Nature Podcast


Winding roads could make you a better navigator

00:47 Your ability to find your way may depend on where you grew up

Researchers have long been trying to understand why some humans are better at navigating than others. This week, researchers show that where someone grew up plays an important role in their ability to find their way; the more winding and disorganised the layouts of your childhood were, the better navigator you’ll be later in life.

Research article: Coutrot et al.

08:57 Research Highlights

How boas can squeeze without suffocating themselves, and why being far from humans helps trees live a long life.

Research Highlight: How boa constrictors squeeze and breathe at the same time

Research Highlight: Where are Earth’s oldest trees? Far from prying eyes

11:39 How coastal storminess is changing

Coastal flooding causes billions of dollars in damage each year. Rising sea levels are known to be a key driver, but the importance of another factor, storm surges, is less clear. Typically after accounting for increasing sea level, they’re not thought to make much of an impact. However new research suggests that this may not be the case.

Research article: Calafat et al.

16:10 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a brain implant allows a person who is completely paralysed to communicate, and penguin-like bone density suggests Spinosaurus may have hunted underwater.

Science: In a first, brain implant lets man with complete paralysis spell out thoughts: ‘I love my cool son.’

National Geographic: Spinosaurus had penguin-like bones, a sign of hunting underwater

Video: A swimming dinosaur: The tail of Spinosaurus

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Norovirus could spread through saliva: a new route for infection?

00:47 Enteric viruses may spread through salivaEnteric viruses, such as norovirus, cause a significant health burden around the world and are generally considered to only spread via the faecal-oral route. However, new research in mice suggests that saliva may also be a route of transmission for these viruses, which the authors say could have important public health implications.Research Article: Ghosh et al.08:59 Research HighlightsHow devouring space rocks helped Jupiter to get so big, and what analysing teeth has revealed about the diet of the extinct super-sized megalodon shark.Research Highlight: The heavy diet that made Jupiter so bigResearch Highlight: What did megalodon the mega-toothed shark eat? Anything it wanted11:24 Making the tetraneutronFor decades there have been hints of the existence of tetraneutrons, strange systems composed of four neutrons, and now researchers may have created one in the lab. This breakthrough could tell us more about the strong nuclear force that holds matter together.Research article: Duer et al.News and Views: Collisions hint that four neutrons form a transient isolated entity18:46 After Roe v. WadeLast Friday the US supreme court struck down the constitutional right to abortion. In the wake of this ruling, Nature has been turning to research to ask what we can expect in the coming weeks and months.News: After Roe v. Wade: US researchers warn of what’s to comeEditorial: The US Supreme Court abortion verdict is a tragedy. This is how research organizations can helpAdditional show linksVideo: The pandemic's unequal tollCollection: The science of inequalitySubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.