Episodes

  • "A tumor grows out of what's, at default, a state of cooperation," says researcher Carlo Maley. His research interest centers on the intersection of cancer and evolution and ways to use that understanding to treat cancer.

    He shares fascinating studies and theories with listeners, exploring

    How growing a tumor in vitro into a spheroid allows researchers to study it as an organism, How cancer cells transitioning from epithelial to mesenchymal tissue enables mobility, What the "Big Bang" hypothesis means in cancer research, and Why understanding the low cancer rate in whales might help our own treatment.

    Carlo Maley is an associate professor with the Biodesign Institute in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and is the director of the Arizona Cancer and Evolution Center.

    He specializes in cancer, evolution, and computational biology. He explains that cancer and evolution intersect on two different levels. First, within our bodies, cells are evolving and competing, mutating and surviving or failing. These processes can lead to the beginnings of cancer. Second, when doctors treat cancer with methods like chemotherapy, selective pressures again determine evolutionary forces, leading to resistance.

    Professor Maley explores both of these levels in imaginative detail, explaining for example how bone marrow cancer growth and lung cancer may have different pressures and mechanism to progress through natural selection and competition. It's this competition of cells that creates phenomena such as removing a tumor leading to increased metastases. He explains that, in "many of these mutations. . . that affect the biology of a cell, actually, are going to be advantageous for the cell, but ultimately bad for the body." Yet, cancer cells are able to coopt cellular machinery that leads to cooperation. He touches on numerous puzzles, including the role of bacteria and microbiomes in some cancers, and shares some exciting research into adaptive therapies.

    Listen in for an enlightening and hopeful view into cutting-edge cancer research.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • You can tell a lot by someone's cortisol rhythm," says chiropractor Stacey Smith. She noticed that some of her patients improved and some didn't despite the same treatment and wanted to understand why. The answer centered on adrenal fatigue and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). She discusses this and how to achieve stress recovery, explaining

    How stress-related dysfunction actually starts upstream from the adrenal glands in the brain and nervous system, Why this stress cascade affects everything from blood sugar control to circadian rhythms via the HPA axis dysfunction, and What four key stressors she identifies and how their Lifestyle Matrix Education System addresses these issues.

    Stacey Smith is the SOS Clinical Brand Manager of Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center and is a practicing chiropractor. After observing the variety of recovery efficacy among her patients, she started researching stress-related dysfunctions and our HPA axis.

    This brought her to functional medicine and a better understanding of the stress recovery adaptation cycle. She explains the roles cortisol plays in many facets of our physiology, from blood sugar control and our sleep patterns and immune system function to our baseline energy.

    She says that patients need to "get into a routine of something that's going to activate their passion," and in turn, their parasympathetic nervous system. She describes their mostly saliva-based testing, what it indicates, and how they treat patients accordingly.

    Their recommendations include lifestyle management, diet, and nutrition support, and "adaptogens," which help the body return to a state of homeostasis and balance. She also explains why too much cortisol can be harmful, from tissue breakdown that weakens the immune system to excess blood sugar. While most of her work is local, she adds that they offer their training and program guide to other practitioners.

    Listen in to find out more about their program.

  • Missing episodes?

    Click here to refresh the feed.

  • “It’s the best time in our lives to have breast cancer,” says Dr. Rabia Bhatti, which is good news for many, since the average woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in the U.S. is about 13 percent.

    In this episode, you’ll discover:

    Whether the use of multiple treatment modalities for breast cancer could altogether eliminate the need for surgery How hormone-positive cancers differ from triple-negative cancers in terms of the time between primary tumor resection and return of the cancer What it means to have “dense” breasts, how this impacts cancer detection, and what new technology is being utilized for better detection What foods should be avoided and which should be consumed in order to lower the risk of developing breast cancer

    Dr. Bhatti is a breast surgeon at West Suburban Medical Center and Medical Director of the River Forest Breast Care Center. Her evolution as a general surgeon brought her to the breast cancer specialization, where she saw an opportunity to not only be a surgeon who focuses on isolated diseased organs, but a healer of the whole patient.

    She discusses the many advancements in breast cancer treatment over the past 20 years, such as the replacement of radical mastectomies with minimally-invasive procedures, earlier detection and diagnosis, surgeries which leave the skin and nipple untouched and only remove the diseased breast tissue, as well as breast reconstruction. She also talks about the role of clinics which serve patients who are at high risk of developing breast cancer, depending on their family history, risk score, and lifestyle risk factors (exercise, diet, age at which a woman has children, how long a woman breastfeeds, etc.).

    Dr. Bhatti’s current work centers around the role of lifestyle in the development, progression, and treatment of breast cancer—particularly exercise. “I believe this is a significant part of the treatment of breast cancer, and it has not really been emphasized traditionally up until now,” she says.

    She also emphasizes the power of immunotherapy and genomics in the future of breast cancer treatment.

    Tune in for the details of all this and more.

    Learn more: https://www.westsuburbanmc.com/our-services/women-s-health/breast-care-center/

  • About 40 million people in the U.S. suffer from migraines. Yet, migraine mechanisms are only just now understood. That's good news for better medicines, and Charlie Conway of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals discusses how his corner of pharma has developed a targeted therapy with great promise.

    Listen and learn

    How migraine headaches and related symptoms result from an over-activated trigeminal nerve in the brain that releases CGRP; Why CGRP causes debilitating symptoms including pulsing headaches, light and sound hypersensitivity, and nausea; and How they've developed CGRP-targeted therapies that either block the receptors or absorb the excess.

    Charlie Conway is the Chief Scientific Officer at Biohaven Pharmaceuticals. His background includes a postdoc on neuroscience and pain sensing. He brings listeners up to speed on the latest research on brain cells and migraines, including how the physiology leads to overactive nerve cells and debilitating pain.

    It starts with a trigger of the trigeminal nerve, which sits on either side of the brain stem. The exaggerated trigeminal nerve activity then changes the response properties deeper in the brain, releasing a chemical called calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP. In addition, because nerve cells are able to stretch, they're in key positions to absorb CGRP; in fact, a single cell in the brainstem can send up fibers that connect to the outer brain tissue.

    When the CGRP is released, the proteins hit a few different areas of the brain, including this outer brain tissue called the dura. This leads to over-excited nerves and what's called neurogenic inflammation. He describes the additional biological events that lead to the pain migraine suffers experience. But Biohaven's anti-CGRP targeted therapies prevent this cascade. In fact, they've shown that the treatments are effective for both acute migraines, as well as prevention. That prevention is what makes their therapy unique and especially promising.

    Listen in for more about what they've developed, how it compares to other therapies, if there are possible risks, and how this can make a substantial difference.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • What's a stinging tree? Hikers in Australia are familiar with this needle-covered plant that can cause hours of pain. Researcher Sam Robinson has been studying how this tree's sting causes pain, and found a connection to chemotherapy-associated pain that may help researchers find a solution. His work includes the study of numerous toxic plants and animals and the chemistry behind our painful biological reaction. He discusses

    Some fascinating examples of organisms and their toxins, The two main categories of toxins and how they work on a broad scale, and The benefits of deconstructing how these toxins work on detailed level for potential chronic pain management and pharmacology.

    Dr. Sam Robinson is a research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Biological Science at the University of Queensland in Australia. It took a walk on the beach and a jellyfish sighting to get his curiosity in gear for researching how toxins cause pain. He's focused on exploring painful toxins in a systematic way, down to the proteins and genetics involved. He adds that venom, for example, is not the same across different animals. Rather, there's a "whole cocktail of different toxins" with different uses, from capturing prey to self-defense, and they can affect different parts of the organism they bite.

    While their similar functions come down to convergent evolution, there are a host of different ingredients. He gives several specific examples and explains why he's especially focused on toxins that affect our cellular voltage-gated sodium channels. That's where the stinging tree comes in. He's found that the tree injects a toxin that keeps those channels open, causing hours of pain. Furthermore, after the pain is gone, it can be revived by exposure to cold in a phenomena called cold allodynia, a condition chemotherapy patients also experience. This is the kind of connection that makes his research potentially applicable to numerous pain-related diseases and treatment.

    Listen in for more examples of pain deconstructed.

  • How can companies make educated decisions on how and where to operate their business? Information data can steer them in the right direction. Listen up to learn:

    How accurate data can be ensured after collection What data is collected from users Which businesses can benefit from data collection

    CEO of Premise, Maury Blackman, shares his expertise in collecting data and using it to guide business decisions worldwide.

    Collecting data from users and contributors around the world can be the first step in helping businesses operate more intelligently. By ensuring this data is accurate, directives can be established to guide smart decision-making.

    Organizing data collectors allows data sets to be comprehensive and diverse. Since different people perceive the world around them in different ways, the most accurate sets of data can be gleaned from their experience.

    To learn more, visit https://www.premise.com.

  • Does sodium chloride play a role in how and why our bodies contract viruses? Research may show that its presence can be a significant indicator. Listen up to learn:

    How vaccines are developed in real-time The difference between infection fatality rates and case fatality rates What happens to mRNA after it is used in the vaccine

    Ronald B. Brown, Ph.D., joins the conversation to discuss his research into the Covid-19 virus and how it interacts with our bodies.

    It can bring more harm than good by overreacting to early Covid-19 reports before understanding and defining statistics. By making hasty decisions on the advice of the World Health Organization, there may be lasting repercussions.

    The human body has a "virome," similar to the gut microbiome, which plays a role in maintaining overall health in the body. By making viruses internally, our bodies produce certain products at different times in the year, affecting our health in different ways.

    Search for Dr. Ronald B. Brown on Google Scholar for more information.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • Over 50 percent of people who are put on mechanical ventilation don’t survive. But for many, there is another option. Dr. Gutierrez explains.

    Press play to learn:

    How the use of high-flow nasal cannulas significantly reduces the concern of aerosolizing the COVID-19 virus and infecting healthcare workers Why it can be so dangerous, if not fatal, to place people on mechanical ventilators How high-flow nasal cannulas can be used as a replacement for mechanical ventilation in treating a number of diseases

    Dr. Eddy Gutierrez is a critical care specialist at Baptist Medical Center in Florida who joins the show to share his firsthand experience in treating COVID-19 patients, and the benefits of replacing mechanical ventilation with high-flow nasal cannulas.

    When COVID-19 first hit, Dr. Gutierrez and his colleagues were shocked by the high level of mortality and difficulty caring for those with the virus—especially since they always prioritized staying on the cutting edge of medicine and medical technology.

    Initially, the conventional treatment for COVID-19 was to deliver oxygen to patients by putting them on mechanical ventilators. Dr. Gutierrez says it quickly became clear that there weren’t going to be enough ventilators, which led to the use of a life-saving technology called a high-flow nasal cannula.

    And it really is life-saving, considering that the mortality rate of those who need to be intubated and put on a mechanical ventilator is so high, and the complications so numerous.

    The high-flow nasal cannula is placed over the face of the patent and delivers a much higher flow of oxygen to the patient than conventional cannulas, but at the same time allows the patient to continue eating, communicating with loved ones on the phone or video chat, and even walking around in their hospital rooms.

    Someone who is on a ventilator, in contrast, is unable to move, eat, or even breathe on their own, and may experience deadly consequences.

    Find Dr. Gutierrez on Twitter and Instagram @eddyjoemd and check out his podcast, Saving Lives.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • How can cancer cells be understood through a lens other than strictly biological? Mechanical factors may serve a function in the genes never before understood.

    Press play to learn:

    How normal cells respond to stressors on the body If organs as a whole change in response to the presence of cancer How an encapsulated tumor affects surgery

    Xi Huang, assistant professor in the department of molecular genetics at the University of Toronto, discusses his research on the mechanical aspects of cancer cells.

    Cancer tissue in an organ can alter the rigidity of the tissue around it. A more rigid environment can be conducive to forming new growths of cancer if the pathways in the area allow for it.

    Different stiffnesses in tissue can give clues into the stem cells of that specific cancer. If tumors of the same kind vary in stiffness, they may behave differently or have different impacts on the surrounding area.

    To learn more, visit http://www.moleculargenetics.utoronto.ca/faculty/2015/7/2/xi-huang.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • “Cancer…should be defined as a different system, almost like a different animal…cancer as a new system or new cellular species…is very provocative and some people find it hard to accept,” says Professor Henry Heng.

    Tune in to learn more and discover:

    Why some cancers return after primary tumor resection At what point cancer becomes its own “life form” Why genetic heterogeneity might be considered one of cancer’s most powerful strategies for growth and survival

    Professor Heng is part of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics at Wayne State University School of Medicine.

    He joins the show to provide his knowledge and insight on a handful of challenging, compelling questions about cancer. These include whether cancer should be considered as a separate life form, how cancer cells differ genetically from host cells, how cancers and viruses behave in fundamentally different ways, how viruses can cause cancer, why the distinction between cancer stem cells and regular cancer cells is a significant one, and so many more.

    Visit https://www.genetics.wayne.edu/faculty/henry-heng to learn more.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • How can you begin foraging for your own food? Many resources are available to help you take the first step. Listen in to learn:

    Is foraging for all needs viable globally? If plants are able to communicate Where new research into plant medicines is leading

    Herbalist and anthropologist, Dr. Nicole Apelian drops in shares her vast experience of living by foraging from the land all over the world.

    Cultures globally have been using the land surrounding them as their grocery stores and pharmacies throughout history. Necessities and holistic remedies can be found in abundance in many biomes and landscapes.

    By collecting information from herbalists, insights into health and the environment can be gained worldwide. Plant medicines may be able to give hope to people with ailments never previously thought to be treatable.

    Visit nicoleapelian.com for more information.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • Can you smell disease? Believe it or not, you can, and pretty reliably at that. The problem is, you aren’t good at describing and quantifying what you smell, and definitely not at “diagnosing.” Aromyx is a company that’s doing something incredibly unique to circumvent this problem, while utilizing scent detection for all it’s worth.

    Press play to learn:

    How “smelling” something is actually an act of detecting distinct chemical metabolite signatures from tissues in the body By what percentage dogs have been shown to more accurately and sensitively detect prostate cancer than the status quo, FDA-approved test How the olfactory system could eventually hold the key to therapeutics for a range of diseases

    Olfaction (the sense of smell) has been used for hundreds of years to detect disease—even the ancient Greeks practiced it. Josh Silverman is the CEO of Aromyx, a company that’s taking full advantage of this powerful sense.

    So, how are they doing it?

    By developing validated clinical assays for diagnosing disease states, using the same scent and taste receptors that are in your nose and tongue. By cloning those receptors and putting them in a format that be used in the lab to measure responses from individual receptors, Aromyx is effectively hijacking the same information that goes from your nose to your brain when you smell or taste something, and putting it in an objective, readable, and quantifiable format.

    They’re taking a powerful “subjective” experience, and making it a powerful objective measurement of chemical metabolites which indicate the presence of certain diseases. And, the level of detection is orders of magnitude beyond any electronic sensors or other technology currently in existence.

    So far, Aromyx has used this technology to detect prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and malaria, and they know that the potential for much wider diagnostic capabilities is well within reach.

    Silverman dives into all the details of this and more.

    Tune in, and check out https://www.aromyx.com/ to learn more.

    Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C

  • Microbial sciences are experiencing a "gold rush of research," says Seed co-founder and co-CEO Raja Dhir. He discusses how Seed is a part of that work with a multi-technology approach to all aspects of the microbiome, from gut health to coral reef protection. Listen and learn

    How Seed's biology research takes on microbial activity for the entire body, from the stomach to the scalp; How they've expanded their research to environmental issues like coral microbiomes, plastic degradation, soil microbiomes, and even honeybee microbiomes; How their products work to reach the center of our immune system without interference from stomach acid; and Why their innovations make a difference compared to other techniques, such as their functionally redundant microbial consortia and precision delivery system.

    Raja Dhir is a life science entrepreneur who helped co-found Seed along with Ara Katz. The company is a venture-backed microbiome group that's pioneering the application of bacteria for both human and planetary health. Because he leads their R&D, academic collaborations, technology developments, and clinical trial design, he's able to give listeners a relevant and precise look at why their products work and how their research strives to help planetary health as well. He explains how they maintain their high scientific bar as they develop compounds for a variety of issues, including skin and gut treatments.

    Unique among microbial science companies, Seed also researches environmental microbiome issues, including how to help coral reefs survive ocean acidification and ways to mitigate effects of neonicotinoids and pathogens on honey bees.

    Dhir also brings listeners on a deep dive into their techniques, explaining how they've achieved the 100% release of viable cells into the upper small intestines for their gut microbiome products, which allow the bacteria to be metabolically active. He also helps listeners get a more vivid picture of how their synergistic and complimentary synbiotics work by carefully pairing appropriate prebiotics with probiotics.

    Listen in for more about this company's fascinating approach to microbial science.

  • Researcher Terry Hrubec found startling evidence that a common chemical in disinfectants can cause birth defects in mice. She explains the science, describes the ubiquitous use of quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs), and helps listeners understand the numerous concerns over this everyday disinfectant, especially with increased use as a COVID precaution. Listen and learn

    What effect Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides (BACs) had on the embryology of mice in her lab, What's the primary route of exposure for these compounds, How numerous elements of human development might be affected, including fertility, and What are additional QAC unknown factors and how she is designing a study to find the answers.

    Terry Hrubec is a professor of anatomy and embryology at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. In an experiment testing the effect of a pharmaceutical on development, she stumbled on increased neural tube defects on her control group of mice. After finding the lab had suddenly changed their cleaner, she realized the cause.

    She tells this story and how it has lead to an in-depth look at the common ingredient in household cleaners known as alkyl quaternary ammonias. She helps listeners understand how to find the ingredient on labels and how often this ingredient might be used in everyday spaces, from hospitals to food production equipment.

    The overuse of these disinfectants due to COVID concerns is especially alarming. This along with the many unknowns of these compounds, such as how long they remain in the body, lend an urgency to her work. She describes some basics of embryological development, from the first cells dividing and differentiating, how these compounds effect that phase, and how our country assesses the safety of chemicals. She comments that "chemicals are assumed to be safe, unless proven otherwise."

    Furthermore, 4,000 new chemicals are registered every day. What does that mean for the approval process? Listen in to find out why she's worried and what she's doing about it.

  • How could countries worldwide have handled the economic policies during the pandemic more effectively? The implementation of different strategies could have prevented further financial hardship, research shows. Press play to learn:

    How lockdowns affected the global economy If vaccine passports are in our near future If restrictions correlate with positive results in the age of Covid-19

    Professor of economics at The University of New South Wales, Gigi Foster, discusses the detriments of lockdowns and the economic mishandling of the pandemic.

    Targeted protection could have been implemented early in the pandemic to avoid later restrictions that were more detrimental to the economy. Lockdowns may not have been the best solution for protecting human welfare while keeping economic principles in mind.

    While lockdowns feel safe and effective, they may do more harm than good. Public debate on rationality during this time may move approach towards a global agreement.

    For more information, you can find Gigi Foster at gigi.foster@unsw.edu.au.

  • Is aquaponic agriculture the future of farming? Development in techniques shows the numerous advantages to soil agriculture. Tune in to learn:

    How solid particles affect an aquaponics system What the first indication of the disease may be within a tank How plant and animal species can be paired for the best results

    Dr. Bill McGraw joins the conversation to discuss the many benefits and future implications of aquaponic agriculture.

    Aquaponics are agricultural systems that have the potential to benefit both the animals and plants involved. By combining the farming of aquatic animals and plants with similar requirements, the system can significantly increase the potential for both.

    While there are specific factors that must be maintained at certain levels, aquaponics offers many solutions for the future of farming. By staggering crop production, there is the opportunity for consistent production and harvest of food year-round.

    To learn more, visit https://www.newaquatechpanama.com.

  • Can Clinical trials show what circumstances trigger the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of Dementia? Research shows that more factors may be at play than previously thought. Listen in to learn:

    The percent of clinical trials for Dementia which result in new and valuable discoveries If loneliness can play a role in the onset of Alzheimer's disease How some individuals may be predisposed to Dementia and how this may benefit treatment

    Professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Giulio Pasinetti, shares his vast experience researching Alzheimer's disease and Dementia and what he has learned.

    Even with the removal of plaque from the brain, patients still seem to suffer Dementia. Outside risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure, diet, and more have all been shown to factor into the onset and severity of Alzheimer's disease.

    New techniques of targeting and identifying cells in the brain will revolutionize therapeutics treatment conditions. Genetic predisposition can give researched clues into the nature of Dementia, and proactive treatment can significantly benefit the patient if started early enough.

    For more information, visit https://icahn.mssm.edu/research/molecular-neuroresilience.

  • Bees are socially sensitive, says researcher Clare Rittschof, and she's not referring to their pining away from rejection. Rather, honey bee social behavior includes an ability for a colony to band together in a sophisticated enough effort to fight off a hungry bear. Listen and learn

    How honey bee characteristics are formed by neurogenomics, or experiences that regulate aggressive behavior in addition to genetic propensity, How she's found that aggressive behavior in honey bees is paired with better health traits for those same bees as well, What roles different bees in the colony play, including guards that sniff entering bees, and how these behaviors may have developed, and What aspects of bee anatomy determine behavior, from how a Queen is made to which colony members can produce males.

    Clare Rittschof is an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky with an emphasis in behavioral ecology. She's fascinated by how animal behavior evolves: why animals behave in certain ways; how those behaviors developed as a function of their brain interfacing with their environment and DNA; and how those behaviors continue to evolve.

    In other words, she studies the connection between behaviors and increased survivability and reproduction. But not just any animal: her early work focused on spider behavior and now she's fully focused on honey bees.

    She takes listeners inside the colony and even the abdomens of bees, describing how a Queen's identify is determined by her developmental nutrition and what distinguishes her abdomen's morphology from worker bees. But she also explains the behavior and the level of "learning" bees internalize and how scientists can study and understand their sophisticated behaviors.

    She describes "where learning or experience can modulate that 'instinct.'" For example, they are able to modulate their level of defensiveness around a flower they're feeding from as opposed to a nest. There's a complicated and fascinating evolution of such behavior, and Clare Rittschof has made studying that her life's work.

  • Bacteria can teach us how to clean our homes and other environments more eco-consciously and effectively.

    Press play to learn how, and discover:

    How people are affected by the use of common cleaning compounds versus the compounds being developed by Wuest and Minbiole What can be learned by studying bacteria that grow in soil, and the compounds they create to fend off pathogens What common foods (such as those left on restaurant tables) attract bacteria and promote their survival

    Today's guests are William Wuest, GRA Distinguished Investigator & Associate Professor at Emory University, and Kevin Minbiole, Professor and Chair at Villanova University. Their paths first crossed over a decade ago, when both were pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in a group that was largely focused on natural product total synthesis. When they both decided to move to Philadelphia, they decided to meet up and team together to work on an area of overlapping interest: creating new disinfectant compounds.

    About 10 or 15 years ago, they’d both realized just how dependent the world is on quaternary ammonium compounds, like those found in Lysol wipes and other common household cleaning products.

    The active ingredients in Lysol were determined in the 1930s, and while they are effective and not very toxic, the simple fact that nature has encountered these compounds for decades (via dumping in waste waters) means that some bacteria have developed resistance to these compounds. Wuest and Minbiole saw a lot of room for improvement, and got to work.

    Currently, they develop compounds that mimic nature, as well as some strictly synthetic compounds, but all with an aim toward biological relevance.

    Wuest and Minbiole discuss the similarities and differences between these compounds and common household cleaning compounds, including their mechanism of action and structure. One difference is that the compounds being developed by Wuest and Minbiole have two or three positive charges, as opposed to only one, like those found in Lysol and other common cleaners.

    This enables the compounds to stick more tightly to negatively charged cell membranes and bacteria, which makes them less vulnerable to the resistance mechanisms of bacteria. They’re also effective against biofilms, which present an entirely different level of complication of pathogenic bacteria.

    Wuest and Minbiole discuss their strategies in developing compounds and the testing process for determining the best compounds for killing pathogens and leaving eukaryotic (e.g., human) cells untouched.

    They seek inspiration from nature by looking at whether bacteria that grow in soil have evolved ways to make compounds to kill other pathogenic compounds around them. Specifically, this approach has led them to try developing compounds which target Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is found in cystic fibrosis patients and wound injuries, as well as Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities and endocarditis.

    To modify the compounds, they add iron atoms, which bacteria need to survive. This encourages the bacteria to actively uptake the compounds, resulting in bacterial lysis.

    Wuest and Minbiole discuss the details of all this and more.

    Tune in for the full conversation, and visit http://kminbiol.clasit.org/ and
    https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/wuestlab/.

  • How does the aging process lead to neurodegenerative diseases? Research shows that neuroinflammation may play a key role. Press play to learn:

    What a Tau protein is and how it plays a role in Alzheimer's disease How Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed How amyloid plaques alter your brain

    Professor of neuroscience and anatomy Goran Šimić joins the conversation to discuss Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.

    Research shows that amyloid present in the brain for a short time can be beneficial, but if present for too long, can cause neurodegeneration. This has been discovered through a shift in the understanding of Dementia and has re-worked the criteria for diagnosis.

    Since Alzheimer's disease cannot be solved by evolution or natural selection, lifestyle can play a role until a certain age. However, past a certain point, genetic factors are the key in determining the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.

    To learn more, visit http://dementia.hiim.hr.