Scientists have known for decades that one of the main causes of the smell of fresh rain is geosmin: a chemical compound produced by soil-dwelling bacteria.
But why do the bacteria make it in the first place? It was a bacteria-based mystery… until now! Maddie gets some answers from reporter Emily Vaughn, former Short Wave intern.
In this episode, we hear from Klas Flärdh, a professor of microbiology at Lund University in Sweden; Mahmoud Al-Bassam, a researcher at University of California, San Diego; and Paul Becher, a chemical ecologist and a researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
You can find their paper in Nature Microbiology here.
Email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez, edited by Viet Le, and fact-checked by Berly McCoy and Emily Vaughn herself.
Short Wave Podcast
It’s science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.