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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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United States

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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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Audio long read: Chimpanzees are dying from our colds — these scientists are trying to save them

2/26/2024
The phenomenon of animals catching diseases from humans, called reverse zoonoses, has had a severe impact on great ape populations, often representing a bigger threat than habitat loss or poaching. However, while many scientists and conservationists agree that human diseases pose one of the greatest risks to great apes today there are a few efforts under way to use a research-based approach to mitigate this problem. This is an audio version of our Feature Chimpanzees are dying from our colds — these scientists are trying to save them Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Duration:00:24:39

How whales sing without drowning, an anatomical mystery solved

2/23/2024
The deep haunting tones of the world's largest animals, baleen whales, are iconic - but how the songs are produced has long been a mystery. Whales evolved from land dwelling mammals which vocalize by passing air through a structure called the larynx - a structure which also helps keep food from entering the respiratory system. However toothed whales like dolphins do not use their larynx to make sound, instead they have evolved a specialized organ in their nose. Now a team of researchers have discovered the structure used by baleen whales - a modified version of the larynx. Whales like Humpbacks and Blue whales are able to create powerful vocalizations but their anatomy also limits the frequency of the sounds they can make and depth at which they can sing. This leaves them unable to escape anthropogenic noise pollution which occur in the same range. Article: Evolutionary novelties underlie sound production in baleen whales Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:14:28

Why are we nice? Altruism's origins are put to the test

2/21/2024
In this episode: 00:45 Why are humans so helpful? Humans are notable for their cooperation and display far more altruistic behaviour than other animals, but exactly why this behaviour evolved has been a puzzle. But in a new paper, the two leading theories have been put the test with a model and a real-life experiment. They find that actually neither theory on its own leads to cooperation but a combination is required for humans to help one another. Research article: Efferson et al. News and Views: Why reciprocity is common in humans but rare in other animals 10:55 Research Highlights The discovery of an ancient stone wall hidden underwater, and the fun that apes have teasing one another. Research Highlight: Great ‘Stone Age’ wall discovered in Baltic Sea Research Highlight: What a tease! Great apes pull hair and poke each other for fun 13:14 The DVD makes a comeback Optical discs, like CDs and DVDs, are an attractive option for long-term data storage, but these discs are limited by their small capacity. Now though, a team has overcome a limitation of conventional disc writing to produce optical discs capable of storing petabits of data, significantly more than the largest available hard disk. The researchers behind the work think their new discs could one day replace the energy-hungry hard disks used in giant data centres, making long-term storage more sustainable. Research Article: Zhao et al. 20:10 Briefing Chat The famous fossil that turned out to be a fraud, and why researchers are making hybrid ‘meat-rice’. Ars Technica: It’s a fake: Mysterious 280 million-year-old fossil is mostly just black paint Nature News: Introducing meat–rice: grain with added muscles beefs up protein Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:30:41

Why are we nice? Altruism's origins put to the test

2/21/2024
In this episode: 00:45 Why are humans so helpful? Humans are notable for their cooperation and display far more altruistic behaviour than other animals, but exactly why this behaviour evolved has been a puzzle. But in a new paper, the two leading theories have been put the test with a model and a real-life experiment. They find that actually neither theory on its own leads to cooperation but a combination is required for humans to help one another. Research article: Efferson et al. News and Views: Why reciprocity is common in humans but rare in other animals 10:55 Research Highlights The discovery of an ancient stone wall hidden underwater, and the fun that apes have teasing one another. Research Highlight: Great ‘Stone Age’ wall discovered in Baltic Sea Research Highlight: What a tease! Great apes pull hair and poke each other for fun 13:14 The DVD makes a comeback Optical discs, like CDs and DVDs, are an attractive option for long-term data storage, but these discs are limited by their small capacity. Now though, a team has overcome a limitation of conventional disc writing to produce optical discs capable of storing petabits of data, significantly more than the largest available hard disk. The researchers behind the work think their new discs could one day replace the energy-hungry hard disks used in giant data centres, making long-term storage more sustainable. Research Article: Zhao et al. 20:10 Briefing Chat The famous fossil that turned out to be a fraud, and why researchers are making hybrid ‘meat-rice’. Ars Technica: It’s a fake: Mysterious 280 million-year-old fossil is mostly just black paint News: Introducing meat–rice: grain with added muscles beefs up protein Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:21:35

Smoking changes your immune system, even years after quitting

2/14/2024
00:45 Smoking's long-term effects on immunity It's well-known that smoking is bad for health and it has been linked to several autoimmune disorders, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. Now, researchers have investigated the immune responses of 1,000 people. Whilst some effects disappear after quitting, impacts on the T cell response lingers long after. The team hopes that this evidence could help better understand smoking's association with autoimmune diseases. Research article: Saint-André et al. News and Views: Smoking’s lasting effect on the immune system 07:03 Research Highlights Why explosive fulminating gold produces purple smoke, and a curious act of altruism in a male northern elephant seal. Research Highlight: Why an ancient gold-based explosive makes purple smoke Research Highlight: ‘Altruistic’ bull elephant seal lends a helping flipper 09:28 Briefing Chat An author-based method to track down fake papers, and the new ocean lurking under the surface of one of Saturn's moons. Nature News: Fake research papers flagged by analysing authorship trends Nature News: The Solar System has a new ocean — it’s buried in a small Saturn moon Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:21:35

Why we need to rethink how we talk about cancer

2/9/2024
For over a century, cancer has been classified by areas of the body - lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer etc. And yet modern medical research is telling us that the molecular and genetic mechanisms behind cancers are not necessarily tied to parts of the body. Many drugs developed to treat metastatic cancers have the capacity to work across many different cancers, and that presents an opportunity for more tailored and efficient treatments. Oncologists are calling for a change in the way patients, clinicians and regulators think about naming cancers. In this podcast, senior comment editor Lucy Odling-Smee speaks with Fabrice André from Institute Gustave Roussy, to ask what he thinks needs to change. Comment: Forget lung, breast or prostate cancer: why tumour naming needs to change Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:14:53

Why we need to rethink how we talk about cancer

2/9/2024
For over a century, cancer has been classified by areas of the body - lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer etc. And yet modern medical research is telling us that the molecular and genetic mechanisms behind cancers are not necessarily tied to parts of the body. Many drugs developed to treat metastatic cancers have the capacity to work across many different cancers, and that presents an opportunity for more tailored and efficient treatments. Oncologists are calling for a change in the way patients, clinicians and regulators think about naming cancers. In this podcast, senior comment editor Lucy Odling-Smee speaks with Fabrice André from Institute Gustave Roussy, to ask what he thinks needs to change. Comment: Forget lung, breast or prostate cancer: why tumour naming needs to change Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:14:53

Why we need to rethink how we talk about cancer

2/9/2024
For over a century, cancer has been classified by areas of the body - lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer etc. And yet modern medical research is telling us that the molecular and genetic mechanisms behind cancers are not necessarily tied to parts of the body. Many drugs developed to treat metastatic cancers have the capacity to work across many different cancers, and that presents an opportunity for more tailored and efficient treatments. Oncologists are calling for a change in the way patients, clinicians and regulators think about naming cancers. In this podcast, senior comment editor Lucy Odling-Smee speaks with Fabrice André from Institute Gustave Roussy, to ask what he thinks needs to change. Comment: Forget lung, breast or prostate cancer: why tumour naming needs to change Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:14:53

Why we need to rethink how we talk about cancer

2/9/2024
For over a century, cancer has been classified by areas of the body - lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer etc. And yet modern medical research is telling us that the molecular and genetic mechanisms behind cancers are not necessarily tied to parts of the body. Many drugs developed to treat metastatic cancers have the capacity to work across many different cancers, and that presents an opportunity for more tailored and efficient treatments. Oncologists are calling for a change in the way patients, clinicians and regulators think about naming cancers. In this podcast, senior comment editor Lucy Odling-Smee speaks with Fabrice André from Institute Gustave Roussy, to ask what he thinks needs to change. Comment: Forget lung, breast or prostate cancer: why tumour naming needs to change Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:14:53

Cancer's power harnessed — lymphoma mutations supercharge T cells

2/7/2024
In this episode: 0:46 Borrowing tricks from cancer could help improve immunotherapy T cell based immunotherapies have revolutionised the treatment of certain types of cancer. However these therapies — which involved taking someone’s own T cells and reprogramming them to kill cancer cells — have struggled to treat solid tumours, which put up multiple defences. To overcome these, a team has taken mutations found in cancer cells that help them thrive and put them into therapeutic T cells. Their results show these powered-up cells are more efficient at targeting solid tumours, but don’t turn cancerous themselves. Research article: Garcia et al. 11:39 Research Highlights How researchers solved a submerged-sprinkler problem named after Richard Feynman, and what climate change is doing to high-altitude environmental records in Switzerland. Research Highlight: The mystery of Feynman’s sprinkler is solved at last Research Highlight: A glacier’s ‘memory’ is fading because of climate change 14:28 What might the car batteries of the future look like? As electric cars become ever more popular around the world, manufacturers are looking to improve the batteries that power them. While conventional lithium-ion batteries have dominated the electric vehicle market for decades, researchers are developing alternatives that have better performance and safety — we run though some of these options and discuss their pros and cons. News Feature: The new car batteries that could power the electric vehicle revolution 25:32 Briefing Chat How a baby’s-eye view of the world helps an AI learn language, and how the recovery of sea otter populations in California slowed rates of coastal erosion. Nature News:This AI learnt language by seeing the world through a baby’s eyes News: How do otters protect salt marshes from erosion? Shellfishly Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:35:23

Cancer's power harnessed — lymphoma mutations supercharge T cells

2/7/2024
In this episode: 0:46 Borrowing tricks from cancer could help improve immunotherapy T cell based immunotherapies have revolutionised the treatment of certain types of cancer. However these therapies — which involved taking someone’s own T cells and reprogramming them to kill cancer cells — have struggled to treat solid tumours, which put up multiple defences. To overcome these, a team has taken mutations found in cancer cells that help them thrive and put them into therapeutic T cells. Their results show these powered-up cells are more efficient at targeting solid tumours, but don’t turn cancerous themselves. Research article: Garcia et al. 11:39 Research Highlights How researchers solved a submerged-sprinkler problem named after Richard Feynman, and what climate change is doing to high-altitude environmental records in Switzerland. Research Highlight: The mystery of Feynman’s sprinkler is solved at last Research Highlight: A glacier’s ‘memory’ is fading because of climate change 14:28 What might the car batteries of the future look like? As electric cars become ever more popular around the world, manufacturers are looking to improve the batteries that power them. While conventional lithium-ion batteries have dominated the electric vehicle market for decades, researchers are developing alternatives that have better performance and safety — we run though some of these options and discuss their pros and cons. News Feature: The new car batteries that could power the electric vehicle revolution 25:32 Briefing Chat How a baby’s-eye view of the world helps an AI learn language, and how the recovery of sea otter populations in California slowed rates of coastal erosion. Nature News:This AI learnt language by seeing the world through a baby’s eyes News: How do otters protect salt marshes from erosion? Shellfishly Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:35:23

Cervical cancer could be eliminated: here's how

2/4/2024
Cervical cancer is both treatable and preventable, and the WHO has called for countries to come together to to eliminate the disease in the next century. However the disease still kills over 300,000 people each year, and levels of screening, treatment and vaccination need to be stepped up in order to achieve this goal. These challenges are particularly stark in low- and middle-income countries, where a lack of funding, staffing and infrastructure are obstacles. Vaccine hesitancy, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also a key problem. In this Podcast Extra, two experts share their thoughts on how best to overcome these obstacles, and make elimination of cervical cancer a reality. Comment: Cervical cancer kills 300,000 people a year — here’s how to speed up its elimination Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:17:21

Cervical cancer could be eliminated: here's how

2/4/2024
Cervical cancer is both treatable and preventable, and the WHO has called for countries to come together to to eliminate the disease in the next century. However the disease still kills over 300,000 people each year, and levels of screening, treatment and vaccination need to be stepped up in order to achieve this goal. These challenges are particularly stark in low- and middle-income countries, where a lack of funding, staffing and infrastructure are obstacles. Vaccine hesitancy, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also a key problem. In this Podcast Extra, two experts share their thoughts on how best to overcome these obstacles, and make elimination of cervical cancer a reality. Comment: Cervical cancer kills 300,000 people a year — here’s how to speed up its elimination Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:17:21

Cervical cancer could be eliminated: here's how

2/4/2024
Cervical cancer is both treatable and preventable, and the WHO has called for countries to come together to to eliminate the disease in the next century. However the disease still kills over 300,000 people each year, and levels of screening, treatment and vaccination need to be stepped up in order to achieve this goal. These challenges are particularly stark in low- and middle-income countries, where a lack of funding, staffing and infrastructure are obstacles. Vaccine hesitancy, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also a key problem. In this Podcast Extra, two experts share their thoughts on how best to overcome these obstacles, and make elimination of cervical cancer a reality. Comment: Cervical cancer kills 300,000 people a year — here’s how to speed up its elimination Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:17:21

Cervical cancer could be eliminated: here's how

2/4/2024
Cervical cancer is both treatable and preventable, and the WHO has called for countries to come together to to eliminate the disease in the next century. However the disease still kills over 300,000 people each year, and levels of screening, treatment and vaccination need to be stepped up in order to achieve this goal. These challenges are particularly stark in low- and middle-income countries, where a lack of funding, staffing and infrastructure are obstacles. Vaccine hesitancy, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also a key problem. In this Podcast Extra, two experts share their thoughts on how best to overcome these obstacles, and make elimination of cervical cancer a reality. Comment: Cervical cancer kills 300,000 people a year — here’s how to speed up its elimination Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:17:21

Ancient DNA solves the mystery of who made a set of stone tools

1/31/2024
In this episode: 0:48 How hominins spread through Europe Ancient stone tools are often uncovered in Europe, but it can be difficult to identify who crafted them, as Neanderthals and Homo sapiens coexisted in the region for several thousand years. The makers of one type of tool found in northern Europe has long puzzled researchers, but now through genetic analysis of nearby skeletal fragments, it has been revealed that they were made by Homo sapiens. The age of these tools suggests that modern humans were more widespread and adaptable to living in colder climates than previously thought. Research article: Mylopotamitaki et al. News and Views: Stone tools in northern Europe made by Homo sapiens 45,000 years ago 09:36 Research Highlights How a Colombian mountain range lost its root, and what Roman wine may have looked, smelled and tasted like. Research Highlight: A mysterious mountain range lacks roots but still stands tall Research Highlight: The clever system that gave Roman wines an amber colour and nutty aroma 15:21 Briefing Chat Analysis of lab-grown neurons reveals why brain cells grow so slowly in humans, and a genetic therapy for a certain type of deafness shows promise. Video: Why human brain cells grow so slowly Science: Gene therapies that let deaf children hear bring hope—and many questions Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:28:45

Ancient DNA solves the mystery of who made a set of stone tools

1/31/2024
In this episode: 0:48 How hominins spread through Europe Ancient stone tools are often uncovered in Europe, but it can be difficult to identify who crafted them, as Neanderthals and Homo sapiens coexisted in the region for several thousand years. The makers of one type of tool found in northern Europe has long puzzled researchers, but now through genetic analysis of nearby skeletal fragments, it has been revealed that they were made by Homo sapiens. The age of these tools suggests that modern humans were more widespread and adaptable to living in colder climates than previously thought. Research article: Mylopotamitaki et al. News and Views: Stone tools in northern Europe made by Homo sapiens 45,000 years ago 09:36 Research Highlights How a Colombian mountain range lost its root, and what Roman wine may have looked, smelled and tasted like. Research Highlight: A mysterious mountain range lacks roots but still stands tall Research Highlight: The clever system that gave Roman wines an amber colour and nutty aroma 15:21 Briefing Chat Analysis of lab-grown neurons reveals why brain cells grow so slowly in humans, and a genetic therapy for a certain type of deafness shows promise. Video: Why human brain cells grow so slowly Science: Gene therapies that let deaf children hear bring hope—and many questions Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:28:45

Ancient DNA solves the mystery of who made a set of stone tools

1/31/2024
In this episode: 0:48 How hominins spread through Europe Ancient stone tools are often uncovered in Europe, but it can be difficult to identify who crafted them, as Neanderthals and Homo sapiens coexisted in the region for several thousand years. The makers of one type of tool found in northern Europe has long puzzled researchers, but now through genetic analysis of nearby skeletal fragments, it has been revealed that they were made by Homo sapiens. The age of these tools suggests that modern humans were more widespread and adaptable to living in colder climates than previously thought. Research article: Mylopotamitaki et al. News and Views: Stone tools in northern Europe made by Homo sapiens 45,000 years ago 09:36 Research Highlights How a Colombian mountain range lost its root, and what Roman wine may have looked, smelled and tasted like. Research Highlight: A mysterious mountain range lacks roots but still stands tall Research Highlight: The clever system that gave Roman wines an amber colour and nutty aroma 15:21 Briefing Chat Analysis of lab-grown neurons reveals why brain cells grow so slowly in humans, and a genetic therapy for a certain type of deafness shows promise. Video: Why human brain cells grow so slowly Science: Gene therapies that let deaf children hear bring hope—and many questions Subscribe 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.

Duration:00:28:45

Audio long read: Long COVID is a double curse in low-income nations — here’s why

1/26/2024
Evidence so far suggests that the prevalence of long COVID in low- and middle-income countries could be similar to that of wealthier countries. For example, by some estimates, more than four million people in Brazil have long COVID. However, an absence of research on the condition in less-wealthy countries has left advocates hamstrung: few physicians acknowledge that long COVID exists. A lack of data is also hampering efforts to search for the mechanisms of the condition and tailor treatments. This is an audio version of our Feature Long COVID is a double curse in low-income nations — here’s why Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Duration:00:12:23

Audio long read: Long COVID is a double curse in low-income nations — here’s why

1/26/2024
Evidence so far suggests that the prevalence of long COVID in low- and middle-income countries could be similar to that of wealthier countries. For example, by some estimates, more than four million people in Brazil have long COVID. However, an absence of research on the condition in less-wealthy countries has left advocates hamstrung: few physicians acknowledge that long COVID exists. A lack of data is also hampering efforts to search for the mechanisms of the condition and tailor treatments. This is an audio version of our Feature Long COVID is a double curse in low-income nations — here’s why Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Duration:00:12:23