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In this episode:

00:53 How virtual meetings can limit creative ideas

In April, we heard how a team investigated whether switching from face-to-face to virtual meetings came at a cost to creativity. They showed that people meeting virtually produced fewer creative ideas than those working face-to-face, and suggest that when it comes to idea generation maybe it’s time to turn the camera off.

Nature Podcast: 27 April 2022

Research article: Brucks & Levav

News and Views: Virtual collaboration hinders idea generation

Video: Why video calls are bad for brainstorming

08:29 How the Black Death got its start

The Black Death is estimated to have caused the deaths of up to 60% of the population of Europe. However, despite extensive research, the origin of this wave of disease has remained unclear. In June, we heard from a team who used a combination of techniques to identify a potential starting point in modern-day Kyrgyzstan.

Nature Podcast: 15 June 2022

Research article: Spyrou et al.

15:24 Research Highlights

Hippos’ habit of aggressively spraying dung when they hear a stranger, and why being far from humans helps trees live a long life.

Research Highlight: Hippos know strangers’ voices — and make a filthy reply

Research Highlight: Where are Earth’s oldest trees? Far from prying eyes

18:36 Higgs boson turns ten: the mysteries physicists are still trying to solve

Ten years ago, scientists announced that they’d found evidence of the existence of the Higgs boson, a fundamental particle first theorised to exist nearly sixty years earlier.

To celebrate this anniversary, we reminisced about what the discovery meant at the time, and what questions are left to be answered about this mysterious particle.

Nature Podcast: 06 July 2022

Nature News: Happy birthday, Higgs boson! What we do and don’t know about the particle

Nature Editorial: Particle physics isn’t going to die — even if the LHC finds no new particles

28:28 Coronapod: the open-science plan to unseat big Pharma and tackle vaccine inequity

In this episode of Coronapod we investigated a radical new collaboration between 15 countries — co-led by the WHO, and modelled on open-science — that aims to create independent vaccine hubs that could supply the global south. This project was supported by the Pulitzer Center.

Coronapod: 29 July 2022

News Feature: The radical plan for vaccine equity

40:10 Missing foot reveals world’s oldest amputation

In September we heard about the discovery in Borneo of a skeleton with an amputated foot, dated to 31,000 years ago. The person whose foot was removed survived the procedure, which the researchers behind the find say shows the ‘surgeon’ must have had detailed knowledge of anatomy, and likely had access to antiseptic compounds.

Nature Podcast: 07 September 2022

Research article: Maloney et al.

News and Views: Earliest known surgery was of a child in Borneo 31,000 years ago

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