Bioscience Talks

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Synopsis

BioScience Talks , published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, is the monthly discussion podcast of the journal BioScience.

Episodes

  • Measuring Metabolism: How Much Food Does a Bear Need?

    09/09/2020 Duration: 32min

    The keys to conserving large mammals, such as bears, often lie in better understanding their ecophysiology. Armed with knowledge about the animals' energy needs, conservationists can encourage actions that better preserve populations and ensure that their habitats will be able to sustain them both now and as the climate continues to rapidly change. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. John Whiteman of Old Dominion University, who describes efforts to characterize metabolisms among large mammals from India to the Arctic—and the ways that this work fuels the broader scientific endeavor. Read Dr. Whiteman's 2019 BioScience article. Read more about polar bear diets (and body temperatures). Wildlife SOS Free the Bears Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter. Photograph: Mike Lockhart.  

  • In Their Own Words: Gene E. Likens

    17/08/2020 Duration: 54min

    This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Dr. Gene E. Likens, emeritus president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a distinguished professor at the University of Connecticut. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • 21st Century Natural History Collections

    12/08/2020 Duration: 28min

    Natural history collections are a crucial resource to many scientific endeavors, and their value has been bolstered by recently undertaken digitization efforts. However, many opportunities remain to improve collections' usability, ensure that their contributions are properly credited, and protect them from a perilous budget environment that, in many cases, threatens their long-term survival. Writing in BioScience, Sara E. Miller, Lisa N. Barrow, Sean M. Ehlman, Jessica A. Goodheart, Stephen E. Greiman, Holly L. Lutz, Tracy M. Misiewicz, Stephanie M. Smith, Milton Tan, Christopher J. Thawley, Joseph A. Cook, and Jessica E. Light provide an overview of the challenges and pose solutions. Dr. Miller joins us in this episode to discuss the article and the future of the field. Read this article in BioScience. Listen to our episode on collections in the COVID-19 era. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • Hot Days and Tree Transpiration

    28/07/2020 Duration: 26min

    Shade from urban trees has long been understood to offer respite from the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon that can result in city centers that are 1–3 degrees Centigrade warmer than surrounding areas. Less frequently discussed, however, are the effects of tree transpiration in combination with the heterogeneous landscapes that constitute the built environment. Writing in BioScience, Joy Winbourne and her colleagues present an overview of the current understanding of tree transpiration and its implications, as well as areas for future research. Their work, derived from tree sap flow data, reveals the complexity and feedbacks inherent in trees' and urban zones' responses to extreme heating events. Dr. Winbourne joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the newly published article, as well as directions for future research and the prospects for using trees to better mitigate urban heat in the face of a changing climate. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Sti

  • In Their Own Words: Douglas Futuyma

    08/07/2020 Duration: 39min

    This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Dr. Douglas Futuyma, professor emeritus of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University, in Stony Brook, New York. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • Leveraging Biodiversity Science Infrastructure in the COVID-19 Era

    23/06/2020 Duration: 53min

    The pandemic resulting from SARS-CoV-2 has had profound impacts on the conduct of scientific research and education: A large proportion of field research has ground to a halt, and research and science education were forced to move online. In light of these developments, the nation's biodiversity infrastructure—natural history collections housed in museums, herbaria, universities, and colleges, among other locations, and often available digitally—are ready to play an even larger role in enabling important scientific discoveries. Further, collections may also be instrumental in preventing or mitigating future infectious outbreaks. Two recent BioScience publications, linked below, highlight these issues. In this episode BioScience Talks, we're joined by representatives from the collections and science education communities. Guests included John Bates, Natural Science Collections Alliance, the Field Museum of Natural History; Pam Soltis, Florida Museum of Natural History, the University of Florida; Gil Nelson, iD

  • Using Metacommunities for Better Biological Assessments

    09/06/2020 Duration: 24min

    Evaluating shifts in the health of dynamic ecosystems is often difficult—for instance, rivers with intermittent flows and populations with varied dispersal characteristics might look very different from one month to the next. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Núria Cid and Thibault Datry of INRAE, in Lyon, France, who discuss their new framework for a metacommunity approach that aims to help researchers overcome these challenges. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • In Their Own Words: Judith Weis

    29/05/2020 Duration: 48min

    This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations.  Today, we are joined by Dr. Judith Weis of Rutgers University. She previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • In Their Own Words: Gregory Anderson

    18/05/2020 Duration: 53min

    This episode is the next in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today we are joined by Dr. Gregory Anderson, who is with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • Addressing COVID-19 Supply Shortages with 3D Printing

    08/05/2020 Duration: 14min

    Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, efforts to provide adequate testing and healthcare have at times been stymied by shortages of medical supplies. To help address one such shortage, a team at the University of Louisville designed a novel 3D-printed swab made of a pliable resin material.  In this episode of BioScience Talks, we're joined by Dr. Gerald Grant, who describes the process by which such tools are developed and manufactured, as well as their potential to quickly fill this and other gaps in the medical supply chain. Read more. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • Race and STEM Diversity

    27/04/2020 Duration: 28min

    Despite ongoing efforts to increase diversity among STEM faculty, participation rates of faculty members of color remain lower in STEM fields than in other academic disciplines. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Maria Miriti, whose recent article in BioScience, The Elephant in the Room: Race and STEM Diversity, discusses these shortcomings, their causes, and some of the ways in which they may be best addressed in the future. Read the article. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • Impact Series: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing, Next Steps, and the Role of Small Business

    13/04/2020 Duration: 35min

    Public health officials have argued that thorough and accurate testing for SARS-CoV-2 is essential for gaining a foothold in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. To date, however, a lack of reliable testing in the United States has hampered efforts to achieve a thorough understanding of the disease's abundance and spread. In this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Crystal Icenhour, CEO of Aperiomics, and Dr. Robbie Barbero, Chief Business Officer of Ceres Nanosciences. Both companies have recently ramped up efforts to improve the prospects of broad-scale testing for the novel pathogen in human patients. Aperiomics, whose core technology uses deep shotgun metagenomic sequencing to test for tens of thousands of bacteria, virus, fungus, and parasite at once, has launched a SARS-CoV-2-specific test, with the aims of increasing test availability and delivering crucially important public health data. Ceres Nanosciences's flagship Nanotrap particle technology enables the capture, concentrat

  • In Their Own Words: Joel Cracraft

    08/04/2020 Duration: 43min

    This episode is the fourth in our oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today we are joined by Dr. Joel Cracraft, curator in the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History. He previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • American Society for Gravitational and Space Research 2019 Annual Meeting (Denver)

    31/03/2020 Duration: 01h08min

    In November 2019, through the collaboration of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), BioScience Talks was lucky enough to attend and report on ASGSR's Annual Meeting, in Denver, Colorado. We spoke with numerous presenters, students, and other participants in the meeting, who discussed research topics ranging from growing food crops in space to using novel construction materials to help keep astronauts pathogen free. In addition, we chatted with ASGSR personnel about their newly launched Fellows program and caught up with student presenters, who described taking experiments all the way from classroom brainstorming to actual work aboard the International Space Station.    This year's podcast release is being released during Space Science Week 2020, which is being held virtually in light of COVID-19. Click here to learn more. Interviewees included: Kevin Sato, Immediate Past-President Doug Matson, President Phoebe Wall, Stanford Uni

  • The Ecological Context of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

    24/03/2020 Duration: 45min

    In this episode of BioScience Talks, we welcome previous guest Dan Salkeld of Colorado State University back to the show. He is joined by CSU colleague and 2016 coauthor Mike Antolin to discuss the disease ecology of animal-borne illnesses in general, as well as the present coronavirus pandemic, the outbreak's origins, and the prospects for disease surveillance to improve society's preparedness for future spillover events. Image: Felipe Esquivel Reed, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0. Read the 2016 article in BioScience. Listen to our 2016 interview with Dan Salkeld. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • In Their Own Words: Susan Stafford

    11/03/2020 Duration: 50min

    This episode is the third in our new oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today we are joined by Dr. Susan Stafford, professor and dean emerita at the University of Minnesota. She previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • Fireflies Face Global Threats

    24/02/2020 Duration: 27min

    Worldwide declines in insect populations have sparked considerable concern. To date, however, significant research gaps exist, and many insect threats remain under-investigated and poorly understood. For instance, despite their charismatic bioluminescent displays and cultural and economic importance, the 2000-plus species of firefly beetles have yet to be the subject of a comprehensive threat analysis. Writing in BioScience, Sara M. Lewis of Tufts University and her colleagues aim to fill the gap with a broad overview of the threats facing these diverse and charismatic species—as well as potential solutions that may lead to their preservation into the future. Lewis and colleagues catalog numerous threats, foremost among them habitat loss, followed closely by artificial light and pesticide use. The future is not bleak, however, and the authors describe considerable opportunities to improve the prospects of bioluminescent insects, including through the preservation of habitat, reduction of light pollution, lowe

  • In Their Own Words: Diana Wall

    12/02/2020 Duration: 19min

    This episode is the third in our new oral history series, In Their Own Words. These pieces chronicle the stories of scientists who have made great contributions to their fields, particularly within the biological sciences. Each month, we will publish in the pages of BioScience, and on this podcast, the results of these conversations. Today, we are joined by Dr. Diana Wall, university distinguished professor, director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, and professor in the Department of Biology, at Colorado State University. She previously served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Both the text and audio versions have been edited for clarity and length. Read this article in BioScience. Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

  • Impact Series: Tympanogen, Gels, and Helping Children Heal

    30/01/2020 Duration: 21min

    Each year, tens of thousands of patients undergo invasive surgery to repair perforated eardrums. The surgery, called tympanoplasty, is time consuming, costly, and difficult for patients—many of whom are children. Seeing an opportunity to fill an important unmet medical need, the founders behind Virginia startup Tympanogen have developed a technology aimed at reducing the need for these challenging operations. The product, called Perf-Fix, is a light-cured hydrogel applied in a doctor's office to give the patient's own tissue a scaffold on which to heal and rebuild, circumventing the need for surgical intervention. Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Elaine Horn-Ranney joins us on this episode of our Impact Series to discuss Perf-Fix, what it takes to run a start-up, and some of the many other potential applications for Tympanogen's technology. Learn More about Tympanogen. Check out Tympanogen on the NASA Explorers show, Subscribe on iTunes. Subscribe on Stitcher. Catch up with us on Twitter.  

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