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The world is always on the lookout for new drugs - but they're not easy to make. Synthesising them is often an expensive and prolonged process. But what if we could employ a miniature assistant to do it for us? That's what a team from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology have come up with. They're managed to genetically reprogramme living cells …
 
This month: how hummingbirds hum, how elephants evolved anti-cancer genes so they can sustain big bodies, gorillas that grow up without their mothers, and why deforestation causes peaks and then troughs in malaria cases... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientistsעל ידי The Naked Scientists
 
For thousands of years, humans have used traditional mining techniques involving sinking tunnels or large pits to recover relatively small amounts of useful metals like gold and copper. What remains is usually, at best, a scar on the landscape, large amounts of waste material, and habitat destruction. At worst, the practices have led to environment…
 
If you live in the UK, you should soon be able to drink vodka... from Chernobyl! Which might sound like a radioactive nightmare, but the stuff is - supposedly - completely safe to drink. Not only do radioactive particles get removed during the distillation process, there were few originally there at all - thanks to how well much of the environment …
 
It's often hardest to think when you've been working all day - especially if your job involves making lots of decisions. Psychologists call this decision fatigue. And evidence has shown that the phenomenon has serious, real-world consequences... beyond making you collapse on the sofa. Now, a study from the University of Cambridge seems to demonstra…
 
The mantis shrimp is a sea creature with a particular party piece. While our eyes are sensitive to three colours, red, green and blue, which our brain uses to make the full rainbow of colours we see, the mantis shrimp is sensitive to 12 to 16 different colours, giving them a much wider spectrum of colours. Scientists in the University of Illinois f…
 
Alexandra Elbakyan is the founder of the website SciHub, and it came out this week that she is being investigated by the FBI. You see, SciHub is an illegal venture: it makes research papers available for free to people who want them, bypassing the fees and subscriptions that journals would normally charge for that access. In this respect they can c…
 
Noise pollution can be difficult to live with, and it turns out that plants are also impacted by too much noise, although not in the way you might expect. Jenny Phillips from Texas A&M in San Antonio has been studying the seedlings of native trees around gas wells in New Mexico. She's found that noise pollution can drive away the animals that some …
 
Anorexia nervosa is a cruel, complex and serious mental health condition. It involves deliberately losing weight in order to keep body weight as low as possible. And through investigating brain circuits involved in regulating body weight and which can go awry in obesity, Roger Cone from the University of Michigan and colleagues, along with scientis…
 
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