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The Naked Scientists Podcast

The Naked Scientists Podcast

The Naked Scientists flagship science show brings you a lighthearted look at the latest scientific breakthroughs, interviews with the world's top scientists, answers to your science questions and science experiments to try at home.

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The Trieste Next science festival

This week the Naked Scientists have been in the City of Science - Trieste - to take part in their annual science festival and speak to some of the researchers pushing back the frontiers of knowledge in this beautiful part of northeastern Italy. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-10-04
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Sweeteners, seagrass, and sterilised plastic

In the programme this week, we look at the plastic that sterilises itself, why sweeteners are worse for you than sugar, and how will seagrass react to climate change? Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-09-27
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Q&A: Deadly Lasers and Delicious Brains

This week, it is time to put your questions to a panel of excellent experts in one of our Q&A shows! We are going to be investigating if truth serum really exists, what would happen if the Earth stopped rotating, and just how much nutrition is there in the human brain? Plus, we have a science quiz based on today in history and going back to school. See how you fare against our experts... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-09-20
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You can't teach an old dogma new tricks

This week's show conveys how surprisingly susceptible science is to dogma. We uncover the alarming oversights which have mitigated progress in disciplines like zoology and medicine for decades. Corrupted for years by false assumptions, the failings in these fields can be extremely difficult to overturn. We hear from scientists going against the grain to dispel mainstream myths from their respective areas of study, and also provide a protocol for dodging dogmas moving forward... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-09-13
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First known amputation uncovered in Borneo

A massive archeological find has been making headlines all over the news this week. Plus, 'breakfast like a king, dine like a pauper', is there any truth to the old saying? And are video GP consultations safe enough to be a permanent fixture in medical practice? Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-09-09
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The Microbiome: Trust Your Gut?

When it comes to treating diseases, we often think of lifestyle changes, pills and procedures. What often isn't considered is poo. But this week, the NICE guidelines - which recommend treatments for use in the NHS - were updated so people who have a recurring gut infection caused by the Clostridium difficile superbug are eligible to receive a transplant of healthy stool in a procedure called fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) - sometimes dubbed a "transpoosion" - to aid their recovery. This procedure alters the balance of bacteria living in the gut, helping to hold the bad bugs in check... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-09-06
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COVID Vaccines and Coffee Cups in Hot Water

In the news this week: mRNA vaccine giants Moderna and Pzfizer face a legal battle over potential technology infringements, and a new study explains how small talk with strangers before working together can improve strategic interactions. Plus, we hear about research suggesting cannabis use doesn't impact an indivduals motivation, the biggest animal alliance outside human beings, and the hot take on cancer risk in coffee drinkers... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-09-02
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All About Drought

We're looking into where our water comes from, and how modern technology could help us better conserve the precious resources we have to be more prepared for future dry periods. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-30
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Bite-sized vaccines and familiar faces

In the news this week: the medical breakthrough of a potential malaria vaccine; we find out how sewage is polluting our beaches but may also help us cope with a sulphur shortage; and a way to immunise the brain against misinformation... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-26
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Spacewalk: the Scale of our Solar System

The scale of space is difficult to grasp: a trip to Mars would take 7 months, and for Jupiter you are talking years. But a scaled-down sculpture trail of our solar system offers a planetary tour on a more manageable scale. Plus we discuss living on Mars, exploding stars, and what the beautiful images flowing from the James Webb Space Telescope are showing to us... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-23
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Bivalent Covid Boosters and Unbalanced Bees

In science news this week: the UK has approved a new COVID-19 vaccine which hopes to tackle the omicron variant, and scientists alter the blood type compatibility of a kidney outside the body. Plus, we investigate if e-scooter riders are more reckless than cyclists, how brain scans can be used to better predict learning over tests, and what chemicals make bees wobbly... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-19
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Child's play: curtailing a health crisis

Children's wellbeing is in a state of emergency. It's a fact that has been tragically overlooked for some time now. In the UK, 41% of children are classed as overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. Meanwhile, demand for mental health services is at an all time high.One of the central pillars to any child's development is play: a necessity for good physical and mental health. You'd have thought, given the crisis we face in children's health, ensuring kids have the proper provisions to do what comes naturally to them, to play freely, would be a top priority. Unfortunately,... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-16
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Hitting back against heatwaves

In this week's news show: Chris provides an update on the polio siutation in London, and we hear what we can learn from hotter climes about dealing with the scorching weather. Plus, the robotic ant teaching other insects a lesson, tracking migrating moths, and getting to the bottom of earth's oxygen supply... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-12
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Reintroduction: Bringing Species Back

Last month saw a first in the UK: Bison were released into a woodland in Kent. An animal of this size and nature hasn't be known to be on UK soil for milennia, but now conservationists hope they can act as ecosystem engineers and help protect our woodlands. We explore how the European bison is able to exert such dramatic effects on its environment as well as dive into past reintroduction sucess stories, including the flight of the red kite and the nesting of the dormouse. Plus, we address the potential costs off adding a species into a new space, how learning to live alongside predators may... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-09
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Shorter Days and Binning Best Before Dates

In the world of science news this week, major supermarkets in the UK are removing their best before dates after data reveals just how much they sway our decisions to chuck food away. Plus, we dive into some physics to understand what influences how fast the Earth spins and how this fluctuates, the virtual robotic surgery techniques which helped separate Siamese twins in Brazil, and how gestures can make video meetings less fatiguing and more engaging. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-05
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Vaping Health Impacts: No Smoke Without Fire?

This week vaping, and the potential hidden health costs, go under the microscope as we also explore whether teens that would never smoke are being seduced by eCigarettes. Also, news of period impacts of the Covid-19 vaccines, woodpeckers and brain damage, signs that CRISPR could destabilise chromosomes, and a "wheely" good way to recycle old tyres... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-08-02
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A trip down the River Cam

Harry Lewis and James Tytko are off on a summer science special, a jolly down the River Cam with their Captain for the day Peter of Camboats, making pit stops to check out the local wildlife, sporting prowess of the University's rowing team, historical engineering works that still function perfectly and local residents taking it upon themselves to monitor the health of the water itself. But to kick it all off the boys will start by dipping their toes in the deep end, and making the most of what's on their doorstep... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-07-26
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The wine we drink and machines that can think

It's that time again where we round up some of the most pressing and perplexing science news stories from the past month. We analyse the first images from the James Webb telescope, discuss whether the protocol on rescue from car wrecks is based on any scientific evidence, and ask how data might be used to the detriment of period tracking app users in the wake of Roe vs Wade. Then, we'll find out why great white sharks are running scared near South Africa, question whether chatbots are on the verge of becoming sentient, and compare how the taste of wine is affected by the glass it is carried... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-07-19
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Gene-Editing: Food of the Future?

Could the potential food of the future be on its way to our supermarket shelves? Parliament is currently reviewing rules which would allow gene-edited food to be grown and sold in the UK, moving away from the more stringent rules it had adopted under EU regulations. The phrase 'genetically-modified' gained a bad repuation towards the end of the 20th century, with concerns around the safety of inserting foreign DNA into organisms, the mechanisms for doing so and the motivations behind its use. With the development of targeted gene-editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9, modifying genetic... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-07-12
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Ghost pond resurrection

Ponds used to prosper alongside old agricultural practices. But 100 years' of modernisation has seen bodies of water on farmland disappear, although they never truly die. And this week we go in search of their ghostly remains and show how they can spring back to life. Plus, in the news, how dengue and Zika infection makes us more attractive to mosquitoes, a lunar mystery that has space agencies bickering, and how you may be able to help map the entire seabed by 2030... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-07-05
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Emerging Viruses: Monkeypox on the up

Emerging viral infections go under our microscope this week, including the recent surge in monkeypox, the world's largest bird flu outbreak to date, and learning points from Covid-19. Plus, in the news, the biggest bacterium ever seen, brain training - or brain draining - apps, polio circulating in London, and signs we make friends with people who smell like we do! Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-06-28
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Venus, Volcanoes & Virtual Clothing

In this week's programme we are going to be sharing some science highlights - sci-lights, if you will - going in depth with some of the latest science news from the past month plus some fascinating science stories. We ask researchers what policies need to be in place to protect biodiversity as we enter a descivie decade for nature and take a look at the species living in the UK which are currently at risk. New resesearch from the week also gives us more clues about if life exists on venus and we hear how singing lava inside a volcano could help us better predict future eruptions. Plus, with... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-06-21
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Storing Energy: Watt does the Future Hold?

This week, should your house have a battery, the abandoned gold mine that's now pumping out power, and will your fridge talk to the grid in future to better manage your energy consumption? Continuing our theme of alternative energy, we turn to the questions of energy distribution and storage. Plus, why tyres may be worse for your health than exhaust emissions, will the 4-day working week work, samples from an early asteroid, and where chickens came from... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-06-14
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Winding up Wind Power

With energy prices sky high, we continue our alternative energy month with a look at wind power. We visit a traditional windmill to understand how humans have historically harnessed the wind, learn about the turbines which you can buy a stake in, a new generation of kites that turn wind into electricity, how better weather forecasts can de-risk wind power, and why undersea cables can send sea creatures off course. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-06-07
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Turning the Tide on Hydro Power

The UK harbours the leading expertise in marine renewables, but water itself remains to be a major contributor to the race for net zero. Why are these technologies lagging behind the other more favourable renewable sources and what does the next decade have in store? Also, news of a novel way to find new antibiotics, the Mars probe being forced into retirement, and an insight into why teenage girls are more likely to suffer from depression than their male peers... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-05-31
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Is Solar the Solution?

The warmer weather is here and, with it, solar energy is on my mind. Sun-thing tells me I'm into something good. Join us in the first of our series of programmes on renewable energy sources as the world faces a difficult energy challenge and the threat of an 'apocalyptic' food shortage crisis. We'll be speaking to some of the players, big and small, in the solar industry in this country and around Europe, all with the shared goal of trying to build a sustainable future in which nobody is left hungry and cold either this winter, or in the coming years... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-05-24
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Forensics

War crimes. Violations of international law, such as the targeted killing of civilians, which could lead to the prosecution of those responsible. As the horrors of conflict continue in Ukraine, claims of war crime are increasing. Proving a crime has been committed in these circumstances is a long process and can be incredibly tough. But science can provide vital evidence, specifically archaeology and anthropology. These are fields often associated with historical findings or learning about ancient life. But when applied within forensics, they can help solve crime. Through the use of context,... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-05-17
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Primates, Pi and (unconscious) Ponderings

A diverse range of expertise graces this month's "Q n May" panel show! Find out how we listen to our cosmos for signatures that herald the birth of the first stars, how gender labels help us understand our society, and whether or not your dreams might be worth remembering. We also probe your insights into the latest scientific discoveries in our new quiz, NEWSWORTHY. Unfortunately, there is no prize for the winner, but we'll give you bragging rights if you ace it... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-05-10
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Madvertising

From skateboarding bulldogs to drumming gorillas, modern advertising is teeming with wacky characters and far-fetched fantasies, often with little relation to the product actually being promoted. But why? If you have found yourself wondering how mad marketing in all its forms actually works to get us to buy things, join us as we take a look at the science supporting the strategies of the world's biggest brands. We'll be talking to marketing experts to uncover what makes a successful campaign, and the techniques agencies use to test the tautness of our heart strings while viewing their ads.... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-05-03
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The Coffee Conundrum

Stimulating isn't it. I recently came off the hard stuff and I've missed it ever since. I used to see coffee as a real treat, but that caffeine hit may soon be harder to come by. Scientists predict a drastic decline in suitable coffee growing land by up to 60% before 2050. In the show we'll put you in the hotseat to see how well you really know the UK's second favourite hot beverage. In the news: a change up at CERN could spell big changes for particle physicists universally, dinosaurs with coloured feathers and the happy hormone that makes old timers love life... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-04-26
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Frankenfoods, Formula 1 & Fake news

This week, we have an egg-cellent panel of spectacular science specialists who will be diving into their areas of expertise and sharing the goods! We hear about how formula 1 technology is changing the world, tools for coping with grief, some of the biggest controversies in science media and an update on the James Webb telescope as it preps for capturing the universe. Plus, we put our panel to the test with a science news quiz and follow clues on an easter egg trail which takes us all around the globe... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-04-19
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Contagious Cancers

Cancers are made from a person's own cells going rogue. If a cell acquires the right combination of mutations or changes in its genetic code, it can divide uncontrollably and lead to the formation of a tumour. As these cells contain a unique individual's DNA, if they were to end up in another person's body, they should sound the immune alarm, be recognised as foreign and destroyed - much like an Incompatible organ transplant. Some viruses, like the human papilloma virus or HPV, can also cause cancer by triggering changes in a cells genetic code and promoting tumour formation. In these cases,... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-04-12
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Science of the Silver Screen

It's time to dress up to the nines and hit the red carpet in scientific style as we bring you The Naked Scientists Science of the Silver Screen Awards. We'll hear about the sandy planet in the sci-fi Dune, the likelihood of improvising a musical as portrayed by Disney's Encanto, Don't Look Up's planet-destroying comet, and the mysterious bioweapon that finished off Daniel Craig's James Bond. Plus heat-resistant corals, and how growing up in the city affects your ability to navigate... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-04-05
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Human Milk

Human milk is the special subject we're looking into this week, including how the cells it contains can jump into a baby's bloodstream - and literally make mum part of their offspring. We hear how biotechnology is aiming to produce human milk in the lab as an improved alternative to formula, and how donated human milk is helping sick babies, parents in need and cancer research. Plus, we dive into why online sales of human breast milk are on the rise due to a slightly surprising consumer group... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-03-29
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Bonus Podcast: Naked Reflections Showcase

From time to time here on the Naked Scientists we showcase episodes from some of the other programme strands that are part of our Naked family. Today we're sharing an episode of Naked Reflections, pertinent at the moment owing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In this episode, host Ed Kessler is joined by Meryem Kalayci and James Smith to discuss the distressing issue of genocide. This Podcast includes some unique witness from a survivor of the Srebrenica massacre... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-03-28
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Energy in crisis: nuclear goes up the agenda

This week, AI-based facial recognition systems go live on the front in Ukraine, ozone exposure links to teenage depression, and evidence that sleeping with the light on can adversely affect your health. Plus, as the world grapples with an energy crisis, nuclear power is going up the energy agenda. We hear about Rolls-Royce's plans for a fleet of "off the peg" small modular nuclear reactors, and the efforts to harness nuclear fusion at JET... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-03-22
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Behaviour

Ever set a new year's resolution only for it to fall by the wayside after a few weeks? It is common for us to have goals and want to make change, but when it comes to turning those plans into reality, it can feel difficult. We often default back to old routines as more common behaviours take hold. Alongside trying to find ways to help us stick to our resolutions, we are exploring how our brain decides which way to act, how behaviours transition from being goal-directed to habitual, the disorders which can arise from alterations to these systems, and how research is trying to find methods to... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-03-15
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Cyberwarfare

Conflict around the world is no longer simply fought on the ground, in the water or in the air but also in the airwaves. As digital devices pervade our lives, so too do they become both agents of and targets for conflict. To navigate us between the bombs in the bitstreams, we speak with a young student from Ukraine, unpick cyberwarfare within society, tease apart the technicalities, investigate how this changes the rules of conflict, and ask what it means for the future... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-03-08
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Q&A: Defining AI, Dark Energy & Dr NO

It's that time again, where we compile all those lovely science questions you have sent in and form a crack squad of expertise, throw them on a panel together, and shove a mic under their noses! This week, you'll meet a Nobel laureate, figure out if the word 'dark' is put in front of complex theoretical physics topics to make them more attractive, and come face to face with our greatest bodily enigma: your armpit! Plus, with it being women in history month, we'll put your memory to the test to see how well you really know your great ladies of science... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-03-01
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Under the Microscope

Alongside analysing AI faces & how a heart beats, we will be putting microscopy under the microscope; from the first glimpses of life up close, to stepping inside the lens and experiencing microscopic specimens in virtual reality. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-02-22
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Xenotransplantation

Amidst the aftermath of COVID-19 waiting lists continue to grow for those in need of an organ transplant, whilst simultaneously in an American surgery a man recieves the heart of a pig. Animal donors may be the answer to our shortage of available organs, but the procedure isn't quite ready to become common place. Take a trip down memory lane and embark on the jounrey of transplantation, where it began, where we are right now and what the future might look like in the next decade. Plus, catch up on chimps applying insects to their wounds, the current uses of facial recognition and how tech can... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-02-15
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Q&A: Planets, Procrastination & Plastic Squid

This week, it is time to put your questions to a panel of excellent experts in one of our Q&A shows! We are going to be investigating what supermassive black holes do, strategies for coping with anxiousness and just how dog became man's best friend. Plus, we have a science quiz based on new beginnings and another mystery sound up our sleeve - see if you can guess what it is... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-02-08
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Tracing the origins of COVID19

It has been almost 2 years since the COVID19 pandemic - one of the most significant outbreaks in living history - was declared. But where did the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes severe respiratory disease come from? Spillover from the wild? Leaked from a lab? We explore what we know about the lineage of this virus and the evidence gathered so far... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-02-01
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Tasteless

Taste is wonderful! Think of all those occasions where you and loved ones or firends are brought together by food! You may not realise, but our sense of smell, our 'fifth sense', is intertwined with taste; they are essential to our happiness and wellbeing. We're taking a deep dive into how your smell and taste work. We'll be hearing from someone who suffers from a condition called phantosmia, how we can normalise smell training and maybe we'll get a spoonful of scientific cooking work-arounds designed to help those suffering from smell and taste disorders. Also, in the news this week: an... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-01-25
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A Robotic Reality

2022 has been heralded as the golden era of robotics. In this episode of The Naked Scientists you'll see how futuristic machines are already employed throughout industry to make our lives better. This isn't a tech review of Alexa, but instead a glimpse at pinpoint-accurate surgical arms completing tricky operations on human patients and tiny robots that allow food to swallow itself into your stomach. Gulp. In the news this week, the worst case of Avian Flu recorded in Europe, a Sea Dragon unearthed in Rutland UK and fish that no longer need their L plates to get on the road... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-01-18
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MRSA, The Metaverse & Medical Milestones

We are looking into the science behind the headlines in the first week of 2022 - including a medical update on omicron and how this variant impacts disease severity, a review of some of the top games and gadgets to look out for in the year ahead, a celebration marking 100 years since the first use of insulin to manage diabetes, and a behind the scenes preview of the new Sir David Attenborough documentary, 'The Green Planet'. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-01-11
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Hidden clues and wombat poos: best of 2021

We're looking back on the year that's just been, and what a year 2021 was. Once again, Covid-19 dominated the headlines, alongside the climate crisis and extreme weather events. But fear not! Sally Le Page shares only the good news stories that we've covered here on the Naked Scientists, such as solving perennial train delays caused by leaves on the line, and even how we cracked the ultimate mystery: how wombats make their poos cube shaped... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2022-01-04
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Christmas with The Naked Scientists

Ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes at The Naked Scientists? Well, here's your chance! Grab yourself a nice warm mug of cocoa nestle down by the decorated tree and prepare for some festive, but of course, infromative fun. We'll be finding out how to make the perfect snowball, how drunk Santa is come the end of Christmas Eve and whether an artificial tree is better for the environment than its pine counterpart... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2021-12-21
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Nanotechnology: sci-fi or sci-fact?

We've seen them in movies, but how close are we to having nanorobots in reality? And what will we do with them? We'll be unpicking the tiny details of nanotechnology! Plus in the news this week: as Omicron cases continue to rise, what can we learn about it from South Africa? Researchers figure out why quitting smoking often leads to weight gain. And why we're bad judges of when we're over the drink-drive limit Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2021-12-14
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Q&A: Reefs, Robots & Rubies 'Rap'-Up

It is time for a festive Q&A! In this episode, we are going to be answering your questions such as, does another planet Earth exist? Can robots be as creative as humans? And why do deep sea creatures glow? Our panel of scientific superstars taking on your queries this month are science song-writer Raven Baxter, deep-ocean diver Diva Amon, exoplanet explorer Hannah Wakeford and intelligence investigator Beth Singler. Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists
2021-12-07
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