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Nature Podcast

The Nature Podcast brings you the best stories from the world of science each week. We cover everything from astronomy to zoology, highlighting the most exciting research from each issue of Nature journal. We meet the scientists behind the results and providing in-depth analysis from Nature's journalists and editors.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Coronapod: The state of the pandemic, six months in

In a few weeks, we’ll be wrapping up Coronapod in its current form. Please fill out our short survey to let us know your thoughts on the show.In this episode:03:13 What have we learnt?We take a look back over the past six months of the pandemic, and discuss how far the world has come. It’s been a period of turmoil and science has faced an unprecedented challenge. What lessons can be learned from the epidemic so far to continue the fight in the months to come?Financial Times: Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as countries start to reopenWellcome Open Research: What settings have been linked to SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters?12:55 Unanswered questionsAfter months of intensive research, much is known about the new coronavirus – but many important questions remain unanswered. We look at the knowledge gaps researchers are trying to fill.Nature Medicine: Real-time tracking of self-reported symptoms to predict potential COVID-1920:36 How has lockdown affected fieldwork?The inability to travel during lockdown has seriously hampered many researchers’ ability to gather fieldwork data. We hear from three whose work has been affected, and what this means for their projects.Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

32mins

26 Jun 2020

Rank #1

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Grand Challenges: Food security

Millions around the world are chronically hungry. Three experts on agriculture discuss how to help people grow enough food, in a world of evolving technology, global markets and a changing climate. This is episode 3 of 4 in the Grand Challenges podcast series.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

24mins

5 Jun 2017

Rank #2

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Coronapod: COVID's origins and the 'lab leak' theory

Where did the SARS-CoV-2 virus come from? As a team of researchers from the WHO prepares to report on its investigation into the origins of the virus, we discuss the leading theories, including the controversial ‘lab leak' hypothesis.Although there is no evidence to support it, the lab-leak idea remains popular among certain groups. Similar hypotheses were even touted about the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. We discuss why theories like this seem to gain traction.News: ‘Major stones unturned’: COVID origin search must continue after WHO report, say scientistsNews: Where did COVID come from? Five mysteries that remainNews: Can COVID spread from frozen wildlife? Scientists probe pandemic originsSee acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

18mins

5 Mar 2021

Rank #3

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Nature Podcast: 16 June 2016

This week, pimping proteins, adapting enzymes, and conserving coral reefs.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

29mins

15 Jun 2016

Rank #4

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Podcast Extra: Q&A with Nobel Prize winner John B Goodenough

In this Podcast Extra, we speak to John B Goodenough, from the University of Texas at Austin, in the US. Today, John was announced as one of the joint winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Reporter Benjamin Thompson went along to the Royal Society in London to chat with him.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

4mins

9 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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Nature Podcast: 21 May 2015

The oldest stone tools yet found, making opiates from yeast and sugar, and the perks of sex… for beetles.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

27mins

20 May 2015

Rank #6

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26 April 2018: Mini brains, and an updated enzyme image

This week, the ethical questions raised by model minds, and an updated view on an enzyme that keeps chromosomes protected.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

20mins

25 Apr 2018

Rank #7

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Nature Podcast: 15 June 2017

This week, treating infection without antibiotics, wireless charging, and making sense of music.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

29mins

14 Jun 2017

Rank #8

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Nature PastCast, December 1920: The Quantum Theory

This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.In this episode, we’re heading back to the early twentieth century, when physicists had become deeply entangled in the implications of the quantum theory. At its smallest scales was the world continuous? Or built of discrete units? It all began with Max Planck. His Nobel Prize was the subject of a Nature news article in 1920.This episode was first broadcast in December 2013.From the archiveNature 16 December 1920See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

12mins

27 Dec 2019

Rank #9

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Nature Podcast: 6 July 2017

This week, a new kind of quantum bit, the single-cell revolution, and exploring Antarctica’s past to understand sea level rise.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

27mins

5 Jul 2017

Rank #10

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Coronapod: our future with an ever-present coronavirus

What’s the endgame for the COVID-19 pandemic? Is a world without SARS-CoV-2 possible, or is the virus here to stay?A recent Nature survey suggests that the majority of experts expect the virus to become endemic, circulating in the world’s population for years to come.But what does this mean? On this week’s episode of Coronapod, we ask what a future with an ever-present virus could look like.News Feature: The coronavirus is here to stay — here’s what that meansSee acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

16mins

19 Feb 2021

Rank #11

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Nature Podcast: 4 May 2017

This week, the secret life of the thalamus, how to talks about antibiotic resistance, and dangerous research. Survey link: https://podcastsurvey.typeform.com/to/RmZVDISee acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

28mins

3 May 2017

Rank #12

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6 September 2018: Space junk, and a physicist’s perspective on life

This week, keeping an eye on space junk, and how a physicist changed our understanding of life.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

23mins

5 Sep 2018

Rank #13

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16 August 2018: Bumblebees, opioids, and ocean weather

This week, more worries for bees, modelling the opioid crisis, and rough weather for seas.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

29mins

15 Aug 2018

Rank #14

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Human Genome Project - Nature’s editor-in-chief reflects 20 years on

Looking back at the publication of the human genome, and how macrophages mend muscle.In this episode:00:45 The human genome sequence, 20 years onThis week marks the 20th anniversary of a scientific milestone – the publication of the first draft of the human genome. Magdalena Skipper, Nature’s Editor-in-Chief gives us her recollections of genomics at the turn of the millennium, and the legacy of the achievement.Editorial: The next 20 years of human genomics must be more equitable and more openComment: A wealth of discovery built on the Human Genome Project — by the numbersComment: Sequence three million genomes across AfricaVideo: How a worm showed us the way to open scienceVideo: How ancient DNA sequencing changed the game10:50 Research HighlightsIs there an evolutionary reason why hotter countries have hotter food? Maybe not. And larger groups of giraffe gal pals have better chances of survival.Research Article: Bromham et al.Research Highlight: For female giraffes, friends in high places bring towering benefits12:48 Mending damaged musclesIt’s known that immune cells play an important role in muscle repair. Now though, researchers have isolated the specific molecules involved, and hope that this knowledge could be used in future to create therapies.Research Article: Ratnayake et al.19:39 Briefing ChatWe discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a court overrules a Trump administration guideline on how science can be used in environmental policy, and the harrowing lengths that Blue Whales need to take to avoid fishing vessels.Washington Post: Judge throws out Trump rule limiting what science EPA can useThe Independent: Animation shows week in life of blue whale as it tries to avoid fishing...  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

27mins

10 Feb 2021

Rank #15

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Nature Podcast: 15 June 2017

This week, treating infection without antibiotics, wireless charging, and making sense of music.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

29mins

14 Jun 2017

Rank #16

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Why skin grows bigger as you stretch it

Skin's unusual response to stretching is finally explained, and the latest in a huge effort to map DNA.In this episode:01:06 Stretching skinFor decades it’s been known that stretching skin causes more skin to grow, but the reasons why have been a mystery. Now, researchers have uncovered a mechanism to explain the phenomenon. Research Article: Aragona et al.; News and Views: Stretch exercises for stem cells expand the skin07:49 CoronapodWe discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has affected scientific meetings and how the learned societies that organise them are adapting. How scientific conferences will survive the coronavirus shock; How scientific societies are weathering the pandemic’s financial storm; A year without conferences? How the coronavirus pandemic could change research18:18 Research HighlightsA genetic trait for pain-resistance, and the accessibility-aware ancient Greeks. Research Highlight: A gene helps women in labour to skip the painkillers; Research Highlight: This temple was equipped with accessibility ramps more than 2,000 years ago20:42 ENCODE updatesThe ENCODE project aims to identify all the regions in the human genome involved in gene regulation. This week, data from its third iteration has been published and we examine the highlights. Research Article: Snyder; News and Views: Expanded ENCODE delivers invaluable genomic encyclopaedia28:50 Briefing ChatWe take a look at some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time we look at how smallpox may be much older than previously thought, and how the Earth’s atmosphere rings like a bell. Nature News: Smallpox and other viruses plagued humans much earlier than suspected; Physics World: See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

33mins

29 Jul 2020

Rank #17

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Nature Podcast: 25 May 2017

This week, E. coli with colour vision, tracing the Zika virus outbreak, and a roadmap for medical microbots.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

27mins

24 May 2017

Rank #18

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Audiofile: In search of lost sound

Are the sounds of the past lost forever? In the 1960s, an American engineer proposed that sound could be recorded into clay pots and paintings as they were created. This episode explores the science behind resurrecting the sounds of the past.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

23mins

26 May 2015

Rank #19

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02 August 2018: Zebra finch colour perception, terraforming Mars, and attributing extreme weather

This week, how a bird sees colour, potential problems with terraforming Mars, and linking extreme weather to our changing climate.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

32mins

1 Aug 2018

Rank #20