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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 excitin... Mehr
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Audio long read: Can giant surveys of scientists fight misinformation on COVID, climate change and more?
Shocked by the impact of online misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, several researchers are launching efforts to survey scientists’ thinking on issues from vaccine safety to climate change. They hope that their projects will make scientific debate, and degrees of consensus, more visible and transparent, benefiting public conversation and policymaking. However, others suggest that these attempts might merely further politicize public debate.This is an audio version of our Feature: Can giant surveys of scientists fight misinformation on COVID, climate change and more? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
‘Tree islands’ give oil-palm plantation a biodiversity boost
In this episode:00:45 Tree islands bring biodiversity benefits for oil-palm plantationGlobal demand for palm oil has resulted in huge expansion of the palm plantations needed to produce it, causing widespread tropical deforestation and species loss. To address this, researchers planted islands of native trees among the palms in a large plantation, and showed that this approach increases ecosystem health, without affecting crop yields. The team say that while protecting existing tropical rainforests should remain a priority, tree islands represent a promising way to restore ecosystems.Research article: Zemp et al.09:42 Research HighlightsThe oldest identified ‘blueprints’ depict vast hunting traps with extraordinary precision, and fossil evidence that pliosaurs swimming the Jurassic seas may have been as big as whales.Research Highlight: Oldest known ‘blueprints’ aided human hunters 9,000 years agoResearch Highlight: This gigantic toothy reptile terrorized the Jurassic oceans12:08 Briefing ChatWe discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how shredded nappies could partially replace sand in construction, and how CRISPR helped crack the mystery of the death cap mushrooms’s deadly toxin.Nature News: World’s first house made with nappy-blended concreteNature News: Deadly mushroom poison might now have an antidote — with help from CRISPRSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
JWST shows an ancient galaxy in stunning spectroscopic detail
In this episode:00:46 What JWST has revealed about an ancient galaxyResearchers have pointed the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) at JD1, one of the universe's most distant known galaxies. The power of JWST has filled in some of the gaps in what was known about the galaxy, giving greater insight into its age, structure and composition. The team behind the work hope that learning more about how early galaxies like JD1 formed will help explain how the universe evolved into its present state.Research article: Roberts-Borsani et al.10:09 Research HighlightsWhy your choice of soap might make you irresistible to mosquitoes, and how tardigrade-inspired claws help tiny robots cling to blood-vessels.Research Highlight: Your favourite soap might turn you into a mosquito magnetResearch Highlight: Claws like a tardigrade’s give swimming microrobots a grip12:34 How coral reef fish evolved to grow more quicklyFish that live in coral reefs are some of the fastest growing in the world, despite the environment they live in being relatively nutrient poor. This contradiction has long puzzled researchers, but now, a team has looked deep into the evolutionary history of the fish and discovered a critical point in time when they shifted towards faster growth, much earlier than was previously thought.Research article: Siqueira et al.21:29 Briefing ChatWe discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the first frog thought to pollinate flowers, and a field-trial to vaccinate wild koalas against chlamydia.Scientific American: This Frog May Be the First Amphibian Known to Pollinate FlowersAssociated Press: Koalas are dying from chlamydia. A new vaccine effort is trying to save themSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Nature's Take: Can Registered Reports help tackle publication bias?
Many researchers have been critical of the biases that the publication process can introduce into science. For example, they argue that a focus on publishing interesting or significant results can give a false impression of what broader research is finding about a particular field.To tackle this, some scientists have championed the publication of Registered Reports. These articles split the peer review process in two, first critically assessing the methodology of a research study before data is collected, and again when the results are found. The idea being to encourage robust research regardless of the outcome.In this episode of Nature's Take we discuss Nature's recent adoption of the format, the pros and cons of Registered Reports, and what more needs to be done to tackle publication bias. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
‘Pangenome’ aims to capture the breadth of human diversity
In this episode:00:45 Making a more diverse human genomeThe first draft of the human genome ushered in a new era of genetics research. Since its publication, researchers have constructed ever more accurate ‘reference genomes’ – baselines against which others are compared. But these are based on the DNA of a small number of people, and don’t represent the genetic variation known to exist across human populations. To address this, a consortium of researchers have published the first draft of a ‘pangenome’, which combines the genomes of 47 genetically diverse individuals. This draft provides a more complete picture of the human genome, and is the starting point for a project that aims to include sequences from 350 individuals.Research article: Liao et al. Research article: Vollger et al.Research article: Guarracino et al.News and Views Forum: Human pangenome supports analysis of complex genomic regions08:33 Research HighlightsA wearable sensor that lets users see infrared light, and how a vulture’s culture can influence its dining habits.Research Highlight: Wearable sensor gives a glimpse of ‘invisible’ lightResearch Highlight: What drives a scavenger’s diet? Vulture culture11:06 Briefing ChatWe discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a new phosphate-storing organelle found in fruit fly cells, and how extracted DNA revealed who held a deer-tooth pendant 20,000 years ago.Nature News: New cellular ‘organelle’ discovered inside fruit-fly intestinesNature News: Prehistoric pendant’s DNA reveals the person who held itSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
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.