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Science Weekly

Author: The Guardian

Subscribed: 49,143Played: 507,405


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Science Weekly podcast will now explore some of the crucial scientific questions about Covid-19. Led by its usual hosts  Ian Sample,  Hannah Devlin and  Nicola Davis, as well as the Guardian's health editor Sarah Boseley, we’ll be taking questions – some sent by you – to experts on the frontline of the global outbreak. Send us your questions here:  
349 Episodes
New archaeological discoveries in the Bacho Kiro cave in Bulgaria have revealed that modern humans co-existed with Neanderthals for several thousand years. Nicola Davis speaks to Prof Jean-Jacques Hublin about the excavations, and what their findings tell us about when modern humans first arrived in Europe. Help support our independent journalism at
Sarah Boseley talks to Prof Susan Lanham-New about vitamin D and whether it could play a role in protecting us against Covid-19. Help support our independent journalism at
Herd immunity represents the percentage of people in a population who need to be immune to a disease in order to protect those who aren’t. Early on in the pandemic, researchers estimated the herd immunity threshold for Covid-19 to be 60%. Following a question from a listener, Ian Sample speaks to Rachel Thomas to explore the maths and find out exactly how herd immunity is calculated. Help support our independent journalism at
It’s an experience many dog owners have been through – their adolescent pooches appear to be more moody and rebellious. Now researchers have shown that dogs really do mimic human teenagers’ behaviour, becoming less responsive to instructions from their carer. To find out more about the difficult teenage doggy-years, Nicola Davis talks to Dr Lucy Asher about the study. Help support our independent journalism at
Nicola Davis asks mathematician Kit Yates how useful global comparisons are when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak, given the huge differences in demographics and public health responses. And, as per a question from a listener, what the best metric is when doing such comparisons?. Help support our independent journalism at
Ian Sample talks to Prof Kate Jones about whether the current coronavirus pandemic is part of a wider picture of increasing animal-to-human virus transmission. Are we are looking at a future where outbreaks of new infectious diseases become more common?. Help support our independent journalism at
Every year more than 200m new cases of malaria are reported. And despite the dramatic reduction in cases and deaths over the past two decades, novel treatments and prevention strategies are badly needed. Speaking to Dr Jeremy Herren in Nairobi, Kenya, Nicola Davis hears how a newly-discovered microbe might offer mosquitos protection from the parasite and in doing so, prevent its spread. Help support our independent journalism at
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Andrew Pollard about the work being done by different teams around the world to create a vaccine for Covid-19, and where his team at Oxford University fit into this international effort. Help support our independent journalism at
As the coronavirus pandemic swept around the globe, anecdotal reports began to emerge about a strange symptom: people were losing their sense of taste and smell. To find out whether this effect is really down to Sars-CoV-2, and if so, why, Ian Sample talks to Carl Philpott. Help support our independent journalism at
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to be our focus on Science Weekly, we also want to try look at other science stories. In this episode, Nicola Davis speaks to Dave Krause about the 66-million-year-old fossil of a cat-sized mammal dubbed ‘crazy beast’. A giant in its day, we hear how this now extinct branch of mammals – known as Gondwanatherians – offers new insights into what could have been. Help support our independent journalism at
As hay fever season approaches, Nicola Davis asks Prof Stephen Durham about the differences between the immune response to an allergen, such as pollen, and a pathogen, like Sars-CoV-2. Should those with allergies should be concerned about Covid-19?. Help support our independent journalism at
With false information linking the coronavirus to 5G telecoms or Chinese labs being widely shared on social media, Ian Sample speaks to social psychologist Dr Daniel Jolley about why the pandemic is such fertile ground for conspiracy theories. Help support our independent journalism at
Sarah Boseley talks to Prof Helen McShane about why there has been interest in the tuberculosis vaccine and whether it could play a role in protecting us against Covid-19. Help support our independent journalism at
Hannah Devlin speaks to Prof Sabra Klein about why women are much less likely to become seriously ill or die from Covid-19, and what the implications of this knowledge for future treatments might be. Help support our independent journalism at
After a string of studies that highlight the possible link between air pollution and Covid-19 deaths, Ian Sample hears from Prof Anna Hansell about the complicated relationship between pollution, health and infection with Sars-CoV-2. Help support our independent journalism at
Hannah Devlin speaks to Dr Miraz Rahman about how to find drugs to treat a new disease like Covid-19, and discusses repurposing old drugs such as the anti-malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine. Help support our independent journalism at
Sarah Boseley speaks to Dr Dipesh Patel about the effects of Covid-19 on people with diabetes, including the role that glucose levels and a high BMI might play. Help support our independent journalism at
How long should you remain in isolation if you have symptoms of Covid-19? It depends on who you ask. The UK government guidelines recommend seven days from the onset of symptoms, whereas the World Health Organization advises 14. To get to the bottom of this apparent disparity, Nicola Davis discusses viral shedding with Dr Charlotte Houldcroft, and asks what the evidence currently tells us about how long we stay infectious for. Help support our independent journalism at
Nicola Davis speaks to Dr Jenna Macciochi about something lots of listeners have written about; immunity to Covid-19. While the jury is still out, we hear how our bodies gain immunity to something and how immunity to other pathogens might give us clues about Sars-Cov-2. Help support our independent journalism at
As the lockdown in the UK looks set to continue, Ian Sample speaks to Prof Carmine Pariante about the physiological and psychological effects of social isolation. Help support our independent journalism at
Comments (17)

Stefanie Vandevijvere

lmnl.knmnmnmmnnmmlmk mmlmjm.mnmmo .k8ml mkmmkkmmnmmkmmlknnmlnmnml

May 21st

er professore

Hello, I just received a voice message via WhatsApp about the supposedly biggest cover-up of the century: The symptoms of corona are not actually caused by a virus but by the worldwide implementation of 5G. According to the apparently British pastor (whose name I didn't quite catch) people are dying of the 5G radio frequency radiation and the goverments are trying to cover this up by "testing" the subjects, but in reality INFECTING THEM with Corona, so everyone will believe this to be the cause of them being sick or dying. I think this is a very dangerous theory, since it can cause people to not get tested for fear of being deliberately infected with the virus. This pastor claims he once ran the biggest vodafone buisness unit worldwide. I would forward the voice message to you but have no email adress. Also, here is a short but very interesting article from the radio station and news agency Deutsche Welle about the history of conspiracy theories in times of pandemic: Could you make a show on this or something similar (conspiracy theories surrounding the Corona outbreak)? Or maybe on the history of conspiracy theories in times of pandemic, in general. I think it's very much needed. Thank you

Mar 30th

Titus Mathew

An informative discussion!!

Feb 21st

Shubham Shah

as a student i like to collect information about hiv and this a nice one.....

Aug 1st

nazanin azimi

Hemp protein is also a good one!

Jul 24th

Mahziar Parsapour

that's useful

Jul 16th

nazanin azimi

How can he be so sure that they can predict so perfectly a million years ahead ?? Arrogant I say

Jul 2nd

Jobe Chadwick

Seitan has 3 times the amount of protein and 1/10th of the saturated fat also twice the amount of iron compared to steak.

Jun 17th

Julio Rosenblatt

Mama's last hug

Jun 8th

ilyousha marko

This research is so important that money has to be coerced from populations of many countries to fund it. How is it that you never try to even estimate the total financial cost of such a discovery, which is so useful to the ordinary people forced to fund it?

Apr 27th

Mark Marriott

What an unbalanced presentation. Only a single dietician's opinion sought, which just happened to confirm the reporter's bias. Really below standard episode.

Mar 28th

Walle brown

What a wonderful and enlightening episode. Thank you for sharing!

Oct 7th

Kristina Batkovska

A great episode and a very interesting topic, but the fact that Dr. Hank pronounces "human" exactly like Donald Trump does, really makes me want to gouge my eyes out and makes me unable to listen to this episode.

May 21st
Reply (1)

Ed Risi

#teeth are #fossils #dental #history

Apr 6th
Reply (2)
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