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

Talking Biotech · episode 380

Stopping Long-Term Disease by Arresting Aging - Dr. Eric Morgen

Aging is a normal developmental program that involves discrete expression of specific genes leading to particular physiological changes.

Talking Biotech · episode 379

The Risks of Manufactured Viruses - Dr. Kevin Esvelt

Can biotechnology be used in malevolent ways? The simple and inexpensive ways to generate genetic material make creating viruses easier than ever.

Talking Biotech · episode 378

Biotech Fetal Diagnostics - Daniel Weisman

How is biotechnology used to make predictions about fetal health conditions? Modern techniques can analyze DNA without invasive sampling, and a lot may be learned about fetal health from a mother's blood test.

Talking Biotech · episode 377

Brexit May Bring Gene Editing to the UK- Cameron English

Brexit saw the UK step away from the European Union, with many economics and social repercussions. However, this change also brings scientific benefit, as the UK no longer has to function under the EU's regressive scientific regulatory hand.

Talking Biotech · episode 376

Releasing the Biotech Blight Resistant Chestnut - Erik Carlson

The American chestnut was a dominant tree in many of the forests of the eastern United States. In the early 20th century an imported fungus spread quickly through the population, destroying trees across the range.

Talking Biotech · episode 375

New Cancer Drugs: Breaking the Cell Cycle -- Spiro Rombotis

The cell cycle is a coordinated series of steps that cells follow during replication. Defects in cancer cells target or override these chemical constraints in proliferation.

Talking Biotech · episode 374

374 Bioengineering Yeast for Better Beer - Dr. Charles Denby

Beer is a beverage derived from the interplay of chemistry within hops and grains, fermented by brewer's yeast.

Talking Biotech · episode 373

Genes Controlling Plant Size

Plant stature is a surprisingly important trait. Growing short has its advantages, so understanding the genetic controls is important.

Talking Biotech · episode 372

As Gods: A Moral History of the Genetic Age - Matthew Cobb

Just because we can, does it mean that we should? Technology is developing so fast and enables so many new opportunities, but is there reason to occasionally pause and consider broader implications? Prof.

Talking Biotech · episode 371

The Genomes of Parasites - Dr. Jessie Kissinger

Parasites are a massive threat to human and animal health, underlying a significant number of important diseases.

Talking Biotech · episode 370

Cancer Misinformation - Dr. Skyler Johnson

As lifespan increases due to prevention and treatment of infectious disease and heart disorders, long-term issues like cancer become more prevalent.

Talking Biotech · episode 369

Livestock, Climate Change, and Attacks on a Scientist - Dr. Frank Mitloehner

Dr. Frank Mitloener is an expert in the contributions of livestock to climate change. He is a researcher that studies ways to mitigate the greenhouse gases from ruminant digestion, and a trusted expert in outreach to ensure the implementation of new strategies.

Talking Biotech · episode 368

A Gene-Edited Vaccine Against Malaria - Dr. Stefan Kappe

Malaria is a deadly, mosquito-vectored disease in areas of the Developing World. Intensive efforts have resulted in few effective prophylactic or therapeutic practices or products that are without serious limitations.

Talking Biotech · episode 367

Seralini's Lumpy Rats - Ten Years Later

Ten years ago a scientific paper claimed definitive evidence linking genetic engineering to tumors. The study by Giles-Eric Seralini and his team at CRIIGEN stunned the world, and it was amplified through social and traditional media.

Talking Biotech · episode 366

New Therapeutics for Novel Problems through Collaboration - Dr. Betsy O'neill

How can collaboration bring new technology to those that need it, faster? Dr. Linda O'Neill, VP of External Innovation at Horizon Therapeutics describes how strategic partnerships can speed the development and deployment of new therapeutics, particularly for autoimmune disorders and potential treatments for rare disease.

Talking Biotech · episode 365

The Long COVID HERV Connection - Dr. Claudia Matteucci

Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are ancient viruses found in our genomes, remnants of long-past infections.

Talking Biotech · episode 364

Purple Tomatoes and Health - Dr. Cathie Martin

The purple compounds in fruits and vegetables associate with the perception of health and flavor. Prof.

Talking Biotech · episode 363

Rapid Detection of Sexually Transmitted Infections with Microfluidics - Dr. Anna Dixon

Sexually transmitted infections, once thought to be low frequency events, are staging a comeback. Dr.

Talking Biotech · episode 362

The Gut-Brain Axis: What it is, associated problems and new therapies. Nancy Thornberry

Research is showing a more intimate association between the digestive system and the brain, a bi-directional sensing and signaling network that directs digestive physiology.

Talking Biotech · episode 361

Precision Insect Control with Gene Editing

Insects inflict tremendous human casualty and massive losses in agriculture. For more than half a century Sterile Insect Technique has been implemented to crash invasive or dangerous populations by damaging insect genetics and releasing them into target populations.

Talking Biotech · episode 360

Update on Animal Gene Editing

Amazing innovations in animal gene editing have the promise to streamline agriculture, with benefits for agricultural producers, consumers and the environment.

Talking Biotech · episode 359

Creating Targeted Antibodies in Single Cells

Antibodies are one line of adaptive immune response, responding to new antigens that may represent threats.

Talking Biotech · episode 358

Extending Health and Life, Starting with Dogs

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.

Talking Biotech · episode 357

Optimizing Animal Microbiomes

The microbiome is a population of bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses that inhabit a specific environment.

Talking Biotech · episode 356

Glyphosate in Breast Milk? Eco-Modernism

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.

Talking Biotech · episode 355

Stool-Based Detection of Colon Cancer

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.

Talking Biotech · episode 354

Microalgae: Factories for Improved Polymers

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.

Talking Biotech · episode 353

CAR-T Therapies to Reverse Cardiac Fibrosis

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.

Talking Biotech · episode 352

352 - Prions and Chronic Wasting Disease

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talking Biotech · episode 343

Breeding the Next Amazing Apple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talking Biotech · episode 326

Update on Transgenic (“GMO”) Chestnut

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?

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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