pluto’s dark side spills its secrets — including hints of a hidden ocean

Top New Science Podcasts: How The Skin Stretches, Covid-19 Conferences And Pain Resistance Traits

Nature PodcastThis week’s Nature podcast looks at how skin’s unusual response to stretching is finally explained, a coronavirus update and the latest in a huge effort to map DNA. 

In this episode:

01:06 Stretching skin

For decades it’s been known that stretching skin causes more skin to grow, but the reasons why have been a mystery. Now, researchers have uncovered a mechanism to explain the phenomenon. Research Article: Aragona et al.News and Views: Stretch exercises for stem cells expand the skin

07:49 Coronapod

We discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has affected scientific meetings and how the learned societies that organise them are adapting. How scientific conferences will survive the coronavirus shockHow scientific societies are weathering the pandemic’s financial storm;

A year without conferences? How the coronavirus pandemic could change research

18:18 Research Highlights

A genetic trait for pain-resistance, and the accessibility-aware ancient Greeks. Research Highlight: A gene helps women in labour to skip the painkillersResearch Highlight: This temple was equipped with accessibility ramps more than 2,000 years ago

20:42 ENCODE updates

The ENCODE project aims to identify all the regions in the human genome involved in gene regulation. This week, data from its third iteration has been published and we examine the highlights. Research Article: SnyderNews and Views: Expanded ENCODE delivers invaluable genomic encyclopaedia

28:50 Briefing Chat

We take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we look at how smallpox may be much older than previously thought, and how the Earth’s atmosphere rings like a bell. Nature News: Smallpox and other viruses plagued humans much earlier than suspectedPhysics World: