Episode of the day: “The Primitive Streak”

Listen to “The Primitive Streak” (30:51)

Podcast: Radiolab

So interesting and a great catalyst for reflecting on which stage does nothingness end and life begin.

Day 12 of human embryo. (Image: Gist Croft, Cecilia Pelligrini, Ali H. Brivanlou, The Rockefeller University)  

More information:

Great article on Nature about the 14 day rule

Episode of the day: “Too Ornery to Die”

Listen to “Too Ornery to Die” (29:00)

Podcast: Only Human

A look into cystic fibrosis and the politics and economics of finding a treatment for rare genetic disorders. The price of drugs and how the US is subsidizing the rest of the world.

More information:

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website

Article in the Boston Globe “Doctors challenge Vertex over high price of cystic fibrosis drug”

Polmoni - Lungs by krypt
Image: from Openclipart



Episode of the day: “Being Malcolm Gladwell”

Listen to “Being Malcom Gladwell”

Podcast: Freakonomics

A great informal interview with this ever interesting man – Malcolm Gladwell. It takes a great writer and thinker to convey scientific notions to the wider audience.

More information:

“The Making of an Expert” in the Harvard Business Review by Ericsson et al.

The 10000 hour rule on Gladwell’s website.

Image: Outliers book cover

Episode of the day: “How a Prenatal Test is Transforming Human Medicine”

Listen to “How a Prenatal Test is Transforming Human Medicine”

Podcast: Only Human

I’ve always wondered about the history behind the Harmony prenatal test. This episode provided great insight. But the question remains… Where should the eugenic line be drawn?

More information:

Interesting article “Screening for disability: a eugenic pursuit?” in the Journal of Medical Ethics

Ariosa Diagnostics that perform prenatal tests

Ariosa acquired by Roche Media Release

Eugenics Congress Logo, 1921

Episode of the day: “In Defense of Ignorance”

Listen to “In Defense of Ignorance”

Podcast: This American Life (Episode 585)

“Some things in life are better not to know about. And sometimes there can be a benefit to not knowing. In this episode – examples of ignorance truly being bliss, or even being an asset.”

Would you prefer to not know in case you were terminally ill? I think I would.

More information:

Lulu Wang website

“The astonishingly funny story of Mr. McArthur Wheeler” in awesci.com

“Unskilled and unaware of it” in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Dunning-Kruger effect on Wikipedia

“The blessing and curse of the people who never forget” on BBC

lemon juice

Episode of the day: “Bruce Friedrich on how technology will reduce animal suffering”

Listen to “Bruce Friedrich on how technology will reduce animal suffering”

Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show

I really enjoyed this show. This was a very interesting perspective on the topic. However, some statements seem to be a little extreme and adorned for shocking purposes. Modern broiler strains have been selected for high growth, but comparing growth rates of different animal species can be a biased exercise. How about sustainable farming to protect biodiversity such as indigenous breeds of farm animals that in some cases are in danger of extinction? I always like to find the balance… Also, plant based milks have been important to target people that are lactose intolerant but that was not mentioned in the show. Nevertheless, a great episode!

More information:

PETA website

Bruce Friedrich on Wikipedia

An indigenous breed of chicken