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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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
 
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00:45 The role of serine in diabetic neuropathy Nerve damage is a common complication of diabetes, and can even lead to limb amputation. Thus far, the only way for people to slow its onset is by managing their diet and lifestyle. Now though, research in mice shows how the amino acid serine may be key to this nerve damage, suggesting a potential rol…
 
In this episode: 00:45 Laser-guided lightning Scientists have shown that a specially designed laser can divert the course of lightning strikes in a real-world setting. The team fired the laser into the sky above a communications tower high in the Swiss Alps and altered the course of four strikes. In future they hope that this kind of system could b…
 
In this episode of the Nature Podcast, we catch up on some science stories from the holiday period by diving into the Nature Briefing. We’ll hear: how Brazil’s President Lula has started to make good on his pro-environment promises; a new theory for why giant ichthyosaurs congregated in one place; how glass frogs hide their blood; about a new statu…
 
In this episode, reporter Miryam Naddaf joins us to talk about the big science events to look out for in 2023. We'll hear about vaccines, multiple Moon missions and new therapeutics, to name but a few. News: the science events to look out for in 2023 Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis fr…
 
In this episode: 00:53 How virtual meetings can limit creative ideas In April, we heard how a team investigated whether switching from face-to-face to virtual meetings came at a cost to creativity. They showed that people meeting virtually produced fewer creative ideas than those working face-to-face, and suggest that when it comes to idea generati…
 
01:07 “Artemis and Dart” In the first of our festive songs, we celebrate some of the big space missions from this year: Artemis which aims to get people back to the moon, and DART which could help defend the Earth from meteor strikes. 03:51 Redacted Headline challenge In this year’s festive game, our competitors work together to try and figure out …
 
In this episode: 00:47 Estimating pandemic-associated mortality This week, a team of researchers working with the World Health Organization have used statistical modelling to estimate the number of excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The work estimates that there were almost 15 million deaths either directly or ind…
 
In this episode: 00:45 World’s oldest DNA shows that mastodons roamed ancient Greenland DNA recovered from ancient permafrost has been used to reconstruct what an ecosystem might have looked like two million years ago. Their work suggests that Northern Greenland was much warmer than the frozen desert it is today, with a rich ecosystem of plants and…
 
In the second episode of Nature hits the books, science writer and broadcaster Gaia Vince joins us to talk about her new book Nomad Century, which looks at how climate change could render large parts of the globe uninhabitable, and how surviving this catastrophe will require a planned migration of people on a scale never seen before in human histor…
 
00:45 Inert ant pupae produce a previously unobserved fluid Ant larvae metamorphose into adults by pupating. It was assumed that these inert pupae don’t play a role in the wider ant colony, but a team of researchers have found that they actually secrete a fluid that is consumed by both adult ants and larvae. This fluid is rich in proteins and metab…
 
Big data is playing an increasingly important role in football, with technologies capturing huge amounts of information about players' positions and actions during a match. To make sense of all this information, most elite football teams now employ data analysts plucked from top companies and laboratories. Their insights are helping to steer everyt…
 
00:45 Precision positioning without satellites Satellite navigation has revolutionized how humans find their way. However, these systems often struggle in urban areas, where buildings can interfere with weak satellite signals. To counter this, a team has developed an alternative, satellite-free system, which could improve applications that require …
 
00:46 Artemis 1 is go! NASA’s Artemis 1 mission has successfully reached Earth orbit. After weeks of delays and issues, and a nail biting launch, the rocket marks the first step in a new era of moon exploration, with plans to test a new way to return astronauts to the moon. We caught up with reporter for all-things-space, Alex Witze, for the latest…
 
Kathleen Folbigg has spent nearly 20 years in prison after being convicted of killing her four children. But in 2018, a group of scientists began gathering evidence that suggested another possibility for the deaths — that at least two of them were attributable to a genetic mutation that can affect heart function. A judicial inquiry in 2019 failed t…
 
00:49 Separating heavy water with molecular cages Heavy water is molecule very similar to H2O but with deuterium isotopes in the place of hydrogen atoms. Heavy water is useful in nuclear reactions, drug design and nutritional studies, but it's difficult to separate from normal water because they have such similar properties. Now, a team have develo…
 
Companies are offering genetic tests of embryos generated by in vitro fertilization that they say allow prospective parents to choose those with the lowest risk for diseases such as diabetes or certain cancers. However, some researchers are concerned about the accuracy and ethics of these tests. This is an audio version of our Feature: The controve…
 
00:46 How flies can move their eyes (a little) It's long been assumed flies’ eyes don’t move, and so to alter their gaze they need to move their heads. Now, researchers have shown that this isn’t quite true and that fruit flies can actually move their retinas using a specific set of muscles, which may allow them to perceive depth. The team also hop…
 
When COVID-19 hit it didn't kill indiscriminately. In the US, being Black, Hispanic, or Native American meant you had a much greater risk of death than if you were white. And these disparities are mirrored across the world. In this episode we explore the complex tale behind this disparity. Throughout history, racism and biases have been embedded wi…
 
In this episode: 00:54 Siberian cave offers first-ever glimpse into Neanderthal family By analysing ancient DNA recovered from bone fragments found in two Siberian caves, researchers have identified a set of closely related Neanderthals: a father and daughter, as well as several other more-distant relatives. The work suggests that Neanderthal commu…
 
In this episode: 00:45 Implanted brain organoids could offer new insights into disease Brain organoids — lab-grown, self-organizing structures made of stem cells — are used in research to better understand brain development and disease progression. However, these structures lack connections seen in real brains, limiting their usefulness. To overcom…
 
In this episode: 00:46 A virtual chemical library uncovers potential antidepressants Certain psychedelic drugs are of interest to researchers due to their promising antidepressant effects. To help speed up the discovery of molecules with useful properties, researchers have built a virtual library of 75 million compounds related to these drugs. This…
 
The ongoing war in Ukraine has devastated the global economy, rocked geopolitics, killed thousands of people and displaced millions. Science too has been affected and the impacts on research are being felt more widely than just in Ukraine and Russia. In this episode of Nature's Takes we discuss the war's impact on publishing, international collabor…
 
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries introduced strict lockdowns to help prevent spread of the disease. Since then, researchers have been studying the effects of these measures to help inform responses to future crises. Conclusions suggest that countries that acted swiftly to bring in strict measures did best at preserving live…
 
In this episode: 00:45 Piecing together the early history of jawed vertebrates A wealth of fossils discovered in southern China shed new light onto the diversity of jawed and jawless fish during the Silurian period, over 400 million years ago. Nature editor Henry Gee explains the finds and what they mean for the history of jawed vertebrates like us…
 
00:46 Inequalities in US faculty hiring In the US, where a person gained their PhD can have an outsized influence on their future career. Now, using a decade worth of data, researchers have shown there are stark inequalities in the hiring process, with 80% of US faculty trained at just 20% of institutions. Research article: Wapman et al. 09:01 Rese…
 
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