November 18, 2014

Evading the Immune System

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.

More on the Wherry Lab's research

Producer: Lynn Wang
Editing: Bryan Seybold and Austin Chou

October 01, 2014

Developing the Germ Cell

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.

Artist Name Track
Podington Bear Low Jack
saQi Quest’s End
The Polish Ambassador Earthship
Sandro Kait Blame Me

September 01, 2014

Trends in Translational Medicine

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.

August 15, 2014

The Neuroscience of Pacific Rim

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)

August 01, 2014

Failing Frontal Lobes

Bruce Miller
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.

Also check out the more detailed producer's cut.

More on the Miller Lab's research

July 01, 2014

Sound Off (Part 3) - Love Songs of a Spider (Hosted by Dr. Kiki): Erin Brandt

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.

Make sure to check out this article about Erin Brandt’s work, written by our friends over at the Berkeley Science Review (video included!)

More on the Brandt Lab's research

Hosted by Ben Cohn, Austin Chou, and Kirsten Sanford (Dr. Kiki)

June 15, 2014

Sound Off (Part 2) - Auditory Feedback and The Donald Duck Treatment (Hosted by Dr. Kiki): John Houde

John Houde
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.

More on the Houde Lab's research

Produced by: Ben Cohn, Austin Chou, and Kirsten Sanford

June 01, 2014

Sound Off (Part 1) - Noisy Birds and Giggling Hyenas (Hosted by Dr Kiki): Frédéric Theunissen

Dr. Kiki (This Week in Science) interviews Dr. Frederic Theunissen. The two talk about his research on sound communication in social birds and hyenas

This is the first 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. Stay tuned for the other episodes!

More on the Theunissen Lab's research

Hosted by Ben Cohn, Austin Chou, and Kirsten Sanford (Dr. Kiki)

May 15, 2014

Massive issues: Brian Koberlein

Carry the One Ready collaborates with Dr. Brian Koberlein to bring you an audio production of his segment“Massive Issues”.

In this episode, Dr. Koberlein explains the different types of mass, and how their impact in the field of astrophysics.

Find more astrophysics on his blog: Brian Koberlein: One Universe at a Time

Sound Credits:
Shaker (Quantity Mass) - kwazi
Bass60bpm (Passive Graviational Mass) - UncleSigmund
Space Orc Atmo (Hadron Collider segment) - stk13
Car_StartDriveAway (Time Dilation segment) - kbnevel
Tuning AM radio (Time Dilation segment) - CGEffex
NASA Shuttle Launch Countdown (Space segment) - JimiMod
shuttle launch (Space segment) - klangfabrik
Deep Space (Space segment) - alaupas
Low Creepy Hole (Black Hole Segment) - Robinhood76

Hosted by Austin Chou

May 01, 2014

Carry the One Radio takes on Goggles Optional: Goggles Optional

Our science podcast friends at Stanford’s Goggles Optional have invited us to make a guest appearance on their show. Carry the One Radio team members Sama, Karuna, Liz, and Samantha joined Lisl, Trisha, Diego, and David from Goggles Optional. We had a head-to-head science-podcast-battle in the game categories Weakest Link, Team Real or Fake, and Google’s Optional (not a typo!). We also discussed evolution and fruit fly research.

Goggles Optional is a weekly science podcast based out of Stanford University. They cover a myriad of interesting science topics you won’t hear about in your typical feed, and they are a lot of fun to listen to. We highly recommend you check them out on their website.

Hosted by Osama Ahmed, Karuna Meda, Liz Unger, and Samantha Ancona Esselmann

April 15, 2014

Getting in Touch with Emotions: Yelena Kulik

This CTOR Short by our producer Yelena Kulik examines how well (or not) people can convey emotions such as anger, love, and sympathy via touch. We eavesdrop on participants in the Berkeley Science Review's “Touch Me!” Event, which took place at the 2013 Bay Area Science Festival. We try to identify "best practices" for communicating emotions and we explore what happens when communication goes awry.

April 01, 2014

Run! for your brain: Gary Westbrook

Gary Westbrook
At one point in your middle school or high school biology class, you may have learned that the number of neurons in your brain is set at birth. For examples your skin cells are constantly dying and being renewed. Your brain cells, on the other hand, cannot be renewed once they die.

In the last decade, however, scientists have discovered that this is not entirely true. A part of the brain called the hippocampus is one of the few sites for adult neurogenesis (the production of neurons after birth). Here, neurons are constantly being produced throughout life and incorporated into the current network of neurons. Interestingly, this part of the brain is important for the formation of episodic memories. Our guest this week, Gary Westbrook, Senior Scientist and Co-Director at the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health and Science University, is working to understand this important process. His lab is interested in what causes the production of new neurons and the incorporation of these neurons into existing neuronal networks. They have found that simple exercise is enough to increase the production of new neurons in rodents. Tune in to hear more about this vital and fascinating process.

More on the Westbrook Lab's research

March 15, 2014

Chimeras are People Too: Kate Woronowicz

You may think that all of your cells contain the same genetic sequence, with half of your DNA coming from your mom and half coming from your dad, but that is not always true. This CTOR short will introduce you to chimeras, hybrid creatures with more that one genome, that can be man-made or naturally occurring.

Check out the CTOR interview with Dr. Rich Schneider who uses chimeras as a research tool.

CTOR also has a blog post about chimeras and genetic mosaics.

Hosted by Kate Woronowicz

March 01, 2014

How Neurons Talk to Each Other - The Synapse and More: Susan Voglmaier

Your thoughts, decisions, emotions, and actions – essentially everything you do—relies on the incredibly complex circuits within your brain. Within these circuits, neurons signal to each other through a process called synaptic neurotransmission, whereby chemicals released by one neuron bind to receptors that are located on a neighboring neuron. This extremely complicated process requires an orchestra of protein interactions and is tremendously quick, taking place over about two thousandths of a second.

Given the importance of synaptic neurotransmission in how circuits function, and the role of circuits in cognition, it is not surprising that defects in synaptic transmission are thought to underlie mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Today, we talk to Dr. Susan Voglmaier, a practicing psychiatrist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF. Dr. Voglmaier’s lab is interested in the process by which proteins called transporters prepare neurotransmitters for neurotransmission. Her research provides new insights into the basic molecular machinery underlying synaptic transmission, what might go awry in psychiatric disease, and, potentially, future ways to treat these diseases.

More on the Voglmaier Lab's research

Hosted by Karuna Meda

February 15, 2014

The Cat Who Broke his Sweet Tooth

Maverick the Cat

Carry the One Radio

Feb. 15, 2014 (Hosted by Sam Esselmann)

This is our first "CTOR Short"! Our producer Samantha explores why her cat Maverick cannot taste sweet foods.

February 01, 2014

Tapping into the Brain's Avoidance Centers: Garret Stuber

Traditionally, dopamine is known to transmit reward signals (food, sex, etc.) in the brain and promote behaviors that lead to that reward again. What you may not know, however, is that the area of the brain that releases dopamine, the ventral midbrain, also receives signals of aversion (things we find unpleasant or even dangerous) from a far-off brain region called the lateral habenula. These avoidance signals promote behaviors that lead us to avoid unpleasant or dangerous things in the world.

These brain circuits are necessary for survival and are the focus of Dr. Garret Stuber and his laboratory at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Using a tool known as optogenetics, Dr. Stuber can excite specific populations of neurons within mouse brains and observe their effects on behavior. For example, by stimulating the neurons in the lateral habenula that signal aversion, he can cause mice to avoid the location in which they received that stimulation. He is essentially creating an aversive stimulus by stimulating the neurons that would normally respond to harmful or unpleasant cues in the world. His work has important implications in addiction and psychiatric disorders

More on the Stuber Lab's research

Hosted by Osama Ahmed

January 01, 2014

Speaking with the Lizard Man: Eric Pianka

Eric Pianka
This month, in collaboration with the Age of Discovery podcast, we talk to Eric Pianka, an American ecologist known for his work on the community ecology of desert lizards and his classic textbook, Evolutionary Ecology. Dr. Pianka discusses how his interests in biology and reptiles were sparked in elementary school, and the experiences and relationships that have propelled his scientific career.

This program was hosted by Adrian Smith, an ant biologist at the University of Illinois. Adrian runs his own biology podcast called the Age of Discovery.

More on the Pianka Lab's research