New Scientist Weekly
#116: DNA from outer space; Devi Sridhar on covid lessons; climate change in an Oxford wood
Could life on Earth have an extraterrestrial origin? The team revisits this ancient theory as we’ve now found all four of the key building blocks of DNA on meteorites that are older than our planet.
There may be a warning signal in our brains that helps us keep out unwanted thoughts. The team hears about the fascinating word-pairing method researchers used to identify this mechanism, and how the findings could help people with PTSD, OCD, and anxiety disorders.
When we talk about climate change, we often think of its dramatic global consequences. But it’s having effects everywhere and to make that point, this week Rowan visits Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire. Speaking to Oxford University biologist Ella Cole, he hears how spring has jumped forward nearly a month since research began at Wytham 75 years ago.
Just a few weeks after the shock discovery of the W boson anomaly, physicists have written more than 65 new papers trying to explain what’s going on. The team says this has led to an exciting surge of new ideas about the standard model of particle physics, and the revival of some old theories too.
Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, has become well known over the last couple of years for her analysis and advice about the pandemic. Rowan speaks to her about her new book, Preventable: How a Pandemic Changed the World & How to Stop the Next One.
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