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New Scientist Weekly

Author: New Scientist

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Keep up with the latest scientific developments and breakthroughs in this weekly podcast from the team at New Scientist, the world’s most popular weekly science and technology magazine. Each discussion centers around three of the most fascinating stories to hit the headlines each week. From technology, to space, health and the environment, we share all the information you need to keep pace. Produced by Right Angles.
18 Episodes
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The coronavirus pandemic is a human disaster that is dominating the news right now, but climate change is going to be worse and longer-lasting. The two crises may seem to be completely separate, but there are parallels that can be drawn between the two in our reaction and response to them, our ability to change behaviour and the possibility of bending the curve of their impact.In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, and Graham Lawton. They discuss the views of the chief of the World Meteorological Organisation, Peterri Taalas, that our environmentally unfriendly ways might change as a result of the pandemic - and if the last few months might reset our climate damaging norms or will we slip back into old habits. The team also hear how bumblebees can force plants to flower early if they are struggling to find food, they discuss how to stay safe from the coronavirus as lockdown eases, and they explore the new space race between private companies rather than global superpowers. They debate whether NASA outsourcing space travel is wise, given they are potentially putting their faith in the hands of companies with controversial CEOs such as Elon Musk SpaceX - even if they are getting a good deal on price. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.Please vote for us for the Listeners’ Choice Award at the British Podcast Awards: https://www.britishpodcastawards.com/vote
Rather than simply eating until we are full, humans selectively try to eat the right amounts of three macronutrients – protein, carbs and fat – plus two micronutrients, sodium and calcium. It turns out we have five separate appetites that drive us to eat the right amount of each.In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, and Graham Lawton. They discuss an evolutionary explanation for the obesity epidemic: the fact humans will gorge on carbohydrates to try and get enough protein if they find themselves deprived of this nutrient.The team also discuss an implant that lets blind people ‘see’ letters traced on their brain’s surface, they analyse how the coronavirus is impacting conservation efforts around the world, and they delve into mud on Mars. If what we thought was lava pouring out of Martian volcanoes is actually mud, it has implications for life on the planet - which leads to a message from Elon Musk. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
There are four fundamental forces that describe how everything works, from black holes to radioactive decay to sounds coming out of your headphones. But this week we discuss hints that there is a fifth fundamental force of nature.In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, and Valerie Jamieson. They ask whether physics is in crisis, given that it struggles to explain 95% of the universe, or if physicists are happy, because there is so much still to discover. The team also discuss the creation of mouse-human chimeras, they reveal how kelp could help remove billions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, and analyse whether dystopian science fiction has primed us to think that social distancing surveillance measures - such as the robot dog seen patrolling in Singapore - are too creepy. And there’s a swift discussion about the bird that sleeps on the wing and that has just returned to Europe from Africa. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.Join our online event: ‘Can we trust the science?’ on Monday 18 May at 6pm BST here: https://www.newscientist.com/science-events/new-online-series-continues-coronavirus-can-trust-science/
MIDI, the digital encoding technology that revolutionised music production in the 1980s, is getting an upgrade. We explore how MIDI 2.0 will change not only how music is made, but how sounds are produced in movies. We discuss the history and future of sound, using Nancy Sinatra, Radiohead and pioneering electronic musician Aphex Twin as examples. In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Valerie Jamieson and Bethan Ackerley. They discuss the infodemic of bad science surrounding coronavirus, and the danger posed by stories shared by ‘armchair epidemiologists’. They share their top tips for disseminating what coronavirus information can be trusted.The team also hear about a possible solution to the mystery of massively powerful radio waves that have been detected from across the universe; they reveal the truth about murder hornets which have been found in the US for the first time; and in climate change news, they delve into the latest stats on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
Is the coronavirus crisis giving you bad dreams? Anxiety and stress about covid-19 has changed our sleeping patterns and the tone of our dreams. But rest assured, bad dreams and nightmares are just a sign of the brain doing its job. In this episode, special guest Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California and best-selling author of ‘Why We Sleep’, shares top tips for sleeping well, and gives advice for people experiencing bad dreams. In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, and New Scientist consultant Michael Brooks. They take a mind-bending look at what happened when mathematicians decided to try and explain consciousness, and the controversy over what consciousness actually is.They also discuss a robot that has been constructed using the spine of a rat and 3D-printed muscle, explore how brain stimulation could be used to treat severe anorexia, and they lift a glass to research that suggests drunken elephants do in fact go on a rampage!
We might have the first evidence for the mind-blowing idea that there is a parallel universe to our own, an antimatter universe which is mirror-flipped and travelling backwards in time.In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Cat de Lange and Gilead Amit. They discuss the tantalising clues suggesting there might be a weird parallel universe created with ours, and speculate as to what this might mean.They also explore how you can protect your mental health during the coronavirus crisis; why it is vitally important to stay connected during lockdown, and how simple things, such as regular rhythms of getting up and going to bed around the same time, can be the key to good self-care. The team also talk about a delicious lockdown treat you can cook at home called dulce de leche; explore an extraordinary lesser-known novel by Mary Shelley about a pandemic; and hear about why men are more likely to develop severe covid-19 and to die from the disease. 
While much of the world is still on lockdown and with global cases of coronavirus now over two million, one positive thing that’s come out of this crisis is that we’re paying more attention to our physical fitness. In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet and Cat de Lange. They discuss the latest UK and US government advice on fitness that emphasises how muscle strengthening is just as important as aerobic activity, and how you can do this kind of exercise even in a confined space. The team also hear what could be the first climate change song (from 1927!), explore how bats are capable of mimicking sound, discuss an on-going cosmic explosion which is the biggest ever seen, and investigate newly-invented vibrating clothing which claims to instil calmness and confidence. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts. 
The United States now accounts for one-fifth of all new coronavirus cases globally, with New York at the epicentre with over 150,000 cases. In this episode, special guest Dr Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shares his thoughts from New York on how to reduce the risk to healthcare workers, why until we find a vaccine we are living in a ‘Covid World’, and on how the world can come out of this crisis a safer place. In the pod this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Graham Lawton and Sam Wong. They discuss the science of baking bread and why you don’t need to buy yeast; how a parakeet has become the world’s most invasive species; the lifespan of the world’s biggest fish, and the surprising things bacteria might be responsible for - including maybe even the weather! To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
There’s still so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, from the symptoms and spreadability to matters like how long you should self-isolate. In this episode, we attempt to answer some of the most pressing questions about COVID-19. In the pod for this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet and Graham Lawton. Also, the poet laureate Simon Armitage reads a poem written in response to the coronavirus crisis, called Lockdown. We discuss when you are likely to be at the peak of infection, whether it is possible to be infected twice, and why the coronavirus doesn’t seem to be affected much by heat and humidity. We also offer our tips for maintaining a healthy mental state during lockdown.And in non-pandemic news: the team reports how hot springs might have been discovered on Mars, highlight an artificial intelligence that has the ability to read your mind, and explore the origins of humanity now that new research suggests humans might not have a single point of origin but rather many, scattered all over Africa. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
The UK government says they are going to distribute millions of covid-19 coronavirus testing kits in the next few days, but how effective will these be and is it too late now to flatten the curve of increasing infections? In the pod for this week’s episode are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet and Graham Lawton. The team is joined by epidemiologist Christl Donnelly from Imperial College London. Christl is associate director of the MRC centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, which advises the government. We hear how it's never too late to flatten the curve, and how smartphones are can be useful for contact tracing. There’s also some non-coronavirus-related news too: the team highlight a tasty new discovery that will make the texture of lab-grown meat more realistic, explore how to fight infection and ageing by turning back your immune system's clock, and discuss a mouse that might be ‘the most hardcore mammal on the planet.’ To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
The actions taken now by countries and governments globally is crucial in limiting the impact of the covid-19 coronavirus - but has the response been strong enough? In the pod for this week’s episode are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet and Graham Lawton. The team is joined by two experts from University College London: professor of risk and disaster reduction David Alexander, and professor of ecology and biodiversity Kate Jones. The panel explores just how prepared we are for this global emergency, and also looks at how diseases that originate in wildlife may be increasing as a result of environmental challenges. And if you want to hear what else is going on in the world, there’s more than just coronavirus on the lineup. The team highlights ‘bonehenge’, a 22,000-year-old structure made of mammoth bones, discusses the incredible finding of a planet where it rains liquid iron, and uncovers the evolutionary origin of the human ability to run. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
Everyone wants a coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible - but what is involved, and how long will it take? On the panel for this week’s episode are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Jacob Aron and Clare Wilson. The team is joined by Katrina Pollock, a vaccine scientist from Imperial College London, who explains the work that needs to be done before we have a safe and effective vaccine for covid-19. Also on the show is the surprising finding that subatomic and ghostly neutrinos may have influenced the structure of the early universe. We also hear how to treat human organs outside of the body, in an effort to make the organs healthier when transplanted into patients in need. To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
Governments globally are taking serious measures to halt the spread of the covid-19 coronavirus, from shutting schools to cancelling major events. On the panel for this special episode dedicated to the disease are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet and Donna Lu. The team is joined by Adam Kucharski, associate professor in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Adam answers questions on the biology of the disease, what the true fatality rates are, and when the outbreak might finally fizzle out. Also on the agenda is the impact the outbreak is having on the economy, and the importance of washing your hands. To find out more about the stories mentioned in this episode, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
As the covid-19 coronavirus spreads around the globe, we’ve been warned to prepare for a pandemic. On the panel this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Jacob Aron and Clare Wilson. The team answers questions from you about the coronavirus outbreak, shares news of a technique being used to read the minds of people with brain injuries who aren’t otherwise able to communicate, and discusses the pros and cons of an initiative to plant a trillion trees to combat climate change. To find out more about the stories mentioned in this episode, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.
Would you eat lab-grown meat? The guilt-free, environmentally friendly animal alternative will be hitting our shelves this year. On the panel for this week’s episode are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Donna Lu and Graham Lawton. The team explains how a company in Singapore called Shiok Meats is due to launch a range of lab-cultured shrimp meat, explores the possibility that Neanderthals may have buried their dead*, and discusses how SpaceX is launching the new age of space tourism. To find out more about the stories mentioned in this episode, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts*Correction: In the episode we state the Neanderthal remains were buried 50,000 years ago, but it's more likely to have been between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago.
Just when we thought we were seeing a decline in the number of Wuhan coronavirus cases, there has been a sharp uptick in reported deaths. On the panel for this week’s episode are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Donna Lu, Jess Hamzelou and Lilian Anekwe. The team brings you the latest news on the spread of the disease, now known as covid-19, explore the story of a woman with above average language skills despite being born with only half of her brain, and – just in time for Valentine’s day – discuss whether it’s possible to cure a broken heart with drugs. To find out more about the stories mentioned in this episode, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts
Being in two different places at once — it's one of the deeply weird things that happens in the quantum realm. On the panel for this week’s episode are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Donna Lu and Jacob Aron. The team begins by discussing a super-cool experiment that hopes to demonstrate quantum physics by placing a solid object in two places at once. They also explore revelations about the ancient origins of the alphabet, and examine a report from Wuhan City on the coronavirus outbreak and the realities of what life in China is like right now. To find out more about the stories mentioned in this episode, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts
It’s a rapidly spreading outbreak with the potential to become a full blown pandemic – but just how concerned should we be about the global impact of Wuhan coronavirus? On the panel for the inaugural episode of the podcast are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Adam Vaughan and Jacob Aron. As well as answering your questions on the continuing spread of the coronavirus, the team explore the news that scientists are nearly ready to recreate nuclear fusion, the process that powers the Sun. They also explain why the Solar Orbiter spacecraft is visiting its poles, and what data it hopes to collect. To find out more about the stories mentioned in this episode, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts
Comments (12)

ID17263458

Can I get the name of the speaker who talks about the FRBs?

May 9th
Reply

inov8ive

why do the new scientist podcast editors exclude any covid-19 scientific news? you're dropping the ball in my opinion

May 2nd
Reply

ncooty

A podcast supposedly about recent scientific discoveries really should evince a better understanding of science, including critical thinking. You should also cite the research and methods. As it is, this comes across to me as people pretending to be twits having a scripted, condescending, pedestrian discussion of titles of journal articles.

Apr 18th
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ncooty

A podcast putatively about scientific discoveries, but with no citations and very little scientific understanding or scrutiny?

Apr 18th
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Apr 1st
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Mar 31st
Reply (1)

jim vincent

I can't/won't listen to your liberal tone. I need facts, not opinions.

Mar 25th
Reply

Abdullah Ahmadzai

if you send us transcripts via email that would be great

Mar 3rd
Reply

Nuage Laboratoire

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Mar 3rd
Reply

Sarah Ferrigan

I can't download or listen to this one

Feb 10th
Reply (1)
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