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Nature Podcast

Nature Podcast - the world's best science and medicine in your earbuds

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 th
11/16/2022

How a key Alzheimer's gene wreaks havoc in the brain

00:46 Artemis 1 is go!NASA’s Artemis 1 mission has successfully reached Earth orbit. After weeks of delays and issues, and a nail biting launch, the rocket marks the first step in a new era of moon exploration, with plans to test a new way to return astronauts to the moon. We caught up with reporter for all-things-space, Alex Witze, for the latest.News: Lift off! Artemis Moon rocket launch kicks off new era of human exploration10:06 Research HighlightsThe unlevel playing field in women’s football, and domed structures provide evidence for a biological origin of stromatolites.Research Article: Okholm Kryger et al.Research Article: Hickman-Lewis et al.12:39 A mechanistic link for an Alzheimer’s geneAlzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects millions of people every year. Whilst the biggest risk factor of late-onset Alzheimer’s is age, there are a number of genes that have been implicated. How exactly these genes underpin this disease is unclear, but new research may now reveal how one of them does so, by affecting the myelination of neurons. The authors hope this work may help uncover treatments for Alzheimer’s.Research Article: Blanchard et al.News and Views: Alzheimer’s risk variant APOE4 linked to myelin-assembly malfunction20:44 Updates from COP27The second week of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference is underway, as policymakers and scientists try to come together to tackle climate change. Flora Graham, senior editor at Nature is in Egypt at the conference and we caught up with her for the latest.News: ‘Actions, not just words’: Egypt’s climate scientists share COP27 hopesNews: Carbon emissions hit new high: warning from COP27Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.
11/9/2022

Molecular cages sift 'heavy' water from near-identical H2O

00:49 Separating heavy water with molecular cagesHeavy water is molecule very similar to H2O but with deuterium isotopes in the place of hydrogen atoms. Heavy water is useful in nuclear reactions, drug design and nutritional studies, but it's difficult to separate from normal water because they have such similar properties. Now, a team have developed a new separation method using tiny molecular cages, which they hope opens up more energy efficient ways to produce heavy water.Research article: Su et al.News and Views: A molecular flip-flop for separating heavy water07:23 Research HighlightsHow dancers can feel the beat even when they can’t hear it, and how climate change might move desert dunes.Research Highlight: Dancers pick up the pace on a bass beat — even though it’s inaudibleResearch Highlight: Desert dunes pose more danger as Earth warms09:25 Monitoring bridge health using crowd dataBridges are vital pieces of infrastructure but their structural health is hard to monitor, requiring either sophisticated sensors or intense surveying by human engineers. Now though, researchers have utilized large amounts of smartphone accelerometer data to check the health of the Golden Gate Bridge. They hope this new technique can be used to effectively and cheaply monitor bridges around the world.Research Article: Matarazzo et al.Communications Engineering special issue: Resilient Infrastructure17:00 COP27 gets underwayThis week the 27th UN Climate Change Conference began, with world leaders, scientists and activists coming together to continue negotiations aimed at reining in global warming. Jeff Tollefson, senior reporter at Nature, joined us to talk about what’s been happening and what to expect, as the conference continues.News: Climate change is costing trillions — and low-income countries are paying the priceNews: As COP27 kicks off, Egypt warns wealthy nations against ‘backsliding’News: COP27 climate summit: what scientists are watchingSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.
11/2/2022

Flies can move their rigid, omnidirectional eyes – a little

00:46 How flies can move their eyes (a little)It's long been assumed flies’ eyes don’t move, and so to alter their gaze they need to move their heads. Now, researchers have shown that this isn’t quite true and that fruit flies can actually move their retinas using a specific set of muscles, which may allow them to perceive depth. The team also hope that this movement may provide a window into some of the flies’ internal processes.Research article: Fenk et al.08:54 Research HighlightsHow the 80-year-old wreck of a sunken warship is influencing ocean microbes, and tracing an epilepsy-related gene variant back to a single person from 800 years ago.Research Highlight: A ship sunk during the Second World War still stirs up the seabedResearch Highlight: Families on three continents inherited their epilepsy from a single person11:11 Calls to mandate militaries’ emissions reportingThe eyes of the world will be focused on the UN’s upcoming COP27 conference to see what governments will pledge to do to reduce global emissions. But there’s one sector of countries’ carbon outputs that remains something of a mystery: the emissions of their militaries. We speak to Oliver Belcher, one of a group of researchers who have written a Comment article for Nature, calling for better reporting and greater accountability for these military emissions.Comment: Decarbonize the military — mandate emissions reporting19:07 Briefing ChatWe discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time: efforts from Middle East countries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions while still supplying fossil fuels; the upcoming demise of NASA’s InSight spacecraft; and new estimates for how long bacteria could survive on Mars.Nature News: The Middle East is going green — while supplying oil to othersNature News: NASA spacecraft records epic ‘marsquakes’ as it prepares to dieNew Scientist: Bacteria could survive just under Mars's surface for 280 million yearsSubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.