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Special scientific reports and investigations by the Naked Scientists team

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Special scientific reports and investigations by the Naked Scientists team

    Loan applications rejected more around midday

    Loan applications rejected more around midday

    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 demonstrate that it could make the difference between your bank loan getting approved - or rejected. Lead author Tobias Baer spoke to Eva Higginbotham... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

    • 4 min
    Camera based on shrimp eye sees cancer cells

    Camera based on shrimp eye sees cancer cells

    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 figured this might be useful, and have created a camera that can see colours we can't. The idea is that if you tag a cancerous tumour with a fluorescent chemical that we can't see, but the camera can, it will give surgeons a quick and easy way to... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

    • 3 min
    SciHub: are they stealing your data?

    SciHub: are they stealing your data?

    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 claim the moral high ground: people who couldn't otherwise afford to access the material can read it. But the way SciHub obtains the journal articles it makes available is not legal; they are said to have obtained access codes from people at... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

    • 6 min
    Plants affected by noise pollution

    Plants affected by noise pollution

    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 plants rely on to spread their seeds, as she explained to Katie Haylor... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

    • 3 min
    Biological target for future anorexia drugs

    Biological target for future anorexia drugs

    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 scientists from Vanderbilt University, have now shown that activating a particular receptor called MC3 in the brains of mice encourages them to eat more, whilst at the same time also suppressing fear and anxiety. And Roger thinks this has interesting... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

    • 7 min
    Ancient DNA extracted from cave dirt

    Ancient DNA extracted from cave dirt

    When they're trying to piece together our understanding of ancient Humans and Neanderthals, scientists often have to rely on artifacts found in caves. What scientists wish they had more of was ancient DNA, which would allow them to study how the populations of these groups changed and expanded over time. Now that's about to change thanks to Benjamin Vernot at the Max Planck Institute, as he explained to Eva Higginbotham.... Like this podcast? Please help us by supporting the Naked Scientists

    • 5 min

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