This week, tougher DNA nanostructures, climate-altering permafrost microbes, and using a robot to discover chemical reactions.

In this episode:

00:56 Robot chemist

A machine that not only learns, but also carries out chemical reactions. Research paper: Granda et al.

07:40 Global warming and genomes

Sequencing the genomes of microbes in permafrost could help scientists predict future greenhouse gas levels. Research paper: Woodcroft et al.

13:30 Research Highlights

Peering at a black planet, and a long view of a cancer cell’s genome. Research Highlight: A planet the colour of charcoal; Research Highlight: Tallying a cancer’s vast array of genetic changes

15:12 Tougher DNA nanostructures

Silica can be used to toughen up self-assembling DNA scaffolds. Research paper: Liu et al.

20:36 News Chat

A gene therapy combats deadly disease in mice, and arranging a telescope array News: Gene therapy in mouse fetuses treats deadly disease; News: South Africa celebrates completion of gigantic, super-sensitive telescope

Never miss an episode: Subscribe to the Nature Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts or your favourite podcast app.

Head here for the Nature Podcast RSS feed.