Nature

How to make water that’s full of holes

Hear the latest science news, with Benjamin Thompson and Shamini Bundell.

In this episode:

00:45 How adding pores helps water carry gas

Although water is an excellent solvent, it’s limited in its ability to dissolve gasses. To overcome this a team have developed ‘porous water’ containing tiny cages that can hold large numbers of gas molecules. The team suggest that this technology could have multiple medical applications, including in the development of artificial blood.

Research article: Erdosy et al.

News and Views: Suspended pores boost gas solubility in water

11:35 Research Highlights

Synthetic ‘nerves’ help mice to walk, and planets orbiting a star that’s due to go supernova.

Research Highlight: Stretchy synthetic nerve helps mice give ball a mighty kick

Research Highlight: A massive planet circles a huge star doomed to explode

14:16 When did hominins get on their feet?

One of humanity’s defining characteristics is our ability to walk on two legs. However, when this ability evolved remains a mystery. A paper out this week suggests that the species Sahelanthropus tchadensis was walking on two legs seven million years ago – but others dispute these findings. We hear about the research and the debate surrounding it.

News: Seven-million-year-old femur suggests ancient human relative walked upright

Research article: Daver et al.

News and Views: Standing up for the earliest bipedal hominins

21:45 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, modelling an enormous, extinct megalodon shark, and a potential way to break down ‘forever chemicals’.

The Guardian: Ancient megalodon shark could eat a whale in a few bites, research suggests

Nature News: How to destroy ‘forever chemicals’: cheap method breaks down PFAS

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