Category Archives: Podcast

Episode 39: Science funding

This week Zach and Kelly talk about National Institute of Health (NIH) funding practices, and the increasing administrative burdens placed on academic scientists.


Does the NIH (National Institute of Health) support the best researchers?

Nature article: Research grants: conform and be funded

Critique (found after recording): NIH funding: thousand citation papers are outliers

Rebuttal: NIH funding: the critics respond

Increasing administrative burdens placed on academic scientists

The Chronicle of HIgher Education: Time and money are being wasted in the lab

AAAS on “Red Tape” in research funding

Episode 36: Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease

This week Zach and Kelly discuss how the way one responds to stressors can have long-lasting implications for health, and recent research on a link between a rare gene variant and Alzheimer’s disease.

Zach and Kelly news

Webcomics Rampage in Austin, TX

Round 3 of the #SciFund Challenge has begun! 


Increased reactivity to stress increases the risk of chronic health issues

Paper: Affective reactivity to daily stressors and long-term risk of reporting a chronic physical health condition

Alzheimer’s and TREM2 variants

Paper 1: Variant of TREM2 associated with risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Paper 2: TREM2 variants in Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease

Episode 17: Dr. R. Douglas Fields and “The Other Brain” (an episode on glia)

Episode 30: Dr. Jordan Miller on the use of 3D printing to make blood vessels

Today Zach and Kelly talk to Dr. Jordan Miller, a postdoctoral student in Dr. Christopher Chen’s Tissue Microfabrication Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, about his recent breakthrough using 3D printing to create blood vessels.


Scientific article:

Nature Materials: Rapid casting of patterned vascular networks for perfusable engineered three-dimensional tissues

Popular press links

University of Pennsylvania press release

BBC news coverage

Los Angeles Times

3-D Printing

Weekly Weinersmith episode on 3D printing (Episode 5: Peters, Printers, and Polymers)



Baracuda Extruder for 3D printing sugar and chocolate 

Episode 25: Dr. Ryan Earley and “Why are there males”?

On this week’s episode Kelly and Zach talk to Dr. Ryan Earley about why so many species reproduce sexually rather than asexually. We then talk to Elizabeth Lee and Robert Denton, whose #SciFund projects focus on animals with uncommon reproductive systems.


Dr. Ryan Earley and “Why are there males?”

Two-fold cost of sex

Red Queen Hypothesis (check out this great book for more information on this topic)

Court Jester Hypothesis


Mangrove rivulus

Video of mangrove rivulus jumping from the lab of Dr. Gibbs

Mangrove rivulus hangs out in logs


Kin selection

Genetic drift

Founder population/founder effect

Scientific article: Best of both worlds? Association between outcrossing and parasite loads in a selfing fish 

SciFund project bringing Daphnia back to life to study long-term effects of pollution

Elizabeth Lee and endocrine disrupters

Endocrine disrupters

Ethinyl estradiol disrupts sexual selection in sand gobies

Intersex smallmouth bass in the Potomac

Ethinyl estradiol

Liz’s SciFund project page

Robert Denton and unisexual salamanders

Mole salamanders

Rob’s SciFund project page

Episode 17: Dr. R. Douglas Fields and “The Other Brain”

This week Kelly and Zach speak with Dr. R. Douglas Fields about his book “The Other Brain”.


Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity (Dr. Fields’ Lab)


Dr. Ichiji Tasaki

Firefly luciferin/luciferase

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) 




Schwann Cell


Scientific American Articles authored by Dr. Fields

The Other Brain (links to Amazon)

Below is a really amazing talk by Dr. Fields. It is not related to glia, but it’s so awesome I had to post it anyway.

Episode 16: Science Exchange and Dr. Elizabeth Iorns

Zach and Kelly interview Dr. Elizabeth Iorns about Science Exchange, an online marketplace connecting scientists and laypeople to research facilities.


The Weinerworks

Science Exchange

SciFund Challenge

Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative

MORE Foundation Embark program

Y Combinator


Episode 11: Weinersmiths, W.E.I.R.D., and W.R.O.uN.G

This week Zach and Kelly catch up on their recent adventures, and discuss the predominance of W.E.I.R.D. (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) subjects in psychology studies.


The Weinerworks (Zach’s math blog)

Dr. Raine Kortet

This week’s paper: The weirdest people in the world?

An early draft of “The weirdest people in the world?”, available online for            free

Ultimatum Game

Dictator Game 

Episode 5: Peters, Printers, and Polymers

This week we talk to Ben Peters, graduate student at MIT’s Media Lab, about 3-D printing.


MIT Media Lab

RepRap-the 3-D printer that makes some of the parts for itself


Thingiverse-free designs for MakerBot

Episode 4: Barnhart, Biofuels, and Baseloads

This week Zach and Kelly talk to Dr. Charlie Barnhart about energy!  You can hear more from Charlie every week on the Science…sort of podcast!

Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project 

International Energy Agency

BP Energy Outlook Report

Energy subreddit

Episode 2: Plait, P(l)uns, and Planets

In this week’s episode we interview blogger and author, Phil Plait! We talk to Phil about the James Webb Space Telescope, and about science funding for space projects in general. Check out Phil’s blog, Bad Astronomy, and his most recent book! AWESOME!



Superconducting Super Collider