The scientist whose hybrid rice helped feed billions
A historian reflects on the life of Chinese crop scientist Yuan Longping, and the possible influence of geothermal energy production on earthquake aftershocks.
In this episode:
00:46 Remembering Yuan Longping
Yuan Longping, one of China’s most famous scientists, died in May at the age of 90. Known as the ‘father of hybrid rice’, we reflect on his life and the impact of his research, which helped feed billions of people.
Obituary: Yuan Longping (1930–2021)
09:55 Research Highlights
The ancient and incredibly well-preserved beetle found in dinosaur poo, and a 5,000 year old, less transmissible strain of plague bacteria.
Research Highlight: A piece of Triassic poo yields a beautifully preserved beetle
Research Highlight: A hunter-gather’s bones yield the oldest known strain of plague
12:14 Geothermal power and earthquake aftershocks
In 2019, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rippled through California, except – according to some researchers – at the site of a geothermal power plant. Now, a paper in Nature tries to understand why.
Research paper: Im et al.
16:47 Briefing Chat
We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, the new skull fossils that might expand the human family tree, and a new estimate of the age of an ancient ‘living fossil’.
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