Science & Technology News

ResearchPod science podcasts connect the research community to a global audience of peers and the public, raising visibility and impact.

ResearchPod science podcasts connect the research community to a global audience of peers and the public, raising visibility and impact.


United Kingdom


ResearchPod science podcasts connect the research community to a global audience of peers and the public, raising visibility and impact.




Nicotine dynamics in e-cigarette use

The rising trends of e-cigarette use pose a new problem for regulators and healthcare providers: who is vaping, and how much nicotine. are they getting? Among many different brands, formulations, devices and behaviours, Ian Jones presents data from a sweeping review to determine the scientific underpinnings to how much is known, and is left to know, about the the typical puff. Read the original article:


Bringing space closer with 3D printing

Low-cost accessible space technologies are necessary to fulfil the promise of the “New Space” revolution and open the door to space exploration to everyone. In order to lower the cost of spacecraft propulsion, Dulce Máximo from the Tecnológico de Monterrey in México and Luis Fernando Velásquez-García from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology report on the first 3D-printed electrospray thrusters to be used in nanosatellites. Not only are these cheaper and quicker to manufacture, but...


Eliminating rheumatic heart disease in Nepal

Rheumatic heart disease is the most common acquired heart disease in children and adolescents, and is disproportionately prevalent in marginalised communities across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Prof Thomas Pilgrim, Dr Prahlad Karki, and colleagues at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Nepal report on the successes, costs, and challenges of detecting early stages of rheumatic heart disease among children with echocardiographic screening followed by timely...


Traditions and tool use among Bili-Uéré chimpanzees

Dr Cleve Hicks from the University of Warsaw in Poland has been observing a special group of chimpanzees that have developed their own customs and traditions. Despite the logistical difficulties involved in reaching a remote part of DR Congo , as well as the ever-present threat of malaria and the dangers of armed conflict, Hicks and his team managed to document how these chimpanzees live – including tool making, feeding habits and sleeping style. Read the original article:...


Is Russia Fascist? Unraveling Propaganda East and West

In Is Russia Fascist? (Cornell University Press), author Marlene Laruelle argues that the charge of "fascism" has become a strategic narrative of the current world order. The ruling Russian regime has increasingly been accused of embracing fascism, supposedly evidenced by Russia's annexation of Crimea, its historical revisionism, attacks on liberal democratic values, and its support for far-right movements in Europe. But at the same time, Russia has branded itself as the world's preeminent...


A paradigm shift for fluid management in surgery

Advances in modern surgery have been dependent upon advances in anaesthetic management. However, anaesthesia can have detrimental effects, as it is usually associated with reduced blood pressure, cardiac output and oxygen delivery. Drs Green and O’Brien have looked at how the use of intraoperative monitoring and management protocols can mitigate some of the deleterious effects of anaesthesia on the circulation. Read more about their work in Research Outreach, or find the original article...


Tackling maths anxiety to improve STEM participation for women

Despite advances in the education of women and girls worldwide, UNICEF reported in 2020 that female students still lag behind in terms of access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Dr Lu Wang, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at Ball State University, Indiana, brings together research and theory on the subjects of gender, spatial ability, math anxiety and math achievement. Her conclusions on the role of spatial ability could be crucial to future...


The Serotonin Power Diet

The Serotonin Power Diet is a clinically-proven, practical, and easy to follow 12-week program that gives you the tools to stop weight gain naturally, regain control over cravings, and achieve real, sustainable weight loss. The Serotonin Power Diet by Dr Judith Wurtman and Dr Nina Frusztajer is available on Amazon and through the website. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.


Learning and Memory: How memories are encoded in the brain of the fruit fly

When thinking of tiny fruit flies, one doesn’t usually have their brainpower in mind. But even these small insects, like all animals, can learn behaviours in response to different stimuli. Prof André Fiala studies the learning behaviour of fruit flies, aiming to dig deeper into the computational principles underlying the encoding of learned information. Find more from Prof Fiala at his University of Goettingen website, and follow him on Twitter. Read the original paper this episode is...


Uncovering universal behaviour in biological systems

Deciphering the patterns of nature is something that has occupied curious minds for countless generations, from swarms of bugs to the flight of birds to the movement of your bodies own cells. Prof Andrea Cavagna of the Institute for Complex Systems leads a research group bringing together the worlds theoretical physics and experimental biology, building mathematical models of natural systems and uncovering the universal laws that underly the organisation structure of life. Read the...


Digital transformation in Financial Services: The age of Fintech

Financial innovation presents a significant opportunity that goes beyond its impact on financial services firms; the entire economy can benefit. Prof Anne-Laure Mention, Director of the Global Business Innovation Enabling Capability Platform at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, is a prolific contributor to the Open Innovation literature, with a keen research interest in FinTech. Find more from Prof Mention on Twitter , and her personal website. Find more on the Open Inno Train at...


Saving the world with better data simulations

Ecosystem loss, extinctions and climate change are ongoing challenges to life on Earth, and coming up with a plan to tackle their effects requires an accurate picture of what's happening where, and who is involved. Prof Tim Haas has taught and refined such models for years. In his latest paper, he lays out the case for a model unifying human behaviour, climate and ecosystem data, the computational power required to run it, and the credibility criteria any model should meet to prove its...


Theories of mind and consciousness

Dr Pollard-Wright has formulated a transdisciplinary theory of mind as energy, which has implications for mindful control of experiences, emotions and responses. Read more about her work in Research Outreach, and find the original articles this episode is based on in: Medical Hypotheses - & Integrative Biology - Pollard-Wright can be reached via Wild Ride Wildlife Services, and...


Picking exercise plans to fit your fitness goals

Finding a fitness plan that will help you reach your goals is a unique personal challenge for anyone embarking on a new exercise regime, and for personal trainers tailoring their instructions to clients. So what can research teach us about which exercise works best? And for whom? Prof Kjell Hausken of Stavanger University, Norway, outlines assesments made during structured fitness classes to assess the impact of different exercise sequences on heart rate and energy expenditure. Read more...


Road sign psychology and dangerous driving

Speed Display Signs inform drivers if they are breaking local limits, and are part of road systems internationally. But how much effect do they have on stopping recurrent speeding? And could changing their use offer a psychological nudge to drivers to slow down? Smadar Siev and Doron Kliger report on experiments to change speeding behaviours and reduce road traffic accidents. Read the original paper at: Music in this episode is by Scott Holmes


How could biology open chances for victory at the Winter Olympics?

While the Winter Olympics may not have as high a profile as the Summer Olympics, the featured events are some of the most exciting sports around – but, with fewer events and categories available to compete in, there are reduced opportunities for athletes. Professor Kjell Hausken of the University of Stavanger, Norway, looked in detail at the physiological demands of five Winter Olympic sports and proposes new formats for the competition that will allow a fairer and more exciting event for...


Equity and equal opportunities in US education

Equal access to education was an essential facet of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and has since come to be enshrined in law internationally. However, that is not the whole story of equality in education. Jen Neitzel, executive director of the Educational Equity Institute, is committed to improving educational experiences for students and practice for teachers, through tackling injustices built into the systems and architecture of state education. We spoke in early December 2020...


Cod liver oil analysis for anti oxidant potential

Cod liver has long reputation of health benefits, but manufacturers of fermented cod liver oils claim that their product contains more antioxidants, meaning the fatty acids like omega-3 keep better over time. A team at De Montfort University in Leicester led by Professor Martin Grootveld has tested these claims using a variety of techniques to determine the molecular differences between fermented and unfermented cod liver oils. Read more about this research in Research Outreach, or find...


Tracing the history of East African artefacts in the Smithsonian

William Louis Abbott, a medical doctor sent to East Africa to gather artefacts for the Smithsonian in 1887, collected hundreds of pieces of art, craft and culture from across the region. Professor Amy Stambach of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has undertaken extensive research on this collections history, and just how these items came to Washington D.C.. Read more about Prof Stambachs work in the following articles: Ethnology Unboxed: The Making of...


Stem cells could offer hope for muscular dystrophy

Researchers are investigating several novel approaches, including gene and stem cell therapy, to meet the challenges of diseases like muscular dystrophy. Recently, Dr Yoshitsugu Aoki of the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo and colleagues have summarised the current state of research into using urine-derived stem cells as models and prospective treatments, which may offer hope for patients with these potentially life-limiting conditions. Read more about their work in...