44 episodes

This podcast might not actually kill you, but it covers so many things that can. Each episode tackles a different disease, from its history, to its biology, and finally, how scared you need to be. Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke make infectious diseases acceptable fodder for dinner party conversation and provide the perfect cocktail recipe to match

This Podcast Will Kill You Exactly Right

    • Life Sciences

This podcast might not actually kill you, but it covers so many things that can. Each episode tackles a different disease, from its history, to its biology, and finally, how scared you need to be. Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke make infectious diseases acceptable fodder for dinner party conversation and provide the perfect cocktail recipe to match

    Ep 42 Dandy Dengue Fever

    Ep 42 Dandy Dengue Fever

    Our first vector-borne disease episode of season 3 and our first mosquito-borne pathogen in quite some time, dengue virus proves itself to be more than a worthy topic (and quite a formidable adversary in terms of public health). This week we are joined by Dr. Alex Trillo who drops some firsthand knowledge on the excruciating symptoms that give dengue its colloquial name “breakbone fever”, and then we trace the virus’s path from its evolutionary origins in ancient forests to the inevitable emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever following modern war. We round it all out with some truly horrifying stats on the prevalence of dengue today as well as some promising research on reducing the prevalence of dengue tomorrow.


    To find out more about Alex’s incredibly cool research, check out her website at www.alextrillo.com and follow her on Twitter at @Trillo_PA.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Ep 41 Ricin: A Bad Seed

    Ep 41 Ricin: A Bad Seed

    Have you missed learning about plant poisons? Well, it’s your lucky day! Today is our first crossover of season three with our friend Matt Candeias of In Defense of Plants. In this episode we delve into the castor bean plant Ricinus communis and its two notorious products: castor oil and the star of the show, ricin. Join us as we learn about ricin’s storied history, which leads us through political assassinations and efficiency in engines, the biology of ricin, which horrifies us with its lethality, and finally, the ecology of the plant, which surprises us with its strategic partnerships.

    Looking for more ways to cure your plant blindness? Check out In Defense of Plants at indefenseofplants.com and follow Matt on twitter @indfnsofplnts.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ep 40 Dancing Plague: Worst Dance Party Ever

    Ep 40 Dancing Plague: Worst Dance Party Ever

    In 1518 a strange sight could be seen all over the town of Strasbourg. Crowds of people dancing unceasingly, unable to control their movements, seemingly heedless of their blistered and bloodied feet. As the contagious dance grew, so did the body count as the frenzied dancers succumbed to exhaustion. Over 500 years later, this dancing plague leaves us with many questions, first among them being, “What in the heck?”. In this episode, we try to get to the bottom of this mysterious infectious dance by investigating several different hypotheses, which lead us down some wild roads. Tune in, put on your best dancing shoes, and drop that beat.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Ep 39 Toxoplasmosis: Calling All Cats

    Ep 39 Toxoplasmosis: Calling All Cats

    You’ve seen the headlines: could this cat-associated parasite be controlling your every move? Is the love you have for cats pure or merely a manipulation? Join us as we discuss Toxoplasma gondii, the feline-associated parasite that infects a whopping one third of all humans. Yes, you read that right. From the behavior-altering effects on rodents to the ancestral origins of the domestic cat, we dive deep into all things toxoplasmosis, the disease that sounds like it comes straight out of a sci-fi novel.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Ep 38 Lead Poisoning: Heavy Metal Episode

    Ep 38 Lead Poisoning: Heavy Metal Episode

    This episode, our first foray into toxic metals, is heavy in all kinds of ways - metallically, emotionally, informationally, politically. Lead poisoning has been around for about as long humans have been working with lead, but despite its extensive history, it still poses an incredibly huge public health problem today, especially for children. Tune in to hear us chat about the multitude of effects lead exposure can have on your body, the dark and often strange history of lead poisoning (ancient Rome, anyone?), and the alarming extent to which lead exposure affects people around the world today.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Ep 37 E. coli (unless it's beets)

    Ep 37 E. coli (unless it's beets)

    E. coli. Such a short name for such a massive topic. This episode we explore the delightful diversity of Escherichia coli, the ubiquitous bacterium that predates humans and can range in virulence anywhere from “you won’t even know I’m there” to “this is really, really, really gonna hurt”. Today we cover the good, the bad, and the ugly: you’ll hear about the innumerable contributions of E. coli to the fields of genetics, evolution, and microbiology, a detailed account of how pathogenic strains can wreak havoc on your guts, and an exploration of one of the most infamous food-borne illness outbreaks in US history. Hoping we’d end it on a happy note? Better luck next time, folks.

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

Cillz26 ,

What a great way to spread awareness of these diseases

I love listening to this podcast on my way to and from work.
Each subject is so well researched and they explain it so you don’t have to be a scientist to understand what they are talking about!

LokiB101010 ,

Personal fav!

This is by far my favourite podcast! I am not a science minded person but the Erin’s make everything so clear and easy to understand! I think understanding these diseases is both terrifying and helpful and I now nag (even more than usual) everyone of my friends and relatives to get their vaccinations! Love this!!

Wana be artist ,

One sided regarding vaccine episode

Disappointing. looked. You joke about One side of argument is silenced, which it is.
Facts are over omitted, over looked and laughed at. There are blatant mistruths.

Have you read any full offical data sheets for each vaccine .

Would like to hear you ladies have another go . And not be biased :)

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