Nature Podcast

Nature is a weekly international journal publishing the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields of science. The Nature Podcast is a free weekly audio show highlighting content from each issue, and interviews with the scientists creating the data.

Latest articles

After decades of trying, scientists coax plastic particles into a diamond-like structure

Coaxing tiny colloid particles into a diamond structure, and manipulating cell death and homeostasis in neurodegenerative disease.In this episode:00:45 Creating colloidal crystalsFor decades, researchers have attempted to create crystals with a diamond-like structure using tiny colloid particles. Now, a team thinks they’ve cracked it, which could open...

Genes chart Vikings' spread across Europe

Mapping the migration of the Vikings, and the world’s smallest ultrasound device.In this episode:00:45 Following the Viking footprint across EuropeTo better understand who the Vikings were, and where they went, researchers have mapped genomes from hundreds of archaeological artifacts. Research Article: Margaryan et al.08:00 CoronapodPhase III trials...

A new way to cool computer chips - from within

Keeping electronics from overheating, and how to include minority populations in genetic analyses.In this episode:00:46 Cool computersKeeping components cool is a major hurdle when it comes to increasing electronic power. This week, we find out about a new way to integrate tiny microfluidic channels directly into circuits, to help keep them cool. Research...

Revealed: A clearer view of how general anaesthetics actually work

Engineering yeast to produce medicines, and the mechanism of anaesthetic action.In this episode:00:44 Making medicine with yeastThe tropane alkaloids are an important class of medicine, but they are produced agriculturally leaving them vulnerable to extreme weather and world events. Now, researchers have engineered yeast to produce these important molecules....

The challenge of reproducing results from ten-year-old code

Protecting delicate quantum bits, and a competition to replicate findings from ancient computer code.In this episode:01:04 Quantum computers vs ionizing radiationThe quantum bits, or ‘qubits’, central to the operation of quantum computers are notoriously sensitive. Now, researchers have assessed the damaging effects that ionizing radiation can have...

3D-printing some of the world's lightest materials

A new way to produce aerogels opens up their use, and understanding how sulfur can change state between two liquids.In this episode:01:05 Printing aerogelsAerogels are materials with impressive insulating properties, but they’re difficult to handle, due to their innate fragility. Now, researchers have shown a new way to 3D print the most common form...

The chemical that turns locusts from Jekyll into Hyde

Triggering swarming behaviour in locusts, and new insights into how humans synchronize.In this episode:01:56 Understanding swarming behaviourSwarms of migratory locusts regularly devastate crops across the world, but why these swarms form has been a mystery. Now, a team of researchers have identified a compound that causes solitary locusts to come together...

Audio long-read: Pluto’s dark side is overflowing with secrets

In 2015, after a nine-and-a-half-year journey, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft raced past Pluto, beaming images of the dwarf planet back to Earth.Five years after the mission, researchers are poring over images of Pluto’s far-side, which was shrouded in shadow during New Horizon’s flypast. They hope that these images will help give a better understanding...

Why skin grows bigger as you stretch it

Skin's unusual response to stretching is finally explained, and the latest in a huge effort to map DNA.In this episode:01:06 Stretching skinFor decades it’s been known that stretching skin causes more skin to grow, but the reasons why have been a mystery. Now, researchers have uncovered a mechanism to explain the phenomenon. Research Article: Aragona...

When did people arrive in the Americas? New evidence stokes debate

New evidence may push back the date on human arrival to the Americas, and an examination of science’s flaws.In this episode:00:59 Ancient AmericansTwo papers suggest that humans were present in the Americas thousands of years before many people have thought. We examine the evidence. Research Article: Ardelean et al.; Research Article: Becerra-Valdivia...

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