Loading...

Follow The Guardian's Science Weekly on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

With almost half of British adults taking a daily vitamin, Graihagh Jackson and guests examine our love of supplements - including recent announcments about fortifying flour with folic acid

Almost half of adults in Britain take vitamins every day and we spend more on supplements than painkillers. This spring, the government will discuss whether to fortify flour with folic acid. The aim of the proposal is to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida by increasing folate intake in pregnant women.

Graihagh Jackson looks at the history of vitamins with Dr Salim Al-Gailani from the University of Cambridge, discusses the forthcoming government debate with Linia Patel, a nutritionist and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, and questions whether we really need to be popping these pills at all.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Could a simple blood test catch cancer before symptoms appear? Nicola Davis goes beyond the hype and investigates the future of blood diagnostics and cancer

A blood test that could detect cancer earlier than current methods has long been a dream of oncologists. The hope is that these “liquid biopsies” could save countless lives by diagnosing cancer before symptoms show. They’re less invasive, quicker and easier than what is available now.

However, this area of research has been plagued with hype. This happened most notably when a Silicon Valley startup – Theranos – allegedly duped investors out of hundreds of millions of pounds for the development of a blood test that would test a range of diseases, including cancer. Something that led to its founder being charged with criminal fraud. But Theranos is not the only product out there. And many others are showing real genuine promise.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Happy International Pi Day. To celebrate, Hannah Devlin is joined by the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker to discuss maths anxiety, how much today’s world relies on number crunching and what happens when we get it wrong

Happy International Pi Day! On 14 March, the world celebrated this mathematical constant because 3/14 matches the first three digits of pi – 3.14. To mark the occasion, Hannah Devlin invites the mathematician and comedian Matt Parker to talk about Pi, maths and his new book, Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors. They discuss maths anxiety, how much today’s world relies on number crunching and what happens when we get it wrong.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Today is International Women’s Day, and so Science Weekly teams up with the Guardian’s tech podcast, Chips with Everything. Nicola Davis and Jordan Erica Webber look at the repercussions of a male-orientated world – from drugs that don’t work for women to VR headsets that give them motion sickness

Today is International Women’s Day, so Science Weekly is teaming up with the Guardian’s tech podcast, Chips with Everything. Together, they examine the gender data gap and the dangerous repercussions of a world built for men.

Jordan Erica Webber speaks to Caroline Criado-Perez, the author of Invisible Women, about how women are underrepresented in the tech industry and what the consequences are for consumers, from VR headsets that make women experience motion sickness to health apps that do not have period trackers.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Nicola Davis bids a fond farewell to the Mars rover Opportunity after Nasa declared the mission finally over, 15 years after the vehicle landed on the red planet.

On 25 January 2004, a robot rover crashed through the atmosphere of Mars and bounced to a standstill on the surface of the red planet. The moment was greeted with scenes of jubilation as Nasa scientists celebrated the successful landing of their second rover, named Opportunity.

The Opportunity rover far surpassed original expectations. It managed to send data back to Earth for nearly 15 years, significantly longer than the three months it was supposed to survive.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

With the Large Hadron Collider reaching its upper limits, scientists around the world are drawing up plans for a new generation of super colliders. Ian Sample weighs up whether or not the potential new discoveries a collider may make will justify the cost of building them.

Cern recently announced a proposal to build a machine that would dwarf the Large Hadron Collider.

It could cost around $12bn. But Cern isn’t the only lab looking at building such a monster machine.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Nicola Davis talks to the theoretical physicist Paul Davies, who has been trying to find the solution to one of humankind’s trickier questions – what is life?

Paul joins Nicola in studio to talk about his new book The Demon in the Machine. In it, he looks at whether or not we have all of the tools necessary to come up with answer to what life actually is. He suggests we may need something fundamentally new – a field yet to be discovered – to answer this question.

The pair discuss everything from Margaret Thatcher to dead mice.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Earth’s north magnetic pole wandering so quickly in recent decades that this week, scientists decided to update the World Magnetic Model, which underlies navigation for ships and planes today. Ian Sample looks at our relationship with the magnetic north.

The north magnetic pole is moving, fast. So quickly in fact, that scientists decided to release an update of where magnetic north really is, nearly a year ahead of their usual five-year schedule.

This week, Ian Sample talks to Dr Ciaran Beggan of the British Geological Survey about why he and a team of scientists track the north magnetic pole and what its rapidly changing trajectory is telling us. He then welcomes Dr John Blake to talk us through the history of how humans through the ages navigated on the seas.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Jo Dunkley is a professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. Hannah Devlin talks to her about what it’s like to work on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile, where they need to bring oxygen tanks for safety.

Astrophysicist Jo Dunkley just published a book titled Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide. In it, she reveals the history of our universe, as well as some of the remarkable – and sometimes overlooked – contributions of pioneering female astronomers.

Hannah Devlin talks to Dunkley about her career which has seen her join the team looking after Nasa’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, and head to Chile to work on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The UK has a problem and it isn’t going to go away anytime soon. But what to do about it? This week Geoff Marsh explores plans to bury the UK’s nuclear waste deep underground

The UK was a pioneer of nuclear energy production but the waste that this innovation left behind is now spread across sites all over the country. Along with other nuclear nations, the UK has come to the conclusion that the safest way to deal with this nuclear waste is to bury it deep underground in what is called a geological disposal facility (GDF).

This GDF would be filled with the current inventory plus any waste produced by future energy production, and then sealed shut for millennia. But will a community step forward and engage with the government and its proposal?

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview