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Nature Podcast

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Nature Podcast

Springer Nature Limited

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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 the Nature journal. We meet the scientists behind the results and provide in-depth analysis from Nature's journalists and editors. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
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00:47 The mystery of the missing dark matter 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 thes…
 
Millions of people around the world have been left managing the complex and amorphous syndrome that is long COVID. But the underlying cause of this myriad of symptoms is not clear. One hypothesis is that the virus is able to find a safe haven in the body from which it can bide its time and potentially re-emerge - a viral reservoir. Now researchers …
 
00:57 Reviving retinas to understand eyes Research efforts to learn more about diseases of the human eye have been hampered as these organs degrade rapidly after death, and animal eyes are quite different to those from humans. To address this, a team have developed a new method to revive retinas taken from donors shortly after their death. They hop…
 
00:46 How a move to microbial protein could affect emissions It’s well understood that the production of meat has large impacts on the environment. This week, a team show that replacing 20% of future meat consumption with protein derived from microbes could reduce associated emissions and halve deforestation rates. Research article: Humpenöder et a…
 
The true disability cost of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown, but more and more studies are adding to the list of potential fallout from even mild COVID 19 infection. In this episode of Coronapod we discuss a massive association study which links COVID-19 cases with an increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. We delve into the numb…
 
00:56 How video calls can reduce creativity As a result of the pandemic, workers around the world have become accustomed to meeting colleagues online. To find out if this switch from face-to-face meetings came at a cost to creativity, a team compared the number of ideas generated by workers collaborating either online, or in-person. They showed tha…
 
Results from a huge epidemiological study found that infection by the Epstein-Barr virus increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis 32-fold. This result, combined with emerging mechanistic insights into how the virus triggers brain damage, are raising the prospect of treating or preventing MS. These advances come at a time when researchers…
 
00:46 What COP26 promises will do for climate At COP26 countries made a host of promises and commitments to tackle global warming. Now, a new analysis suggests these pledges could limit warming to below 2˚C — if countries stick to them. BBC News: Climate change: COP26 promises will hold warming under 2C 03:48 Efficiency boost for energy storage sol…
 
Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a debate amongst researchers about whether the body's immune cells can themselves be infected by SARS-CoV-2. Now two new studies show that they can - and what's more, the work has revealed a new mechanism for the massive inflammatory response seen in severe COVID. In this episode of Coronapod, we d…
 
00:54 How Mammals’ mutation rates affects their lifespan For biologists, a long-standing question has been why some animals live longer than others. This week a team have attempted to answer this, by measuring the rates that different animal species accumulate mutations. They show that longer-lived animals acquire mutations at a slower rate, which …
 
00:46 The very cool experiment looking for a proposed particle Physics tells us that when matter is created, antimatter should be as well. But while the Universe is full of matter, there’s surprisingly little antimatter to be found. To try and understand this imbalance, a team have built a detector kept just above absolute zero which they are using…
 
While current maps of the human genome provide researchers with a wealth of information, many argue that they do not adequately capture humanity’s vast diversity. Now, a team are trying to build a more complete and representative map that shows the varieties of sequence that can be found in different populations. However, given the failings of othe…
 
00:47 Your ability to find your way may depend on where you grew up Researchers have long been trying to understand why some humans are better at navigating than others. This week, researchers show that where someone grew up plays an important role in their ability to find their way; the more winding and disorganised the layouts of your childhood w…
 
In this episode: 00:45 Accurately ageing stars reveals the Milky Way’s history To understand when, and how, the Milky Way formed, researchers need to know when its stars were born. This week, a team of astronomers have precisely aged nearly a quarter of a million stars, revealing more about the sequence of events that took place as our galaxy forme…
 
A handful of states around the world have pursued 'COVID zero' strategies. Through a combination of intensive lockdowns, travel restrictions and comprehensive test and trace systems, regions like Tonga, New Zealand, Taiwan, mainland China and Western Australia managed to keep the virus at bay. But now many of these countries are facing new outbreak…
 
Marty Reiswig is fit and healthy, but every two weeks he is injected with the experimental drug gantenerumab and has monthly MRI scans. He submits to this because a rare genetic mutation runs in his family that predisposes them to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. We spoke to him about his experience on the trial, and why he chose to continue triall…
 
00:45 A flexible, wearable, fabric microphone Inspired by the ear, a team of researchers have developed an acoustic fibre that can be woven into fabrics to create a sensitive microphone. This fabric microphone is capable of detecting human speech and heartbeats, and the team think it could be used to develop new, wearable sensors for long-term heal…
 
00:46 The AI helping historians read ancient texts Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence that can restore and date ancient Greek inscriptions. They hope that it will help historians by speeding up the process of reconstructing damaged texts. Research article: Assael et al. News and Views: AI minds the gap and fills in missing Greek …
 
As many countries start to ease or even remove COVID restrictions entirely, there are growing concerns from researchers that this will lead governments to take their eye off the ball and crucially stop collecting and reporting vital data. In this episode of Coronapod we discuss calls from two researchers to improve COVID testing and data reporting.…
 
00:47 G20 nations fail to cut emissions in COVID stimulus packages The G20 economies spent $14 trillion dollars on recovery packages to escape the global recession driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many governments made pledges to deliver emissions reductions as part of these packages. This week, a team of researchers have analysed the spending to s…
 
Almost everything we do on the Internet is made possible by cryptographic algorithms, which scramble our data to protect our privacy. However, this privacy could be under threat. If quantum computers reach their potential these machines could crack current encryption systems — leaving our online data vulnerable. To limit the damage of this so calle…
 
00:47 Pinpointing the season when an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs Around 66 million years ago, an enormous asteroid struck the Earth, leading to the end of the time of the dinosaurs. In a new paper, a team of scientists looked at evidence from fossilised fish, and suggest it happened in springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. Research article: D…
 
Scientists scramble to understand the devastating Tongan volcano eruption, and modelling how societal changes might alter carbon emissions. In this episode: 00:46 Understanding the Tongan eruption On the 15th of January, a volcano in the South Pacific Ocean erupted, sending ash into the upper atmosphere, and unleashing a devastating tsunami that de…
 
Vaccine inequity continues to be one of the greatest challenges in the pandemic - with only 10% of those in low- and middle-income countries fully vaccinated. One of the biggest hold-ups is a lack of vaccine manufacturing capacity in poorer nations. But now, researchers at the WHO technology-transfer hub have completed the first step in a project a…
 
The word endemic is often mistakenly used to describe a rosy end to the pandemic where COVID-19 becomes a mild, but ever-present infection akin to the common cold. But this is by no means guaranteed and the reality could be much less favourable. In this episode of Coronapod we get the evolutionary virologist's take - asking what endemicity might re…
 
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