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.
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.
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.
BBC News: EU unveils sweeping climate change plan
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.
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
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.
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 New York Times: The Maori Vision of Antarctica’s Future (intermittent paywall)
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…
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.
Long covid is strange and mysterious in part because of a lack of investment in researching post-viral syndromes like chronic fatigue syndrome – it is time to change that…
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.
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…