The Scientist Speaks
Finding that Sweet Spot: Understanding Gut Perception One Cell at a Time

Finding that Sweet Spot: Understanding Gut Perception One Cell at a Time

April 29, 2022

To understand how the gut perceives and communicates information to the brain, scientists are taking a deeper look at the sensory cells lining the gut using cutting-edge techniques such as single-cell sequencing. While there are challenges and limitations to single-cell sequencing, researchers are becoming more adept at integrating the latest sequencing technology with complementary research techniques to answer complex research questions, advance our understanding of health and disease, and develop new treatment approaches.

In this episode narrated by Niki Spahich, Iris Kulbatski from The Scientist’s Creative Services Team spoke with Maya Kaelberer, a sensory neuro-gastroenterologist and assistant professor at Duke University School of Medicine, to learn more.

Preventing the Next Pandemic with Organ Chips

Preventing the Next Pandemic with Organ Chips

March 30, 2022

In search for strategies to curb pandemics, scientists strive to understand how pathogens slip past the immune system and wreak havoc on the body. To achieve this goal, researchers study viral infection in models that mimic how different cell types interact with each other, the immune system, or the environment. Organ-on-a-chip models combine tissue engineering with microfluidics to replicate an organ’s biological and biomechanical context. Lung chips have proven instrumental for studying viral evolution, identifying drug-resistant variants, and screening for new drugs that could prevent these variants from initiating the next pandemic.

In this episode, Nele Haelterman from The Scientist’s Creative Services Team spoke with Don Ingber, the cell biologist who invented organ-on-a-chip technology and the founding director of the Wyss Institute for biologically inspired engineering at Harvard University, to learn more.

DIY Cells: Understanding Life with a Synthetic Minimal Cell

DIY Cells: Understanding Life with a Synthetic Minimal Cell

February 28, 2022

The cell is a fundamental unit of life that is capable of metabolism, synthesizing biological molecules, harnessing energy, and replicating. To understand how life works, researchers elucidate every detail related to cellular function and determine which processes are essential. With this information, scientists constructed the first synthetic minimal cell that encoded only the genes necessary for life in laboratory conditions. In this episode, narrated by Niki Spahich, Sejal Davla from The Scientist’s Creative Services Team spoke with John Glass, a professor and leader of the synthetic biology & bioenergy group at the J. Craig Venter Institute, about how his team achieved this scientific milestone and its significance in understanding life itself.

 

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research. This month's episode is sponsored by Integrated DNA Technologies.

Modeling Epilepsy in a Dish

Modeling Epilepsy in a Dish

January 31, 2022

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting over 65 million individuals worldwide, and is characterized by recurrent, spontaneous, and uncontrollable seizures. Seizures commonly arise in the epileptic brain after a sudden burst in neurological activity. While many anti-epileptic drugs control seizures, one-third of patients with epilepsy fail to respond to them. Managing drug-resistant epilepsies poses a challenge to scientists and clinicians alike.

In this episode, narrated by Niki Spahich, Sejal Davla from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Evangelos Kiskinis, an assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, about his work modeling drug-resistant epilepsies using induced pluripotent stem cells, which offers novel disease management solutions that could translate to the clinic.

 

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research. This month's episode is sponsored by Axion BioSystems.

Lipids Predict a Slippery Path Towards Parkinson’s Disease

Lipids Predict a Slippery Path Towards Parkinson’s Disease

December 15, 2021

As neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease wreak havoc on the brain and on our aging society, scientists race to identify factors that trigger neuronal demise and figure out how to stop them. Because neurons can’t be replaced, it is important to detect signs of stress in the brain early, before brain cells pass the point of no return. Scientists recently combined lipidomics with genetics and discovered that lipids are an underestimated player in neurodegeneration. In this episode narrated by Niki Spahich, Nele Haelterman from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Melissa Vos, a neuroscientist at the Institute of Neurogenetics at the University of Lübeck, to learn more.

 

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services Team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research.

Ancient Secrets of the Plague

Ancient Secrets of the Plague

November 30, 2021

As we know, far too well, infectious disease pandemics have the power to reshape the world. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are observing pathogen evolution in real time as more variants arise and spread in waves. Another infamous infectious disease pandemic, simply called “the plague,” has popped up multiple times in history. How it changed the ancient world has intrigued both historians and scientists. In this episode, Niki Spahich from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Simon Rasmussen, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, to learn about his work tracking ancient plague-causing bacteria.

Molecular Farming: The Future of Pharmaceuticals

Molecular Farming: The Future of Pharmaceuticals

November 17, 2021

Plant biotechnology is becoming an accepted avenue for pharmaceutical development. Researchers have engineered plants to grow biomolecules that can be made into therapeutics, including vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. These new technologies hold the promise of more readily bringing treatments to low-to-middle-income countries and providing rapid responses to future pandemics. In this episode, Niki Spahich from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Julian Ma, the director of the Institute for Infection and Immunity and professor of molecular immunology at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, to learn more.

 

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research. This month's episode is sponsored by Daicel Arbor Biosciences.

Homing in on New Anticancer Targets

Homing in on New Anticancer Targets

September 30, 2021

Cancers are diverse and adaptable. That is why a staggering 97% of cancer drugs in clinical trials fail to receive FDA approval. Researchers try to stay one step ahead of cancer by studying the mechanisms that lead to drug resistance, finding new drug targets, and developing novel therapies, such as immunotherapeutics. In this episode narrated by Niki Spahich, Sejal Davla from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Jason Sheltzer, an assistant professor in the Department of Genomics, Genetics, and Epigenomics and Yale Cancer Center at the Yale School of Medicine, about his work on drug resistance in cancer, chromosomal instability in cancer cells, and approaches to identify new treatment strategies.

 

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research.

The Reality of Regenerative Medicine

The Reality of Regenerative Medicine

August 31, 2021

An estimated 107,000 people in the United States are currently on the waiting list for organ transplantation. These patients face waiting times of 3-5 years or longer before receiving an organ. Even after receiving a donated organ, organ-transplant patients face a high risk of tissue rejection. Regenerative medicine promises the possibility of laboratory-grown organs, specially tailored to the biology and needs of individual patients, but how close is this technology to reality?

In this month’s episode, we discuss the potential of regenerative medicine to replace damaged organs and tissues and cases where stem cell and regenerative medicine influence health today. Tiffany Garbutt from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Anthony Atala, the W. Boyce Professor and Chair of Urology and the G. Link Professor and Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine to learn more.

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research. This month's episode is sponsored by PHCbi.

PHC Corporation of North America is a global leader in the development, design, and manufacturing of laboratory equipment. Products include the space-saving and energy-efficient VIP® ECO, TwinGuard® and VIP Series ultra-low temperature freezers, cryogenic and biomedical freezers, pharmacy and high-performance refrigerators, cell culture CO2 and multigas incubators, and Drosophila and plant Growth Chambers.

The Brain Behind the Bark: fMRI Imaging Our Canine Companions

The Brain Behind the Bark: fMRI Imaging Our Canine Companions

July 23, 2021

Many secrets are locked inside the brain, including fundamental questions of how individuals perceive the world. Some researchers are seeking answers by mapping brain activity in response to stimuli. This work typically involves human subjects, but certain scientists are branching out to understand the minds of other animals. Niki Spahich from The Scientist’s Creative Services team spoke with Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University who scans the brains of dogs trained to enter MRI machines, to learn more.

 

The Scientist Speaks is a podcast produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services team. Our podcast is by scientists and for scientists. Once a month, we bring you the stories behind news-worthy molecular biology research.

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