Nature

Swapping in a bit of microbial ‘meat’ has big eco-gains

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

In this episode:

00:46 How a move to microbial protein could affect emissions

It’s well understood that the production of meat has large impacts on the environment. This week, a team show that replacing 20% of future meat consumption with protein derived from microbes could reduce associated emissions and halve deforestation rates.

Research article: Humpenöder et al

News and Views: Mycoprotein produced in cell culture has environmental benefits over beef

08:21 Research Highlights

How saltwater crocodiles’ penchant for pigs is driving population recovery in Australia, and solving the mystery of some eighteenth-century porcelain’s iridescent lustre.

Research Highlight: Pork dinners fuel huge crocodiles’ return from near-extinction

Research Highlight: The nanoparticles that give a famed antique porcelain its dazzle

10:47 The neurons that help mosquitoes distinguish smell

Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes strongly prefer human odours to those of animals, but how they distinguish between them is not well understood. Now, researchers have shown that human odours strongly activate a specific area in the brains of these insects, a finding that could have important implications for mosquito-control strategies.

Research article: Zhao et al.

18:05 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how climate change could affect virus transmission between mammals, and how the link between a dog’s breed and its temperament may not be as close as previously thought.

Nature: Climate change will force new animal encounters — and boost viral outbreaks

Nature: Massive study of pet dogs shows breed does not predict behaviour

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