With Dr. Kevin Folta · 1,500,000+ listens
Talking Biotech is a weekly podcast that uncovers the stories, ideas and research of people at the frontier of biology and engineering. Each episode explores how science and technology will transform agriculture, protect the environment, and feed 10 billion people by 2050. Interviews are led by Dr. Kevin Folta, professor of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida.
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Extending Health and Life, Starting with Dogs Listen
Dogs are an excellent model to study the genetics and mechanisms of aging. Loyal CEO Celine Halioua describes how genetic variation between breeds leads to specific effects on lifespan and "healthspan", and how new therapeutics might enrich and extend their lives.
Optimizing Animal Microbiomes Listen
The microbiome is a population of bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses that inhabit a specific environment.
Glyphosate in Breast Milk? Eco-Modernism Listen
This episode has two parts. In the first part lactation specialist Dr. Shelley McGuire discusses the new paper that claims to have found glyphosate in breast milk.
Stool-Based Detection of Colon Cancer Listen
Colorectal cancer is one of the most deadly cancers in the industrialized world. However, dangerous malignancies occur after multiple committed genetic steps at the cellular level that happen over years.
Microalgae: Factories for Improved Polymers Listen
Modern life has benefitted from the development of polymers that can be fashioned into everything from car parts, to children's toys, to medical devices.
CAR-T Therapies to Reverse Cardiac Fibrosis Listen
Injury to heart tissue results in non-functional scar tissue that compromises cardiac function. A new approach combines targeted lipid nanoparicles and mRNAs to reprogram immune cells to seek and destroy the pathogenic fibroblasts that limit heart function.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Human Protein Atlas Listen
Proteins are the central catalytic and structural components of cells, and ultimately are at the center of cellular function.
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.
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.
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.
New Drugs Targeting Dangerous Cholesterol Listen
Specific modifications of cholesterol appear to be central in heart disease, stroke and other disorders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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 Podcast Changes and Future Listen
New sponsorship will improve the listener experience. Here are some of the changes you'll see with this opportunity.
Avocado Genetics and Improvement Listen
The avocado is a nutritious and delicious fruit. Today's episode discusses its history, domestication, breeding priorities and future.
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.
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.
Attacking Disease by Targeting Proteins Listen
Many diseases are rooted in the incorrect accumulation of proteins that regulate key cellular processes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gender Equity in the Pharmaceutical Industry Listen
The executive ranks of the pharmaceutical industry are populated with a clear over representation of older males.
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.
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.
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.
Breeding Future Olives Listen
Olives have a prominent role in the production of aromatic healthy culinary oils and brined olives for the table.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rediscovery of New Cancer Drugs Listen
Drug pipelines are thick with novel compounds that may have an effect on our most insidious diseases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Glyphosate Residues and Dietary Exposure Listen
The herbicide glyphosate has been used for decades, with increased use paralleling the adoption of genetically engineered crops.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Revisiting Huber’s Claims Listen
He jet-sets around the planet and writes letters to government officials, brandishing academic and military credentials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Identifying Rare Compounds with A.I. Listen
While genomics approaches have opened a universe of new compounds in plants, the vast majority remain uncharacterized.
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.
Combating Vaccine Hesitancy Listen
The COVID19 vaccines were produced in record time, an amazing feat. However, additional challenges have been revealed in their distribution.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Genetic Engineering in Animal Agriculture Listen
Technology is driving innovation on the farm, and there have been significant efforts in improving livestock.
Gene Writing: New Tech to Correct Disease Listen
Gene editing is a relatively new technology that has revolutionary applications in agriculture and medicine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prions: Infectious Proteins Listen
A number of strange, devastating and lethal diseases are caused by prions. The most famous of these disorders in animals is Bovine Spongiform Encelapathy, or “Mad Cow Disease”.
The Bull that (probably) Sires Mostly Bulls Listen
Male cattle (bulls) convert feed calories to weight gain more efficiently than females (cows). If more bulls could be put into beef production, the process would be even more sustainable.
The Unfortunate Casualties of an Anti-Biotech Attack Listen
In 2001 the Earth Liberation Front bombed the office of Dr. Toby Bradshaw at the University of Washington.
Circadian Clocks Listen
Most organisms on earth evolved under constant intervals of light and darkness. The regular intervals led to the evolution of internal clocks that are trained by the light/dark patterns, and condition responses from gene expression to higher physiology and morphology.
DNA Demystified Listen
Dr. Alan McHughen has been a leader in biotechnology education for decades, and has served in public academic research as well as an advisor to the State Department in the Obama Administration.
A Science-Based Glyphosate Documentary Listen
The documentary space is littered with videos that misrepresent science, especially around agriculture.
Gene Editing in Species Conservation Listen
Analysis of populations of animals can be problematic, especially when individuals of different species share similar visual characteristics.
COVID19 Update — What is Circular Health? Listen
Dr. Ilaria Capua is one of the world’s most prominent virologists, and a Professor at the University of Florida and the Director of the One Health Center of Excellence.
The Dawn of Plant Genetic Engineering Listen
Today’s podcast marks five complete years of podcast episodes, and there’s no better guest than someone on the Mount Rushmore of plant genetic engineering.
What is Aflatoxin? What is Aflasafe? Listen
Aflatoxin is a natural poison emitted by several species of fungi. They infect grain, and exploit insect damage.
The Klamath Basin Water Crisis; Your Questions Answered Listen
Today’s podcast starts with answering your questions, covering biodynamic farming, cover crops and my financial transparency.
Inside Monsanto; Communication in Science and Agriculture Listen
Crowe has a background that shifted between the Peace Corps in Kenya, a deckhand on an ecotourism ship, and a position with the World Bank.
COVID19: Do Masks Matter? Listen
Throughout the COVID19 pandemic we have heard various opinions about wearing face coverings and protective masks.
Pandemic Cuisine: COVID19 and Food Trends Listen
Leah McGrath is a Registered Dietitian with a great presence in social media. She is the corporate dietitian for a major grocery chain, and has had an important role in shaping the messaging around the multitude of food issues.
COVID19 Epidemiology Trends Listen
From the dawn of the pandemic there has been a notable rise in false information that clouds public perception and harms trust in scientific guidance.
The Vaccine Manhattan Project Listen
The wartime response of the Manhattan Project streamlined production of weapons to revolve World War II.
Molecular Studies in Weed Science Listen
Weeds are a tremendous problem in agriculture, costing farmers billions a year in crop loss and the cost of control.
Cattle Domestication Listen
Cattle are currently used for meat, milk, hide products and as work animals. Where did they come from? Who are the wild relatives? Dr.
Stewardship of Biotechnology Crops in Africa. Listen
Western Africa holds many nations of substantial population and an emerging economies. The nation has recently approved the use of the Bt cowpea to farm without applied insecticide, and with the new technology comes the need to ensure that it is used correctly.
Apples to Oranges: Abuse of Meta Analysis Listen
The meta-analysis is traditionally considered to be a high synthesis of extant scientific literature.
Special Topics in COVID19 Listen
In this special edition of the Talking Bitotech Podcast Dr. Kevin Folta covers recent topics in COVID19.
The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Grafting Listen
Grafting is an age-old practice of connecting a set of roots to an aerial portion of a separate plant.
A Deeper Dive into COVID-19 Listen
As of 3/11/2020 COVID-19 is emerging as a significant health threat worldwide. This pandemic is on the rise, and public health suffers from politicized spin, misinformation, and a lack of good information.
A Universal Flu Vaccine Listen
Seasonal influenza causes thousands of deaths annually. Part of the problem is that the vaccine must be administered annually because the virus presents different immunological faces to avoid detection.
Improved Oils from Plants with GE Listen
Plants produce a variety of oils, many that are critical to the human diet. The precise chemical qualities of plant oils dictate its stability, use, nutrient quality, or even its use as fuel.
Anti CRISPRs Listen
The gene editing explosion has accelerated discovery, food and therapies by defining a new toolbox of useful ways to manipulate DNA.
Remembering Dr. Chad Finn; Intro to the Global Gene Editing Tracker Listen
In the first part of today’s podcast Dr. Kayleen Schreiber and Jon Entine discuss the latest addition to the Genetic Literacy Project, a website called the Global Gene Editing Regulation Tracker.
Fake News Survivor, and Coronavirus Update Listen
Dr. Ilaria Capua is an internationally recognized virologist, and a world expert in avian influenza and other animal viruses.
Opportunities with American Society of Plant Biologists Listen
The American Society of Plant Biologists is the largest professional society for plant biologists. Dr.
Women in Genomics Listen
Like many areas of science, the early days of genomics quickly became a male-dominated discipline. While more women were earning advanced degrees and training in this area, fewer were finding a place in faculty and other leadership positions.
Cassava Innovation in Africa Listen
Cassava is a staple food crop in Africa and Asia, yet is widely unknown by the industrialized world. While almost a billion people depend on this crop, production is limited by a series of diseases, and it also lacks critical nutrients that could help reverse local deficiencies.
Talking Biotech Hiatus Listen
I’ve dreaded this day. I have not missed a Saturday in a long time, but after told to end the series by my institution I have not been able to find someone that can do the work to host the podcast on a weekly basis.
Biotech Cotton Comes to Kenya Listen
Kenya is an emerging economy and has significant investment in advanced technologies. However, a 2013 ban on biotech crops has limited farmer access to the most needed technologies for the field.
International Biotechnology, Policy and Future Listen
Dr. Stuart Smyth is no stranger to anyone that has watched social media. As a leading ag economist he has consistently represented science and technology fairly and accurately, and tethered to his prolific publication of books and scholarly publication, he is a visible influencer in scientific and social media circles.
An Engineered Cowpea for Africa Listen
The cowpea is a high-protein food staple in parts of Africa, particularly in the growing countries of Nigeria, Niger, and Burkina-Fasso.
Precision Medicine Listen
There is a massive amount of human genomic DNA sequence data, and it is now possible to identify correlates with specific disease, drug sensitivity and physiological variation.
Bacteria Fixing Nitrogen in Plants Listen
Nitrogen is essential for crop growth. That reality has led to intensive crop fertilization using nitrogen fixed through the Haber-Bosch process, which has energy costs in production and transport.
The GE Crop Ban in South Australia Listen
While the country of Australia has been growing genetically-engineered crops for over 15 years, the state of South Australia has banned their use.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Listen
The genomics era has generated tremendous data sets, yet the information they reveal is limited by the human biases that search them.
Egg Production and GE Ethics Listen
There is an unfortunate side to egg production. Only female chickens produce eggs, so layers are selected at hatching.
Food Bullying Listen
Michele Payn is a much sought after speaker, author and podcast host. She has introduced the third book in her trilogy, this one about the phenomenon of others taking issue with someone’s food choices.
CAR-T Cells: Engineered to Attack Cancer Listen
Can we use genetic engineering to help the body’s immune system target cancer cells? This is exactly what happens with CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapy.
Impossible Burgers and Biotechnology Listen
The Impossible Burger is meat alternative that gets its meat-like qualities from a combination of plant-based ingredients, plus “meatiness” from a biotech-derived product.
Edible Cotton Seed Listen
Cotton production is massive, but mostly used for fiber. The cotton seed is a tremendous potential resource as it contains high amounts of oil and high-quality protein.
Farm Aid: Anti Biotech and Farmer Choice? Listen
The Farm Babe Michelle Miller is a farmer, speaker, columnist and blogger that advocates for agricultural producers, and seeks to better connect consumers to agricultural reality.
Engineered Microbes to Fix Nitrogen Listen
Nitrogen is a reality of growing plants, and must be supplied to maximize crop yields. At the same time our atmosphere is >70% nitrogen that is not usable by plants in its atmospheric form.
The Ugly Politics of Glyphosate Litigation Listen
Dr. David Zaruk has become the foremost authority on the questionable practices within the IARC and their decision-making process.
Mosquito Biotech Solutions – Getting the Story Straight Listen
The tiny mosquito is a nuisance in the industrialized world, yet around the world it is a ruthless killer, spreading blood-borne diseases that bring about pain and suffering, particularly in developing nations.
Plagiarism and Image Manipulation in Scientific Pubilcation Listen
Dr. Elisabeth Bik is a hero. Classically trained with plenty of lab-bench expertise, today she patrols the best scientific literature in search for plagiarism and image manipulation.
An HIV Preventative in GE Rice Listen
While HIV incidence has remained stable in the industrialized world, the virus is still transmitted in the Developing World.
Supporting Farmer Choice in South Australia Listen
Australia has welcomed the use of genetically engineered crops, and farmers have found particular benefit from broad acre canola and cotton cultivation.
A Bioengineered Hangover Helper? Listen
Genetically engineered microbes commonly manufacture our vitamins and amino acid supplements, but can they be supplements themselves? Zbiotics has developed genetically engineered bacteria that may help to metabolize the residues of alcohol consumption, altering the accumulation of the compounds that lead to next-day malaise.
Food 5.0 -How We Feed the Future Listen
Robert Saik is an agronomist and entrepreneur with a lifetime of experience in farming. For years he has been a leading advocate for farmers, and a passionate voice promoting the newest technologies, whether they are genetic or engineering marvels on the farm.
Gene Editing and Sickle Cell Disease Listen
Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition that predominantly affects people of African descent. The disease results in chronic pain and early death, and is caused by a misfolding of oxygen-toting hemoglobin, a central protein in red blood cells.
Nano Bar Codes and Product Fidelity Listen
Products move from producer to consumer through complicated networks called supply chains. These routes of custody involve many people and organizations, and oftentimes cross international borders.
Citrus Greening Disease Update Listen
What is the current state of the devastating citrus greening disease, Huanglongbing (HLB). Dr. Jude Grosser from the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center discusses the current state of the disease, the current therapies and the future possibilities of leveraging genetics and nutrition to help keep citrus in production.
Immunotherapies Against HIV Listen
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the causal agent of the spectrum of disorders known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Bt Brinjal in Bangladesh Listen
Bangladesh is a population dense country with relatively little farmland. Subsistence farmers make a living by growing, harvesting and selling brinjal, or the fruit westerners know as the eggplant.
Countering Disinformation in Africa Listen
The African continent is emerging in many ways, yet still is developing economically. Technology is a huge part of the African transformation, yet farmers there are often forbidden to use crop technologies that were developed for Africa, by African scientists and governments.
Domesticating Bacteria for Industrial Production Listen
Bacteria surround us and have specialized functions in adaptation and metabolism. Could they be helpful as micro machines that catalyze key reactions? Could teams of collaborating bacteria be combined to perform important industrial processes? Dr.
Curing PRRS with Gene Editing Listen
Pork production worldwide is limited by a series of viral pig diseases that slow growth, cause illness and restrict reproduction.
Indian Farmers Protest for Technology Access Listen
While Indian farmers have realized benefits from GE cotton, food crops have been forbidden from this growing country.
Glyphosate: The Murder of a Molecule Listen
The war against agricultural biotechnology shifted in the last several years. Carefully constructed steps by those opposed to technology have managed to malign a relatively innocuous compound– the herbicide glyphosate.
Dinosaurs, DNA and De-Extinction Listen
The visions of Jurassic Park are an extrapolation of actual research being performed all over the world.
The Future of Fruit and Vegetable Production Listen
Technology is exploding in all areas of life, but sadly has been slow to reach agriculture. We are stuck in the rhythms of old unsustainable practices.
African Biotechnology Update Listen
There is sad irony that the African continent has the most potential benefit from crop biotechnology, yet has the least access to the technology.
Blackberry Domestication and Breeding Listen
Blackberries are a popular, healthy fruit with increasing availability to the consumer. Over the last century significant progress has been made in its genetic improvement.
A Potential Cure for Citrus Greening Disease Listen
Huanglongbing, or HLB, is the Chinese term for the Yellow Dragon Disease– usually referred to as Citrus Greening.
Psychophysics, Smell and Taste / Women in Science Listen
Dr. Linda Bartoshuk has been recognized as an expert on interactions between the smell, taste, psychology and the brain for many decades.
Banned But Doing It Anyway! Listen
I was very excited to be participating in the Southern Seed School here in Gainesville, FL. I had talks prepared on three cool topics– the history of the University of Florida plant breeding programs, plant breeding and genetic improvement, and new crops for Florida.
Insect Resistant Cowpea in Africa Listen
Cowpea is a critical crop in Western Africa. It is consumed by millions daily, but also feeds livestock, all the while providing important nitrogen fixation for the farm.
A Synthetic Light Switch Increases Photosynthesis Listen
One of the limiting factors in photosynthesis is the plant’s ability to take up carbon dioxide to assimilate into carbohydrates.
Sleep: A Time for DNA Repair Listen
Sleep remains a mystery to science, as it is a state where an organism is vulnerable to potentially deadly forces.
Genetic Engineering and Healthier Soybean Oils Listen
Soybeans are legumes that produce abundant oil. The oils have been popular for consumers and in food service, but they could have improved performance in cooking applications and also did not have the heart-healthy profiles of other plant-derived oils.
A GE Salmon Comes to Market Listen
The transgenic, fast-growing salmon was first developed in 1989. The goal was simple, use fish genes to remove seasonal growth effects, with the hopes of creating a fish that could grow faster.
The Angry Chef- Food, Fat and Fads Listen
Anthony Warner is known as The Angry Chef, achieving notoriety as a food-fad/social critic. He has roots in biochemistry and trained as a chef, with years of experience in a variety of cooking venues.
Early Career Scientists – Research and Communication Listen
Today’s graduate students understand that participation in science communication can significantly enhance a scientific career.
Plants Engineered to Remediate Military Toxins Listen
Military preparedness means testing ammunition and ordinates in controlled field trials, as well as decommissioning of obsolete weaponry.
A Cancer Epidemiologist Discusses Glyphosate Claims Listen
The report saturated the popular media, claims that the herbicide glyphosate increased cancer risk by 41%.
Ethos Chocolate – Ingredients from GE Plants Listen
In the days of fear-based food labeling the market has been screaming for a science-friendly alternative.
The AAAS Glyphosate Award Controversy Listen
This week the American Association for the Advancement of Science announced an award to two Sri Lankan researchers for their research showing that glyphosate was a “deadly herbicide” that was causing kidney disease in farmers.
Bees Delivering Pesticides Listen
The relationship between pollinators and crop protection strategies has always pitted them against each other, with concern about how insecticides and herbicides might affect charismatic non-target insects like bees.
Genetically Engineered Animals- Regulated as Drugs Listen
The new techniques in gene editing have made rapid, precise genetic changes possible in animals. Some of the greatest benefits are genetic resistance to disease, generation of less waste, and more rapid growth on the farm.
What We Know vs. What We Think We Know Listen
Researchers and communicators in biotechnology have experienced it for a long time– the people that oppose genetic engineering frequently know the least about it.
Help Researchers Save Threatened Forests Listen
Our forests are critical to ecology. They sequester carbon from human activity, and serve as great resources for renewable building materials, fuels and recreation.
Engineering Indoor Air Cleaning Plants Listen
Indoor air is filled with hazardous trace compounds that arise from flooring, furniture, and even showering.
Two Critical Updates – Brinjals and Chestnuts Listen
This week’s podcast features and update on two critical technologies– the Bt Brinjal (eggplant) in Bangladesh and the blight resistant American Chestnut.
Evolution of Weed Resistance Listen
Weed resistance is a complex problem with incredible ramifications for agricultural production. It also provides an outstanding opportunity to examine how resistance happens– is it continual development of new mutations, new mutations in the same genes, or is it simply spread of already resistant material? Genome sequencing and comparative genomics indicates that it is all of the above.
Brockovich’s Deceptive Guardian Article Listen
On December 6, 2018 environmental advocate Erin Brockovich published a high-profile opinion piece in The Guardian.
Biotechnology Outreach and Extension Listen
Dr. Thomas Zinnen has worked with the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service for almost three decades.
Thoughtful Questions from a Listener Listen
Gary Nolan works in marketing, but enjoys science podcasts, including Talking Biotech. He also frequently blogs about politics, social trends, and science.
Careers in Plant Breeding Listen
Plant breeding is an important discipline, and the foundation of plant genetic improvements. While modern techniques like gene editing sometimes steal the spotlight, the foundational varieties must have outstanding performance before such amendments are remotely relevant.
Conflict of Interest Listen
The term “Conflict of Interest” is thrown around a lot these days, mostly to sully reputations or cast doubt on quality research.
Supporting Farmers, Fighting “Non-GMO” Listen
They are farmers. They also own A&C Liquid Assets, a liquor store in Hoxie, Kansas. Allison and Cole Nondorf saw the Smirnoff commercial where they proudly proclaim that they reject “GMO” seed technology, the same seeds that the Nondorf’s (and most of their community) use on their farms.
A Look Into the Future of Technology Listen
The future gets closer every day, and many argue that technology will radically change the world for the better in the next 20 years– if we have the courage to let it.
Solving the Animal Feed Problem Listen
What do we use to feed our food? From cattle to fish, livestock require substantial inputs to thrive, and a substantial part of that is their feed.
Mango Domestication and Diversity Listen
The mango is an incredibly important fruit worldwide, yet little is known about its precise origins or domestication.
Listener Questions; LaCroix Water Lawsuit Listen
Today’s episode is where Kevin Folta answers common questions from listeners. In the second half, we discuss the recent lawsuit against LaCroix and the alleged insecticides used as ingredients.
Nitrogen Fixing and Corn Listen
Nitrogen is required for plant growth, and is a significant input in terms of cost and environmental impact.
Thalidomide- Molecular Mechanism of Action Listen
The drug thalidomide was developed with tremendous promise in managing a variety of disorders, such as anxiety and morning sickness.
Vanilla Uses, Diversity and Improvement Listen
There is a vanilla crisis. The familiar flavor agent is a mixture of chemicals from an orchid- and there’s not enough being produced to satisfy demand.
Effectiviolgy – Sharpening Critical Thinking Skills Listen
In framing effective discussions about any subject it is important to understand human psychology, and the mistakes we make in debate.
Glyphosate Trends in Agriculture Listen
The herbicide glyphosate has been in use for over 40 years. It is non-selective (kills all plants), it is inexpensive and has extremely low toxicity.
Transparency vs. Confidentiality Listen
This last week podcast host Kevin Folta found himself in a difficult predicament. There was palpable outrage by those affiliated with a science website where he participated in some of their activities.
Malaria, Artemisia and Artemisinin Listen
Malaria is a tremendous world health problem, affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people in the developing (and industrialized) world.
Chicken Domestication Listen
The chicken is by far the most abundant animal farmed on earth, grown for meat and eggs. But where did it come from? What kinds of birds were domesticated? When? Where? What were the traits that came from wild jungle fowl that give us today’s familiar bird? These questions and more are answered by Dr.
Plant Disease Networks Listen
Plant disease resistance is a complicated arms race between the plant and pathogens. Bacteria, viruses and fungi evolve in lock-step with plants, creating new ways to overcome new disease resistance strategies.
Psychology, Consumers and Decisions Listen
Dr. David Just studies human behavior and how psychology ties in with economic decisions. His work at Cornell examines the interesting overlays that cause consumers to behave how they do.
Aflatoxin, Problems and Solutions Listen
Alfatoxins are a significant threat to human health and world food security. They are naturally-occurring toxic compounds produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus and other species.
The Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato in Africa Listen
The 2016 World Food Prize went to a group that coordinated the breeding, promotion and distribution of the orange-fleshed sweet potato in Africa.
Barley Domestication and Breeding Listen
Barley is an important grain, with prominent roles as the foundation of bread and beer. Dr. Sheila Adimargono shares the interesting stories around barley’s history, the traits that early domesticators found useful, and information about its modern production.
Russia’s GMO Disinformation Campaign Listen
When social scientists examined messaging in new media around GE crops, a few trends became apparent.
Seeds of Science Listen
Mark Lynas believed in his heart that he was doing the right thing. He was joining others in tearing out field trials of GE crops, and effectively arrested research and development around crop biotechnology.
Recognizing Dr. Rosalind Franklin Listen
The race to determine the structure of DNA has a dark subtext that is frequently ignored when discussing this seminal discovery in biology.
Maize, Mexico, and Transgene Flow Listen
Mexico is the center of origin for maize, and there is a substantial interest in protecting the genetic integrity of this limited resource.
Modern Wheat and Celiac Disease Listen
The internet claims that the increases in celiac disease is rooted in modern wheat varieties, as human intervention in plant genetics must be the cause of human disorders.
Food Labeling Listen
Are food labels adding clarity or confusion? Focus groups show that consumer sentiment toward food labels is changing.
Engineering Plant Virus Resistance Listen
Dr. Devang Mehta has been working in virus suppression in cassava, a key food staple in the Developing world.
Biotech, Farming and the Developing World Listen
Those that live in the affluent countries of the West have little clue of the challenges of farming in the Developing World.
An Extension Agronomist’s View of GE Crops Listen
The Extension arm of the Land Grant University system provides a link between university research and the farm.
Indian Suicides and Farmer Debt Listen
The problem of farmer suicides in India is very real, and has been for some time. Suicides are driven by indebtedness, and there are many reasons that farmers find themselves in financially challenging times.
Engineering Functional Foods for Human Health Listen
Dr. Monica Schmidt from the University of Arizona has an interest in using technology to make foods that are better for people.
Transgenic Plants and Industrial Protein Production Listen
Many important enzymes, industrial and therapeutic proteins are manufactured using transgenic plants.
Rice Domestication and Diversity Listen
Rice is a world food staple with an incredible story. Dr. Susan McCouch from Cornell University has been studying rice genetics for decades, and directs efforts in rice education in conjunction with the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.
Insect Gene Drives (Part 2) Listen
Dr. Jennifer Kuzma received her training in biochemistry, and then later found herself working in social sciences.
Insect Gene Drives (Part 1) Listen
Gene drives are a powerful technology that may be used to control pests. The concepts key off of exploiting genetic vulnerabilities that are rapidly inherited, and cause populations to crash over a short time.
Pandora’s Picnic Basket; Talking to the Public Listen
Over the long history of biotech crops and microorganisms Dr. Alan McHughen has been part of the conversation.
USAID, Political Stability and Food Security Listen
Dr. Angela Records joins Chris Barbey to discuss the mission of USAID. USAID is committed to remedies in world food insecurity, with an emphasis on examining current opportunities and meshing new technology and crop biology with the most benficial impacts in global food security.
Why Sweet Corn is Sweet Listen
When we think about corn, we usually think about sweet corn. It is a departure from its cousins that are grown on the vast majority of the acreage, the corn bred for use as animal feed and fuel.
Farm Babe Michelle Miller Listen
Michelle Miller grew up in Wisconsin and always had an interest in agriculture. When she reached college she traded in rural life for the big city, working in LA at designer stores and living a big city life.
Disease Resistant Bananas Listen
The Cavendish banana is the standard banana of commerce, yet it is under threat by a devastating disease that is spreading quickly around the world.
Fighting the Fall Army Worm Listen
The Fall Army Worm is a moth larvae that is incredibly destructive. It causes widespread crop losses in the Americas and now has been found in Africa.
GMOs in Milk, Meat and Eggs? / Edited Animals Listen
Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is arguably the most effective voice in communication about biotechnology, especially in animals.
Know Ideas Media, Nick Saik Listen
When we talk about food and farming, Nick Saik has been excited to tell the story through the camera lens.
Pet Vaccines and Pet Foods Listen
Other areas swimming in myth and misinformation involve our pets. Domesticated animals are part of our lives, and therefore are frequent subjects of marketing shams and dangerous trends.
Haskap Berries; A Lifetime in Plant Breeding Listen
Dr. Maxine Thompson is a trailblazer. With her education and profound interest in plant breeding, she defied a male-dominated establishment and became a plant breeder at a major university.
Early Plant Transformation; All Creatures Podcast Listen
Dr. Ray Shillito is a scientist that spent the early part of his career in plant transformation, attempting novel approaches in the early 1980’s.
Review, 2018 Directions Listen
In 2017 we recorded 53 new episodes, including guest hosts and a great range of outstanding guests. 2018 has some interesting new edges.
Control of Aflatoxin in Groundnut Listen
Groundnut, or peanut, is a major food staple and excellent protein source in many parts of the world.
The Tragic Story of Nikolai Vavilov / Science Moms Documentary Listen
Nikolai Vavilov was a Russian scientist in the early 1900’s. He was known for his characterization of plants, understanding crop domestication, and the centers of origin for many species.
BONUS TRACK: Dicamba Situation Listen
Podcast 112 was a discussion of the dicamba situation. Since that episode was recorded I attended a conference from the North Central Weed Science Society in St.
The Dicamba Situation Listen
Over the last two years we have heard reports of herbicide damage to Midwestern crops, bearing the signatures of damage from dicamba.
Seed Company Consolidation Listen
Over the last century there was an incredible rise in the number of seed companies, driven primarily by the profitability of hybrid seeds in regional markets.
Gene Therapies in Pets Listen
The promises of gene therapy have been slow to reach the public for many reasons. Technologies conceived in the 1980’s had a substantial regulatory and proof-of-concept road ahead of them, leading to slow development and deployment.
Plant Parasitic Nematodes in Africa Listen
In this week’s podcast Dr. Jonnny Dalzell guest hosts from Tanzania. He visits with scientists from IITA that are helping devise solutions to nematodes.
Gene Editing with TALEN Listen
Gene editing has been the center of attention, affecting everything from plants, to mushrooms, to livestock, to human medicine.
Biotechnology in Bolivia Listen
Bolivia shares farming similarities with other South American countries. They have diverse land races and native crops that they wish to preserve.
Food Security, Biotech, NGOs and Africa Listen
In today’s podcast we speak with science journalist and author Mark Lynas. Mark has been a central figure in the discussion of biotechnology, particularly in regard to its role in ensuring food security in the Developing World.
Biotech and Ugandan Food Security Listen
Uganda is at an interesting precipice. They have invested in biotech solutions to solve problems in their central food staples, namely the matooke.
Postharvest Solutions in Food Security Listen
Simple solutions can sometimes have tremendous impacts. In this episode Bret Rierson from the World Food Programme discusses a solution to enhancing food security in Africa and around the world.
RNAi Crop Protection Strategies Listen
The evolution of weed and insect resistance to traditional controls has brought about the need for new approaches in crop protection.
Restoring the American Chestnut Listen
The American Chestnut dominated the Appalachian landscape, ranging from Georgia all the way to Maine.
Genetically Engineered Diamondback Moth Listen
The diamondback moth is a formidable agricultural pest, causing tremendous losses on farms and requiring significant cultural and chemical-based management on both conventional and organic farms.
Kevin Folta’s Research and SciComm Listen
Any podcast’s 100th episode is reason to celebrate. In Talking Biotech’s 100th episode Chris Barbey interviews its originator, Dr.
Glyphosate and Human Health Listen
The herbicide glyphosate has been used for over 40 years and is a relatively safe and effective method to control weeds on the farm, in municipal areas and around the home.
Domestication and Radiation of Cats Listen
Modern cats are a lot like their wild counterparts, with specific traits that were gained through domestication.
Environmental and Economic Impacts of Biotech Crops Listen
The annual report by agricultural economists Brookes and Barfoot is a helpful resource to understand the impacts of agricultural biotechnology.
Biotech Regulatory Affairs Listen
Regulation of new technology in food crops is important for many reasons. It is critical to ensure safety, but a robust regulatory system also shapes consumer sentiment.
Imaging Animal Behavior / Targeted for Your Science Listen
Understanding animal stress is important for many reasons. If we know how the animal brain responds to change it helps us understand habitat destruction and climate effects on population dynamics, and can provide important information about human impacts, adaptation, and animal conservation.
Bioactive Small RNAs (and the cool paper that wasn’t) Listen
Back in 2012 a paper rocked the scientific community. The claim was that small RNA molecules in dietary plant products could escape digestion, move through the bloodstream, and cause regulatory changes in animal physiology.
Ben and Jerry’s Roundup Listen
A story exploded in the New York Times claiming that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and a potent herbicide, was detected in 10/11 flavors of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
Abiotic Stress Resistance in Soybean/Regulation Consequences Listen
Dr. Sabina Vidal is a professor at the National Republic University in Uruguay. Her lab is interested in the genetic improvement of soybean, especially in response to abiotic stress.
Early Molecular Biology / Nobel Laureates’ Social Mobilization Listen
Today’s genomics explosion has foundations in seminal discoveries in molecular biology almost 50 years ago.
Collateral Neonic Impacts Listen
Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a class of insecticides based on natural plant compounds that disrupt the insect nervous system.
de novo Domestication Listen
Domestication Dr. Lazaro Peres De novo domestication also has the potential to expand genetic diversity in crops, potentially conferring additional roles in food security.
Food Evolution, the Movie Listen
The representation of crop biotechnology in film has been an asymmetrical assault on science and reason.
Glyphosate Risk and the IARC Decision Listen
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, has been used as a non-selective (kills all plants) herbicide since 1970.
“Know GMO” the Movie Listen
The documentary space is filled with disparaging films about food science, including those that target biotechnology.
Biotech, Forest Restoration and Conservation Listen
Forests are under many threats, from new pests and pathogens, to invasive trees, to climate. The advancement of these traits by far exceeds the natural response of trees to acclimate, and outpaces the efforts to traditionally breed trees for forest conservation and restoration.
Crop Genetic Engineering- History and Outlook Listen
While the technologies of genetic engineering are quite commonplace, it was not always the case. The scientists that blazed the trail hold tremendous history, and it is good to visit with them to understand where the technology came from and where it is going.
Controlled Environment Agriculture Listen
In the race to feed 10 billion people by 2050 some agricultural production will shift to where people live.
GE Crop Regulation in Uruguay Listen
Uruguay is a major producer of soy and corn from genetically engineered seeds, with over 2. 5 million acres in production.
Potatoes; Past, Present and Future Listen
In the industrialized world the potato is defined as one of a few varieties of tuber crops. But there is tremendous diversity available to be exploited, and potato breeders are folding that into modern germplasm using a variety of methods.
Sweet Potato, Nature’s GMO Listen
The sweet potato has special seasonal or fast-food application in the industrialized world, but in many parts of the world it is an important part of the daily diet.
Technology and Society Listen
The issues of biotechnology benefit from examination from social scientists. There are scientists that help define the social reaction to science and the way that scientists need to communicate issues in technology.
Specialty Crops (Fruits, Veggies, & Nuts!) Listen
What are Specialty Crops? These are the crops of the produce aisle, fruits, vegetables, nuts. These are high-value crops that receive relatively little research funding compared to other types of the big-ag crops, things like corn, wheat, sugar and soy.
Cancer Immunotherapy Listen
The newest and most promising therapies for challenging cancers are adopting molecular-biology strategies.
Transgene Flow Listen
This week’s podcast is an important discussion, a cautionary tale of what can happen when genetically-engineered crops are introduced to the environment.
Food Truths- Debunking Myths, Celebrating Abundance Listen
Hormones, antibiotics, GMOs… A trip to the grocery store is a battle against fear and guilt. From marketers to activists, there is a concerted effort afoot to use fear, shame and guilt to shape consumer food choices.
Decreased Fungal Food Toxins with RNAi Listen
Aflatoxins are trace compounds produced by certain fungi, and represent a legitimate food safety risk.
Agriculture, Butterflies and Bees Listen
The effects of farm insect controls on butterflies and bees are important to understand. Dr. Ric Bessin is an Extension Professor from the University of Kentucky is an entomologist that has studied this relationship.
Your Questions Answered Listen
We get lots of comments that the favorite episodes are when Kevin Folta answers your questions about food, farming, and genetic engineering.
The Farmer Voice in Social Media Listen
How do biotech seeds affect the end user? If you listened to the “experts” they’d tell you that farmers were forced to buy seeds they didn’t want, because companies controlled their farms.
Pears; Speeding Tree Production Listen
Pears are favorite tree fruits, yet they are limited in varieties and availability. Dr. Amit Dhingra from Washington State University explains the roots of pear domestication, its improvement, and why we see so few varieties.
Fighting Plant Viruses with RNA – and Clay! Listen
There are no compounds that can be sprayed to fight plant viruses, so plant protection requires managing the insects that spread them.
Brassica oleracea – The Dog of the Plant World Listen
Did you know that broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage are all the same species? Just like dogs are highly-diverse members of the same species descended from a common ancestor, the members of Brassica oleracea also share a common genetic origin.
The National Academies Report on Genetic Engineering Listen
The National Academies of Science is one of the most respected scientific organizations on the planet, composed of well-established scientists and other scholars that perform important functions in vetting scientific claims and steering scientific agendas of a nation.
Adjusting Plant Defenses to New Pathogens Listen
Following on last week’s episode, plants contain a family of genes called “R genes” that play important roles in resistance to disease.
Plant R Genes and their Applications Listen
Plants contain a family of genes called “R genes” that play important roles in resistance to disease.
Communicating Effectively with Critics Listen
When we discuss new technology with the public, there is inevitable fear and push back with at least a fraction of those we are trying to reach.
Effective Science Communication in 2017 Listen
I’ll always remember 2016 as an eclectic mix of hell and success. We learned a lot about how to engage the public and got lots of practice.
DNA Evidence and Dog Domestication Listen
Experts agree that dogs have evolved from the gray wolf, but after that there are many questions and debates about how and why they became our prized companions.
Terminator Genes! and High School Biotech Outlook Listen
Discussion of biotechnology risks and benefits frequently cites “terminator genes” as a reason to oppose the technology.
Toward Sustainability: A place for GE in organic production? Listen
Dr. Mark Williams has extensive training in molecular biology. He also is interested in sustainable crop production, and leads training in organic production at University of Kentucky.
Engineering Efficiency in Photosynthesis Listen
Increasing efficiency in photosynthesis has been one of the desired goals of plant biology. A recent paper in the journal Science presents work by a team led by Dr.
Important Clarification on the Glyphosate/Groceries Episode Listen
At the time the discussion was 100% correct based on the methods and information provided. I have since been contacted by the laboratory that did the testing.
Glyphosate in Groceries; Hops! The Flavor of Beer Listen
In the first part of this week’s podcast you’ll learn how to debunk a viral claim. There are repeated claims that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, is detected in a plethora of food, beverages and body fluids.
Corn Origins and Domestication Listen
Corn. It ultimately has a role in so much of what we eat. From a sweet corn cob on the 4th of July, to the calories that made the steak possible, to fuel in our gas tanks, to the sweetness in a soda, corn is a central player.
Teaching Biotech with Journey of a Gene Listen
The processes of biotechnology can be a bit of a black box, and that does not help further its understanding or acceptance.
Nutrition in the First 1000 Days Listen
Beginning at conception, a new human’s development and long-term health are critically dependent on the availablity of proper nutrition.
Peanuts; Talking to Family about GMO Listen
The peanut is a valuable crop for American farmers and is extensively cultivated worldwide. It is an important source of protein and healthy oils.
Eggplant Origins and Diversity; Thoughts of Dr. Borlaug Listen
The eggplant (brinjal, aubergine) is a curious fruit in western nations, but is an important staple for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
17 Questions About Glyphosate Listen
Talking Biotech #52 visits with Iida Ruishalme, cell biologist, author and blogger. Iida is a trained scientist that writes the blog Thoughtscapism.
Weed Killer in Vaccines? Listen
Today’s episode is born of frustration. Fear-mongering non-experts are abusing improper interpretations from an available herbicide detection kit to make claims that herbicides are now found in vaccines.
How to Make a Plant from a Single Cell Listen
One of the most important steps in genetic engineering a plant is the process of regenerating an entire new plant from a single cell that contains the new genetic instructions.
Watermelon Domestication, Breeding and Party Tricks; Your Questions Listen
The dog-days of summer are a perfect match for watermelon. This podcast discusses domestication, breeding and interesting stories of where this magical fruit came from, and where it is going.
Eggplants, Brinjals and Aubergines Listen
One of the amazing success stories of genetic engineering is the eggplant, known as the “brinjal” in Asia and the “aubergine” in Europe.
Genetic Engineering, Extension and Communication Listen
Those of you that follow social media know Dr. Paul Vincelli. He’s a visible contributor to the discussion on genetic engineering, but also ventures into discussion of climate change.
Genetics of Depression; Women and Science Listen
Talking Biotech Podcast #46 was a lot of fun. My co-host is the effervescent Kiona Elliott, a wonderful undergraduate student in my lab that not only is studying science, but she’s also studying how to communicate with public audiences.
Viral Threats to Coffee Listen
Talking Biotech #45 discusses the viral threats to coffee. We’re joined by Dr. Michael Goodin, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology from the University of Kentucky.
Indian Farmers Suicides 2, Your Questions Listen
Talking Biotech Podcast #44 continues Kavin Senapathy’s interview with Dr. Ronald Herring. Dr. Herring is a Professor of Government and International Professor of Agriculture and Rural Development at Cornell University.
Indian Farmer Suicides Listen
In discussion of genetically engineered crops there is frequent reference to farmer suicides in India.
The National Academies Report Summary Listen
The Seralini Rats make an appearance a the NAS Report Summary. A report on Genetically Engineered Crops was commissioned by the National Academies of Science, and a committee was convened to review the current literature.
Innovations to Fight Citrus Disease Listen
If there was anyone that could be dubbed a science wizard, it might be Dr. Jude Grosser. Dr. Grosser has made a career of edgy innovation, creating new solutions that define the forefront of genetic improvements in citrus.
Genetic Engineering Forests Listen
Dr. Steve Strauss is a Distinguished Professor of Forestry at Oregon State University. He has been at the forefront of forest biology and genetic engineering of trees, contributing greatly to the understanding of fundamental tree biology, as well as the development of techniques and tools to perform genetic engineering in tree species.
What a Plant Knows Listen
It is so wonderful to share the time with Prof. Danny Chamovitz. He’s an accomplished researcher, a successful Dean, and leader in Israel’s agricultural research enterprise.
GMO Cheese; Nat’l Academies Review Listen
Chipotle proudly serves it. The Vermont GMO labeling rules exempt it. Still 95% of cheese is manufactured from enzymes created through recombinant DNA technology.
Gene Editing Virus Resistant Pigs Listen
The African Swine Fever Virus is a devastating pathogen that leads to fatal disease in domesticated swine.
Citrus Domestication, Breeding & Challenges Listen
“Citrus” is a term applied to a variety of popular and nutritious fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes.
Exploring the Unnaturally Delicious Listen
This week the Talking Biotech Podcast shares an intriguing discussion with Dr. Jayson Lusk. Dr. Lusk is an agricultural and food economist at Oklahoma State University.
Strawberry History and Improvement; Favorite Sites Listen
Strawberry is a popular fruit with tremendous commercial value, and while everyone loves a good strawberry, are they actually getting better? This week’s podcast talks to Dr.
A Weed Solves a Crisis Listen
Could the lowly dandelion solve a crisis? If Key Gene CEO Dr. Arjen van Tunen and associates are correct, this yard pest may be the basis of sustainable and highly profitable rubber production.
In Search of Celiac-Safe Wheat Listen
Dietary reactions to wheat are on the rise, and science is grasping for answers. One approach to work around the genetic basis of the reaction, and that is well understood.
Coffee Origins, Breeding and Challenges Listen
When we think of the plants that are important to us, we might think right past the magical shrub that gives us coffee berries.
Glyphosate in Breast Milk and Wine? Listen
Recent unpublished reports are popping up on the internet that suggest that the herbicide glyphosate is showing up at dangerous levels in a variety of places.
Banana Disease and GE Solutions Listen
Dr. Leena Tripathi is a leader in banana biotechnology, working at IITA in Nairobi, Kenya. She has been publishing prolifically on a number of solutions for banana disease resistance using genetic engineering.
All About Bt! Listen
If you tell a stranger that something called “delta endotoxin” is as close as it gets to a miracle, they’d likely respond in one of two ways.
Cherry Domestication and Breeding, Herbicide Beer? Listen
Cherries are a perennial favorite fruit. However, they are a tree, so their genetic improvement is slow.
The Story of GE Papaya, Helping People Save an Industry Listen
The story of how genetic engineering saved the Hawaiian papaya industry gets lost in the discussion of agronomic crop uses of the technology.
Beautiful GMOs and the Not-So-Dirty Dozen Listen
In today’s Talking Biotech Podcast the first guest is Keira Havens. She’s the CEO of Revolution Bio, a company turned non-profit that is interested in using the power of plants to introduce the public to the power of genetic engineering.
Biotech & Tomato Breeding – Social Media on the Farm Listen
Improving plants with biotechnology is not just genetic engineering, it is using tools of molecular biology and genomics to guide traditional breeding strategies.
Innovative Approaches of the Future Farm Project 2050 Listen
Several weeks ago there was a request for Talking Biotech Podcast to interview Prof Graeme Martin. Prof Martin has a long career in animal reproductive biology, and in recent times has had more focus on how to test new strategies in supporting livestock, crops and the nation’s resident biodiversity.
Cassava 2, History, Domestication; Biotech Virus Resistance Listen
Biotech innovation in cassava is necessary to speeding genetic improvement of this food staple. Together with breeding efforts, the new resources derived define new crops that primarily serve the developing world.
Solutions for Cassava – Biofortification and Characterizing Disease Vectors Listen
Cassava (Manihot esculentum) is a critical world food crop, the third most consumed staple outside of rice and maize.
An Experiment You can Do With Us; Sugar Beet Breeding and Biology Listen
This eThis episode of Talking Biotech invites you to be the investigator and data collector. The internet is littered with images that claim animals will not eat GMO corn, which is curious because 80% of it goes to animal feed.
The SciBabe Talks Toxins; Your Questions Answered Listen
Today chemophobia rules supreme. From fast-food establishments to farming critics, everyone seems to be an expert, except the experts! Talking Biotech #19 features The SciBabe, Yvette d’Entremont (@TheSciBabe).
Insecticides, Herbicides, Organic and Conventional Ag Listen
The topic of “pesticides” is the new frontier in the opposition to agricultural biotechnology. Opponents of the technology blame new genetic improvement methods for perceived increases in chemical controls for plant, animal and fungal pests.
Biotech, Ag and Insects; Promoting Art with Science; Barbara on the Bill Listen
This week we’re joined by Richard Levine, communications director for the Entomological Society of America.
Biotechnology in Uganda; Reflections on a Public Discussion Listen
This week features two discussions with fellows serving in the Global Leadership Program of the Cornell Alliance for Science.
Tomatoes! Innovative Breeding and a Biotech Solution Listen
This episode is an introduction to tomatoes, popular fruits that provide great variation to the eye and palate, as well as the foundation of many recipes.
Biotech Solution to Citrus Greening Disease; Your Questions Answered Listen
This week’s Talking Biotech features discussion of Huanglongbing (HLB) also known as Citrus Greening Disease.
Kevin Folta — Monsanto Outreach Support, FOIA, Transparency Listen
This week I had to address the elephant in the room. What’s up with the recent flack about Monsanto funding a science communication outreach program? What is happening with FOIA? What is the future of the Talking Biotech science communication program?.
Genetically Modified Mosquito Control – Careers in Plant Breeding Listen
This week’s podcast discusses Kevin Folta’s public records situation for 60 seconds. That is followed by a talk with Dr.
Success or Failure? Good Study Called Bad, Bad Study Called Gold. Listen
This week’s podcast is an important analysis of two published reports. First, the results from the famous Rothamstead wheat trial show that their transgene does not confer resistance to aphids, inconsistent with their laboratory findings.
Saving the American Chestnut; Lettuce History and Modern Improvement Listen
This Talking Biotech Podcast features Dr. William Powell from SUNY, where he is co-Director of the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project.
Don’t Let Dr. Oz Tell YOUR Story– Teaching the Public about Farming Listen
Ag professionals know their businesses and on-farm practices better than anyone. However, they don’t tend to share their story in public space, allowing others (including unscrupulous hucksters and activists) to warp their reality.
Sustainable Salmon; All ‘Bout Bananas Listen
Salmon is an outstanding food for protein, and undeniably great table fare. The AquaBounty company has produced the AquaAdvantage salmon, a fish that grows to production size in less time.
Stopping Avian Flu Spread; Potato Origins Listen
This episode of Talking Biotech features stories of genetically engineered chickens that do not spread the avian influenza virus.
Misrepresenting Real Science; Carrots- Past and Future Listen
Several trends are present in the anti-ag-biotech literature. First, many papers are poorly done, present opinion without data, or overstep the data accumulated.
Talking Biotech in Washington DC Listen
This week’s Talking Biotech discusses a recent trek to Washington DC, where Kevin Folta, Chris Barbey and Alejandra Abril Guevara answered questions for the US House Science, Technology and Space Committee.
Non Browning Apples; the Story of Cotton Listen
This week’s podcast features an interview with Neal Carter from Okanagan Specialty Fruits. His biotech megacorporation of eight employees has developed the Arctic Apple, a product where a gene central to the browning reaction has been essentially turned off.
A Life-Saving Banana for Uganda; Grape Domestication and Improvement Listen
Dr. James Dale from the Queensland University of Technology speaks of his banana engineered with beta carotene that can soothe blindness and death in central African countries.
Engineering Hornless Cows; Blueberry Origins Listen
This episode of Talking Biotech features Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam from the University of California at Davis.
Introduction, and Sleuth4Health Julee K Listen
This pilot episode is an introduction to the talking biotech podcast. Special Guest, Sleuth4Health Julee K.
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