Nature Podcast

A weekly Nature, Science and Medicine podcast
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Best Episodes of Nature Podcast

This week, a newly discovered bird species from the time of the dinosaurs, and microbes hundreds of metres below the ocean floor.In this episode:00:44 A tiny, toothy, ancient birdResearchers have found a perfectly preserved bird fossil trapped
Over the past few weeks, India has been experiencing a devastating second wave of COVID-19, recording hundreds of thousands of new cases a day.Evidence is growing that a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as B.1.617, first detected in In
A new neural interface lets people type with their mind, and a crafting journey into materials science.In this episode:00:45 A brain interface to type out thoughtsResearchers have developed a brain-computer interface that is able to read brain
In surprise news this week, the US government announced its support for waiving patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, in an effort to boost supplies around the world.As fewer than 1% of people living in low-income countries have received CO
The earliest evidence of deliberate human burial in Africa, and a metal-free rechargeable battery.Listen to our mini-series ‘Stick to the Science’: when science gets political and vote for the show in this year’s Webby Awards.In this episode:00
For more than a century, public health researchers have demonstrated how poverty and discrimination drive disease and the coronavirus pandemic has only reinforced this.In a Coronapod special, Nature reporter Amy Maxmen takes us with her through
Ultra-precise measurements connect brain activity and energy use in individual fruit-fly neurons.Vote for our mini-series ‘Stick to the Science’: when science gets political in this year’s Webby Awards.In this episode:00:45 How brain cells use
Despite warnings, and a number of close calls, drugmakers failed to develop and stockpile drugs to fight a viral pandemic. Now, in the wake of SARS-CoV-2, they are pledging not to make the same mistake again.Around the world, researchers are ra
As COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs continue, attentions are turning to one group: children. While research suggests that children rarely develop severe forms of COVID-19, scientists still believe they could play a key role in transmission and a plan
The self-supporting structures that snap into place, and how a ban on fossil-fuel funding could entrench poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.In this episode:00:45 Self-supporting, foldable structuresDrawing inspiration from the art of origami, a tea
Reports of rare and unusual blood clots have resulted in several vaccine roll outs being paused while scientists scramble to work out if the vaccines are responsible and if so how.The unusual combination of symptoms, including a low platelet co
The lack of adequate sanitation in parts of the rural US, and physicists reassess muons’ magnetism.In this episode:00:45 How failing sanitation infrastructure is causing a US public health crisisIn the US, huge numbers of people live without ac
Rick Bright exposed former president Trump's political meddling in the US COVID response. Now he is championing a new privately funded initiative to track viral spread and combat new variants. We discuss the challenges of collecting data on a r
In 2020, the artificial intelligence (AI) GPT-3 wowed the world with its ability to write fluent streams of text. Trained on billions of words from books, articles and websites, GPT-3 was the latest in a series of ‘large language model’ AIs tha
From a sore arm to anaphylaxis, a wide range of adverse events have been reported after people have received a COVID-19 vaccine. And yet it is unclear how many of these events are actually caused by the vaccine. In the vast majority of cases, r
Laser-cooled antimatter opens up new physics experiments, and the staggering economic cost of invasive species.In this episode:00:44 Cooling antimatter with a laser focusAntimatter is annihilated whenever it interacts with regular matter, whic
Since the beginning of the pandemic the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been plagued by confusion and controversy. The vaccine has been authorised in over 100 countries, tens of millions of doses have been administered, and it has been demonstra
A web of three optical atomic clocks show incredibly accurate measurements of time, and the trailblazing astronomer who found hints of dark matter.In this episode:00:44 Optical clock networkOptical atomic clocks have the potential to reach new
In the early days of the pandemic, researchers raced to identify the most potent antibodies produced by the immune system in response to SAR-COV-2 infection and produce them in bulk. The resulting ‘monoclonal antibodies’ have since been tested
A computer that can participate in live debates against human opponents.In this episode:00:43 AI DebaterAfter thousands of years of human practise, it’s still not clear what makes a good argument. Despite this, researchers have been developing
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been many open questions about how COVID-19 could impact pregnant people and their babies – confounded by a lack of data.But now, studies are finally starting to provide some answers. While it doe
Physicists examine the gravitational pull between two tiny masses, and how fossil lampreys could shake-up the field of vertebrate evolution.In this episode:00:47 Gravity, on the small scaleThis week, researchers have captured the smallest measu
Where did the SARS-CoV-2 virus come from? As a team of researchers from the WHO prepares to report on its investigation into the origins of the virus, we discuss the leading theories, including the controversial ‘lab leak' hypothesis.Although t
The pandemic's unequal toll on the research community, and a newly discovered mitochondria-like symbiosis.In this episode:00:48 The pandemic's unequal toll on researchersAlthough 2020 saw a huge uptick in the numbers of research papers submitte
A repository with millions of data points will track immunity and variant spread.To answer the big questions in the pandemic, researchers need access to data. But while a wealth has been collected, much of it isn’t collated or accessible to the
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