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#124: Lopsided universe; solar activity affects heart health; hero rats trained for rescue missions

Season 1, Ep. 124

If you like things orderly, we have bad news for you - our universe is lopsided. Based on everything we know about gravity and the early universe, we’d expect galaxies to be distributed symmetrically - but they’re not. Something spooky’s going on, and the team searches for answers.


The activity of the Sun may be affecting our heart health. Sometimes the weather on the Sun gets a little chaotic, and the team discusses new research that suggests these solar storms are messing with our heart rhythms, raising the risk of heart attacks.


African pouched rats are being trained as heroes. Donning special little backpacks, they will use their keen sense of smell to go on search and rescue missions. The team explains why they’ve been chosen for the task.


Last September El Salvador became the first country to make cryptocurrency legal tender. But with the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plummeting, the team examines what the future holds.


Covid-19 is proving resilient, and as new variants of omicron emerge, infection rates still remain high. As omicron is milder than its predecessors, the team asks whether we should still be worried about the disease, and they find out how it may continue to evolve.


On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Michael Le Page, Corryn Wetzel, Leah Crane, Jacob Aron and Alice Klein. To read about these stories and much more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.


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7/28/2022

#129 BlueDot special: Mysteries of the universe; stories of hope and joy; growing tiny human brains; solving global problems

Season 1, Ep. 129
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7/21/2022

#128 Extreme heatwaves; China’s space station launch; covid’s effects in pregnancy; a black hole symphony

Season 1, Ep. 128
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#127: Pig hearts transplanted into dead people; James Webb Space Telescope gives best-ever view of the universe; boosting wheat genetics to feed the world

Season 1, Ep. 127
After the first pig-human transplant patient died just 2 months after receiving his new heart, researchers are now testing modified pig hearts by transplanting them into recently deceased people on life support. The team discusses a new experiment which has shown very promising results.NASA has revealed stunning images of deep-space captured by the James Webb Space Telescope - and there’s so much more to come. The team explains how the telescope is like a time machine, helping us to peer back into the early history of the universe.Much of the information our eyes take in is discarded by the brain. The team discusses a new technique called ‘ghost imaging’ which is using AI to reconstruct those lost images by interacting directly with our brain.Wheat hasn’t yet reached its genetic potential. The team finds out how genetically tweaking this vital crop could improve yields globally, and help it to withstand the impacts of climate change.Covid-19 is impacting fertility through its impacts on sperm - yet another thing we’re finding out about the disease. The team finds out what’s going on, and how long-lasting these effects are.On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Jacob Aron, Karmela Padavic-Callaghan, Grace Wade and Carissa Wong. To read about these stories and much more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.Events and discount codes:InsideTracker: insidetracker.com/NewScientistHow We’re Wired from The Bertarelli FoundationOnline event: newscientist.com/beinghuman20% Discount: newscientist.com/pod20