Nature Podcast
Nature Podcast
Dec 16, 2020
Could you prevent a pandemic? A very 2020 video game
Play • 37 min

A video game provides players with insights into pandemic responses, and our annual festive fun.


In this episode:

01:02 Balancing responses in a video game pandemic

In the strategy video-game Plague Inc: The Cure, players assume the role of an omnipotent global health agency trying to tackle outbreaks of increasingly nasty pathogens. We find out how the game was developed, and how it might help change public perception of pandemic responses.

Plague Inc: The Cure from Ndemic Creations


10:02 “We three Spacecraft travel to Mars”

The first of our festive songs, we head back to July this year, and the launch of three separate space missions to the red planet. Scroll to the transcript section at the bottom of the page for the lyrics.


12:54 Research Highlights

Giant pandas roll in piles of poo to keep warm, and how different bread-baking styles have led to distinct lineages of baker’s yeast.

Research Highlight: Why pandas like to roll in piles of poo

Research Highlight: Sourdough starters give rise to a new line of yeast


15:17 The Nature Podcast Audio Charades Competition: Lockdown edition

In this year’s festive competition, our reporters try to describe some of the biggest science stories, using only homemade sound effects. Results are mixed, at best...


24:15 Nature’s 10

We hear about some of the people who made it on to this year’s Nature’s 10 list this year.

Nature’s 10: ten people who helped shape science in 2020


32:20 All I want for Christmas is vaccines

In our final festive song, we celebrate a huge scientific achievement, and one that’s offering a little hope for 2021. Scroll to the transcript section at the bottom of the page for the lyrics.

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Song lyrics:


"We three Spacecraft travel to Mars"

We three spacecraft travel to Mars

Bearing probes we traverse afar

Rockets firing

Launching, flying

One by one we depart


Oh-oh one from China

one the States

one the Arab Emirates…

Careful timing

Worlds aligning

launching on the perfect dates.


First is Hope from the UAE

I map weather, orbitally

My ambition

our first mission

Interplanetary


Oh-oh one from China

one the States

one the Arab Emirates…

Careful timing

Worlds aligning

launching on the perfect dates.


Next Tianwen-one will debut

I’ve a rover and orbiter too

Plus a lander

And I’ve planned a

Mission returning soon


Oh-oh one from China

one the States

one the Arab Emirates…

Careful...  


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