Twice a week, the Guardian brings you the latest science and environment news
Could we end migraines for good?
British minister Dehenna Davison recently resigned from government, explaining that chronic migraines were making it impossible for her to do her job. Her announcement coincided with a new drug for acute migraines being recommended for use in the NHS. Madeleine Finlay meets Prof Peter Goadsby, whose pioneering research underpins the new drug, to find out about the advances we’ve made in understanding migraines, and whether we might one day be able to wave goodbye to migraines for good. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Deja vu’s lesser-known opposite: why do we experience jamais vu?
There’s a sensation many of us might have experienced: when something routine or recognisable suddenly feels strange and unfamiliar. It’s known as jamais vu, or ‘never seen’. Research into this odd feeling recently won an Ig Nobel prize, which is awarded to science that makes you laugh, then think. Ian Sample speaks to Ig Nobel recipient Dr Akira O’Connor about why he wanted to study jamais vu, what he thinks is happening in our brains, and what it could teach us about memory going right, and wrong. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
The mystery of Europe’s heat death hotspot
Ian Sample hears from the Guardian’s Europe environment correspondent, Ajit Niranjan, about the reporting he has been doing for the launch of our new Europe edition. He talks about Osijek, a Croatian city that has the highest heat mortality rate in Europe … but no one knows why. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Will our bees survive the Asian hornet invasion?
Asian hornets have been spotted in the UK in record numbers this year, sparking concern about what their presence could mean for our native insects, and in particular bee populations. Madeleine Finlay speaks to ecologist Prof Juliet Osborne about why this species of hornet is so voracious, how European beekeepers have been impacted by their arrival, and how scientists and the government are attempting to prevent them from becoming established here. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Should American bully XLs be banned?
The UK home secretary, Suella Braverman, is pushing for a ban on American bully XL dogs after an attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham. Madeleine Finlay hears from Guardian Midlands correspondent Jessica Murray about how this relatively new breed became so popular, and from bioethicist Jessica Pierce about whether we need to reevaluate our expectations of dog ownership. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Teen mental health and social media: what does the evidence tell us?
Ian Sample talks to Dr Amy Orben, who leads the digital mental health programme at the Medical Research Council’s cognition and brain sciences unit, about why the link between teen mental health and social media is so difficult to study, what the current evidence tells us and what advice she gives to parents whose children are entering the online world for the first time. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Science is everywhere
This brilliant podcast finds its subjects in films, politics and health as well as the natural world - all in compact 15 minute packages. Varied and always informative.
The podcast focused on the emotional question if “how intelligent is an octopus”. This is one question yes, but my questions would be “what does an octopus eat”? And “where will that food come from”. If we have to send out a fishing fleet to catch 10tonnes of fish to produce 1tonne of octopus, how does that improve our food chain?
We do not farm foxes or wolves, why would we farm Octopus or even salmon?
I much enjoy this podcast, which focuses on the intersection of science and policy/politics. It covers very interesting topics - recent gems include the theory of 15-minute cities; and how political leaders understood and used science data during COVID. Designed for an intelligent general audience and well structured to fit a nuanced discussion into 15 minutes. I recommend it!