Episode 7: An Accidental Bug Theme

Graycen and Alison accidentally chose three stories about creepy crawlies! We talk about spiders, butterflies, and kissing bugs! Then we break our bug streak and talk about the powerhouse of the cell. After the break, we welcome Tom Aunins and Dilara Batan on to talk about Dilara’s paper on watching bacteria break into human cells. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes!

Alison learned about flying spiders from this piece by cherished friend of the show Amanda Grennell for PBS News Hour. Alison also read this article in The Atlantic by Ed Yong, who is a cherished friend of the show in the science journalism fan fiction we write.

Graycen read about how CRISPR might give us some cool new butterflies at EurekAlert. You can learn even more by reading this really cool research paper about how butterfly genes multitask to produce both pigmentary and structural color.

Kissing bugs are terrible, but this article about them by Katherine J. Wu for Smithsonian.com is great! Also, kissing bugs are really funny if you’re overly-giddy and you imagine them sneaking around like this:


Gina Kolata interviewed Dr. Sitaram Emani for The New York Times about his work using extracted mitochondria to treat damaged hearts in infants. That work was published as an article in Translational Pediatrics. James McCully’s earlier work in pigs can be found here. A disclaimer: this work is really cool and useful! It’s just always good to consider how and when and why scientists talk to the press about their work, since we think it’s important to make science accessible and combat sensationalism.

Dilara Batan’s excellent paper about using microscopy to study listeria bacteria was published in Biophysical Journal. Also be sure to check out Tom Aunin’s article for Science Buffs about Dilara’s paper and how listeria recreates your favorite heist movies.


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