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Nature Podcast

Nature Podcast

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Nature Podcast


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  • How galaxies could exist without dark matter
    00:47 The mystery of the missing dark matterDark 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 these, and a string of other dark-matter-free galaxies, could have formed.Research article: van Dokkum et al.News and Views: Giant collision created galaxies devoid of dark matter08:39 Research HighlightsHow fossil fuel burning has caused levels of helium to rise, and a high-efficiency, hybrid solar-energy system.Research Highlight: Helium levels in the atmosphere are ballooningResearch Highlight: Flower power: ‘Sunflower’ system churns out useful energy10:49 Researchers experiences of the war in UkraineWe hear the stories of scientists whose lives have been affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including researchers who have become refugees, soldiers and activists in the face of a horrifying conflict.Nature Feature: How three Ukrainian scientists are surviving Russia’s brutal war20:46 Imaging the black hole at the centre of the Milky WayLast week, a team of researchers released an image of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive blackhole at the centre of our galaxy. We hear how they took the image and what it is revealing about these enormous objects.Nature News: Black hole at the centre of our Galaxy imaged for the first timeSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • Coronapod: 'viral ghosts' support idea that SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs could be behind long COVID
    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 studying long COVID have found evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in a series of organs around the body, most notably the gut, months after the infection appears to have been cleared from the respiratory system. While there is still a long way to go before the reservoir hypothesis can be confirmed, these data provide compelling new support for the theory. In this episode of Coronapod, we discuss how the studies were carried out, why the question of long COVID's cause is so difficult to crack, and what more needs to be done to get a firm answer.News: Coronavirus ‘ghosts’ found lingering in the gutSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • Retinas revived after donor's death open door to new science
    00:57 Reviving retinas to understand eyesResearch 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 hope this will provide tissue for new studies looking into the workings of the human eye and nervous system.Research article: Abbas et al.08:05 Research HighlightsA technique that simplifies chocolate making yields fragrant flavours, and 3D imaging reveals some of the largest-known Native American cave art.Research Highlight: How to make a fruitier, more floral chocolateResearch Highlight: Cramped chamber hides some of North America’s biggest cave art10:54 Did life emerge in an ‘RNA world’?How did the earliest biochemical process evolve from Earth’s primordial soup? One popular theory is that life began in an ‘RNA world’ from which proteins and DNA evolved. However, this week a new paper suggests that a world composed of RNA alone is unlikely, and that life is more likely to have begun with molecules that were part RNA and part protein.Research article: Müller et al.News and Views: A possible path towards encoded protein synthesis on ancient Earth17:52 Briefing ChatWe discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the ‘polarised sunglasses’ that helped astronomers identify an ultra-bright pulsar, and how a chemical in sunscreen becomes toxic to coral.Nature: A ‘galaxy’ is unmasked as a pulsar — the brightest outside the Milky WayNature: A common sunscreen ingredient turns toxic in the sea — anemones suggest whySubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • Swapping in a bit of microbial 'meat' has big eco-gains
    00:46 How a move to microbial protein could affect emissionsIt’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 alNews and Views: Mycoprotein produced in cell culture has environmental benefits over beef08:21 Research HighlightsHow saltwater crocodiles’ penchant for pigs is driving population recovery in Australia, and solving the mystery of some eighteenth-century porcelain’s iridescent lustre.Research Highlight: Pork dinners fuel huge crocodiles’ return from near-extinctionResearch Highlight: The nanoparticles that give a famed antique porcelain its dazzle10:47 The neurons that help mosquitoes distinguish smellFemale Aedes aegypti mosquitoes strongly prefer human odours to those of animals, but how they distinguish between them is not well understood. Now, researchers have shown that human odours strongly activate a specific area in the brains of these insects, a finding that could have important implications for mosquito-control strategies.Research article: Zhao et al.18:05 Briefing ChatWe discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how climate change could affect virus transmission between mammals, and how the link between a dog's breed and its temperament may not be as close as previously thought.Nature: Climate change will force new animal encounters — and boost viral outbreaksNature: Massive study of pet dogs shows breed does not predict behaviourOur Webby Award winning episode: What’s the isiZulu for dinosaur? How science neglected African languagesSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. See for privacy and opt-out information.
  • Coronapod: COVID and diabetes, what the science says
    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 numbers to ask how big the risk might be? Whether any casual relationship can be drawn from this association? And what might be in store from future research into COVID and chronic disease?News: Diabetes risk rises after COVID, massive study finds See for privacy and opt-out information.

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