Listen to the latest science news, with Nick Petrić Howe and Shamini Bundell.

In this episode:

00:45 Why losing the Y chromosome makes bladder cancer more aggressive

Loss of the Y chromosome in bladder cancer cells is associated with increased severity of disease, but the reasons behind this have been unclear. Now researchers show that the loss of this chromosome helps tumour cells evade the immune system. However, this mechanism also makes the cells more vulnerable to certain chemotherapy treatments, and the researchers hope their findings could help improve outcomes for patients in the future.

Research article: Abdel-Hafiz et al.

07:30 Research Highlights

How pollution particles ferry influenza virus deep into the lungs, and why artificial lights could dazzle glow worms into extinction.

Research Highlight: Flu virus hitches a ride with haze particles deep into the lung

Research Highlight: Glow-worms’ ‘come-hither’ signals are lost in the glare of human lights

10:10 Engineering synthetic cartilage

The cartilage in our joints is able to withstand and dissipate a lifetime of impacts, protecting our bones and muscles from damage. But the mechanical properties of cartilage have made it difficult to mimic, and developing synthetic cartilage to replace damaged tissue has proved challenging. Now a team has developed a protein-based material that shares some of cartilage’s characteristics, and shown its potential in helping heal damaged tissue.

Research article: Fu et al.

17:44 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how early magnetic minerals might help explain why nature shows a preference for the ‘left handed’ or ‘right handed’ versions of certain molecules, and how human’s thirst for groundwater has made the North Pole drift.

Science: ‘Breakthrough’ could explain why life molecules are left- or right-handed

Nature News: Rampant groundwater pumping has changed the tilt of Earth’s axis

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