Hear this week’s science news, with Nick Howe and Shamini Bundell. This week, a new 3D printer allows quick shifting between many materials, and understanding the link between gut microbes and liver disease.
In this episode: 00:46 A new dimension for 3D printers
A new nozzle lets a 3D printer switch between materials at a rapid rate, opening the door to a range of applications.
Research Article: ; Skylar-Scott et al. News and Views: How to print multi-material devices in one go 08:07 Research Highlights
The slippery secrets of ice, and cells wrapping up their nuclei.
Research Highlight: ; Viscous water holds the secret to an ice skater’s smooth glide Research Highlight: Super-thin layer of ‘bubble wrap’ cushions a cell’s nucleus 10:17 Linking bacteria to liver disease
Researchers have isolated a bacterial strain that appears to play an important role in alcoholic liver disease.
Research paper: ; Duan et al. News and Views: Microbial clues to a liver disease 17:10 News Chat
‘Megaconstellations’ of satellites concern astronomers, and a report on the gender gap in chemistry.
News: ; SpaceX launch highlights threat to astronomy from ‘megaconstellations’ News: Huge study documents gender gap in chemistry publishing
Listen to the latest science updates, with Benjamin Thompson and Shamini Bundell. This week, insights into the evolution of walking upright, how science needs to change in the next 150 years, and the remaining hurdles for vaccination.
In this episode: 00:50 Early ape locomotion
The discovery of a fossil of a new species of ape gives new insights on how bipedalism may have evolved.
Research Article: ; Böhme et al. News and Views: ; Fossil ape hints at how walking on two feet evolved News: Fossil ape offers clues to evolution of walking on two feet 07:24 Research Highlights
Women lacking olfactory bulbs can
somehow still smell, and telling whiskies apart through evaporation patterns. Research Highlight: ; The women who lack an odour-related brain area — and can still smell a rose Research Highlight: Bourbon or Scotch? A droplet’s dynamics reveal the truth 09:44 How should science evolve?
This year is
Nature’s 150th anniversary. Science has made huge strides during this time, but what needs to change to continue this progress for the next 150 years? Comment: Science must move with the times 17:52 The state of vaccination in 2019
Researchers assess the differences in immunization levels worldwide and identify the bottlenecks in developing new vaccines.
Research article: Piot et al. 23:54 News Chat
An AI figures out the sun’s place in the Solar System, and reassessing the size of the proton.
News article: ; AI Copernicus: Neural network ‘discovers’ that Earth orbits the Sun News: Puzzle over size of proton leaps closer to resolution
This week, a computer beats the best human players in Hear the latest science news, with Benjamin Thompson and Shamini Bundell. StarCraft II, and a huge study of insects and other arthropods.
In this episode: 00:51 Learning to play
By studying and experimenting, an AI has reached Grandmaster level at the video game
Starcraft II. Research Article: ; Vinyals et al. News Article: Google AI beats experienced human players at real-time strategy game StarCraft II 10:08 Research Highlights
A record-breaking lightning bolt, and identifying our grey matter’s favourite tunes.
Research Highlight: ; Here come the lightning ‘megaflashes’ Research Highlight: Why some songs delight the human brain 12:24 Arthropods in decline
Researchers have surveyed how land-use change has affected arthropod diversity.
Research article: Seibold et al. 18:30 News Chat
Young Canadians file a lawsuit against their government, an Alzheimer’s drug gets a second chance, and South Korean efforts to curb a viral epidemic in pigs.
In 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) facilities in the US directly detected ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves. These waves were produced by the final spiral of two oribiting black holes that smashed into each other, sending ripples across the universe.
In this Podcast Extra, Benjamin Thompson speaks to Cole Miller from the University of Maryland about the quest to detect gravitational waves, which were first hypothesised by Albert Einstein back in 1916.
Listen to the latest from the world of science, with Nick Howe and Shamini Bundell. This week, a milestone in quantum computing, and rethinking early mammals.
In this episode: 00:43 A quantum computing milestone
A quantum computer is reported to have achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ – performing an operation that’s essentially impossible for classical computers.
Research Article: ; Arute et al. News and Views: ; Quantum computing takes flight Editorial: ; A precarious milestone for quantum computing News: Hello quantum world! Google publishes landmark quantum supremacy claim 08:24 Research Highlights
The world’s speediest ants, and the world’s loudest birdsong.
Research Highlight: ; A land-speed record for ants set in Saharan dunes Research Highlight: A bird’s ear-splitting shriek smashes the record for loudest song 10:19 The mammals that lived with the dinosaurs
Paleontologists are shifting their view of Mesozoic era mammals.
News Feature: How the earliest mammals thrived alongside dinosaurs 18:00 News Chat
A Russian researcher’s plans to edit human embryos, and ‘prime editing’ – a more accurate gene editing system.
News: ; Russian ‘CRISPR-baby’ scientist has started editing genes in human eggs with goal of altering deaf gene News: Super-precise new CRISPR tool could tackle a plethora of genetic diseases
This week, investigating child mortality rates at a local level, and building genes from non-coding DNA. Listen to the latest from the world of science, with Benjamin Thompson and Shamini Bundell.
In this episode: 00:43 A regional view of childhood mortality
Researchers map countries’ progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Developmental Goals.
Research Article: ; Burstein et al. World View: ; Data on child deaths are a call for justice Editorial: Protect the census 07:22 Research Highlights
Astronomers identify a second visitor from beyond the solar system, and extreme snowfall stifles animal breeding in Greenland.
Research Highlight: ; The comet that came in from interstellar space Research Highlight: Extreme winter leads to an Arctic reproductive collapse 09:22 Evolving genes from the ground up
Natural selection’s creative way to evolve new genes.
News Feature: How evolution builds genes from scratch 15:43 News Chat
A spate of vaping-related deaths in the US, and Japan’s import of the Ebola virus.
News: ; Scientists chase cause of mysterious vaping illness as death toll rises News: Why Japan imported Ebola ahead of the 2020 Olympics
This week, a method for predicting follow-up earthquakes, and the issues with deep learning systems in AI.
In this episode: 00:47 Which is the big quake?
A new technique could allow seismologists to better predict if a larger earthquake will follow an initial tremor.
Research Article: ; Real-time discrimination of earthquake foreshocks and aftershocks News and Views: Predicting if the worst earthquake has passed 07:46 Research Highlights
Vampire bats transmitting rabies in Costa Rica, and why are some octopuses warty?
Research Article: ; Streicker et al. Research Article: Voight et al. 10:03 Problems for pattern-recognition
Deep-learning allows AIs to better understand the world, but the technique is not without its issues.
News Feature: Why deep-learning AIs are so easy to fool 16:31 News Chat
We roundup the 2019 Nobel Prizes for science.
News: ; Biologists who decoded how cells sense oxygen win medicine Nobel News: ; Physics Nobel goes to exoplanet and cosmology pioneers News: Chemistry Nobel honours world-changing batteries