20 episodes

Welcome to Mind Over Chatter, the Cambridge University Podcast! One series at a time, we break down complex issues into simple questions. Join Nick, James, Naomi and Annie as they ask clever people seemingly simple questions. We’ll explore climate change, the future, and much more!

Mind Over Chatter University of Cambridge

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 6 Ratings

Welcome to Mind Over Chatter, the Cambridge University Podcast! One series at a time, we break down complex issues into simple questions. Join Nick, James, Naomi and Annie as they ask clever people seemingly simple questions. We’ll explore climate change, the future, and much more!

    Obesity: the gene-environment debate

    Obesity: the gene-environment debate

    What role do our genes play in influencing our body weight and what we like to eat? Why do some people gain weight more easily than others, and is it all down to genes or are there other factors at play? In this episode, we talked with a clinician and scientist Sadaf Farooqi, health psychologist Theresa Marteau, and geographer Thomas Burgoine about the multitude of factors that go into influencing our eating behaviours. Along the way, we hear about the crucial importance of the environment in influencing our eating behaviour, including “zoning” - the effort to keep fast food outlets no more than 400 yards from schools, and learn how our food has become more calorific over the past 20 to 30 years. Our guests discuss how ultimately, communicating information about obesity doesn’t necessarily change our behaviour towards food, as we are much more influenced by our genes and environment than what's inside our heads.

    This episode was produced by Nick Saffell, James Dolan, Naomi Clements-Brod and Annie Thwaite.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Mental health and young people

    Mental health and young people

    COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of everyone, including children and young people, beyond recognition. So much so, that the proportion of children aged six to 16 with probable mental health disorders has increased from one in nine in 2017 to one in six in both 2020 and 2021. In this episode, we talked with Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Tamsin Ford, Professor of Health Neuroscience Paul Fletcher and behavioural epidemiologist Dr Esther van Sluijs about growing concern over the recent and widespread deterioration of adolescent mental health and what can be done about it.

    We cover everything from the prevalence of mental health problems and eating disorders, sedentary behaviour and mentally passive activities, to how mental illness is represented in video games and how video games can be used to engage the public with mental illness in the right way. Along the way, we hear about mental health before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    This episode was produced by Nick Saffell, James Dolan, Naomi Clements-Brod and Annie Thwaite.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Dementia: risks, diagnosis and prevention

    Dementia: risks, diagnosis and prevention

    What causes dementia? And how do we diagnose and treat it? Is there anything we can do to stop ourselves from developing dementia? These are the crucial questions we’ll be exploring with clinical neuropsychologist Barbara Sahakian, sociologist Richard Milne, and neurologist James Rowe. In this episode, we’ll find out more about what dementia actually is, some surprising factors that increase a person’s risk of developing dementia, and computer games that can actually help detect and diagnose dementia.

    • 56 min
    Antimicrobial resistance: the silent pandemic

    Antimicrobial resistance: the silent pandemic

    Is antimicrobial resistance (AMR) the greatest threat to human health? In this episode, we discuss how the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in humans and agriculture have accelerated bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens’ ability to mutate and develop resistance against the treatments designed to curb and control them. We talked with molecular biologist Stephen Baker, virologist Ian Goodfellow and infectious disease epidemiologist Caroline Trotter about the magnitude of the problem and how it is not a problem of the future, but of the now. Along the way, we discuss whether post COVID19, are we in a better position now to deal with the next pandemic? Can we predict when it might happen? And if it does happen, will we deal with it any differently?

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Cancer and artificial intelligence

    Cancer and artificial intelligence

    What’s cancer got to do with crabs, artist Jackson Pollock, and artificial intelligence? It’s not a riddle; these are some of the things we’ll explore with surgeon Grant Stuart, computer scientist Mateja Jamnik and radiologist Evis Sala. In this episode, we’ll discover how artificial intelligence is making it easier for doctors to diagnose and treat cancer and we’ll share some cancer facts that are both amazing and disturbing. We also learn about the WIRE clinical trial for kidney cancer. WIRE evaluates the effectiveness of giving a short course of drug treatment to patients in the one-month “window of opportunity” between diagnosis and surgery. Patients on the WIRE trial also undergo a suite of new imaging techniques that have been brought together for the first time globally in this clinical trial.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Welcome to Season 3!

    Welcome to Season 3!

    Season 3 is here, and we’re back discussing all things Health!

    Welcome (or welcome back) to Mind Over Chatter, the Cambridge University Podcast. One series at a time, we break down complex issues into simple questions. In this third series, we’re talking all about Health. We’ll be exploring both physical and mental health, and we’ll discuss causes, treatments and preventions for issues like dementia, cancer, infectious diseases and obesity.

    We’re going to be talking to interesting people from all over the University of Cambridge, including geographers, surgeons, computer scientists, molecular microbiologists, sociologists… and many more!

    We’ll cover everything from infectious diseases and how we can use vaccines to prevent them, to Tinder for bacteria; from artificial intelligence helping us tackle cancer, to Grandpa JPEG and all the Little Pixels, from adolescent mental health and eating disorders to Senua, the Pict warrior hero of the blockbuster video game Hellblade; from obesity and the gene-environment debate, to how a room full of Twixes is like a room full of Borg (resistance is futile); and from dementia and new approaches to its diagnosis and treatment, to “Tau Tangles” - the new brand of Greek noodle.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

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Love this show!

Brilliant topics discussed by great minds, and made easily digestible by funny and charismatic hosts!