Listen to the latest from the world of science, brought to you by Nick Petrić Howe and Shamini Bundell.

In this episode:

00:46 Predicting pre-eclampsia

Cell-free RNA circulates in the blood and can give clues as to what is going on in the body. This can be used to detect disease before symptoms occur. Now researchers have analysed cell-free RNA in pregnant people and have found it can give early warning signs of a serious, and sometimes fatal, disorder of pregnancy — pre-eclampsia.

Research Article: Moufarrej et al.

07:19 Research Highlights

Upgrading machine vision by modelling it on human eyes, and stacked skeletons which could show attempts at repair after European tomb raiders.

Research Highlight: Retina-like sensors give machines better vision

Research Highlight: ‘Spines on posts’ hint at ancient devotion to the dead

09:55 The problems of pee

Sewage and the way it is managed can cause serious problems, for example contaminants in waste can lead to harmful algal blooms. One of the major causes of this is urine, and so some researchers have been promoting a deceptively simple solution — separate out the urine.

News Feature: The urine revolution: how recycling pee could help to save the world

Book Review: Toilets – what will it take to fix them?

16:40 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how China has planned to make this year’s Winter Olympics carbon neutral, and how a new radio telescope in Namibia will help us understand black holes.

Nature News: China’s Winter Olympics are carbon-neutral — how?

Nature News: Major African radio telescope will help to image black holes

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