17 episodes

Hey science nerds! Welcome to Beyond the Abstract, a science podcast dedicated to discussion of the coolest cutting edge, basic science research papers in a way that just about anyone can understand. We're your hosts, Derek and Ellen, two MD/PhD students at the University of Pennsylvania who are passionate about science communication and bridging the gap between science and medicine.

In each episode, we’ll dive into a paper and talk about the experiments these scientists did, what it means for the future of research, and even potential impacts on human health and medicine. We've invited experts in these fields to help us understand and dissect these complicated but impactful papers.

We can't wait to share all this cool science with you.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for informational purposes only and NOT intended as medical advice. The views and opinions expressed are those of the hosts and guests and do not reflect the University of Pennsylvania.

Business contact: beyondabstractpod@gmail.com

Beyond the Abstract Beyond the Abstract

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

Hey science nerds! Welcome to Beyond the Abstract, a science podcast dedicated to discussion of the coolest cutting edge, basic science research papers in a way that just about anyone can understand. We're your hosts, Derek and Ellen, two MD/PhD students at the University of Pennsylvania who are passionate about science communication and bridging the gap between science and medicine.

In each episode, we’ll dive into a paper and talk about the experiments these scientists did, what it means for the future of research, and even potential impacts on human health and medicine. We've invited experts in these fields to help us understand and dissect these complicated but impactful papers.

We can't wait to share all this cool science with you.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for informational purposes only and NOT intended as medical advice. The views and opinions expressed are those of the hosts and guests and do not reflect the University of Pennsylvania.

Business contact: beyondabstractpod@gmail.com

    Spilling the CAR-T on Cardiac Fibrosis

    Spilling the CAR-T on Cardiac Fibrosis

    Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has revolutionized cancer treatment by engineering our own immune cells to recognize and fight cancers that are resistant to treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. But can we use CAR T cells to treat other diseases too, like cardiac fibrosis? Cardiac fibrosis, or scarring of the heart, is common following heart attacks or prolonged hypertension. At some point, many patients require heart transplants. In this episode of Beyond the Abstract, Dan and Derek discuss how scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have created a new, cell-based therapy to fight against this scarring in the heart by taking a few tricks from the fields of cancer biology and immunology.
    Aghajanian et al. Targeting cardiac fibrosis with engineered T cells. Nature, September 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1546-z (10.1038/s41586-019-1546-z). PMID: 31511695.
    The information presented here is not medical advice. Please follow all guidelines from the CDC in regards to social distancing. Consult your physician on any questions regarding your personal health.

    • 20 min
    Let's Talk About Sex-Biased Diseases

    Let's Talk About Sex-Biased Diseases

    Why do some diseases affect more men than women, or more women than men? Science has been unable to explain many of these sex-biased diseases until just recently. In this episode of Beyond the Abstract, Derek invites Dan Weiner, an MD/PhD student at Harvard Medical School, to talk about a recent breakthrough in neuropsychiatric and autoimmune genetics and how the key to these sex-biased differences may actually lie in our immune system.
    Kamitaki et al. Complement genes contribute sex-biased vulnerability in diverse disorders. Nature, June 2020. PMID: 32499649. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2277-x

    • 29 min
    Going Nuts for Sir Toli

    Going Nuts for Sir Toli

    This week on Beyond the Abstract, Derek and Ellen talk about Derek's newest first-author publication in Developmental Biology. They discuss the role of myosin in Sertoli cells and how mutations can affect male fertility. More importantly, Ellen recounts a science celebrity sighting from our time working at the NIH.
    This article was featured as the cover article of the February 2021 issue of Developmental Biology.
    Sung et al. Mutations in non-muscle myosin 2A disrupt the actomyosin cytoskeleton in Sertoli cells and cause male infertility. Developmental Biology, February 2021. PMID: 33188738. https://doi-org.proxy.library.upenn.edu/10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.11.003 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.11.003)

    • 13 min
    Antibodies, Mutations, and Sewage... Oh My!

    Antibodies, Mutations, and Sewage... Oh My!

    Do declining antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 mean long-lasting immunity is impossible? What do mutations in the virus mean for vaccine effectiveness? Can we use sewage water to monitor the pandemic? On this episode of Beyond the Abstract, Derek and Ellen talk about three recent papers related to these important COVID-19 issues.
    Note: Since recording this episode, there have been more documented cases of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine. However, the number of cases relative to the number of vaccinations is still extremely low indicating the vaccine is generally safe. Currently, it is thought that polyethylene glycol (a chemical ingredient in the vaccine) is the culprit behind the reactions, but this has not been confirmed. You can read more about this in https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12/suspicions-grow-nanoparticles-pfizer-s-covid-19-vaccine-trigger-rare-allergic-reactions (Science) and on the https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7002e1.htm (CDC Website). Please consult your physician if you have concerns about getting the vaccine.
    On January 10th, the day prior to publication of this episode, COVID-19 cases in the US crossed 22 million with over 200,000 new cases that day.
    Ward et al. Declining prevalence of antibody positive to SARS-CoV-2: a community study of 365,000 adults. medRxiv, October 2020. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.26.20219725v1 (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.26.20219725v1)
    Plante et al. Spike mutation D614G alters SARS-CoV-2 fitness. Nature, 2020. PMID: 33106671
    Peccia et al. Measurement of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater tracks community infection dynamics. Nature Biotechnology, 2020. PMID: 32948856
    The information presented here is not medical advice. Please follow all guidelines from the CDC in regards to social distancing. Consult your physician on any questions regarding your personal health.

    • 18 min
    Back from Beyond (Life Updates!)

    Back from Beyond (Life Updates!)

    After a short break, Derek and Ellen are BACK with a quick update episode! They discuss New Years resolutions, COVID, grad school progress, TV shows watched, and more.
    Stay tuned for more episodes discussing the latest, cutting-edge research in a way that just about anyone can understand.

    • 8 min
    CRISPR: All About That Base (Editing)

    CRISPR: All About That Base (Editing)

    CRISPR is a genome-editing technology that has revolutionized medical research and created new therapies for previously incurable diseases. But what is CRISPR exactly, where does it come from, and how does it work? In this episode of Beyond the Abstract, Ellen and Derek explore how scientists have created a method of using CRISPR to treat Sickle Cell Disease, a genetic disease of the blood that can be extremely painful. They also discuss how this therapy has impacted real patients beyond just the disease and talk about the importance of creating healthcare and treatments that are accessible to patients of all races and socioeconomic statuses.
    Denver et al. CRISPR/Cas9 beta-globin gene targeting in human hematopoietic stem cells. Nature, November 2016. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1038%2Fnature20134 (10.1038/nature20134). PMID: 27820943.
    The information presented here is not medical advice. Please follow all guidelines from the CDC in regards to social distancing. Consult your physician on any questions regarding your personal health.

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

1222ZH ,

Cool podcast!

Excellent podcast! Very interesting

Pudding the Corgi ,

Science rules!

Excellent podcast that takes a complex topic and makes it easy to understand. Much more enjoyable than reading a scientific paper, and pretending like I understood more than just the abstract. Derek and Ellen sound very relatable while also having a strong understanding of the topic. Definitely worth the subscription!

Plus I’ve heard Derek is a pro pastry chef.

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