#41: The function of dreams
On this week’s election-distraction special, we hear about a new hypothesis which could explain an age-old mystery. Dreams could be a way of freeing our brains from the limits of normal life. Also on the pod, the team discusses the discovery of the source of a fast radio burst, sent out by a neutron star in our galaxy. They also explore a method to create a temporary vaccine for covid-19, until a long-term solution is found. Also on the agenda: the news that octopuses taste with their arms, and an ancient squid shaped like a giant paperclip. We also have a debrief of what it means now the US has officially withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement. All this, plus dreamy new music from Oneohtrix Point Never, and a song from space to mark the 20th anniversary of the continuous occupancy of the International Space Station. On the pod this week are Rowan Hooper, Tiffany O’Callaghan, Graham Lawton and Beth Ackerley. If you have had covid-19 and would like to donate plasma, please visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk (to find UK sites); www.thefightisinus.org (US); or www.lifeblood.com.au/convalescent-plasma (Aus). To find out more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.