Nature

Hear the latest science news, with Benjamin Thompson and Nick Howe. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 In this episode: 00:45 Dire wolf DNA Dire wolves were huge predators that commonly roamed across North America before disappearing around 13,000 years ago. Despite the existence of a large number of dire wolf
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Researchers have made a shocking discovery by finding a link between Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that reproduces fast in cats and transmitted to humans via undercooked pork or raw meat, and brain cancer in humans. (Photo : Inge Wallumrod) The new study, which was published Monday, January 11 in the International Journal of Cancer, revealed that
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A scan shows the damaged lung of a person hospitalized for COVID-19.Credit: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg/Getty Traitorous antibodies are linked to COVID death Antibodies normally attack pathogens, but sometimes rogue antibodies instead besiege bodily components such as immune cells. Now, a new study adds to the growing body of research tying these ‘autoantibodies’ to poor outcomes in
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According to a study published recently in the scientific journal nature plants, the Graz University of Technology has discovered a bacterium that provides immunity to rice plants against pathogens. Rice plant immunity (Photo : Pixabay) The scientists at the Institute of Environmental Biotechnology at The Graz University of Technology have been studying the microbiome of rice
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Otakuye Conroy-Ben studies water, considered sacred by Native American communities.Credit: American Indian Science and Engineering Society Despite long-standing calls to increase diversity on university campuses, Indigenous researchers remain poorly represented in academia, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. For example, Maori people make up about 17% of the population of New Zealand,
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Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, could help to ensure that independent scientific advisers publish and disseminate complete data and evidence for changes to vaccine guidance.Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock Coronavirus vaccines have arrived, and many countries have started their vaccination campaigns. The authorities face a race against time as infections and deaths from COVID-19 continue to
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It was a Friday afternoon in March 2013 when Andy Geall got the call. Three people in China had just become infected with a new strain of avian influenza. The global head of vaccines research at Novartis, Rino Rappuoli, wanted to know whether Geall and his colleagues were ready to put their new vaccine technology
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The frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions and climate events have significantly affected both human life and the natural environment.  (Photo : Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash)A taxi rides under heavy rain that is causing flooding in Macau, China Holding capacity for atmospheric water vapor has been increasing due to global warming,
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1. Förster, T. Energiewanderung und Fluoreszenz. Naturwissenschaften 33, 166–175 (1946). ADS  Article  Google Scholar  2. Förster, T. Zwischenmolekulare Energiewanderung und Fluoreszenz. Ann. Phys. 437, 55–75 (1948). Article  Google Scholar  3. Brixner, T. et al. Two-dimensional spectroscopy of electronic couplings in photosynthesis. Nature 434, 625–628 (2005). ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar  4. Scholes, G. D., Fleming,
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A hospital worker and COVID patient in South Africa, where a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been identified.Credit: Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty As concern grows over faster-spreading variants of coronavirus, labs worldwide are racing to unpick the biology of these viruses. Scientists want to understand why SARS-CoV-2 variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa seem
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Vaccine maker Novavax launched a late-stage trial of its shot last December and will face difficulty recruiting and maintaining participants.Credit: PA Images/Alamy Global health researchers breathed a collective sigh of relief last month after nations across Europe, North America and elsewhere issued emergency approvals of the first COVID-19 vaccines. But as the shots are rolled
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“The idea is not environmentally relevant.” That feedback was one of the negative comments that Michigan State University researcher Gemma Reguerra got when she first proposed her new research project to the National Science Foundation. (Photo : Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash)Microscope Fortunately for Reguera, many other reviewers and the foundation’s program manager did
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Delta Airlines joined the ranks of Alaska and American Airlines in no longer accepting emotional support animals (dogs, cats, etc.) and requiring trained service dogs proper and official documentation when boarding their planes. (Photo : Photo by Artem Labunsky on Unsplash)Yellow service Labrador Delta will no longer take new bookings for an emotional support animal,
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Astronomers have proposed a new explanation for the mysterious blue veil that surrounds Pluto. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI/SPL Planetary science 08 January 2021 Dwarf planet on the Solar System’s outer fringes might have particles of frozen organic matter in its atmosphere. An analysis suggests that Pluto’s atmosphere is rich in particles of frozen organic compounds, which might
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Aside from being faithful companions, dogs have also been known to be a valued ally for law enforcement; their keen senses can detect bombs, contrabands, and drugs, among many things. But, one dog from Montana chose a more serene career choice. Pepin, a Belgian Malinois from the Missouri River’s headwaters in Montana, is a park
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Scientists have mapped the interconnected brain regions involved in a mouse’s empathetic response to seeing a companion in distress. Credit: Alamy Neuroscience 07 January 2021 A mouse sharing a companion’s fear has different neural patterns to one sharing another animal’s pain. Mice witnessing another mouse in fear or pain, or even gaining relief from pain,
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The emission spectrum of helium. Laser pulses can expose quantum aspects of pairs of helium atoms. Credit: Dept. of Physics, Imperial College/SPL Atomic and molecular physics 06 January 2021 Zapping helium ‘dimers’ with lasers allows a glimpse into a fleeting relationship. Helium atoms are stand-offish, rarely interacting with atoms of other elements or with one
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The speed of the planet’s rotations depends on the frequently complex motion of the innermost molten core along with its oceans, atmosphere, natural satellites, and other celestial bodies. (Photo : Photo from NASA) Because of the constant changes in the conditions that aid in determining the speed that the planet spins, scientists have enough reasons to
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Restaurants and pubs closed in London as part of an effort to halt a spike in COVID-19 cases.Credit: Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/Getty Stay-at-home orders do little to curb covid spread An analysis of COVID-19 data from 41 countries has identified 3 measures that each substantially cut viral transmission: school and university closures, restricting gatherings to no
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Before 2020 ended, Pinkfong, the company behind the song Baby Shark, partnered up with EcoDrive Hong Kong and released a new rendition of the song Baby Shark. Still, the lyrics are about the harmful consequences of single-use plastics. The song, which is appropriately titled ”No More Single-Use Plastic!” to educate young children about how these pollutants destroy
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union — signs the Brexit trade deal with the EU, struck on 24 December.Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Researchers reacted with relief to the news that the United Kingdom and the European Union had reached a last-minute trade deal on 24 December —
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A CrossFit gym owner, along with the South African Animal Sanctuary that condoned her action, is experiencing the internet community’s heated fury. She pulled a stunt that caused a tremendous amount of uproar from many concerned citizens.  Emma Roberts, an adventurer, health enthusiast, lifestyle coach, and gym owner, is under fire after doing a pull-up
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As a wildlife ecologist, I study many species, but the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is my speciality. I’ve worked with these duck-billed monotremes, which are indigenous to eastern Australia, for 13 years. So much remains unknown about them — as solitary animals, they are very hard to capture. The males have a venomous spur on each
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The strangely bright star J005311 (artificially coloured X-ray image, pictured) will eventually collapse into a neutron star. Credit: XMM-Newton/ESA, L. Oskinova/Univ. Potsdam, Germany Astronomy and astrophysics 04 January 2021 A strange and unstable astronomical object seems to have formed from the merger of two white dwarfs. Unusual X-ray emissions from a star called J005311 suggest
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Catnip (Nepeta cataria), also known as catmint, catswort, and catwort, is a plant famously known for its ability to intoxicate felines, putting them in a state resembling getting high or drunk. It’s like a drug but for cats! From Egyptian royalties to modern cat ladies, this plant has been used by cat owners for decades,
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