New Scientist Weekly


#155: Our five favourite New Scientist long-reads from 2022

Season 1, Ep. 155

A holiday special of the podcast and a free-gift giveaway this week, as we celebrate five of New Scientist’s best front-page features of 2022. As well as discussing the features and why they chose to tackle them, the team chats about the beautiful cover artwork for each story.

First up is the news that AI is helping to decode the lost stories of ancient Mesopotamia, revealing the secrets of ancient cuneiform texts - the world’s first known writing.

Next are the blips recorded by the Large Hadron Collider which have hinted at a potential new force of nature - a discovery which could change physics forever.

The most popular feature story of the year was ‘The Longevity Diet: How knowing what to eat and when can help you stay young’. Real news-you-can-use, this feature highlights a new research-based diet that could increase your life expectancy by up to 20 years.

If you’ve ever struggled with insomnia, you’ll want to read our feature on its causes, which shows that the sleep disorder is now a solvable problem.

And finally is a story which asks, is there a place for consciousness in our understanding of the universe? The team explains the idea that physics needs to embrace subjective experience in order to fully describe and explain the universe.

On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Cat de Lange, Dan Cossins and Alison George. These premium features are usually only available to subscribers, but as a holiday gift they’ll be free to read from the 25th December to the end of the year.

To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at

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#176 Human organoids are new AI frontier; Listening to the big bang through the cosmic microwave background

Season 1, Ep. 176
Brainoids - tiny clumps of human brain cells - are being turned into living artificial intelligence machines, capable of carrying out tasks like solving complex equations. The team finds out how these brain organoids compare to normal computer-based AIs, and they explore the ethics of it all.Sickle cell disease is now curable, thanks to a pioneering trial with CRISPR gene editing. The team shares the story of a woman whose life has been transformed by the treatment.We can now hear the sound of the afterglow of the big bang, the radiation in the universe known as the cosmic microwave background. The team shares the eerie piece that has been transposed for human ears, named by researchers The Echo of Eternity.Artificial intelligence can now read our minds…under a very specific set of circumstances. The team looks at a mindblowing new study which feels very sci-fi.Pop legend and environmentalist Feargal Sharkey makes a cameo to highlight the campaign New Scientist is running in collaboration with the i newspaper, to draw attention to the shocking state of Britain’s rivers. Great apes like to twirl around like ballerinas. As the team finds out, it turns out it’s not just humans who like to spin around and make themselves dizzy, it’s fun for many other species of ape too.Bonnie Garmus, author of the bestselling novel Lessons In Chemistry, speaks to comment and culture editor Alison Flood about the success of her debut novel. She explains the inspiration behind her protagonist and why she made her a chemist. And she discusses fan-favourite character Six-Thirty the dog and the intelligence of animals.On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Michael Le Page and Alison Flood. To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at and discount codes:NS JWST Event: