Tag Archives: Research

Science: Fossil Mystery Solved, A Silk Mother Of Pearl, Bolivian Amazon

The puzzle of PalaeospondylusOver a hundred years ago, archaeologists discovered fossils of the aquatic animal Palaeospondylus. But since then researchers have been unable to place where this animal sits on the tree of life. Now, new analysis of Palaeospondylus’s anatomy might help to solve this mystery.

08:18 Research Highlights

A strong, silk-based version of mother of pearl, and the parrots that use their heads when climbing.

Research Highlight: Silk imitates mother of pearl for a tough, eco-friendly material

Research Highlight: A ‘forbidden’ body type? These parrots flout the rules

10:51 How lasers revealed an ancient Amazonian civilization

Archaeologists have used LiDAR to uncover evidence of an ancient civilization buried in the Bolivian Amazon. The team’s work suggests that this area was not as sparsely populated in pre-Hispanic times as previously thought.

Research article: Prümers et al.

News and Views: Large-scale early urban settlements in Amazonia

Nature Video: Lost beneath the leaves: Lasers reveal an ancient Amazonian civilisation

16:21 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the debate surrounding the first transplant of pig kidneys into humans, and the plants grown in lunar soil.

Nature News: First pig kidneys transplanted into people: what scientists think

Cover Preview: Science Magazine – May 20, 2022

Enhanced charge density wave coherence in a light-quenched, high-temperature superconductor

The deubiquitinase USP8 targets ESCRT-III to promote incomplete cell division

All topological bands of all nonmagnetic stoichiometric materials

Previews: New Scientist Magazine – May 21, 2022

COVER STORIES

  • CULTURE Regenesis review: Farming is killing the planet but we can stop it
  • FEATURES Why the next big solar storm might hit Earth without warning
  • FEATURES The female body is misunderstood and this is why, says Rachel E. Gross
  • FEATURES How the massive dogs bred to protect livestock could save wolves too

Science: Galaxies Without Dark Matter, High Helium Levels, Solar Energy Jump

Dark matter makes up most of the matter in the Universe, and is thought to be needed for galaxies to form. But four years ago, astronomers made a perplexing, and controversial discovery: two galaxies seemingly devoid of dark matter. 

This week the team suggests that a cosmic collision may explain how these, and a string of other dark-matter-free galaxies, could have formed.

Research article: van Dokkum et al

News and Views: Giant collision created galaxies devoid of dark matter

08:39 Research Highlights

How fossil fuel burning has caused levels of helium to rise, and a high-efficiency, hybrid solar-energy system.

Research Highlight: Helium levels in the atmosphere are ballooning

Research Highlight: Flower power: ‘Sunflower’ system churns out useful energy

10:49 Researchers experiences of the war in Ukraine

We hear the stories of scientists whose lives have been affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including researchers who have become refugees, soldiers and activists in the face of a horrifying conflict.

Nature Feature: How three Ukrainian scientists are surviving Russia’s brutal war

20:46 Imaging the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way

Last week, a team of researchers released an image of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive blackhole at the centre of our galaxy. We hear how they took the image and what it is revealing about these enormous objects.

Nature News: Black hole at the centre of our Galaxy imaged for the first time

Previews: Scientific American – June 2022

June 2022 – Volume 326, Issue 6

FEATURES

NEUROSCIENCE

How the Brain ‘Constructs’ the Outside World

Neural activity probes your physical surroundings to select just the information needed to survive and flourish

By György Buzsáki

NEUROSCIENCE

U.S. Kids Are Falling behind Global Competition, but Brain Science Shows How to Catch Up

Paid parental leave and high-quality child care improve children’s brain development and prospects for a better future

By Dana Suskind and Lydia Denworth

PALEONTOLOGY

How Mammals Conquered the World after the Asteroid Apocalypse

They scurried in the shadows of dinosaurs for millions of years until a killer space rock created a new world of evolutionary opportunity

By Steve Brusatte

ASTROPHYSICS

Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts Are Finally Coming into Focus

Twenty years after their initial detection, enigmatic blasts from the sky are starting to deliver tentative answers, as well as plenty of science

By Adam Mann

Cover Preview: Science Magazine – May 13, 2022

A survey of cell types across tissues as part of the Human Cell Atlas, mapped with single-cell transcriptomics in three papers in this issue, lays the foundation for understanding how cellular composition and gene expression vary across the human body in health, and for understanding how genes act in disease. 

Cover Previews: Nature Magazine – May 12, 2022

Volume 605 Issue 7909

Nova explosions occur when a runaway thermonuclear reaction is triggered in a white dwarf that is accreting hydrogen from a companion star. The massive amount of energy released ultimately creates the bright light source that can be seen with a naked eye as a nova. But some of the energy has been predicted to be lost during the initial stages of the reaction as a flash of intense luminosity — a fireball phase — detectable as low-energy X-rays. In this week’s issue, Ole König and his colleagues present observations that corroborate this prediction. Using scans taken by the instrument eROSITA, the researchers identified a short, bright X-ray flash from the nova YZ Reticuli a few hours before it became visible in the optical spectrum. The cover shows an artist’s impression of the nova in the fireball phase. 

Previews: New Scientist Magazine – May 14, 2022

New Scientist Magazine, May 14, 2022

COVER STORIES

  • FEATURES Fascia: The long-overlooked tissue that shapes your health
  • FEATURES The grand plan to create a periodic table of all animal intelligence
  • FEATURES Have we been measuring the expansion of the universe wrong all along?
  • NEWS Simple webcam test could show whether you lack a mind’s eye
  • NEWS How quickly can you catch covid-19 again if you have already had it?