New Scientist Weekly

#178 Botox affects your understanding of emotions; GPT-4 exhibits human-level intelligence; IPCC climate change report 2023


As countries continue dragging their feet on emissions reductions, the latest  synthesis report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is another call to arms, warning of catastrophic impacts of climate change. The team digs into the report and asks whether the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C is now beyond reach.

ChatGPT’s successor GPT-4 is here, and excitement is brewing as the language model has begun to demonstrate signs of artificial general intelligence, when machines demonstrate flexible ability to tackle different tasks. From passing law examinations to coding entire websites, the team explains what GPT-4 is capable of, and why it may have begun a paradigm shift in the world of machine learning.

For Lifeform of the Week, the team hear that garden dormice glow in the dark. After shining UV light on some dormice, researchers have found they emit a bright red glow, and their feet and nose shine blue-green. The team finds out what’s going on and why they might have evolved this skill.

It’s no surprise that it’s harder to read the emotions of people who’ve had Botox. What is surprising is that people who’ve had Botox find it harder to read other people’s emotions, too. The team explains how this could come down to something called the ‘facial feedback hypothesis’.

Despite being ridiculously cold to the point where chemical reactions struggle to get going, Saturn’s moon Titan may still be able to develop life thanks to a strange quantum phenomenon. The team learns about the bizarre effect of quantum tunnelling.

On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Michael Le Page, Alex Wilkins, Alice Klein and Leah Crane . To read about these subjects and much more, you can subscribe to New Scientist magazine at

Events and discount codes:

New Scientist Tours:

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

Podden och tillhörande omslagsbild på den här sidan tillhör New Scientist. Innehållet i podden är skapat av New Scientist och inte av, eller tillsammans med, Poddtoppen.