Science & Technology News

ResearchPod science podcasts connect the research community to a global audience of peers and the public, raising visibility and impact. All content is shared under the Creative Commons CCBY-NC-ND 4.0 licence. For further information, email


United Kingdom


ResearchPod science podcasts connect the research community to a global audience of peers and the public, raising visibility and impact. All content is shared under the Creative Commons CCBY-NC-ND 4.0 licence. For further information, email




The intriguing case of an endobronchial valve migration

Lung surgery, like every other type of surgery, can have complications that sometimes require further procedures to be dealt with. Surgeons are always looking for new ways to keep these procedures as minimally invasive as possible, but they also have to ensure these are effective and safe. Consultant surgeon Mr David Waller and his surgical trainee Miss Michelle Lee at the Department of Thoracic Surgery in St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, routinely deal with complex cases of lung surgery....


Finding novel treatment strategies for UTI through oestrogen receptors

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections and contribute to antibiotic use and the healthcare burden each year. Women are more susceptible, and oestrogen receptors have been found to play a key role played by in the aetiology of UTIs and other diseases Dr Rashmi Kaul and Dr Anil Kaul, of the Center for Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University, US, hope that by increasing understanding of the links between oestrogen and UTIs it may be possible to...


How medical schools can evolve to tackle gun violence

Despite the shocking levels of gun violence in the USA and in the Americas, medical practitioners are taught little more than dealing with the direct biologic outcomes of bullets. Understanding gun violence as a disease requires examining complex behavioural health, environmental, and social issues not commonly imbedded in medical school curricula. Leading American emergency physician and gun violence researcher Stephen Hargarten and colleagues from the Medical College of Wisconsin are...


The future of sustainable agriculture

With a predicted global population of 9 billion by 2050, there is a need for increased, sustainable food production. Additionally, climate change will have an effect on soil and crop health, due to changes in weather patterns and disease distribution. Dr Philippe Rolshausen at the University of California in Riverside specialises in tree crops, viticulture and plant pathology. In today's podcast, he explains the role plant microbiomes , and how increased understanding of small changes in...


Can we do more to get college students vaccinated against HPV?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection globally, more than 80% of sexually active people will be infected at some point. It can cause genital warts and several types of cancer. Although a vaccine against HPV infection has been available since 2006, vaccination rates in the US remain low. This has led to Roanna Kessler and John Gentile, at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, accepting the challenge of improving vaccination awareness and increasing...


Hypoxia-guided proton therapy for NSCLC

Tumour hypoxia occurs when cancer cells lack oxygen, and is associated with decreased effectiveness of radiotherapy treatments. One way to counteract hypoxia is to increase the dose of radiation we use to kill cancer cells, a technique called dose escalation. However, many side effects have been reported due to surrounding organs being damaged by off-target radiation. Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, led by Dr Giovanni Fattori, have been investigating the clinical...


Are we on the verge of uploading human consciousness?

Transferring human consciousness into a machine has long been a popular motif in science fiction, but for now, seems like a far-off dream. However, Prof Masataka Watanabe at the University of Tokyo believes we’re on the cusp of making mind uploading a reality. Prof Watanabe proposes a new type of brain‒machine interface that is capable of fully reconstructing transhemispheric connectivity, leading to a ‘seamless’ mind uploading procedure while the brains owner is still alive. Read more...


Modelling and analysis of flows of viscoelastic fluids: Beyond the Navier–Stokes equations

The Navier–Stokes equations are important for science and engineering, since they describe the motion of fluids. However, these equations can not describe the physical responses of fluids with a complex microstructure. Michal Bathory, Miroslav Bulíček, and Josef Málek, Charles University, Czech Republic, have developed a robust mathematical theory for viscoelastic fluids. Which could serve as an analytical framework, to quantify errors between exact and computed solutions for these...


Computational biology: How mathematical modelling can help cure cancer

Understanding how living cells work is difficult due to the number of varied and complex processes occurring in them. This complexity can be elucidated by breaking these processes down and focusing on a particular mechanism. One approach is to use mathematical equations – the basis of computational modelling. Dr Susan Mertins, the founder and CEO of Biosystem Strategies LLC, in the USA, is exploring how ordinary differential equations and machine learning can be applied to cancer data for...


Digital Health in Southeast Asia: Startups and Digital Technology Applications

Southeast Asia mirrors global trends; people are living longer and there is a growing elderly population, and disease prevention is a key contributing factor. There’s also been a rise use of digital technology; for healthcare, digital innovation offers a way to improve care for millions of people. Start-ups are a vital part of this digital health ecosystem, and Dr Hoe Siu Loon of Singapore Management University has examined the state of start-ups and digital technology applications in...


Nordic Sports Associations and refugee integration

There are many factors involved in the reception of Ukrainian refugees, and the response from governments and civil society has been, mildly put, remarkable. The role of sports clubs in the reception of refugees is gaining increasing recognition. Research by Tony Mickelsson Blomqvist, a PhD student at the School of Social Sciences at Södertörn University in Sweden, demonstrates the role of these clubs, in Sweden, as an important arenas for integration and improving refugee...


How can mathematics research increase effective instruction and student success?

Students without adequate understanding of basic mathematical concepts and skills after completing kindergarten go on to struggle throughout their maths education. So how can the teaching of maths be improved to enable children to learn best? Dr Jonathan Brendefur and colleagues at the Developing Mathematical Thinking Institute, USA have developed the five dimensions of the Developing Mathematical Thinking framework, a professional development programme for teachers and other...


The Environmentally Responsible Happy Nation Index as a national success indicator

Most international success indices rank countries according to how they perform against various measures and include happiness as a key value, but fail to include the cost, especially to others. Emeritus Professor Yew-Kwang Ng of Monash University in Australia suggests that a happiness ranking that considers environmental costs – the Environmentally Responsible Happy Nation Index – would be a more appropriate barometer of success Read more in Research Outreach Read some of their latest...


Ovarian Cancer Epidemiology, Healthcare Access and Disparities (ORCHiD)

In the USA, Black and Hispanic ovarian cancer patients experience much poorer outcomes than White patients, suggesting they have less access to quality care. But why does this disparity exist, and what can be done to bridge this gap? Dr Akinyemiju, Associate Professor in Population Health Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine and Duke Cancer Institute, USA, is tackling these questions and more in the Ovarian Cancer Epidemiology, Healthcare Access, and Disparities Study, or simply,...


Waste management and transition to a circular economy

'Sustainable development’ has become a familiar term, but with over 300 definitions it can mean different things to different people, and is proving difficult to achieve globally. Dr Pekka Peura at the Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Center at the University of Vaasa and his colleagues, Dr Olli Voutilainen and Professor Jussi Kantola, trace the emergence and development of an innovative waste management system implemented in the Vaasa region of Finland. Read more in Research...


Racial equity in early childhood education

If there is to be any hope of resolving the racial disparities that mark society, the healing of racial inequity needs to begin early enough to prevent old biases reinforcing themselves any further. In this episode, we are joined again by Dr Neitzel, along with the President of the Educational Equity Institute, Dr Ebonyse Mead, to discuss their upcoming book ; The Handbook of Racial Equity in Early Childhood Education , and the challenges facing educators in a time of social...


A low-cost portable sensor system for air quality monitoring

To tackle the challenge of monitoring air quality and assessing personal pollutant exposure in urban settings, low-cost sensors have become increasingly available. However, most of these commercial devices suffer from limitations in the treatment of the data collected. Fabian Lenartz at the Scientific Institute of Public Service (ISSeP) in Liège, Belgium, has developed a low-cost versatile monitoring device – Antilope – that is suitable for fixed and itinerant measurements, both indoor and...


A trust-based approach to the use of facial recognition technology

Facial recognition technology establishes a person’s identity from a single digital image of their face. This technology to identify criminals and prevent crime, but also in a range of other commercial settings. However, issues including trust, consent and bias, limits its use in some regions. Research conducted by Gary Chan, Professor of Law at Singapore Management University, investigates how to build trust in facial recognition technology via technological measures, ethnical guidelines,...


Actively using neuroplastic methods to develop inner strengths

Lifes challenges can become lasting burdens if we don’t have the psychological resources to meet them. So how can we build up a psychological toolbox containing powerful inner strengths that are readily accessible when we need them? Dr Rick Hanson, of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center US, and colleagues have developed new model of emotional and mental growth, which actively engages people's experiences with neurologically informed methods that heighten the conversion of passing...


Deciphering the role of time and space in ecological systems

Understanding the function of time and space when an ecosystem is disturbed is essential for devising sustainable conservation and management policies, further complicated by anthropogenic disturbances. To understand and predict the response of ecological systems to these disturbances, researchers must develop new theoretical and experimental approaches. The research team at the Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station (SETE) founded by Jean Clobert and Michel Loreau, aims to provide...