Tag Archives: Nature

Preservation: ‘Tree Of The Year 2020’ In England, Wales & Scotland (Video)

Scotland’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Survivor Tree, Carrifran Valley.

It was once a lone rowan clinging to a stream bank in Carrifran Valley, but today that survivor tree is lonely no more! It is surrounded by a little forest of its children, and lots of suckers are coming up from its base. This was some of the first natural regeneration the Borders Forest Trust achieved in the Carrifran Valley. In addition to its own children, the rowan tree now has over half a million other native Scottish trees for company. Where once it dominated the view, it will soon be hidden from sight. The rowan tree no longer stands alone and is a symbol of the 20-year journey to revive the wild heart of Southern Scotland.

Wales’ #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Chapter House Tree, Margam Park, Port Talbot.

Standing in the shadows of 17th century Margam Orangery and St Mary’s Church, this historic fern-leaved beech envelopes the remains of one of the first Cistercian abbeys in Wales. Its canopy has provided shelter to visitors for many years – from Victorian tea parties taking place under its sweeping boughs to a favourite summer picnic spot for present day visitors. The tree provides an atmospheric back drop and is loved by cinematographers – featuring in TV and Film productions from Dr Who and ‘Songs of Praise’ with Sir Bryn Terfel to the recent Netflix blockbuster series ‘Sex Education’.

England’s #TreeOfTheYear 2020 – The Happy Man Tree, Hackney, London. Currently earmarked for felling, the plight of this 150 year old Plane has awakened something in a community that couldn’t bear to see it go. The dressing of the tree, and the signs behind it, are testament to the strength of feeling among the local campaigning. As an urban tree, it makes an important contribution to combating air pollution and making grey city streets green. But the community sees it as more than just the sum of it’s parts – it’s part of the estate, part of their collective history.

Science Podcasts: Beetle’s Strong Exoskeleton Helps Engineers, Covid-19 Trials

The structure of a beetle’s super-strong exoskeleton could open up new engineering applications, and efforts to address diversity and equality imbalances in academia.

In this episode:

01:17 Insights into an armoured insect

The diabolical ironclad beetle has an exoskeleton so strong, it can survive being run over by a car. Researchers have identified how the structure of the exoskeleton provides this strength, and show that mimicking it may lead to improved aerospace components.

Research Article: Rivera et al.News and Views: Diabolical ironclad beetles inspire tougher joints for engineering applications

10:42 Coronapod

This week, the UK government announced plans to run a ‘human challenge trial’, where healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We talk about the process, the ethical and procedural hurdles, and whether such an approach will provide any useful data.

News: Dozens to be deliberately infected with coronavirus in UK ‘human challenge’ trials

22:46 Research Highlights

A method to assess the age of RNA, and how southern elephant seals helped to identify supercooled seawater.

Research article: Rodriques et al.Research article: Haumann et al.

25:20 Efforts to address equity in science

Julie Posselt has been investigating the efforts of academic institutions to assess ingrained imbalances in diversity and equality. We talk to her about these efforts and her new book on the subject.

Book review: How to get more women and people of colour into graduate school — and keep them there

31:43 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, back pay for female professors at Princeton, and a newly uncovered superpower for the tiny tardigrade.

Nature & Wildlife Video: ‘Rewilding Scotland’ (PBS)

Alan Watson Featherstone, ecologist and founder of “Trees for Life,” describes the moment he realized he needed to help in the effort to rewild Scotland, resulting in the founding of his charity “Trees for Life” to achieve this. Tune in or stream “The Age of Nature” Wednesdays, October 14-28, 2020 at 10/9c.

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Science Podcasts: Room-Temp Superconductors, Covid-19 Mask Benefits

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

08:26 Coronapod

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 flexibleResearch 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 RecordThe Conversation: Fossil footprints: the fascinating story behind the longest known prehistoric journey

Video Interviews: ‘Sir David Attenborough – A Life On Our Planet’ (PBS)

Filmmaker Sir David Attenborough has been documenting the natural world since the 1950s. In his latest book and film, “A Life on Our Planet,” he offers a grave and alarming assessment about the climate crisis Earth is facing. The 94-year-old Attenborough spoke with William Brangham recently as part of our ongoing arts and culture series, Canvas.

Travel & Nature Videos: ‘Nordhorland – Norway’s Only UNESCO Biosphere’

In western Norway, the Nordhordland region is the only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Norway. This site of more than 600,000 hectares between sea and fjords promotes sustainable development, combining economic activity and protection of biodiversity.

Top Science Podcasts: ‘Ice Loss In Greenland, Long-Covid & Whale Deep Dive

How current and future ice loss in Greenland compares to the past, Long-Covid, and using graphene to make ultra-sensitive radiation detectors.

In this episode:

00:45 Greenland’s historic ice loss

Climate change is accelerating the loss of ice and glaciers around the world leading to unprecedented levels of disappearance. Researchers have drilled samples from deep in the Greenland ice sheet, to model how current, and future, losses compare to those seen in the last 12,000 years. Research Article: Briner et al.News and Views: The worst is yet to come for the Greenland ice sheetEditorial: Arctic science cannot afford a new cold war

09:23 Coronapod

Despite recovering from an initial COVID-19 infection, many patients are experiencing severe symptoms months later. We find out about the impact of ‘Long Covid’ and the research that’s being done to try and understand it. News Feature: The lasting misery of coronavirus long-haulers

18:55 Research Highlights

A robot defeats humans at yet another sport, and extreme diving in Cuvier’s beaked whales. Research Highlight: A robot triumphs in a curling match against elite humansResearch Highlight: A smiling whale makes a record deep dive

21:20 A radiation detector made of graphene

Radiation-detectors known as bolometers are vital instruments in many fields of science. This week, two groups of researchers have harnessed graphene to make super sensitive bolometers that could be used to improve quantum computers, or detect subtle traces of molecules on other planets. Research Article: Lee et al.Research Article: Kokkoniemi et al.

27:49 Briefing Chat

We discuss some of the latest stories highlighted in the Nature Briefing. This week we chat about the lack of diversity in academia, and an animal ally that can protect wildlife during forest fires. Nature Careers: Diversity in science: next steps for research group leadersNational Geographic:

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?