Don’t think too deeply about the origin of life – it may have started in puddles
How water chemistry is shifting researchers' thoughts on where life might have arisen, and a new model to tackle climate change equitably and economically.
In this episode:
00:46 A shallow start to life on Earth?
It’s long been thought that life on Earth first appeared in the oceans. However, the chemical complexities involved in creating biopolymers in water has led some scientists to speculate that shallow pools on land were actually the most likely location for early life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has massively shifted the scientific landscape, changing research and funding priorities across the world. While this shift was necessary for the development of things like vaccines, there are concerns that the ‘covidization’ of research could have long-term impacts on other areas of research.
20:45 Research Highlights
The Hayabusa2 mission successfully delivers a tiny cargo of asteroid material back to Earth, and a team in China claims to have made the first definitive demonstration of computational ‘quantum advantage’.
22:38 Calculating carbon
Limiting carbon emissions is essential to tackling climate change. However, working out how to do this in a way that is fair to nations worldwide is notoriously difficult. Now, researchers have developed a model that gives some surprising insights in how to equitably limit carbon.
Research Article: Bauer et al.
News and Views: Trade-offs for equitable climate policy assessed
29:08 Briefing Chat
We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, bioluminescent Australian animals, and the collapse of the Arecibo telescope.
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