Hybrid working works: huge study reveals no drop in productivity

00:48 Short-haul spaceflight's effect on the human body.

A comprehensive suite of biomedical data, collected during the first all-civilian spaceflight, is helping researchers unpick the effects that being in orbit has on the human body. Analysis of data collected from the crew of SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission reveals that short duration spaceflight can result in physiological changes similar to those seen on longer spaceflights. These changes included things like alterations in immune-cell function and a lengthening of DNA telomeres, although the majority of these changes reverted soon after the crew landed.

Collection: Space Omics and Medical Atlas (SOMA) across orbits

12:13 Research Highlights

Researchers have discovered why 2019 was so awash with Painted Lady butterflies, and the meaning behind gigantic rock engravings along the Orinoco river.

Research Highlight: A huge outbreak of butterflies hit three continents — here’s why

Research Highlight: Mystery of huge ancient engravings of snakes solved at last

14:55 The benefits of working from home, some of the time

A huge trial of hybrid working has shown that this approach can help companies retain employees without hurting productivity. While a mix of home and in-person working became the norm for many post-pandemic, the impacts of this approach on workers’ outputs remains hotly debated and difficult to test scientifically. To investigate the effects of hybrid working, researchers randomly selected 1,612 people at a company in China to work in the office either five days a week or three. In addition to the unchanged productivity, employees said that they value the days at home as much as a 10% pay rise. This led to an increase in staff retention and potential savings of millions of dollars for the company involved in the trial.

Research article: Bloom et al.

Editorial: The case for hybrid working is growing — employers should take note

25:50: Briefing Chat

Germany balks at the $17 billion bill for CERN’s new supercollider, and working out when large language models might run out of data to train on.

Nature News: CERN’s $17-billion supercollider in question as top funder criticizes cost

Associated Press: AI ‘gold rush’ for chatbot training data could run out of human-written text

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