The UK’s rivers are in a dire state. Full of sewage, chemicals and prescription drugs, life in our rivers is suffering. New Scientist has teamed up with the i newspaper to launch the Save Britain’s Rivers campaign to raise awareness of the issue and get changes in the law. The team explores the problem, which includes question marks over illegal activity, and explains the aims of the campaign.

UFOs are on our radar, quite literally, as US fighter jets have suddenly been tasked with blowing them out of the sky over North America. But why now? The team explains how this hunt for flying objects was started by a suspicious Chinese balloon.

Can love be measured? While we may never figure out exactly what it is, a team of researchers has come up with a way of measuring where in the world people are most loved-up. From a list of 45 countries, the team shares the official winners and losers.

Did you know there may be an evolutionary advantage to having curly hair? The team shares the findings of the first study to examine hair type from an evolutionary perspective.

Why do some women get cravings for certain foods during their period? The team discuss a study of cis-women suggesting that inflammation could key us into what’s going on, and why cravings vary. Also, don’t miss our investigation of the vaginal microbiome - what an ecosystem!

On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Graham Lawton, Alice Klein, Jeremy Hsu, Alexandra Thompson and Daniel Capurro. To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at

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