New Scientist Weekly

#78: Will covid evolve to evade vaccines?; the oldest animal fossils ever found; predicting climate change’s extreme weather

July 30, 2021 New Scientist Season 1 Episode 78
New Scientist Weekly
#78: Will covid evolve to evade vaccines?; the oldest animal fossils ever found; predicting climate change’s extreme weather
Chapters
New Scientist Weekly
#78: Will covid evolve to evade vaccines?; the oldest animal fossils ever found; predicting climate change’s extreme weather
Jul 30, 2021 Season 1 Episode 78
New Scientist

More than a week since England lifted its covid restrictions, infection numbers in the UK are very high. The team examines how the country has set up the perfect circumstances for the evolution of “escape variants” - forms of the virus that may be able to evade our immune systems and vaccines. The team also learns of the discovery of the earliest fossil animals ever found - sponges that are 350 million years older than anything we’ve seen before. They explain how a 14-legged single-cell organism is able to walk without a brain. They also discover what would happen if two superfast stars smashed into each other, and find out why many climate models weren’t able to predict the severity of recent extreme weather. On the pod are Penny Sarchet, Timothy Revell, Leah Crane and Michael Marshall. To read about these stories and much more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.

Show Notes

More than a week since England lifted its covid restrictions, infection numbers in the UK are very high. The team examines how the country has set up the perfect circumstances for the evolution of “escape variants” - forms of the virus that may be able to evade our immune systems and vaccines. The team also learns of the discovery of the earliest fossil animals ever found - sponges that are 350 million years older than anything we’ve seen before. They explain how a 14-legged single-cell organism is able to walk without a brain. They also discover what would happen if two superfast stars smashed into each other, and find out why many climate models weren’t able to predict the severity of recent extreme weather. On the pod are Penny Sarchet, Timothy Revell, Leah Crane and Michael Marshall. To read about these stories and much more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.