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Episode 62: The (Trans) Body in Space

In this the first episode of Trans Medicine March – the one month of the year where this podcast is specifically and explicitly about being trans, and specifically aspects of medical transition – we begin with a consideration of how time in space affects the human body in general, and how being someone who has…

Episode 61: Genetic Control of Courtship Behaviors in Flies and Roaches (Happy Belated Valentine’s Day)

In this episode which is definitely right on time for Valentine’s Day, Charles tells Tessa about a paper he read on the fruitless gene (originally identified in Drosophila melanogaster, the “laboratory fruit fly”) and its possible control over the courtship behavior in Blattella germanica, the “German cockroach,” another classic model organism. Tangents of variable length include how crucial genitals…

Episode 60: Jackson Reyna on Chemistry, Fire, and the Chemistry of Fire

On this episode we’re joined by PhD student Jackson Reyna to talk about his love of chemistry and specifically fire. Some topics include organometallics, practical applications of chemical research, what is fire, and whether and under what conditions we’d all be willing to participate in experimental medicine.

Episode 59: Dead Dinosaurs, Cockroach Sperm, and Monkey Testicles – A Science Sampler Platter for the New Year

In this episode, the two of us share several different interesting topics we’ve read about recently, including the timing of the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, the first fossil cockroach found with its sperm, the use of ultrasound as contraception for mammals, extremely dangerous theoretical rockets, and unethical animal experimentation in the American mid-twentieth-century. Warning for animal…

Episode 58: Where Do Insects Go When It’s Cold?

In this episode, we address what happens to all the insects when it’s cold out – where do they go? how do they survive? how do you survive freezing temperatures? Including the elusive grylloblattids, freeze tolerant cockroaches, Alaskan stoneflies, and even some butterflies. 

Episode 57: Rose Eveleth on the future, Flash Forward, whether you are your brain, and whether to put that brain in a robot

In this episode – recorded almost 18 months ago but still great – we talk to our first and only cis (?) guest: Rose Eveleth, the creator, writer, producer, and host of the podcast Flash Forward (in Charles’s estimation, the greatest podcast of all time). We talk about the process behind making Flash Forward, the episodes which we feel…

Episode 55: “The Neutral Zone” (TNG 1×26) and the Past and Future of Cryonics

In this episode we use the TNG episode “The Neutral Zone,” in which three people from the 20th century are revived from cryopreservation to find themselves on the Enterprise 300 years later, to talk about cryonics. We touch on its history, whether it actually works (no), whether it could work (probably not), whether we’d do it…

Episode 54: What’s the Big Deal With the James Webb Space Telescope?

In this episode, we talk about the significance of the new James Webb Space Telescope (and why it should have a different name) – how it works, why it’s important, and what people are going to do with it. Also stay to hear the story of how Tessa proposed to her wife, which is extremely…

Episode 53: Laurel Hiatt on What’s Even Happening In Your Colon

In this episode we’re joined by MD-PhD student Laurel Hiatt, whose work focuses on somatic mosaicism, or the differences between individual cells, specifically in the human colon. We talk about genetic mosaicism, cancer risk, why the colon causes so many problems, and how Laurel’s work will (hopefully) help develop tools to improve screening and colorectal…

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