New Scientist Weekly


#149 COP27 treaty emerges; a method to discover wormholes

Season 1, Ep. 149

Cheering greeted Brazil’s president-elect, Lula da Silva, when he appeared at COP27 this week. Madeleine Cuff brings us a report from the climate conference in Egypt, where Lula has made bold promises to protect the Amazon. She also tells us what we can expect from this year’s draft treaty - and why the text has been causing quite a stir.

There’s plenty going on in Space, with NASA’s Artemis mission now finally launching to the Moon. And the news that we may be able to look for wormholes (if they exist). These are different to black holes because they are traversable - handy if you happen to be an interstellar traveller looking for a fast route across the universe.

Our ancestors may have begun using sophisticated cooking methods as long as 780,000 years ago. The team explains how fish teeth have been discovered near hearths at an ancient settlement in Israel. And X-ray analysis suggests they may have been cooked in some sort of earthen oven.

Rowan visits a colony of leaf-cutter ants, who use an incredible method of farming fungi that evolved between 45 and 65 million years ago. David Labonte at Imperial College London explains how this complex and decentralised society operates.

And have you ever wondered why some poos float and others sink? Too much fat in your diet? Fibre maybe? Or is it gas? Well, new research has lifted the toilet lid on this age-old question, and the team shares the results.

On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Madeleine Cuff, Leah Crane, Alice Klein and Sam Wong. To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at

Events and discount codes:

New Scientist Discovery Tours:

Amazon Future Engineer:

Black Friday deal:

More Episodes


#163 Antidepressants; Exoplanets; California’s megadroughts – the latest news in science

Season 1, Ep. 163
A vaccine for the respiratory virus RSV may be ready this year. In fact, after decades of efforts, successful vaccines have arrived like buses, with three of them on the way. As a particularly devastating virus for young children and the elderly, the team explains just how impactful these new vaccines will be.You may have read headlines that Earth’s core is changing direction - but the team explains why it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. They also bring less-than-thrilling news for the existence of life in the universe, as we may have been overestimating how many planets are out there that have the right conditions for life.Following intense rainfall, floods and disaster declarations, California finally has a dry forecast. But, the team asks, has all this water helped ease the State’s worst-in-a-century drought? And will we see more of these dramatic swings in weather as climate change worsens?Science has shown what most people who take antidepressants already know - that they blunt both bad and good emotions. The team explores the implications of this new study.You may be noticing a few bonus episodes popping up in your feed lately. The team shares a teaser of the latest ones, including a discussion about ‘tipping points’ with climate scientist Tim Lenton, and a chat with fungal pathogen expert Mat Fisher about the new fungal horror TV show The Last of Us.On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, James Dinneen, Michael Le Page and Leah Crane. To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at and discount codes:January sale: new publishing platform