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KYTOS Biology

178 EpisodesProduced by KYTOSWebsite

Biology-related podcasts as part of the KYTOS Enrichment Programme. Visit: for full detailsVisit: for Science video tutorials'KYTOS Biology' podcasts and the 'mr i explains' YouTube channel are proudly sponsored by Curriculum Press - producers of g… read more

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Human Embryology: Part 2 - The First Trimester

April 17th, 2022


In this second podcast of the series, I describe the initial three-month journey from embryo to foetus, in a period known as the first trimester. I'll examine the significant developments that occur, not only in terms …

Human Embryology: Part 1 - Fertilisation and Implantation

April 17th, 2022


Human embryonic development is the development and formation of the human embryo. It is characterised by the processes of cell division and cellular …

Anorexia Nervosa - Diagnosis, Treatment and Recovery

April 15th, 2022


Any person, at any stage of their life, can experience an eating disorder. Of people with eating disorders in the UK, around 10% have Anorexia …

Head Lice - Scratching Beneath the Surface

April 15th, 2022


Head lice, or Pediculosis capitis, is a common condition caused by infestation of the scalp with head lice. While some people can have lice …

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

April 13th, 2022


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is recognised to be an autoimmune disease that causes preclinical systemic abnormalities and eventually leads to synovial inflammation and destruction of the joint architecture. Our …

Vasectomy and its reversal

April 13th, 2022


Vasectomy is a safe, effective, and permanent method of birth control for men. It is also the most cost-effective form of birth control, costing half …

Acne vulgaris - Causes, Treatments and Prognosis

April 13th, 2022


Acne is a common skin condition where the pores of your skin become blocked by hair, sebum (an oily substance), bacteria and dead skin cells. Those …

Would we be wise to pay more attention to the role of our microbiome with regard to our health?

April 4th, 2022


Microbial genes have been found to perform a variety of functions including coding for enzymes to hydrolyse food we can't digest, coding for proteins …

How will doctors practice medicine in 2031? (with Ellie MH)

November 29th, 2021


2020 proved to us all that health is unpredictable. The pandemic, not only catalysed a global crisis as services were strained and lives were lost, but also forever altered the way we practice medicine. We saw a 50% …

Therapies and Treatment for Autism

October 30th, 2021


Autism is lifelong developmental disorder with no known cures. A significant amount of research has been conducted into the causes of autism and research is increasing into the treatment of autism. Given that research …

Killing Wildlife - Should we ever cull animals?

October 30th, 2021


Culling is defined as the killing of animals in order to reduce population numbers. Culls can happen for various reasons, including health and …

Great Biologists of Our Time - Gregor Mendel

October 29th, 2021


There's no doubt that Gregor Mendel is one of the great biologists of our time. His findings on inheritance led to multiple new fields of research, …

Mapping the Mind - Reviewing Famous Case Studies of Brain Injury

October 25th, 2021


Sometimes, scientists can take advantage of real-world incidents to help us understand the function of particular parts of the brain. Psychologists …

Explanations of Near Death Experiences

October 24th, 2021


There will always be elements of near death experiences (NDE's) that are difficult to explain scientifically. This is partly because researchers are …

The Stanford Prison Experiment

October 24th, 2021


Are ‘ordinary’ people capable of carrying out wicked and immoral acts against other individuals, if the context suggests that is what is expected of them? These are the questions that Philip Zimbardo was trying to …

The Hidden Dangers of Vaping

October 23rd, 2021


Just one week before I recorded this podcast, the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration authorised e-cigarette products for use in the US for the …

Sniffing out the Truth with Forensic Odorology

October 21st, 2021


How keen is your sense of smell? Well, according to new research published in Frontiers in Psychology, people who witnessed a crime are able to …

Spotting the Fakes - Forensic Document Analysis

July 25th, 2021


Forensics labs are frequently asked to examine documents to determine if they have been altered or forged. An altered document is an original, valid document that has been changed in some way. For example, one common …

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - A Short Introduction

July 25th, 2021


COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the term given to a group of diseases which affect the lungs. These include emphysema and chronic …

Obesity as a Genetic Problem

July 23rd, 2021


Obesity is rising dramatically across the world. Since 1975 it is estimated that the number of obese people has almost tripled. One of the chronic diseases that is linked to obesity is type 2 diabetes. The dramatic rise …

The Dirt Hypothesis, Allergies and Autoimmune Disease

July 23rd, 2021


By not being exposed to agents that stimulate our immune system in infancy, we are at greater risk of developing inflammatory responses and …

Sepsis - The Hidden Killer

July 18th, 2021


Sepsis is a condition which results from an uncontrolled and disorganised reaction of the body to an infection. If it is caught at an early stage, a …

Medicine Through Time: Part 1 - Prehistory, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece

February 18th, 2021


How did people in the past treat illness, injury and disease? What medicines or 'magic' did they use? In this first of a series of short podcasts, I explore the concept of natural illness vs the supernatural in …

'Death Of A Naturalist' - The Biology of Inevitable Change in Heaney's Seminal Poem (with Felicia Isaacs)

February 18th, 2021


English teacher Felicia Isaacs joins KYTOS once again, to discuss the Biology behind one of her favourite poems, 'Death of a Naturalist', by renowned …

Hormones and Their Influence on Emotion and Behaviour

February 18th, 2021


Hormones are chemical messengers that have a specific physiological effect in the body. Research suggests that hormones also have considerable …

The Drugs Don't Work - Will viruses replace antibiotics in the fight against superbugs?

February 13th, 2021


In the hope that it might provide a solution to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, a new treatment is currently receiving a lot of …

Is Earth the only living planet?

February 13th, 2021


There is evidence that, when the solar system was young, conditions on Mars and Venus may have been suitable for life. The surface of Mars has …

Coral Reef Ecology - Formation, Threats and Conservation

February 12th, 2021


Coral reefs are widely regarded as some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. They provide habitat for approximately 25% of all marine species but surprisingly account for a microscopic 0.1% of the world’s ocean …

Dissociative Identity Disorder - A Research Case Study

December 27th, 2020


In this podcast, I discuss the characteristics of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), also known as Multiple Personality Disorder and review the …

The Biology of Prostate Cancer

December 27th, 2020


The prostate gland grows in men at puberty and secretes the fluid that carries the sperm. It remains a constant size until about the age of forty, then it begins to grow again. About 50% of men aged 60 have some …

Making a Monster - The Biology behind Shelley's Frankenstein

December 24th, 2020


The biology behind Shelley's Frankenstein in an unquestionably fascinating subject. Since the bicentenary of the novel, Frankenstein or The Modern …

That Gut Feeling – Maintaining a Healthy Microbiome and The Possible Benefits of Probiotics

December 24th, 2020


Many biologists consider the microbes in our bodies to be, effectively, another body organ. The bacteria in our intestines help to release nutrients …

Arson and Forensic Fire Investigation

December 23rd, 2020


Actions taken at the outset of an investigation at a fire and arson scene can play a pivotal role in the resolution of a case. Careful, thorough …

Forensic Entomology - Using insects to solve crimes

December 20th, 2020


Forensic entomology involves the application of insect and other arthropod biology in legal investigations. Imagine a scenario whereby a dead body …

Neuroplasticity and Functional Recovery of the Brain After Trauma

December 20th, 2020


Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to alter its structure and function in response to new learning or changes in the environment. Therefore, when it is said that the human brain is ‘plastic’, it means malleable and …

The Re-emergence of Whooping Cough

December 20th, 2020


Whooping cough, also called ‘the cough of 100 days’, is an acute and highly contagious disease of the upper respiratory tract caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is transmitted via droplets in the air from …

Understanding Dyslexia

December 18th, 2020


Dyslexia is a learning disorder that can be explained by cognitive psychology and theories of memory. Evidence from fMRI scans show that the brain …

Human Egg Freezing

December 18th, 2020


Why would someone elect to have their eggs frozen? The main reason is to store these delicate cells so that they can be used in the future. The …

Top Tips for writing a Personal Statement

December 15th, 2020


I've been teaching for well over a decade now, and in that time, I’ve supported countless medics, vets, dentists, biomed students, biological …

The Social Psychology of Sport

December 14th, 2020


The situational factors that influence any type of social interaction (e.g. the physical environment, the presence of other people) can be applied to sport in very specific ways. This podcast will consider some of the …

The Blood Clotting Cascade

December 8th, 2020


It is crucial that animals with a cardiovascular system can slow (and ultimately prevent) blood loss from injury or damage to body tissues. In …

How long can humans live for? – The feasibility of an age-defying population

December 8th, 2020


As we begin to unlock the secrets held in our DNA, we could all live healthier, for a lot longer - but how much longer is the key question…how far …

Can rewilding rebalance the UK’s ecosystem?

November 5th, 2020


Rewilding offers a possible solution to reverse our rapidly deteriorating rural landscape. The natural world is often seen as a resource merely to …

Should we continue to kill sharks?

October 29th, 2020


Around 273 million sharks are killed each year globally. They’re feared as the archetypal killing machine, and there’s profit to be made from shark-derived products; but they may be more economically and environmentally …

How do viruses affect global health?

October 29th, 2020


Worldwide, the number of potential pathogens is very large, while the resources for disease research and development is limited. To ensure efforts under the World Health Organisation’s blueprint are focused and …

Why do Good People do Bad Things? - A Psychological Perspective

October 29th, 2020


We are all born with the neural architecture and ability to develop empathy and compassion, but to remain a good person, we must have a series of positive experiences throughout our lives. The Pygmalion effect may …

The Influence of Religious Beliefs on Healthcare

October 26th, 2020


The perceived role of God in illness and recovery is a primary influence upon the health care beliefs and behaviours of people. Only by understanding …

Yellow Fever in Brazil

October 25th, 2020


In May 2017, the Brazilian government declared an end to the public health emergency posed by the Zika Virus. Now, a new disease is threatening Brazil. An outbreak of yellow fever in rural parts of the country is …

Science and The Death Penalty in the United States

October 20th, 2020


Since capital punishment was reinstated by the US Supreme Court in 1976, 932 people have been put to death via lethal injection, 154 by electrocution, 11 by means of the gas chamber, 3 have been hung and 2 have been …

The Origins of Attraction

October 17th, 2020


We might perceive attraction as a free choice, but scientists have provided a number of different explanations about how attraction happens. …

Why should we all care about Plankton?

October 17th, 2020


Microscopic plankton are essential components of aquatic food chains and food webs. They are amongst the most abundant organisms on the planet, yet many people underestimate the environmental impact of plankton …

Treating Meningitis using Vaccines

October 17th, 2020


Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. As there are numerous causes of meningitis, there is no one vaccination to offer protection because, …

The Addictive Personality

October 16th, 2020


One theory of addiction (and one that has popular appeal outside of psychology) is that of the addictive personality. This theory states that some …

The Role of Emotion in Forgetting

October 12th, 2020


In order to understand forgetting, we must have an understanding of memory. According to the Oxford English Dictionary memory is “the faculty by …

Development of Intelligence in Children

October 11th, 2020


The view that we are born with a certain level of fixed intelligence is outdated. The environment plays a role in the way children are nurtured and …

Research into Telepathy - Is it Science or Science Fiction?

August 20th, 2020


Many would argue that until we can develop ways of empirically demonstrating how alleged telepathic communication occurs, research into telepathy …

Ageing - The Biology of Senescence

August 20th, 2020


An adult organism is not a static being but continues to change and develop, until the developmental processes are brought to an end by death. The …

Sex, Gender and Androgyny

August 18th, 2020


The concept of androgyny, it has been suggested, offers a means of transcending the duality of gender differences imposed by culture. Once gender …

Treating Schizophrenia - Comparing Behavioural and Psychoactive Therapies

August 18th, 2020


Schizophrenia is a severe mental health disorder characterised by psychosis and the inability to recognise reality. Positive symptoms of the disorder are those which happen in addition to everyday experiences, including …

What can mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tell us?

August 16th, 2020


For a long time, biologists believed that our DNA resided only in the nucleus, the large organelle acting as the control centre in our cells. It …

Understanding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

July 13th, 2020


In December 2019, the city of Wuhan in Hubei province China, became the centre of a suspected outbreak of pneumonia. At first, no-one was able to establish a cause. Health authorities immediately investigated the nature …

The Consequences of Liver Damage

July 13th, 2020


A human liver is estimated to carry out over 500 different functions, including metabolism, detoxification and the synthesis of key proteins and …

Statins - The Widespread and Controversial Use of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs

July 13th, 2020


Statins are designed to lower cholesterol levels in those deemed at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In this podcast, I'll discuss how …

The Return of Rickets

July 4th, 2020


Rickets is a condition characterised by a curvature of the spine, bowed legs, thickened ankles, knees and wrists - such skeletal deformities arise because the bones become softer and therefore more brittle. Rickets was …

An Introduction to Embryology

June 4th, 2020


The human body is made up of about 30–40 trillion cells. Each cell is specialised to carry out a particular job. Cells work together to form …

The Pentadactyl Limb - Evidence for Evolution

June 4th, 2020


Scientists use the concept of homology to identify evolutionary relationships among organisms. Homologies are characters shared between different …

Zika Virus - Origins, Pathology and Prevention

June 3rd, 2020


Zika virus was first identified in 1947, having originated in rhesus monkeys in the Zika forest in Uganda. In this podcast, I examine how the virus spread, the effects of its outbreak, and assess the evidence …

The Neurobiology of Ecstasy (MDMA)

May 31st, 2020


In this podcast, I'll be exploring a number of issues around the use of Class A drug, Ecstasy. Ecstasy is the street name for a version of MDMA, or 3,4 methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. It is an illegal, synthetic drug …

The Biology of Breast Cancer

May 30th, 2020


Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women, whilst it accounts for just 1% of cancers in men. The incidence of breast cancer in women is increasing, but, encouragingly, the mortality rate from it is falling. In this …

Immune Defences Part 2 - The Specific Response to Disease

May 30th, 2020


Long lasting immunity to disease is provided through memory cells and the production of antibody-secreting plasma B lymphocytes. These come about through our cell-mediated and humoral responses to invading pathogens, …

Immune Defences Part 1 - The Non-Specific Response to Disease

May 30th, 2020


Our bodies have the innate ability to prevent harmful pathogens from infecting them; namely through physical barriers to infection and the process of …

Medical Imaging - What Diagnostic Scans Can Reveal

May 28th, 2020


Medical imaging includes all of the non-invasive techniques used to create images of the human body for medical purposes. It is used to diagnose or monitor the progress of disease, and for medical science in the study …

Bringing Back a Species From Extinction

May 28th, 2020


More than 99% of the species that ever existed have become extinct. The concept of de-extinction, therefore, seems to hold so much promise. …

Doping in Sport - How Natural and Synthetic Drugs Enhance Performance

May 26th, 2020


Through doping, we now fully understand the use by athletes of substances prohibited by the anti-doping agencies in order to gain a competitive …

Should Doctors Be Allowed To Kill People?

May 26th, 2020


In this podcast, I'll be discussing the controversial issues surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide, asking whether medical professionals have the right, or even the responsibility to partake in either. Both active …

What's Killing the Honey Bees?

May 26th, 2020


75% of our leading global food crops require insect pollination, and bees are the major pollinators. In this podcast, I'll be discussing whether a …

The Biology of Multiple Sclerosis

May 25th, 2020


The term ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ refers to the replacement of myelin, a fatty substance that forms a protective sheath around neurones, with scar …

Animal Testing In Medical Research

May 24th, 2020


Animal testing, also known as vivisection, normally elicits strong responses from people, both for and against the procedures. The role of animal …

Dietary Fibre - The Superfood That Prevents Chronic Disease

May 23rd, 2020


We all understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet, but how many of us truly appreciate the role that dietary fibre plays. It has been …

Tips and Tricks for Exam Revision Success

May 23rd, 2020


In this podcast,  I give my 'Top 10 Tips and Tricks' for when it comes to revising for exams. Everyone has their own learning style and method of …

Bad Clots - The Biology Behind Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

May 23rd, 2020


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the development of a blood clot in a major deep vein in the leg, thigh, pelvis, or abdomen. They may be asymptomatic; however, there may be asymmetrical leg swelling, unilateral leg pain, …

What Makes a Good Parasite?

May 19th, 2020


Virtually all organisms have some sort of parasite living on or inside them. Fleas, lice and ticks have caused problems for humans for thousands of years. These creatures bite the skin, suck the blood and transmit …

The Reintroduction of Wolves

May 19th, 2020


By the 18th century wolves had been hunted to extinction in the UK. Their numbers have declined across Europe and the U.S, although they remain …

The Role of Microorganisms in Biotechnology

May 18th, 2020


Politician and first President of Israel, Chaim Wiezmann is less well known for his work on the acetone-butanol fermentation process, but this in …

Making Tracks - The Forensic Examination of Footprints and Footwear

May 17th, 2020


In this high tech world of DNA fingerprinting, computerised bloodstain spatter analysis, and video imaging, one might say that it seems a little mundane to discuss something as simple as shoe print analysis. …

How Intergenerational Care Bridges the Age Divide

May 17th, 2020


According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a …

Digging Up The Dirt - How Soil Analysis Can Solve Crimes

May 15th, 2020


Forensic Scientist Georg Popp is credited with being the first to use soil evidence to solve a crime; the 1904 murder of Eva Disch. Since then, …

Detecting Deception - What Body Language Reveals

May 12th, 2020


According to recent research, facial expressions do not reveal our emotions, but instead, our intentions and social goals. It is possible to hide behind them, however? Can we learn to read body language to detect …

Toxicological Testing for Aspirin

May 10th, 2020


In this podcast, I describe the various techniques employed, including mass spectrometry to confirm aspirin toxicity. Toxicology is the study of …

Letters, Lies and Ransoms - The Art of Handwriting Analysis

May 9th, 2020


Every person’s handwriting is unique and personalised. It is difficult to disguise or forge, but analysis can provide a useful tool in forensics in …

Wounds and Weapons – Analysing Impression Evidence and Injuries caused by Tools

May 9th, 2020


Tool marks refer to cuts, gouges or abrasions caused by tools or other such instruments. They can leave striations on softer surfaces that match …

Understanding the Transmission of Nerve Impulses

May 9th, 2020


The brain receives huge amounts of information from outside our body via our sense organs, and it has to integrate all of this information, and direct parts of our body to respond, and take action. It does so via …

How Oral Rehydration Therapy became a Low-tech Life Saver

May 9th, 2020


The Medical journal 'The Lancet' called Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) "the most important medical advance of the 20th Century". This simple, low-tech, low-cost treatment is able to prevent death stemming from …

Are some humans born evil? (with Charlotte S)

May 4th, 2020


What makes something, or more specifically someone, evil? Is it down to nature, or nurture - can some humans really be born with evil intent? In this …

The Science of Shakespeare – Could Romeo really have fallen in love 'at first sight' with Juliet? (with Felicia Isaacs)

April 28th, 2020


'Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake - its everything except what it is' - the real question …

The Science of Shakespeare – Was Othello’s jealousy in his genes? (with Felicia Isaacs)

April 26th, 2020


'Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock' - This is the second instalment in the series looking at 'The Science of Shakespeare', and rather fittingly, was recorded during the week …

The Science of Shakespeare – Did Macbeth’s insomnia lead to paranoia? (with Felicia Isaacs)

April 22nd, 2020


'Macbeth does murder sleep' - is this the reason why Shakespeare's character has delusions and paranoid thoughts? In this podcast, I'm joined by English teacher Felicia Isaacs, who gives her perspective on whether …

Understanding Karyotypes

April 20th, 2020


Karyotyping is a laboratory procedure that allows your doctor to examine your set of chromosomes.  The karyotype of a living organism refers to the number and appearance of the chromosomes, and allows for both the …

Water - The Molecule of Life

April 20th, 2020


In this podcast, I discuss the cohesive, thermal and solvent properties of one of the most crucial biological molecules there is - water. By …

A Matter of Life and Death – The Dilemma of the Nazi Book of Anatomy

April 15th, 2020


The Pernkopf Topographic Anatomy of Man, an anatomy reference book published in 1937 by a Nazi doctor, continues to be the most widely used anatomy book by surgeons. Its' gruesome history, however, has forced people to …

Detecting Body Fluids - An Introduction to Forensic Serology

April 14th, 2020


If you're a fan of true crime stories or detective novels, you might think that gunshot residue, or a carelessly left fingerprint on a surface would …

Is Cosmetic Surgery worth the risk?

April 12th, 2020


Despite the several thousand cosmetic surgery operations performed each year in the UK, research carried out by the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons suggested that 65% of former …

What can you do with a Biology Degree?

April 12th, 2020


Biology is cited on the HESA website (the central source for statistics about UK higher education) as one of the most valuable courses to study at …

Diseases and Disorders of the Eyes

April 11th, 2020


In this podcast, I describe the nature of several general defects of the eyes, including Myopia and Hypermetropia, Astigmatism, Presbyopia, Strabismus or Misaligned eyes and Amblyopia (lazy eye). I also describe …

The Biology of Finding Nemo (with Yasmin O)

March 27th, 2020


I'm thrilled once again to be joined by Year 13 Biology student Yasmin, who, in a very similar vein to the podcast about The Lion King, takes a …

LGBT Youth and Eating Disorders - Is modern society to blame? (with Roz P)

February 25th, 2020


In this thought-provoking podcast, Year 11 biologist Roz P explores the notion that modern society is responsible for the development of eating …

Angioplasty and Bypass Surgery - Treating Coronary Heart Disease

February 16th, 2020


In this podcast, I’ll discuss the two main surgical methods of treatment for CHD; angioplasty and Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG). The term ‘angioplasty’ refers to the use of a balloon to stretch open a narrowed …

Astrobiology - How Life Started (with Yasmin O)

January 10th, 2020


The unique blend of Astronomy and Biology can provide an insight into how life may have started here on Earth. That knowledge would be crucial in our …

An Introduction to Quantum Biology (with Yasmin 0)

January 10th, 2020


In this podcast, Year 13 Biology student Yasmin 0 explores the connections between Quantum Physics and Biology. One might not immediately appreciate …

Sickle Cell Anaemia - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

January 1st, 2020


It is estimated that there are between 12,500 and 15,000 people with Sickle Cell Disease in the UK. In this podcast, I will describe the autosomal recessive mutation that lies at the heart of the condition, the signs …

All about MMI’s – How to prepare for the Medical School Mini Interviews

December 28th, 2019


The MMI, or Multiple Mini Interview is a relatively new way in which universities select entrants on to their medical and dentistry courses. In this …

Misconceptions about Blood and its’ circulation

December 28th, 2019


If we know that blood is red, why do textbooks still perpetuate the idea that deoxygenated blood is blue? When one looks down at their wrists, we see ‘blue veins’, but why? I decided to conduct my own study into …

The Intramuscular Architecture of the Axillary Nerve within the Deltoid Muscle

December 28th, 2019


When giving an intramuscular injection into the Deltoid muscle, it is important to understand how the Axillary nerve and its’ branches are …

The Biology Behind Tattoos - Can they really boost our health?

December 21st, 2019


In this podcast, I’ll be taking a look at the Biology behind tattoos, from the anatomical arrangement of skin layers and how the ink is retained, to …

Private Healthcare vs. The NHS

December 16th, 2019


Why would anyone want to pay for private medical services, when they could be treated on the NHS for free? Is one really better than the other? In …

A Summary of the Mechanisms of Reproductive Isolation

December 16th, 2019


In this short podcast, I summarise the different forms of reproductive isolating mechanisms, by looking at those that occur before fertilisation …

Social Media and Depression in Adolescents - Is there a link?

October 30th, 2019


Ever since the emergence of social media back in the early 2000’s, questions have been raised about the potentially harmful effects it has on mental …

Superheroes – A work of fiction, or do they really exist?

October 29th, 2019


Could superheroes live among us?... perhaps not heroes, but what about super-humans? Do people exist who possess extraordinary abilities, or could we …

Understanding Huntington's Disease

October 29th, 2019


The majority of genetic disorders have a recessive inheritance pattern, but Huntington's Disease is an autosomal dominant condition. In this podcast, I discuss the cause (expanding CAG nucleotide repeats) and the …

Oogenesis and Spermatogenesis - The Production of Egg and Sperm

October 28th, 2019


From evolutionary theory to IVF and fertility, a number of podcasts I have recorded mention aspects of reproduction. In this podcast, I take it back …

The Origin of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

October 28th, 2019


Why would an animal cell contain mitochondria with 70S ribosomes, organelles typically found inside prokaryotic cells? This podcast aims to answer …

Evolution of Animal Behaviour

October 28th, 2019


In this podcast, I discuss three key aspects of animal behaviour, namely social organisation, the evolution of altruistic behaviour and the …

Diagnosing medical conditions from an ECG

October 27th, 2019


An ECG (electrocardiogram) is a medical test that records the electrical activity of the heart (or more specifically, the depolarisation and …

Do animals have beneficial effects on autistic children?

October 27th, 2019


ASD, or autistic spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behaviour. Animal-assisted therapy is a therapeutic intervention for patients with ASD, that incorporates animals as part of …

Can dementia patients have independence?

October 27th, 2019


Dementia is an umbrella term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in mental ability, severe enough to affect daily life. The key question that this podcast wishes to raise, is to what extent …

ATP - An Important Biological Molecule

October 26th, 2019


In this podcast, I describe the structure of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and the important roles this macromolecule performs. 

Gunshot Residue and its Forensic Significance

October 22nd, 2019


How much value can we place on GSR evidence? With reference to past criminal cases, I describe what GSR (gunshot residue) is, the methods we employ to detect it, and why GSR evidence has, on occasion, been inadmissible …

Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression

October 20th, 2019


Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes to gene function and expression that are a result of environment factors, and not the result of …

The Functions of The Thyroid Gland

September 10th, 2019


In this podcast, I’ll describe the location of the thyroid gland with reference to key anatomical landmarks, discuss the significant and rather …

The Science of Sleep (with Poppy GT)

September 9th, 2019


In this podcast, I'm joined by Year 9 student Poppy GT, who discusses what really goes on in our brains when we sleep. She will also explain the science behind some of the most fascinating concepts, including REM sleep …

Seizures and Epilepsy

July 24th, 2019


In this podcast, I discuss the nature of partial and generalised seizures, and explain how a diagnosis of epilepsy is made. With reference to clinical cases in my own family, I describe how the condition can be managed …

Seizures and Epilepsy Part 2 - A Patient Interview

July 24th, 2019


My mother-in-law (Lesley) has a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy, and experiences complex partial seizures. The condition has had a profound effect on her day to day life – not just in terms of the medication she takes, …

CRISPR - The Science behind the hype (with Emma Thornton)

June 25th, 2019


In this podcast, I'm joined by former A-Level Biology student Emma Thornton, who describes the CRISPR gene editing technique and its possible future …

First Aid Essentials - Carrying out a Primary Survey

June 11th, 2019


In this podcast, the first of a series on First Aid Essentials, I discuss how to ascertain the level of responsiveness in a casualty, how to carry out checks for open airways and normal breathing and explain the …

To Speak the Truth - The Role of Forensic Voice Analysis

June 9th, 2019


How well do you know your neighbour? Well enough to recognise the sound of their voice - even in a crowded room...well enough to testify in a court of law to that effect? In this podcast, I discuss the key areas of …

Comparing Ventilation Mechanisms in Humans, Fish and Insects

June 6th, 2019


Imagine that you can design your own respiratory airways – what would they look like? This is a question I ask my own students, to see if they bring …

How to write the perfect Synoptic Essay in A-Level Biology

June 6th, 2019


This podcast is aimed at those students sitting their Biology A-Levels, or more specifically, those sitting the AQA Paper 3 at A2, with the synoptic …

Is the vast amount of money spent on wildlife conservation worth it?

June 3rd, 2019


Research suggests that conservation investment will become inconsequential as the human population grows. Why is that? In this podcast, I try to …

The Biology of The Lion King

June 1st, 2019


On the face of it, you can look at this movie as a coming of age story, or perhaps one about family, redemption and even power struggles. If we take a slightly different approach, however, you might be surprised at just …

Miscarriages of Justice and The CSI Effect

May 30th, 2019


Do shows like CSI have a negative influence on peoples’ interpretation of the criminal justice system, and on forensic science practices? In this podcast, Mr I discusses what the latest research suggests is the case.

The Aspirin Story - From Willow to Wonder Drug

May 24th, 2019


In this podcast, I delve into the story behind Aspirin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that scientists often hail as a wonder drug. Quite …

Courtship, Birdsong and The Biology of Flirting

May 7th, 2019


Why is it important to breed with members of the same species? Is there any benefit to forming a committed pair bond with your partner...and what exactly are birds saying to one another through their birdsong? Discover …

Understanding how vaccines work

April 15th, 2019


A vaccine is the administration of a weak or dead pathogen, designed to stimulate a primary immune response. What exactly does that response entail, …

UCAT and BMAT – Admissions tests for Medical Schools

April 8th, 2019


Thank you for listening to this special podcast on the UCAT (formerly known as UKCAT) and BMAT – these are the two big entrance exams that students must sit to get onto certain Medical, Dental, Veterinary and Biomedical …

‘Make no bones about it!’ – The Role of Forensic Anthropology

April 8th, 2019


As the title suggests, this podcast is all about bones – why study them, what can they tell us about their owners, and how can that information be …

Hair Fibre Analysis and the secrets it can reveal

April 8th, 2019


In this podcast, Mr I will discuss hair structure and morphology, and how forensic analysis of fibres can help bring about a conviction, or simply be …

Are girls 'better' than boys? (with Mr Dan Wilkinson)

March 27th, 2019


In this thought-provoking, and perhaps controversial podcast, Mr I sits down with the Head of Psychology at Tormead, Mr Dan Wilkinson, to explore the …

Is making your own light the key to survival? (with Emma T)

March 26th, 2019


In this podcast, Year 13 Biology student Emma T discusses bioluminescence, a phenomenon in which organisms produce their own light. She will describe …

Breaking Bad News - Why is it so difficult?

March 23rd, 2019


Studies have suggested that there are 3 key reasons why medical professionals struggle to deliver bad news. In this podcast, I discuss what those reasons are, and the significant impact they potentially have on clinical …

The Discovery of Insulin as a treatment for Diabetes

March 23rd, 2019


The development of insulin for the treatment of Diabetes mellitus by Banting et al, is regarded by many as one of the greatest biological discoveries …

The Fruit Fly - An unsung hero of 20th Century Science

March 23rd, 2019


The common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) has been the test subject from which some of the 20th century's greatest biological discoveries have …

Blood Pattern Analysis

March 21st, 2019


In this podcast, I discuss how blood pattern analysis can aid forensic investigators make sense of a crime scene, and reveal why the technique is viewed by some professionals as controversial. 

Living with OCD - A study into psychopathology

March 17th, 2019


In this personal study of psychopathology, I describe the nature of obsessive compulsive disorders. This podcast will outline the key characteristics …

Fingerprints and their Forensic significance

March 17th, 2019


In 1901, Sir Edward Henry provided the foundations on which modern day fingerprint classification systems are based.  In this podcast, I refer to a number of high profile criminal cases where fingerprint evidence has …

HeLa Cells and The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks

March 17th, 2019


The contributions that HeLa cells have made in the fields of Science and Technology are vast. In this podcast, I'm joined by Year 13 Biology student …

The Story of Golden Rice

March 9th, 2019


In this podcast, I outline the steps involved in genetically engineering Golden Rice as a means of preventing Vitamin A (retinol) deficiency. 

Apoptosis - A very orderly cell death

March 9th, 2019


In this podcast, we look at the process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death. What is the exact mechanism behind this self destruction, and when …

Forensic Psychology and Offender Profiling

March 3rd, 2019


How useful is an offender profile in catching a perpetrator? In this podcast, we look at the field of Forensic Psychology, and discuss how criminal …

From Patients to Pupils - Why I left Medicine for Teaching

February 21st, 2019


Leaving a career in Medicine wasn't a difficult decision for me to make - the thing is, I never really wanted to do it in the first place! In this …

The Disease Model of Addiction (with Charlotte Isaacs)

February 19th, 2019


Working as a counsellor in the criminal justice system, Charlotte (Mrs I) has seen first-hand how addiction can transform lives. In this podcast, she will discuss the disease model of addiction, whilst Mr I will delve a …

Growing ‘made-to-order’ human kidneys

February 19th, 2019


In this podcast, we takes a look at the current developments in kidney transplantation and discusses the key functions of these vital organs.  

Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection – Is it shaping Human Evolution?

February 19th, 2019


"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change." Did Charles Darwin actually say this, and what exactly does his theory of natural …

Pest Control - An Intensive Farming Practice

February 19th, 2019


In this podcast, Mr I describes how cultural, chemical and biological pest control have all been used to increase yield and productivity. As a means …

IVF and the Causes of Infertility

February 3rd, 2019


In the UK, around 1 in 7 couples experience difficulty conceiving. In this podcast, Mr I explains how the IVF process works, and discusses the causes …

What makes a heart beat?

January 27th, 2019


The heart beats an incredible 115,200 times a day, but what exactly causes a heart beat? This podcast will discuss how the natural pacemaker (SAN) …

Teeth and Bite marks - An Introduction to Forensic Odontology

January 26th, 2019


What is it about teeth that makes them such a useful forensic tool? With reference to infamous killer Ted Bundy, Mr I examines the scope of forensic …

Genetic drift and the formation of new species

January 20th, 2019


In this podcast, Mr I discusses how the founder effect and genetic bottlenecks (both sub categories of genetic drift) could lead to the formation of …

The development of Cancer and the different types of tumour

January 16th, 2019


What exactly do we mean by cancer? Essentially, cancer is the uncontrolled proliferation of cells which lead to the formation of a tumour. The …

Current HIV Research - Targeting HIV reservoirs and markers for Cardiovascular Disease

January 5th, 2019


In this podcast, Mr I discusses two recently published articles about HIV therapy. CD4 T lymphocytes are known to act as viral reservoirs in those on …

Why dogs are so loving - A Genetic Explanation

December 30th, 2018


As I look into the eyes of my rescue greyhound Luca, I wonder if the connection goes deeper than him simply wanting to be fed. They say that dogs are …

Stem Cells - Embryonic vs Adult

December 28th, 2018


What are stem cells, and how can we harvest them to treat disease? Moreover, which type of stem cell should we use?

Pathology - Estimating time of death

December 28th, 2018


What happens to a body after death, and how can an autopsy reveal the exact cause, manner and time of death?

Dementia - Causes and Complications

December 28th, 2018


In this podcast, Mr I describes the group of symptoms that characterises dementia, with focus on Alzheimer's disease.

Could humans ever photosynthesise?

December 28th, 2018


Emma T (Year 13 Biology student) discusses the mechanisms that might allow humans to use photosynthesis.

Forensic Facial identification

December 28th, 2018


Just how unreliable are facial composites based on eyewitness testimony, and how might biometrics help?

How dangerous is fake medical news?

December 28th, 2018


With stories of 'miracle cures' for diseases like cancer being shared thousands of times on social media, Mr I considers the consequences of fake medical news.

What are innate behaviours?

December 28th, 2018


Why do we have innate behaviours, and what distinguishes them from learnt responses?

Counting down the Top 10 Deadly Poisons

December 28th, 2018


The Top 10 Deadly Poisons are revealed in the first KYTOS Biology Podcast - with reference to real life cases!

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