Making Sense of Science

By Matt Fuchs

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Description

Making Sense of Science features interviews with leading medical and scientific experts about the latest developments in health innovation and the big ethical and social questions they raise. The podcast is hosted by journalist Matt Fuchs, editor of the award-winning science outlet Leaps.org.

Episode Date
The Friday Five: A Surprising Health Benefit for People Who Have Kids
543

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- Kids stressing you out? They could be protecting your health.
- A new device unlocks the heart's secrets
- Super-ager gene transplants
- Surgeons could 3D print your organs before operations
- A skull cap looks into the brain like an fMRI

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jan 27, 2023
The Friday Five: You've Never Heard of the Best Sport for Mental Health
539

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- Reprogram cells to a younger state
- Pick up this sport for brain health
- Do all mental illnesses have the same underlying cause?
- New test could diagnose autism in newborns
- Scientists 3D print an ear and attach it to woman

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jan 20, 2023
The World's Longest Running Study on Happiness, with Dr. Bob Waldinger
3419

What makes for a good life? Such a simple question, yet we don't have great answers. Most of us try to figure it out as we go along, and many end up feeling like they never got to the bottom of it.

Shouldn't something so important be approached with more scientific rigor? In 1938, Harvard researchers began a study to fill this gap. Since then, they’ve followed hundreds of people over the course of their lives, hoping to identify which factors are key to long-term satisfaction.

Eighty-five years later, the Harvard Study of Adult Development is still going. And today, its directors, the psychiatrists Bob Waldinger and Marc Shulz, have published a book that pulls together the study’s most important findings. It’s called The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness.

In this podcast episode, I talked with Dr. Waldinger about life lessons that we can mine from the Harvard study and his new book.

Dr. Waldinger is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, in addition to being Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development. He got his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and has published numerous scientific papers he’s a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, he teaches Harvard medical students, and since that is clearly not enough to keep him busy, he’s also a Zen priest.

His book is a must-read if you’re looking for scientific evidence on how to design your life for more satisfaction so someday in the future you can look back on it without regret, and this episode was an amazing conversation in which Dr. Waldinger breaks down many of the cliches about the good life… making his advice real and tangible. We also get into what he calls “side-by-side” relationships, personality traits for the good life, and the downsides of being too strict about work-life balance.

Show links

- Bob Waldinger
- Waldinger's book, The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness
- The Harvard Study of Adult Development
- Waldinger's Ted Talk
- Gallup report finding that people with good friends at work have higher engagement with their jobs
- The link between relationships and well-being
- Those with social connections live longer

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jan 10, 2023
The Friday Five: A New Blood Test to Detect Alzheimer's
578

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- A blood test to detect Alzheimer's
- Vets take their psychologist anywhere
- Can intermittent fasting affect circadian rhythms?
- A new year's resolution for living longer
- 3-D printed eyes?

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jan 06, 2023
Repairing Cells and Longevity Myths with Dr. Charles Brenner
3874

Meet Charles Brenner, the Longevity Skeptic. Brenner, a leading biochemist at City of Hope National Medical Center in L.A., has been attending the largest longevity conferences with one main purpose: to point out that some of the other speakers are full of it.

Brenner is "throwing cold water" on several scientists in the field of aging, accusing them of hyping various fountains of youth, despite limited evidence for these therapies.

In this podcast episode, Brenner sat down with Leaps.org to discuss his groundbreaking work on metabolism and his efforts to counter what he considers to be bad science.

In addition to bringing his candor to conferences, Brenner is applying it in academic journals, publishing a paper in September, "A Science-Based Review of the World's Best-Selling Book on Aging," in which he pans the author of this bestseller, David Sinclair, a Harvard biologist, for talking up the potential for humans to live far past 100. These aspirations may sound nice, but they're not backed by science, Brenner says. He's had high-profile debates online with Sinclair and Aubrey de Grey, a prominent biomedical gerontologist.

Meanwhile, in his own lab work, Brenner is credited with identifying a vitamin precursor called NR that seems to enable repair of cellular damage that happens as we get older - a major discovery that he's helped turn into a supplement, commercialized with a company called ChromaDex.

Whether it's possible to extend human lifespan is a pressing question as investments in longevity startups are projected to increase from $40 billion to $600 billion over the next three years. 

Brenner is an intriguing figure in these debates. Although he’s been introduced in public appearances as a longevity skeptic, he calls himself an optimist.

Links:
Charles Brenner, City of Hope

Charles Brenner Lab

Charles Brenner on Twitter

Charles Brenner's debate with Aubrey de Grey

Brenner's paper, "A Science-Based Review of the World's Best-Selling Book on Aging"


Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Dec 22, 2022
The Friday Five: An mRNA Vaccine Works Against Cancer
520

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- An mRNA vaccine that works against cancer
- These cameras inside the body have an unusual source of power
- A new theory for what causes aging
- Can bacteria make you excited to work out?
- Why women get Alzheimer's more often than men

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Dec 16, 2022
The Friday Five: Sugar Could Help Catch Cancer Early
491

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- Catching cancer early could depend on sugar   
- How to boost memory in a flash
- This is your brain on books
- A tiny sandwich cake could help the heart
- Meet the top banana in the fight vs. Covid variants

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Dec 09, 2022
The Friday Five: Soon Band-Aids Could Be AIs
514

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- Research on a "smart" bandage for wounds   
- A breakthrough in fighting inflammation
- The pros and cons of a new drug for Alzheimer's
- Benefits of the Mediterranean diet - with a twist
- How to recycle a plastic that was un-recyclable

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Dec 02, 2022
The Friday Five: The Plain Solution to Holiday Stress?
553

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- How to improve your working memory   
- The plain old solution to stress?
- Progress on a deadly cancer for first time since 1995*
- Rise of the robot surgeon
- Tomato brain power

And in an honorable mention this week, new research on the gut connection to better brain health after strokes.

* The methodology for this study has come under scrutiny here.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Nov 25, 2022
The Friday Five: How to Exercise for Cancer Prevention
450

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- How to exercise for cancer prevention
- A device that brings relief to back pain
- Ingredients for reducing Alzheimer's risk
- Is the world's oldest disease the fountain of youth?
- Scared of crossing bridges? Your phone can help

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Nov 18, 2022
The Friday Five: Electric Shocks Help People Walk Again
434

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- Kids treated for diseases before they're born
- How to lift weights in half the time
- Electric shocks help people regain the ability to walk
- Meditation just as good as medication?
- These foods could pump up your motivation

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Nov 11, 2022
Friday Five: Boots for Running Faster with Less Effort
535

The Friday Five covers important stories in health and science research that you may have missed - usually over the previous week but, today, we're doing a lookback on breakthrough research over the month of October. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

This Friday Five episode covers the following studies published and announced over the past month:

- New boots could have you moving like Iron Man
- The problem with bedtime munching
- The perfect recipe for tiny brains
- The best sports for kids to avoid lifelong health risks
- Can virtual reality reduce pain?

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Nov 04, 2022
The Friday Five: Lab Made Blood Vessels
502

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- The right facial expression for your mental health
- Can virtual reality reduce pain?
- Lab made blood vessels
- Gene editing muscles to lower blood sugar
- A magic ingredient coming from exhaust vents

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Oct 28, 2022
The Friday Five: How to Make Cities of the Future Less Noisy
620

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- A diabetes drug finds a new purpose
- No pain - or mucus - no gain
- How to make cities of the future less noisy
- A new reason for mysterious stillbirths
- Making old mice younger with EVs

And an honorable mention this week: How treatments for depression can change the structure of the brain

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Oct 21, 2022
The Friday Five: How Young Athletes Can Avoid Lifelong Joint Problems
620

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- A new target for drugs to treat dementia
- Using math to stay a step ahead of aneurysms
- Putting human cells into rat brains
- Hunting a deadly superbug
- The best sports for kids to avoid lifelong health risks

And an honorable mention this week: The benefits of intermittent fasting when it comes to sleeping better

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Oct 14, 2022
Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Boost Health? An Interview with Shai Efrati
3917

On today’s podcast episode, I had a chance to speak with Shai Efrati, a physician and professor in the schools of medicine and neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. Efrati also directs the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, and our conversation in this episode focuses on the potential health benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Efrati's studies point to a connection between the use of hyperbaric chambers and improvements for a range of health problems such as Long Covid, strokes and traumatic brain injuries. Plus, Efrati has an early line of research suggesting that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could help protect against cognitive decline in healthy people and perhaps even slow down the overall aging process.

We talk about what’s going in on the body during hyperbaric oxygen therapy that could possibly lead to transformative benefits for patients, some of whom had searched for treatments previously and come up empty. We also discuss exactly where Efrati is with this line of inquiry, both what his studies have shown and the great deal of additional research that’s needed before the healthcare system can and should fully embrace hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Efrati and I talk about why you can’t just go on Amazon and buy something that says hyperbaric – the only way it can have a positive effect is if you access the real version of the chamber and use it correctly under the supervision of a knowledgeable physician.

I also ask Efrati what we know about the short- and long-term risks for those who follow the research-based protocol on a regular basis. And what about accessibility to people without a lot of extra cash to spend on their health? Efrati is already rolling out this therapy at a small number of specialized clinics in places like the Villages retirement community in Florida.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Oct 13, 2022
The Friday Five: Armoring our Livers Against Cancer
590

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- The problem with bedtime munching
- Scientists use AI to predict how stays in hospitals will go
- How to armor the shields of our livers against cancer
- One big step to save the world: turn one kind of plastic into another
- The perfect recipe for tiny brains

And an honorable mention this week: Bigger is better when it comes to super neurons in super agers 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Oct 07, 2022
Friday Five Lookback on Health Research in September
510

The Friday Five covers important stories in health and science research that you may have missed - usually over the previous week but, today, we're doing a lookback on breakthrough research over the month of September. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

This Friday Five episode covers the following studies published and announced over the past month:

- A new drug is shown to slow the rate of Alzheimer's disease
- The need for speed if you want to reduce your risk of dementia
- How to refreeze the north and south poles
- Ancient wisdom about Neti pots could pay off for Covid
- Two women, one man and a baby

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Sep 29, 2022
The Friday Five: A Mask that Could Detect Covid
596

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- A new mask can detect Covid and send an alert to your phone
- More promising research for a breakthrough drug to treat schizophrenia
- AI tool can create new proteins
- Connections between an unhealthy gut and breast cancer
- Progress on the longevity drug, rapamycin

And an honorable mention this week: Certain exercises may benefit some types of memory more than others

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Sep 23, 2022
The Friday Five: A Pill to Prevent Lung Cancer?
500

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- A pill to prevent lung cancer?
- Ancient wisdom about Neti pots could pay off for Covid
- Breakthrough for precision medicine and obesity
- How to refreeze the north and south poles
- The connection between taking multivitamin pills and brain health

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Sep 16, 2022
The Friday Five: The Need for (Walking) Speed to Reduce Dementia Risk
524

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- The new stars of brain cancer research
- Scans inside the body can predict how patients will do after surgery
- Improving cognition in people with Down's Syndrome
- The need for speed if you want to reduce your risk of dementia
- Two women, one man and a baby

An honorable mention for this week's Friday Five: a breakthrough in understanding the Greek goddess of motherhood

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Sep 09, 2022
The Friday Five: The Best Plants to Suck Toxins from the Air
542

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- A new "polypill" regimen for prevent second heart attacks
- The best kind of plant for sucking toxins out of the air
- Diamonds, explosions and invisible medicine
- How to brew up a cancer drug in the lab
- AI knows if you have Parkinson's before doctors do

The honorable mention for this week's Friday Five: blue light could be having a much bigger effect than we thought.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Sep 02, 2022
The Inner Lives of Human Breasts with Camila dos Santos
2229

My guest today for the Making Sense of Science podcast is Camila dos Santos, associate professor at Cold Spring Harbor Lab, who is a leading researcher of the inner lives of human mammary glands, more commonly known as breasts. These organs are unlike any other because throughout life they undergo numerous changes, first in puberty, then during pregnancies and lactation periods, and finally at the end of the cycle, when babies are weaned. A complex interplay of hormones governs these processes, in some cases increasing the risk of breast cancer and sometimes lowering it. Witnessing the molecular mechanics behind these processes in humans is not possible, so instead Dos Santos studies organoids—the clumps of breast cells donated by patients who undergo breast reduction surgeries or biopsies.

​Show notes:

2:52 In response to hormones that arise during puberty, the breast cells grow and become more specialized, preparing the tissue for making milk.

7:53 How do breast cells know when to produce milk? It’s all governed by chemical messaging in the body. When the baby is born, the brain will release the hormone called oxytocin, which will make the breast cells contract and release the milk.

12:40 Breast resident immune cells are including T-cells and B-cells, but because they live inside the breast tissue their functions differ from the immune cells in other parts of the body,

17:00 With organoids—dimensional clumps of cells that are cultured in a dish—it is possible to visualize and study how these cells produce milk.

21:50 Women who are pregnant later in life are more likely to require medical intervention to breastfeed. Scientists are trying to understand the fundamental reasons why it happens.

26:10 Breast cancer has many risks factors. Generic mutations play a big role. All of us have the BRCA genes, but it is the alternation in the DNA sequence of the BRCA gene that can increase the predisposition to breast cancer. Aging and menopause are the risk factors for breast cancer, and so are pregnancies.

29:22 Women that are pregnant before the age of 20 to 25, have a decreased risk of breast cancer. And the hypothesis here is that during pregnancy breast cells more specialized, as specialized cells, they have a limited lifespan. It's more likely that they die before they turn into cancer.

33:08 Organoids are giving scientists an opportunity to practice personalized medicine. Scientists can test drugs on organoids taken from a patient to identify the most efficient treatment protocol. 

​Links:

Camila dos Santos’s Lab Page.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Aug 29, 2022
The Friday Five: How to Get the Benefits of Near-Death Experiences
489

The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- Not a fan of breathing in micro plastics? New robot noses could help
- You don't need a near-death experience to get the benefits
- How to tell the difference between good and bad inflammation
- Brain shocks for better memory - don't try this at home (yet)!
- A new way to know if your bum back is getting better

The honorable mention for this week's Friday Five: One activity can increase your longevity even without good genes for living longer.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Aug 26, 2022
The Friday Five: A Saliva Test for PTSD
458

The Friday Five covers five stories in health research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Here are the promising studies covered in this week's Friday Five:

- Using graphene to repair shoulders
- Testing for PTSD with saliva
- Cancer detection with a microchip
- Best posture for pill taking
- Resilient food for climate change

And an honorable mention goes to research on a new way to induce healthy fat.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Aug 19, 2022
The Science of Recharging Your Energy with Sara Mednick
3222

If you’re like me, you may have a case of email apnea, where you stop taking restful breaths when you open a work email. Or maybe you’re in the habit of shining blue light into your eyes long after sunset through your phone. Many of us are doing all kinds of things throughout the day that put us in a constant state of fight or flight arousal, with long-term impacts on health, productivity and happiness.

My guest for today’s episode is Sara Mednick, author of The Power of the Downstate, a book about the art and science of rest and relaxation – why it’s so important, the best ways to go about getting more of it, and the time of day when our bodies are biologically suited to get the most benefits from it. As a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine, Mednick has a great scientific background on this topic. Read her bio here.

Show notes

3:10 – The definition of “upstates” and “downstates”                              

5:50 – The power of 6 slow, deep breaths per minute to balance the nervous system

9:05 – Watching out for mouth breathing and email apnea

13:30 – Different ways of breathing for different goals

16:35 – Body rhythms – what is heart rate variability and why is it so important?

21:05 – Are you naturally a morning or night person? Nature vs nurture  

27:10 – The perfect storm that gets in the way of following our circadian rhythms

29:15 – The evolution of our pre-bedtime downstates – why it's important to check in with your cave mates 

30:10 – The culture shift needed for more people to follow their circadian rhythms and improve their health

35:10 – Employers and communities can build downstates into daily work and life

38:15 – Choosing how we react to the world 

41:00 – Being smarter about peak performance 

45:09 – The science of pacing yourself for long-term productivity

49:42 – The science of light exposure for circadian rhythms 

52:20 – Where to learn more about Sara Mednick’s research and writing

Links:

Sara Mednick’s website https://www.saramednick.com/  and her Twitter
Mednick’s recent book - The Power of the Downstate
Mednick’s book on the benefits of napping - Take a Nap! Change Your Life
The blue light blocking glasses recommended in Mednick’s book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019C3O2UE?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
An app for measuring heart rate variability - Elite HRV app  https://elitehrv.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Aug 17, 2022
The Friday Five: Sex Differences in Cancer
439

The Friday Five covers five stories in health research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Covered in this week's Friday Five:
- Sex differences in cancer
- Promising research on a vaccine for Lyme disease
- Using a super material for brain-like devices
- Measuring your immunity to Covid
- Reducing risk of dementia with leisure activities

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Aug 12, 2022
The Friday Five: Reviving the Organs of Dead Pigs
446

The Friday Five covers five stories in health research over the previous week that you may have missed. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

Covered in this week's Friday Five:
- A new blood test for cancer
- Patch of bacteria uses your sweat to power electronic devices
- Researchers revive organs of dead pigs
- Phone apps detect cancer-causing chemicals in foods
- Stem cells generate "synthetic placentas" in mice

Plus, an honorable mention for early research involving vitamin K and Alzheimer's

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Aug 05, 2022
The Friday Five: Stickers that See Inside Your Body
360

The Friday Five is a new series in which Leaps.org covers five breakthroughs in research over the previous week that you may have missed. There are plenty of controversies and ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but there’s also plenty to be excited about, and this news roundup is focused on inspiring scientific work to give you some momentum headed into the weekend.

Covered in this week's Friday Five:
- Puffer fish chemical for treating chronic pain
- Sleep study on the health benefits of waking up multiples times per night
- Best exercise routines for reducing the risk of mortality
- AI breakthrough in mapping protein structures with DeepMind
- Ultrasound stickers to see inside your body 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jul 29, 2022
Wellness Chatbots and Meditation Pods with Deepak Chopra
3091

Over the last few decades, perhaps no one has impacted healthy lifestyles more than Deepak Chopra. While some of his recommendations are criticized, Chopra has helped bring meditation, yoga and other practices for well-being into the mainstream, in ways that benefit the health of vast numbers of people every day.

His work has led many people, including some scientists and doctors, to accept new ways of thinking about alternative medicine, the power of mind over body, and the malleability of the aging process. 

It's been said that Chopra’s impact is such that our culture no longer recognizes him as a human being but as a pervasive symbol of new-agey personal health and spiritual growth. Last week, I had a chance to confirm that Chopra is, in fact, a human being – and deserving of his icon status – when I talked with him for the podcast. Showing no signs of slowing down at age 76, he described his prolific work, including two popular books in the past year and a range of technologies he’s developing, including his meditation app, meditation pods for the workplace, and a chatbot for mental health called Piwi.

Take a listen and get inspired to do some meditation and deep thinking on the future of health. As Chopra told me, “If you don’t have time to meditate once per day, you probably need to meditate twice per day.”

Highlights:

2:10: 
Chopra talks about meditation broadly and meditation pods, including the ones made by OpenSeed for meditation in the workplace.
6:10: The drawbacks of quick fixes like drugs for mental health.
10:30: The benefits of group meditation versus individual meditation.
14:35: What is a "metahuman" and how to become one.
19:40: The difference between the conditioned mind and the mind that's infinitely creative.
22:48: How Chopra's views of free will differ from the views of many neuroscientists.
28:04: Thinking Fast and Slow, and the role of intuition.
31:20: Athletic and creative geniuses.
32:43: The nature of fundamental truth.
34:00: Meditation for kids.
37:12: Never alone.Love and how AI chatbots can support mental health.
42:30: Extending lifespan, gene editing and lifestyle.
46:05:
Chopra's mentor in living a long good life (and my mentor).
47:45: 
The power of yoga.

Links:

- OpenSeed meditation pods for people to meditate at work (Chopra is an advisor to OpenSeed).
- Chopra's book from 2021, Metahuman: Unleash Your Infinite Potential
- Chopra's book from 2022, Abundance: The Inner Path to Wealth
- NeverAlone.Love, Chopra's collaboration of businesses, policy makers, mental health professionals and others to raise awareness about mental health, advance scientific research and "create a global technology platform to democratize access to resources."
- The

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jul 23, 2022
Bat Superpowers and Preventing Pandemics with Raina Plowright
3152

For this podcast episode, my guest is Raina Plowright, one of the world’s leading researchers when it comes to how and why viruses sometimes jump from bats to humans. The intuition may be that bats are the bad guys in this situation, but the real culprits are more likely humans and their intrusive actions. 

Plowright is a Cornell Atkinson Scholar and professor at Cornell in the Department of Public and Ecosystem Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Read her full bio here. For a shorter (and lightly edited) version of this conversation, you can check out my Q&A interview with Plowright in the single-issue magazine, ​One Health / One Planet​, published earlier this month by Leaps.org in collaboration with the Aspen Institute and the Science Philanthropy Alliance.

In the episode, Plowright tells me about her global research team that is busy studying the complex chain of events in between viruses originating in bats and humans getting infected with those viruses. She’s collecting samples from bats in Asia, Africa and Australia – which sounds challenging enough but now consider that the diligence required to parse out 1400 different bat species. 

We also discuss a high-profile paper that she co-authored last month arguing for greater investment in preventing pandemics in the first place instead of the current approach: putting all our eggs in the basket of trying to respond to them after the fact. Treating pandemic prevention as a a priority is a small price to pay compared with millions of people killed and trillions of dollars spent during the response to COVID-19.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jun 19, 2022
How to Live With and Love Bugs with Jessica Ware
2411

Jessica Ware is obsessed with bugs. My guest today is a leading researcher on insects, the president of the Entomological Society of America and a curator at the American Museum of Natural History. Learn more about her here.

You may not think that insects and human health go hand-in-hand, but as Jessica makes clear, they’re closely related. A lot of people care about their health, and the health of other creatures on the planet, and the health of the planet itself, but researchers like Jessica are studying another thing we should be focusing on even more: how these seemingly separate areas are deeply entwined.  (This is the theme of an upcoming event hosted by Leaps.org and the Aspen Institute.)

Maybe it feels like a core human instinct to demonize bugs as gross. We seem to try to eradicate them in every way possible, whether that’s with poison, or getting out our blood thirst by stomping them whenever they creep and crawl into sight. But where did our fear of bugs really come from? Jessica makes a compelling case that a lot of it is cultural, rather than in-born, and we should be following the lead of other cultures that have learned to live with and appreciate bugs.

Jessica and I talk about whether learning to live with insects should include eating them and gene editing them so they don’t transmit viruses. She also tells me about her important research into using genomic tools to track bugs in the wild to figure out why and how we’ve lost 50 percent of the insect population since 1970 according to some estimates – bad news because the ecosystems that make up the planet heavily depend on insects. Jessica is leading the way to better understand what’s causing these declines in order to start reversing these trends to save the insects and to save ourselves.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

May 24, 2022
Living to Age 150 with Steven Austad
3123

Steven Austad is a pioneer in the field of aging, with over 200 scientific papers and book chapters on pretty much every aspect of biological aging that you could think of. He’s a strong believer in the potential for anti-aging therapies, and he puts his money where his mouth is. In 2001, Steve bet a billion dollars that the first person to reach 150-years-old had already been born.

I had a chance to talk with Steven for today’s podcast and asked if he still thinks the bet was a good idea. Steven is the Protective Life Endowed Chair in Health Aging Research, a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama Birmingham. He's also Senior Scientific Director of the American Federation for Aging Research, which is managing a groundbreaking longevity research trial that started this year. Steven is also a great science communicator with five books, including one that comes out later this year, Methusalah’s Zoo, and he publishes prolifically in national media outlets.

See the rest of his bio, linked below in the show notes.

Show notes:

​2:36 - Why a particular opossum convinced Steven to dedicate himself to studying longevity.

​6:48 - His billion dollar bet that someone alive today will make it to 150-years-old.

​10:38 - ​I ask Steven about Elon Musk’s comments this month that if people lived a really long time, “we’d be stuck with old ideas and society wouldn’t advance.” Steve isn’t so fond of that take.

​13:34 - Why women are winning maybe the most important battle of sexes: living longer than men.

18:20 ​- Why women actually have more morbidity earlier on than men even though they live longer.

​23:10 - How the pandemic could affect sex differences in longevity.

​24:55 - How often we should work out to maximize our longevity and health span.

​29:09 - The latest update on the TAME trial, plus how Steven and other longevity experts designed this groundbreaking research in a castle in the Spanish countryside.

​32:10 - ​Which therapies are the most promising at this point.

​39:32 - ​The drug cocktail approach to address multiple hallmarks of aging.

​41:00 ​- ​How to read health news like a scientist.

​45:38 - ​Should we try a Manhattan project for aging?

​48:47 - Can Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison help us live to 150?

Steven explains why we should want to live a long time, assuming that involves a longer health span, and why it would be good for society.

Show links:

Steven Austad's bio - https://www.uab.edu/icar/about/icar-leadership/steven-austad#:~:text=Bio%20Information%3A&text=Austad%20is%20a%20Distinguished%20Professor,American%20Federation%20for%20Aging%20Research

Pre-order Steven's new book, ​Methuselah's Zoo - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M2QGRJR/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Steven's journal article on Sex Differences in Lifespan - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27304504/

Elon Musk's comments on super longevity "asphyxiating" society - https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/11/elon-musk-on-avoid...

Steven's article on how to read news articles about health like a pr

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Apr 26, 2022
The Future of Brain Health with Percy Griffin of the Alzheimer's Association
3047

Today's guest is Percy Griffin, director of scientific engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit that’s focused on speeding up research, detecting Alzheimer’s earlier and other risk reduction measures. Percy has a doctorate in molecular cell biology from Washington University. He’s led important research on Alzheimer’s, and he's a gifted science communicator. His bio is linked in the show notes, below.

The topic of our conversation is the present and future of the fight against dementia. Billions of dollars have been spent by the National Institutes of Health and biotechs to research new treatments for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, but so far there's little to show for it. Last year, Aduhelm became the first drug to be approved by the FDA for Alzheimer’s in 20 years, but there have been red flags about its effectiveness, side effects and cost.

Meanwhile, 6.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's.

Show notes:

4:40 - What led Percy to concentrate on working in this important area.

6:20 - Defining Alzheimer's, dementia, and the key elements of communicating science.

10:20 - Why the Alzheimer’s Association has supported Aduhelm.

17:58 - Reason to be excited about therapeutics under development and how they could be tailored to a person's unique biology.

24:25 - Tradeoffs between investing more money into Alzheimer’s research compared to other intractable diseases like cancer, and new opportunities to accelerate progress, such as President Biden's ARPA-H proposal.

27:24 - The social determinants of health. The pros/cons of continuing to spend billions to develop new drugs versus expanding policies for better education, nutritious food and safe drinking water that have enabled some groups more than others to enjoy improved cognition late in life.

34:18 - Percy's top lifestyle recommendations for protecting your mind.

37:33 - Is napping bad for the brain?

39:39 - Circadian rhythm and Alzheimer's.

42:34 - Tests to check brain health today, and which biomarkers we're making progress on.

47:25 - Important programs run by the Alzheimer’s Association to support advances.

Check out this conversation if you’re concerned about your brain health, that of family members getting older, or if you’re just concerned about the future of the country with experts predicting the number people over 65 will increase dramatically in the very near future.

**After this episode was recorded, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services affirmed its decision to limit coverage of Aduhelm.

Show links

- Percy Griffin's bio

- The Alzheimer's Association's Part the Cloud program

- The paradox of dementia rates decreasing

- The argument for focusing more resources on improving institutions and social processes for brain health

- Recent research on napping

- The Alzheimer's Association

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Apr 08, 2022
Podcast: Tech for Mental Wellness with Nanea Reeves, CEO of TRIPP
4422

My guest today is Nanea Reeves, the CEO of TRIPP, a wellness platform with some big differences from meditation apps you may have tried like Calm and Headspace. TRIPP's experiences happen in virtual reality, and its realms are designed based on scientific findings related to the goals of ‘hacking mindfulness' and inspiring feelings of awe and wonder. 

Nanea brings over 15 years of leadership in digital distribution, apps and video game technologies. Before co-founding TRIPP, she had several leadership roles in tech with successful companies like textPlus and Machinima. Read her full bio below in the links section.

Show notes:

Nanea and I discuss her close family members' substance addictions and her own struggle with mental illness as a teen, which led to her first meditation experiences, and much more: 

- The common perception that technology is an obstacle for achieving mental well-being, a narrative that overlooks how tech can also increase wellness when it’s designed right. 

- Emerging ways of measuring meditation experiences by recording brain waves - and the shortcomings of the ‘measured self’ movement. 

- Why TRIPP’s users multiplied during the stress and anxiety of the pandemic, and how TRIPP can can be used to improve emotional states. 

- Ways in which TRIPP’s visuals and targeted sound frequencies have been informed by innovative research from psychologists like Johns Hopkins’ Matthew Johnson.

- Ways to design apps and other technologies to more directly fulfill the true purpose of mindfulness meditation. (Hint: it's not simply relaxation.) 

- And of course, because the topic is mental wellness and tech, I had to get Nanea's thoughts on Elon Musk, Neuralink and brain machine interfaces.

This conversation coincided with National Brain Awareness Week. The topic is a little different from the Making Sense of Science podcast’s usual focus on breakthroughs in treating and preventing disease, but there’s a big overlap when it comes to breakthroughs in optimal health. Nanea’s work is at the leading edge of health, technology and the science of wellness. 

With TRIPP, you might find yourself deep underwater, looking up at the sunlight shimmering on the ocean surface, or in the cosmos staring down at a planet glowing with an arresting diversity of colors. Using TRIPP in virtual reality for the past six months has been a window for me into the future of mental well-being and an overall fascinating experience, as was my conversation with Nanea. 

Some links to check out and learn more about TRIPP:

- TRIPP website: https://www.tripp.com/about/

- Nanea Reeves bio: https://www.tripp.com/team/nanea-reeves/

- Study of data collected by UK's Office for National Statistics  on behavior during the pandemic, which suggests that TRIPP enhanced users' psychological and emotional mindsets: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-86993-9_18 

- Research that's informed development of TRIPP: https://www.tripp.com/research/

- Washington Post Top Pick at CES: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/01/08/self-rolling-suitcases-roll-up-tvs-ces-s-craziest-coolest-gadgets/

- TRIPP's new offering, PsyAssist, to provide support for ketamine-assisted therapy: https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/tripp-acquires-psyassist-move-psychedelic-assisted-therapy

- Randomized pilot trial involving TRIPP: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/11/4/e044193.full.pdf


--

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Mar 26, 2022
Trusting Science with Dr. Sudip Parikh, CEO of AAAS
2321

As Pew research showed last month, many Americans have less confidence in science these days - our collective trust has declined to levels below when the pandemic began. But leaders like Dr. Sudip Parikh are taking important steps to more fully engage people in scientific progress, including breakthroughs that could benefit health and prevent disease. In January 2020, Sudip became the 19th Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an international nonprofit that seeks to advance science, engineering and innovation throughout the world, with 120,000 members in 91 countries. He is the executive publisher of Science, one of the top academic journals in the world, and the Science family of journals.

In this episode, Sudip and I talk about:

- Reasons to be excited about health innovations that could come to fruition in the next several years.

- Sudip's thoughts about areas of health innovation where we should be especially cautious.

- Strategies for scientists and journalists to instill greater trust in science.

- How to tap into and nurture kids' passion for STEM subjects.

- The best roles for experts to play in society and the challenges they face.

And we pack several other fascinating topics into our 35 minutes. Here are links to check out and learn more about Sudip Parikh and AAAS:

- Sudip Parikh's official bio - https://www.aaas.org/person/sudip-parikh

- Sudip Parikh, Why We Must Rebuild Trust in Science, Trend Magazine, Feb. 9, 2021 - https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/trend/archive/winter-...

- Follow Sudip on Twitter - https://twitter.com/sudipsparikh

- AAAS website - https://www.aaas.org/

- AAAS podcast - https://www.science.org/podcasts

- The latest issue of Science - https://www.science.org/

- Science Journals homepage - https://www.science.org/journals

- AAAS Mentor Resources - https://www.aaas.org/stemmentoring

- AAAS Science Journalism Awards - https://sjawards.aaas.org/enter

- Pew Research Center Report, Americans' Trust in Scientists, Other Groups Declines, Feb. 15, 2022 https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2022/02/15/ame...



Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Mar 12, 2022
The Latest Research on a Nasal Spray COVID Booster Shot, With Dr. Akiko Iwasaki
1402

Real-world data shows that protection against Covid-19 infection wanes a few months after two or three shots of mRNA vaccines (while protection against severe disease remains high). But what if there was another kind of booster that could shore up the immune response in your nose, the "door" to your body? Like bouncers at a club, a better prepared nasal defense system could stop the virus in its tracks -- mitigating illnesses as well as community spread. Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale, is working on such a booster, with fantastic results recently reported in mice. In this episode, she shares the details of this important work. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Feb 26, 2022
Should Scientific Controversies Be Silenced, with Dr. Amesh Adalja
2705

The recent Joe Rogan/Spotify backlash over the misinformation presented in his recent episode on the Covid-19 vaccines raises some difficult and important bioethical questions for society: How can people know which experts to trust? What should big tech gatekeepers do about false claims promoted on their platforms? How should the scientific establishment respond to heterodox viewpoints from experts who disagree with the consensus? When is silencing of dissent merited, and when is it problematic? Journalist Kira Peikoff asks infectious disease physician and pandemic scholar Dr. Amesh Adalja to weigh in. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Feb 08, 2022
Solving Food Allergies with Biotech Company Ukko
2177

Israeli/U.S.-based biotech company Ukko is taking a revolutionary approach to the distressing problem of food allergies and gluten sensitivities: their scientists are designing and engineering proteins that keep the good biophysical properties of the original proteins, while removing the  immune-triggering parts that can cause life-threatening allergies. The end goal is proteins that are safe for everyone. Ukko is focusing first on developing a new safe gluten protein for use in baking and a new peanut protein for use as a therapeutic. Their unique platform could theoretically be used for any protein-based allergy, including cats and bees. Hear more in this episode, featuring Ukko CEO Anat Binur. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jan 25, 2022
All about Paxlovid, the new anti-Covid pill, with Pfizer's Head of Medicine Design
1320

Pfizer's SVP and Head of Medicine Design, Charlotte Allerton, joins this episode of "Making Sense of Science" to share timely insights on this important breakthrough, including how the pill works,  the impressive results of the recent studies,  its encouraging profile against Omicron, and why it could alter the trajectory of the pandemic in 2022.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Dec 22, 2021
Kids' Covid Vaccine and Decision-Making with Emily Oster
2108

Brown economist and bestselling author Dr. Emily Oster breaks down her decision-making process about why she vaccinated her kids against Covid, and the helpful frameworks other parents can use to think through the decision for their own kids. She also discusses her expectations for school policies regarding vaccines and masks in 2022. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Nov 10, 2021
George Church Talks Woolly Mammoths, Organ Transplants, and Gene Editing
2360

Notable genetics pioneer Dr. George Church comes on the podcast for a wide-ranging discussion about his newly funded woolly mammoth project, his quest to genetically engineer pigs to be compatible with humans for organ transplants, his team's work to create an artificial womb for elephants, his thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccines, and more. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Oct 05, 2021
The Lead Scientist of NASA's Upcoming Mission to Venus
1593

Dr. Suzanne Smrekar, lead investigator for the VERITAS mission to Venus, stops by "Making Sense of Science" to discuss why she's so excited about this robotic mission, the big mysteries her team is hoping to solve, and the everlasting value of space exploration to humanity. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Sep 20, 2021
Kids and the Delta Variant
2204

Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in Kansas, discusses why the Covid-19 Delta variant is so dangerous for children, how parents can keep their kids safe, and what we can expect as schools open again.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Aug 23, 2021
The Risk of Delta and COVID-19’s Possible Origins
2318

Dr. Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, addresses concerns about the Delta variant, breakthrough infections, and COVID-19's possible origins. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jul 20, 2021
Jessica Malaty Rivera Talks Vaccine Hesitancy
1953

Jessica Malaty Rivera, an infectious disease epidemiologist and science communication lead for the COVID Tracking Project, talks about the importance of getting more Americans vaccinated, the challenges of reaching the vaccine-hesitant and misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine. She also shares summer safety tips for partially vaccinated households.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Jun 14, 2021
Tackling COVID-19 Misinformation with Professor Tim Caulfield
2611

Renowned health law and ethics professor Tim Caulfield shares insights about how and why misinformation spreads on social media, what to do when trusted sources are behind the curve, and how we can avoid falling for bad information ourselves.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

May 19, 2021
Why Dr. Ashish Jha Expects a Good Summer
2221

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of public health at Brown University, discusses the latest developments around the Covid-19 vaccines, including supply and demand, herd immunity, kids, vaccine passports, and why he expects the summer to look very good.

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Apr 09, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccines and Our Progress Toward Normalcy
2178

Bioethicist Art Caplan of NYU shares his thoughts on when we will build herd immunity, how enthusiastic to be about the J&J vaccine, predictions for vaccine mandates in the coming months, what should happen with kids and schools, whether you can hug your grandparents after they get vaccinated, and more. 

Leaps.org is a not-for-profit initiative that publishes award-winning journalism, popularizes scientific progress on social media, and hosts events about bioethics and the future of humanity. Visit the platform at www.leaps.org. Podcast host Matt Fuchs is editor-in-chief of Leaps.org.

Feb 26, 2021