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Stanford University knows it needs to take bold action on environmental issues—it’s creating a new school focused on sustainability and climate change, it has plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050… So, why is it so hesitant to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry? In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, your hosts Ruby Gates and Vrinda Sur…
 
Does it really matter if we're in the sixth mass extinction? Short answer: no. But it’s actually a little more complicated. In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Trevor Cambron and Keren Perla discuss the debate about whether or not we are currently in the sixth mass extinction, and what it would mean to be in one. We talk to Stanford’s own Dr. …
 
With the world’s population expected to reach about 10 billion people by 2050, many are wondering what is the most sustainable way to feed the world. Also, as we are currently going through the worst pandemic in 100 years, many people are wondering what can be done to prevent the threat of another large pandemic. Surprisingly, a solution for both t…
 
Our bodies are powered by proteins. They convert the food we eat into energy, convert that energy into motion, and keep our cells, and therefore ourselves, alive and healthy. Proteins can also pose a danger to our wellbeing -- the proteins surrounding the SARS-CoV-2 virus are particularly well suited to recognize and bind to human cells, allowing t…
 
We’re all familiar with heat waves on land, but did you know they can happen in the ocean as well? Marine heat waves, where ocean temperatures spike unusually high for a period of time, are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change. They can impact a range of ecosystems, including kelp forests—beautiful, biodiverse, productiv…
 
A new technology is redefining the way biologists approach science. Moving beyond simple cell cultures, scientists can now use human cells to create miniature models of organs. Dubbed organoids, these models can emulate any organ in the body. Organoids come closer to replicating the context and complexity of a human body than ever before–opening th…
 
As crypto-currency meets meme-culture, sensationalist headlines and bold claims by bitcoin-bros drive mainstream perception of the space. But there is much more to the blockchain than market speculation and bitcoin billionaires. In reality, most legitimate coins exist to accomplish specific objectives. Many have huge aspirations for improving socie…
 
When the world shut down this past year, sports came to a halt as well. Without the sport they love, what did the day to day life of these athletes look like? How did athletes adapt and find new ways to train? Most importantly, what did altered training regimens mean for their mental health? In this episode, hosts Abby Converse and Floranne Carroll…
 
The animal kingdom is full of amazing animals, learn how some have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years or why some have incredibly beautiful feathers or intricate songs. In this podcast, I cover the different types of selection causing the diversity we see today including directional, stabilizing, disruptive, balancing, and sexual …
 
In this podcast, I discuss the relationships between energy and life, and the importance of enzymes for our metabolism. Specific topics include a description of what it means to be living, I define energy and how it's governed by the laws of thermodynamics, the different types of energy and relate how life gets energy from chemical reactions and th…
 
The cell cycle is more than just memorizing the position of chromosomes on a slide, it can help us understand growth and development, lead us to treatments for cancer, or repair damaged organs and limbs. I go over the major steps of the cell cycle including interphase and the mitotic phase. Education level - high school to non-majors…
 
What does eating a pizza and aging have to do with our organelles? This episode explores how organelles of the endomembrane system work together to make proteins in our saliva that help us digest our food. Also, learn how we may eventually slow down our aging by studying lysosomes and mitochondria.By Tom Kennedy
 
Do you think we should intentionally cause the extinction of an animal? What if that animal is the most dangerous animal on the planet? In this podcast, I make the case as to why we should intentionally cause the extinction of a few disease carrying mosquitoes even though we are in the 6th mass extinction…
 
Did you know plants can sense and respond to their environment! Learn about the different types of senses plants use, how plants grow to light, open and close their stomata, and defend themselves against herbivores. Follow along as I dive into the depths of how plants move toward and open and close their stomata in response to light and water stres…
 
Sometimes, teaching lessons on plants is a "hard sell" for many students. So, I made this podcast explaining why plants are important for evolution, for ecosystems, for society, and even for own happiness. If it weren't for plants, the world would be really different! Early in this podcast, I sometimes interchanged green algae with plants. Plants e…
 
Is evolution a fact or a theory? Why did Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection not only revolutionized science, but is also considered one of the most important theories in all of science. In this podcast, I explain how scientific theories have changed how we understand the universe and our place in it. I also discuss why many people do…
 
I dream of a day when humans will leave our solar system and explore the universe. Assuming we don't develop faster than light travel it will take us centuries to travel even to the nearest star. What are the biggest challenges we would face in building a spaceship that would last thousands of years carrying people between the stars?…
 
Why do we care about cellular respiration, what makes it so important and what part is the "secret to life"? Why is there multi-cellular life like animals, sexual reproduction, two sexes, or why do we age? I know it seems like a stretch, but the answer to these questions, at least partially, is connected to cellular respiration. In this podcast, I …
 
Have you ever wondered why too much corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup is bad for you? Or have you wondered whether artificial sweeteners are safe? Did you know that carbs are more than just a source of energy? In this podcast I talk about all things carbohydrates and answer some of your questions about carbs. This is part of my text book to po…
 
I'm trying something different, rather than narrating my biology textbook, I'm doing it as a podcast instead. So, here it is: Chapter 1 What is Science? At the heart of this podcast, I advocate for science and the role science plays in our lives. I talk about the nature and limitations of science and the difference between facts, laws theories. I e…
 
Nicotine addiction is coming back with a vengeance. With e-cigarette companies like Juul capturing the attention of teens, we are experiencing the second wave of Big Tobacco through vaping. But what happens when a company’s mission statement and its actions are at odds? James Monsees and Adam Bowen, founders of Juul, were once Product Design Master…
 
Picture an active, bubbling volcano, or, if you can, a hydrothermal vent, or even perhaps a cauldron full of boiling hot water into which you now add some acid. Do you particularly associate this imagery with life? It’s hard to imagine that there could be living things in these conditions, yet there are microbes that eat, breathe, and flourish in t…
 
One of humankind’s most enduring and exciting mysteries is the origin of our universe. For most of history, we could only look up to the skies and speculate on how the world came into existence. Now, modern technology has given us astonishing insight into the universe’s beginnings, inspiring groundbreaking new theories. But what if all this knowled…
 
Do you know the story of when you were born? Was it a perfectly planned out day that culminated in your unblemished birth? Or, was it riddled with unexpected curveballs. Maybe you surprised your parents a few weeks early? In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Nomi and Margot discuss the causes and consequences of premature births through the len…
 
In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Robel Daniel and Amanda Urke explore the many factors influencing how complicated and often controversial science is conducted, communicated to non-expert audiences, and perceived by the public. Through conversations with Stanford Bioengineering Professor Drew Endy and Stanford science writer Bruce Goldman, …
 
Can you imagine a reality where you could explore the ocean without getting wet? How about flying through the clouds without leaving the ground? How might your perspective of swimming or flying change? In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Andrew Pollack, a CS major, and Hanna Payne and Laura Anderson, two marine scientists, explore the world of…
 
In this episode of Stanford SciCast, Nate Nunez and Kira Minehart break down the inner workings of California’s water management systems. They interview Leon Szeptycki, director of Stanford’s Water in the West research program. Szeptycki discusses the necessity of modernizing the state’s antiquated water management systems, some of which date back …
 
In this episode, Skylar Cohen and Raga Ayyagari discuss how scientists use big data analysis to predict and understand patterns in personality. They explore the science behind big data, its applications in personality analysis, and how this information changes how we interact with ourselves and others.For more information visit stanfordscicast.word…
 
In this episode of the Stanford SciCast, Emma Hutchinson and Maria Doerr explore what it means to be a scientist studying issues relating to climate change. How did they start working on climate change? How do they see their role in the public sphere? How do they deal with opposition to the results of their studies?Image Credit: Time is ticking out…
 
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