Nature Podcast


Laser 'lightning rod' diverts strikes high in the Alps

In this episode:

00:45 Laser-guided lightning

Scientists have shown that a specially designed laser can divert the course of lightning strikes in a real-world setting. The team fired the laser into the sky above a communications tower high in the Swiss Alps and altered the course of four strikes. In future they hope that this kind of system could be used to protect large infrastructure, such as airports.

Research article: Houard et al.

News: This rapid-fire laser diverts lightning strikes

09:36 Research Highlights

The crabs that lean on bacteria to detoxify sulfur from hydrothermal vents, and how a persons’ nasal microbes might exacerbate their hay fever.

Research Highlight: Crabs endure a hellish setting — with help from friends

Research Highlight: Plagued by hay fever? Blame your nasal microbes

12:02 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time: how “hot mixing” has helped ancient Roman concrete stand the test of time, and the first vaccine for honeybees shows promise.

Ars Technica: Ancient Roman concrete could self-heal thanks to “hot mixing” with quicklime

New York Times: U.S.D.A. Approves First Vaccine for Honeybees

Nature Video: 3D printing adds a twist with a novel nozzle

Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.

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