ai14

None of this swelling is due to inflammation or microbes. Source: wikipedia

We’re back! And I know what you’re thinking – it’s about damn time. We have excuses, but we won’t bore you with them.

In this episode, we’re talking about the placental microbiome – that is, the bacteria that hang around a developing fetus in the womb. Wait, there are bacteria hanging around a developing fetus? Apparently!

Matt also waxes poetic on the immunology of pregnancy, and Kate tells us why family planning might someday involve infecting yourself with worms.

Enjoy!

PS – We actually have a facebook page now… go like it!

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Finally! This episode was recorded back in June, but I (Kevin) have been super busy (/super lazy) and only now got it posted. For those of you that are still subscribed, thanks for not abandoning us! Though it took some time, I think this conversation was worth the wait.

In this episode, we discuss the moral implications of doing experiments on babies without brains, and editing the genomes of unborn humans. I reveal my nature as a moral monster, and Kate can’t resist bringing up Kim Kardashian’s artificial selection of her own offspring.

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Gross, is that Polio? Let's find his friends...

Gross, is that Polio? Let’s find his friends…

In this minisode, Matt talks briefly about cancer immune therapy, skepticism surrounding the ‘cure for cancer’, and how a few physicians are trying to use Polio as a novel targeting vector. Unfortunately, Matt is not nearly as good at audio editing as Kevin is (who is now on his honeymoon), so enjoy the rough cut!

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ai12Welcome to spring from everyone at Audiommunity! To celebrate the return of the warm(ish) weather, we discuss a paper looking at immune responses to bee venom, and the underlying causes of environmental allergy. In doing so, we focus in on the mast cell – the immune mediators of allergy and anaphylaxis – and why they may actually be helpful in helping you (or your more worm-exposed ancestors) fight off intestinal parasites. Ever wonder where histamines come from? Why your skin turns red when you scratch it? Why you should never take bee pollen as a supplement? What eosinophils and basophils are? Well we can’t answer that last one, but for the rest, give a listen!

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In this minisode, Matt discusses the impact of immunology… IN SPAAAAACCCE…

From infectious disease, to gut microbiota, we dive into the immunology of the Mars One project which hopes to send humans to Mars within the next decade. We refer a bunch to a Weber training powerpoint available on the web and provided here. Additionally, we talk a little bit about a recent MIT study which might demand some reflection on our colonizing enthusiasm.

Enjoy!

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ai11This episode brought to you by Kevin’s malfunctioning audio equipment and Matt’s computer meltdown… seriously, this episode was cursed!

But in the end, we had a great discussion about sCD38, a molecule that’s secreted in mouse and human sperm, and may play a role in suppressing a mother’s immune response to a new fetus.

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This is the beginning of a discussion about science publishing (and its problems). My friends are tired of listening to me, so I thought I’d broadcast my thoughts to the internet!

I’ve written about this before, check out here and here.

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Kate’s first minisode! An explanation about why we should be a bit more measured with respect to the “Vaccine Cautious” – they’re not murderers, or idiots, just misinformed.

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Links for this episode

  • The Panic Virus by Seth Mnookin
  • The Strain (do not click that link if, like Kevin, you are weirdly grossed out by eye-related things)