An incredible mix of breaking science news and deep analysis, this podcast is science journalism at its best. The Guardian's science team bring you the current topics and fascinating interviews from the worlds of science and technology, all wrapped into a magazine style format.
Fifty years ago, the average woman in Botswana had seven children. Now she will have fewer than three. Enabling women to control their fertility has had huge ramifications for their health, education and employment – could President Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ threaten this? Nicola Davis travels to Botswana to investigate
Fifty years ago, the average woman in Botswana had seven children. Now she will have fewer than three. This marks one of the dramatic reductions in fertility in the world and could hold lessons for addressing one of our biggest challenges – how to grapple with soaring world population?
The world’s population is on track to hit 8 billion in 2023, and almost 10 billion by 2050. Sub-Saharan Africa is set to grow faster than anywhere: there were 1 billion Africans in 2010, a number projected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050.
Four people with paraplegia were recently implanted with electrodes in their lower backs. They all regained movement below their injuries, and two walked again. This week Nicola Davis investigates this technique – epidural stimulation – and other approaches for treating spinal cord injuries
Jeff Marquis was spending his day off work on his bike on a mountain trail in Montana. After he landed a jump badly, he realised he could no longer move his legs. He was eventually diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, and doctors told him that he would never walk again.
Fast-forward to 2018, and Marquis is now taking steps for himself again thanks to a groundbreaking trial that implanted an array of electrodes in his lower back. Marquis and three other participants underwent rigorous physiotherapy to relearn how to command their legs to walk. So does this technique, known as epidural stimulation, spell the beginning of the end for paralysis? And what are the other avenues of research that scientists believe might get people back on their feet?
The US has been in the grip of an ‘opioid epidemic’ since the 1990s, and now a rise in opioid prescriptions and deaths is being seen across the pond. Ian Sample investigates and asks: what can we do the curb the looming crisis?
Opioid addiction has long been a problem in the US, but now there are concerns that this problem is spreading across the pond to the UK. Last month, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of deaths linked to synthetic opioid called fentanyl had increased by 29% in the UK in a year. Fentanyl, a drug prescribed to the terminally ill, can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin. Indeed, Nebraska used it to help execute a convicted murderer last month.
We can see only 4% of the observable universe – the rest is made up of invisible ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’. Now scientists are looking for a postulated force of nature that could open a door to the dark side. Ian Sample investigates
We can see only 4% of the observable universe – the rest is made up of invisible ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’. Scientists have been trying to understand this hidden realm for decades but are none the wiser.