This week, the brain pathways of egg laying in fruit flies, preventing fractures in metallic glass, moth’s fuzz as superior acoustic camouflage and a coronavirus update.
In this episode:
00:46 Working out the wiring behind fruit fly behaviour
Researchers have identified a neural circuit linking mating and egg laying in female fruit flies.
Research Article: Wang et al.
06:01 Research Highlights
Ancient, cave-dwelling cockroaches, and hairy moths dampen sound.
Research Highlight: ; Research Highlight: Cockroaches preserved in amber are the world’s oldest cave dwellers Stealth flyers: moths’ fuzz is superior acoustic camouflage
07:57 Making better metallic glass
Metallic glasses have many desirable properties, but these materials are prone to fracturing. Now, a new manufacturing process may have overcome this issue.
Research article: ; Pan et al. News and Views: Metallic glasses rejuvenated to harden under strain
13:47 News Chat
Coronavirus outbreak updates, a survey shows Indian bird numbers are in decline, and the genomes of New York rats.
News: ; Coronavirus: latest news on spreading infection News: ; Hundreds of bird species in India are declining News: Genomes reveal how New York City’s rats thrive in the urban jungle
This week, machine learning helps batteries charge faster, and using bacterial nanowires to generate electricity from thin air.
In this episode:
00:46 Better battery charging
A machine learning algorithm reveals how to quickly charge batteries without damaging them.
Research Article: Attia et al.
07:12 Research Highlights
Deciphering mouse chit-chat, and strengthening soy glue.
Research Highlight: The ‘silent’ language of mice is decoded at last ; Research Article: Gu et al.
09:21 Harnessing humidity
A new device produces electricity using water in the air.
Research Article: Liu et al.
16:30 News Chat
Coronavirus outbreak updates, the global push to conserve biodiversity, and radar reveals secrets in an ancient Egyptian tomb.
News: Coronavirus: latest news on spreading infection ; News: China takes centre stage in global biodiversity push
Hear the latest from the world of science, brought to you by Nick Howe and Shamini Bundell. This week, uncovering the structure of materials with useful properties, and quantum entanglement over long distances.
In this episode: 00:45 Analysing Prussian blues
Analogues of the paint pigment Prussian blue are used in a variety of chemical processes. Now, researchers have uncovered their atomic structure.
Research Article: ; Simonov et al. News and Views: Ordered absences observed in porous framework materials 08:17 Research Highlights
Teenagers’ natural sleep cycles impact on academic performance, and an extinct, giant rodent with a surprisingly tiny brain.
Research Highlight: ; A teenager’s body clock can ring in school success Research Highlight: Giant extinct rodent was all brawn and little brain 10:49 Distant entanglement
Researchers have demonstrated quantum entanglement between two points separated by 50 km of fibre optic cables.
Research Article: Yu et al. 17:17 News Chat
The latest on the coronavirus outbreak, and gene editing gets an upgrade.
News: ; Coronavirus: latest news on spreading infection News: Super-precise CRISPR tool enhanced by enzyme engineering
Hear the latest from the world of science, brought to you by Benjamin Thompson and Nick Howe. This week, how setting an out-of-office email could help promote a kinder academic culture.
In this episode: 00:47 Being truly out of office
Last year, a viral tweet about emails sparked a deeper conversation about academics’ work-life-balance. Could email etiquette help tip the balance?
Careers Article: Out of office replies and what they can say about you 09:35 Research Highlights
Finding the ‘greenest’ oranges, and the benefits of ‘baby talk’.
Research Article: ; Bell and Horvath Research Highlight: Babies benefit when Mum and Dad are fluent in ‘baby talk’ 12:06 News Chat
Updates on the novel coronavirus, assessing Iran’s nuclear capabilities, and the potential impacts of Brexit on UK research.
News: Coronavirus: latest news on spreading infection ; News: ; How quickly can Iran make a nuclear bomb? News: Brexit is happening: what does it mean for science?
Listen to the latest from the world of science, with Benjamin Thompson and Nick Howe. This week, establishing climate change’s role in Australian bushfires, and revisiting Isaac Asimov’s thoughts robots.
In this episode: 00:46 Behind the bushfires
Researchers are working to establish the role that climate change is playing in the bushfires that are raging across Australia.
News Feature: ; The race to decipher how climate change influenced Australia’s record fires Editorial: Australia: show the world what climate action looks like 10:02 Research Highlights
The debate around how Vesuvius claimed its victims, and an ancient mummy speaks.
Research Highlight: ; Vitrified brains and baked bones tell the story of Vesuvius deaths Research Article: Howard et al. 12:21 Asimov’s legacy
This year marks the centenary of Isaac Asimov’s birth. We reflect on the impact of his writing on the field of robotics.
Essay: Isaac Asimov: centenary of the great explainer 21:00 News Chat
The latest on a new virus from Wuhan in China, and social scientists’ battle with bots.
News: Coronavirus: latest news on spreading infection ; News: Social scientists battle bots to glean insights from online chatter
Hear the latest science news, brought to you by Nick Howe and Benjamin Thompson. This week, why stress makes mice turn grey, and how to think about climate change.
In this episode: 00:45 Going grey
Anecdotal evidence has long suggested stress as a cause of grey hair. Now, a team of researchers have showed experimental evidence to suggest this is the case.
Research Article: ; Zhang et al. News & Views: How the stress of fight or flight turns hair white 08:39 Research Highlights
Ancient bones suggest that giant ground sloths moved in herds, plus an atomic way to check for whiskey fakes.
Research Highlight: ; A bone bed reveals mass death of herd of giant ground sloths Research Highlight: Nuclear-bomb carbon unmasks fraudulent luxury whisky 10:40 Climate optimism
To tackle climate change, the former UN secretary for climate change argues that the biggest change needs to be mindset.
Comment: Paris taught me how to do what is necessary to combat climate change 18:09 News Chat
The latest on a new virus from Wuhan in China, and insights from ancient African genomes.
News: ; China virus latest: first US case confirmed Research Article: Lipson et al.
Listen to the latest from the world of science, brought to you by Benjamin Thompson and Nick Howe. This week, observations of objects orbiting a black hole, and rethinking how we measure screen-time.
In this episode: 00:45 Observing the centre of the galaxy
Researchers have uncovered a population of dust-enshrouded objects orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy.
Research Article: Ciurlo et al. 06:34 Research Highlights
A London landmark’s height lends itself to a physics experiment, and generous behaviour in parrots.
Research Highlight: ; An iconic structure in London moonlights as a scientific tool Research Highlight: Parrots give each other gifts without promise of reward 09:00 The human ‘screenome’ project
To understand the effects of online media consumption, researchers argue that the way it’s measured needs to change.
Comment: Time for the Human Screenome Project 17:26 News Chat
A decline in human body temperature, and a new report on research culture.
News: ; Not so hot: US data suggests human bodies are cooling down News: Stressful, aggressive, damaging: huge survey reveals pressures of scientists’ working lives
In this episode of the podcast, Nature reporter Davide Castelvecchi joins us to talk about the big science events to look out for in 2020. We’ll hear about multiple missions to Mars, a prototype electric car, efforts to prevent dengue, and more.
Hear the latest science news, brought to you by Benjamin Thompson and Shamini Bundell. This week, exploring two very different issues surrounding genomic sequencing, and the latest results from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe.
In this episode: 00:45 The GenomeAsia 100k project
Researchers have released the first data from an ambitious project to sequence the genomes of 100,000 people from populations across Asia.
Research Article: GenomeAsia100K Consortium 08:56 Research Highlights
Bare riverbanks make meanders move, and human activity affects picky penguins.
Research Highlight: ; The meandering rivers that speed across barren landscapes Research Highlight: Climate change splits two penguin species into winners and losers 11:18 Curbing the rise in genetic surveillance
Concerns are growing around the use of commercial DNA databases for state-level surveillance.
Comment: Crack down on genomic surveillance 20:02 News Chat
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has sent back the most detailed information yet about the birthplace of solar wind.
News: Sun-bombing spacecraft uncovers secrets of the solar wind
Listen to the latest science updated, brought to you by Nick Howe and Shamini Bundell. This week, delving into the results of the latest graduate student survey, and assessing ageism in science fiction literature.
In this episode: 00:45 The graduate student experience
The results of
Nature’s 2019 PhD survey are in. David Payne, Nature’s Chief Careers Editor, takes us through them. Nature’s PhD survey collection 06:45 Research Highlights
Giant tortoises are quick learners, and colour-changing magic mushrooms.
Research Article: ; Gutnick et al. Research Highlights: Why magic mushrooms turn dark blue when picked 08:52 Where are the older women in sci-fi?
Author Sylvia Spruck Wrigley has been looking into the number of older women that appear in sci-fi novels, and the roles they play.
Essay: Space ageing: why sci-fi novels shun the badass older woman 16:45 News Chat
A trove of mummified remains causes excitement in Egypt, and Italy plans a new science funding body.
News: ; Rare mummified lions add to Egyptology buzz News: Italy’s plan to create €300-million research agency draws fire