Conversations with the doers and thinkers at the forefront of biotech and materials science.

Talking Biotech · episode 352

352 - Prions and Chronic Wasting Disease Listen

Chronic wasting disease is an increasingly common prion-based disease of deer and other cervids. Dr. Sandra Pritzkow describes the disease, it's transmission, and efforts to mitigate its spread.

Talking Biotech · episode 351

351 - Biotech, Pesticides, Toxicology and Food Listen

There is abundant conversation about pesticides and food, especially in social media. Unfortunately, there is little understanding about regulation, dosage, tolerances and toxicity.

Talking Biotech · episode 350

Methylation of DNA, Relationship to Disease Listen

Methylation is the addition of a small methyl group to specific bases of the DNA helix. Addition of a methyl group can change how the DNA blueprint is accessed and expressed.

Talking Biotech · episode 349

Addressing the Issue of Scientific Reproducibility Listen

Trust in science is predicated on independent reproducibility of research results. Perceived breakdowns in reproducibility have gained much recent attention, and it is up to the scientific community to devise new mechanisms to help ensure methods and results are complete and transparent.

Talking Biotech · episode 348

The Human Protein Atlas Listen

Proteins are the central catalytic and structural components of cells, and ultimately are at the center of cellular function.

Talking Biotech · episode 347

New Drugs that Repair Broken Genes Listen

Many diseases do not have cures, yet have a foundation in deleterious genomic mutations. Dietrich Stephan of NewBase describes a novel custom drug design platform that shows amazing potential in animal models, and seeks to directly reverse currently untreatable disease.

Talking Biotech · episode 346

An Owner's Manual for Your Brain Listen

In the age of an internet full of false information, how do we tell the real from the fictitious? Jon Guy introduces his new book, Thinking Straight- an owner's manual to the mind.

Talking Biotech · episode 345

Update on Self-Limiting Mosquitoes Listen

Mosquitoes are the world's most deadly insect, vectoring dozens of bloodborne diseases. Oxitec has been revising "sterile insect" techniques classically used in mosquito control with modern technologies that are more precise.

Talking Biotech · episode 344

New Drugs Targeting Dangerous Cholesterol Listen

Specific modifications of cholesterol appear to be central in heart disease, stroke and other disorders.

Talking Biotech · episode 343

Breeding the Next Amazing Apple Listen

Apples are a fruit favorite. What are modern breeders doing to create the next generation of superior fruits, that offer flavors for consumers and sustainability traits for farmers? Dr.

Talking Biotech · episode 342

Biological Plasticity, Bioelectricity, and Limb Regeneration Listen

Dr. Michael Levin of Tufts University discusses his laboratory's eclectic research programs that may be changing the way we think about animal development.

Talking Biotech · episode 341

Consumer Sentiment and Gene Editing Listen

Scientists say that gene editing will have profound positive impacts in medicine and agriculture. But what do consumers think? Today's Talking Biotech Podcast talks to agricultural economist Dr.

Talking Biotech · episode 340

Stopping Bleeding with Algal-Based Polymers Listen

Catastrophic bleeding is a cause of death after a wide variety of wounds in humans and other animals.

Talking Biotech · episode 339

Fungal Toxins in Food Listen

Mother Nature has created some of the world's most carcinogenic compounds. These natural fungal products are present on many commodity crops, and have profound impacts in the developing nations.

Talking Biotech · episode 338

Plastics and Fuels from Camelina Listen

Camelina is a mustard-family plant that may be genetically engineered to create a wide variety of important products, from plastics to jet fuel.

Talking Biotech · episode 337

Endogenous Retroviruses and Disease, Dr. Arvinda Nath Listen

Our genomes carry a massive amount of integrated viral DNA from infections in our ancestors. New evidence shows that they may be reactivated and drive cancer and neurological disorders.

Talking Biotech · episode 336

Evaluating Scientific Claims - Melanie Trecek-King Listen

The world's information is available to us at our fingertips. How do we recognize good sources and evaluate scientific claims? Melanie Trecek-King describes her tool kit for critical thinking.

Talking Biotech · episode 335

Resetting the Table with Dr. Robert Paarlberg Listen

Dr. Robert Paarlberg discusses his book, "Resetting the Table - Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat".

Talking Biotech · episode 334

Biotech and Tick Vectored Disease Listen

Ticks are important disease vectors, spreading Lyme Disease and other human pathogens. New technology permits improved functional genetic research as well as creates a basis for genetic engineering strategies to limit populations or control disease vectoring.

Talking Biotech · episode 333

Plant Viruses / X Files Science Listen

Dr. Anne Simon describes viral threats to plant biology, and discusses how scientists have harnessed viruses to solve problems in agriculture.

Talking Biotech · episode 332

New Therapies for HERV-Based Disease Listen

Expression from Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) has been liked to Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases.

Talking Biotech · episode 331

Talking Biotech Podcast Changes and Future Listen

New sponsorship will improve the listener experience. Here are some of the changes you'll see with this opportunity.

Talking Biotech · episode 330

Avocado Genetics and Improvement Listen

The avocado is a nutritious and delicious fruit. Today's episode discusses its history, domestication, breeding priorities and future.

Talking Biotech · episode 329

Hollywood and the Percy Schmeiser Story Listen

The story of Percy Schmeiser is a well known tale of big biotech against the little farmer from rural Saskatchewan.

Talking Biotech · episode 328

The Importance of Telling Ag’s Story Listen

One of the criticisms of farmers is that they fail to engage the public to show what they do. It is understandable, their days are busy, competition is stiff, and farming selects for folks that shun the spotlight.

Talking Biotech · episode 327

Attacking Disease by Targeting Proteins Listen

Many diseases are rooted in the incorrect accumulation of proteins that regulate key cellular processes.

Talking Biotech · episode 326

Update on Transgenic (“GMO”) Chestnut Listen

The American Chestnut used to dominate Appalachian forests, but declined after a fungal disease was introduced to North America in the early 1900’s.

Talking Biotech · episode 325

Is Biotechnology Just New Colonialism? Listen

Two unusually parallel articles emerged this week, both claiming that modern ag technology (as they say, “GMO”) is just another arm of colonial control of the Developing World.

Talking Biotech · episode 324

Wine Flavor: Merging Grape and Yeast Genomes Listen

Wine is a fermented beverage that has been enjoyed for millennia. While many may feel that the grapes used produce the flavors in the wine, a substantial contribution comes from the yeast and specialized bacteria that performs feats of biochemistry on the components lent by the grape itself.

Talking Biotech · episode 323

Cindy’s Gift to End Glioblastoma Listen

At the early age of 47 Cindy Lee Graham lost her battle with glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is an insidious cancer of the brain and central nervous system that slowly robs its victims of critical faculties, with a very low survival rate.

Talking Biotech · episode 322

Gender Equity in the Pharmaceutical Industry Listen

The executive ranks of the pharmaceutical industry are populated with a clear over representation of older males.

Talking Biotech · episode 321

The Challenges of Growing Plants in Space Listen

Sustained space travel and colonization will depend on the ability to grow food in extra-terrestrial environments.

Talking Biotech · episode 320

Tiredness: Time for DNA Repair! Listen

We all know the feeling of tiredness, but what causes the urge to sleep?  Prof. Lior Appelbaum discusses the link between sleepiness and DNA damage, as sensed through the accumulation of a protein known as PARP1.

Talking Biotech · episode 319

Reprogramming T-Cells for Immunotherapies Listen

T Cells are the body’snatural defenders against pathogens. In the past they have been reprogrammed to recognize specific surface antigens of cancer cells to attack and destroy them.

Talking Biotech · episode 318

Breeding Future Olives Listen

Olives have a prominent role in the production of aromatic healthy culinary oils and brined olives for the table.

Talking Biotech · episode 317

Insulin from Synthetic Biology Listen

Thirty million Americans depend on daily doses of insulin to stay alive. This small protein hormone is responsible for the regulation of blood sugar, and plays a key role in all aspects of physiology, as well as long-term effects on health.

Talking Biotech · episode 316

What We Can Learn from Ancient DNA Listen

How can analysis of DNA isolated from old, preserved organisms, bones, or tissues tell us about life today?  Dr.

Talking Biotech · episode 315

Integrated Molecular Strategies in Combating Disease Listen

New strategies in gene therapy are integrating multiple modern techniques to take on contemporary challenging diseases, such as solid-tumor cancers.

Talking Biotech · episode 314

Genetic Counseling in the Biotech Era Listen

Genetic counselors play a critical role from pre-natal guidance to lifelong expertise in managing genetically-based disorders.

Talking Biotech · episode 313

Rediscovery of New Cancer Drugs Listen

Drug pipelines are thick with novel compounds that may have an effect on our most insidious diseases.

Talking Biotech · episode 312

Evidence that Modern Birds are Dinosaurs Listen

The classical assumption was that the modern dinosaur lineage led directly to today’s reptiles. However, a growing suite of evidence has shown that modern birds more closely emulate prehistoric creatures.

Talking Biotech · episode 311

Debunking Jeffrey Smith Listen

We must be dedicated to fighting back against false information in food and medicine. Jeffery Smith is a personality with no scientific training that has used disinformation to taint an important public discussion on biotechnology for over 25 years.

Talking Biotech · episode 310

Influencing a Conversation with a #ScienceHug Listen

In this week of technical failures and personal challenges, this week’s podcast investigates the merits of civil conversation.

Talking Biotech · episode 309

Relax and Enjoy Your Food Listen

There is no such thing as bad food, it is just bad diets, so says Craig Good. Various life events caused him to rethink his relationship with food, and a keen skepticism led him to carefully evaluate the mistakes we make, the myths we accept, and the potential reasons we have an epidemic of diet-related illness and an internet packed with fad diets.

Talking Biotech · episode 308

Misinformation and GMOs Listen

How does misinformation about genetically engineered crops (GMOs) start and how do we correct it?  These are questions asked by Prof.

Talking Biotech · episode 307

Glyphosate Residues and Dietary Exposure Listen

The herbicide glyphosate has been used for decades, with increased use paralleling the adoption of genetically engineered crops.

Talking Biotech · episode 306

Florida’s COVID Response / Long COVID Listen

Today’s podcast features two interviews about COVID19. The first is an interview with Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried.

Talking Biotech · episode 305

Early Cancer Detection with Liquid Biopsy Listen

Many cancers are much more curable if detected early. However, the current suite of detection methods are slow, expensive and can’t detect a problem until it is advanced.

Talking Biotech · episode 304

Last Minute Guests! Listen

Yay for gremlins!  Technical difficulties precluded the planned podcast, but that didn’t stop two good interviews from materializing a the last minute.

Talking Biotech · episode 303

Activating Suites of Plant Genes with Cas9 Listen

The role of Cas9 as an editing/deletion nuclease has been well established, but can it be used to turn genes on?   Dr.

Talking Biotech · episode 302

COVID19 Detection in Masks and Wearables Listen

COVID19 is the spectrum of pathologies caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus. While the pandemic moves well into its second year, the importance of detection in populations cannot be overstated.

Talking Biotech · episode 301

Virus Resistant Cassava in Kenya Listen

Cassava is a staple for one in ten people on earth, grown mostly by small famers tending a few acres.

Talking Biotech · episode 300

The Battle to Teach Science Listen

Episode 300 is guest-hosted by Ally Kennedy. She interviews Dr. Kevin Folta about the obstacles to communicating science over the last decade.

Talking Biotech · episode 299

Revisiting Huber’s Claims Listen

He jet-sets around the planet and writes letters to government officials, brandishing academic and military credentials.

Talking Biotech · episode 298

Good Science Information vs Disinformation Feedback Loops Listen

The Genetic Literacy Project is a popular science news website. A diverse set of articles and viewpoints are presented, with original articles and news aggregated from the internet.

Talking Biotech · episode 297

Smart People, Bad Food Choices Listen

Jack Bobo has been studying food, farming and the associated psychology for decades, asking questions about the choices people make around food.

Talking Biotech · episode 296

Turning Plastic Waste Into Vanilla Listen

We have two major problems. Vanilla is mostly produced in a narrow set of unstable economies and the supply chains are especially vulnerable.

Talking Biotech · episode 295

Evidence of Widespread Gene Transfer Listen

Analysis of massive genomic DNA sequence data indicates that gene transfer between similar species actually happened, and did so at a surprising rate.

Talking Biotech · episode 294

Widespread GMOs in Nature Listen

One of the major objections to genetic engineering is that a DNA segment is transferred to the crop, and lands in a somewhat random location.

Talking Biotech · episode 293

Debunking the Disinformation Dozen Listen

Dr. Dan Wilson is a rising star of science communication. His popular YouTube channel Debunk the Funk provides entertaining and evidence-based dissection of issues around science, vaccination and COVID19.

Talking Biotech · episode 292

Peptoids as Therapeutic Tools Listen

Peptides have increasingly emerging roles in cellular signaling and anti-microbial applications. Peptioids are cousins of their active peptide analogs, only  synthesized with a durable bond that helps the molecule evade cellular turnover mechanisms.

Talking Biotech · episode 291

Kleptoplasty and a Solar-Powered Animal Listen

A solar-powered animal?  There are species of sea slugs that consume algae, then integrate the chloroplasts into their own digestive cells.

Talking Biotech · episode 290

Methylation Clocks, Aging and Disease Listen

The basis of aging and long-term degenerative disease have been formidable questions for scientists. Over the last decade several “methylation clocks” have been devised to examine modifications of DNA that match well with developmental state and disease presentation.

Talking Biotech · episode 289

The GalSafe Pig and Xenotransplantation Listen

Last week’s episode covered Alpha Gal Syndrome, the tick-induced allergy to beef and pork. The same immunological response could also limit a recipient’s access to xenography or xenotransplantation, that is, the introduction of pig and cow tissues and organs for human benefit.

Talking Biotech · episode 288

Alpha Gal Syndrome Listen

You find a tick on your skin and remove it. The next day you eat a sausage and wind up in the emergency room in anaphylaxis.

Talking Biotech · episode 287

Bioluminescence, Antibiotic Resistance, and Science Communication Listen

Today’s podcast is an interview with New Zealander of the Year Dr. Siouxsie Wiles. Dr. Wiles’ program uses bioluminesence as a marker to follow bacterial growth and disease progression.

Talking Biotech · episode 286

Identifying Rare Compounds with A.I. Listen

While genomics approaches have opened a universe of new compounds in plants, the vast majority remain uncharacterized.

Talking Biotech · episode 285

Your DNA Sequence, Benefits and Risks Listen

Your DNA contains all of the information that makes you, you. With increasing understanding of the genetic basis of disease, the information in every cell may help anticipate, correct, or otherwise treat latent medical issues.

Talking Biotech · episode 284

Combating Vaccine Hesitancy Listen

The COVID19 vaccines were produced in record time, an amazing feat. However, additional challenges have been revealed in their distribution.

Talking Biotech · episode 283

Misinformation vs. An Honest Conversation Listen

This week’s podcast is a dissection of another popular podcast that features self-proclaimed experts in genetic engineering (familiarly GMO), and the falsehoods they propagate.

Talking Biotech · episode 282

An App to Identify On-Target Gene Editing Variation Listen

At its core, gene editing works to break gene function by creating errors in a DNA sequence at a specific location.

Talking Biotech · episode 281

COVID19 Testing and Personal Cancer Screenings Listen

One of the major failures of addressing the COVID19 pandemic is the breakdown of testing. The NFL and White House were able to  maintain business as usual because of daily, accurate testing.

Talking Biotech · episode 280

Greenpeace Beginnings, and Golden Rice Listen

Dr. Patrick Moore was a founding member of Greenpeace. In the years past its inception he worked tirelessly on ecological issues.

Talking Biotech · episode 279

New Technology to Save Bananas Listen

Bananas and other tropical crops have tremendous value, not just to farmers in the Developing World, but also as products that are enjoyed widely in highly industrialized nations.

Talking Biotech · episode 278

Gene Editing and Recovery from Radiation Listen

Radiation is a natural energy that constantly bombards us. At the same time we have harnessed its power for medical imaging, therapeutics, energy and warfare.

Talking Biotech · episode 277

SARS-CoV2: Immune Response and RNA Vaccines Listen

The story of biotechnology’s response to the pandemic is an amazing one, and we continue coverage of these events as they arise.

Talking Biotech · episode 276

Amazing Products from Algae Listen

Algae efficiently convert carbon dioxide into oils, and they are now being bred to generate a suite of compounds that may be synthesized into fuel and polymers that are the basis of biodegradable plastics.

Talking Biotech · episode 275

Targeting Cancers with Gene Editing Listen

Certain aggressive cancers have profound effects on lifespan and quality of life. Patient prognosis can be grim, and therapies are harsh.

Talking Biotech · episode 274

GE Crops: What do Consumers Really Think? Listen

Consumers have many opinions about food, and are continually bombarded by information from manufacturers to self-proclaimed experts.

Talking Biotech · episode 273

2020 Science Stories Listen

The COVID-19 pandemic overshadowed an incredible year of innovation in biotechnology. Today’s podcast is a simulcast between the Science Facts and Fallacies with Cameron English and Talking Biotech.

Talking Biotech · episode 272

Immune Response to COVID19 and its Vaccines Listen

The COVID19 vaccines have the potential to squelch a dangerous pandemic. However, the public has many questions about their safety and efficacy that could limit their broad administration.

Talking Biotech · episode 271

mRNA Vaccine Mechanism, Safety, Communication Listen

Two mRNA vaccines have been approved to lead the fight against COVID19. Both have been rapidly approved with Emergency Use Authorization, which does not build public trust.

Talking Biotech · episode 270

Apple Domestication and Variation Listen

Apples seem rather ubiqutous, but what we see in the stores are just a sample of the genetic diversity that is out there.

Talking Biotech · episode 269

The Ag Innovation Ecosystem Listen

Despite its essential role in the economy and food security, agriculture has lagged behind with respect to adoption of new technology.

Talking Biotech · episode 268

What is an mRNA Vaccine? Listen

mRNA vaccines have recently been in the news as an exciting potential preventative of SARS-CoV2. The technology seems new, but has roots in the 1990’s and a long history of maturation, plagued by technical barriers and skepticism.

Talking Biotech · episode 267

Genetic Engineering in Animal Agriculture Listen

Technology is driving innovation on the farm, and there have been significant efforts in improving livestock.

Talking Biotech · episode 266

Gene Writing: New Tech to Correct Disease Listen

Gene editing is a relatively new technology that has revolutionary applications in agriculture and medicine.

Talking Biotech · episode 265

Onion Domestication and Improvement Listen

The onion has tremendous value in culinary applications all over the world. Where did it come from?  What are the major breeding efforts and the important traits.

Talking Biotech · episode 264

What are Pumpkins? Listen

On Halloween it is hard to remember that the pumpkins used for decoration are actually an important food for indigenous people of the Americas.

Talking Biotech · episode 263

The Ethics of Gene Editing Listen

Gene editing moved quickly from the lab to application, so fast that the public is unsure how to think about it.

Talking Biotech · episode 262

New Technology Same GMOs : My Commentary Listen

This week two scientists pioneering gene editing won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Days later, a group of perennial naysayers gathered to denounce the technology.

Talking Biotech · episode 261

Vaccines Against Digestive Cancers Listen

Digestive cancers are among the most common and deadly cancers in the world, comprising metastases of the colon, esophagus, stomach and rectum.

Talking Biotech · episode 260

Communicating Ag in an Attention Economy Listen

Dr. Cami Ryan has examined the social factors that underlie decisions. Today these human tendencies are critical to understand, as everyone is bombarded by information through social media.

Talking Biotech · episode 259

Drug Targets for HIV Listen

The human immunodeficiency virus remains prevalent in the population, yet it as silently moved out of the public’s consciousness, overshadowed by COVID19 and drug cocktails that can control its progression.

Talking Biotech · episode 258

Rapid Detection of Bloodborne Pathogens Listen

Sepsis is an infection of the blood. It can be critical and life threatening, and can complicate other co-morbidities.

Talking Biotech · episode 257

Plants Engineered to Remove Indoor Air Toxins Listen

Indoor air contains a variety of harmful compounds. We invite many of these compounds into our homes in electronics, and others occur spontaneously from our water supply, and as homes become more energy efficient and dependent on air conditioning, these chemicals concentrate in our homes.

Talking Biotech · episode 256

Communicating COVID19; Careful with Cancellation Listen

This week’s guest is the host!  It was important to discuss communication tips during a pandemic, especially around popular myths and news stories involving COVID19.

Talking Biotech · episode 255

GE Mosquito Release in Florida Listen

Florida is the canary in the coalmine for mosquito-transmitted disease in the USA. The Florida Keys are especially vulnerable.

Talking Biotech · episode 254

Penguin Genomics and Adaptation Listen

Penguins are charismatic, flightless, diving birds. While typically associated only with Antarctica, their center of origin, radiation and speciation has been widely debated.

Talking Biotech · episode 253

The Race to the COVID19 mRNA Vaccine Listen

Most experts agree that the COVID19 pandemic will not end until a vaccine is available. But traditionally, vaccines take a decade to develop and test.


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