Nature

Massive Facebook study reveals a key to social mobility

Hear the latest from the world of science, with Nick Petrić Howe and Benjamin Thompson.

In this episode:

00:47 The economic benefits of social connections

By looking at data gathered from billions of Facebook friendships, researchers have shown that having more connections with people from higher income groups could increase future incomes by 20%. They also show how such connections can be formed, and how schools and other institutions could help to improve peoples’ opportunities in the future.

Research Article: Chetty et al.

Research Article: Chetty et al.

News and Views: The social connections that shape economic prospects

Link to the data

11:06 Research Highlights

How balloons could help measure quakes on Venus, and the parasitic fungus that tricks flies into mating with fly corpses.

Research Highlight: Balloon flotilla detects an earthquake from high in the sky

Research Highlight: The fungus that entices male flies to mate with female corpses

13:40 Reviving pig organs hours after death

When someone dies, tissues start to irreversibly degrade, but recently this irreversibility has been brought into question by studies showing that some organs can be partially revived several hours after death. Now, working in pigs, researchers have shown it is possible to revive the functions of several organs at once. This could pave the way for improved organ transplantation, but ethicists advise caution.

Research Article: Andrijevic et al.

News and Views: Improved organ recovery after oxygen deprivation

News: Pig organs partially revived in dead animals — researchers are stunned

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