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Nature Podcast

708 EpisodesProduced by Springer Nature LimitedWebsite

The Nature Podcast brings you the best stories from the world of science each week. We cover everything from astronomy to zoology, highlighting the most exciting research from each issue of the Nature journal. We meet the scientists behind the results and provide in-depth analysis from Nature's jour… read more

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February 22nd, 2024


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Could this one-time ‘epigenetic’ treatment control cholesterol?

February 28th, 2024


In this episode:

00:49 What caused the Universe to become fully transparent?

Around 13 billion years ago, the Universe was filled with a dense ‘fog’ of …

Audio long read: Chimpanzees are dying from our colds — these scientists are trying to save them

February 26th, 2024


The phenomenon of animals catching diseases from humans, called reverse zoonoses, has had a severe impact on great ape populations, often …

How whales sing without drowning, an anatomical mystery solved

February 23rd, 2024


The deep haunting tones of the world's largest animals, baleen whales, are iconic - but how the songs are produced has long been a mystery. Whales …

Why are we nice? Altruism's origins are put to the test

February 21st, 2024


In this episode:

00:45 Why are humans so helpful?

Humans are notable for their cooperation and display far more altruistic behaviour than other …

Smoking changes your immune system, even years after quitting

February 14th, 2024

00:45 Smoking's long-term effects on immunity

It's well-known that smoking is bad for health and it has been linked to several autoimmune disorders, …

Why we need to rethink how we talk about cancer

February 9th, 2024


For over a century, cancer has been classified by areas of the body - lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer etc. And yet modern medical research is …

Cancer's power harnessed — lymphoma mutations supercharge T cells

February 7th, 2024


In this episode:

0:46 Borrowing tricks from cancer could help improve immunotherapy

T cell based immunotherapies have revolutionised the treatment of …

Cervical cancer could be eliminated: here's how

February 4th, 2024


Cervical cancer is both treatable and preventable, and the WHO has called for countries to come together to to eliminate the disease in the next century.

However the disease still kills over 300,000 people each year, and …

Ancient DNA solves the mystery of who made a set of stone tools

January 31st, 2024


In this episode:

0:48 How hominins spread through Europe

Ancient stone tools are often uncovered in Europe, but it can be difficult to identify who …

Audio long read: Long COVID is a double curse in low-income nations — here’s why

January 26th, 2024


Evidence so far suggests that the prevalence of long COVID in low- and middle-income countries could be similar to that of wealthier countries. For …

Toxic red mud could be turned into 'green' steel

January 24th, 2024


In this episode:

0:46 Turning a toxic by-product into iron

Red mud is a toxic by-product of aluminium manufacture, and millions of tonnes of it is produced each year. The majority ends up in landfills, pumped into vast …

This AI just figured out geometry — is this a step towards artificial reasoning?

January 17th, 2024


In this episode:

0:55 The AI that deduces solutions to complex maths problems

Researchers at Google Deepmind have developed an AI that can solve …

The science stories you missed over the holiday period

January 10th, 2024


In this episode of the Nature Podcast, we catch up on some science stories from the holiday period by diving into the Nature Briefing.

We chat about: …

Science in 2024: what to expect this year

January 3rd, 2024


In this episode, reporter Miryam Naddaf joins us to talk about the big science events to look out for in 2024. We'll hear about the mass of the neutrino, the neural basis of consciousness and the climate lawsuits at the …

Audio long read: A new kind of solar cell is coming — is it the future of green energy?

December 29th, 2023


Perovskites are cheap, abundant photovoltaic materials that some have hailed as the future of green energy.

Around the world, companies are layering …

The Nature Podcast highlights of 2023

December 27th, 2023


In this episode:

00:54 Franklin’s real role

When it comes to the structure of DNA, everyone thinks they know Rosalind Franklin’s role in its discovery. …

How AI works is often a mystery — that's a problem

December 22nd, 2023


Many AIs are 'black box' in nature, meaning that part of all of the underlying structure is obfuscated, either intentionally to protect proprietary information, due to the sheer complexity of the model, or both. This …

The Nature Podcast Festive Spectacular 2023

December 20th, 2023


In this episode:

01:55 “Oh GPT”

In the first of our festive songs, we pay homage to LLMs, the generative AI chat bots which have taken 2023 by storm. 

05:32 Twenty questions

In this year’s festive game, our competitors try …

Navigating planets, plays and prejudice — a conversation with Aomawa Shields

December 15th, 2023


In the latest episode of Nature hits the books, astronomer Aomawa Shields discusses her memoir Life on Other Planets: A Memoir of Finding My Place in the Universe.

The book tracks her career path as a scientist and a …

Inhaled vaccine prevents COVID in monkeys

December 14th, 2023


Current COVID-19 vaccines offer great protection from serious illness, but they don't prevent people from becoming infected in the first place. Because of this, researchers have been searching for ways to boost mucosal …

Cat parasite Toxoplasma tricked to grow in a dish

December 13th, 2023


In this episode:

00:48 A new way to grow a tricky parasite in the lab

Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes the zoonotic disease toxoplasmosis, …

The world’s smallest light-trapping silicon cavity

December 6th, 2023


In this episode:

00:48 A gap for trapping light

Confining photons within materials opens up potential applications in quantum computing and telecommunications. But capturing light requires nanoscale cavities, which are …

Sanitary products made from plants could help tackle period poverty

November 30th, 2023


Around 500 million people are estimated to be in period poverty, lacking adequate access to sanitary products. Many of these people rely on …

Why COP28 probably won't keep the 1.5 degree dream alive

November 29th, 2023


In this episode:

00:49 What to expect at COP28.

The UN’s annual climate change conference is starting soon in Dubai. This time will be the first time that humanity formally assesses its progress under the 2015 Paris …

Audio long read: Apple revival — how science is bringing historic varieties back to life

November 24th, 2023


Researchers have been resurrecting apple trees to revive forgotten varieties of the fruit. They hope that sequencing these apples' genomes could …

Polio could be eradicated within 3 years — what happens then?

November 22nd, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 What happens after polio is eradicated

Since 1988, cases of polio have fallen by more than 99%, and many observers predict that …

Dust: the tiny substance with enormous power

November 17th, 2023


In the latest episode of Nature hits the books, writer and researcher Jay Owens joins us to discuss her book Dust: The Modern World in a Trillion Particles.

Much like dust itself, Jay’s book travels the globe, looking …

How to 3D print fully-formed robots

November 15th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 Machine vision enables multi-material 3D printing

3D printers are capable of producing complex shapes, but making functioning …

How to tame a toxic yet life-saving antifungal

November 8th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 Modifying a fungal drug to make it less toxic

Amphotericin B is a drug used to treat life-threatening fungal infections. But while it is effective against many fungal species, it is also extremely …

Nature's Take: How will ChatGPT and generative AI transform research?

November 3rd, 2023


In the past year, generative AIs have been taking the world by storm. ChatGPT, Bard, DALL-E and more, are changing the nature of how content is …

A new hydrogel can be directly injected into muscle to help it regenerate

November 1st, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 An injectable gel for healing muscles

Severe muscle injury can be debilitating, with long recuperation periods. Now, researchers have developed a material that can be directly injected into injured …

Audio long read: Why BMI is flawed — and how to redefine obesity

October 30th, 2023


For decades, BMI — calculated by dividing weight by height squared — has been as an international standard to determine healthy weights.

However, BMI …

Martian sounds reveal the secrets of the red planet's core

October 27th, 2023


For years, researchers have been listening to Mars and the quakes that ripple through it, to understand the planet's internal structure and uncover …

Sounds of recovery: AI helps monitor wildlife during forest restoration

October 25th, 2023


In this episode:

00:47 An automated way to monitor wildlife recovery

To prevent the loss of wildlife, forest restoration is key, but monitoring how …

An anti-CRISPR system that helps save viruses from destruction

October 18th, 2023


In this episode:

00:47 An RNA-based viral system that mimics bacterial immune defences

To protect themselves against viral infection, bacteria often use CRISPR-Cas systems to identify and destroy an invading virus’s …

Gene edits move pig organs closer to human transplantation

October 11th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 Engineered pig kidneys show transplantation promise

Kidneys from genetically-engineered miniature pigs have been transplanted into non-human primates, in some cases keeping the animals alive for …

'This doesn't just fall on women': computer scientists reflect on gender biases in STEM

October 10th, 2023


In this Podcast Extra, two computer scientists, Shobhana Narasimhan and Sana Odeh, join Nature's Anne Pichon to discuss the barriers that women and …

Astronomers are worried by a satellite brighter than most stars

October 4th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 A bright satellite is concerning researchers

Satellites reflect sunlight down to Earth, and some do so with such intensity it risks obscuring astronomers' observations from ground-based telescopes. …

Audio long read: These animals are racing towards extinction. A new home might be their last chance

September 29th, 2023


Australia's swamp tortoise is one of the most endangered species in the world. This species lives in wetlands that are under threat due to rising temperatures and a reduction in rainfall.

In an effort to save the …

This isn't the Nature Podcast — how deepfakes are distorting reality

September 27th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 How to tackle AI deepfakes

It has long been possible to create deceptive images, videos or audio to entertain or mislead …

Why does cancer spread to the spine? Newly discovered stem cells might be the key

September 20th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 A new insight into cancers' selective spread

Cancer cells can spread to bones in the late stages of disease and in many cancers, cells actually preferentially metastasise to the spine. The reason …

A mussel-inspired glue for more sustainable sticking

September 13th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 A sustainably-sourced, super-strong adhesive

The modern world is held together by adhesives, but these fossil-fuel derived materials come at an environmental cost. To overcome this, a team have …

Our ancestors lost nearly 99% of their population, 900,000 years ago

September 6th, 2023


In this episode:

00:30 Early humans pushed to brink of extinction

Around 900,000 years ago the ancestors of modern humans were pushed to the brink of extinction, according to new research. Genetic studies suggest that the …

Physicists finally observe strange isotope Oxygen 28 – raising fundamental questions

August 30th, 2023


In this episode:

00:47 First observation of oxygen 28

Oxygen 28 is an isotope of oxygen with 20 neutrons and eight protons. This strange isotope has long been sought after by physicists, as its proposed unusual properties …

Audio long read: Medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. How many studies are faked or flawed?

August 25th, 2023


Investigations suggest that, in some fields, at least one-quarter of clinical trials might be problematic or even entirely made up. Faked or …

Brain-reading implants turn thoughts into speech

August 23rd, 2023


In this episode:

00:47 The brain-computer interfaces that help restore communication

People with certain neurological conditions can lose the ability …

Fruit flies' ability to sense magnetic fields thrown into doubt

August 16th, 2023


In this episode:

00:49 The search for animals’ magnetic sense sufferers a potential setback

Exactly how animals sense Earth’s magnetic field has long eluded researchers. To understand it, many have turned to the fly model …

Racism in health: the roots of the US Black maternal mortality crisis

August 10th, 2023


A perfect storm of factors has led to huge racial disparities in maternal healthcare. In the USA, as abortion clinics continue to close, this inequity is projected to widen. In this podcast from Nature and …

How welcome are refugees in Europe? A giant study has some answers

August 9th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 A measure of refugees’ welcome in Europe

With repeated humanitarian crises displacing millions of people, researchers have been considering how this might affect acceptance of refugees. Will some …

How to get more women in science, with Athene Donald

August 2nd, 2023


In the latest episode of Nature hits the books, physicist Athene Donald joins us to discuss her book Not just for the boys, why we need more women in science.

We discuss how science has historically excluded women, the …

Audio long read: Lab mice go wild — making experiments more natural in order to decode the brain

July 31st, 2023


Neuroscientists are creating more naturalistic experiments that they hope will provide a more nuanced understanding of animal — and human — behaviour.

These set-ups differ from the classic laboratory experiments that …

Facebook ‘echo chamber’ has little impact on polarized views, according to study

July 27th, 2023


In this episode:

How tweaking social media algorithms affects polarization

Societies are becoming increasingly polarized, with people reportedly …

AI-enhanced night-vision lets users see in the dark

July 26th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 How to see in the dark like it’s daytime

There are many methods for better night-vision, but often these rely on enhancing light, which may not be present, or using devices which can interfere with …

Disrupting snail food-chain curbs parasitic disease in Senegal

July 19th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 A sustainable solution for schistosomiasis control

Schistosomiasis is a serious parasitic disease that affects millions of …

ChatGPT can write a paper in an hour — but there are downsides

July 12th, 2023


In this episode:

00:23 Using ChatGPT to generate a research paper from scratch

A pair of scientists have produced a research paper in less than an hour with the help of the generative artificial intelligence (AI) ChatGPT. …

Even a 'minimal cell' can grow stronger, thanks to evolution

July 5th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 The effects of evolution on a minimal genome

In 2016, researchers created a ‘minimal cell’ bacterium with a genome that only …

Audio long read: ‘Almost magical’ — chemists can now move single atoms in and out of a molecule’s core

June 30th, 2023


In the past two years, there has been an explosion in the number of papers published relating to 'skeletal editing', a technique that allows chemists …

Do octopuses dream? Neural activity resembles human sleep stages

June 28th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 Inside the brains of sleeping octopuses

Researchers have probed the brains of octopuses and confirmed previous reports suggesting that these invertebrates have a two-stage sleep cycle similar to …

Why bladder cancer cells that shed their Y chromosome become more aggressive

June 21st, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 Why losing the Y chromosome makes bladder cancer more aggressive

Loss of the Y chromosome in bladder cancer cells is associated with increased severity of disease, but the reasons behind this have …

What IBM's result means for quantum computing

June 14th, 2023


In this episode:

00:47 How to make quantum computers ready for real world applications

Quantum computers have long held the promise of being able to perform tasks that classical computers can’t. However, despite this …

A brain circuit for infanticide, in mice

June 7th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 The mouse brain circuit controlling infanticidal behaviour

In mammals, infanticide is a relatively common behaviour, but not a …

AI identifies gene interactions to speed up search for treatment targets

May 31st, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 An AI that predicts gene interactions

Mapping the network of genes that control cellular processes can be difficult to do when …

Audio long read: Can giant surveys of scientists fight misinformation on COVID, climate change and more?

May 26th, 2023


Shocked by the impact of online misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, several researchers are launching efforts to survey scientists’ thinking on issues from vaccine safety to climate change. They hope that …

‘Tree islands’ give oil-palm plantation a biodiversity boost

May 24th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 Tree islands bring biodiversity benefits for oil-palm plantation

Global demand for palm oil has resulted in huge expansion of …

JWST shows an ancient galaxy in stunning spectroscopic detail

May 17th, 2023


In this episode:

00:46 What JWST has revealed about an ancient galaxy

Researchers have pointed the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) at JD1, one of the universe's most distant known galaxies. The power of JWST has filled …

Nature's Take: Can Registered Reports help tackle publication bias?

May 12th, 2023


Many researchers have been critical of the biases that the publication process can introduce into science. For example, they argue that a focus on …

‘Pangenome’ aims to capture the breadth of human diversity

May 10th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 Making a more diverse human genome

The first draft of the human genome ushered in a new era of genetics research. Since its publication, researchers have constructed ever more accurate ‘reference …

Menopause and women’s health: why science needs to catch up

May 3rd, 2023


In this episode:

00:47 A focus on women’s health

Nature’s Kerri Smith and Heidi Ledford join us to discuss two Features published in Nature looking at topics surrounding women’s health. The first looks at efforts to …

Audio long read: Conquering Alzheimer’s — a look at the therapies of the future

April 28th, 2023


Last year, researchers announced that the Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab lowered the amount of amyloid protein plaques associated with the disease in the brains of participants in a clinical trial, and slowed their …

How Rosalind Franklin’s story was rewritten

April 26th, 2023


In this episode:

00:57 Franklin’s real role

When it comes to the structure of DNA, everyone thinks they know Rosalind Franklin’s role in its discovery. …

A smarter way to melt down plastics?

April 19th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 A new method to break down plastic polymers

Plastic waste is an enormous problem, with much of it being incinerated or ending up …

How to battle misinformation with Sander van der Linden

April 14th, 2023


In the latest episode of Nature hits the books, psychologist Sander van der Linden joins us to discuss his new book Foolproof, which focuses on …

Octopuses hunt by 'tasting' with their suckers

April 12th, 2023

00:44 The unusual receptors that let octopuses hunt by touch

Researchers have shown that the suckers of octopuses are covered with specialised receptors that allow them to taste by touching things. Similar receptors are …

Giant black-hole pair from the early Universe gives clues to how galaxies form

April 5th, 2023

00:46 A pair of supermassive black holes in the distant universe

Supermassive black holes are found at the centre of galaxies across the universe. But …

Audio long read: What Turkey’s earthquake tells us about the science of seismic forecasting

March 31st, 2023


Last month, a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing an estimated 50,000 people. Two decades ago, researchers suggested that an …

Bacterial ‘syringes’ could inject drugs directly into human cells

March 29th, 2023

00:48 Tiny syringes for drug delivery

A team of researchers have repurposed tiny syringe-like structures produced by some bacteria to deliver …

How to make driverless cars safer — expose them to lots of dangerous drivers

March 22nd, 2023

00:46 A new test to get autonomous vehicles on the road

Truly autonomous vehicles, ones that don't require a driver to be present and are driven by …

How to build a virus-proof cell

March 15th, 2023

00:47 An edited genetic code that prevents viral infection

Researchers have engineered bacteria with synthetic genomes to be immune to viral infection. The team streamlined the bacteria’s genetic code, and re-engineered …

How the Australian wildfires devastated the ozone layer

March 8th, 2023

00:47 Wildfire smoke’s chemical composition enhances ozone depletion

Smoke from the devastating Australian wildfires of 2019-2020 led to a reduction in ozone levels in the upper atmosphere, but it’s been unclear how. …

How an increased heart rate could induce anxiety in mice

March 1st, 2023

00:47 How a racing heart could trigger anxiety

Anxiety can make the heart beat faster, but could the reverse be true as well? That question has been …

Nature's Take: How Twitter's changes could affect science

February 27th, 2023


Twitter has become indispensable to many scientists. It is a place to share findings, raise their profile, and is even used as a source of data in many studies.

In recent months though, the site has been in turmoil after …

Audio long read: How your first brush with COVID warps your immunity

February 24th, 2023


Imprinting is a quirk of the immune system in which someone’s initial exposure to a virus biases their immune response when they meet the same virus again.

Studies are showing how imprinting shapes people’s responses to …

A twisting microscope that could unlock the secrets of 2D materials

February 22nd, 2023

00:45 A new microscope to look for ‘magic’ angles

To better visualise how electrons are ‘moving’ in materials, a team have developed the Quantum Twisting Microscope. This instrument puts two 2D layers of atoms into close …

How 'metadevices' could make electronics faster

February 15th, 2023

00:47 A metadevice for faster electronics

In the past, increasing the speeds of electronics required designing smaller components, but further reductions in size are being hampered by increasing resistance. To get around …

This mysterious space rock shouldn’t have a ring — but it does

February 8th, 2023

0:46 The mysterious ring in the distant Solar System

Quaoar is a small, rocky object that lies beyond Neptune’s orbit. In an unexpected discovery, …

How mummies were prepared: Ancient Egyptian pots spill secrets

February 1st, 2023


In this episode:

00:47 Chemical analysis of ancient embalming materials

Mummification was a significant part of ancient Egyptian culture but, despite …

Audio long read: The ‘breakthrough’ obesity drugs that have stunned researchers

January 30th, 2023


A new generation of anti-obesity medications are displaying striking results: drastically diminishing weight, without the serious side effects of …

Amino acid slows nerve damage from diabetes, in mouse study

January 25th, 2023

00:45 The role of serine in diabetic neuropathy

Nerve damage is a common complication of diabetes, and can even lead to limb amputation. Thus far, the …

Laser 'lightning rod' diverts strikes high in the Alps

January 18th, 2023


In this episode:

00:45 Laser-guided lightning

Scientists have shown that a specially designed laser can divert the course of lightning strikes in a real-world setting. The team fired the laser into the sky above a …

The science stories you missed over the past four weeks

January 11th, 2023


In this episode of the Nature Podcast, we catch up on some science stories from the holiday period by diving into the Nature Briefing.

We’ll hear: how …

Science in 2023: what to expect this year

January 6th, 2023


In this episode, reporter Miryam Naddaf joins us to talk about the big science events to look out for in 2023. We'll hear about vaccines, multiple …

The Nature Podcast’s highlights of 2022

December 28th, 2022


In this episode:

00:53 How virtual meetings can limit creative ideas

In April, we heard how a team investigated whether switching from face-to-face to virtual meetings came at a cost to creativity. They showed that people …

The Nature Podcast Festive Spectacular 2022

December 21st, 2022

01:07 “Artemis and Dart”

In the first of our festive songs, we celebrate some of the big space missions from this year: Artemis which aims to get …

COVID deaths: three times the official toll

December 14th, 2022


In this episode:

00:47 Estimating pandemic-associated mortality

This week, a team of researchers working with the World Health Organization have used statistical modelling to estimate the number of excess deaths …

Oldest DNA reveals two-million-year-old ecosystem

December 7th, 2022


In this episode:

00:45 World’s oldest DNA shows that mastodons roamed ancient Greenland

DNA recovered from ancient permafrost has been used to …

Gaia Vince on how climate change will shape where people live

December 2nd, 2022


In the second episode of Nature hits the books, science writer and broadcaster Gaia Vince joins us to talk about her new book Nomad Century, which …

Mysterious fluid from ant pupae helps feed colony

November 30th, 2022

00:45 Inert ant pupae produce a previously unobserved fluid

Ant larvae metamorphose into adults by pupating. It was assumed that these inert pupae …

Audio long read: Science and the World Cup — how big data is transforming football

November 25th, 2022


Big data is playing an increasingly important role in football, with technologies capturing huge amounts of information about players' positions and …

The satellite-free alternative to GPS

November 23rd, 2022

00:45 Precision positioning without satellites

Satellite navigation has revolutionized how humans find their way. However, these systems often …

How a key Alzheimer's gene wreaks havoc in the brain

November 16th, 2022

00:46 Artemis 1 is go!

NASA’s Artemis 1 mission has successfully reached Earth orbit. After weeks of delays and issues, and a nail biting launch, the …

Audio long read: She was convicted of killing her four children. Could a gene mutation set her free?

November 14th, 2022


Kathleen Folbigg has spent nearly 20 years in prison after being convicted of killing her four children. But in 2018, a group of scientists began …

Molecular cages sift 'heavy' water from near-identical H2O

November 9th, 2022

00:49 Separating heavy water with molecular cages

Heavy water is molecule very similar to H2O but with deuterium isotopes in the place of hydrogen …

Audio long read: The controversial embryo tests that promise a better baby

November 4th, 2022


Companies are offering genetic tests of embryos generated by in vitro fertilization that they say allow prospective parents to choose those with the lowest risk for diseases such as diabetes or certain cancers. However, …

Flies can move their rigid, omnidirectional eyes – a little

November 2nd, 2022

00:46 How flies can move their eyes (a little)

It's long been assumed flies’ eyes don’t move, and so to alter their gaze they need to move their heads. Now, researchers have shown that this isn’t quite true and that …

Racism in Health: the harms of biased medicine

October 28th, 2022


When COVID-19 hit it didn't kill indiscriminately. In the US, being Black, Hispanic, or Native American meant you had a much greater risk of death than if you were white. And these disparities are mirrored across the …

Ancient DNA reveals family of Neanderthals living in Siberian cave

October 26th, 2022


In this episode:

00:54 Siberian cave offers first-ever glimpse into Neanderthal family

By analysing ancient DNA recovered from bone fragments found in two Siberian caves, researchers have identified a set of closely …

Human brain organoids implanted into rats could offer new way to model disease

October 12th, 2022


In this episode:

00:45 Implanted brain organoids could offer new insights into disease

Brain organoids — lab-grown, self-organizing structures made of …

Virtual library of LSD-like drugs could reveal new antidepressants

October 5th, 2022


In this episode:

00:46 A virtual chemical library uncovers potential antidepressants

Certain psychedelic drugs are of interest to researchers due to their promising antidepressant effects. To help speed up the discovery …

Nature's Take: How the war in Ukraine is impacting science

October 3rd, 2022


The ongoing war in Ukraine has devastated the global economy, rocked geopolitics, killed thousands of people and displaced millions. Science too has …

Audio long read: What scientists have learnt from COVID lockdowns

September 30th, 2022


At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries introduced strict lockdowns to help prevent spread of the disease. Since then, researchers have been studying the effects of these measures to help inform …

A trove of ancient fish fossils helps trace the origin of jaws

September 28th, 2022


In this episode:

00:45 Piecing together the early history of jawed vertebrates

A wealth of fossils discovered in southern China shed new light onto the diversity of jawed and jawless fish during the Silurian period, over …

Huge dataset shows 80% of US professors come from just 20% of institutions

September 21st, 2022

00:46 Inequalities in US faculty hiring

In the US, where a person gained their PhD can have an outsized influence on their future career. Now, using a …

Complex synthetic cells bring scientists closer to artificial cellular life

September 14th, 2022

00:46 Synthetic cells made from bacterial bits

For years researchers have been interested in creating artificial cells, as they could be useful for …

Missing foot reveals world’s oldest amputation

September 7th, 2022

00:46 Evidence of ancient surgery

A skeleton with an amputated foot discovered in Borneo has been dated to 31,000 years ago, suggesting that complex …

Audio long read: Hybrid brains – the ethics of transplanting human neurons into animals

August 26th, 2022


The development of brain chimaeras – made up of human and animal neurons – is an area of research that has hugely expanded in the past five years. Proponents say that these systems are yielding important insights into …

How to make water that's full of holes

August 24th, 2022


In this episode:

00:45 How adding pores helps water carry gas

Although water is an excellent solvent, it’s limited in its ability to dissolve gasses. …

Do protons have intrinsic charm? New evidence suggests yes

August 17th, 2022

00:47 Evidence of a proton’s charm

For decades, scientists have debated whether protons have ‘intrinsic charm’, meaning they contain elementary particles known as charm quarks. Now, using machine learning to comb through …

Nature's Take: what's next for the preprint revolution

August 15th, 2022


In this first episode of Nature's Take, we get four of Nature's staff around microphones to get their expert take on preprints. These pre-peer-review open access articles have spiked in number over recent years and have …

Why low temperatures could help starve tumours of fuel

August 10th, 2022


Cold exposure in mice activates brown fat to deny tumours glucose, and the future of extreme heatwaves.

00:45 How cold temperatures could starve …

Massive Facebook study reveals a key to social mobility

August 3rd, 2022

00:47 The economic benefits of social connections

By looking at data gathered from billions of Facebook friendships, researchers have shown that …

Coronapod: the open-science plan to unseat big Pharma and tackle vaccine inequity

July 29th, 2022


Inequity has been a central feature of the COVID19 pandemic. From health outcomes to access to vaccines, COVID has pushed long-standing disparities out of the shadows and into the public eye and many of these problems …

How humans adapted to digest lactose — after thousands of years of milk drinking

July 27th, 2022

00:45 Working out how the ability to digest milk spread

Humans have been drinking milk for thousands of years, but it seems that they were doing so long before the ability to digest it became prevalent. Then around 2000 …

How researchers have pinpointed the origin of 'warm-blooded' mammals

July 20th, 2022

00:46 When did mammals start to regulate their temperature?

The evolution of ‘warm bloodedness’ allowed mammals to live in a more diverse range of …

Ancient mud reveals the longest record of climate from the tropics

July 13th, 2022

00:46 A long-term record of climate in the tropics

To understand the history of the Earth’s climate, researchers often rely on things like ice cores, which contain layered frozen insights of thousands of years of …

Higgs boson at 10: a deep dive into the mysterious, mass-giving particle

July 11th, 2022


In this Podcast Extra, Nature's Lizzie Gibney and Federico Levi take a deep-dive into the Higgs boson, describing their experiences of its discovery, …

Coronapod: detecting COVID variants in sewage

July 8th, 2022


Since early in the pandemic, scientists have searched for signals of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by sampling wastewater. This surveillance method has provided vital information to inform public health responses. But the …

Higgs boson turns ten: the mysteries physicists are still trying to solve

July 6th, 2022

00:46 Happy birthday, Higgs boson - looking back at a momentous milestone for physics

Ten years ago this week, scientists announced that they’d found evidence of the existence of the Higgs boson, a fundamental particle …

Ed Yong on the wondrous world of animal senses

July 1st, 2022


In the first episode of our new series Nature hits the books, science journalist Ed Yong joins us to talk about his new book An Immense World, which …

Norovirus could spread through saliva: a new route for infection?

June 29th, 2022

00:47 Enteric viruses may spread through saliva

Enteric viruses, such as norovirus, cause a significant health burden around the world and are generally considered to only spread via the faecal-oral route. However, new …

Audio long read: These six countries are about to go to the Moon

June 27th, 2022


In the next year, no fewer than seven missions are heading to the Moon. While NASA's Artemis programme might be stealing most of the limelight, the United States is just one of many nations and private companies that …

Coronapod: USA authorises vaccines for youngest of kids

June 24th, 2022


After a long wait, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have finally approved two COVID …

How science can tackle inequality

June 22nd, 2022

00:38 The science of studying inequality

We discuss the research looking to understand the root causes and symptoms of inequalities, how they are growing, and how a cross-disciplinary approach may be the key to tackling …

How the Black Death got its start

June 15th, 2022

00:46 Uncovering the origins of the Black Death

The Black Death is estimated to have caused the deaths of up to 60% of the population of Europe. …

Coronapod: COVID and smell loss, what the science says

June 11th, 2022


One of the most curious symptoms of COVID-19 is the loss of smell and taste. For most, this phenomenon is short lived, but for many around the world the symptom can persist for months or even years after the infection …

Ancient 'giraffes' sported thick helmets for headbutting

June 8th, 2022

00:33 A headbashing relative gives insights into giraffe evolution

How the giraffe got its long neck is a longstanding question in science. One …

Audio long read: The brain-reading devices helping paralysed people to move, talk and touch

June 6th, 2022


Brain–computer interfaces (BCIs) implanted in the brains of people who are paralysed are allowing them to control prosthetics that are restoring a …

Robot exercises shoulder cells for better tissue transplants

June 1st, 2022

00:47 The robot shoulder that exercises cells

Recreating the movements that tendon cells experience as they develop in the human body is necessary for …

Coronapod: 'A generational loss' - COVID's devastating impact on education

May 30th, 2022


Despite the devastating loss of life caused by COVID-19, some researchers are arguing that the longest lasting impact of the pandemic will be on …

X-ray analysis hints at answers to fossil mystery

May 25th, 2022

00:45 The puzzle of Palaeospondylus

Over a hundred years ago, palaeontologists discovered fossils of the aquatic animal Palaeospondylus. But since …

How galaxies could exist without dark matter

May 18th, 2022

00:47 The mystery of the missing dark matter

Dark matter makes up most of the matter in the Universe, and is thought to be needed for galaxies to form. But four years ago, astronomers made a perplexing, and controversial …

Coronapod: 'viral ghosts' support idea that SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs could be behind long COVID

May 13th, 2022


Millions of people around the world have been left managing the complex and amorphous syndrome that is long COVID. But the underlying cause of this myriad of symptoms is not clear. One hypothesis is that the virus is …

Retinas revived after donor's death open door to new science

May 11th, 2022

00:57 Reviving retinas to understand eyes

Research efforts to learn more about diseases of the human eye have been hampered as these organs degrade rapidly after death, and animal eyes are quite different to those from …

Swapping in a bit of microbial 'meat' has big eco-gains

May 4th, 2022

00:46 How a move to microbial protein could affect emissions

It’s well understood that the production of meat has large impacts on the environment. …

Coronapod: COVID and diabetes, what the science says

April 29th, 2022


The true disability cost of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown, but more and more studies are adding to the list of potential fallout from even mild COVID 19 infection. In this episode of Coronapod we discuss a …

How virtual meetings can limit creative ideas

April 27th, 2022

00:56 How video calls can reduce creativity

As a result of the pandemic, workers around the world have become accustomed to meeting colleagues online. …

Audio long-read: The quest to prevent MS — and understand other post-viral diseases

April 25th, 2022


Results from a huge epidemiological study found that infection by the Epstein-Barr virus increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis 32-fold. …

We could still limit global warming to just 2˚C — but there's an 'if'

April 20th, 2022

00:46 What COP26 promises will do for climate

At COP26 countries made a host of promises and commitments to tackle global warming. Now, a new analysis …

Coronapod: Infected immune cells hint at cause of severe COVID

April 15th, 2022


Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a debate amongst researchers about whether the body's immune cells can themselves be infected by SARS-CoV-2. Now two new studies show that they can - and what's more, …

Why do naked mole rats live as long as giraffes?

April 13th, 2022

00:54 How Mammals’ mutation rates affects their lifespan

For biologists, a long-standing question has been why some animals live longer than others. …

Five years in the coldest fridge in the known Universe

April 6th, 2022

00:46 The very cool experiment looking for a proposed particle

Physics tells us that when matter is created, antimatter should be as well. But while …

Audio long-read: A more-inclusive genome project aims to capture all of human diversity

April 5th, 2022


While current maps of the human genome provide researchers with a wealth of information, many argue that they do not adequately capture humanity’s vast diversity.

Now, a team are trying to build a more complete and …

Winding roads could make you a better navigator

March 30th, 2022

00:47 Your ability to find your way may depend on where you grew up

Researchers have long been trying to understand why some humans are better at navigating than others. This week, researchers show that where someone …

Milky Way's origin story revealed by 250,000 stars

March 23rd, 2022


In this episode:

00:45 Accurately ageing stars reveals the Milky Way’s history

To understand when, and how, the Milky Way formed, researchers need to know when its stars were born. This week, a team of astronomers have …

Coronapod: How vaccine complacency is plaguing 'COVID zero' strategies

March 18th, 2022


A handful of states around the world have pursued 'COVID zero' strategies. Through a combination of intensive lockdowns, travel restrictions and …

The coin toss of Alzheimer's inheritance

March 17th, 2022


Marty Reiswig is fit and healthy, but every two weeks he is injected with the experimental drug gantenerumab and has monthly MRI scans. He submits to this because a rare genetic mutation runs in his family that …

The vest that can hear your heartbeat

March 16th, 2022

00:45 A flexible, wearable, fabric microphone

Inspired by the ear, a team of researchers have developed an acoustic fibre that can be woven into fabrics to create a sensitive microphone. This fabric microphone is capable …

The AI that deciphers ancient Greek graffiti

March 9th, 2022

00:46 The AI helping historians read ancient texts

Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence that can restore and date ancient Greek inscriptions. They hope that it will help historians by speeding up the …

Coronapod: why stopping COVID testing would be a mistake

March 4th, 2022


As many countries start to ease or even remove COVID restrictions entirely, there are growing concerns from researchers that this will lead …

COVID stimulus spending failed to deliver on climate promises

March 2nd, 2022

00:47 G20 nations fail to cut emissions in COVID stimulus packages

The G20 economies spent $14 trillion dollars on recovery packages to escape the …

Audio long-read: The race to save the Internet from quantum hackers

February 28th, 2022


Almost everything we do on the Internet is made possible by cryptographic algorithms, which scramble our data to protect our privacy. However, this …

Dinosaur-destroying asteroid struck in spring

February 23rd, 2022

00:47 Pinpointing the season when an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs

Around 66 million years ago, an enormous asteroid struck the Earth, leading to the end of the time of the dinosaurs. In a new paper, a team of …

Tongan volcano eruption leaves scientists with unanswered questions

February 16th, 2022


Scientists scramble to understand the devastating Tongan volcano eruption, and modelling how societal changes might alter carbon emissions.

In this …

Coronapod: How African scientists are copying Moderna's COVID vaccine

February 11th, 2022

Vaccine inequity continues to be one of the greatest challenges in the pandemic - with only 10% of those in low- and middle-income countries fully …

RNA test detects deadly pregnancy disorder early

February 9th, 2022

RNA in blood shows signs of pre-eclampsia before symptoms occur, and the issues of urine in our sewage and what can be done about it.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Coronapod: what people get wrong about endemic COVID

February 4th, 2022

The word endemic is often mistakenly used to describe a rosy end to the pandemic where COVID-19 becomes a mild, but ever-present infection akin to …

Weirdly flowing water finally has an explanation: 'quantum friction'

February 2nd, 2022

How quantum friction explains water’s strange flows in carbon nanotubes, and the latest from the Nature Briefing.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Coronapod: Why T cells have been overlooked

January 28th, 2022

Much of the coverage of COVID immunity often focuses on antibody response and for good reason - these small, y-shaped proteins can detect, and in some cases neutralise, viruses like SARS-CoV-2. But as variants like …

How can battery-powered aircraft get off the ground?

January 26th, 2022

Getting electric planes to take off, and the latest from the Nature Briefing.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Audio long read: Is precision public health the future — or a contradiction?

January 24th, 2022

The burgeoning field of precision public health is a tech-centric approach that looks to target public-health interventions to the specific people who need them.Precision approaches are taking off and its advocates say …

Coronapod: COVID death toll is likely millions more than official counts

January 21st, 2022

As of January 2022, the WHO reports that 5.5 million people have lost their lives to the pandemic. However, many research groups suggests that this number is likely to be a significant underestimate, although it is hard …

Why mutation is not as random as we thought

January 19th, 2022

Challenging the dogma of gene evolution, and how chiral nanoparticles could give vaccines a boost.

Hosted on Acast. See for more …

Podcast Extra: Recreating the lost sounds of spring

January 14th, 2022

As our environments change, so too do the sounds they make — and this change in soundscape can effect us in a whole host of ways, from our wellbeing …

Webb Space Telescope makes history after tense launch

January 12th, 2022

In this episode of the Nature Podcast, we catch up on the biggest science stories from the holiday period by diving into the Nature Briefing.

Hosted …

Science in 2022: what to expect this year

January 5th, 2022

In this episode, Nature reporter Davide Castelvecchi joins us to talk about the big science events to look out for in 2022. We'll hear about …

Audio long-read: The secret lives of cells — as never seen before

December 31st, 2021


Cutting-edge microscopy techniques are letting researchers visualize biological molecules within cells, rather than studying them in isolation. This …

Our podcast highlights of 2021

December 29th, 2021


The Nature Podcast team select some of their favourite stories from the past 12 months.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

The Nature Podcast annual holiday spectacular

December 22nd, 2021


Games, seasonal science songs, and Nature’s 10.

01:12 "Oh powered flight"

In the first of our festive songs, We pay tribute to NASA's Ingenuity craft - which took the first powered flight on another planet earlier this …

Coronapod: Omicron - your questions answered

December 17th, 2021


Several weeks after the Omicron variant was first identified, it has quickly spread across the world. Early data are showing clear signals that the latest variant of concern is able to evade immunity and spread at a …

Pluto's strange ice patterns explained by new theory

December 15th, 2021


An explanation for giant ice structures on Pluto, and dismantling the mestizo myth in Latin American genetics.

In this episode:

00:46 The frozen root …

Coronapod: vaccines and long COVID, how protected are you?

December 10th, 2021


Vaccines significantly reduce the risk of developing COVID-19, but scientists are now asking what effect the vaccines might have on long COVID. Long COVID is a somewhat ill-defined, but common, syndrome that can arise …

How 'megastudies' are changing behavioural science

December 8th, 2021


Speeding up comparisons of behavioural interventions, and what to expect from the James Webb Space Telescope.

In this episode:

00:45 Identifying effective interventions with a 'megastudy'

Comparing single behavioural …

Coronapod: How has COVID impacted mental health?

December 3rd, 2021


Studying mental health in populations is not a simple task, but as the pandemic has continued, mounting concerns have mobilised researchers.

Now, …

What’s the best diet for people and the planet?

December 1st, 2021


Designing a nutritious and planet-friendly diet, and an AI that guides mathematicians.

In this episode:

00:46 Designing a healthy diet for the planet

Researchers are trying to develop diets that help to reduce greenhouse …

Audio long-read: The chase for fusion energy

November 29th, 2021


A host of private companies are promising commercial fusion reactors in the next decade.

After decades of promise, it finally seems that nuclear fusion is approaching commercial viability. Companies around the world are …

Coronapod: everything we know about the new COVID variant

November 26th, 2021


In a quickly developing story a new variant, first detected in Botswana, is triggering rapid action among researchers. The variant - currently named B.1.1.529 has more than 30 changes to the spike protein - and the …

Researcher careers under the microscope: salary satisfaction and COVID impacts

November 24th, 2021


The Nature salary and satisfaction survey reveals researchers' outlook, and NASA’s test of planetary defences.

In this episode:

00:45 Salary and satisfaction survey

Like all aspects of life, scientific careers have been …

Sea squirts teach new lessons in evolution

November 17th, 2021


Spineless sea squirts shed light on vertebrate evolution, and an iodine-fuelled engine powering a satellite in space.

In this episode:

00:45 A story of …

Coronapod: new hope from COVID antiviral drugs

November 12th, 2021


Two new anti-viral pills have been shown to be safe and effective against COVID in clinical trials, according to recent press releases. The drugs, …

The past and future of the Earth's climate

November 10th, 2021


Reassessing 24,000 years of global temperatures, and on the ground at COP26.

In this episode:

01:21 Reassessing Earth’s climate over the past 24,000 years

The ~20,000 year period from the Last Glacial Maximum to the …

Audio long-read: How dangerous is Africa’s explosive Lake Kivu?

November 8th, 2021


Lake Kivu, nestled between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, is a geological anomaly that holds 300 cubic kilometres of dissolved …

Podcast special: onboard the climate train to COP26

November 3rd, 2021


Last weekend, hundreds of young people boarded a specially chartered train in Amsterdam to travel to Glasgow ahead of the United Nations COP26 …

China’s COVID vaccines have been crucial — now immunity is waning

October 29th, 2021


More that 3 billions doses of China's CoronaVac and Sinopharm vaccines have been administered across the globe, playing an especially important role …

Genomics unwraps mystery of the Tarim mummies

October 27th, 2021


The unexpected origins of a 4000-year-old people, protecting your ‘digital presence’ and what to expect from COP26.

In this episode:

00:48 The origins …

Coronapod: can scientists harness COVID super-immunity?

October 25th, 2021


People that have recovered from COVID are seeing stronger immune responses after vaccination than those that never contracted the virus. Researchers …

Viking presence in the Americas pinpointed by ancient solar storm

October 20th, 2021


An ancient solar storm helps pinpoint when Vikings lived in the Americas, and using magnets to deftly move non-magnetic metals.

In this episode:

00:53 …

Coronapod: the COVID scientists facing violent threats

October 18th, 2021


Hundreds of scientists have responded to a survey asking about harassment and abuse during the pandemic. The results paint a picture which is as …

How electric acupuncture zaps inflammation in mice

October 13th, 2021


The neurons behind acupuncture’s effect on inflammation, and how antibiotics affect gut bacteria.

In this episode:

00:54 The neuronal basis for acupuncture’s effect on inflammation

In mice, electroacupuncture has been …

Coronapod: new data affirms the benefits of air filters and masks

October 10th, 2021


New data suggests that inexpensive, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can effectively scrub SARS-CoV-2 particles from the air in …

The AI that accurately predicts the chances of rain

October 6th, 2021


AI weather forecasters, mapping the human brain and the 2021 science Nobel prizes.

In this episode:

00:52 Improving the accuracy of weather forecasts with AI

Short-term rain predictions are a significant challenge for …

Starting up in science: behind the scenes

September 29th, 2021


Starting up in science: behind the scenes

In this bonus episode, the four Nature reporters behind Starting up in science discuss how the project came …

Starting up in science: Episode 4

September 29th, 2021


Episode 4

Ali interviews for a critical grant. While she is waiting for the result, the pandemic throws their labs into chaos. Then comes a personal …

Starting up in science: Episode 3

September 29th, 2021


Episode 3

As newly-minted principal investigators, Ali and Dan have grand plans for their research – but science is slow, especially when other demands loom large: hiring staff, mentoring and teaching students and, of …

Starting up in science: Episode 2

September 29th, 2021


Episode 2

Ali and Dan have landed positions as the heads of their very own labs. But how did they get to the starting line? Every scientist’s journey is different, and in this episode we hear Ali and Dan’s, which covers …

Starting up in science: Episode 1

September 29th, 2021


Every year, thousands of scientists struggle to launch their own labs. For three years, a reporting team from Nature documented the lives of married couple Alison Twelvetrees and Daniel Bose as they worked to get their …

Audio long-read: Can artificially altered clouds save the Great Barrier Reef?

September 27th, 2021


Australian scientists are developing new technologies to help protect coral from climate change.

Earlier this year, a team of researchers used a …

Coronapod: solving the COVID vaccine manufacturing problem

September 25th, 2021


Less than 1% of those in low income countries are fully vaccinated, and that number only rises to 10% in low-middle income countries. Meanwhile more …

The floating sensors inspired by seeds

September 22nd, 2021


How tiny seed-like sensors could monitor the environment, and the latest from the Nature Briefing.

In this episode:

00:45 Spinning seeds inspire …

How to help feed the world with 'Blue Foods'

September 15th, 2021


How aquatic foods could help tackle world hunger, and how Australian wildfires spurred phytoplankton growth in the Southern Ocean.

In this episode:

The billion years missing from Earth’s history

September 8th, 2021


A new theory to explain missing geological time, the end of leaded petrol, and the ancient humans of Arabia.

In this episode:


00:29 Unpicking the …

Dead trees play an under-appreciated role in climate change

September 1st, 2021


How insects help release carbon stored in forests, and the upcoming biodiversity summit COP 15.

In this episode:

00:44 Fungi, insects, dead trees and …

Audio long-read: why sports concussions are worse for women

August 25th, 2021


As women’s soccer, rugby and other sports gain in popularity a growing body of evidence suggests that female athletes are at a greater risk of …

Coronapod: How Delta is changing the game

August 21st, 2021


Delta has quickly become the dominant COVID variant in many countries across the world, in this episode we ask why. Over the past few weeks, a slew of studies have started to shed more light on how the Delta variant …

What’s the isiZulu for dinosaur? How science neglected African languages

August 18th, 2021


A team is creating bespoke words for scientific terms in African languages, and the sustainability of the electric car boom.

00:46 Creating new words for scientific terms

Many words that are common to science have never …

Coronapod: COVID boosters amidst global vaccine inequity

August 14th, 2021


Several wealthy nations have announced plans to give third vaccine doses in a bid to help increase the protection of their most vulnerable citizens - …

The brain cells that help animals navigate in 3D

August 11th, 2021


Researchers uncover how grid cells fire in a 3D space to help bats navigate, and a fabric that switches between being stiff and flexible.

In this episode:

00:47 Mapping a bat’s navigation neurons in 3D

Grid cells are …

Coronapod: Ivermectin, what the science says

August 6th, 2021


Ivermectin is a cheap, widely available, anti-parasitic drug that has been proposed by many as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Dozens of trials …

Flood risk rises as people surge into vulnerable regions

August 4th, 2021


Satellite imaging has shown population increases are 10x higher in flood prone areas than previously thought, and a new way to introduce fairness …

Has the world’s oldest known animal been discovered?

July 28th, 2021


Researchers debate whether an ancient fossil is the oldest animal yet discovered, and a new way to eavesdrop on glaciers.

In this episode:

01:04 Early …

Audio long-read: How ancient people fell in love with bread, beer and other carbs

July 26th, 2021


Archaeological evidence shows that ancient people ate carbs, long before domesticated crops.

While the idea that early humans subsisted mainly on …

Coronapod: the latest on COVID and sporting events

July 24th, 2021


Early in 2021 the United Kingdom, along with several other countries, allowed mass gatherings as part of a series of controlled studies aimed at …

How the US is rebooting gun violence research

July 21st, 2021


Funding for gun violence research in the US returns after a 20-year federal hiatus, and the glass sponges that can manipulate ocean currents.

In this …

Coronapod: Does England's COVID strategy risk breeding deadly variants?

July 16th, 2021


The UK government has announced that virtually all COVID restrictions will be removed in England on Monday 18th July. This will do away with social …

How deadly heat waves expose historic racism

July 14th, 2021


Why heat waves disproportionately impact minorities in US cities, and the researcher that critiqued his whole career on Twitter.

In this episode:

00:45 …

Coronapod: Will COVID become a disease of the young?

July 9th, 2021


For much of the pandemic, the greatest burden of disease has been felt by older generations. But now, for the first time, vaccine roll outs are …

Food shocks and how to avoid them

July 7th, 2021


Addressing the problem of sudden food scarcity in US cities, and the up-and-coming field of computational social science.

In this episode:

00:45 Food …

Coronapod: the biomarker that could change COVID vaccines

July 2nd, 2021


Since the beginning oft he pandemic, researchers have searched for a biomarker which indicates immune protection from COVID-19 known as a correlate of protection. Now, the team developing the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 …

The scientist whose hybrid rice helped feed billions

June 30th, 2021


A historian reflects on the life of Chinese crop scientist Yuan Longping, and the possible influence of geothermal energy production on earthquake aftershocks.

In this episode:

00:46 Remembering Yuan Longping

Yuan …

Audio long-read: How COVID exposed flaws in evidence-based medicine

June 28th, 2021


A deluge of trials has stress-tested the systems that produce evidence.

Around the world, researchers have raced to test therapies to treat COVID-19. The speed and urgency of this task has revealed both the weaknesses in …

Coronapod: should you have a COVID vaccine when breastfeeding?

June 25th, 2021


Early vaccine trials did not include pregnant or breastfeeding people which left some people asking whether COVID vaccines are safe and effective for those who are breastfeeding. The latest data suggests that they are …

Quantum compass might help birds 'see' magnetic fields

June 23rd, 2021


Researchers isolate the protein thought to allow birds to sense magnetic fields, and astronomers pinpoint the stars that could view Earth as an …

CureVac disappoints in COVID vaccine trial

June 18th, 2021


After a slew of wildly successful vaccine trials, this week marked a more underwhelming result. The third mRNA vaccine to complete phase three …

Communities, COVID and credit: the state of science collaborations

June 16th, 2021


The pros and pitfalls of collaboration, with insights from researchers and beyond.

This week, Nature has a special issue on collaborations, looking at …

Coronapod: Counting the cost of long COVID

June 11th, 2021


The global burden of COVID-19 has predominantly been measured using metrics like case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths. But the long term health …

Google AI beats humans at designing computer chips

June 9th, 2021


An AI that designs computer chips in hours, and zooming in on DNA’s complex 3D structures.

In this episode:

00:46 An AI computer microchip designer

Working out where to place the billions of components that a modern …

Coronapod: Uncertainty and the COVID 'lab-leak' theory

June 4th, 2021


Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been allegations that SARS-CoV-2 could have originated in a Chinese lab. A phase one WHO …

On the origin of numbers

June 2nd, 2021


The cross-discipline effort to work our how ancient humans learned to count.

In this episode:

00:45 Number origins

Around the world, archaeologists, …

New hope for vaccine against a devastating livestock disease

May 26th, 2021


A vaccine candidate for a neglected tropical disease, and calls to extend the 14-day limit on embryo research.

In this episode:

00:46 A vaccine candidate for an important livestock disease

African animal trypanosomiasis …

Audio long-read: How harmful are microplastics?

May 24th, 2021


Scientists are trying to figure out whether these pervasive plastic specks are dangerous.

Wherever they look – from the bottom of oceans to the top of mountains – researchers are uncovering tiny specks of plastic, known …

The 'zombie' fires that keep burning under snow-covered forests

May 19th, 2021


Smouldering fires lay dormant before bursting back into flame in spring.

In this episode:

00:56 The mysterious overwintering forest fires

Researchers …

Coronapod: The variant blamed for India's catastrophic second wave

May 14th, 2021


Over the past few weeks, India has been experiencing a devastating second wave of COVID-19, recording hundreds of thousands of new cases a day.

Evidence is growing that a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as …

The brain implant that turns thoughts into text

May 12th, 2021


A new neural interface lets people type with their mind, and a crafting journey into materials science.

In this episode:

00:45 A brain interface to type out thoughts

Researchers have developed a brain-computer interface …

Coronapod: Waiving vaccine patents and coronavirus genome data disputes

May 7th, 2021


In surprise news this week, the US government announced its support for waiving patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, in an effort to boost supplies around the world.As fewer than 1% of people living in low-income …

Oldest African burial site uncovers Stone Age relationship with death

May 5th, 2021


The earliest evidence of deliberate human burial in Africa, and a metal-free rechargeable battery.

Listen to our mini-series ‘Stick to the Science’: …

Coronapod special: The inequality at the heart of the pandemic

April 30th, 2021


For more than a century, public health researchers have demonstrated how poverty and discrimination drive disease and the coronavirus pandemic has only reinforced this.

In a Coronapod special, Nature reporter Amy Maxmen …

What fruit flies could teach scientists about brain imaging

April 28th, 2021


Ultra-precise measurements connect brain activity and energy use in individual fruit-fly neurons.

Vote for our mini-series ‘Stick to the Science’: …

Audio long-read: How drugmakers can be better prepared for the next pandemic

April 26th, 2021


Despite warnings, and a number of close calls, drugmakers failed to develop and stockpile drugs to fight a viral pandemic. Now, in the wake of SARS-CoV-2, they are pledging not to make the same mistake again.

Around the …

Coronapod: Kids and COVID vaccines

April 23rd, 2021


As COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs continue, attentions are turning to one group: children. While research suggests that children rarely develop severe …

Meet the inflatable, origami-inspired structures

April 21st, 2021


The self-supporting structures that snap into place, and how a ban on fossil-fuel funding could entrench poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

In this …

Coronapod: could COVID vaccines cause blood clots? Here's what the science says

April 16th, 2021


Reports of rare and unusual blood clots have resulted in several vaccine roll outs being paused while scientists scramble to work out if the vaccines …

The sanitation crisis making rural America ill

April 14th, 2021


The lack of adequate sanitation in parts of the rural US, and physicists reassess muons’ magnetism.

In this episode:

00:45 How failing sanitation infrastructure is causing a US public health crisis

In the US, huge numbers …

Coronapod: A whistle-blower’s quest to take politics out of coronavirus surveillance

April 9th, 2021


Rick Bright exposed former president Trump's political meddling in the US COVID response. Now he is championing a new privately funded initiative to …

Audio long-read: Rise of the robo-writers

April 6th, 2021


In 2020, the artificial intelligence (AI) GPT-3 wowed the world with its ability to write fluent streams of text. Trained on billions of words from books, articles and websites, GPT-3 was the latest in a series of …

Coronapod: How to define rare COVID vaccine side effects

April 2nd, 2021


From a sore arm to anaphylaxis, a wide range of adverse events have been reported after people have received a COVID-19 vaccine. And yet it is unclear how many of these events are actually caused by the vaccine. In the …

Antimatter cooled with lasers for the first time

March 31st, 2021


Laser-cooled antimatter opens up new physics experiments, and the staggering economic cost of invasive species.

In this episode:

00:44 Cooling …

Coronapod: the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine - what you need to know

March 26th, 2021


Since the beginning of the pandemic the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been plagued by confusion and controversy. The vaccine has been authorised in over 100 countries, tens of millions of doses have been administered, …

Network of world's most accurate clocks paves way to redefine time

March 24th, 2021


A web of three optical atomic clocks show incredibly accurate measurements of time, and the trailblazing astronomer who found hints of dark matter.

In this episode:

00:44 Optical clock network

Optical atomic clocks have …

Coronapod: Why COVID antibody treatments may not be the answer

March 19th, 2021


In the early days of the pandemic, researchers raced to identify the most potent antibodies produced by the immune system in response to SAR-COV-2 …

The AI that argues back

March 17th, 2021


A computer that can participate in live debates against human opponents.

In this episode:

00:43 AI Debater

After thousands of years of human practise, it’s still not clear what makes a good argument. Despite this, …

Coronapod: COVID and pregnancy - what do we know?

March 12th, 2021


Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been many open questions about how COVID-19 could impact pregnant people and their babies – …

The smallest measurement of gravity ever recorded

March 10th, 2021


Physicists examine the gravitational pull between two tiny masses, and how fossil lampreys could shake-up the field of vertebrate evolution.

In this …

Coronapod: COVID's origins and the 'lab leak' theory

March 5th, 2021


Where did the SARS-CoV-2 virus come from? As a team of researchers from the WHO prepares to report on its investigation into the origins of the virus, we discuss the leading theories, including the controversial ‘lab …

COVID, 2020 and a year of lost research

March 3rd, 2021


The pandemic's unequal toll on the research community, and a newly discovered mitochondria-like symbiosis.

In this episode:

00:48 The pandemic's …

Coronapod: Google-backed database could help answer big COVID questions

February 26th, 2021


A repository with millions of data points will track immunity and variant spread.

To answer the big questions in the pandemic, researchers need access …

The quark of the matter: what's really inside a proton?

February 24th, 2021


The surprising structure of protons, and a method for growing small intestines for transplantation.

In this episode:

00:45 Probing the proton’s interior

Although studied for decades, the internal structure of the proton is …

Audio long-read: Thundercloud Project tackles a gamma-ray mystery

February 23rd, 2021


Researchers in Japan are trying to understand why thunderstorms fire out bursts of powerful radiation.

Gamma rays – the highest-energy electromagnetic …

Coronapod: our future with an ever-present coronavirus

February 19th, 2021


What’s the endgame for the COVID-19 pandemic? Is a world without SARS-CoV-2 possible, or is the virus here to stay?

A recent Nature survey suggests that the majority of experts expect the virus to become endemic, …

A mammoth discovery: oldest DNA on record from million-year-old teeth

February 17th, 2021


Researchers sequence the oldest DNA ever recovered, and the people bringing art and science together.

In this episode:

00:46 Million-year-old mammoth …

Coronapod: Is mixing COVID vaccines a good idea?

February 12th, 2021


The science behind how and when to give vaccines doses.

As vaccines are rolled out, massive logistical challenges are leading scientists and …

Human Genome Project - Nature’s editor-in-chief reflects 20 years on

February 10th, 2021


Looking back at the publication of the human genome, and how macrophages mend muscle.

In this episode:

00:45 The human genome sequence, 20 years on

This week marks the 20th anniversary of a scientific milestone – the …

Coronapod: Variants – what you need to know

February 5th, 2021


Researchers are scrambling to understand the biology of new coronavirus variants and the impact they might have on vaccine efficacy.

Around the …

Mysterious einsteinium spills its secrets

February 3rd, 2021


Exploring the properties of a vanishingly-rare artificial element, and the AI that generates new mathematical conjectures.

In this episode:

01:04 Einsteinium's secrets

Einsteinium is an incredibly scarce, artificial …

Coronapod: Fixing the world’s pandemic alarm

January 29th, 2021


A year ago the WHO’s coronavirus emergency alarm was largely ignored. Why?

On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, or PHEIC, to raise the …

Audio long-read: Push, pull and squeeze – the hidden forces that shape life

January 28th, 2021


Researchers are probing the subtle physical forces that sculpt cells and bodies.

At every stage of life, from embryo to adulthood, physical forces tug …

How a spinal device could relieve a neglected effect of cord injury

January 27th, 2021


A neuroprosthetic device restores blood-pressure control after spinal-cord injury, and identifying the neurons that help us understand others’ …

Hiring discrimination laid bare by mountain of data

January 20th, 2021


Analysis of hundreds of thousands of job searches shows that recruiters will discriminate based on ethnicity and gender, and the neural circuitry behind a brief period of forgetting.

In this episode:

00:47 Hiring …

Coronapod: The rise of RNA vaccines

January 14th, 2021


Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker and Elie Dolgin discuss RNA vaccines.

In this episode:


01:16 How RNA vaccines came to prominence

In less than a year, two …

The mysterious extinction of the dire wolf

January 13th, 2021


DNA clues point to how dire wolves went extinct, and a round-up of the main impacts of Brexit on science.

In this episode:

00:45 Dire wolf DNA

Dire …

Audio long-read: Controlling COVID with science - Iceland's story

December 30th, 2020


Lessons from Iceland, which utilised huge scientific resources to contain COVID-19.

When COVID reached the shores of Iceland back in March, the diminutive island brought it to heel with science. Here’s how they did it, …

Our podcast highlights of 2020

December 23rd, 2020


The Nature Podcast team select some of their favourite stories from the past 12 months.

In this episode:

00:32 Following the Viking footprint across …

Coronapod: The big COVID research papers of 2020

December 17th, 2020


Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker and Traci Watson discuss some of 2020's most significant coronavirus research papers.

In the final Coronapod of 2020, we dive into the scientific literature to reflect on the COVID-19 …

Could you prevent a pandemic? A very 2020 video game

December 16th, 2020


A video game provides players with insights into pandemic responses, and our annual festive fun.

In this episode:

01:02 Balancing responses in a video game pandemic

In the strategy video-game Plague Inc: The Cure, players …

Don’t think too deeply about the origin of life – it may have started in puddles

December 9th, 2020


How water chemistry is shifting researchers' thoughts on where life might have arisen, and a new model to tackle climate change equitably and economically.

In this episode:

00:46 A shallow start to life on Earth?

It’s long …

Norway's prime minister reveals plans to protect the world's oceans

December 3rd, 2020


Erna Solberg on fisheries, fossil fuels and the future of the oceans.

This week, world leaders are announcing a series of pledges to protect and …

Cellular ageing: turning back the clock restores vision in mice

December 2nd, 2020


A trio of genes may be key to making cells young again, and ultra precise measurement of a fundamental physics constant.

In this episode:

00:47 …

Neutrinos give insights into the workings of the Sun’s core

November 25th, 2020


Scientists have finally confirmed the existence of a CNO cycle fusion reaction in the Sun, and why women’s contraception research needs a reboot.

In this episode:

00:47 Detection of CNO neutrinos

Since the 1930s it has …

Coronapod: What could falling COVID death rates mean for the pandemic?

November 19th, 2020


In this episode:

00:44 An increase in survival rates

The COVID-19 mortality rate is falling around the world. We discuss the reasons behind this – the …

The troubling rise of facial recognition technology

November 18th, 2020


Scientists have grave concerns over ethical and societal impacts of facial-recognition technology. In this surveillance special, we dig into the …

Audio long-read: The enigmatic organisms of the Ediacaran Period

November 13th, 2020


New fossil finds and new techniques reveal evidence that early animals were more complex than previously thought.

The Cambrian explosion, around 541 million years ago, has long been regarded as a pivotal point in …

Revealed: the impact of noise and light pollution on birds

November 11th, 2020


Researchers try to unpick the complex relationship between sensory pollutants and bird reproduction, and how to combat organised crime in fisheries.

A powerful radio burst from a magnetic star

November 4th, 2020


Astronomers pin down the likely origins of mysterious fast radio bursts, and the latest on what the US election means for science.

In this episode:

00:46 The origins of mysterious fast radio bursts

The detection of a brief …

Talking politics, talking science

October 30th, 2020


Science and politics are not easy bedfellows - "Stick to the science" is a three part series which aims to find out why.

In the third and final …

Politics of the life scientific

October 29th, 2020


Science and politics are not easy bedfellows - "Stick to the science" is a three part series which aims to find out why.

In this episode we're asking …

A brief history of politics and science

October 28th, 2020


Science and politics are not easy bedfellows - "Stick to the science" is a three part series which aims to find out why.

In this episode we delve into …

Lab–grown brains and the debate over consciousness

October 28th, 2020


The chances of mini-brains becoming sentient, and a UK government decision threatens gender diversity in academia.

In this episode:

00:59 The ethics of …

The science behind an 'uncrushable' beetle’s exoskeleton

October 21st, 2020


The structure of a beetle’s super-strong exoskeleton could open up new engineering applications, and efforts to address diversity and equality …

Superconductivity gets heated

October 14th, 2020


In this episode:

00:44 Room-temperature superconductivity

For decades, scientists have been searching for a material that superconducts at room temperature. This week, researchers show a material that appears to do so, …

Audio long-read: What animals really think

October 9th, 2020


Researchers are aligning data on animal neuronal activity with behavioural information recorded on millisecond timescales, to uncover the signatures of internal brain states associated with things like moods and …

Trump vs. Biden: what's at stake for science?

October 7th, 2020


A conversation about the US election and the possible fallout for science, and are maternal behaviours learned or innate?

In this episode:

00:46 US election

In the United States the presidential race is underway, and …

Greenland's ice will melt faster than any time in the past 12,000 years

September 30th, 2020


How current and future ice loss in Greenland compares to the past, and using graphene to make ultra-sensitive radiation detectors.

In this episode:

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

September 23rd, 2020


Coaxing tiny colloid particles into a diamond structure, and manipulating cell death and homeostasis in neurodegenerative disease.

In this episode:

Genes chart Vikings' spread across Europe

September 16th, 2020


Mapping the migration of the Vikings, and the world’s smallest ultrasound device.

In this episode:

00:45 Following the Viking footprint across Europe

To …

A new way to cool computer chips — from within

September 9th, 2020


Keeping electronics from overheating, and how to include minority populations in genetic analyses.

In this episode:

00:46 Cool computers

Keeping …

Revealed: A clearer view of how general anaesthetics actually work

September 2nd, 2020


Engineering yeast to produce medicines, and the mechanism of anaesthetic action.

In this episode:

00:44 Making medicine with yeast

The tropane alkaloids are an important class of medicine, but they are produced …

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

August 26th, 2020


Protecting delicate quantum bits, and a competition to replicate findings from ancient computer code.

In this episode:

01:04 Quantum computers vs ionizing radiation

The quantum bits, or ‘qubits’, central to the operation …

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

August 19th, 2020


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 …

The chemical that turns locusts from Jekyll into Hyde

August 12th, 2020


Triggering swarming behaviour in locusts, and new insights into how humans synchronize.

In this episode:

01:56 Understanding swarming behaviour

Swarms …

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

August 7th, 2020


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 …

Why skin grows bigger as you stretch it

July 29th, 2020


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 skin

For decades it’s been known that stretching skin causes more skin to grow, but …

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

July 22nd, 2020


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 Americans

Two papers suggest that humans were present in the Americas thousands of …

Graphene’s magic angle reveals a new twist

July 15th, 2020


Probing the superconducting properties of graphene and bacteria that can use manganese to grow.

01:15 Magic angle graphene

If you sandwich two sheets of graphene together and twist one in just the right way, it can gain …

Coronapod: Massive coronavirus outbreak strikes iconic Californian prison after it rejected expert aid

July 10th, 2020


In this episode:

01:47 Disaster in San Quentin

San Quentin prison is facing a massive outbreak, we dig into how they got there. The crisis has arisen despite warnings from experts, and offers of free tests, which were …

The six-year-old space agency with hopes for Mars

July 8th, 2020


On this week’s podcast, an ambitious Mars mission from a young space agency, and how crumbling up rocks could help fight climate change.

In this …

Coronapod: Lessons from pandemic ‘war-game’ simulations

July 3rd, 2020


Next week, we’ll be wrapping up Coronapod in its current form. Please fill out our short survey to let us know your thoughts on the show.

In this …

What the atomic structure of enamel tells us about tooth decay

July 1st, 2020


On this week’s podcast, how the molecular structure of tooth enamel may impact decay, and a mysterious planetary core from a half-formed gas giant.

In …

Coronapod: The state of the pandemic, six months in

June 26th, 2020


In a few weeks, we’ll be wrapping up Coronapod in its current form. Please fill out our short survey to let us know your thoughts on the show.

In this episode:

03:13 What have we learnt?

We take a look back over the past …

How playing poker can help you make decisions

June 24th, 2020


On this week’s podcast, life lessons from poker, and keeping things civil during peer review.

In this episode:

00:44 Deciding to play poker

When writer Maria Konnikova wanted to better understand the human decision making …

Coronapod: Dexamethasone, the cheap steroid that could cut coronavirus deaths

June 19th, 2020


In this episode:

00:37 Lessons from the Ebola outbreak

We get an update on the pandemic response in the African countries still reeling from the 2014 …

Incest in the elite of Neolithic Ireland

June 17th, 2020


This week, researchers make diamonds tough, and evidence of incest in a 5,000 year old tomb.

In this episode:

00:51 Tough versus hard

Diamonds are famed …

Long Read Podcast: Enigmatic neutron stars may soon give up their secrets

June 15th, 2020


An instrument on the International Space Station is providing new insights into some of the Universe’s most baffling objects.

Neutron stars have …

Coronapod: The Surgisphere scandal that rocked coronavirus drug research

June 12th, 2020


In this episode:

00:52 Testing disparities

As testing capacities increase, it is clear that not everyone has equal access. But grassroots organisations are trying to correct this inequity. We hear about one researcher’s …

The quantum space lab

June 11th, 2020


This week, the spaceborne lab that allows investigation of quantum states, and the debate surrounding how mountain height is maintained.

Shutdown Stem

On the tenth of June, Nature joined #ShutdownStem #strike4blacklives.

#ShutDownSTEM and the Nature Podcast

June 9th, 2020


On the tenth of June, Nature will be joining #ShutdownStem #strike4blacklives. We will be educating ourselves and defining actions we can take to help eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM . Please join us.

Coronapod: The heavy toll on people of colour

June 5th, 2020


In this episode:

00:45 Black Lives Matter

The killing of George Floyd, a black man, by police in Minnesota has sent a shockwave of anger around the …

Lab-made skin grows its own hair

June 3rd, 2020


This week, a new method to grow hairy skin in a dish, and new research takes aim at the RNA world hypothesis.

In this episode:

00:45 Hairy Skin

Researchers may have developed a way to make skin that can grow hair in the …

Coronapod: The divisive hydroxychloroquine study that's triggering mass confusion

May 29th, 2020


00:59 Chloroquine on rocky ground

President Trump's preferred coronavirus treatment is the focus of a new study suggesting it could cause more harm …

Super-efficient catalyst boosts hopes for hydrogen fuel

May 27th, 2020


This week, perfecting catalysts that split water using light, and the mystery of missing matter in the Universe.

In this episode:

00:44 Water splitting

After decades of research scientists have managed to achieve near …

Coronapod: Hope and caution greet vaccine trial result, and Trump vs the WHO

May 22nd, 2020


01:38 Trump vs the WHO

President Trump has given the WHO an ultimatum in a tweet, threatening to pull out of the organisation within 30 days unless …

A synthetic eye that 'sees' like a human

May 20th, 2020


This week, crafting an artificial eye with the benefits of a human's, and understanding how disk-galaxies formed by peering back in time.

In this episode:

00:45 Biomimetic eye

Researchers fabricate an artificial eye …

Coronapod: The misinformation pandemic, and science funding fears

May 15th, 2020


With questionable coronavirus content flooding airwaves and online channels, what’s being done to limit its impact? 

In this episode:


00:57 The …

The super-sleuth who spots trouble in science papers, and the puzzle of urban smog

May 13th, 2020


This week, Elisabeth Bik tells us about her work uncovering potential image manipulation, and a new route for particulate pollution formation.

In this …

Coronapod: The dangers of ignoring outbreaks in homeless shelters, plus coronavirus and drug abuse

May 8th, 2020


Outbreaks among those unable to isolate are spreading under the radar. We hear about the researchers scrambling to get a handle on the situation.

In …

07 May 2020: Galileo and the science deniers, and physicists probe the mysterious pion

May 6th, 2020


This week, a new way to study elusive subatomic particles - pions, and the story of Galileo remains relevant in a time of modern science denialism.

In this episode:

00:46 Probing pions

Pions are incredibly unstable and …

Coronapod: What use are contact tracing apps? And new hopes for coronavirus drug remdesivir

May 1st, 2020


The Coronapod team pick through the latest news, plus we hear from the researchers making lemonade out of lockdown lemons.

In this episode:

01:10 Can contact-tracing apps help?

Governments around the world are banking on …

30 April 2020: A sniff test for consciousness, and how to cut antibiotics use — with vaccines

April 29th, 2020


This week, how the ‘sniff-response’ can help clinicians determine a patient's state of consciousness, and how vaccines could help drive down …

Coronapod: The race to expand antibody testing

April 24th, 2020


Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss the role of antibody tests in controlling the pandemic, and how public-health spending could …

23 April 2020: Denisovan DNA in modern Europeans, and the birth of an unusual celestial object

April 22nd, 2020


This week, evidence of ancient hominin DNA in modern human genomes, and the origin of a snowman-shaped object at the edge of the solar system.

In this …

Coronapod: Troubling news

April 17th, 2020


Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss Trump withholding funds from the WHO, and how COVID-19 kills. We also hear about controlling …

Coronapod: An untapped resource

April 10th, 2020


Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss the labs struggling to get involved in diagnostic testing, and should you be wearing a mask?

In …

09 April 2020: A plastic-recycling enzyme, and supercooled molecules

April 8th, 2020


This week, a new enzyme speeds up the breakdown of plastic bottles, and a method to cool molecules to a fraction above absolute zero.

In this episode:

Coronapod: Ramping up responses

April 3rd, 2020


Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss the latest on the British response, and what low- and middle-income countries have done to prepare for the pandemic.

In this episode:

01:33 Testing in the UK

This week, …

02 April 2020: Dating an ancient hominid skull, and an ancient Antarctic rainforest

April 1st, 2020


This week, reassessing the age of the ‘Broken Hill skull’, and unearthing evidence of an ancient forest near the South Pole.

In this episode:

01:25 A …

Coronapod: Old treatments and new hopes

March 27th, 2020


Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss efforts to develop treatments for COVID-19.

In this episode:

02:00 A push for plasma

In New York, hospitals are preparing to infuse patients with the antibody-rich …

25 March 2020: Ultra-fast electrical switches, and computing heart health

March 25th, 2020


This week, a speedy, yet simple switch, and a video-based AI helps assess heart health.

In this episode:

01:57 Speedy switches

Researchers have …

Podcast Extra: Rosamund Pike on portraying Marie Curie

March 21st, 2020


Radioactive is a new biopic on Marie Skłodowska Curie with Rosamund Pike taking on the role of Curie. This Podcast Extra is an extended version of …

Coronapod: “Test, test, test!”

March 20th, 2020


In the first of our new podcast series, Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss the epidemiology needed to control the Covid-19 …

19 March 2020: Rosamund Pike in Radioactive, and the resurgence of Russian science

March 18th, 2020


This week, we speak to Rosamund Pike about her experience portraying Marie Skłodowska Curie, and we find out how science in Russia is changing after years of decline.

In this episode:

01:43 Radioactive

British actor …

Podcast Extra: Coronavirus - science in the pandemic

March 17th, 2020


In this Podcast Extra, we hear from epidemiologists, genomicists and social scientists about how they're working to tackle the coronavirus and what …

Long Read Podcast: Are feelings more than skin deep?

March 13th, 2020


Research in the 1960s and 1970s suggested that emotional expressions – smiling when happy, scowling when angry, and so on – were universal. This idea …

12 March 2020: An ancient bird trapped in amber, and life beneath the ocean floor

March 11th, 2020


This week, a newly discovered bird species from the time of the dinosaurs, and microbes hundreds of metres below the ocean floor.

In this episode:

00:44 A tiny, toothy, ancient bird

Researchers have found a perfectly …

05 March 2020: Ultrafast machine vision, and quicker crystal creation

March 4th, 2020


This week, improving computers’ image identification, and a new method for growing crystals.

00:44 Upgrading computer sight

Researchers have designed a sensor that allows machines to assess images in nanoseconds. Research …

Backchat: Covering coronavirus

February 28th, 2020


In this edition of Backchat we take a deep dive into Nature's coverage of coronavirus. As cases climb, what are some of the challenges involved in …

27 February 2020: Mapping fruit flies’ neural circuitry, and perfecting the properties of metallic glass

February 26th, 2020


This week, the brain pathways of egg laying in fruit flies, and preventing fractures in metallic glass.

In this episode:

00:46 Working out the wiring behind fruit fly behaviour

Researchers have identified a neural circuit …

Podcast Extra: ‘There is lots of anxiety’: a scientist’s view from South Korea

February 26th, 2020


In recent days, the number of coronavirus cases have surged in South Korea.

In this Podcast Extra Nick Howe speaks to Bartosz Gryzbowski, a researcher …

20 February 2020: Improving battery charging, and harnessing energy from the air

February 19th, 2020


This week, machine learning helps batteries charge faster, and using bacterial nanowires to generate electricity from thin air.

In this episode:

00:46 Better battery charging

A machine learning algorithm reveals how to …

13 February 2020: The puzzling structures of muddled materials, and paving the way for the quantum internet

February 12th, 2020


This week, uncovering the structure of materials with useful properties, and quantum entanglement over long distances.

In this episode:

00:45 Analysing …

06 February 2020: Out-of-office emails and work-life-balance, and an update on the novel coronavirus outbreak

February 5th, 2020


This week, how setting an out-of-office email could help promote a kinder academic culture.

In this episode:

00:47 Being truly out of office

Last year, …

30 January 2020: Linking Australian bushfires to climate change, and Asimov's robot ethics

January 29th, 2020


This week, establishing the role of climate change in Australian bushfires, and revisiting Isaac Asimov’s ethical rules for robots.

In this episode:

23 January: How stress can cause grey hair, and the attitude needed to tackle climate change

January 22nd, 2020


This week, why stress makes mice turn grey, and how to think about climate change.

In this episode:

00:45 Going grey

Anecdotal evidence has long suggested stressas a cause of grey hair. Now, a team of researchers have …

16 January 2020: Strange objects at the centre of the galaxy, and improving measurements of online activity

January 15th, 2020


In this episode:


00:45 Observing the centre of the galaxy

Researchers have uncovered a population of dust-enshrouded objects orbiting the supermassive …

09 January 2020: A look ahead at science in 2020

January 8th, 2020


In this episode of the podcast, Nature reporter Davide Castelvecchi joins us to talk about the big science events to look out for in 2020.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

01 January 2020: Our reporters’ top picks of 2019

January 1st, 2020


In this special round-up episode of the Nature Podcast, our reporters choose their favourite podcast piece of 2019.

In this episode:

00:33 A sole …

Nature PastCast, December 1920: The Quantum Theory

December 27th, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.

In this episode, we’re heading back to …

Podcast Extra: From climate lawyer to climate activist

December 23rd, 2019


2019 will likely go down as a pivotal year for public discourse on climate change. It was the year of Greta Thunberg, the climate school strikes, and …

Podcast Extra: Epigenetics

December 20th, 2019


As part of Nature's 150th anniversary celebrations, Nick Howe dives into the topic of epigenetics.

Since its origin in 1942, the term 'epigenetics' has been repeatedly defined and redefined. There's always been hype …

19 December 2019: The three-body problem, and festive fun

December 18th, 2019


We’ve launched our 2019 listener survey. We want to know what you think of the show to help us make a great podcast. You can find the survey here. …

Long Read Podcast: How to save coral reefs as the world warms

December 16th, 2019


Research groups around the world are exploring new ways of protecting coral reefs from climate change.

This is an audio version of our feature: These …

12 December 2019: Social priming, and acoustic science

December 11th, 2019


We recently launched our 2019 listener survey. We want to hear your views on the show to help us make it even better, so please help us by filling in the survey, thanks!

In this episode:

00:45 What’s next for social …

05 December 2019: Genomic sequencing and the source of solar winds

December 4th, 2019


We recently launched our 2019 listener survey. We want to hear your views on the show to help us make it even better. You can find the survey here. Thanks!

In this episode:


00:45 The GenomeAsia 100k project

Researchers …

Nature Pastcast, November 1869: The first issue of Nature

November 29th, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.

In this episode, we’re heading back to …

28 November 2019: Nature’s 2019 PhD survey, and older women in sci-fi novels

November 27th, 2019


This week, delving into the results of the latest graduate student survey, and assessing ageism in science fiction literature.

Hosted on Acast. See

21 November 2019: A new antibiotic from nematode guts, grant funding ‘lotteries’, and butterfly genomes

November 20th, 2019


This week, an antibiotic that targets hard-to-treat bacteria, and a roundup of the latest science news.

In this episode:

00:49 Discovering darobactin

Researchers looked inside nematode guts and have identified a new …

14 November 2019: A rapid, multi-material 3D printer, and a bacterium’s role in alcoholic hepatitis

November 13th, 2019


This week, a new 3D printer allows quick shifting between many materials, and understanding the link between gut microbes and liver disease.

00:46 A new dimension for 3D printers

A new nozzle lets a 3D printer switch …

Backchat: Nature's 150th anniversary

November 7th, 2019


This week marks 150 years since the first issue of Nature was published, on 4 November 1869. In this anniversary edition of Backchat, the panel take …

07 November 2019: The fossil of an upright ape, science in 150 years, and immunization progress around the world

November 6th, 2019


This week, insights into the evolution of walking upright, how science needs to change in the next 150 years, and the unfinished agenda for vaccines.

Nature Pastcast, October 1993: Carl Sagan uses Galileo to search for signs of life

October 31st, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.

In the early 1990s, a team of …

31 October 2019: An AI masters the video game StarCraft II, and measuring arthropod abundance

October 30th, 2019


This week, a computer beats the best human players in StarCraft II, and a huge study of insects and other arthropods.

In this episode:

00:45 Learning to play

By studying and experimenting, an AI has reached Grandmaster …

Podcast Extra: Detecting gravitational waves

October 28th, 2019


As part of Nature's 150th anniversary celebrations, we look back at an important moment in the history of science.

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24 October 2019: Quantum supremacy and ancient mammals

October 23rd, 2019


This week, a milestone in quantum computing, and rethinking early mammals.

In this episode:

00:43 A quantum computing milestone

A quantum computer is reported to have achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ – performing an operation …

17 October 2019: Mapping childhood mortality, and evolving ‘de novo’ genes

October 16th, 2019


This week, investigating child mortality rates at a local level, and building genes from non-coding DNA.

In this episode:

00:43 A regional view of childhood mortality

Researchers map countries' progress towards the UN’s …

10 October 2019: Estimating earthquake risk, and difficulties for deep-learning

October 9th, 2019


This week, a method for predicting follow-up earthquakes, and the issues with deep learning systems in AI.

In this episode:

00:47 Which is the big …

Podcast Extra: Q&A with Nobel Prize winner John B Goodenough

October 9th, 2019


In this Podcast Extra, we speak to John B Goodenough, from the University of Texas at Austin, in the US. Today, John was announced as one of the joint winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Reporter Benjamin …

Podcast Extra: Q&A with Nobel Prize winner Didier Queloz

October 8th, 2019


In this Podcast Extra, we speak to physicist Didier Queloz, who was announced today as one of the joint winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics. Shortly after the winners were announced, Didier took part in a press …

03 October 2019: Leapfrogging speciation, and migrating mosquitoes

October 2nd, 2019


This week, how new species may form by sexual imprinting, and a previously unknown way for mosquitoes to migrate.

In this episode:

00:43 New species by sexual imprinting?

A Central American frog chooses mates resembling …

Nature PastCast, September 1963: Plate tectonics – the unifying theory of Earth sciences

September 27th, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key …

26 September 2019: Mysteries of the ancient mantle, and the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

September 25th, 2019


This week, diamond-containing rocks may help uncover secrets of the Earth’s mantle, and a reflection on science since the Hitchhikers Guide to the …

Podcast Extra: Absurd scientific advice

September 21st, 2019


How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems is the new book from XKCD cartoonist Randall Munroe. In this Podcast Extra, Randall talks about the book, its inspiration and the bizarre thought …

Backchat: Covering Climate Now

September 19th, 2019


In this episode:

00:44 A global media collaboration

This week, Nature is taking part in the Covering Climate Now project. What is it, and why has

19 September 2019: XKCD, and Extinction Rebellion

September 18th, 2019


This week, absurd advice from XKCD’s Randall Munroe, and a conversation with climate lawyer turned activist Farhana Yamin.

In this episode:


00:46 How to do things (badly)

Cartoonist Randall Munroe tell us about his new …

12 September 2019: Modelling early embryos, and male-dominated conferences

September 11th, 2019


This week, modelling embryonic development, and an analysis of male dominated conferences.

In this episode:

00:44 Imitating implantation

Researchers have created a system that uses stem cells to model the early stages of …

05 September 2019: Persistent antibiotic resistance, and modelling hot cities

September 4th, 2019


This week, Salmonella spreading antibiotic resistance, and the drivers of urban heat islands.

In this episode:


00:46 Antibiotic resistance reservoirs

Researchers have identified how Salmonella ‘persister’ cells can spread …

Nature PastCast, August 1975: Antibodies’ ascendency to blockbuster drug status

August 30th, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.

They’re found in home-testing kits for …

29 August 2019: Carbon-based computing, and depleting ancient-human genomes

August 28th, 2019


This week, a computer chip based on carbon nanotubes, and the potential pitfalls of sequencing ancient-human remains.

In this episode:


00:45 A nanotube microprocessor

Scientists are looking beyond silicon, by constructing …

22 August 2019: Combating online hate speech, and identifying early fossils

August 21st, 2019


This week, the resilience of internet hate groups, and searching for early life.

In this episode:

00:46 Tackling internet hate

Researchers have been modelling how hate groups interact online, and have come up with …

15 August 2019: Atomic espionage in the Second World War, and exploring the early Universe

August 14th, 2019


This week, spilling nuclear secrets, and a mysterious period in the Universe’s history.

In this episode:

00:46 "The most dangerous spy in history"

We hear the story of Klaus Fuchs, who gave away the details of building an …

08 August 2019: A mindset for success, and mercury in fish

August 7th, 2019


This week, a mindset to improve school performance, and the complex story of how mercury accumulates in fish.

In this episode:

00:46 Growth Mindset

How …

01 August 2019: The placental microbiome, and advances in artificial intelligence

July 31st, 2019


This week, whether the placenta is lacking microbes, and new hardware for artificial intelligence.

In this episode:

00:43 Microbe-free placentas?

New research suggests that the placenta is sterile. 

Research article: de …

Nature PastCast, July 1942: Secret science in World War 2

July 26th, 2019


This episode was first broadcast in July 2013.

This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes …

25 July 2019: The history of climate change, and making vaccines mandatory

July 24th, 2019


This week, how the climate has changed throughout history, and why enforcing vaccination should be done with care.

In this episode:

00:39 Climate …

Backchat July 2019: Breaking news, audience-led journalism and human gene editing

July 19th, 2019


In this episode:

01:01 Breaking News

The first image of a black hole took the world by storm, but what was it like reporting such a quickly developing …

18 July 2019: Quantum logic gates in silicon, and moving on from lab disasters

July 17th, 2019


This week, a new advance in silicon based quantum computing and experiences of how to recover when disaster strikes.

In this episode:

00:45 Quantum logic

A fast and accurate two-qubit logic gate has been designed in …

11 July 2019: The moon, past, present, and future

July 10th, 2019


This week, an extended chat about all things lunar with Alex Witze.

Instead of a regular edition of the Nature Podcast, this week we’re celebrating …

04 July 2019: Machine learning in materials science, and sand’s sustainability

July 3rd, 2019


This week, using an algorithm to find properties in materials science, and the global consequences of sand-mining.

In this episode:

00:47 Predicting properties

A word-association algorithm is reading millions of abstracts …

Nature PastCast, June 1876: Gorillas, man-eating monsters?

June 28th, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.

According to the fables of early …

27 June 2019: Callused feet, and protein-based archaeology

June 26th, 2019


This week, how going barefoot affects what your feet can feel, and uncovering history with ancient proteins.

In this episode:

00:44 A sole sensation

A …

20 June 2019: Non-native species, and a blood-inspired robot battery

June 19th, 2019


This week, what makes birds invasive, and a robotic fish powered by a blood-like battery.

In this episode:

00:44 How do alien bird species establish themselves?

Researchers have been looking at how bird species settle in …

13 June 2019: Mighty magnets, and aerosols in the atmosphere

June 12th, 2019


This week, a record-breaking magnetic field, and aerosols’ potential effects on the atmosphere.

In this episode:

00:45 Making massive magnets

06 June 2019: Microbes modifying medicine and kickstarting plate tectonics

June 5th, 2019


This week, how gut microbes might be affecting drugs, and a new theory on the beginning of plate tectonics.

In this episode:

00:45 Microbes …

Nature PastCast May 1983: Discovering the ozone layer hole

May 31st, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key …

30 May 2019: Cold fusion, gender parity in universities, and studying wildfires

May 30th, 2019


This week, looking back at cold fusion, a ranking of gender balance in universities, and measuring the impact of wildfires.

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23 May 2019: Pre-industrial plankton populations, European science, and ancient fungi.

May 22nd, 2019


This week, how climate change has affected plankton, the future of European science, and evidence of an ancient fungus.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

16 May 2019: Recoding genomes, and material from the Moon's far side

May 15th, 2019


This week, rewriting the script of life, and a trip to the far side of the Moon.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

09 May 2019: Urban vs Rural BMI, and the health of rivers

May 8th, 2019


This week, body mass increases around the world, and river connections in decline.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

02 May 2019: China's growing science network, and talking brain signals

May 1st, 2019


This week, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and translating brain patterns into speech.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Nature PastCast April 1953: The other DNA papers

April 26th, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.

Over 60 years ago, James Watson and …

25 April 2019: Tiny earthquakes, the genetics of height, and how US-China politics is affecting research

April 25th, 2019


This week we’ve got an extended News Chat between presenter Benjamin Thompson and Nature's European Bureau Chief Nisha Gaind. They discuss a new way to identify tiny earthquakes, new insights into the heritability of …

18 April 2019: Reviving brains, lightning, and spring books

April 17th, 2019


This week, restoring function in dead pig brains, spring science books, and the structure of lightning.

If you have any questions about the partly-revived brains study, then the reporters at Nature are keen to answer …

Podcast Extra: The first image of a black hole

April 11th, 2019


This week, researchers released the first image of a black hole at the centre of the M87 galaxy. In this special News Chat, Nature reporter Davide …

11 April 2019: Heart failure and vacuum field fluctuations.

April 10th, 2019


This week, a new mouse model for heart failure and characterising energy fluctuations in empty space.

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04 April 2019: MDMA and the malleable mind, and keeping skin young

April 3rd, 2019


This week, why MDMA could make social interactions more rewarding, and how your skin keeps itself youthful.

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Backchat March 2019: Calls for a research moratorium, and the evolution of science reporting

March 29th, 2019


In this month’s roundtable, our reporters discuss calls to pause heritable genome-editing research, and how science journalism has changed in the past 20 years.

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28 March 2019: Human impacts on Mount Kilimanjaro, sex differences in pain, and a crystal-based cooling method

March 27th, 2019


This week, how humans are affecting Kilimanjaro's ecosystems, differences in pain based on biological sex, and refrigerating with crystals.

Hosted on …

21 March 2019: Antibiotics in orchards, and rethinking statistical significance

March 20th, 2019


This week, a plan to spray antibiotics onto orange trees, and is it time to retire statistical significance?

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Nature Pastcast March 1918: The eclipse expedition to put Einstein to the test

March 15th, 2019


This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our Pastcast series, bringing to life key moments in the history of science.

As the First World War draws to an …

14 March 2019: Ebola in DRC, a new HIV treatment, and the proposed US budget.

March 14th, 2019


Instead of a regular edition of the Nature Podcast, this week we’ve got an extended News Chat between Benjamin Thompson and Amy Maxmen. They discuss …

07 March 2019: Coastal carbon-sinks, mobile health, and Mileva Marić

March 6th, 2019


This week, wetlands' ability to store carbon, mobile health, and the story of Mileva Marić.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

28 February 2019: Cuckoo parasitism, topological materials, and cannabinoids in yeast.

February 27th, 2019


This week, the parenting strategies of a tropical cuckoo, increasing the number of topological materials, and growing cannabinoids in yeast.

Hosted …

21 February 2019: Mouse cell atlases and cataloguing viruses

February 20th, 2019


This week, mapping every cell in a mouse embryo and the benefits of cataloguing all the viruses on Earth.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

14 February 2019: Atherosclerosis and disruptive science

February 13th, 2019


This week, the links between atherosclerosis and sleep-deprivation, and how team size affects research outputs.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

07 February 2019: Massive chemical libraries, and CRISPR-CasX

February 6th, 2019


This week, virtual drug discovery, and a new addition to the CRISPR toolkit.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

31 January 2019: Women of the periodic table, and harvesting energy from Wi-Fi

January 30th, 2019


This week, the female chemists who helped build the periodic table, and harnessing the extra energy in Wi-Fi signals.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

24 January 2019: Economic downturns and black holes

January 23rd, 2019


This week, the effects of recessions on public health, and simulating supermassive black holes.

Hosted on Acast. See for more …

17 January 2019: RNA splicing in yeast, and a walking fossil

January 16th, 2019


This week, investigating introns’ roles, and reanimating a fossil.

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Podcast Extra: The search for a rare disease treatment

January 11th, 2019


Nick Sireau’s sons have a rare genetic disease called alkaptonuria, which can lead to body tissues becoming brittle, causing life long health issues.

In this Podcast Extra, Geoff Marsh speaks to Nick and to the physician …

10 January 2019: Fast Radio Bursts and new year future gazing

January 9th, 2019


This week, detecting intergalactic radio bursts, and seeing what’s in store for science in 2019.

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26 December 2018: Our reporters' top picks of 2018

December 26th, 2018


In this special round-up episode of the Nature Podcast, a few of our regular reporters choose their favourite podcast piece of 2018, and explain why …

20 December 2018: Quantum physics adds a twist, and festive fun

December 19th, 2018


The Nature Podcast’s 2018 end of year special, including songs, books, our annual quiz, and more!

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Podcast Extra: Evidence of a ‘transmissible’ Alzheimer’s protein

December 13th, 2018


New research suggests that a key protein involved in the neurodegenerative disease can be transferred between brains.

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13 December 2018: The art of performing science, and chiral chemistry

December 12th, 2018


This week, ‘performing’ experiments, and making mirrored molecules.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

06 December 2018: Heart xenotransplants and phage fighting

December 5th, 2018


This week, improving heart xenotransplants, and soil bacteria versus phages.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

29 November 2018: Atomic clock accuracy and wind farm worries

November 28th, 2018


This week, measuring gravity’s strength with clocks, and worries over wind farms’ wakes.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

22 November 2018: An ion-drive aeroplane, and DNA rearrangement.

November 21st, 2018


This week, a solid-state plane engine with no moving parts, and ‘mosaicism’ in brain cells.

Hosted on Acast. See for more …

15 November 2018: Barnard’s Star, and clinical trials

November 14th, 2018


This week, evidence of a nearby exoplanet, and clinical trials in a social media world.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

08 November 2018: Designer cells, and a Breakthrough researcher

November 7th, 2018


This week, building a cell from the bottom up, and a Breakthough Prize winner

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

01 November 2018: Mood forecasting technology, and where are the WIMPs?

October 31st, 2018


This week, the role that mood forecasting technology may play in suicide prevention, and a 'crisis' in dark matter research.

Hosted on Acast. See

18 October 2018: Cannabis horticulture and the Sun's place in history

October 17th, 2018


This week, how science can help Canadian cannabis growers and a potted history of the Sun.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

11 October 2018: The life of a new Nobel laureate and organised ants

October 10th, 2018


This week, what life is like when you've just won a Nobel prize, and how a vestigial organ helps ants get organised.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

04 October 2018: Latent HIV, bird personalities and the Hyabusa2 mission

October 3rd, 2018


This week, targeting latent HIV, the breeding behaviour of bold birds, and an update on a near-Earth asteroid mission.

Hosted on Acast. See

27 September 2018: A wearable biosensor and a mechanical metamaterial.

September 26th, 2018


This week, an ultra-thin, wearable biosensor and a multi-shape, mechanical metamaterial.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

20 September 2018: Negative emissions and swarms under strain

September 19th, 2018


This week, the ethics of sucking carbon-dioxide out of the atmosphere and bee swarms under strain.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

13 September 2018: The oldest drawing and the energy of data

September 12th, 2018


This week, the oldest drawing ever found, and the hidden energy costs of data.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

6 September 2018: Space junk, and a physicist’s perspective on life

September 5th, 2018


This week, keeping an eye on space junk, and how a physicist changed our understanding of life.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

30 August 2018: Gravity’s big G and the evolution of babies

August 29th, 2018


This week, an early mammal relative’s babies, and new attempts to pin down the strength of gravity.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Backchat August 2018: Audio reporting, audience feedback, and Brexit

August 24th, 2018


In this month’s roundtable, audio vs print reporting, returning to Brexit, and finding out about our audience.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

23 August 2018: Quantum computers and labour division in ants

August 22nd, 2018


This week, colony size and labour division in ants, and simulating a quantum system on a quantum computer.

Hosted on Acast. See for …

16 August 2018: Bumblebees, opioids, and ocean weather

August 15th, 2018


This week, more worries for bees, modelling the opioid crisis, and rough weather for seas.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

8 August 2018: Fox aggression, microbiota and geoengineering

August 8th, 2018


This week, shaping the gut microbiota, geoengineering’s effect on farming, and the genetics of fox aggression.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

02 August 2018: Zebra finch colour perception, terraforming Mars, and attributing extreme weather

August 1st, 2018


This week, how a bird sees colour, potential problems with terraforming Mars, and linking extreme weather to our changing climate.

Hosted on Acast. …

26 July 2018: Conservation, automata, and pet DNA tests

July 25th, 2018


This week, automata through the ages, problems with pet DNA tests, and a conservation conundrum.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

19 July 2018: DNA scaffolds, climate-altering microbes, and a robot chemist

July 18th, 2018


This week, tougher DNA nanostructures, climate-altering permafrost microbes, and using a robot to discover chemical reactions.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

12 July 2018: Rats, reefs, and career streaks

July 11th, 2018


This week, rats and coral reefs, charting successful careers streaks, and Cape Town’s water crisis.

Hosted on Acast. See for more …

05 July 2018: A DNA computer, the koala genome, and the invisibility of LGBTQ+ researchers

July 4th, 2018


This week, investigating the koala genome, the issues facing LGBTQ+ researchers, and a DNA-based neural network.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Backchat June 2018: Lab health, email briefings, and CRISPR

June 29th, 2018


In this month’s roundtable, we discuss lab health, email briefings, and how science stories can affect the stock market.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

27 June 2018: Air pollution, sick plants, and stress

June 27th, 2018


This week, the relationship between air pollution and infant death in Africa, stressed brains, and diagnosing sick plants from afar.

Hosted on Acast. …

21 June 2018: Pancreatic cancer, silica cages, and AI bias

June 20th, 2018


This week, pancreatic cancer-related weight loss, tiny silica cages, and bias in Artificial Intelligence algorithms.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

14 June 2018: Baobab tree death, zebrafish stem cells, and ice in Antarctica

June 13th, 2018


This week, the mysterious death of African baobab trees, Antarctica’s past, present, and future, and how zebrafish protect their stem cells.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

07 June 2018: Magnetic animal migration, cold enzymes, and mouse memory

June 6th, 2018


This week, making enzymes work better in the cold, short-term memory production in mice, and magnetic detection in animals.

Hosted on Acast. See

31 May 2018: Boosting diversity in physics, and life after an asteroid impact

May 30th, 2018


This week, boosting diversity in physics graduate programs, and life’s recovery after a massive asteroid impact.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

24 May 2018: Climate costs, cleverer cab journeys, and peering through matter with muons

May 23rd, 2018


This week, estimating the economic cost of climate change, a new solution to the Minimum Fleet Problem, and the flourishing field of muography.

17 May 2018: Probing the proton, research misconduct, and making sense of mystery genes

May 16th, 2018


This week, peering inside the proton, identifying the pitfalls of research misconduct, and identifying what bacterial genes of unknown function actually do.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

10 May 2018: AI neuroscience, liquid crystals, and depression in academia

May 9th, 2018


This week, artificial intelligence recreates our sense of place, liquid crystals deliver cargo, and experiencing depression in academia.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

03 May 2018: Building early embryos, the fear response in mice, and ancient rhino remains

May 2nd, 2018


This week, constructing early embryos, how mice react to danger, and what an ancient butchered rhino is telling us about hominin migration.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

26 April 2018: Mini brains, and an updated enzyme image

April 25th, 2018


This week, the ethical questions raised by model minds, and an updated view on an enzyme that keeps chromosomes protected.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Backchat April 2018: Sexual harassment, social media, and celebrity scientists

April 20th, 2018


In this month’s roundtable, we discuss celebrity scientists, sexual harassment in research, and the science behind a social media scandal.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

19 April 2018: Synchronised shrimp, supernova science, and spring books.

April 18th, 2018


This week, tiny sea creatures with potentially big effects, the science of a supernova, and a roundup of spring books.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

12 April 2018: The power of remote sensing, and watching a neutron star glitch

April 11th, 2018


This week, looking for glitchy signals from neutron stars, and using remote sensing in research.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

05 April 2018: Human's influence on the Mississippi and 'dirty' mice

April 4th, 2018


This week, dissecting human influence on the Mississippi's floods, and getting 'dirty' mice into the lab.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

29 March 2018: AI in chemistry, and liquid droplets in living cells.

March 28th, 2018


This week, testing a neural network's chemistry skills, and what the physics of droplets is teaching us about the biology of cells.

Hosted on Acast. …

22 March 2018: Mexican cavefish, the gut microbiome, and a wearable brain scanner.

March 21st, 2018


This week, glucose metabolism in Mexican cavefish, the effect of non-antibiotic drugs on gut microbes, and a wearable brain scanner.

Hosted on Acast. …

15 March 2018: Geoengineering Antarctica and increasing NMR’s resolution.

March 14th, 2018


This week, geoengineering glaciers to prevent sea level rise, and using diamonds to improve NMR’s resolution.

Hosted on Acast. See

8 March 2018: Surprising graphene superconductors, and 50 years dreaming of electric sheep.

March 7th, 2018


This week, graphene’s latest superpower, and a retrospective of a sci-fi classic.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

1 March 2018: Brain waves and a fingerprint from the early Universe

February 28th, 2018


This week, the landscape of childhood cancers, physicists find a fingerprint from the early Universe, and brain waves cause a splash.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Backchat February 2018: Luck, debate, and the quantum internet

February 23rd, 2018


Our reporters discuss the role of serendipity in science, how to cover the iterative nature of research, and what the quantum internet might become.

22 February 2018: A focus on adolescence

February 21st, 2018


This week, a teenage special: defining adolescence; high school researchers; and the science of teen risk taking.

Hosted on Acast. See

15 February 2018: Optical clocks, healthy ageing, and fieldwork during pregnancy

February 14th, 2018


This week, refocusing ageing research, a transportable optical clock, and researching during pregnancy.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

08 February 2018: Tough timber, magpie intelligence, and invasive crayfish

February 7th, 2018


This week, crayfish clones in Madagascar, the social smarts of magpies, and building tougher wood.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

01 February 2018: Stone Age tools in India, and coral reefs in crisis

January 31st, 2018


This week, reframing humans' arrival in India, and the many hazards facing coral reefs.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

25 January 2018: Tiny robots, 3D images, and a honeycomb maze

January 24th, 2018


This week, a mini all-terrain robot, 3D painting with light, and a new maze for rats.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

18 January 2018: Climate sensitivity, and the fetal microbiome

January 17th, 2018


This week, pinning down the climate's carbon dioxide sensitivity, and the battle over babies' first bacteria.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

10 January 2018: Conflict conservation, and the shape of a memory

January 10th, 2018


This week, tabletop physics, what a memory looks like, and conflict's toll on wildlife.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Backchat December 2017: Trump, physics, and uncited papers

December 22nd, 2017


Backchat’s back, with discussions of Donald Trump, papers with zero citations, and the perils of writing about physics.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

21 December 2017: Earth AI, a news quiz, and sci-fi

December 20th, 2017


This week, our end of year special, featuring Earth science AI, a news story quiz, and science fiction in the modern era.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

14 December 2017: Volcanoes, viruses & electric eels

December 13th, 2017


This week, electric eel inspired batteries, virus inspired protein shells, and modelling magma viscosity.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

7 December 2017: Exoplanet geology & duck-like dinosaurs

December 6th, 2017


This week, exoplanet geology and a dual-terrain, duck-like dinosaur.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

30 November 2017: Unnatural DNA & worm mothers

November 29th, 2017


This week, reading unnatural DNA, and young worm mothers explain a wriggly riddle.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

23 November 2017: Sleep deprivation & radioactive lightning

November 22nd, 2017


This week, lightning gamma rays, the Internet that wasn’t, and the science of sleep deprivation.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

16 November 2017: Ancient inequality & bacterial communication

November 15th, 2017


This week, a bacterial communication system, and ancient houses illuminate inequality.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

9 November 2017: Axolotls & treating a genetic skin condition

November 8th, 2017


This week, a potential stem cell treatment for a genetic skin condition, and the disappearing axolotl. 

Hosted on Acast. See for …

2 November 2017: Evolving verbs & Earth's microbiome

November 1st, 2017


This week, squishy sea creatures, evolving verbs, and Earth's microbiome.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

26 October 2017: Undead cells & Antarctic instability

October 25th, 2017


This week, undead cells, the strain of PhDs, and the traces of Antarctic instability.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

19 October 2017: Neutron star gravitational waves & the future of work

October 19th, 2017


This week, neutron stars that are making waves in the physics world, and taking a look at the past to understand the future of work.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

12 October 2017: A dwarf planet & DNA sequencing

October 11th, 2017


This week, a dwarf planet with a ring, 40 years of Sanger DNA sequencing, and the grieving families contributing to a huge genetics projects.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Nature Extra: 500th show compilation

October 6th, 2017


To celebrate our 500th episode, the Nature Podcast asked 8 presenters – past and present – to recommend their favourite contributions to the show.

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Nature Podcast: 5 October 2017

October 4th, 2017


This week, floating cities, malaria-free mosquitos, and using evolution to inspire aircraft design.

Hosted on Acast. See for more …

Nature Podcast: 21 September 2017

September 20th, 2017


This week, Sherlock Holmes the scientist; and investigating the nanotubes between cells.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Nature Podcast: 14 September 2017

September 13th, 2017


This week, writing quantum software, and predicting the loss of Asia's glaciers.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Nature Podcast: 7 September 2017

September 6th, 2017


Protecting red haired people from cancer, machine learning and gravitational distortions, and peeking inside predatory journals.

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Nature Podcast: 24 August 2017

August 23rd, 2017


The creeping danger of slow landslides, and what worms can teach us about the wriggly problem of reproducibility.

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Nature Podcast: 17 August 2017

August 16th, 2017


This week, preventing genetic diseases in China, a red supergiant star's mystery, and the algal boom.

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Nature Podcast: 10 August 2017

August 11th, 2017


This week, ancient mammal relatives, complex brain maps, and a 19th century solar eclipse.

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Nature Podcast: 3 August 2017

August 2nd, 2017


This week, the first flower, gene editing human embryos, and the antimatter quest.

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Nature Podcast: 27 July 2017

July 26th, 2017


This week, a brain-inspired computer, the brain's control of ageing, and Al Gore the climate communicator.

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Nature Podcast: 20 July 2017

July 19th, 2017


This week, getting a handle on topology, and working out why the fastest animals are medium sized.

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Nature Podcast: 13 July 2017

July 12th, 2017


This week, defying quantum noise, looking at early signs of autism, and taking steps to assess exercise.

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Nature Podcast: 6 July 2017

July 5th, 2017


This week, a new kind of quantum bit, the single-cell revolution, and exploring Antarctica’s past to understand sea level rise.

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Grand Challenges: Energy

July 3rd, 2017


To combat global warming, the world needs to change where it gets its energy from. Three energy experts discuss the challenges of transitioning to low carbon energy, and what advances are needed to make the journey …

Extra: The grey zone

June 30th, 2017


Sometimes people can become trapped in the grey zone between conscious and unconscious states. Kerri Smith talks to neuroscientist Adrian Owen about communicating with patients in vegetative states.

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Backchat: June 2017

June 16th, 2017


Our reporters and editors respond to the UK election. Plus, the tangled taxonomy of our species, and why physicists love to hate the standard model.

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Nature Podcast: 15 June 2017

June 14th, 2017


This week, treating infection without antibiotics, wireless charging, and making sense of music.   

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Nature Podcast: 15 June 2017

June 14th, 2017


This week, treating infection without antibiotics, wireless charging, and making sense of music.

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Nature Podcast: 8 June 2017

June 7th, 2017


This week, early Homo sapiens in Morocco, mathematicians trying to stop gerrymandering, and going beyond the standard model.

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Grand Challenges: Food security

June 5th, 2017


Millions around the world are chronically hungry. Three experts on agriculture discuss how to help people grow enough food, in a world of evolving …

Nature Podcast: 1 June 2017

May 31st, 2017


This week, ‘sticky’ RNA causes disease, disorganised taxonomy, and 'intelligent crowd' peer review.

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Nature Extra: Futures May 2017

May 31st, 2017


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from May, 'Life, hacked' by Krystal Claxton.

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Backchat: May 2017

May 26th, 2017


This month the team are chatting scientific data, scientific papers and... religion.

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Nature Podcast: 25 May 2017

May 24th, 2017


This week, E. coli with colour vision, tracing the Zika virus outbreak, and a roadmap for medical microbots.

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Nature Podcast: 18 May 2017

May 18th, 2017


This week, wonky vehicle emissions tests, error-prone bots help humans, and animals that lack a microbiome.

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Nature Podcast: 11 May 2017

May 10th, 2017


This week, fake antibodies scupper research, the diversity of cells in a tumour, and what happened before tectonic plates? SURVEY:

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Nature Podcast: 4 May 2017

May 3rd, 2017


This week, the secret life of the thalamus, how to talks about antibiotic resistance, and dangerous research. Survey link:

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Grand Challenges: Ageing

May 1st, 2017


Ageing is inevitable, but that doesn't mean we're ready for it - as individuals, or as a society. A geneticist, a psychiatrist and an economist pick apart our knowledge of the ageing process and the major challenges to …

Nature Extra: Futures April 2017

April 28th, 2017


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from March, 'Cold comforts' by Graham Robert Scott.

Hosted …

Nature Podcast: 27 April 2017

April 26th, 2017


This week, the earliest Americans, 2D magnets, and the legacy of the Universe’s first ‘baby picture’.

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Backchat: April 2017

April 21st, 2017


Science fans everywhere will take to the streets this weekend in the March for Science. Plus, biases in artificial intelligence and how scientific papers are getting harder to read.

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Nature Podcast: 13 April 2017

April 12th, 2017


This week, politician scientists, human genetic ‘knockouts’ and East Antarctica’s instability.

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Nature Podcast: 6 April 2017

April 5th, 2017


This week, easing the pressure on fisheries, protein structure surprises, and your reading list for 2017 so far.

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Grand Challenges: Mental Health

April 3rd, 2017


Mental health disorders touch rich and poor, young and old, in every country around the world. Hear three experts discuss the evidence for …

Nature Extra: Futures March 2017

March 31st, 2017


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from March, 'Green boughs will cover thee' by Sarah L Byrne.

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Nature Podcast: 30 March 2017

March 29th, 2017


This week, mapping sound in the brain, dwindling groundwater, and giving common iron uncommon properties.

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Backchat: March 2017

March 23rd, 2017


A sting operation finds several predatory journals offered to employ a fictional, unqualified academic as an editor. Plus, the Great Barrier Reef in hot water, and trying to explain 'time crystals'.

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Nature Podcast: 23 March 2017

March 22nd, 2017


This week, peering into a black hole, reorganising the dinosaur family tree and finding drug combos for cancer.

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Nature Podcast: 16 March 2017

March 15th, 2017


This week, making plane fuel greener, yeast chromosomes synthesised from scratch, and seeking out hidden HIV.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - March 1918

March 10th, 2017


As the First World War draws to an end, astronomer Arthur Eddington sets out on a challenging mission: to prove Einstein’s new theory of general relativity by measuring a total eclipse. The experiment became a defining …

Nature Podcast: 9 March 2017

March 9th, 2017


This week, the earliest known life, Neanderthal self-medication, and data storage in a single atom.

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Nature Podcast: 2 March 2017

March 1st, 2017


This week, a migration special: a researcher seeks refuge; smart borders; and climate migration.

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Backchat: February 2017

March 1st, 2017


AI generated images, reporting with reluctant sources and space missions with out an end game.

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Nature Extra: Futures February 2017

February 27th, 2017


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell and Richard Hodson read you their favourite from February, 'Fermi's zookeepers' by …

Nature Podcast: 23 February 2017

February 22nd, 2017


This week, highlights from AAAS, the new epigenetics, and a new way to conduct biomedical research

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Nature Podcast: 16 February 2017

February 15th, 2017


This week, Winston Churchill’s thoughts on alien life, how cells build walls, and paradoxical materials.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - February 1925

February 10th, 2017


Paleontologist Raymond Dart had newly arrived in South Africa when he came across a fossil that would change his life and his science. It was the …

Nature Podcast: 9 February 2017

February 8th, 2017


This week, free-floating DNA in cancers, an ancient relative of molluscs and can the Arctic’s ice be regrown?

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Nature Podcast: 2 February 2017

February 1st, 2017


Bird beaks show how evolution shifts gear, getting to Proxima b, and have physicists made metallic hydrogen?

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Nature Extra: Futures January 2017

January 31st, 2017


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you their favourite from January, 'The last robot' by S. L. Huang.

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Backchat: January 2017

January 27th, 2017


Moonshots, frameworks, catapults – how best to name your science project? Plus, the implications for science of Trump’s first days in office, and the …

Nature Podcast: 26 January 2017

January 25th, 2017


This week, outer space law, predictive policing and enhancing the wisdom of the crowds.

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Nature Podcast: 19 January 2017

January 18th, 2017


This week, communication between viruses, reproducing cancer studies, and explaining ‘fairy circles’.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - January 1896

January 13th, 2017


Physics in the late nineteenth century was increasingly concerned with things that couldn't be seen. From these invisible realms shot x-rays, …

Nature Podcast: 12 January 2017

January 11th, 2017


This week, ridding New Zealand of rats, making choices in the grocery store, and what to expect in 2017.

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Nature Podcast: 22 December 2016

December 21st, 2016


It’s our bumper end-of-year show, with a 2016 round-up, holiday reading picks, science carols, word games and more.

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Nature Podcast: 15 December 2016

December 14th, 2016


This week, a spray that boosts plant growth and resilience, 3-million-year old hominin footprints, and the seahorse genome.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - December 1920

December 9th, 2016


In the early twentieth century physicists had become deeply entangled in the implications of the quantum theory. Was the world at its smallest scales continuous, or built of discrete units? It all began with Max Planck. …

Nature Podcast: 8 December 2016

December 7th, 2016


This week, the benefits of randomness, correcting brain waves soothes Alzheimer’s, and the DNA of liberated slaves.

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Nature Extra: Futures November 2016

December 1st, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Adam Levy reads you his favourite from November, ’Melissa' by Troy Stieglitz.

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Nature Podcast: 1 December 2016

November 30th, 2016


This week, CRISPR’s rival stumbles, Pluto’s icy heart, and is mitochondrial replacement ready for the clinic?

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Nature Podcast: 24 November 2016

November 23rd, 2016


Tracking whale shark DNA in seawater, the human computers behind early astronomy, building materials with a microscope, and a new synchrotron starts up in the Middle East.

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Nature Backchat: November 2016

November 21st, 2016


Donald Trump’s impact on research and climate action, and how Nature should discuss politics.

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Nature Podcast: 17 November 2016

November 16th, 2016


This week, your brain on cannabis, testing CRISPR in a human, and what it might be like to live on Mars.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - November 1869

November 11th, 2016


The first issue of Nature looked very different from today's magazine. It opened with poetry and was written for a general audience. We hear how Nature began, and how it became the iconic science journal it is today.

Nature Podcast: 10 November 2016

November 9th, 2016


This week, CERN for the brain, modelling the effects of a climate tax on food, a brain-spine interface helps paralysed monkeys walk, and what Trump's win might mean for science.

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Nature Podcast: 3 November 2016

November 2nd, 2016


This week, the earliest humans to roam Australia, Werner Herzog’s new film about volcanoes, and are astronomers turning a blind eye to competing …

Nature Extra: Futures October 2016

October 31st, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from October, ’The sixth circle' by J. W. Armstrong.

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Nature Podcast: 27 October 2016

October 26th, 2016


This week, the challenges facing young scientists, pseudo-pseudo genes, and the history of HIV in the US.

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Nature Backchat: October 2016

October 21st, 2016


Europe’s Mars probe loses touch, UK government proposes research funding shake-up, and science’s most bothersome buzzwords.

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Nature Podcast: 20 October 2016

October 19th, 2016


This week, making egg cells in a dish, super-bright flares in nearby galaxies, trying to predict the election, and the scientists voting for Trump.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - October 1993

October 14th, 2016


In the early 1990s, a team of astrophysicists saw signs of life on a planet in our galaxy. Astronomy experts tell the story, and discuss how we can tell if there is life beyond the Earth. Originally aired 16/10/2013.

Nature Podcast: 13 October 2016

October 12th, 2016


This week, refugee mental health, better neural nets, and changing attitudes to female genital cutting.

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Nature Extra: Nobel News

October 6th, 2016


Science gets glitzy in October each year as the Nobel Prizes are awarded. Find out who took home the prizes for Medicine or Physiology, Physics and …

Nature Podcast: 6 October 2016

October 5th, 2016


This week, a limit to lifespan, AI's black box problem, and ageing stem cells.

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Nature Backchat: September 2016

October 3rd, 2016


The challenges of getting into science, getting a decent salary once you’re in, and getting funding through philanthropy.

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Nature Podcast: 29 September 2016

September 28th, 2016


This week, the chemistry of life’s origins, two million years of temperatures, and studying the heaviest elements.

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Nature Extra: Futures September 2016

September 22nd, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Miranda Keeling reads you our favourite from September, ’Try Catch Throw’ by Andrew Neil Gray.

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Nature Podcast: 22 September 2016

September 21st, 2016


This week, a sea of viruses, defining social class, the human journey out of Africa and human remains found on Antikythera shipwreck.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - September 1963

September 15th, 2016


When a German geologist first suggested that continents move, people dismissed it as a wild idea. In this podcast, we hear how a 'wild idea' became …

Nature Podcast: 15 September 2016

September 14th, 2016


This week, the ideal office environment, synthesising speech, and embryo epigenetics.

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Nature Podcast: 8 September 2016

September 7th, 2016


This week, solving ethical dilemmas Star Trek style, farming festivals boost yield, and three scientists on their sci-fi inspirations.

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Nature Podcast: 1 September 2016

August 31st, 2016


This week, famous hominin Lucy may have died when she fell from a tree, and an antibody-based drug shows promise in Alzheimer’s

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Futures: August 2016

August 30th, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Kerri Smith reads you her favourite from August, 'Interdimensional trade benefits' by Brian Trent.

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Nature Backchat: August 2016

August 24th, 2016


A nearby Earth-like planet, preprint servers proliferate, and the scientific legacy that Obama leaves behind.

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Nature Podcast: 25 August 2016

August 24th, 2016


This week, an Earth-like planet on our doorstep, dietary restriction combats ageing syndrome, and drugs for neglected diseases.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - August 1975

August 23rd, 2016


Six out of ten of the world's best-selling drugs are based on molecules called monoclonal antibodies. But their high impact comes with a low profile. …

Nature Podcast: 18 August 2016

August 17th, 2016


This week, how fins became limbs, a giant gene database cracks clinical cases, and making better opioids.

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Nature Podcast: 11 August 2016

August 10th, 2016


This week, the migration route of the first Americans, the bandwidth crisis, clever conductors, and the next CRISPR.

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Nature Podcast: 4 August 2016

August 3rd, 2016


This week, parenting tips from science, quenching a question about thirst, and a programmable quantum computer.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - July 1942

August 1st, 2016


Scientists were put to good use during the Second World War. John Westcott's secret project was to design radars. His work not only helped the war effort – it also led to new branches of science. Originally aired …

Nature Extra: Futures July 2016

July 29th, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Adam Levy reads you his favourite from July, 'Revision theory' by Blaize M. Kaye.

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Nature Podcast: 28 July 2016

July 27th, 2016


This week, how we time our breathing, working with indigenous peoples, and using yeast genetics to build better beer.

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Nature Backchat: July 2016

July 21st, 2016


What’s it like having an endless supply of Brexit stories? Why do space missions always get so much attention? And why are rhinos being airlifted to Australia?

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Nature Podcast: 21 July 2016

July 20th, 2016


This week, the perils of tech in health, tumour fighting bacteria, and the science of what sounds good.

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Nature Podcast: 14 July 2016

July 13th, 2016


This week, a special issue on conflict. The psychological toll of war, how to count the dead, and predicting conflict in the 21st century.

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Nature Podcast: 7 July 2016

July 6th, 2016


This week, nature and landscape, the Hitomi satellite’s swan song, and reforming peer review.

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Nature Extra: Futures June 2016

July 1st, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. The Nature Podcast team read you their favourite from June, ‘The Memory Ward’ by Wendy Nikel.

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Nature Podcast: 30 June 2016

June 29th, 2016


This week, Dolly the sheep’s legacy, the trials of funding interdisciplinary research, and an ‘IPCC’ for social science.

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Nature Podcast: 23 June 2016

June 22nd, 2016


This week, transmissible cancer, organising the hadron menagerie, and the latest gravitational wave result and what physicists want to know next.

Nature Backchat: June 2016

June 22nd, 2016


What could Brexit mean for EU research and researchers? How should reporters cover the US elections when nobody says anything about science? Plus a …

Nature Podcast: 16 June 2016

June 15th, 2016


This week, pimping proteins, adapting enzymes, and conserving coral reefs.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - June 1876

June 10th, 2016


In the late 1800s, Europe was gripped by 'gorilla fever'. Were these beasts man's closest relative in the animal kingdom? Getting a gorilla to Europe was a rare event, and in 1876 Nature heralds the arrival of a young …

Nature Podcast: 9 June 2016

June 8th, 2016


This week, researcher rehab, the hobbit’s ancestry, and Google’s quantum plans.

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Nature Podcast: 2 June 2016

June 1st, 2016


This week, the genetics behind a textbook case of evolution, Earth’s core conundrum, and Pluto’s polygonal surface.

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Nature Extra: Futures May 2016

May 27th, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from May, ‘Project Earth is leaving beta’ by J. W. Alden.

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Nature Podcast: 26 May 2016

May 25th, 2016


This week, how clouds form, a Neanderthal construction project, and comparing the meerkats.

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Nature Podcast: 19 May 2016

May 18th, 2016


This week, treasures from sunken cities, new antibiotics made from scratch, and experimenting with history.

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Nature Extra: Backchat May 2016

May 16th, 2016


The endless quest to make fusion energy, virtual reality in the lab, and the biggest story of the month: a boat gets given a name.

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Nature Podcast: 12 May 2016

May 11th, 2016


This week, the Zika virus and birth defects, colliding quasi-particles, and combatting sprawling networks of spam.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - May 1985

May 9th, 2016


Jonathan Shanklin was sifting through a backlog of data when he made the startling discovery of a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. In this …

Nature Extra: Futures April 2016

May 6th, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Adam Levy and Shamini Bundell read you their favourite from April, ‘Choices, in sequential order’ by Karlo Yeager Rodríguez.

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Nature Podcast: 5 May 2016

May 4th, 2016


This week, the value of failed experiments, ketamine without side effects, and our brains’ energy demands.

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Nature Podcast: 28 April 2016

April 27th, 2016


This week, a language map of the brain, listening for landslides a year after the Nepal quake, and the Soviet internet that never was.

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Nature Extra: Backchat April 2016

April 26th, 2016


The fuss over editing human embryos dies down, the quantum expertise of Canada’s Prime Minister, and what it’s like to report for 24 hours straight.

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Nature Podcast: 21 April 2016

April 20th, 2016


This week, the psychology of climate change, the 1.5 degree temperature target, and what to do when climate change ruins your research.

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Nature Podcast: 14 April 2016

April 13th, 2016


This week, a computer game helps build a quantum computer, the brain’s built-in backup, and the history and science of hearing voices.

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REBROADCAST: Nature PastCast - April 1953

April 8th, 2016


Everyone knows that Watson and Crick published a seminal paper on the structure of DNA. But fewer know that two other papers on DNA were published in the same issue of Nature. Learn more in the first of a new podcast …

Nature Podcast: 7 April 2016

April 6th, 2016


This week, apps that claim to treat mental health issues, ritual human sacrifice, and supernova debris on Earth.

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Nature Extra: Futures March 2016

March 31st, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from March, 'Adjenia’ by Natalia Theodoridou.

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Nature Podcast: 31 March 2016

March 30th, 2016


This week, Antarctic-sized uncertainty, making gamers more polite, and a pocket gravity meter.

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Nature Podcast: 24 March 2016

March 23rd, 2016


This week, toggling brain activity with radio waves, how to build stuff that lasts, and making thrillseekers into care-takers.

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Nature Extra: Backchat March 2016

March 21st, 2016


Misused statistics, the latest gossip on Google’s Go-playing AI, and watching mathematicians win prizes.

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Nature Podcast: 17 March 2016

March 16th, 2016


This week, retrieving lost memories, nailing down China’s emissions, and is Alzheimer’s disease transmissible?

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Nature Podcast: 10 March 2016

March 9th, 2016


This week, the frontiers of CRISPR, chewing raw goat for science, and using the eye’s own stem cells to fix it.

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Nature Extra: Futures February 2016

March 8th, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from February, ‘Duck, duck, duck' by Samantha Murray.

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Nature Podcast: 3 March 2016

March 2nd, 2016


This week, more fast radio bursts spotted, how do you know where you are when you’re not moving, and listening in on a whale banquet.

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Nature Extra: Backchat February 2016

February 25th, 2016


A month of manipulation, as we look at a re-run of a famously manipulative psychology study, learn how to manipulate our own brains and minds, and …

Nature Podcast: 25 February 2016

February 24th, 2016


This week, a special episode about the future. How can we future-proof our world, or fight our natural bias against planning for the future? And what does the science of today mean for the health of tomorrow?

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Nature Podcast: 18 February 2016

February 17th, 2016


This week, making shipping greener, AAAS conference highlights and human genes in a Neanderthal.

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Nature Extra: Gravitational waves

February 12th, 2016


Einstein's prediction was right: gravitational waves do exist. Scientists at the LIGO collaboration reported their discovery yesterday in Washington, …

Nature Podcast: 11 February 2016

February 10th, 2016


This week, the end of Moore’s law, religion and cooperation, and shareholders’ duty to manage climate risks.

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Nature Podcast: 4 February 2016

February 3rd, 2016


This week, killing off old cells lengthens life, brain-tickling comedy, and new forests make good carbon sinks.

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Nature Extra: Futures January 2016

February 1st, 2016


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads ‘Beyond 550 astronomical units' by Mike Brotherton.

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Nature Extra: Backchat January 2016

January 29th, 2016


The putative Planet X, gravitational wave rumours and how to report them, and The Selfish Gene 40 years on.

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Nature Podcast: 28 January 2016

January 27th, 2016


This week, the computer that can play Go, a general ‘ageing’ factor, and the stolen library of John Dee.

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Nature Podcast: 21 January 2016

January 20th, 2016


This week, a brain sensor that melts away after use, a 10,000 year old murder mystery, and what happens when chickens go wild.

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Nature Podcast: 14 January 2016

January 13th, 2016


This week, our gut bugs’ love of fibre, squeezing quantum states, and studying boredom.

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Nature Podcast: 7 January 2016

January 6th, 2016


This week, science predictions for 2016, the effect of extreme weather on crops, and a new phase of hydrogen for the new year.

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Podcast Extra – The Psychology of Star Wars

December 21st, 2015


What can the world of Star Wars tell us about psychology? Travis Langley explains all in this Podcast Extra, using examples from his new book ‘Star …

Nature Podcast: 17 December 2015

December 17th, 2015


This week, in our final show of 2015 – we’re wrapping up the highlights of the year, catching up on the climate meeting in Paris, looking forward to psyching out the characters in Star Wars, busting some scientific …

Nature Podcast: 10 December 2015

December 9th, 2015


This week, the dwarf planet Ceres gets a close-up, using fetal tissue in science, and the wasting condition that worsens outcomes for cancer patients.

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Nature Podcast: 3 December 2015

December 2nd, 2015


This week, the origins of mysterious radio bursts, fixing the PhD system, and tracking down the universe’s missing matter.

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Nature Extra: Futures November 2015

November 29th, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Kerri Smith reads you her favourite from November, 'One slow step for man' by S R Algernon.

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Nature Extra: Backchat November 2015

November 26th, 2015


Einstein’s theory of general relativity turns 100 years old. Will there ever be another theory like it, or another scientist like Einstein? Plus, we …

Nature Podcast: 26 November 2015

November 25th, 2015


This week, super-high-res ultrasound, the amazing world of soils, and five classic books about sustainability.

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Nature Podcast: 19 November 2015

November 18th, 2015


This week, a nursery for big baby planets, meddling with taste perception, China’s mega water transfer plan, and the 100th anniversary of general relativity.

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Nature Podcast: 12 November 2015

November 11th, 2015


This week, storms on Twitter over sexism in science, porous liquids, and the long relationship between humans and bees.

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Nature Extra: Futures October 2015

November 5th, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from October, 'Staff meeting, as seen by the spam filter' by Alex Shvartsman.

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Nature Podcast: 5 November 2015

November 4th, 2015


This week, spontaneously jumping droplets, growing an economy without trashing the environment, and dealing with an onslaught of data as all our gadgets become internet-enabled.

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Nature Podcast: 29 October 2015

October 28th, 2015


This week, how cancers spread, the hallmarks of bipolar disorder in the brain, and making carbon dioxide useful.

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Nature Extra: Backchat October 2015

October 23rd, 2015


Astronomer quits over sexual harassment investigation, reporting on the abstract world of mathematics, and science in fashion.

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Nature Podcast: 22 October 2015

October 22nd, 2015


This week, a dying solar system just like ours, the effect of temperature on the economy, and electricity-eating bacteria.

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Nature Podcast: 15 October 2015

October 14th, 2015


This week, ancient human teeth found in China, cooperating in climate negotiations, and a humble worm surprises scientists.

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Nature Extra: Futures September 2015

October 8th, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell and Geoff Marsh read you their favourite from September, Time Flies, by Carie Juettner.

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Nature Podcast: 8 October 2015

October 7th, 2015


This week, an impenetrable mathematical proof, toggling REM sleep on and off, and the latest results from the Rosetta mission.

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Nature Podcast: 1 October 2015

September 30th, 2015


This week, the future of digital currency; a new lead for antibiotics; and 25 years of cataloguing the human genome.

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Nature Podcast: 24 September 2015

September 23rd, 2015


This week, looking back at malaria interventions, using private data for research, and how to twist a travelling neutron.

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Nature Extra: Backchat September 2015

September 22nd, 2015


Promising results from the LHC, reproducing psychology studies, and unpicking interdisciplinarity.

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Nature Podcast: 17 September 2015

September 16th, 2015


This week, camouflaging nanoparticles to deliver drugs, science meets theatre, and getting a global picture of air pollution.

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Nature Extra - Neurotribes

September 9th, 2015


Steve Silberman's new book, Neurotribes, gives a detailed history of autism spectrum disorder. In this Podcast Extra, Geoff Marsh hears from Steve …

Nature Podcast: 10 September 2015

September 9th, 2015


This week, thinking differently about autism, plankton poop in the clouds, and hack-proofing our data.

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Nature Extra: Futures August 2015

September 3rd, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from August, The Shoulder of Orion, by Eric Garside

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Nature Podcast: 3 September 2015

September 2nd, 2015


This week, weather forecasting, rethinking the water cycle, and a special segment to celebrate the podcast’s 400th episode.

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Podcast Extra: The Invention of Science

August 26th, 2015


In his new book, historian David Wootton takes us back to the scientific revolution around the turn of the 17th Century, and asks: was this really …

Nature Podcast: 27 August 2015

August 26th, 2015


This week, a new look at the scientific revolution, accelerating positrons on a plasma wave, and squashing the unsquashable.

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Nature Extra: Backchat August 2015

August 21st, 2015


Japan’s nuclear restart, summer quiet descends in the newsroom, and our special guest Geoff Brumfiel compares science reporting at Nature and NPR.

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Nature Podcast: 20 August 2015

August 18th, 2015


This week, China’s emissions are lower than we thought, lessons from Hurricane Katrina 10 years on, and inheriting genes… sideways.

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Nature Podcast: 13 August 2015

August 12th, 2015


This week, making chemists’ lives easier, updating a centuries-old sunspot record, and anti-GM activists get their hands on scientists’ inboxes.

Nature Podcast: 6 August 2015

August 5th, 2015


This week, lessons to learn from the Ebola epidemic, the reproductive habits of ancient organisms, and how the nuclear bomb changed the stories we …

Nature Podcast: 30 July 2015

July 29th, 2015


This week, the ancient art of kirigami – paper cutting – applied to graphene. Plus, mini organs in dishes, and how mitochondria power our muscles.

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Nature Extra: Futures July 2015

July 27th, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Shamini Bundell reads you her favourite from July, Outpatient, by Dan Stout

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Nature Extra: Backchat July 2015

July 24th, 2015


Pluto in pictures, ways to revamp science teaching, NASA’s underwater space-training mission, and listening for aliens.

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Nature Podcast: 23 July 2015

July 22nd, 2015


This week, eyedrops could replace surgery for cataracts, the twists and turns of RNA, and a strain of rice that could feed more people and ease …

Nature Podcast: 16 July 2015

July 15th, 2015


This week, organic molecules in space, treating traumatic brain injury, and training schoolchildren to think like scientists.

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Podcast Extra - A Beautiful Question

July 14th, 2015


Is our universe beautiful? Do the fundamental laws that describe nature appeal to our aesthetic tastes? In this Podcast Extra, Frank Wilczek – …

Nature Podcast: 9 July 2015

July 8th, 2015


This week, the geologists on quake alert, stopping HIV in its tracks, and a volcano that wreaked havoc on the climate 1500 years ago.

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Nature Podcast: 2 July 2015

July 2nd, 2015


This week, lizards change sex in the heat, a complex eye in a single celled creature, and teaching robots to be ethical

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Nature Extra: Futures June 2015

July 1st, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Geoff Marsh reads you his favourite from June, Heart worm, by J. J. Roth

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Nature Podcast: 24 June 2015

June 24th, 2015


This week, Antarctica’s surprising biodiversity, trends in heatwaves and coldsnaps, and a new way to diagnose cancer early

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Nature Extra: Backchat June 2015

June 23rd, 2015


Three of Nature’s biggest paleontology fans sink their teeth into Jurassic World, which premiered this month. The team also discuss the importance of …

Nature Podcast: 18 June 2015

June 17th, 2015


This week, positive memories help fight depression, plant intelligence and measuring the mass of exoplanets

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Nature Podcast: 11 June 2015

June 10th, 2015


This week, the US military’s biology arm, a clutch of Bronze Age genomes, and protection from a deadly disease in a community in Papua New Guinea

Nature Podcast: 4 June 2015

June 3rd, 2015


This week, how the immune system deals with the brain, the latest in gene editing, and the mystery of Greenland’s disappearing lakes.

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Nature Extra: Backchat May 2015

May 28th, 2015


Robots that can recover from injury by themselves, naughty scientists faking or baking their data, and the weirdest places to look for much-needed new antibiotics.

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Nature Extra: Futures May 2015

May 28th, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Geoff Marsh reads you his favourite story from May, Tempus omnia revelat, by Tian Li.

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Nature Podcast: 28 May 2015

May 27th, 2015


This week, the ethics of killer robots, laser weapons become a reality, and the subtleties of temperature.

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Audiofile: In search of lost sound

May 26th, 2015


Are the sounds of the past lost forever? In the 1960s, an American engineer proposed that sound could be recorded into clay pots and paintings as …

Nature Podcast: 21 May 2015

May 20th, 2015


The oldest stone tools yet found, making opiates from yeast and sugar, and the perks of sex… for beetles.

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Nature Podcast: 14 May 2015

May 13th, 2015


This week, the latest result from the Large Hadron Collider, a memoir from neurologist and adventurer Oliver Sacks, and India’s scientific landscape.

Nature Podcast: 7 May 2015

May 6th, 2015


This week, brain-inspired computers, scientists soldiering on past retirement age, and the origins of complex cells deduced from deep-sea samples.

Nature Podcast: 30 April 2015

April 29th, 2015


This week, a tiny bat-like dinosaur, a competitor for graphene, and the best new science books this spring.

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Audiofile: Real life Dr Dolittles

April 24th, 2015


Will we ever be able to talk to animals? In this episode, Geoff Marsh meets a variety of researchers and animals who persevere at the communication barrier in the name of science.

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Nature Podcast: 23 April 2015

April 22nd, 2015


This week, a new treatment for Ebola, the making of the Tibetan plateau, and could bees be addicted to pesticides?

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Nature: Backchat April 2015

April 21st, 2015


The periodic table’s fuzzy edges, the nuances of reporting on animal research, and Richard gets charged up about some overhyped coverage of a new battery.

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Nature Podcast: 16 April 2015

April 15th, 2015


This week, how oxytocin affects the brain, self- experimentation in science, and the wedding rings that went to Hubble.

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Nature Podcast: 9 April 2015

April 8th, 2015


This week, the Moon and her sister, the Sun and its personality, and the latest wonder material to hit the big-time.

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Nature Podcast: 2 April 2015

April 1st, 2015


This week, improving walking, pushing the boundary between quantum and classical, and the need for more social science on climate change.

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Nature Podcast: 26 March 2015

March 25th, 2015


This week, the role of black holes in growing galaxies, Dragon’s Den for scientists, and ice inside our bodies.

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Nature Extra: Backchat

March 25th, 2015


Where will NASA’s next planetary mission go? Plus, a gene editing technique comes under fire, and the American editors’ biggest language gripes.

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Nature Extra: Futures

February 27th, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Noah Baker reads you his favourite from February, Good for something by Deborah Walker.

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Nature Extra: Futures

January 30th, 2015


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Geoff Marsh reads you his favourite from January, The Descent of Man, by Christoph Weber.

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Nature Extra: Backchat

October 14th, 2014


What do Nature's reporters really think about the science they cover? Find out in Backchat. In this episode, Nobel Prize excitement (and …

Nature Podcast Extra: Futures

September 29th, 2014


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Noah Baker reads you his favourite from September, The tiger waiting on the shore, by Paul Currion.

Nature Podcast Extra: Futures

August 1st, 2014


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Lizzie Gibney reads you her favourite from July, Benjy’s Birthday, by John Grant.

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Nature Podcast Extra: Futures

April 1st, 2014


Futures is Nature's weekly science fiction slot. Now its sister title Nature Physics has followed suit, publishing a sci-fi story each month. Kerri …

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