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Curioscity

78 EpisodesProduced by Calvin YeagerWebsite

Curioscity: informal, informative, for everyone. Learn alongside Calvin Yeager and many other science-enthusiasts as we delve into topics including viruses, chemistry, biology, technology, and methodology (but ironically, not Scientology).

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78 - Major Spotlight: Organismal Biology (w/ Kyla Garten!)

July 9th, 2020

39:37

How diverse are degrees from University? What are some of the most striking parts of those fields of study? Today, we discuss a biological science …

77 - Cancer Primer (w/ Pat Faughnan!)

July 2nd, 2020

40:01

In 2020, approximately 1.8 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone. The disease is so infamous that some scientists say that merely uttering its name leads to a better chance of grant …

76 - Major Spotlight: Computer Science (w/ Archer Harmony!)

June 25th, 2020

37:52

How diverse are degrees from University? What are some of the most striking parts of those fields of study? Today, we discuss a computer science degree and how broad (or specific) it can be. Let’s learn to be …

75 - Major Spotlight: Material Science (w/ Gavin Hennessy!)

June 18th, 2020

41:54

How diverse are degrees from University? What are some of the most striking parts of those fields of study? Today, we discuss a material science degree and how broad (or specific) it can be. Let’s learn to be …

74 - Coronavirus Myths (w/ Brianne Barker!)

June 11th, 2020

1:02:25

In times of significance, it seems like everyone is a certified virologist… even those who purport factually incorrect information. Today, we’ll …

73 - Black Lives Matter

June 4th, 2020

6:22

I hope everyone stays safe, uses their time to educate others or themselves, and can overcome apathy. This is a point in time that will soon be referred as “history”. I urge everyone to be on the right side of it.

72 - Coffee... and Birds! (w/ Fabiola Rodriguez!)

May 28th, 2020

46:52

This show has talked about biodiversity, but we haven’t been the best at pointing the magnifying glass at ourselves. How do growth of non-essential crops like coffee impact biodiversity across the globe? Let’s learn to …

71 - Genome Size (w/ Mike Itgen!)

May 21st, 2020

38:30

Everyone listening has a unique combination of nucleic acids that make up their genome: a blueprint of you. We humans have over 3 billion nucleotides of DNA, but how does this vary for other organisms? Are there …

70 - Capsaicin (w/ Aaron Griffing!)

May 14th, 2020

40:28

Let’s sink our teeth into some pepper lore. It’s gonna be a spicy episode, we’re gonna warm up and listen to Under the Bridge (despite being a little chili), we’re gonna talk about whether or not we believe in ghost …

69 - Nitrogen Fixation (w/ Rachel Kruger!)

May 7th, 2020

41:38

Just what is this seventh element on the periodic table? Why is nitrogen so important to life? Why do plants require a long-term relationship with microorganisms to enjoy nitrogen? Let’s learn to be scientifically …

68 - Gene Editing (w/ Josh Yoder!)

April 30th, 2020

49:32

There are many different ways to treat disease, but this show has not yet discussed gene therapy. What is a gene? What is gene therapy? What kind of …

67 - Science in Movies III (w/ Allison Williams and TJ Russell!)

April 23rd, 2020

50:51

It is common to be exposed to topics involving science in school, but this rarely is made as exciting as watching a sci-fi film. What creative …

66 - Simple Machines (w/ Adele Musicant!)

April 16th, 2020

52:39

Fundamental physical properties govern our lives and how our world operates. Today, we will discuss simple machines and how they have contributed to human advancement. Let’s learn to be scientifically conversational.

65 - Mitochondrial DNA (w/ Jessica Warren!)

April 9th, 2020

41:24

There’s one place you can find DNA within your own cells that isn’t the nucleus. What are mitochondria? Why do they have DNA and why don’t all mitochondria throughout the world have the same
genes? Let’s learn to be …

64 - Protein Structure I (w/ Shannon Speer!)

April 2nd, 2020

34:32

After an episode about lipids and nucleic acids, it’s time to forget about sugars and talk about my favorite bio-molecules: proteins. What are amino …

63 - The RNA Earth Hypothesis (w/ Allison Williams!)

March 26th, 2020

39:52

It’s time to go deeper than the anthropological record. Long before ferns, salamanders, and Sam Raimi, there were precursor molecules that would …

62 - Bringing a Drug to Market (w/ Josh Yoder!)

March 19th, 2020

53:32

This podcast has discussed science and impacts of scientific discovery for one year now. We haven’t yet discussed how a laboratory, university, …

61 - Malaria (w/ TJ Russell!)

March 12th, 2020

44:05

Carried by throngs of buzzing mosquitoes, the malaria parasite contributes significantly to global morbidity and mortality. Today, we’ll discuss the definition of a parasite, what malaria is, and how Disney fought the …

60 - Zoonosis (w/ Crystal Mendoza!)

March 5th, 2020

51:30

While today’s research often has a bias of being primarily for the benefit of humankind, there are many pathogens that negatively affect other organisms on Earth. Today, we’ll discuss zoonosis and how transfer of a …

59 - Nucleic Acids II (w/ Emily Madden!)

February 27th, 2020

43:25

With a name like Nucleic Acids I, you’ve have expected more discussion about RNA in episode 8: unfortunately, that episode was chock full of DNA. …

58 - Computer Viruses (w/ Archer Harmony!)

February 20th, 2020

40:45

This is Curioscity, the show about viruses – the kind that make your computer sick. What is a computer virus? How is a computer virus different than malware? Does this episode justify having a laptop on the season 2 …

57 - Innovator Inc(ubator) I (w/ Alana Lesnansky!)

February 13th, 2020

40:33

Many scientists have adapted Hollywood’s traditional “elevator pitch”: a brief, persuasive spiel that you use to spark interest in you, your …

56 - Is Science Expensive? (w/ Craig Cameron!)

February 6th, 2020

43:52

This podcast has discussed science and impacts of scientific discovery for one year now. We haven’t yet discussed how a laboratory or university is capable of funding its science. How does science pay for its advances? …

55 - Yeast (w/ Mike Pablo!)

January 30th, 2020

53:55

Let’s face it: we all spend time trying to think about our favorite unicellular eukaryotes. Today, we’ll discuss the fungus kingdom and what yeast …

54 - How are Organisms Related and Classified? (w/ Rachel Kruger!)

January 23rd, 2020

38:23

As an attempt to understand the vastness of nature, humans have decided to try to organize the organisms of the world into neat, tidy groups. How simple is the classification of organisms? Is there any debate to how …

53 - What is Industry? (w/ Jesse Noar!)

January 16th, 2020

47:49

There are a variety of career paths for a scientist, but those paths might not be immediately clear. What is industry? What are some benefits and consequences to a career in industry? Let’s learn to be scientifically …

52 - Salamanders (w/ Mike Itgen!)

January 9th, 2020

59:55

Some of my earliest memories of science were simply hunting for the elusive Pacific giant salamander in the coastal northwest. Today, we’ll talk about these slimy amphibians and how they contribute to scientific …

51 - Human Immunodeficiency Virus (w/ Brianne Barker!)

January 2nd, 2020

1:13:49

Human Immunodeficiency virus is a virus that functions within the cell differently than any virus we’ve discussed before. HIV has led to Nobel prizes, societal discussion and discrimination, and significant morbidity …

50 - Antibiotics and our Future Crisis (w/ Brian Conlon!)

December 12th, 2019

58:42

Antibiotics are pharmaceuticals that can prevent certain types of bacterial infection. Recognized with a 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine, humans have previously used antibiotics for millennia to treat infections without …

49 - Grab Bag IV (w/ Adele Musicant!)

December 5th, 2019

45:24

Some topics are short and sweet, but do not warrant an entire episode of conversation. There have been many requests for smaller topics to be …

48 - Science in Movies II (w/ Allison Williams and TJ Russell!)

November 28th, 2019

51:54

It is common to be exposed to topics involving science in school, but this rarely is made as exciting as watching a sci-fi film. What creative …

47 - The Liver (w/ Nyssa Tucker!)

November 21st, 2019

33:17

The liver is an organ that is mostly indispensable for life as animals know it. What are organs? Why do we need them? What is the liver? Let’s learn to be scientifically conversational.

For all references …

46 - Why do Side Effects Vary? (w/ Connor Wander!)

November 14th, 2019

46:35

Drug discovery has helped ease pain, prevent disease, and save lives. However, humans are new to the game at designing molecules to aid human health. …

45 - Crohn's Disease (w/ Shehzad Sheikh!)

November 7th, 2019

46:36

People who have years of experience with Crohn’s disease under their belt know it’s no joke. What is the digestive tract? What happens when your immune system picks on it unfairly? What is the current course of …

44 - Spooky Things (w/ Jen Buchholz!)

October 31st, 2019

41:49

Boo! Did I scare you? What is it to be scared? Can we define emotions, and how do emotions like fear tie into our daily life nowadays? How are fear and anxiety related? Let’s learn to be scientifically conversational.

43 - Scaling Up Chemical Reactions (w/ Steve Sujansky!)

October 24th, 2019

41:38

Creating molecules that are relevant for life is a challenge that humans are only just dipping their feet into. There is a demand for creating …

42 - Non-human Primates as Model Organisms (w/ Zachary Billman!)

October 17th, 2019

45:42

Great! I’m a primate. We conclude this year’s series on model organisms by talking about non-human primates. What is a good model? What are the benefits and consequences of non-human primates? What are the ethical …

41 - iGEM II (w/ East Chapel Hill!)

October 10th, 2019

32:50

Science accessibility has gotten better and better over the last few decades, and standardizing the tools to be able to do it has been a huge part. …

40 - iGEM I (w/ East Chapel Hill!)

October 3rd, 2019

24:46

Science accessibility has gotten better and better over the last few decades, and standardizing the tools to be able to do it has been a huge part. …

39 - Grab Bag III (w/ Philip Hollingsworth!)

September 26th, 2019

55:31

Some topics are short and sweet, but do not warrant an entire episode of conversation. There have been many requests for smaller topics to be …

38 - Permaculture (w/ Dan Mar!)

September 19th, 2019

52:33

Jared Diamond once wrote an article in 1987 entitled “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race”: how humans’ advent of agriculture might …

37 - Cryptocurrency (w/ Archer Harmony!)

September 12th, 2019

54:56

Home to near two thousand different currencies at the time of recording, cryptocurrency has pushed the boundaries on currency exchange within the last fifteen years. What is cryptocurrency? Where did the idea begin? …

36 - Combustion and Photosynthesis (w/ Kathy Yeager!)

September 5th, 2019

50:45

Chemical reactions define the world around us with invisible elements and symbols. While atoms can neither be created nor destroyed, the identities …

35 - Analytical Sciences (w/ Bob Yeager!)

August 29th, 2019

27:39

Science is often intrinsically linked to quantification; the ability to report accurate data to peers and colleagues provides the basis for …

34 - Data Visualization and Sonification (w/ Fadi Alnaji!)

August 22nd, 2019

47:23

Scientists support their ideas with data, but it can become challenging to explain data when you’re not familiar with the field or it is presented in a confusing way. Are there other ways that one can show data and …

33 - The Double Doc (w/ Adam Lauring!)

August 15th, 2019

46:27

The formal title doctor can refer to a variety of different research or professional degrees. To achieve one is a huge accomplishment; but is there a utility to having two? What kind of doctorates are there? What are …

32 - Science in Movies I (w/ Evan Flynn!)

August 8th, 2019

51:08

It is common to be exposed to topics involving science in school, but this rarely is made as exciting as watching a sci-fi film. What creative …

31 - The Trials and Tribulations of Graduate Education (w/ Jen Heemstra!)

August 1st, 2019

1:16:50

If one completes a college degree but doesn’t have a fully solidified next step, it can look to the casual observer that the logical place to go is a …

30 - Cells as Model Systems (w/ Grace Usher!)

July 25th, 2019

41:39

Repel! I’m a cell. The word may be a bit nebulous, but cells are the smallest unit of life that we can define, and all living things are made up of …

29 - Human Evolution and Migration (w/ Molly Rathbun!)

July 18th, 2019

1:13:12

This show has previously discussed the concept of evolution, but it’s time to put it into practice with our own species. Humankind as we understand …

28 - Academic Administration I (w/ Eric J. Barron!)

July 11th, 2019

32:58

A common way to learn is seek higher education, which today is often provided by universities across the world. Most learn to thank their professors, teachers, and mentors, but it may be unclear how important it is to …

27 - Fireworks (w/ Sam Hartmann!)

July 4th, 2019

30:16

In the United States, the fourth of July is commonly associated with fireworks, but the technology of gunpowder came from much earlier. What is the …

26 - Grab Bag II (w/ Seria Chatters!)

June 27th, 2019

58:10

Some topics are short and sweet, but do not warrant an entire episode of conversation. There have been many requests for smaller topics to be …

25 - Caves and Karst (w/ Brian Redder!)

June 20th, 2019

49:04

Much like myself, many animals that live deep within caves have no skin pigment, eyesight, and have slow metabolism. What is the importance of these …

24 - Model of the Atom (w/ Pedro Rivera Pomales!)

June 13th, 2019

37:38

What scientists understand as the basic unit of a chemical element has been heavily scrutinized for over one hundred years. What are the fundamental components of an atom? What are elements? How did philosophy and …

23 - A Brief History of Evolution (w/ Aaron Griffing!)

June 6th, 2019

50:00

Survival of the fittest is a famous anecdote but isn’t always the best way of describing natural selection. Who was Charles Darwin? Whose shoulders …

22 - The Endosymbiotic Hypothesis (w/ Henry Hsiung!)

May 30th, 2019

36:00

If I told you that hummingbird flight muscle was one of the richest known sources of mitochondria, could you guess as to what a mitochondrial …

21 - Big Data and Machine Learning (w/ Divyanshi Srivastava!)

May 23rd, 2019

42:49

More and more fields collect as much data as possible in order to draw the most principled and specific conclusions possible. Still, without …

20 - What do Scientists do Day-to-Day? (w/ Amber Miller, Heather Giebink, and Tom Henderson!)

May 16th, 2019

45:19

It is clear that not all scientists are the lone, white coated figure surrounded by multicolored vials in the depths of the laboratory. To have an …

19 - Methods to See Really Big Things from Really Far Away (w/ Emma Raich!)

May 9th, 2019

43:35

Last week we discussed seeing objects that are atomically small. Seemingly atomically small from our naked eyes on Earth, it can be incredibly challenging to see entire planets in the universe. Today, we will discuss …

18 - Methods to See Really Small Things (w/ Neela Yennawar!)

May 2nd, 2019

48:10

A picture is worth 1,000 words and scientists’ pictures tend to be crystal structures. What are ways that that scientists can see very small things? …

17 - Invasive Species (w/ Kyla Garten!)

April 25th, 2019

41:41

Invasive species challenge the natural environment of many places they once did not call home. Why are invasive species dangerous? What are invasive …

16 - Worms as Model Organisms (w/ Mahtab Peyambari!)

April 18th, 2019

40:25

Squirm! I’m a worm. With a name as long as Caenorhabditis elegans, you might expect this model organism to be larger. What is a model organism? Why …

15 - What are Biofilms? (w/ Gregory Broussard!)

April 11th, 2019

52:11

Last week we spoke of bacteria, a major contributor to biofilms. What are biofilms and why do microbes make them? How is human health impacted by this mechanism of microbial life? Why do my teeth feel so fuzzy? Let’s …

14 - What are Bacteria? (w/ Neeraj Karamchandani!)

April 4th, 2019

55:02

Imagine having a twin split out of you in twenty minutes flat; each of you split again in another twenty minutes. In a scant few hours, there are billions of you. This happens with bacteria every day in almost every …

13 - Cholesterol (w/ Averie and Chelsea Elias!)

March 28th, 2019

55:41

It’s hard to believe that something as generically described as cholesterol could be so important. High levels of “a waxy substance” result in no …

12 - Enteroviruses that aren't named Poliovirus (w/ Vincent Racaniello!)

March 21st, 2019

1:04:39

The sheer reduction of poliomyelitis-ridden individuals is a testament to how effective the poliovirus vaccines are. Still, related viruses like …

11 - Joseph Lister and Sterility (w/ Donald Hahn!)

March 14th, 2019

45:37

Listerine was not made by Joseph Lister, but was named in his honor. What is the purpose of mouthwash? Why are we urged to wash our hands? Who were some of the physicians responsible for reducing mortality of surgery …

10 - What is the Nobel Prize? (w/ Rachel Kruger!)

March 7th, 2019

31:35

To be a Nobel Laureate is one of the greatest honors that can be given. What does this prize represent? Where are the Prizes origins? Why are there fewer prizes in economics than other prizes? What are the complications …

9 - The Birds and the Bees, Sperm and Eggs (w/ Matt Fares!)

February 28th, 2019

49:04

My earliest memories of life were whistling air and gentle clouds as the stork delivered me to my humble home: a wolfpack! As I grew older, I puzzled …

8 - It's in Their Genes (Nucleic Acids I) (w/ Donna Haines & Dale Ayton!)

February 21st, 2019

40:51

Why can’t I give birth to an elephant? Why do each of my feet have five toes and not three toes and two conjoined toes? What is DNA and how is it so fundamentally important to how each of us develop? Today, we’ll …

7 - Grab Bag I (w/ Susan Russell!)

February 14th, 2019

1:27:23

Some topics are short and sweet, but do not warrant an entire episode of conversation. There have been many requests for smaller topics to be …

6 - Batteries: Zap, but How? (w/ Tom Nigl!)

February 7th, 2019

44:33

James Hetfield might have said it best when he said “Battery is here to stay”. Much of humankind has become increasingly more dependent on portable electrical energy. What is a battery? What makes a better battery? How …

5 - How Old are Ferns? (w/ Morgan Engler!)

January 31st, 2019

44:16

Ferns are boring and they look like old houseplants! Well, slow your roll there. Some of these plants' relatives were around before the …

4 - Mice as Model Organisms (w/ Jerome Mack!)

January 24th, 2019

48:14

Squeak! It’s me, a mouse in your domicile. Did you know we mice and humans have an awfully long-standing relationship? Today, we will discuss some …

3 - The Influenza Vaccine (w/ Gavin Hennessy!)

January 17th, 2019

47:19

Many of us have experienced the flu: fever, cough, lethargy, fatigue, vomiting, so on. Likely, less of us have experienced getting the flu shot each year. Whether it be white coat syndrome and a fear of needles, …

2 - The Production of Insulin (w/ Aliza Herman!)

January 10th, 2019

43:11

Three years of Nobel Prizes were directly related to insulin. Today, we’ll discuss what insulin is and why it’s important. Why did the world need a …

1 - Do Scientists Always Agree? (w/ Andrew Woodman!)

January 3rd, 2019

42:28

On this inaugural episode of Curioscity, we delve into a simple question: do scientists always agree? What is a scientist and what does that person do? Are there any misrepresentations of science or the work done by …

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