Science Weekly

By The Guardian

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perfect, from NYC USA
 Jan 8, 2022
to the point


 Sep 12, 2021


 Jan 3, 2021


 May 7, 2019
Thanh you for making the podcats.


 Mar 8, 2019

Description

Twice a week, the Guardian brings you the latest science and environment news.

Episode Date
The destruction of Gran Chaco, forgotten sister of the Amazon rainforest
00:12:36
From deep inside Gran Chaco, a dry tropical forest in Argentina one and a half times the size of California, comes a wake-up call for the world’s forests. We’ve lost more than a fifth of this incredibly biodiverse region since 1985. And it’s just one of many precious carbon-trapping ecosystems being lost to unrelenting deforestation. Six months ago in Glasgow, world leaders at Cop26 pledged to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. While destruction continues apace in Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, other countries such as Indonesia offer glimmers of hope. Madeleine Finlay speaks to biodiversity reporter Patrick Greenfield about what his trip to Gran Chaco showed him, what’s at stake around the world, and what’s needed to turn things around. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 19, 2022
Is the world keeping Cop26’s climate promises?
00:13:20
Last November in Glasgow, countries agreed to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial averages. Six months on, the world has changed, with the war in Ukraine, high energy prices and the cost of living crisis threatening to derail us from achieving our climate goals. Ian Sample speaks to the Guardian’s environment correspondent, Fiona Harvey, about what promises are still on the table and what else needs to be done to address the climate emergency as we approach the next conference, Cop27.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 17, 2022
Why aren’t women getting diagnosed with ADHD?
00:15:02
It’s estimated that a million women in the UK could have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – but according to the ADHD Foundation, 50–75% of them do not know they have it. Going without a diagnosis can impact someone’s education, employment and physical and mental health. So why are women being left behind? Madeleine Finlay speaks to Jasmine Andersson about her experience of getting a late diagnosis, and Prof Amanda Kirby on why the condition is so often missed in women and girls.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 12, 2022
‘It’s a hellfire!’: how are India and Pakistan coping with extreme heat?
00:11:14
India and Pakistan have experienced their hottest April in 122 years. Temperatures are nearing 50C. Such extreme heat dries up water reservoirs, melts glaciers and damages crops. It’s also deadly. Ian Sample hears from Pakistan reporter Shah Meer Baloch about the situation on the ground, and speaks to Indian heat health expert Abhiyant Tiwari about what such temperatures do to the body and how south Asia is adapting to ever more frequent – and ever more extreme – heatwaves.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 10, 2022
Why is the UK suffering HRT shortages?
00:10:26
From hot flushes and flooding to memory problems and depression, for many the menopause can be both distressing and debilitating. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can alleviate some of these symptoms by boosting levels of hormones that wane as women get older. But the UK is experiencing an acute shortage of certain HRT products, leaving some without the medication they need. Madeleine Finlay hears from Guardian reader Sara about the impact of HRT shortages on her life, and speaks to science reporter Nicola Davis about why demand isn’t being met and what’s being done to fix the problem. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 05, 2022
Will the Large Hadron Collider find a new fifth force of nature?
00:15:10
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has recently been switched back on after a three-year hiatus to resolve a mysterious and tantalising result from its previous run. So far, everything discovered at the LHC has agreed with the standard model, the guiding theory of particle physics that describes the building blocks of matter, and the forces that guide them. However, recent findings show particles behaving in a way that can’t be explained by known physics. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Guardian science correspondent Hannah Devlin and Prof Jon Butterworth about why this might be a clue towards solving some of the deepest mysteries of the universe, and how the LHC will be searching for a potential fifth force of nature. This podcast was amended on 12 May 2022. An earlier version incorrectly claimed that the standard model incorporates four fundamental forces of nature, instead of three.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 03, 2022
What’s behind the mysterious global rise in childhood hepatitis?
00:10:04
Over the past few weeks, countries around the world have reported an unexpected increase in the number of children with hepatitis. So far about 200 cases have been reported. More than half have come from the UK, but there have also been reports from Spain, Japan and the US, among others. Although this is still a very rare disease, it is severe, with 10% of affected children needing a liver transplant. So what might explain this unusual rise? Guardian science editor Ian Sample speaks to Prof Deirdre Kelly about the current theories as to what could be happening, and how concerned we should be. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 28, 2022
Preventable author Devi Sridhar on how she handles Covid trolls
00:14:01
As the news came out of China that there was a new virus infecting humans, scientists around the world promptly got to work sequencing genomes, gathering data and communicating what they found with the public. One of the scientists catapulted into the public eye was Devi Sridhar, a professor in global public health. Soon, she was advising the Scottish government on their Covid strategy, regularly appearing on TV and had gained a big social media following. Ian Sample speaks to Sridhar about her experience of the pandemic so far, what it was like working alongside politicians, and what she’s learned from it all. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 26, 2022
Space junk – how should we clean up our act?
00:13:23
This week, the US became the first country to ban anti-satellite missile tests, in an effort to protect Earth’s orbit from dangerous space debris. There could be millions of pieces of old satellites and spent rockets zooming around above our atmosphere, at speeds where collisions can be catastrophic. Guardian science editor Ian Sample talks to Prof Don Pollacco and Prof Chris Newman about the threat posed by space junk, and how we can tackle the problem. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 21, 2022
Manifestation: why the pandemic had many of us seeing ghosts - Science Weekly podcast
00:13:25
While telling ghost stories has always been a favourite pastime for many, during the pandemic signs of paranormal activity have reportedly been on the rise. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Prof Chris French about why more of us may have been having eerie experiences, how to explain these phenomena scientifically, and why – even among nonbelievers – ghost stories are still as popular as ever. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 19, 2022
Does China need to rethink its zero-Covid policy?
00:12:03
To slow down a surge in Covid cases, last week Chinese authorities put Shanghai into lockdown. But with a population of 26 million there have been difficulties providing residents with basic necessities, and videos have appeared on social media showing protests and scrambles over food supplies. Now, authorities have begun easing the lockdown in some areas, despite reporting a record of more than 25,000 new Covid cases. Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s China affairs correspondent, Vincent Ni, about what’s been happening in Shanghai, whether the Omicron variant may spell the end of China’s zero-Covid policy, and what an alternative strategy could look like This podcast was amended on 15th April 2022 to correct an error in the scripting. We incorrectly stated that Shanghai authorities would start easing lockdown in some areas on Monday 18th April. Lockdown easing began on Monday 11th April.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 14, 2022
Why are climate and conservation scientists taking to the streets?
00:14:59
Last week’s IPCC report gives the world just 30 months to get greenhouse gas emissions falling. Beyond that, we’ll have missed our chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C and protecting our planet from the most serious impacts of climate change. As the window closes, some scientists feel like writing reports and publishing papers is no longer enough, and researchers around the world are leaving their desks and labs to take action on the streets. Madeleine Finlay meets scientists protesting at Shell HQ in London and speaks to the conservationist Dr Charlie Gardner about civil disobedience – and why he thinks it’s the only option left. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 12, 2022
Why has the UK (finally) expanded its Covid symptoms list?
00:12:51
This week, the UK expanded its official Covid symptom list to 12 symptoms including sore throat, loss of appetite, and a blocked or runny nose. British scientists have long called for a broadening of the list, but the change comes at a time when free rapid tests have been scrapped, and the UK is seeing its highest ever levels of infection, according the the Office for National Statistics. Madeleine Finlay speaks to science correspondent Linda Geddes about why this has happened now, what symptoms still haven’t made the list, and what it could all mean going forward. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 07, 2022
Why is England keeping the abortion ‘pills by post’ scheme?
00:14:52
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Great Britain brought in emergency legal orders to allow a ‘pills by post’ abortion service. For abortions within the first 10 weeks, women were able to take the two tablets needed to end a pregnancy in the privacy of their own home rather than having to take the first at a clinic or hospital. The scheme was due to be scrapped in September 2022, but last week MPs voted to keep it in England. Wales will also be making it permanent. Madeleine Finlay spoke to Dr Abigail Aiken about her study looking at the outcomes of self-managed medical abortions during the pandemic, the benefits of taking abortion pills at home, and whether ‘Plan C’ could ever become available in shops and pharmacies. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 05, 2022
Can the science of PTSD help soldiers in Ukraine?
00:11:38
The war in Ukraine, like other conflicts around the world, will mean millions of people going through horrific and traumatic events. Some may go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, experiencing psychological distress for months or even years afterwards. Ian Sample speaks to clinical psychologist Jennifer Wild about what happens in the body and brain when someone gets PTSD, why some people may be more susceptible to developing it than others, and how understanding the underlying psychology can help to build resilience and improve treatments for the future. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 31, 2022
COP15: is 2022 the year we save biodiversity?
00:14:23
As human activities like agricultural production, mining and pollution continue to drive the so-called sixth mass extinction, government negotiators from around the world are currently meeting in Geneva to try to protect the planet’s biodiversity. At stake is an ambitious Paris-style agreement for nature, the final version of which will be negotiated at the COP15 summit in Kunming, China, in August. Madeleine Finlay speaks to reporter Patrick Greenfield from Geneva about what’s being discussed, how the talks are progressing, and whether time is running out to halt the destruction of life on Earth. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 29, 2022
Two years on, what have we learned about lockdowns?
00:12:49
Over the past two years, countries around the world have shut down their societies in last-ditch efforts to contain the pandemic. Some, like China, have enforced strict lockdowns as part of a zero Covid strategy. Others have ordered people to stay at home to flatten the curve of infections and buy precious time. But since they first began, what have we learned about how well lockdowns work? Ian Sample speaks to epidemiologist Prof Adam Kucharski about the effectiveness of different approaches, and the lessons we should take forward.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 24, 2022
As the energy crisis bites, could fracking ever actually work?
00:14:04
The average family’s energy bill will soon be increasing by 54% in the UK, amid soaring energy prices caused in part by Covid-19 lockdowns and Vladimir Putin’s decision to reduce gas exports prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In response, the UK government is considering all its options to secure its energy supplies and dampen costs – including fracking. But could fracking really provide any kind of solution? Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian’s environment editor, Damian Carrington, about how fracking works, why it is back on the table, and whether it could ever be a viable option. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 22, 2022
Covid cases are rising again – how worried should we be?
00:11:54
After falling for the past few weeks, the number of Covid cases in the UK is increasing once more. Since the easing of restrictions, scientists have been expecting an upwards trend in infections – but could other factors also be at work? Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis speaks to Anand Jagatia about the latest coronavirus data and what it could mean.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 17, 2022
10% of the world’s wheat comes from Ukraine - will war change that?
00:11:10
As the world watches oil and gas prices soar – the next big shock could hit the dinner table. Collectively, Russia and Ukraine are responsible for more than a quarter of global wheat exports and for around 80% of the world’s supply of sunflower oil. Russia — along with ally, Belarus — is also a huge source of fertiliser, accounting for around 15% globally. The war in Ukraine will undoubtedly have a major impact on its agricultural production and exports, putting even more pressure on a system already in crisis. Madeleine Finlay speaks to food policy researcher, Dr Joseph Glauber, about what the war will mean for the supply and cost of food around the world. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 15, 2022
How come some people haven’t had Covid yet?
00:13:34
Although several countries around the world continue to have high rates of Covid-19 infections, including the UK and US, many of their citizens are yet to be infected with the Sars-Cov-2 virus. This includes countless individuals who have knowingly been exposed, often multiple times, but have still never had a positive test. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Linda Geddes about how scientists are trying to solve the mystery of why some people seemingly don’t catch Covid, and what could be behind this phenomenon. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 10, 2022
Is Russia losing the information war?
00:13:06
Since Vladimir Putin’s bizarre televised address announcing a ‘military operation’, the Russia-Ukraine war has been rife with disinformation and propaganda. Last week, Facebook and Instagram blocked access to the Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik across the European Union. In retaliation, Russia completely blocked access to Facebook and restricted access to Twitter. At the same time, misattributed videos purportedly showing nuclear weapons and Ukrainian fighter jets have been going viral. Ian Sample speaks to the Guardian’s global technology editor, Dan Milmo, about the ‘war myths’ propagated online, how the information war is being fought, and whose propaganda is having the biggest impact. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 08, 2022
What have fossil fuels got to do with the invasion of Ukraine?
00:14:27
As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, gas prices remain high around the world. Europe is dependent on Russia for about 40% of its natural gas supplies, and despite the expansion of renewable energy over the past two decades, that dependency is increasing as countries shift to gas from dirtier coal. Putin’s attack on Ukraine has put this reliance into sharp focus as Europe considers how to respond. Madeleine Finlay speaks to our environment correspondent Fiona Harvey about how Putin has weaponised Russia’s fossil fuels, and how Europe could reshape its energy supplies for the future. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 03, 2022
Act now: understanding the latest warnings in the IPCC report
00:15:16
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has given humanity a stark warning: without immediate and rapid action on climate breakdown, a liveable and sustainable future for all is at risk. The assessment, which is based on 34,000 studies, documents the ‘widespread and pervasive’ impacts on people and the natural world, and analyses how humanity can adapt. It also offers a small piece of good news – a liveable future remains within grasp. But the window of opportunity for action is ‘brief and rapidly closing’. Ian Sample speaks to environment editor Damian Carrington about the IPCC’s findings and how fast humanity needs to act. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 01, 2022
Covid-19: what’s the evidence for vaccinating kids?
00:13:11
When the announcement came last week that all children aged five to 11 in England will be offered a Covid vaccine, emphasis was placed on parental decision-making. But with factors to consider including disease severity, transmission, long Covid and vaccine side-effects, for many parents and guardians this may not be an easy choice. Ian Sample speaks to Prof Adam Finn about how the evidence stacks up, and what parents should be thinking about when deciding whether to vaccinate their five- to 11-year-olds against Covid-19. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 24, 2022
Will storms like Eunice become the norm?
00:14:13
Over the past week, the UK has been hit with three storms: Dudley, Eunice and Franklin. With high winds and heavy rain, they have brought death and injury, caused extensive damage to trees and infrastructure and stopped transport across the country. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Dr Fredi Otto about how rare these weather events are, and whether the climate crisis could bring us more frequent and intense storms in the future. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 22, 2022
Will Silicon Valley help us live to 200 and beyond?
00:12:14
While Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote about death and taxes remains true for most, the same might not be said for some of the world’s billionaires. And their efforts to extend life are under way. Most recently, a Silicon Valley start-up called Altos Labs signed up a dream team of scientists, including numerous Nobel laureates, with an aim to rejuvenate human cells. Ian Sample speaks to Prof Janet Lord about the science of ageing, extending our health as well as our lifespans, and how old we could actually go. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 17, 2022
What will ‘living with Covid’ actually mean?
00:13:46
Last week Boris Johnson announced that all Covid regulations in England, including the requirement to isolate after testing positive, were due to be abolished on 24 February. Whilst the Omicron variant has caused fewer hospitalisations and deaths than many predicted, some scientists say the changes may be going too far, too soon. Madeleine Finlay gets the Guardian science correspondent Hannah Devlin’s view on whether there’s scientific evidence backing up this decision and what the changes could look like. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 15, 2022
Why does Elon Musk want to read your mind?
00:14:13
A few weeks ago, Elon Musk’s company Neuralink posted a job advert recruiting for a ‘clinical trial director’ to run tests of their brain-computer interface technology in humans. Neuralink’s initial aim is to implant chips in the brain that would allow people with severe spinal cord injuries to walk again. But, Musk himself has said that he believes this technology could one day be used to digitally store and replay memories. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Prof Andrew Jackson about how brain-computer interfaces actually work, where the technology is at the moment, and if in the future we could all end up communicating telepathically. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 10, 2022
How worried should we be about the new Omicron subvariant?
00:10:50
Late in November, the World Health Organization designated the Covid variant B.1.1.529, with its many mutations, as a variant of concern. Dubbed Omicron, within weeks it had rapidly spread across the globe and become the dominant variant. But not far behind has been its even more transmissible cousin, BA.2. Initially taking off in Denmark and India, BA.2 is now making headway in several countries around the world, including the US and UK. Ian Sample speaks to Prof Nick Loman about how worried we should be about BA.2, and what we still need to learn about this new subvariant. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 08, 2022
Weekend: episode one of a new podcast
00:48:45
Ease into the weekend with our brand new podcast, showcasing some of the best Guardian and Observer writing from the week, read by talented narrators. In our first episode, Marina Hyde reflects on another less than stellar week for Boris Johnson (1m38s), Edward Helmore charts the rise of Joe Rogan (9m46s), Laura Snapes goes deep with singer George Ezra (18m30s), and Alex Moshakis asks, “Are you a jerk at work?” (34m40s). If you like what you hear, subscribe to Weekend on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 05, 2022
Are we getting any closer to understanding long Covid?
00:13:05
Extreme fatigue, brain fog, sleep disturbances, chest pain and skin rashes. These are just a few of the on-going symptoms of long Covid, a disorder that can persist for many months after an initial Covid infection. With such a vast range of symptoms, and health organisations stretched to capacity by the acute stage of the disease, long Covid has continued to remain something of a mystery. But with numerous studies trying to understand what exactly people are suffering from, progress is being made. Ian Sample speaks to Prof Akiko Iwasaki about what we do and don’t know about long Covid, and how the vaccine could reveal clues about what’s behind the disorder. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 03, 2022
Alternative menopause treatments: empowering or exploitative?
00:14:42
There have never been more products and services devoted to helping women through the menopause, from hormones and supplements to apps and even laser treatments. But is all this choice actually helpful? And what’s the evidence that any of them actually work? Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian science correspondent Linda Geddes about the great menopause gold rush – and how women can get the help they need.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 01, 2022
What are the hidden costs of our obsession with fish oil supplements?
00:16:49
They may be one of the world’s favourite supplements but, according to a recent study, more than one in 10 fish oil capsules are rancid. Most of the oil comes from Peruvian anchovetas, a type of anchovy, which is also used to feed pigs, poultry and farmed fish. And despite catching more than 4m tonnes a year of Peruvian anchovetas to cater to the global demand, large industry players want to scale this up even further. Madeleine Finlay speaks to environment journalist Richa Syal about why so many fish oil pills are rancid, and hears from journalist Dan Collyns in Chimbote, Peru, about how the industry is affecting the local environment and its residents. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 27, 2022
Are animals the future of human organ transplantation?
00:12:36
Earlier this month, in a medical first, surgeons from the University of Maryland transplanted a genetically altered pig heart into a living person. Doctors believed it was their only chance to save the life of David Bennett, a 57-year-old patient who was considered too ill for a human organ replacement. With hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in need of new organs, are animals set to be the future of transplantation? Ian Sample talks to bioethicist Prof Arthur Caplan about how the operation was made possible, and what could be next. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 25, 2022
Are western lifestyles causing a rise in autoimmune diseases?
00:11:24
Could the food we eat and the air we breathe be damaging our immune systems? The number of people with autoimmune diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to type 1 diabetes, began to increase around 40 years ago in the west. Now, some are also emerging in countries that had never seen the diseases before. Ian Sample speaks to genetic scientist and consultant gastroenterologist James Lee about how this points to what western lifestyles might be doing to our health, and how genetics could reveal exactly how our immune systems are malfunctioning. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 20, 2022
Covid-19: the Omicron wave is slowing - what lies on the other side?
00:10:11
The coronavirus variant has spread across the UK at incredible speed – but there are signs that the wave may have reached its peak. Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis about what we can expect in the weeks and months to come, and whether a second ‘exit wave’ could be here in the summer. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 18, 2022
Why Theranos’s blood-testing claims were always too good to be true
00:15:51
Last week, the tech CEO Elizabeth Holmes – once described as ‘the next Steve Jobs’ – was convicted of fraud, and could face decades in prison. Her now collapsed company, Theranos, promised to revolutionise medicine with a machine that could run hundreds of health tests on just a pinprick of blood. Those claims have since been exposed as false – but could they ever have been true? Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s wealth correspondent, Rupert Neate, about Silicon Valley’s trial of the century, and pathologist Dr Benjamin Mazer about why Theranos’s vision seemed impossible from the start. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 13, 2022
Is the world’s most important glacier on the brink of collapse?
00:11:37
It’s been called the most important glacier in the world. The Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is the size of Florida, and contains enough water to raise sea levels by over half a metre. Over the past 30 years it has been melting at an increasing pace, and currently contributes 4% of annual global sea level rise. Ian Sample speaks to marine geophysicist Dr Rob Larter about a new research mission to the Thwaites glacier, the role of Boaty McBoatface and what it’s like to see a region melt away before your eyes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 11, 2022
Why are so many people getting re-infected with Covid-19?
00:13:49
On Wednesday, 194,747 daily confirmed Covid cases were reported for the whole of the UK. But this doesn’t include all the people who have caught the virus for the second, or even third time. In fact, official figures for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland don’t include those who have had Covid before, despite warnings from scientists that up to 15% of Omicron cases could be reinfections. Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s science editor Ian Sample about why reinfections are so high for Omicron, what these cases could tell us, and how it could affect public health measures in the future. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 06, 2022
Why is it so hard to lose that festive weight – and keep it off? – podcast
00:12:33
New year resolutions often include eating more healthily, doing exercise and trying to shift some of the extra weight put on over Christmas. Yet research suggests the vast majority of people who do lose weight ultimately end up putting nearly all of it back on. So why is it so difficult? Madeleine Finlay speaks to health journalist and ex-neuroscientist David Cox on the science of metabolism, and what it means for our health. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jan 04, 2022
From the archive: Carlo Rovelli on how to understand the quantum world (part two)
00:22:03
From electrons behaving as both particles and waves to a cat in a box that’s both dead and alive, the consequences of quantum physics are decidedly weird. So strange, that over a century since its conception, scientists are still arguing about the best way to understand the theory. In the second of two episodes, Ian Sample sits down with the physicist Carlo Rovelli to discuss his ideas for explaining quantum physics, and how it affects our understanding of the world. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 30, 2021
From the archive: Carlo Rovelli on the weirdness of quantum mechanics (part one)
00:23:31
It has been more than a century since the groundwork of quantum physics was first formulated and yet the consequences of the theory still elude both scientists and philosophers. Why does light sometimes behave as a wave, and other times as a particle? Why does the outcome of an experiment apparently depend on whether the particles are being observed or not? In the first of two episodes, Ian Sample sits down with the physicist Carlo Rovelli to discuss the strange consequences of quantum theory and the explanation he sets out in his book Helgoland. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 28, 2021
Covid-19: what will Omicron mean for 2022? podcast
00:15:39
Yesterday, daily cases in the UK exceeded 100,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. Despite this, the government has stuck to its guns in refusing to introduce any restrictions in England before Christmas Day. Yesterday also saw the publishing of a report from a team at Imperial College London that suggests, in the UK, the risk of a hospital stay is 40% lower with Omicron than Delta. To find out what all this means for the weeks and months ahead, Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s science editor, Ian Sample.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 23, 2021
Environment stories you might have missed in 2021
00:18:02
Cop26 may have dominated the headlines this year, but there have been lots of other fascinating, devastating and hopeful environment stories over the past 12 months. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Guardian environment editor Damian Carrington and biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston about some of their favourites, from reintroducing wild bison to the fields of Kent to climate crisis tipping points. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 21, 2021
The climate crisis and devastating drought in eastern Africa
00:14:28
For three consecutive rainy seasons, the eastern Horn of Africa has experienced poor rainfall. Confounded by Covid-19 and desert locust invasions, millions are now facing starvation across parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Already, livestock and wildlife are dying of thirst and hunger in large numbers. And at the heart of it all is the worsening climate crisis. Madeleine Finlay asks climate researcher Chris Funk what’s causing these devastating weather patterns and speaks to Nairobi reporter Peter Muiruri about the impact the droughts are having in northern Kenya, and what can be done to make regions more drought-resilient in the future. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 16, 2021
Covid-19: Will boosters be enough to slow down Omicron?
00:13:52
As England moves to plan B, Boris Johnson has announced that all adults will be offered a booster vaccine by the end of December. But will that be enough to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed? Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s science editor, Ian Sample, about the spread of Omicron, and what we can do to prevent a tidal wave of cases. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 14, 2021
Nasa’s new space telescope and its search for extraterrestrial life
00:11:27
On 22 December, if all goes to plan, the £7.5bn James Webb space telescope (JWST) will be blasted into space on top of a giant European Ariane 5 rocket. As it travels to its final destination – a point about a million miles away – it will begin to unfold its gold, honeycombed mirror; a vast light-catching bucket that could give us a view of the universe deeper and more sensitive than we’ve ever had before. JWST could also reveal clues about possible life-supporting planets inside our galaxy. One astronomer who will be eagerly deciphering those clues is Prof Beth Biller, who joined Guardian science editor Ian Sample this week.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 09, 2021
Covid-19: How fast is the Omicron variant spreading? podcast
00:10:59
Over 40 countries have now confirmed the presence of Omicron. And, in the UK, scientists have been increasingly expressing their concern about the new variant. Some have speculated there could be more than 1,000 cases here already, and that it could become the dominant variant within weeks. To get an update on what we know about the Omicron variant, and how quickly it might be spreading, Madeleine Finlay speaks to Nicola Davis, the Guardian’s science correspondent. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 07, 2021
Is TikTok giving people Tourette’s Syndrome?
00:12:29
Clinicians around the world have noticed an increase in young adults, often women, developing ‘tic-like behaviours’ – sudden movements or vocalisations similar to what’s seen in Tourette Syndrome. Except these tics come on much later in life, and escalate more rapidly. Some have blamed the recent rise on social media – but the reality is much more complicated. Madeleine Finlay talks to Guardian reporter Sirin Kale and research psychologist Dr Seonaid Anderson about the young people experiencing this debilitating disorder, and what can be done about it.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Dec 02, 2021
Covid-19: how worried should we be about Omicron?
00:13:00
Last week, a new variant of Covid-19 was detected by scientists in South Africa. Since then, additional cases have been reported beyond southern Africa, including Belgium, Canada, Israel, Australia and the UK. And with the WHO warning that the Omicron variant poses a very high global risk, scientists around the world are scrambling to uncover clues about its transmissibility and how effective the current coronavirus vaccines will be against it. To find out what we do know about Omicron and what it could mean for the coming weeks and months, Madeleine Finlay spoke to the Guardian’s science editor, Ian Sample. This podcast was amended on 30 Nov 2021. An earlier version incorrectly claimed that Covid cases in South Africa had reached around 6,000 per day. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 30, 2021
Do lobsters have feelings? – podcast
00:10:55
Last week the UK government confirmed it would be extending its animal welfare (sentience) bill to include decapods (such as crabs, lobsters and crayfish), and cephalopods (such as octopuses, squid and cuttlefish). The move followed a government-commissioned review of the scientific evidence, which found strong evidence that cephalopods and decapods do have feelings. Madeleine Finlay spoke to Dr Jonathan Birch, who led the review, to ask what it means for lobsters to have feelings, and what difference it should make to how we treat – and eat – them. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 25, 2021
Astronaut Chris Hadfield on life in space
00:14:40
Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space, became commander of the International Space Station, and became a viral sensation after covering Bowie like no one else. He speaks to the Guardian’s science editor, Ian Sample, about life as an astronaut, the new race to the moon and his new novel, The Apollo Murders.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 23, 2021
Inside Delhi’s air pollution crisis
00:11:27
Over the past few weeks, a thick brown smog has enveloped Delhi. The pollution is so bad that the capital and surrounding states have shut schools and imposed work-from-home orders. Toxic air at levels 20 times higher than those deemed healthy by the World Health Organization has become a seasonal occurrence in India, causing about 1.6 million premature deaths every year. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Guardian South Asia correspondent Hannah Ellis-Petersen and environmental researcher Karthik Ganesan about what it is like to live with poisonous air – and what needs to be done. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 18, 2021
Why does Covid-19 make things smell disgusting?
00:11:44
Growing numbers of people catching coronavirus are experiencing an unpleasant distortion of smells. Scientists are still unsure what causes this often distressing condition, known as parosmia, where previously enjoyable aromas trigger feelings of disgust. Madeleine Finlay talks to science correspondent Linda Geddes about her own parosmia, and chemist Dr Jane Parker discusses research into why the smell of coffee seems to be a trigger for so many people. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 16, 2021
Cop26: the final day – have we made any progress on saving the planet?
00:16:44
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, Science Weekly host Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s environment correspondent, Fiona Harvey, and environment editor, Damian Carrington, on how the final hours of Cop26 negotiations are going. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 12, 2021
Cop26: can gas guzzling go green?
00:14:53
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay speaks to environment reporter Oliver Milman about electric cars, ‘environmentally-friendly’ planes and the need to rethink transport. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 11, 2021
Cop26: what do scientists think about the progress in Glasgow?
00:15:42
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, Guardian global environment editor, Jonathan Watts, talks to Katharine Hayhoe and Peter Stott about their work as climate scientists and how they feel Cop26 is progressing. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 10, 2021
Cop26: solutions from the frontline
00:14:44
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, Science Weekly host Madeleine Finlay and Guardian reporter Nina Lakhani attend the People’s Summit, which brings together movements from across the world to build solutions for climate change. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 09, 2021
Cop26: can our seas save us?
00:12:16
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, the Guardian’s biodiversity reporter, Phoebe Weston, talks to one of the world’s leading marine ecologists, Dr Enric Sala, about the role our oceans can play in preventing climate catastrophe. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 08, 2021
Cop26: are we finally saying goodbye to coal?
00:14:16
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s energy correspondent Jillian Ambrose about plans to end coal use. And as Cop26 week one draws to a close U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry gives his thoughts. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 05, 2021
Cop26: can capitalism actually go green?
00:13:21
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow, where we are bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s biodiversity and environment reporter, Patrick Greenfield, and shadow Cop26 president Ed Miliband about the announcements from finance day. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 04, 2021
Cop26: have we just saved our forests?
00:14:04
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow where we will be bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay, talks to Jon Watts about a significant announcement made by global leaders on forest and land use, and we hear from an indigenous leader in Guyana about why it might not be enough.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 03, 2021
Cop26 – the world leaders arrive
00:11:42
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow where we will be bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, host Madeleine Finlay hears why the Bahamas are under imminent threat from the climate crisis and what Guardian environment reporter Fiona Harvey makes of India’s commitment to be net zero – by 2070.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 02, 2021
Cop26: it’s finally here
00:13:10
The Science Weekly podcast is in Glasgow where we will be bringing listeners daily episodes from Cop26. Each morning you will hear from one of the Guardian’s award-winning environment team. Today, environment correspondent Fiona Harvey explains why this climate summit is so critical. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Nov 01, 2021
Daylight saving time could be bad for our health – should we get rid of it?
00:12:42
The clocks go back in the UK this Sunday and many will welcome the extra hour in bed. But research suggests that changing the time like this could be bad for the body. Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian’s science correspondent Linda Geddes and chronobiologist Prof Till Roenneberg about how daylight saving time affects our biology – and whether we should get rid of it permanently. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 28, 2021
Covid-19: with cases on the rise, will ‘plan B’ be enough in England?
00:11:21
Many experts have called for the reintroduction of some public health measures to reduce transmission rates. However, the government has repeatedly said it is not yet bringing in its ‘plan B’ for England. Madeleine Finlay speaks to science correspondent Nicola Davis about what it could entail and whether it would help us avoid the need for more stringent and longer-lasting measures down the line. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 26, 2021
Who are Insulate Britain and what do they want?
00:11:59
For the past few months Insulate Britain have been blocking roads in an effort to pressure the government into sealing up the UK’s leaky, draughty housing-stock. So why are a group of eco-activists facing confrontations from angry drivers, and even risking injury, for insulation? Shivani Dave speaks to environment correspondent Matthew Taylor about Insulate Britain’s demands and explores the possible health benefits of properly insulated homes with Dr James Milner. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 21, 2021
Covid-19: how 43,000 false negative tests were uncovered as wrong
00:12:16
Last week, testing at a private Covid lab in Wolverhampton was halted, after the UK Health Security Agency found tens of thousands of people may have been falsely given a negative PCR result. But since the start of September, scientists had been alerted to strange patterns in the testing data which suggested something was out of the ordinary. Anand Jagatia speaks to Dr Kit Yates, a mathematical biologist, about why it took so long for these errors to be traced back to the lab, and what the consequences could be. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 19, 2021
The world finally has a malaria vaccine. Why has it taken so long?
00:12:57
Last week the World Health Organization approved the world’s first malaria vaccine. It’s been hailed as a historic breakthrough that could save tens of thousands of lives each year. But researchers have been trying to create one for more than a century – so why has it taken so long? Anand Jagatia speaks to Dr Latif Ndeketa and Prof Chris Drakeley about how the new RTS,S vaccine works and why it’s been so difficult to produce. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 14, 2021
Is gene editing the future of food?
00:13:52
The world’s harvests are coming under increasing pressure from extreme weather events, disease and deteriorating soil health – problems that are set to get worse in the next few decades. Could one solution be to genetically edit our food to make it more resilient? With the UK’s recent announcement that it will ease the rules for growing gene-edited crops in England, Madeleine Finlay investigates what it will mean for scientists researching the technology, and why it could become a critical tool for the future of our food. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 12, 2021
Covid-19: will there soon be a pill that stops us getting sick?
00:11:08
Last week the pharmaceutical company Merck released promising early data on a pill for Covid-19, which trials suggest halves hospitalisations and deaths. So what do we know about this experimental treatment? Madeleine Finlay talks to the Guardian’s science correspondent Hannah Devlin about whether this antiviral could be a gamechanger. And as some UK experts warn ‘ there isn’t much A&E capacity left’, we also hear from Prof Peter Horby on the importance of drugs in the fight against Covid-19. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 07, 2021
Could machines sucking carbon out of the air help fight the climate crisis?
00:12:43
Meeting the Paris agreement’s goal of keeping global temperature rises to below 2C by the end of the century requires drastic cuts to fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. The problem is, even if we do this we’ll still need to draw down the carbon dioxide that’s emitted in the meantime. To find out how, Shivani Dave speaks to Phoebe Weston and Damian Carrington about the natural and synthetic ways of pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Oct 05, 2021
CoolSculpting, Botox and fillers are on the rise – but are they safe?
00:19:50
Last week, supermodel Linda Evangelista posted on her Instagram page describing undergoing a procedure called CoolSculpting, claiming it has left her ‘permanently deformed’. With this, which is also known as cryolipolysis, and other non-surgical cosmetic treatments on the rise, particularly among younger people, Madeleine Finlay investigates how these procedures work and how risky they really are. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 30, 2021
Fleeing a war zone is traumatic – so is what happens next
00:14:05
As Britain begins its commitment to take in 20,000 people fleeing Afghanistan, we look at the psychological impacts of trying to start again in a new country. Many asylum seekers and refugees have had to flee their homes in extremely distressing circumstances. A lucky few make it to a safe country such as the UK – but what happens next? Anand Jagatia speaks to Afraa, who was forcibly displaced from Syria with her family, and Prof Rachel Tribe, a counselling and occupational psychologist who works with asylum seekers and refugees. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 28, 2021
Covid-19: how effective are face masks, really?
00:13:22
Since the start of the pandemic, face coverings and their ability to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 have been under constant scrutiny by scientists, politicians and the public. More than a year and a half in, what do – and don’t – we know? Madeleine Finlay speaks to Prof Cath Noakes about how effective different face coverings are, how best to use them, and when we should be masking-up. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 23, 2021
Egg-freezing just got more attractive – but is it worth it?
00:14:19
Earlier this month the government announced it will extend the storage limit for those freezing their egg cells from 10 to 55 years. Over the past decade there has been a rapid growth in egg freezing, reaching 2,400 cycles in 2019, and the new rules will allow more freedom in choosing when to freeze – and unfreeze. But, as an expensive, invasive and often unsuccessful procedure, it certainly isn’t the fertility-preserving guarantee that most wish for. Shivani Dave asks if the process is really worth it for those wanting to conceive at a later date. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 21, 2021
Jaws made us scared of sharks but is a lack of sharks scarier?
00:12:44
Last week, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) world conservation congress took place in Marseille. Guardian biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston was there and heard about the latest updated ‘red list’ of threatened species, which included a warning that over a third of all shark and ray species now face extinction. To find out more, Anand Jagatia spoke to Phoebe about the findings and what they mean for the fate of sharks, rays and the ecosystems they inhabit. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 16, 2021
Flu season: are we in for a bumpier ride this year?
00:18:14
In a report earlier this summer, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) noted there could be a 50% increase in cases of influenza in comparison to other years. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Ian Sample about the factors at play, from weakened immunity to the expanded vaccine programme, and hears from Derek Smith, professor of infectious disease informatics about how the World Health Organization has decided on which influenza strains to vaccinate against this year. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 14, 2021
Are third vaccines and vaccine boosters the same thing?
00:10:05
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is recommending that a third jab be offered to people with weakened immune systems but the programme and rollout are different to the Covid vaccine boosters expected to be discussed by the JCVI later on Thursday. Shivani Dave speaks to Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh, and the Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis about the distinctions between booster jabs and third jabs Coronavirus – latest updates. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 09, 2021
Why swearing is more complicated than you think
00:12:42
Recently a study from Aston University revealed that the F-word had overtaken bloody to become Britain’s most popular swear word for the first time. Shivani Dave speaks to emeritus professor of psychology Timothy Jay of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to find out why people swear and whether or not there are any benefits to using swear words – especially as we move back into public spaces such as the office. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 07, 2021
Can we really solve the climate crisis by planting trees? (part two)
00:16:27
Getting trees into the ground isn’t simple. Reforestation often involves trade-offs and challenges. Phoebe Weston checks in on two projects where people are planting trees, and one where it’s not humans doing the planting at all. She and Patrick Greenfield from The age of extinction are back with two new episodes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Sep 02, 2021
Can we really solve the climate crisis by planting trees? (part one)
00:16:58
In an era of divisions over the climate breakdown, tree planting seems to bring everyone together. But are there situations where tree planting can cause more harm than good? And how much can it help us counteract global heating? Patrick Greenfield leads you through the science and controversy behind the decisions we’re making and how those decisions could shape our future environment. He and Phoebe Weston from The age of extinction are back with two new episodes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 31, 2021
Why aren’t children being vaccinated in the UK?
00:12:33
As back to school looms and in-person teaching returns, there is an expectation that Covid-19 cases will rise, especially among children. In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 12 to 17, but they are still not available to most people in this demographic. Shivani Dave speaks to the Guardian’s science correspondent, Natalie Grover, about why that is the case This podcast was amended on Thursday 26th August 2021 to correct for a misspeak: we said MRHA instead of MHRA. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 26, 2021
What should we be feeding our cats?
00:12:49
In mid-June this year, some brands of cat food were recalled as a precaution after a sudden increase in cases of feline pancytopenia, a rare blood disease that can be fatal. Shivani Dave speaks to Daniella Dos Santos, a practicing small animal and exotic pet vet and the senior vice-president of the British Veterinary Association, to understand what the food recall means for cat owners, and to find out how best to feed our feline friends. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 24, 2021
From the archive: the secret, sonic lives of narwhals
00:16:56
Narwhals may be shy and elusive, but they are certainly not quiet. Nicola Davis speaks to geophysicist Dr Evgeny Podolskiy about capturing the vocalisations of narwhals in an arctic fjord, and what this sonic world could tell us about the lives of these mysterious creatures. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 19, 2021
From the archive: Are alternative meats the key to a healthier life and planet?
00:30:00
How do protein substitutes compare with the real deal? Graihagh Jackson investigates by speaking to dietician Priya Tew, the Guardian’s Fiona Harvey and author Isabella Tree. This podcast was amended on 18 May 2019. An earlier version incorrectly claimed that vitamin B12 is also known as folate or folic acid. While folate/folic acid is also a B vitamin, it is not vitamin B12.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 17, 2021
From the archive: are national parks failing nature? (part 2)
00:19:22
The climate crisis is ‘unequivocally’ caused by human activities, according to a recent report from the IPCC. Many attempts are being made to conserve the environment, with one being to protect national parks. Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston explore the impact that conservation and national parks can have on Indigenous communities and the biodiversity surrounding them. If you haven’t already, go back and listen to Tuesday’s episode on the history of national parks and some of the challenges they face. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 12, 2021
From the archive: Are national parks failing nature? (part 1)
00:22:24
The climate crisis is ‘unequivocally’ caused by human activities, according to a report from the IPCC. One attempt to conserve the environment, being pushed by Boris Johnson, is to protect 30% of UK land in a boost for biodiversity. A Guardian exclusive found that an area twice the size of Greater London is devoted to grouse shooting in UK national parks, which threatens efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston investigate whether national parks benefit the environment and biodiversity, or if there might be a better way of doing things. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 10, 2021
Are hair relaxers causing breast cancer in black women?
00:15:11
Research from the Black Women’s Health Study has found that long-term and frequent users of hair relaxers had roughly a 30% increased risk of breast cancer compared with more infrequent users. Shivani Dave speaks to Dr Kimberly Bertrand, co-investigator of the study and assistant professor of medicine at Boston University, about the research and to journalist Tayo Bero about the effects these findings could have on the black community. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 05, 2021
The billionaire space race
00:14:57
Last month, billionaire after billionaire hopped into spacecraft to reach the final frontier. Shivani Dave speaks to Robert Massey, the deputy executive director at the Royal Astronomical Society, to understand what, if any, positives might come from what has been called ‘the billionaire space race’, or if the money and resources spent on space exploration should be redistributed to focus on the challenges being faced on Earth. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Aug 03, 2021
Testosterone in women’s athletics
00:15:46
Genetic advantages in sport tend to be celebrated, but that isn’t always the case when it comes to women’s athletics. At the start of July, two female runners from Namibia, Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, were told they couldn’t compete in the 400m race in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics unless they reduced their naturally high testosterone hormone levels. Shivani Dave speaks to Katrina Karkazis, a professor of sexuality, women’s, and gender studies, specialising in ‘sex testing’ and sport regulations, about the rules that ban female athletes with naturally high testosterone. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 29, 2021
Sporting super spikes: how do they work?
00:16:48
In the lead-up to the athletics competitions at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, Shivani Dave takes look at how advances in running shoe technology are resulting in records being smashed. Talking to Geoff Burns, a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan who specialises in biomechanics, Shivani asks how so-called ‘super spikes’ work and if the mechanical advantage they provide is fair. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 27, 2021
How does the human body cope with extreme heat? (part two)
00:16:09
We learned in our previous episode about the very real consequences that extreme heat has on human health and wellbeing, but there is little research into what actually happens to our bodies when exposed to extreme heat apart from in the world of sports science. In the second part of our discussion, as fears mount that the Tokyo Olympics will be the hottest on record and the world gears up for Cop26, Shivani Dave speaks to Mike Tipton, a professor of human and applied physiology. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 22, 2021
Why are extreme weather events on the rise? (part one)
00:14:07
The Guardian’s global environment editor, Jonathan Watts, speaks to Shivani Dave about extreme weather events – including the extreme heat recently recorded in the US and Canada. In the first of two parts, we hear how extreme heat comes about and why extreme weather events such as floods and monsoons look set to become more likely and even more extreme. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 20, 2021
What are the risks of England unlocking on 19 July?
00:17:01
Nearly all coronavirus restrictions in England are set to be lifted from Monday 19 July. But what are the risks of unlocking when we could be in the middle of a third wave of infections? The Guardian’s science editor, Ian Sample, talks to Anand Jagatia about how cases, hospital admissions and deaths are modelled to increase in the coming weeks, as well as the risks from long Covid and new variants. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 15, 2021
Covid-19: do we need to reframe the way we think about restrictions?
00:17:35
Before Downing Street urged ‘ extreme caution’ around the lifting of restrictions on so-called ‘freedom day’, Shivani Dave spoke to Prof Stephen Reicher about how mixed messages surrounding restrictions can affect our behaviour Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 13, 2021
How does Covid-19 affect chronic pain? (part two)
00:14:57
Fibromyalgia sufferer Vicky Naylor was successfully managing her condition – until she developed Covid-19. In the second part of our exploration of chronic pain, the Guardian science correspondent Linda Geddes tells Anand Jagatia what we know about the connection between chronic pain, Covid and mental health, and why it affects women more than men. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 08, 2021
Understanding chronic pain (part one)
00:14:15
Chronic pain affects about 40% of the UK population. While there is growing recognition that pain can be an illness in and of itself, there is still a lot we don’t know. Anand Jagatia hears from fibromyalgia sufferer Vicky Naylor on what it’s like to live with chronic pain, and the Guardian’s science correspondent Linda Geddes about the causes for these sometimes debilitating conditions. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 06, 2021
Is hay fever on the rise?
00:13:03
After 18 months of life being at a near standstill, Science Weekly’s Shivani Dave found a lot of their conversations with friends turned to the severity of hay fever this year. Many claimed their allergies had never been worse. Shivani Dave asks horticulturist, Thomas Ogren, whether hay fever symptoms have become more severe in recent times. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jul 01, 2021
How effective is the new Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab?
00:14:19
Before Covid, dementia was the biggest killer in the UK and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type. A controversial new drug for Alzheimer’s, aducanumab, is the first in nearly 20 years to be approved in the US, which will trigger pressure to make it available worldwide. The Guardian’s health editor, Sarah Bosley, talks Shivani Dave through the mixed evidence of its efficacy. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 29, 2021
Are we really ready to live with Covid-19?
00:15:25
Throughout the pandemic, but increasingly in recent weeks, some senior scientists and politicians have been saying that, at some point, we’re going to have to learn to live with coronavirus. On the other hand, just last week, there was a vote in the Commons to delay the easing of restrictions - a date dubbed by some as ‘freedom day’. Speaking to Prof Siân Griffiths and Prof David Salisbury, Ian Sample asks if now is the time to go back to normality or whether a more cautious approach is needed Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 24, 2021
How clocks have shaped civilisations
00:17:03
Since the dawn of time, clocks have shaped our behaviour and values. They are embedded in almost every aspect of modern life, from the time on your smartphone to the atomic clocks that underpin GPS. Anand Jagatia talks to horologist David Rooney about his new book, which tells the history of civilisation in twelve clocks. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 22, 2021
Inside the world of wildlife trafficking (part two)
00:22:40
In the second part of our look at wildlife crime, Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield from the Guardian’s age of extinction project look at another victim: orchids. Why are they valued so highly? And how are they being protected? • Read more: ‘Orchidelirium’: how a modern-day flower madness is fuelling the illegal trade. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 17, 2021
Inside the world of wildlife trafficking (part one)
00:17:48
We often think of the illegal trade in wildlife as involving charismatic megafauna such as elephants and big cats. But some of the biggest victims are more inconspicuous. Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield from the Guardian’s age of extinction project explore wildlife crime in a two part series Read more: Jellied, smoked, baked in pies – but can the UK stop eels sliding into extinction?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 15, 2021
As indigenous languages die out, will we lose knowledge about plants?
00:19:26
There are more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth, but by the end of the century, 30% of these could be lost. This week, research warns that knowledge of medicinal plants is at risk of disappearing as human languages become extinct. Phoebe Weston speaks to Rodrigo Cámara Leret about the study, and the links between biological and cultural diversity. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 10, 2021
Anna Ploszajski: crafting to better understand material science
00:17:34
Material science allows us to understand the objects around us mathematically, but there is no formula to describe the sophistication of a handcrafted teacup. Dr Anna Ploszajski is a materials scientist who has travelled all over the UK, meeting makers to better understand her craft and theirs. She spoke to Shivani Dave about what she discovered and documented in her new book, Handmade.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 08, 2021
From the archive: Callum Roberts on a life spent diving in coral reefs
00:22:55
As temperatures soar in the UK, the Guardian’s Science Weekly team have decided to pull this episode out of the archive. Prof Callum Roberts is a British oceanographer, author and one of the world’s leading marine biologists. Sitting down with Ian Sample in 2019, he talks about his journey into exploring this marine habitat. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 03, 2021
What can a wild night out teach us about ecosystem health?
00:21:36
Moths, bats and owls are just some of the animals best observed at night, and they tell us a lot about the health of ecosystems. Age of Extinction reporter Phoebe Weston ventures into a dark wood with Chris Salisbury, author of Wild Nights Out, to see what she can learn by watching and listening to wildlife. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Jun 01, 2021
Can Covid vaccines disrupt menstrual cycles?
00:14:50
When getting a Covid jab you will be read a list of potential side-effects. You’ll even be given a leaflet to take home with the side-effects on them, and none of those includes changes in menstruation. After anecdotal reports of bleeding, Dr Kate Clancy and Dr Katharine Lee speak to Nicola Davis about why they launched a survey documenting events of this kind. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 27, 2021
Could sniffer dogs soon be used to detect Covid-19? (an update)
00:20:07
This week, a study has added to the evidence that specially trained dogs could be used to sniff out people with Covid-19, showing that canines are faster than PCR tests and more accurate than lateral flow tests at detecting infections. Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian’s science correspondent Linda Geddes, who went to see the dogs in action Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage This podcast was amended on 2 June 2021. An earlier version incorrectly referred to insulin being used by people with type 1 diabetes to treat low blood sugar; in fact insulin is given when blood sugar is too high. That reference has been removed.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 25, 2021
Have we entered the Anthropocene – a new epoch in Earth’s history?
00:19:59
Human beings have transformed the planet. Over the last century we’ve disrupted the climate and impacted entire ecosystems. This has led some to propose that we’ve entered another chapter in Earth’s history called the Anthropocene. Anand Jagatia speaks to Dr Simon Turner from the Anthropocene Working Group, given the task of gathering evidence on whether it will become an official unit of geological time. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 20, 2021
The reality behind NFTs
00:20:30
One-of-a-kind digital collectables, known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have boomed in areas ranging from music, sport and art. As the focus is on digital artists to seize this opportunity to potentially make millions for their work, the Guardian’s technology correspondent, Alex Hern, talks to Shivani Dave about the pros and cons of this emerging technology. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 18, 2021
Covid-19: what do we know about the variants first detected in India?
00:22:45
With restrictions in England due to be further relaxed on 17 May, new coronavirus variants first detected in India are spreading across the UK. Public Health England designated one, known as B.1.617.2, as a ‘variant of concern’ last week. It is now the second most common variant in the country. Anand Jagatia speaks to the Guardian science correspondent Nicola Davis and Prof Ravi Gupta about what we know and how concerned we should be. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 13, 2021
Melting away: understanding the impact of disappearing glaciers
00:20:45
Prompted by an illness that took her to the brink of death and back, Jemma Wadham recalls 25 years of expeditions around the globe. Speaking to the professor about her new book, Ice Rivers, Shivani Dave uncovers the importance of glaciers – and what they should mean to us. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 11, 2021
How has our thinking on the climate crisis changed?
00:29:21
When the Guardian began reporting on the climate crisis 70 years ago, people were worried that warmer temperatures would make it harder to complain about the weather. Today it is the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced. In the second special episode marking 200 years of the Guardian, Phoebe Weston is joined by Jonathan Watts, Prof Naomi Oreskes and Alice Bell to take a look at climate coverage over the years, how our understanding of the science has changed and how our attitudes and politics have shifted. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 06, 2021
What can we learn from the 1918 flu pandemic? – podcast
00:26:54
On 22 June 1918, the Manchester Guardian reported that a flu epidemic was moving through the British Isles. It was noted to be ‘by any means a common form of influenza’. Eventually, it took the lives of more than 50 million people around the world. In a special episode to mark the Guardian’s 200th anniversary, Nicola Davis looks back on the 1918 flu pandemic and how it was reported at the time. Speaking to science journalist Laura Spinney, and ex-chief reporter at the Observer and science historian Dr Mark Honigsbaum, Nicola asks about the similarities and differences to our experiences with Covid-19, and what we can learn for future pandemics. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
May 05, 2021
Unearthing the secret social lives of trees – podcast
00:21:55
Over her career, first as a forester and then as a professor of forest ecology, Suzanne Simard has been uncovering the hidden fungal networks that connect trees and allow them to send signals and share resources. Speaking to Suzanne about her new book, Finding the Mother Tree, Linda Geddes discovers how these underground webs allow plants to cooperate and communicate with each other. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 29, 2021
Can we create a climate-resistant coffee in time? – podcast
00:23:07
Worldwide, we drink around 2bn cups of coffee every day. But as coffee plants come under pressure from the climate crisis, sustaining this habit will be increasingly challenging. Recently, a new study provided a glimmer of hope: a climate-resistant coffee plant just as tasty as arabica. Patrick Greenfield asks Dr Aaron Davis about his work tracking it down, and speaks to Dr Matthew Reynolds about developing climate-resistant crops. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 27, 2021
Has the pandemic changed our sleep habits? – podcast
00:15:58
In the second of two episodes exploring our biological clocks, Linda Geddes speaks to Prof Till Roenneberg about how social restrictions during the pandemic have altered our sleep patterns and whether maintaining these changes could reduce social jetlag. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 22, 2021
Why is it so bad being a night owl? – podcast
00:20:41
Do you like to get up and go as the sun rises, or do you prefer the quiet hush of the late evening? Many of us tend to see ourselves as being ‘morning larks’ or ‘night owls’, naturally falling into an early or late sleep schedule. These are known as our ‘chronotypes’. Studies have shown that those with later chronotypes are at risk of a range of negative health outcomes, from an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes to depression. In the first of two episodes exploring our biological clocks, Linda Geddes speaks to Prof Debra Skene and Dr Samuel Jones to find out why our internal timings differ, and why it seems worse to be a night owl. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 20, 2021
Do humans respond differently to screams of pleasure and pain? – podcast
00:17:13
Why do we scream? Whilst past research has largely focused on using screams to signal danger and scare predators, humans scream in a much wider range of contexts – from crying out in pleasure to shrieking with grief. Madeleine Finlay speaks to Prof Sascha Frühholz about his new study identifying what emotions humans communicate through screams, and how our brains react differently to distinct types of scream calls. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 15, 2021
Covid-19: what’s going on with the AstraZeneca vaccine?
00:25:50
After mounting concern over reports of rare but serious blood clots in a small number of recipients of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, last week the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that healthy adults under 30 should have an alternative jab if they can. To find out what’s behind the change in advice, Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Sue Pavord about what this rare clotting syndrome is, and asks Prof Adam Finn about how the JCVI made its decision. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 13, 2021
Covid-19: how does it cause heart damage?
00:14:04
Cardiovascular problems aren’t just a risk factor for Covid-19, but can also be a complication of having the disease. A growing number of studies are showing that many of those who have been hospitalised for Covid-19, as well as people who managed the initial infection at home, are being left with heart injuries including inflammation, blood clots and abnormal heart rhythms. Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Betty Raman to find out how the virus damages organs outside the lungs, and what’s being done to help. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 08, 2021
Why has the African elephant been split into two species?
00:22:38
Recently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessed the African elephant as two separate species – the forest elephant and savannah elephant. The move has increased these animals’ ‘ red list’ categorisation to endangered for savannah elephants and critically endangered for forest elephants. In an Age of Extinction extra for Science Weekly, Patrick Greenfield asks why it has taken so long for these two species to be officially recognised as such, and what the reclassification could mean for their conservation. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 06, 2021
Should we determine species through DNA? (part two)
00:26:16
In part two of The Age of Extinction takeover of Science Weekly, Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston explore a relatively new and controversial technology called DNA barcoding that is helping scientists to differentiate between species – including fungi, which we heard about in part one. As the catastrophic loss of biodiversity around the world continues, could DNA barcoding at least allow us to accurately record the species that are perishing?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Apr 01, 2021
Why is it hard to get our head around fungi? (part one)
00:25:37
Our colleagues from The age of extinction, Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield, are back with two new episodes. We often talk as if we know what species exist in the world – but we don’t. Could misclassifying the notoriously cryptic fungi have broader implications for what we know about the environment, and how we care for it?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 30, 2021
You can't bullshit a bullshitter, or can you?
00:19:15
In 2019, Ian Sample delved into the mind of a bullshitter, talking to psychologists about what prompts people to spout nonsense and gibberish. Recently, one of the researchers he spoke to, Shane Littrell, published a study asking – can you bullshit a bullshitter? Not being able to resist diving into the dark arts of BS once more, Ian Sample invited Shane back on the podcast to hear the answer and find out what it might tell us about the spread of misinformation. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 25, 2021
Covid-19: what happens next?
00:27:40
On 23 March 2020, the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced the first lockdown in response to the growing number of cases of Covid-19. At the same time, countries around the world began to close their schools, restaurants, and offices and ask citizens to physically distance from one another. In the 12 months since, more than 2 million people have died, viral variants have emerged, and we have developed safe and effective vaccines. One year into the pandemic, Science Weekly is asking: what happens next? Ian Sample talks to the professors Martin Landray, Mike Tildesley, and Deborah Dunn-Walters about Covid treatments, vaccines and what the next 12 months may hold. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 23, 2021
Carlo Rovelli on how to understand the quantum world (part 2)
00:21:41
From electrons behaving as both particles and waves to a cat in a box that’s both dead and alive, the consequences of quantum physics are decidedly weird. So strange, that over a century since its conception, scientists are still arguing about the best way to understand the theory. In the second of two episodes, Ian Sample sits down with the physicist Carlo Rovelli to discuss his ideas for explaining quantum physics, and what it means for our understanding of the world. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 18, 2021
Carlo Rovelli on the weirdness of quantum mechanics (part one)
00:22:45
It has been over a century since the groundwork of quantum physics was first formulated and yet the strange consequences of the theory still elude both scientists and philosophers. Why does light sometimes behave as a wave, and other times like a particle? Why does the outcome of an experiment apparently depend on whether the particles are being observed or not? In the first of two episodes, Ian Sample sits down with physicist Carlo Rovelli to discuss the strange consequences of quantum and the explanation he sets out in his new book, Helgoland. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 16, 2021
How do you make a convincing deepfake video? – podcast
00:24:25
Last week videos of what appeared to be Tom Cruise at home and playing golf appeared on TikTok. It later emerged the clips were actually AI-generated by a creator of ‘deepfake’ videos. Deepfake videos depict situations that have never happened in the real world, and are becoming increasingly convincing. Alex Hern goes behind the scenes to find out exactly how such videos were made, and how far this technology has progressed. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 11, 2021
What are we missing out on by not talking to strangers?
00:29:12
Social distancing measures mean most of us now have very little opportunity to talk to strangers and acquaintances. These chats might seem insignificant, but they can provide lots of psychological benefits. To find out more, Linda Geddes speaks to Gillian Sandstrom about what we’re currently missing out on. And, when told Gillian finds finishing a chat particularly hard, Linda gets in touch with the author of a recent paper asking why we find it so challenging to end a conversation. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 09, 2021
Does how we think influence what we think?
00:16:56
What we believe is influenced by an array of factors, from our past experience to who our friends are. But a recent paper has now looked at what role how we think plays in sculpting our world-views. Natalie Grover speaks to lead author Dr Leor Zmigrod about the research evaluating the link between cognitive disposition – differences in how information is perceived and processed – and ideologies. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 04, 2021
Covid-19: why are we feeling burnt out?
00:17:38
It’s getting towards a year since the UK first went into lockdown. That’s almost 12 months of home-schooling, staying in at the weekends, and not being able to see groups of friends and family in person. For many, the pandemic has also brought grief, loss of financial stability and isolation. So it should come as no surprise that lots of us are feeling emotionally exhausted, stressed and generally worn down. But why are we hitting the wall now? And what can we do about it? Ian Sample is joined again by Prof Carmine Pariante to discuss pandemic burnout and how to look after our mental health over the coming months. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Mar 02, 2021
A practical guide to tackling the climate crisis
00:25:04
The first UN climate change conference was held in 1995 in Berlin. More than two decades later, our planet remains on track for three degrees of warming above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The answer to avoiding this catastrophe is both simple and staggeringly complicated: drastically reducing and reversing the amount of carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere. How do we do this? Science correspondent Natalie Grover speaks to Prof Mike Berners-Lee, author of There is No Planet B, who has crunched the numbers on everything from carbon offsetting and green investments to e-bikes. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 25, 2021
Did an ancient magnetic pole flip change life on Earth? – podcast
00:27:24
What would it be like if the Earth’s magnetic pole switched? Migrating animals and hikers would certainly need to reset their compasses, but could it play real havoc with life on Earth? Analysing the rings of an ancient tree pulled from a bog in New Zealand, researchers have been investigating what happened the last time north and south flipped – 42,000 years ago. Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Chris Turney about how it changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and, if combined with a period of lower solar activity, what impact this could have had on the environment and evolution. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 23, 2021
Why do humans struggle to think of ourselves as animals?
00:23:42
The pandemic has demonstrated why humans are ultimately an impressive species. From monitoring the genetic evolution of Sars-CoV-2 to devising vaccines in record time, we have put our minds together to reduce the impact of Covid-19. Yet, the global spread of a new disease is a reminder that we are not invincible, and remain at the mercy of our biology and the natural world. Speaking to author Melanie Challenger about her new book How to Be Animal, Madeleine Finlay asks how we can come to terms with ourselves as animals and why it might do humanity some good. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 18, 2021
Covid-19: why mix and match vaccines?
00:10:56
The Com-Cov trial run by the Oxford Vaccine Group in the UK will be testing the efficacy and safety of a ‘mix and match’ approach to immunisation. By giving some participants either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and a second dose of the other, the trial aims to find out if combining different jabs offers sufficient protection. Sarah Boseley speaks to Dr Peter English about where this technique has been used in the past, why it could be beneficial, and how mixing vaccines actually works. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 16, 2021
Covid-19: love in lockdown
00:16:28
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and for many couples this year will feel very different. Lockdowns, social distancing, and self-isolation have forced those in relationships to choose whether to be together all the time, or stay apart for potentially months on end. Linda Geddes speaks to Dr Deborah Bailey-Rodriguez about how couples have navigated their relationships during the pandemic. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 11, 2021
What can the evolutionary history of turtles tell us about their future?
00:15:36
Turtles have been around for more than 200m years, and can be found almost everywhere on the planet. Yet, they are surprisingly uniform and many species around today are facing an uncertain future – at risk from trade, habitat destruction and the climate crisis. Looking at a new study investigating the evolutionary history of turtles, Age of Extinction reporter Phoebe Weston talks to Prof Bob Thomson about what his work can tell us about the factors shaping their diversity and how we can support turtles’ dwindling numbers. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 09, 2021
From the archive: what's it like to live without smell?
00:30:44
For many people infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus, the first sign of contracting the disease is a loss of smell and taste; something we reported on last May. Studies have now shown that months later an unlucky minority will still be lacking these senses – while for others they may have returned somewhat distorted. While scientists try to fathom what exactly causes this and what treatments could help, we return to the archives to explore what it’s like to live without a sense of smell. The episode was part of a special series from the Guardian called Brain waves exploring the science and emotion of our everyday lives. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 04, 2021
Covid-19: what can we learn from Manaus?
00:18:18
The rainforest city of Manaus in Brazil was the first in the country to be struck by the pandemic. The virus rapidly spread, and by October last year it was estimated that 76% of the population had been infected – a number higher than the theoretical threshold for herd immunity. Yet, in January 2021, cases surged and the health system was once again overwhelmed, with hospitals running out of oxygen and doctors and nurses required to carry out manual ventilation. To find out what might be behind this second wave, Sarah Boseley speaks to the Guardian’s Latin America editor, Tom Phillips, and Dr Deepti Gurdasani, asking why Manaus has been hit twice and what it might mean for our understanding of immunity, new viral variants, and the path through the pandemic. This podcast was amended on 2nd February 2021 to correct errors in the scripting. We incorrectly stated that the city of Manaus is situated only by the Amazon River, and that the Amazon River flows into the Pacific Ocean. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Feb 02, 2021