Unbiased Science

By Vital Statistics Consulting

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Description

Dr. Jessica Steier, a public-health expert, and Dr. Andrea Love, an immunology expert, are the hosts of Unbiased Science, a podcast devoted to objective, critical appraisal of available evidence on health-related topics relevant to listeners’ daily lives.

Episode Date
Pour Some Artificial Sweetener On Me
2865

On this week’s pod, we bring on a special guest to help us answer the question: are artificial sweeteners harmful?

We begin with a brief discussion of what artificial sweeteners are, some common ones we use, and why they are no calorie.

We then dive into the common myths, debunking claims that consuming artificial sweeteners cause weight cause, insulin resistance, cancer, infertility, and affect your microbiome (spoiler: they don’t). 

We also reiterate the fact that “the dose makes the poison”, and many of these myths originated from animal studies that were based on giving enormous doses of these substances to rodents, which is not reflective of real-life scenarios in humans.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.



Oct 14, 2021
The Pod Is Back And We're Here To Talk Mutations (Hey-La-Day-La, The Pod Is Back!)
2913

We're back, friends! 
On this first episode of season 2, we answer the question, "what’s the update on variants and vaccine effectiveness?" 
We kick things off with a snapshot of the overall COVID-19 case rate, mortality and hospitalization data, and vaccine uptake. Next, we define some terminology-- specifically the difference between efficacy and effectiveness. We then discuss clinical trial and real-world effectiveness data for the three vaccines currently in use in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J). Of course, we had to talk boosters-- so we summarize the recent recommendations from the FDA and CDC, and what they mean for Americans. Next, we talk about Delta and some of the other variants that have people talking these days. We wrap things up by clarifying that vaccines do, in fact, prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through a few different mechanisms including reduced viral load, shortened infectious period, and overall reduced risk of infection. We hope you enjoy! We have lots of exciting episodes lined up for this season so stay tuned!

Sep 29, 2021
COVID-19: Can We Treat It? (Treat It?) No One Wants To Be Defeated!
3584

On this week's episode of the pod, we answer a question that we receive quite frequently: What are the current effective COVID-19 treatments?
We spend some time discussing how attempts have been made to repurpose existing medications for treatment which saves time rather than developing new ones from scratch. We kick things off with remdesivir-- the only FDA-approved treatment for adults and some children who require hospitalization. We discuss how remdesivir works and present some real-world evidence of its impact on mortality and time-to-discharge from the hospital. Next, we tackle monoclonal antibody treatments which have received emergency use authorization from the FDA to treat mild/moderate COVID-19 illness in adults and some older children.  We discuss some other treatments (such as Baricitinib plus remdesivir) and Tocilizumab. We also discuss Dexamethasone and present some trial data on its use in improving mortality rates as compared to usual care. Next, we spend some time discussing nutritional supplements such as vitamin C, zinc, and particularly vitamin D which has received a lot of attention (mainly by supplement sellers). We briefly talk about the current status of ongoing clinical trials, using the oral antiviral Molnupiravir as an example. Next, we talk at length about Ivermectin and the mixed and weak evidence that has led the FDA, NIH, and WHO to conclude that there are insufficient data for the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19. Finally, we close the episode with a discussion of Hydroxychloroquine and the fact that clinical trials were halted early due to lack of effectiveness. 
We are taking a break for the summer, but plan to come back with some exciting content in season 2! Stay safe, everyone!

Jun 23, 2021
Do You Need Probiotics? Trust Your Gut.
3129

On this episode of the pod, we answer the question, "are probiotics beneficial?"
We kick things off with a description of probiotics and, more generally, all the microorganisms that live in symbiosis with us (collectively called the microbiome). We discuss the complexity of our microbiome and the fact that no two people have the same microbial cells (not even twins)!  We spend some time talking specifically about the gut microbiome and different bacterial species that it is composed of. Next, we dig into the literature to explore the evidence (or lack thereof) of the benefits of probiotic therapy. We specifically investigate the use of probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhea, yeast infections and other urogenital issues, colic in infants, and necrotizing enterocolitis in very-low-birth-weight infants. We talk about different types of probiotics-- specifically refrigerated versus shelf-stable and the variety of probiotics on the market. Finally, we dive into the U.S. regulation of probiotics and quality control issues with unregulated probiotics, as well as potential harms of probiotics for specific sub-populations at high-risk. 

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Jun 14, 2021
E-Cigarettes: A Nicoteenage Wasteland (Part 2)
2842

On this episode of the pod, we continue our conversation on e-cigarettes. Last week, we focused on the harms of nicotine itself, but this week we start our discussion on the harms of other ingredients in e-cigarettes including toxic chemicals and heavy metals. We spend some time discussing popcorn lung-- a serious lung disease caused by e-cigarette use. We discuss the flavorings in e-cigarettes and some recent research conducted on their impact on health outcomes including vascular issues, cardiac health, and wound healing. We dig into the current body of evidence on whether e-cigarettes are an effective cessation tool (spoiler alert: the evidence is mixed) and how some smokers become dual users of traditional cigarettes and e-cigs. We also discuss how many people (especially youth) are looking to quit vaping and some resources available to assist them in their cessation efforts. We then discuss how vaping can lead to smoking initiation among non-smokers (especially youth). Finally, we discuss some issues around regulation and the legality of marketing tactics.


 PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Jun 07, 2021
E-Cigarettes: A Nicoteenage Wasteland
3108

On this episode of the pod, we address the question: are e-cigarettes harmful?
We kick things off with an introduction to e-cigs -- what they are, and the different types of e-cigs on the market. We discuss the global e-cigarette and vape market and the blurred lines between the vaping and tobacco industries. We spend some time discussing how e-cigarettes compare to traditional, combustible cigarettes. We talk about e-cigarette smoking rates and how they are on the rise among teenagers. We tackle the topic of nicotine and detail many of the things it does to our bodies including physical, pharmacologic, and psychodynamic effects-- as well as its impact on our immune system and biological processes. Next week, we will continue the discussion on e-cigarettes and their impact on smoking initiation among youth and non-smokers, as well as their potential as a smoking cessation tool. We hope you'll tune in!

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

May 31, 2021
To Ink Or Not To Ink? That Is The Question
2801

On this episode of the pod, we answer the question: How do tattoos work? We kick things off with a summary of the tattooing process and some statistics on how common tattooing is (broken out by demographics). We talk about the various reasons why people get tattooed -- some of which are cultural and/or religious. We summarize some history of tattoos as far back as several thousands of years ago. We then dig into the science of modern tattoos and detail the immune response that is triggered when we get tattooed (it's a complex process involving innate immune cells called macrophages). We spend some time discussing how tattoos may seem static and permanent but actually represent an indefinite, dynamic process. We discuss why the permanence of tattoos contribute to the challenges in removal. We of course detail some risks of tattoos including allergic reactions, skin infections, and the regulation (or lack thereof) of tattoo ink and potential safety issues. We wrap up with a brief discussion about how some people with tattoos are opposed to vaccines-- and touch upon the complicated psychology and cognitive dissonance involved in that thought process.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

May 25, 2021
I've Got 99 Problems and Pandemic Anxiety Is One
3202

On this week's episode of the pod we tackle something that over 40% of Americans are currently battling-- pandemic-related anxiety, specifically COVID anxiety, OCD-related anxiety, hypochondria (and cyberchondria) and “returning to normal” anxiety. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’ve gotten a lot of Heard from the Herd questions regarding how to manage mental health issues directly related to pandemic. We kick things off by defining the different types of anxieties that people are experiencing and the specific populations at higher risk for developing them. We talk through some evidence-based tips for building up personal resilience during this time and some coping mechanisms. We spend some time talking about re-entry anxiety-- especially in light of the new CDC guidance that states that masks are not required for fully-vaccinated individuals in most indoor and outdoor settings. Finally, we discuss different types of treatments and when it's time to seek professional help.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

May 18, 2021
Why’d You Have To Go and Make Cancer So Complicated? (Part 2)
3201

On this week’s episode of the pod, we continue our discussion on the basics of cancer. We briefly review the fact that cancer is a catch-all phrase for hundreds of different illnesses, all ultimately linked to dysregulation of normal cellular processes. We elaborate on some cellular processes that break down during the development of cancer, particularly with regard to gene mutations. While last week we touched on broad risk factors for cancer, today we highlight some viral infections that can lead to the development of cancer. We spend some time discussing mutations and how they contribute to the progression of cancer, with a focus on 3 classes of genes that are most commonly implicated in cancer. We then discuss how cancer is able to camouflage itself from the immune system, using a specific example to illustrate this. We switch gears to discuss categories of treatments, including radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, as well as newer cancer therapies including immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapies. We set the stage for additional in-depth discussions on some of these types of therapies in future episodes.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

May 11, 2021
Why’d You Have To Go and Make Cancer So Complicated?
2540

Please note: We experienced some unavoidable technical difficulties during recording, which you may notice throughout the episode. We are always working to improve quality and appreciate your patience and support! 

On this week’s episode of the pod, we take a break from discussing COVID-19 to discuss something that has undoubtedly touched all of our lives—cancer. We kick things off with a population health summary of cancer incidence and prevalence, to understand its disease burden in the US and globally. We discuss how the pandemic has impacted diagnosis and treatment of cancer due to reduced access to care which will take years to quantify. Next, we dive into the actual definition of cancer and how it is not one disease but rather hundreds of different diseases. We discuss mutations and the impact of genetic heterogeneity on cancer development. We talk about the different ways to categorize cancers and some nomenclature. We describe how signs and symptoms caused by cancer will vary depending on what part of the body is affected but outline some general signs and symptoms associated with, but not specific to, cancer. We talk about some risk factors for cancer—genetic, behavioral, and environmental – and how some can be modified, while others cannot. We could spend many hours talking about this topic—so next week, we will continue the conversation and discuss treatment options and clinical outcomes.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

May 03, 2021
20-21 COVID Info To Know: I Wanna Be Updated! (Part Two)
4359

On today’s episode of the podcast, we provide an update on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and walk through the details of the ACIP hearing on safety-- and the ultimate decision to lift the pause. We describe thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), treatment considerations, and side effects to monitor. We reiterate that the benefits outweigh the small risk for this adverse event and the rigorous monitoring of these events should instill confidence in our vaccine surveillance system. We then shift gears and provide you with a recording from a vaccine Q&A that we conducted last week that covers many of the commonly asked questions about viral transmission, vaccine efficacy, and variants. We discuss many topics ranging from FDA approval to types of vaccine technologies used (and how NONE of the vaccines contain any live virus and, thus, cannot infect you). Next week, we will return to our planned discussion on cancer and some of the major risk factors for this disease.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Apr 26, 2021
20-21 COVID Info To Know: I Wanna Be Updated!
3299

On this episode of the pod, we return to our discussion on COVID-19. We present updates on the state of COVID-19 with regards to number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. We also provide updates on vaccine rollout and the percentage of the population that has been partially and fully vaccinated. We also share some CDC-generated forecasts for next month. We spend some time discussing variants-- in particular the B.1.1.7 variant (also known as the UK variant) which is now the dominant strain in the United States, and how it is shifting the dynamics of viral transmission. We spend some time discussing the increase in cases among children and young adults, and the implications for mitigation measures. We discuss the recent updates released by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna on long-term efficacy of the vaccines and, of course, discuss the latest on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause. We provide details from the recent ACIP meeting and what we expect to occur in the coming weeks. Finally, we recap some best practices and practical things you can do to continue to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Apr 19, 2021
In the Lyme Light: Beyond The Tick Bite (Part Two)
3852

On this week’s episode, we are continuing our discussion on Lyme disease. After a brief refresher of some key points from last week’s episode, we focus on the physical manifestations of Lyme disease, including signs and symptoms. We then discuss the diagnostic method, with an emphasis on some of the unreliable labs that use unproven tests to overreport Lyme diagnoses. We also cover the approved (and effective!) treatments for Lyme disease and why there is no longer an available vaccine. We switch gears to focus on the substantial controversy surrounding Lyme disease, especially with regards to unproven and disproven treatments, chronic Lyme disease, and some of the bad players in the world of Lyme, including clinicians and organizations that appear legitimate. We spend some time discussing the misnomer that is chronic Lyme disease, and why long-term and unproven treatments can be quite dangerous for people. We emphasize red flags to watch out for when trying to verify information you find online regarding Lyme disease and hope to equip you with a better understanding of this infection that is surrounded by misinformation.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Apr 12, 2021
In the Lyme Light: Beyond The Tick Bite (Part One)
3186

On this week’s episode, we start our discussion about Lyme disease, an infection that is riddled with misconceptions and misinformation. First, we open the conversation with a primer on ticks as disease vectors, including an overview of different tick species and the array of different tick-borne pathogens that exist. We then discuss Lyme disease specifically, a bacterial infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by specific species of ticks. We spend some time focusing on how the best offense is defense – and discuss best practices for avoiding tick bites, including tick checks, repellents, and pesticides that are effective. We elaborate on the infection process if you are bit by an infected tick, including which ticks are actually able to spread infection and how it occurs, as well as how infection is diagnosed and treated. At the end of the episode, we start our discussion on the different pathology of disease, as a primer for part 2, which will elaborate on illness itself and dispel many of the myths associated with Lyme disease.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Apr 05, 2021
Think Outside The Pox: Vaccines Throughout History
3490

On this week’s episode, we take a trip into the past to discuss the history of vaccines. We start with an overview of smallpox, a debilitating illness that has plagued humans for thousands of years, and how attempts to prevent smallpox resulted in the first rudimentary immunizations through the process of variolation. Over time, variolation evolved to the first instances of vaccinations, and we detail Edward Jenner’s famous accounts of using cowpox to immunize individuals against smallpox. From there, we discuss the rapid emergence of scientific advances regarding infectious diseases and vaccine technologies, tracking Pasteur’s and Koch’s work on Germ Theory of Disease and the development of rabies vaccinations. We summarize the progression and evolution of vaccines through the 19th and 20th centuries, highlighting some key examples. We discuss Diphtheria and the basis for toxoid vaccines, as well as the development of subunit vaccines which paved the way for the current vaccine technology era: using mRNA and viral vectors in vaccines. We wrap up with a summary of the global impact of vaccines, and how vaccinations have dramatically reduced the prevalence of illness and mortality of many infectious diseases around the world.

Mar 29, 2021
From John Snow to Sir Bradford Hill, Epidemiology Gives Us a Thrill
2259

On this week's episode of the pod, we discuss the history of epidemiology. We kick things off with a definition of the term and clarify that epidemiology is not specific to infectious disease but rather all diseases, as well as their risk factors. We take a trip down memory lane and revisit the different eras of epidemiology including the sanitary era, the infectious disease era, the risk factor and black box epidemiology era, and what many call the eco-epidemiology era of today. We dig into some epidemiological case studies of yesteryear, including the famous case of John Snow and the Broad Street Cholera outbreak of 1854. We also highlight some other key players in the evolution of epidemiology as a science and the critical roles they played. We also briefly discuss Hill's causal criteria and their use (still today!) in strengthening our confidence in attributing a causal link to an association. We hope you enjoy!


PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.


Mar 22, 2021
It's Nothing Like I've Ever Known Before: STEM is an Open Door!
3238

On this week's episode of the pod we talk about our respective careers in STEM. We discuss the paths that led us here, our education and training, and the different fields that one can pursue with advanced degrees in a STEM field ranging from academia to applied science. Andrea discusses her relatively linear path from a child fascinated by bugs to her PhD in immunology, and Jess describes her more circuitous route leading her to a DrPH. We welcome our first ever guest to the pod, Dr. Bill Gallo, a health economist and data scientist who left a decades-long career in academia to pursue an entrepreneurial venture. We discuss some of the challenges we faced along the way, as well as the things that keep us going. If you've ever considering pursuing a career in STEM, we encourage you to tune in!


PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.




Mar 15, 2021
Superstition Ain’t The Way! Old Wives’ Tales Debunked: Part 2
2832

On this week's pod, we continued the fun of exploring the science (or lack thereof) behind some popular old wives' tales! We tackled the old adage (pun intended) that pulling out a grey hair will result in two more growing in its place. Next, we discuss whether it's safe to swim within an hour of eating. We then revisited a topic we've covered in the past-- taking vitamin C to "cure" a cold (we do a deep dive on our "Spilling the Immuni-Tea" episode if you want to check that out). Next, we tackle whether it's true that having heartburn in pregnancy means you'll have a hairy baby (you'll be reminded of one of our favorite phrases, "correlation, not causation"). We also discuss whether saltwater cures a sore throat and whether honey cures a cough. Next, we move to fruits and veggies-- does an apple a day really keep the doctor away, and can eating carrots improve your vision? You'll have to tune in to find out!

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.




Mar 08, 2021
Superstition Aint The Way! Old Wives’ Tales Debunked
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On this episode of the pod, we take a little break from COVID-19 to debunk some common old wives' tales related to health. Lots of listeners wrote in with many great ideas, so this will be a two-parter! We kick things off by breaking down the old adage, "feed a cold, starve a fever" (and we recommend changing it to "feed a cold, feed a fever"). Next, we tackle the myth that you’ll get sick from being outside in the cold and/or going outside with wet hair in the winter (remember...correlation doesn't equal causation). Lots of people wanted us to discuss whether there's scientific support for drinking cranberry juice to treat and/or prevent urinary tract infections-- so we did! Finally, we talk about the [lack of] scientific evidence for putting raw cut onions on the soles of your feet to stave off a cold. Spoiler alert: that one really stinks! We hope you’ll tune in and enjoy!

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Mar 01, 2021
Not Throwin' Away My Shot: COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing and Deployment
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On this week’s podcast episode, we get back to COVID-19 vaccine discussions, but with a different angle: focusing on the vaccine manufacturing, development, and deployment pipelines. We start with the U.S. and global statistics for vaccination rates, and then focus on a discussion of the parameters that impact the access to vaccines for countries around the world. We summarize the currently utilized vaccines globally and which countries are utilizing them, before focusing on the bottlenecks through the entire vaccine deployment process. We focus on bottlenecks encountered in manufacturing and supply chain of raw materials, bottlenecks with regard to personnel needed across all phases of a vaccination campaign, and bottlenecks involved with distribution and storage. We discuss some of the plans, both in the U.S. and globally, that are being implemented to address the current roadblocks, and some of the ways in which the world can address vaccine equity.


PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Feb 22, 2021
Most Uses of Essential Oils Make No Frankincense
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On this episode of the pod, we take a little break from COVID-19 to discuss essential oils. We kick things off with a description of essential oils, their history, and their applications. We discuss some of the purported benefits of essential oils and touted medicinal applications. We then dive into the scientific evidence (or lack thereof) on the actual benefits of essential oils and the findings from studies that have been conducted (and the difference between human trials and in vitro studies). We talk specifically about a few commonly used essential oils such as lavender and tea tree oil. We discuss the lack of regulation of essential oils and implications for inaccurate labeling of products. Finally, we spend some time talking about the potential harms of essential oils to humans and animals that must be taken into consideration.


PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Feb 15, 2021
Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (Turn and Face the Strains): SARS-CoV-2 Mutations
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On this week's episode we discuss mutations, specifically in the context of SARS-CoV-2. We set the stage by describing what a mutation is and how this random process occurs in all organisms. We discuss the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and a primer on zoonotic diseases before focusing on mutation rates of SARS-CoV-2, and comparison to another RNA virus, influenza virus. We talk about the key mutations of the variants of concern B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 and the spike antigen of the virus, and why these mutations have become more prevalent. We wrap up with a discussion on the implications of vaccine efficacy in light of these new variants, and underscore the need for rapid vaccination globally.


PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.



Feb 08, 2021
Protecting Human Subjects in Research: Not To IRB(e) Taken Lightly
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On this week's episode of the podcast, we discuss protections in place for human research subjects. To start the conversation, we discuss some infamous examples of past injustices conducted in the name of "research" and the regulations they prompted as a result. We highlight four cases: the Holocaust experiments, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the work of James Marion Sims, and the case of Henrietta Lacks. 
We spend some time detailing historical documents and regulations that were developed to protect human subjects that came out of these horrific historical blunders and atrocities. Next, we discuss in detail what "informed consent" means, the rigorous regulatory process for any research involving humans, and the modern-day Institutional Review Board (IRB). We recognize that there continues to exist distrust of science and the medical establishment, particularly among populations of color, and our hope is that this episode sets the stage for future conversations that are needed to address this complex issue.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Feb 01, 2021
H-I-V...Not As Easy As 1-2-3: Eluding Vaccine Development for Decades
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This week we answer a commonly encountered question: "why were we able to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in less than a year, but don't have a vaccine for HIV?"

We begin with the population health statistics of HIV globally to set the stage. We then do a primer on classification of viruses to underscore the fact that not all viruses are the same. We focus on SARS-CoV-2 and HIV specifically, and do a brief compare and contrast between the two viruses and virus families.

We focus specifically on the challenges of vaccine development in the context of HIV: complexity of the virus itself, immune response to the virus, and disease pathology. We reiterate that the foundational research for the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has actually been ongoing since 2002, and wrap up with our hope that someday we will be able to successfully develop an effective HIV vaccine.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Jan 25, 2021
Separating pHact From pHiction: The Alkaline Diet Is Basic Nonsense
2157

This week on the pod we discuss something we hear about all the time: the alkaline diet and alkaline water. Promised to prevent cancer and other ailments, this diet claims to be able to alter the pH of your body. 
First we set the stage with a primer on what the pH scale is and how it relates to acidity or alkalinity of substances. We discuss the concept of homeostasis in the human body and how our organ and buffer systems ensure the pH of our blood and other compartments are tightly regulated. We continue with a summary on the history of the alkaline diet origins, and wrap up with a review of the health claims affiliated with the alkaline diet, and whether the data supports or refutes those claims.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Jan 18, 2021
Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Work? Not Nece-Celery!
2852

On this episode, we discuss whether or not detox diets or juice cleanses have any evidence behind their claims. 
We start off with a summary of what is considered a detox or cleanse, and compare it with what is actually classified as medical detoxification. We discuss the differences between the appearance of efficacy and actual efficacy of these diets, as well as the marketing tactics of this massive industry and misleading claims made about these products. We discuss some popular "detox" diets such as the master cleanse, and the risks involved with no- or low-calorie diets that lack essential nutrients. We move the conversation to our bodies' incredible organ systems that actually keep us healthy-- specifically our kidneys, liver, and excretory system. We spend some time talking about the very popular celery juice cleanse, its origins, nutritional value, and potential risks. Finally, we try to arm listeners with tools to spot fad and pseudoscience diets and differentiate them from nutritionally and scientifically sound ones. We reiterate that detox diets and juice cleanses should not be taken lightly, and you should always consult with a medical professional before deciding to alter your diet significantly.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Jan 11, 2021
No Need To Be Afraid, Don't Be Petrified, But You Should Know That Organic Foods Still Use Pesticides: Part 2
3429

We are back at it again with part 2, discussing what the term organic means in the context of farming, produce, and consumer products. 
This week, after a recap, we continue our discussion, first focusing on environmental impact, and elaborate on a few fallacies that circulate with regard to organic products. 
Following that, we discuss the implications of hormones and antibiotics in rearing livestock in conventional farming, and debunk a few misconceptions with some data. We then discuss animal welfare on organic farms, a topic of great concern to many. 
Finally, we wrap up with a discussion of “the dirty dozen” a list claiming to be the most pesticide-laden produce products each year, and why the data doesn’t support that claim.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Jan 04, 2021
No Need To Be Afraid, Don't Be Petrified, But You Should Know That Organic Foods Still Use Pesticides
2382

On this week's episode, we take a little break from COVID-19 to talk about organics! 
First, we refresh everyone’s memory from our GMO episodes, to clarify the difference between organic farming (a cultivation method) and GMO technology (a breeding method). We discuss what the organic label actually means and doesn't mean, and debunk the myth that organic products are pesticide-free. We talk about different examples of organic pesticides and how, at certain doses, they can actually be quite toxic (remember, the dose makes the poison)! We also discuss the differences between synthetic and organic pesticides, and some key factors to consider amongst the two. We briefly discuss the higher cost of organic products and whether it's justified. Finally, we spend some time discussing the evidence (or lack thereof) that organic foods have a higher nutritional value than their traditional counterparts, with a promise to continue this discussion on our next episode!

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Dec 28, 2020
Is This The Real Life Or Is This Just Fallacy: Vaccine Myths Part 4
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We are back again with the fourth (and final) episode in our series on debunking vaccine myths. In this week's episode, we focus specifically on the two COVID-19 vaccines (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna). We kick things off with a discussion of the vaccine development timeline and address concerns that the vaccines were rushed; we break down the typical clinical trial timeline and how things are affected by the urgency of a pandemic. Next, we debunk the misconception that RNA vaccines are brand new by describing three decades worth of research that has gotten us to this point. We move on to squash the idea that animal trials were skipped (spoiler alert: they were not)! Next, we talk about why we shouldn't just get one dose of the vaccine. We discuss allergic reactions to the vaccine and that they are extremely rare. We also make a distinction between people with allergies versus those who are immunocompromised/immunosuppressed or have autoimmune disorders. And finally, we conclude by discussing why people who have previously had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine since vaccine-induced immunity may actually be more robust and last longer than natural immunity.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Dec 21, 2020
Is This The Real Life Or Is This Just Fallacy: Vaccine Myths Part 3
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On this week’s episode of the pod, we continue to debunk some of the most common vaccine myths, with an emphasis on adverse events. We talk about the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)-- both its utility and its shortcomings and remind folks that correlation does not equal causation. We also discuss why we have an immune response after a vaccine and briefly recap how vaccines work. We briefly discuss why assessing the risk of adverse events is not enough; we must weigh them against benefits as well as take them in the context of the risk of outcomes being prevented. With the COVID-19 vaccine upon us, we take some time to debunk a few misconceptions specific to this vaccine including that it alters our DNA, that there are severe side effects, and that it may cause infertility (all false claims)!  

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Dec 14, 2020
Is This The Real Life Or Is This Just Fallacy: Vaccine Myths Part 2
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On this week's episode, we emphasize again that vaccine hesitancy is a top 10 threat to global health. We jump in and review the first four myths we debunked last week: that vaccines cause autism, that vaccines actually cause the diseases they aim to prevent, that vaccines contain fetal tissue, and that vaccines contain toxins and harmful substances.

We then move on to discuss and dispel the next four common myths we hear: that vaccines only affect individuals and it should be a personal choice, that natural immunity is better than vaccine-acquired immunity, that hygiene and not vaccines are responsible for reducing disease rates, and that the vaccine schedule overwhelms a child's immune system. We discuss several sets of case study data that demonstrate the concept of herd immunity for population-wide disease protection, instances where hygiene hasn't changed but vaccines led to precipitous declines in disease rates, and a brief primer on immune system development and exposure to antigens during childhood.
 

We have lots more to cover, so there will be a part 3 to follow! 

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Dec 07, 2020
Is This The Real Life Or Is This Just Fallacy: Vaccine Myths Part 1
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On this episode, we start by recapping the impact that vaccines have had on reducing disease burden in the U.S. and the damage that's being done by a recent increase in anti-vaxx sentiments and misinformation. 

We then move on to debunk four of the most common vaccine myths including the oft-cited FALSE link between the MMR vaccine and autism, the false claim that vaccines can cause the diseases they are designed to prevent, that vaccines contain fetal tissue, and that vaccines contain toxins and harmful ingredients. We break down the most discussed ingredients in vaccines (mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum) and explain that they are not toxic nor harmful at the doses in which they're present in vaccines. 

We have so much more to say that there will be a part 2 to this episode, so stay tuned!

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Nov 30, 2020
Don’t Bring COVID Home for the Holidays
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On this week's episode of the pod, we give an update on the state of Covid-19, the latest statistics, and trends. We briefly review transmission routes and high-risk behaviors, as well as the different types of tests currently available. We try to drive home that tests should never be used as immunity passes! We give an update on our most promising vaccine candidates and remind you that though it's looking promising, we still have a long way to go. 

From the Unbiased Scientists to you, we wish you a happy, healthy, and SAFE Thanksgiving at home this year! 

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Nov 23, 2020
Hey! Ho! GMO Myths Have Got To Go!
2904

On this week's episode of the pod, we continue our discussion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We debunk common misconceptions and myths about GMOs, particularly with regard to the food industry. We spend some time discussing the labeling of foods as "non-GMO" and the different genetic modification techniques included under this umbrella term. We address the common misconception (that we "heard from the herd") that GMOs can change one's DNA, cause cancer and infertility, and also present some GMO innovations that can actually increase the health benefits of foods. Perhaps the biggest myth that we debunk is that GMOs are not adequately tested. We spend some time talking about extensive GMO testing and regulation to put that myth to rest! Yes, we discuss the business-side of GMOs with a discussion of Monsanto (now Bayer) and the misconception that GMOs are bad for the environment. On a future episode, we will talk about why comparing organics to GMOs is like comparing apples to oranges since one refers to a cultivation method (organics) and one refers to a breeding method (GMO). 

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Nov 16, 2020
Damn, Those Genes Look Good on You!
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On this week’s episode, we are shifting gears to talk about GMOs. We set the stage by discussing the meaning of the term genetically modified (GM), and some of the different ways organisms are genetically modified, including historical methods such as selective breeding and hybridization. We provide an introduction into genetics and the idea of traits that can be inherited, and how that paved the way for genetic engineering technology over the last several hundred years.

We provide some specific examples of genetically modified organisms and GM products as we explore the history of genetic engineering. We summarize data and the advantages of some key GM products, such as human insulin, Golden Rice, and others. Finally, we wrap up with a bit of the controversy surrounding GMOs, with a more detailed look at that in a future episode.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Nov 09, 2020
You Can't Hurry Drugs, No, You'll Just Have to Wait
3594

On this week's episode, we apply what we discussed about research studies, specifically clinical trials, to COVID-19 research into vaccines and treatments. We quickly review the phases of clinical trials, and provide a brief overview of the number of vaccine trials in each phase currently. We outline in more detail some key phase 3 vaccine trials that are ongoing, including a review of the status of each trial, the participant groups, and the type of vaccine technology being used. We discuss a new vaccine trial in review in the UK, a human challenge trial, and some of the challenges and risks associated with that. 

We then switch gears to a review of clinical trials for treatments for COVID-19, with a focus on (2) main types: those that attempt to address symptoms of disease, and those that attempt to interfere with the virus itself. We discuss a few notable treatments in each category, with a focus on the recently FDA-approved remdesivir as well as others such as dexamethasone. With no curative treatments or vaccines on the horizon soon, we wrap up with an emphasis that the best course of action is still focusing on prevention!

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Nov 02, 2020
You Down with RCTs? (Yeah, You Know Me!)
3084

In this episode we geek out over research study design. We kick-off the episode with a primer on how research studies work and the factors that strengthen and weaken the validity of a study. We set the stage with a discussion of the "counterfactual" which guides the selection of study design. We talk about how research is hypothesis driven and seeks to address specific, measurable, and answerable questions. We discuss the difference between observational and experimental study designs (and give examples of each) and factors that drive selection of research approach. We spend some time discussing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and characteristics that strengthen our ability to draw causal conclusions. We talk about clinical trials (and their many phases), and set the stage for next week's episode which will cover the current status of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Oct 26, 2020
Spilling The Immuni-tea on Supplements
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In this episode, we discuss whether or not it is possible to “boost” our immune system. We start things off with a primer on immune system basics, including the different components of the immune system. We briefly touch on conditions where the immune system is overactive, in the case of allergies and autoimmune disorders.


We then introduce 8 key micronutrients necessary for proper immune function, and review the latest evidence on 3 of these: vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D. Our “Heard from the Herd” segment discusses elderberry as a supplement and the available data on whether or not it has therapeutic qualities. Finally, we conclude with an overarching review of the supplement industry, something we will expand on in future episodes!

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Oct 19, 2020
The Taming of the Flu
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On this week's episode, we talk all about the flu! We start off with the basics of influenza and the different strains and mutations of the virus (and why they necessitate our getting an annual shot). Next, we answer our "Heard from the Herd" question about the need to get a flu shot even if you've never had the flu (lucky you!). We present recent population health estimates of disease burden and mortality and then take a trip down memory lane to discuss pandemics from years past. We also dispel some common misconceptions about vaccine ingredients. Finally, we do a comparison between the seasonal flu and COVID-19.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Oct 12, 2020
No Mask On Your Face, You Big Disgrace, Spreading Your Germs All Over the Place: Part 1
3286

In this two-part episode, we do a deep dive into the evidence-based do’s and don’t’s for being safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 1 focuses on hygiene and infection prevention, and part 2 focuses on behaviors and best practices.


In Part 1, we briefly discuss modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We then focus on mask wearing, describing what mask types are most effective and dispelling common misconceptions. We touch on other mitigation strategies, such as physical distancing and hand hygiene, and wrap up with best practices for getting tested after a possible exposure.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Oct 05, 2020
No Mask On Your Face, You Big Disgrace, Spreading Your Germs All Over the Place: Part 2
3032

In this two-part episode, we do a deep dive into the evidence-based do’s and don’t’s for being safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 1 focuses on hygiene and infection prevention, and part 2 focuses on behaviors and best practices.

In Part 2, we discuss general considerations for making decisions about potentially risky activities. We discuss restaurant dining and other indoor activities, school attendance, and highlight demographic differences in disease transmission between children and adults, with data presented from key case studies. We also touch on travel considerations, presenting case studies about air travel and transmission, and wrap up with a short discussion on patient infectivity and factors to consider when emerging from quarantine.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Oct 05, 2020
Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots...How Vaccines Work to Protect Us From Infectious Diseases
2407

In this episode, we take a break from COVID-19 to discuss vaccines: specifically, what they are, how they work, and how they provide immunity to disease. We describe the different types of vaccines and some examples of the diseases they provide protection for.


We comment on some population health case studies on vaccine trends and local outbreaks and wrap up with a primer on why it is important to get vaccinated. This episode will set the stage for future episodes taking deeper dives into vaccines: manufacturing and technology, misconceptions, and clinical trials.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.

Sep 28, 2020
Is There Antibody Out There? The Path to an Effective COVID-19 Vaccine
2600

Welcome to the Unbiased Science Podcast! Join Dr. Jessica Steier, a public health expert, and Dr. Andrea Love, an immunology expert, as they dive into the science behind pertinent health-related topics. Former college classmates, these two esteemed scientists join forces as a dynamic duo bringing you trustworthy and reliable information, while simultaneously dispelling many common misconceptions.

In our inaugural episode, we concentrate on the current COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we discuss the immunology behind COVID-19 infection, and address recent reports suggesting antibody levels in recovered patients decline quickly. We focus on how the adaptive immune system - antibodies, B cells, and T cells - work together to establish long-term immunity to infection and the role that will play in development of an effective vaccine. We also touch briefly on the concept of herd immunity, and why vaccination is so important.

PLEASE NOTE: The discussion and information provided in this podcast are for general educational, scientific, and informational purposes only and are not intended as, and should not be treated as, medical or other professional advice for any particular individual or individuals.  Every person and medical issue is different, and diagnosis and treatment requires consideration of specific facts often unique to the individual.  As such, the information contained in this podcast should not be used as a substitute for consultation with and/or treatment by a doctor or other medical professional.  If you are experiencing any medical issue or have any medical concern, you should consult with a doctor or other medical professional. 

Further, due to the inherent limitations of a podcast such as this as well as ongoing scientific developments, we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information or analysis provided in this podcast, although, of course we always endeavor to provide comprehensive information and analysis. In no event may Unbiased Science or any of the participants in this podcast be held liable to the listener or anyone else for any decision allegedly made or action allegedly taken or not taken allegedly in reliance on the discussion or information in this podcast or for any damages allegedly resulting from such reliance.



Sep 21, 2020
Welcome to the Unbiased Science Podcast!
225

In this short teaser, co-hosts Dr. Jess Steier and Dr. Andrea Love provide a brief glimpse of what you can expect from the Unbiased Science podcast. 

Sep 11, 2020