In this week’s episode, we’re presenting two stories about the science of pregnancy.
Part 1: An expert in oxytocin, the hormone released during birth, Bianca Jones Marlin is determined to have a natural birth — even as the hours of labor add up…
Part 2: Science writer Veronika Meduna thought she never wanted to have children, but in her late thirties, she changes her mind.
Bianca Jones Marlin is a neuroscientist and postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University. She holds a PhD in neuroscience from New York University, and dual bachelor degrees from St. John’s University, in biology and adolescent education. As a graduate student, with Dr. Robert Froemke, Dr. Marlin examined how the brain adapts to care for a newborn and how a baby’s cry can control adult behavior. Her research focused on the vital bond between parent and child, and studied the use of neurochemicals, such as the “love drug” oxytocin, as a treatment to strengthen fragile and broken parent-child relationships. Dr. Marlin is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Axel, where she investigates transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, or how traumatic experiences in parents affect the brain structure of their offspring. Her research has been featured in Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Scientific America and Discover Magazine’s “100 Top Stories of 2015.” She is the recipient of the 2016 Society for Neuroscience Donald B. Lindsley Award, which recognizes the most outstanding PhD thesis in the general area of behavioral neuroscience and was named a STAT Wunderkind in 2017. She is currently a Junior Fellow in the prestigious Simons Society of Fellows. A native New Yorker, Dr. Marlin lives in Manhattan with her scientist husband, Joseph, their daughter, Sage, and their cat Santiago Ramon y Cajal, who is named after the famed neuroanatomist. Her website is www.biancajonesmarlin.com
Veronika Meduna was born in the Czech Republic but has lived in New Zealand for 25 years. She is an award-winning journalist and author with two decades of experience in radio, print and digital storytelling. She has previously produced and hosted a weekly science programme for RNZ, written seven books, and contributed to local and international media including The NZ Listener, NZ Geographic, New Scientist and Deutsche Welle. She is currently the NZ Editor of The Conversation, a global not-for-profit media organisation. Veronika works with academics and researchers to publish evidence-based analysis and news.
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