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

In this episode:

00:47 The robot shoulder that exercises cells

Recreating the movements that tendon cells experience as they develop in the human body is necessary for growing tissue for transplantation, but this has been difficult to achieve in a laboratory setting. Now, a team has developed a system that uses a robot shoulder to stretch and twist these cells, which they hope could be used to improve the quality of tissue grafts in the future.

Research article: Mouthuy et al.

Video: A robotic Petri dish: How to grow human cells in a robot shoulder

07:56 Research Highlights

A robotic surgeon that works within an MRI chamber, and an ancient human genome from a resident of Pompeii.

Research Highlight: Robot surgeons steer smoothly with help from magnet-free motor

Research Highlight: Vesuvius victim yields first human genome from Pompeii

10:30 Overcoming COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Identifying sources of vaccine hesitancy is a key challenge in public health. This week, a team show that correcting misperceptions about doctor’s COVID-19 vaccine views increased vaccination rates in the Czech Republic. The team suggest this finding could extend to other countries, and represents a cost-effective intervention for reducing vaccine hesitancy.

Research article: Bartoš et al.

News and Views: Give physicians’ views to improve COVID vaccine uptake

16:21 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, where metals are lost during their economic lifetime, and how pesticide use has spurred cockroach evolution and even affected their mating habits.

Nature News: Metal-lifespan analysis shows scale of waste

New York Times: Cockroach Reproduction Has Taken a Strange Turn

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