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Download the Nature Podcast 27 March 2024

In this episode:

01:28 Inflammation’s role in memory

How memories are stored is an ongoing question in neuroscience. Now researchers have found an inflammatory pathway that responds to DNA damage in neurons has a key role in the persistence of memories. How this pathway helps memories persist is unclear, but the researchers suggest that how the DNA damage is repaired might play a role. As inflammation in the brain is often associated with disease, the team were surprised by this finding, which they hope will help uncover ways to better preserve our memories, especially in the face of neurodegenerative disorders.

Research Article: Jovasevic et al.

News and Views: Innate immunity in neurons makes memories persist

08:40 Research Highlights

The effect of wind turbines on property values, and how waste wood can be used to 3D print new wooden objects.

Research Highlight: A view of wind turbines drives down home values — but only briefly

Research Highlight: Squeeze, freeze, bake: how to make 3D-printed wood that mimics the real thing

11:14 How melting ice is affecting global timekeeping

Due to variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation, the length of a day is rarely exactly 24 hours. By calculating the strength of the different factors affecting this, a researcher has shown that although Earth’s rotation is overall speeding up, this effect is being tempered by the melting of the polar ice caps. As global time kept by atomic clocks occasionally has to be altered to match Earth’s rotation, human-induced climate change may delay plans to add a negative leap-second to ensure the two align.

Research article: Agnew

News and Views: Melting ice solves leap-second problem — for now

20:04 Briefing Chat

An AI for antibody development, and the plans for the upcoming Simons observatory.

Nature News: ‘A landmark moment’: scientists use AI to design antibodies from scratch

Nature News: ‘Best view ever’: observatory will map Big Bang’s afterglow in new detail

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