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Nature Podcast

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The Nature Podcast brings you the best stories from the world of science each week. We cover everything from astronomy to zoology, highlighting the most exciting research from each issue of Nature journal. We meet the scientists behind the results and providing in-depth analysis from Nature's journalists and editors.
 
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Designing a nutritious and planet-friendly diet, and an AI that guides mathematicians. In this episode: 00:46 Designing a healthy diet for the planet Researchers are trying to develop diets that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time providing nutrition. Some of these sustainable diets are now being tested to see if they wor…
 
A host of private companies are promising commercial fusion reactors in the next decade. After decades of promise, it finally seems that nuclear fusion is approaching commercial viability. Companies around the world are securing huge amounts of funding, and advances in materials research and computing are enabling technologies other than the standa…
 
In a quickly developing story a new variant, first detected in Botswana, is triggering rapid action among researchers. The variant - currently named B.1.1.529 has more than 30 changes to the spike protein - and the concern is that these mutations may result in increased transmissibility, severity of disease or even antibody evasion. In this episode…
 
The Nature salary and satisfaction survey reveals researchers' outlook, and NASA’s test of planetary defences. In this episode: 00:45 Salary and satisfaction survey Like all aspects of life, scientific careers have been impacted by the pandemic. To get an insight into how researchers are feeling, Nature has conducted a salary and satisfaction surve…
 
Spineless sea squirts shed light on vertebrate evolution, and an iodine-fuelled engine powering a satellite in space. In this episode: 00:45 A story of sea squirts, ancient vertebrates and missing genes When a PhD student set out to study the developmental pathways of a strange sea creature, he hoped to shed light on the origins of vertebrate anima…
 
Two new anti-viral pills have been shown to be safe and effective against COVID in clinical trials, according to recent press releases. The drugs, molnupiravir, developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, and Paxlovid, developed by Pfizer both appear to significantly reduce hospitalisation in people with early COVID. Some researchers are quie…
 
Reassessing 24,000 years of global temperatures, and on the ground at COP26. In this episode: 01:21 Reassessing Earth’s climate over the past 24,000 years The ~20,000 year period from the Last Glacial Maximum to the pre-industrial era saw huge changes to the Earth’s climate. But characterising how temperatures changed during this time has been diff…
 
Lake Kivu, nestled between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, is a geological anomaly that holds 300 cubic kilometres of dissolved carbon dioxide and 60 cubic kilometres of methane. The lake has the potential to explosively release these gases, which could fill the surrounding valley, potentially killing millions of people. Researcher…
 
Last weekend, hundreds of young people boarded a specially chartered train in Amsterdam to travel to Glasgow ahead of the United Nations COP26 climate summit. Among them were scientists, activists and policy makers. In a Nature Podcast special, we boarded the train to catch up with some of them - to talk about their science, their motivations and t…
 
More that 3 billions doses of China's CoronaVac and Sinopharm vaccines have been administered across the globe, playing an especially important role in Latin America and South East Asia, as well as China. These vaccines use inactivated virus particles to expose the immune system to Sars-CoV-2, but they do not appear to generate the same levels of n…
 
The unexpected origins of a 4000-year-old people, protecting your ‘digital presence’ and what to expect from COP26. In this episode: 00:48 The origins of the mysterious Tarim mummies For decades there has been debate about the origins of a group of 4000-year-old individuals known as the Tarim Basin mummies. Their distinct appearance and clothing ha…
 
People that have recovered from COVID are seeing stronger immune responses after vaccination than those that never contracted the virus. Researchers are now racing to unpick what is behind this powerful 'hybrid immunity'. In this episode of Coronapod, we discuss a series of studies which are offering up some possibile explanations, and ask how this…
 
An ancient solar storm helps pinpoint when Vikings lived in the Americas, and using magnets to deftly move non-magnetic metals. In this episode: 00:53 Pinpointing Viking presence in North America It’s well-understood that Vikings went to North America around a thousand years ago. However, working out a precise date has proven difficult. Now, thanks…
 
Hundreds of scientists have responded to a survey asking about harassment and abuse during the pandemic. The results paint a picture which is as concerning as it is shocking. In this episode of Coronapod we discuss the kinds of abuse scientists are facing, try to pick apart where it is comes from and ask what can be done about it? News Feature: ‘I …
 
The neurons behind acupuncture’s effect on inflammation, and how antibiotics affect gut bacteria. In this episode: 00:54 The neuronal basis for acupuncture’s effect on inflammation In mice, electroacupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation, but only when certain points on the body are stimulated. Why this is has puzzled scientists, but now, …
 
New data suggests that inexpensive, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can effectively scrub SARS-CoV-2 particles from the air in hospital COVID wards. The result validates previous studies carried out in controlled conditions. Currently, HEPA filters are not routinely used in hospital settings, but researchers suggest they could could …
 
AI weather forecasters, mapping the human brain and the 2021 science Nobel prizes. In this episode: 00:52 Improving the accuracy of weather forecasts with AI Short-term rain predictions are a significant challenge for meteorologists. Now, a team of researchers have come up with an artificial-intelligence based system that weather forecasters prefer…
 
Episode 3 As newly-minted principal investigators, Ali and Dan have grand plans for their research – but science is slow, especially when other demands loom large: hiring staff, mentoring and teaching students and, of course, the race to secure funding. Read a written version of Starting up in science See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out i…
 
Episode 2 Ali and Dan have landed positions as the heads of their very own labs. But how did they get to the starting line? Every scientist’s journey is different, and in this episode we hear Ali and Dan’s, which covers years, thousands of miles, and some very difficult decisions. Read a written version of Starting up in science See acast.com/priva…
 
Every year, thousands of scientists struggle to launch their own labs. For three years, a reporting team from Nature documented the lives of married couple Alison Twelvetrees and Daniel Bose as they worked to get their fledgling research groups off the ground. Frustrations over funding, a global pandemic, and a personal trauma have made this journe…
 
Australian scientists are developing new technologies to help protect coral from climate change. Earlier this year, a team of researchers used a mist-machine to artificially brighten clouds in order to block sunlight above Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The project is the world’s first field trial of marine cloud brightening and is among a number …
 
Less than 1% of those in low income countries are fully vaccinated, and that number only rises to 10% in low-middle income countries. Meanwhile more than half of the population in wealthier countries have received a double dose with several now rolling out third dosess. In this episode of Coronapod we look at the role of pharmaceutical manufacturer…
 
How tiny seed-like sensors could monitor the environment, and the latest from the Nature Briefing. In this episode: 00:45 Spinning seeds inspire floating electronics Researchers have developed miniature electronic-chips with wings that fall like seeds, which could be a new way to monitor the environment. Research article: Kim et al. Video: Seed-ins…
 
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