In this episode, a team of researchers disprove a decades-old dogma. The result? The first ever FDA-approved drug for primary-progressive multiple sclerosis. In this inspiring story spanning decades of research, you’ll hear all the science, and all the dramatic twists, behind this radical new treatment.
Scientists usually study biology in animals such as lab rats, but their discoveries do not always translate between species. What if we could study human biology specifically? In this episode, we talk to Dr. Jurgen Knoblich and Dr. Zev Gartner about their efforts to create organoids, which are miniature, simplified versions of organs created from human cells. Using these organoids, Drs. Knoblich and Gartner can study how human organs develop and how they are affected by disease. How do they make these organoids, and what will organoids mean for our future health?
Have you ever spaced out while traveling somewhere but still made it to your destination effortlessly? Our brain is amazing at calculating exactly where we are relative to things around us, but this is a skill we often take for granted. In this episode, Producer Sama Ahmed talks with Dr. Michael Yartsev about how we know where we are in the world, how we make memories, and how we make decisions. Dr. Yartsev is uncovering all of this utilizing a rather unconventional and totally awesome animal: the bat! This episode is a re-release of an episode from 2013.
In this episode we bring you short talks from ten young, passionate scientists eager to tell you about their cutting-edge discoveries. Each scientist is given just three minutes to launch their audience to new horizons and bring them back to earth, ready for the next exciting journey. Come with us as we explore new horizons in disease prevention, ways that our bodies could one day produce their own treatments, how scary spiders can actually help us reduce pain, and much, much more. Intrigued? Let's begin our countdown to science!
In this episode we’ll explore humanity’s, and the entire animal kingdom’s, fraught relationship with its closest biological cousins, fungi. We will hear about how we can’t live without them, how they’re trying to wipe us off the face of the planet, and how at least one company thinks they’re the key to changing how we view our own mortality.
This one of our largest single episodes, comprised of four parts!
First, Dr. Dennis Desjardin of San Francisco State University will tell us about his lifelong relationship with fungi and some of the bizarre organisms he has discovered. Next, we’ll talk to Dr. Margo Daub of North Carolina State University about a deadly pathogen that threatens our food security. Third, we will hear from Dr. Anita Sil of UCSF about a deadly fungus that uses our own immune system against us, and finally, Claire McNamara from the startup Coeio will explain how their product can leverage the power of fungi to create a radical shift in our view on death.
In this episode we bring back Professor Terrence Deacon, a biological anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, to talk about language. He tells us one possible story of how language first evolved, and why he believes language is a uniquely human capability. Listen to find out how language is about a lot more than just speech.
In Part 2 of “How to Build a Human”, we continue our investigation of our unique features that set us apart from other animals. We spoke to Dr. Nathan Young from the University of California San Francisco, who studies the development of the human skeleton and looks at how the variations in our skeletal structure have contributed to our evolution and the development of human civilization.
Stay tuned at the end of the episode for our newest installment of Headlines, the Carry the One Radio newscast. Each month (give or take), Headlines hosts Nick Weiler and Arezu Sarvestani bring you the latest research news from around UCSF. In this month's episode, guest host Liz Droge-Young fills in while Arezu attends a hacker conference in Las Vegas. Nick and Liz check out stories about why aspirin may help prevent certain forms of cancer, how cutting down on sugar yields remarkable benefits for kids' heart health, and whether pale skin might be the result of evolutionary laziness. Happy Listening!
Danse Macabre, Opus 40—University of Chicago Orchestra
Monkeys Spinning Monkeys—Kevin MacLeod
Pink Gradient—Podington Bear
Patched In—Blue Dot Sessions
“Splash Rock in Lake Sound”—www. Soundbible.com; Public Domain
We humans like to think of ourselves as pretty different from other animals. Language, philosophy, art, technology - we do things it seems like no other animal is capable of. But what makes us this way? In part one of our investigation, we focus on two features of the brain that seem to be particular to people. We start with Arnold Kriegstein of the University of California, San Francisco, who studies a type of stem cell that does something special during human brain development. We then turn to Kira Poskanzer and Anna Molofsky, also of UCSF, who believe the secret to human-ness might lie with a totally different, often neglected kind of brain cell.
Science journalism generally focuses on new discoveries. But this leaves out a part of the process that will make or break you as a scientist: how do you come up with the right questions to ask in the first place? In today’s episode, we talk to Charles Zuker of Columbia University about this process. Listen to find out the two questions he asks to determine whether an experiment is worth doing.
Stay tuned at the end for our new "Headlines" segment with news out of UCSF, hosted by Nick Weiler and Arezu Sarvestani.
Our ability to diagnose and treat disorders of the mind lags far behind other medical disciplines. For our latest episode, we talked to Dr. Matthew State about why this is the case, and discussed how his research into the genetics of autism is revealing promising paths to future treatments.
Ready to get blasted with science? We recorded five different PhD students as they summarized their entire thesis in 3 minutes or less. The challenge was to describe their research with as little jargon as possible, for a general audience. You’ll hear about everything from cancer, to the developing embryo, to how dieting might make you smarter.
Humankind is fascinated by origin stories. We find them everywhere and they come in many forms... every religion has one, science has lots, they're in biographies, and they're even in superhero movies.
In this episode, Dr. Terry Deacon, a biological anthropologist at UC Berkeley, guides us through a novel perspective on how life itself might have started.
Constellation - Podington Bear
Dreamlike - Kevin Macleod
Other Public Domain:
USAF Band: Saturn and Neptune
Eureka by huma-huma
Elephants by huma-huma
In the Hall of the Mountain King - Edvard Grieg
Rag Time Time - Doug Maxwell/Media Right Productions
Let's Do It - Topher Mohr and Alex Elena
On average, five pounds of our body weight is made up of bacteria. But what are they doing there? Do they keep us healthy, make us sick, or are they just along for the ride? In this two-part episode, we will explore the mysterious and complex function of these microscopic critters that collectively make up our micro biome.
In part 1, we talk with Katie Pollard, a UCSF professor who studies the microbiome. Katie explains the current state of microbiome research and how critical her work is to forming appropriate conclusions about
the relationship between our microbial ecosystem and disease.
In part 2, we take a plunge into a man's toilet bowl! (Not-so-average) Joe Hiatt shares an audio diary of his experiences with two extreme diets and the changes he sees in his microbiome. Join him as he chronicles both his bathroom habits along with his microbial diversity.
Click here for more information about the Pollard lab.
For our fourth and most delicious Bite yet, we take a journey through the five basic tastes guided by Dr. Gary Beauchamp. Together we investigate why the things that we eat and drink have different tastes, and what it means to taste something in the first place.
Dr. Gary Beauchamp is the emeritus director and president of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia,and a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. This episode was produced by Meryl Horn, Austin Chou, Sam Ancona Esselmann, Ryan Jones and Sama Ahmed.
Our latest Bite introduces 'The Fog at Bay' - a new offshoot series of personal mental health stories from academia and medicine. In this crossover episode, Dr. Felicia De La Garza Mercer discusses stress and burnout in the student population.
The Fog at Bay's complete first season is out now and features the voices of our graduate and medical school peers, as well as faculty. Stories touch on topics such as bipolar disorder, depression, and concussions. Catch it all on thefogatbay.com, iTunes, Facebook, or Soundcloud.
In this episode, we learn about the war going on inside our bodies every day. We generally think of our immune systems as defending us from malicious, foreign attackers. But, as always with biology, we’re finding that it’s not that simple. In some cases, an apparent foe might turn out to be a friend, and vice versa. Here we bring you three different stories about how the immune system can be outsmarted, misdirected, and even re-engineered.
Part 1: Diplomatic Immunity
Our immune system is pretty good at hunting down most viruses. But there are a handful of viruses out there that can hide from our immune system for years. The jury is still out on what effect these dormant viruses have on our health. Surprisingly, it might be the case that some of these dormant viruses, like herpes, may actually have some positive benefits. For this piece, producer Meryl Horn talks with professor J.J. Miranda of the Gladstone Institute at UCSF, who explains his innovative approach in investigating this topic.
Part 2: A Can of Worms
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, developed countries became increasingly vulnerable to rampant immune system dysfunction, with ballooning rates of allergic and autoimmune disease. Why did this happen? A popular theory is that our hyper-clean environments, and the resulting lack of regular challenge to our immune systems - such as chronic parasitic infections - are causing our immune systems to misbehave. In this episode, producer Sam Ancona Esselmann sits down with Moises Velasquez Manoff, author of An Epidemic of Absence, to explore this dramatic rise in autoimmune and allergic diseases and to discuss the caveats of controversial therapies.
Part 3: T-Cells, 2.0
One of the reasons cancer is often so difficult to treat is because cancer cells are winning an “arms race” against our natural defenses. But what if we could give our immune system a tactical advantage? In T-cell immune therapy, T-cells are removed from cancer patients and modified so that they can hunt down specific cancer markers that they were previously unable to recognize. The T-cells, which can then both recognize and kill the cancer cells, are reintroduced into the patient. In this episode, our producer Tyler Ross sits down with scientist Levi Rupp, a member of Wendell Lim's lab at UCSF, who is hacking into our immune cells to fight cancer.
For our second Bite, we sit down with Dr. Mala Murthy, a professor at Princeton University, who uses fruit fly songs to answer questions about how flies can respond dynamically to changing environments and how their brains are wired to carry out these behaviors.
Check out this video for a deeper understanding of Dr. Murthy's research!
Carry The One Radio is now releasing shorter morsels of science in between our longer full length episodes! We call them, CTOR Bites. For our first Bite, our own Sama Ahmed summarizes 5 years of his research on evolutionary biology into exactly 3 minutes! It’s an adaptation of his award-winning entry into the University of California Three Minute Thesis competition. Stay curious!
Tongues, songbirds and perfect fifths, oh my! Seemingly disparate subjects yes, but remarkably similar nonetheless. In this episode, we investigate some of the far corners of the neuroscience behind communication! We start with a simple question: how does the human brain coordinate all of the muscles that allow us to speak? In part 2, we learn how male songbirds perfect their mating calls and how all the single birds respond. And finally, a neuroscientist/professional opera-singer tells us about the mystery of musicality, and the science behind becoming a great musician.
Part One: “On the Tip of My Tongue”
The human brain precisely controls numerous muscles when we speak, but scientists know very little about how exactly this happens... Our producers Ryan Jones and Kate Woronowicz talk with David Conant, a doctoral student in Dr. Edward Chang’s lab at the University of California - San Francisco, about how patients with epilepsy are helping us unravel this great mystery.
Part Two: “A Bird Song to Remember”
Spring is in the air and with it, a cacophony of bird songs. But these birds aren’t born knowing how to sing. It’s only after the brain goes through complex chemical dances that these males can attract their perfect mates. Listen to Peter Chisnell talk with Dr. Gregory Ball, neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, about how hormones refine male bird songs and in turn, how these songs change birds’ brains.
Part Three: “The Sound of Music(ality)”
Practice makes perfect, but is that all it takes to become a great musician? Lynn Wang talks to Dr. Indre Viskontas, neuroscientist and professional musician, about her research studying how musicality works. At the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Indre teaches “Training the Musical Brain,” a class where students learn how to practice basic music perceptual skills. In addition, she’s interested in understanding how elements such as emotion and expression make us better musicians.
Each summer, The Gladstone Institutes places high school students in some of the best labs for the study of heart disease, brain disorders, virology and immunology. The students work alongside scientists where they learn to conduct cutting-edge experiments,
This past summer, we teamed up with Gladstone to mentor two of the students, Hanan Sinada and Kainat Shaikh. After their day in the lab, they met with our producers Kate Woronowicz and Yelena Kulik to learn how to create a podcast episode about their experience. Today’s episode is written and produced by Kainat, a student at Burton High School. Kainat shares what she learned about HIV, what she called “The Sneak Intruder".
The brain is an astonishingly complex organ. Injury to the brain in the form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause learning and memory problems in the short-term and dementia in the long-term. Over 1.7 million individuals experience TBI in the United States every year. Unfortunately, there are currently only symptomatic treatments for TBIs. We talked to Dr. Susanna Rosi, Associate Professor at UCSF, about her research into new treatments for TBIs.
Although our immune system is amazing at what it does, there are complex cases where the it fails us. Everyday, our bodies fight off hordes of bacteria and viruses that cause disease. When fighting cancer, our bodies even face their own cells that have gone rogue. However, certain pathogens and cancers manage to circumvent our immune system.
We talked to Dr. John Wherry, associate professor of microbiology and director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, about how the immune system is circumvented and what is being done about it.
Cells are the building blocks of life…and need to be transformed into the various tissues that make up our body. There are two main populations of cells that are programmed by a variety of biochemical forces to acquire the characteristics of different cell types in the body. One population, called the somatic cells, is eventually transformed into skin, muscle, bones and such. The other population, called germ cells, becomes sperm and eggs.
In today’s episode, Karuna Meda interviews Dr. Nam Tran (UCSF) about his research on germ cell development and its importance for understanding fertility.
Under the banner of “Accelerating Research to Improve Health,” the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of California, San Francisco -- the leading university exclusively focused on health -- is part of a shift in biomedical research.
This move involves a focus on translational, or bench-to-bedside research, which aims to “translate” biomedical discoveries into useful applications and treatments, such as a drug, device, diagnostic or behavioral intervention, that improves human health and health outcomes.
This podcast series is presented by the CTSI and Carry the One Radio – the Science Podcast. CTSI is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. This series was written and produced by Sama Ahmed and Karuna Meda, and edited by John Daigre and Carly Van Orsdel.
Keith Foster, leader of the funk band “Big Pimp Jones”, invites CTOR’s host, Sama Ahmed, to talk about the neuroscience of the giant-monster movie, Pacific Rim. Sama in turn calls up his neuroengineering friend, Joey Martinez, from the University of Utah to tag team this issue.
Guest: Sama Ahmed (CTOR/UCSF) and Joan Martinez (University of Utah)
Host: Keith Foster (Nerdometrics)
In today's episode, Amanda Mason, our newest producer and an MD/PhD student here at UCSF, interviews Dr. Bruce Miller, the director of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Dr. Miller's clinic is considered one of the best places in the world for dementia diagnosis and treatment. He shares his perspective on frontotemporal dementia, a devastating brain disorder that affects personality, empathy, and language—and the search for a cure.
Ever wonder how male spiders communicate their love songs? How they sing and dance? This is the last episode in our three-part series from Sound Off, our live show on the science of sound. Dr. Kiki from This Week in Science interviews Erin Brandt (Elias lab at UC Berkeley) about her research on the vibratory communication of jumping spiders.
Dr. Kiki (This Week in Science) interviews Dr. John Houde about how changing what the brain hears can alter what it says. The two discuss how fooling the brain into thinking you sound like Donald Duck can be an effective treatment for people who speak with a stutter.
This is the second of a three-part series from "Sound Off!”, Carry the One Radio’s first live show, which took place at UCSF on May 29, 2014.