First this week, Staff Writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the paradox of metabolically healthy obesity. They chat about the latest research into the relationships between markers of metabolic health—such as glucose or cholesterol levels in the blood—and obesity. They aren’t as tied as you might think.
Next, Colin Dayan, professor of clinical diabetes and metabolism at Cardiff University and senior clinical researcher at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, joins Sarah to discuss his contribution to a special issue on type 1 diabetes. In his review, Colin and colleagues lay out research into how type 1 diabetes can be detected early, delayed, and maybe even one day prevented. Finally, in the first of a six-patrt series of book interviews on race and science, guest host Angela Saini talks with author and professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Samuel Redman, about his book Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums. The two discuss the legacy of human bone collecting and racism in museums today.
Researchers debate whether an ancient fossil is the oldest animal yet discovered, and a new way to eavesdrop on glaciers.
In this episode:
01:04 Early sponge
This week in Nature, a researcher claims to have found a fossil sponge from 890-million-years-ago. If confirmed, this would be more than 300-million-years older than the earliest uncontested animal fossils but not all palaeontologists are convinced.
Research Article: Turner
10:13 Research Highlights
A caffeine buzz appears to improve bees’ memory, and reconstructing an Iron Age man’s final meal.
Research Highlight: A caffeine buzz gives bees flower power
Research Highlight: The guts of a ‘bog body’ reveal sacrificed man’s final meal
12:34 Eavesdropping on a glacier’s base
We hear about one researcher’s unorthodox attempt to listen in to the seismic-whisper at the foot of a Greenland glacier – a method that might reveal more about conditions under these enormous blocks of ice.
Research Article: Podolskiy et al.
Covid-19’s Delta variant is proliferating world-wide threatening unvaccinated populations and economic recovery. WSJ breaks down events in key countries to explain why Delta spreads faster than previously detected strains. Composite: Sharon Shi
Sea horses are amazing animals because of many of their strange features like male pregnancy but also due to their beautifully unique body shape. However, this may be the reason why seahorses are famous but it actually makes them very bad swimmers so why did they evolve to have this unique body shape?
A seahorse is any of 46 species of small marine fish in the genus Hippocampus. “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek hippókampos, itself from híppos meaning “horse” and kámpos meaning “sea monster”.
Kelp locks up millions of tonnes of carbon globally, provides a nursery for fish and is a buffer against coastal flooding. But climate change, weather and fishing are taking their toll. Now, Mika Peck and his team at the University of Sussex are monitoring kelp off the south coast of the UK, to see if it can recover from the damage done to it by trawling and help improve biodiversity in the area.