Episode 40: The Reproducibility Initiative with Dr. Elizabeth Iorns

This week Zach and Kelly bring back Dr. Elizabeth Iorns to talk about the Reproducibility Initiative through Science Exchange. Elizabeth was recently named one of Nature’s 10 People Who Mattered This Year!


Zach and Kelly news

The Story Collider has invited us to be part of their February 5th show on love and science. Check it out if you’re in the NYC area!

Check out other Brachiolope Media Network podcasts!

Science…sort of

The Titanium Physicists

Press coverage for the Reproducibility Initiative


New Scientist

The Scientist

EconTalk episodes on reproducibility and bias in science

Brian Nosek on Truth, Science, and Academic Incentives

Ed Yong on Science, Replication, and Journalism

This American Life episode that discussed research using electromagnetic waves to kill cancer cells: So Crazy It Just Might Work

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 38: Jessica Richman and William Ludington on uBiome

This week Zach and Kelly talk to Jessica Richman, a PhD student at Oxford University, and Dr. William Ludington, the Bowes Fellow at the University of California Berkeley, about uBiomeuBiome is a project that connects citizens to scientists in an attempt to better understand the microbiome.



Candida albicans (yeast that is part of the microbiome)

Vagus nerve

Toxoplasma gondii

Episode 3: Bacteria, Butts, and Brains (a previous Weekly Weinersmith episode on the microbiome)

Clostridium difficile

Operational taxonomic unit

Episode 37: Trevor Bekolay on Spaun, a large-scale simulated brain

This week Kelly and Zach talk to Trevor Bekolay about his work on a large-scale brain simulator. Trevor is a PhD student in the Computational Neuroscience Research Group at the University of Waterloo.


Scientific paper: Eliasmith et al. 2012: A large-scale model of the functioning brain

Popular press articles on Spaun

Video for Spaun simulations

Nengo.ca – download software for simulating neural systems

Spiking neurons

Blue Brain Project

Recency and primacy effects


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 35: Aging and antidepressants

This week Zach and Kelly talk about how the blood of young mice makes old mice brains look young again, and whether or not genomics can help to predict the kinds of antidepressants to which a person will respond.


Weinersmith news

Trial of the Clone–Zach’s new choose-able pathways book

On Amazon!

Through SMBC!

Through Breadpig!

Paper 1: Villeda et al. 2011The aging systemic milieu negatively regulates neurogenesis and cognitive function


Why Zebra Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky

Group selection

The Guardian article covering Dr. Villeda’s talk on aging at the Society for Neuroscience conference

Serge Voronoff – surgeon who grafted monkey testicles on to human men

Paper 2: Tansey et al. 2012Genetic predictors of response to serotonergic and noradrenergic antidepressants in major depressive disorder: a genome-wide analysis of individual-level data and a meta-analysis


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (NRIs)

Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)

Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression


Episode 34: Fear and BPA

This week Zach and Kelly discuss research on how to eliminate certain types of anxiety, and chat about Bisphenol A (BPA).


What are Zach and Kelly up to?

Zach at New York City Comic Con October 11-14th

Final Season of SMBC Theater sketches

Sign-up for Round 3 of the #SciFund Challenge! 

Kelly is excited about genomes. What this video, and you will be too.

Paper: Disruption of reconsolidation erases a fear memory trace in the human amygdala



FDA’s 2010 public statement on BPA

Washington Post article on the difficulties of removing BPA from products

Episode 33: Intravenous oxygen and exploding termites

This week Zach and Kelly talk about oxygen injections and exploding termites.


Titanium Physicists podcast

Article 1: Oxygen gas-filled microparticles provide intravenous oxygen delivery

Popular press article

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees

Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care

Article 2: Explosive backpacks on old termite workers


Episode 32: Dr. Scott Commins and tick-induced meat allergies

This week Zach and Kelly talk to Dr. Scott Commins of the University of Virginia about his research on tick-induced meat allergies.



IgE and IgG

Interleukins (e.g., IL9)

ImClone and cetuximab


Carbohydrates and proteins


Lone Star ticks (seed ticks)

Endocrine disrupters



Popular press coverage


UVA Magazine