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.




Loneliness, Sense of Control, and Risk of Dementia in Healthy Older Adults

There are said to be 50 million people living with dementia globally and this is expected to triple by 2050. Research conducted by Dr Hwajin Yang, Associate Professor at Singapore Management University, and colleagues, examines how the risk of developing dementia is affected by one’s sense of loneliness and sense of control. Read the original paper:


Investigating sexuality and consent in New Zealand’s residential aged care

Sexuality is an intrinsic part of identity. However, intimacy and sexuality in residential aged care are often contested issues, particularly in the case of people living with different types of dementia. Professor Mark Henrickson, Dr Catherine Cook, Dr Vanessa Schouten and Ms Sandra McDonald are researching consent in this domain. Read more about their research in Research Features. Read the original article:


Quantum society: The logic of decision making, economics and relationships

Can the decisions, personal ties and politics underlying society be understood mathematically? And do irrational choices make sense when viewed as uncertain, quantum like probabilities? Andrei Khrennikov and Emmanuel Haven discuss their research into the quantum formalism behind political movements, financial markets, and personal relations. Read more: Quantum-like modeling: cognition, decision making, and rationality (2020) : Mechanical...


Climate change economics: A net cost analysis of the Paris Agreement targets

Global temperature rises and climate change will not only bring disruption to the planet’s ecosystems, weather systems, and sea levels. It will also have an impact on current and future human societies through economic turmoil. Dr Patrick Brown of San José State University examines the net economic impact of Paris Agreement global warming targets. Read more:


Stimulants and drug related deaths in America

News coverage of the drug overdose crisis gripping America has, for a large part, focused on opioid drug deaths. However, this represents a small part of the ever-shifting landscape of drug use. Away from the mainstream, stimulants - both prescribed and illicit - continue to claim lives at an increasing rate. Joshua Black and Janetta Iwanicki from Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety discuss their institutes role in tracking deaths, informing policy, and attempting to stem the tide of drug...


Sleep loss and circadian rhythms

Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD) is characterised by an inability to fall asleep at a socially acceptable time, and an inability to wake up at conventional early times for school or work. Dr Gregory Carter from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, is conducting research into 'night owl preference', and what can be done to realign ones circadian rhythm. Read more:


Encephalitis – when viral infections attack the brain

Prof Wiley investigates the emergence of new brain viral infections and their link to dementia. Read more about his work in Research Outreach, and find his original articles below:


Sharing learning between childhood leukaemia and brain tumour trials

Over the last 50 years, advances in surgical procedures, clinical understandings and targeted treatments have changed the prospects of many cancer diagnoses from terminal to treatable. However, this progress is not evenly distributed across the many different types of cancer, and nowhere is that more keenly felt than in cancers affecting children. How might the advances and insights in treating blood cancers benefit patients with brain tumours? To answer that question, I am speaking today...


Coronavirus’s impact on maternal mental health

It has been well established that mental health problems increase vulnerability to corona virus, COVID-19, and those contracting the virus are at higher risk of nervous system disorders and mental illness. The Mom2B study, led by Prof Alkistis Skalkidou and colleagues, explores the mental health of pregnant women and those who have recently given birth. Read their paper here: Download the Mom2B app here: Android:...


Huntington's disease and mouse models

Huntington's Disease is characterised by a clear line of heritability within families, and an early onset of disease towards the middle of ones life. As such, the more knowledge researchers gain about development of the disease, the earlier interventions may be developed, and the longer their benefits felt. Dr Jessica Cao is researching the onset of Huntington's Disease in a mouse model, how the sex-dependent differences may reflect in humans, and prospects for therapies to improve the...


Climate change and carbon in Antarctic expeditions

Climate change is real, happening now, and happening the world over. However, it is not an evenly distributed problem - coastal areas are the most susceptible to rising sea levels, and there is one coast that most people in the world will never get to see . The response of Antarctica to climate change is one of the big research questions facing the British Antarctic Survey. David Barnes, marine ecologist and lecturer, talks about life on the ice, life under it, and what the future may hold...


Preference orderings represented by coherent upper and lower conditional previsions

Modelling human decisions under uncertainty has become a crucial issue in the field of Artificial Intelligence over recent years. Mathematical models of decision making under risk provide the user with an ‘optimal’ solution. These rational decision models, however, are not always able to describe the typical human approach to making decisions. Dr Serena Doria, from The Gabriele d'Annunzio University in Italy, presents a new mathematical updating model that can represent the awareness...


Child rights and the climate strike movement

Since its adoption in 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has become the most widely ratified treaty in history. One of the underlying principles enshrined throughout the Convention is adult respect for children’s views. Professor Richard Mitchell argues the climate strikes and political activism inspired by Greta Thunberg, Autumn Peltier, and Salvador Gómez-Colón among others, represents an unprecedented human rights-based phenomenon, and one that emphasises...


How the arts, society and technology intersect

The Synthesis Center, a unique institutional experiment at Arizona State University created by Professor Sha Xin Wei, brings like minds together to explore the interface between media arts, the environment, engineering and technology. With the potential for global social impact, the results generate significant insights into how we interact with technology. Learn more about the The Synthesis Centre here and here, and find more from Prof Wei at his ASU staff page.


Cellular sensing in a disordered environment

Dr Farzan Beroz developed a physical theory of sensing that predicts cell behaviour. Cells are continuously exposed to mechanical stimuli from their surroundings, causing stresses that can guide cell behaviours throughout development, movement and healing. To ensure normal function, the bodies cells and their microenvironment constantly engage in a reciprocal and dynamic dialogue with one another - Mechanosensing. Dr Beroz' findings establish a model of cell behaviour and inspire novel...


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...