Tag Archives: Research

Science: Blood Tests For Alzheimer’s Treatment, Seismic Events on Mars

Science: Gun Violence Research Returns, Pikas In Winter & Glass Sponges

Funding for gun violence research in the US returns after a 20-year federal hiatus, and the glass sponges that can manipulate ocean currents.

In this episode:

00:45 Gun violence research is rebooted

For 20 years there has been no federally-funded research on gun violence in the US. In 2019, $25 million a year was allocated for this work. We speak to some of the researchers that are using these funds, and the questions they are trying to answer about gun violence.

News Feature: Gun violence is surging — researchers finally have the money to ask why

Podcast: Stick to the science

09:21 Research Highlights

Strategic laziness and yak dung help pikas survive harsh winters, and how food gets wasted in China’s supply chains.

Research Highlight: Pikas in high places have a winter-time treat: yak poo

Research Highlight: China wastes almost 30% of its food

11:40 How a sea sponge controls ocean currents

Venus’ flower baskets are marine sponges that live at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. These sponges have an unusual glass skeleton that helps them gather food, and even appears to control ocean currents.

Research Article: Falcucci et al.

News and Views: Fluid flow through a deep-sea sponge could inspire engineering designs

18:55 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, investment in non-human primate facilities, and the European Union’s latest climate plan.

Nature News: The US is boosting funding for research monkeys in the wake of COVID

BBC News: EU unveils sweeping climate change plan

Science: Heat Waves In U.S. Impacting Minorities, Graphene Layers, Twitter

Why heat waves disproportionately impact minorities in US cities, and the researcher that critiqued his whole career on Twitter.

In this episode:

00:45 How heat waves kill unequally

Researchers are beginning to unpick how historic discrimination in city planning is making the recent heat waves in North America more deadly for some than others.

News Feature: Racism is magnifying the deadly impact of rising city heat

11:59 Research Highlights

A graphene layer can protect paintings from age, and a new and endangered species of ‘fairy lantern’.

Research Highlight: A graphene cloak keeps artworks’ colours ageles

Research Highlight: Newfound ‘fairy lantern’ could soon be snuffed out forever

14:25 Self-criticism

When researcher Nick Holmes decided to criticise his past papers, in 57 tweets, he found the reflection enlightening. Now he’s encouraging other researchers to self-criticise, to help speed scientific progress.

World View: I critiqued my past papers on social media — here’s what I learnt

20:53 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, Richard Branson’s commercial space flight, and the Maori perspective on Antarctic conservation.

The Washington Post: Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic crew are safely back from space, ushering in a new era

The New York Times: The Maori Vision of Antarctica’s Future (intermittent paywall)

Science: History Of U.S. Opioid Crisis, 3-D Printed Protein Candy & Books

Harvard: ‘Nanobodies’ Evolved From Synthetic Antibody Fragments

A new approach developed by Harvard Medical School researchers uses yeast to rapidly evolve synthetic antibody fragments called nanobodies with the aim to find variants that are effective at binding to selected antigens, including SARS-CoV-2. The antibodies are intended for use in diagnostic tests and disease treatments. Read the full story: https://hms.harvard.edu/news/antibody…

Science Podcast: Botox & Depression, Fruit Fly Sex Drive And New Books

First this week, Contributing Correspondent Cathleen O’Grady talks with host Sarah Crespi about controversy surrounding the use of Botox injections to alleviate depression by suppressing frowning. 

Next, researcher Stephen Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses his Science Advances paper on what turns on the fruit fly sex drive. Finally, we are excited to kick off a six-part series of monthly interviews with authors of books that highlight the many intersections between race and science and scientists. This week, guest host and journalist Angela Saini talks with Keith Wailoo, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, who helped select the topics about the books we will be covering and how they were selected. 

Science: What Is CRISPR And How Does It Work?

This revolutionary gene-editing system has taken science by storm. CRISPR is the basis of a revolutionary gene editing system. One day, it could make it possible to do everything from resurrect extinct species to develop cures for chronic disease.

CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. These sequences are derived from DNA fragments of bacteriophages that had previously infected the prokaryote. They are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar bacteriophages during subsequent infections. 

Medical History: The Discovery Of Insulin

Nearly 100 years since insulin was first used in the treatment of diabetes, Professor Chantal Mathieu, Professor of Medicine at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, takes us through the history, development and future of this life saving drug. Read more in https://www.nature.com/articles/d4285…