83 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
    • 4.9 • 92 Ratings

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 67 HPV: My wart be with you

    Ep 67 HPV: My wart be with you

    The world of human papillomaviruses is vast and varied, and causing cervical cancer is just one of the many roles these viruses can take on. From their carcinogenic tendencies to their more benign wart-forming ways, this episode explores what these tiny viruses have taught us about how our bodies prevent cancer, how imaginative old timey cures for warts can be, how slow acceptance of the facts and a failure in marketing led to a delayed and impaired vaccine uptake, and so much more. You could say we’re covering all aspects of this highly-requested topic, warts and all. The historical stigma of cancer as a “woman’s disease”? Check. What’s actually inside a wart? Check. The possible origins of a mythical creature? Check. The massive disparity in vaccine access between high- and low-income countries? Check. Tune in to hear it all.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Ep 66 The Outs and Ins of Organ Transplantation

    Ep 66 The Outs and Ins of Organ Transplantation

    From the first skin grafts to the future of 3D printed organs, the science of organ transplantation has always seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel. How on earth can an organ from one person be removed and successfully placed into another person? Who first attempted such a monumental feat, and how long did it take for trial and error to become trial and success? Our episode this week seeks to answer these questions and so many more as we tackle the massive topic of organ transplantation. We begin by examining the immunological nitty gritty of transplant science and follow that up with the long and storied history of transplants. We round things out with a look at the numbers, which show the unfortunate reality that demand far outpaces availability, a reality that may soon be improved with innovative approaches towards bioengineering. And we are so excited to be joined by two fantastic guests, Carol Offen and Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Crais, who share their stories of what it’s like to donate or receive a kidney. 

    Carol, who is a NKF Kidney Advocacy Committee member, has a great website that includes many resources where you can learn more about kidney donation as well as keep an eye out for Carol and Betsy’s upcoming book, The Greatest Gift: The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation, expected spring 2021. You can also follow Carol on Twitter (@CarolOffen) and through her advocacy page on Facebook. We will also post additional links for where to learn more about organ donation and advocacy work on our website.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 41 min
    Ep 65 Sweating Sickness: Ready, Sweat, Go!

    Ep 65 Sweating Sickness: Ready, Sweat, Go!

    Here’s a pop quiz for all of you: what disease makes you sweat profusely, run a slight fever, develop body aches and a pounding head and then makes you drop dead within hours of symptom onset? If you answered “I have no idea”, you passed! Because we haven’t a clue either. In this episode, we attempt to tease apart the mysterious sweating sickness, which struck only five times in the 1400s and 1500s in England, leaving in its wake terror, confusion, and a trail of bodies. Although the sweating sickness has not been seen since (or has it?), scientists and scholars continue to investigate this mysterious illness and propose various pathogens as the likely causative agent. Tune in to hear us go through the most popular explanations to see if we can form our own consensus on ‘the sweat’.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Ep 64 Rubella: Timing is Everything

    Ep 64 Rubella: Timing is Everything

    For many of us, rubella has simply come to mean the R in MMR, the routine childhood measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. But that hasn’t always been the case. There was once a time when the rubella virus routinely made front page news and was at the center of countless legal discussions. This week, we explore everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this virus. We start off by asking what this virus does to your body and how it can cross the placenta, leading to congenital rubella syndrome. Then we journey through the short but impactful history of this disease, from the discovery of the effects the virus can have on a developing fetus to the widespread epidemics that spurred on the development of a vaccine. Finally we wrap up with some much-needed good news about the global decline of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    COVID-19 Chapter 14: Virology, Take 2

    COVID-19 Chapter 14: Virology, Take 2

    The fourteenth installment of our Anatomy of a Pandemic series on COVID-19 dives into what we’ve learned about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Curious about the new strains or variants making headlines lately? Or how exactly tests for COVID-19 actually work? Or perhaps you’ve been wondering about the different routes of transmission that this virus uses. Whatever your virology question, we’ve (hopefully) got you covered. We were fortunate enough to interview virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen, affiliate at the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, and whom you may remember from our earlier episode on the virology of SARS-CoV-2, which we released all the way back in March 2020. Dr. Rasmussen was kind enough to sit back down with us to answer all of our many burning virology questions (interview recorded December 30, 2020). As always, we wrap up the episode by discussing the top five things we learned from our expert. If you would like to read Dr. Rasmussen's article in The Guardian about the new SARS-CoV-2 variants, follow this link.

    To help you get a better idea of the topics covered in this episode, we’ve listed the questions below:
    Can you tell us a bit about SARS-CoV-2? What kind of virus it is, other viruses it’s related to, and what that tells us about the virus and the disease it causes?
    Could you tell us a bit more about the B117 strain, like whether this appears to be a new strain and how it is different? Do we have any evidence of any strains that seem to cause more severe disease or affect different populations?
    Where do these new strains come from?
    What does this new strain (or multiple new strains) mean for the effectiveness of the vaccines that have been developed? Will these vaccines work against these new strains? 
    What additional things have we learned about the structure or surface proteins of SARS-CoV-2 that give us more insight into how it causes disease or the widespread effects it has on the body?
    Is there any indication that the virus can be airborne? Does fecal-oral transmission seem to be playing a role?
    What are the various ways to test for SARS-CoV-2? Can you walk us through what each experience is like?
    How do the rapid vs PCR tests work? And can you compare their accuracy? Why does the rapid test have a higher rate of false negatives than the PCR test?
    What has this pandemic taught us about virology?

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Ep 63 Poison Ivy: It's Just Us

    Ep 63 Poison Ivy: It's Just Us

    Our first crossover episode this season with Dr. Matt Candeias of In Defense of Plants stars everyone’s favorite irritating plant-originated substance: urushiol! Join us for a light-hearted deep dive into urushiol, aka the stuff in poison ivy that makes you soooo itchy/burny/scratchy. Have you ever wondered why popping a benadryl doesn’t relieve those oozing, raised welts all over your gardening arms? Or whether a poison ivy rash has ever been used as evidence in a murder case? Or why poison ivy and other plants produce this substance in the first place? Don’t worry, just like a poison ivy rash after a summer gardening sesh, we’ve got you covered.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
92 Ratings

92 Ratings

Wamel Camel ,

Wass up

T hi

Cljhepburn ,

Addictive, entertaining and educational

One of my favourite podcasts of all time- I listen to the new episodes as they’re released. The hosts tackle manage to make complex biological terms accessible to those of us a bit science-challenged. My favourite episode was the toxoplasmosis ep...I’ve been cleaning my cats litterbox with more caution since!

chibirach ,

Great Advice and Super Interesting!

Love the no BS approach to vaccines and how important they are! Thanks for providing accurate and interesting info to the public!

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