New Scientist Weekly


#154: News review 2022 - stand-out moments and funniest stories

Season 1, Ep. 154

Recorded live online for New Scientist subscribers, in this holiday special the team takes you through their stand out moments of the year, the funniest stories to hit the headlines, and their hopes for 2023 - and they answer questions from the audience too.

For stand-out highlights of 2022, the team discusses Deepmind and its transformative AI AlphaFold which predicted the structures of most known proteins. They celebrate the successes of the James Webb Space Telescope and a recent nuclear fusion experiment that has, for the first time ever, generated more power than it requires to run. They also chat about advances in organ transplants and the amazing discovery of ants which have evolved the ability to treat the wounds of their nest mates.

For their funniest picks of the year, they highlight the story of a fish that evolved to stand up on land then thought “nah”, and went back to living in water. Then there’s the news of researchers who wanted to find out if covid-related loss of smell correlated with negative reviews of scented candles on Amazon. And they discuss North America’s invasion by alien earthworms.

After audience questions, the team looks to the future. From the scientific discoveries spurred on by the covid pandemic, to developments in quantum computing, new innovative ways of producing food in more environmentally friendly ways, advancements in gene replacement therapies and the future of space travel, they discuss the stories they’re most looking forward to next year.

On the panel are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Alexandra Thompson, Anna Demming and Sam Wong. To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at

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