12 episodes

A monthly podcast about the molecules that move us, produced by the American Chemical Society.

Orbitals American Chemical Society

    • Chemistry

A monthly podcast about the molecules that move us, produced by the American Chemical Society.

    The Rise of Forensic Toxicology: Poisons Pt. 1 | Orbitals 302

    The Rise of Forensic Toxicology: Poisons Pt. 1 | Orbitals 302

    Early-1900s New York City was a place of utter chaos—a place where poisoners reigned supreme. That is, until a unique duo stepped in and started to win the long-fought battle between scientists and poisoners, creating the field of forensic toxicology in the process. 

    This episode, we'll dive into the history of poisoning, and stories that defined the Roaring Twenties.

    • 21 min
    Sabotaging the Nazi Atomic Bomb: Chat with Author Sam Kean | Orbitals 301

    Sabotaging the Nazi Atomic Bomb: Chat with Author Sam Kean | Orbitals 301

    This week we chat with DC-based author Sam Kean about his most recent work: The Bastard Brigade, a book about a group of scientists and military commanders during World War II who were trying to stop the Nazis from creating an atomic bomb.

    In this episode, get ready to hear about some eccentric characters, sabotage, and--of course--chemistry. 

    • 18 min
    Parasite Seeking Host: The Nose Knows | Orbitals 206

    Parasite Seeking Host: The Nose Knows | Orbitals 206

    The parasitic roundworm Strongyloides stercoralis crawls through contaminated soil in search of one thing – human flesh. Often no more than a millimeter in size, it’s currently estimated to be hanging out in the intestines of over 300 million people worldwide.

    How it finds us has a lot to do with the chemicals we’re giving off. 

    • 12 min
    Body Farms: What Can We Learn From a Decomposing Corpse? | Orbitals 205

    Body Farms: What Can We Learn From a Decomposing Corpse? | Orbitals 205

    On a body farm, scientists collect information from donated corpses to understand how things like weather and the positioning of a body will affect human decomposition. Why should we care? This knowledge is used to help law enforcement not only find the bodies of victims--who are often murdered--but figure out how they died.

    • 22 min
    Thalidomide: The life-saving drug that caused a pharmaceutical nightmare | Orbitals 204

    Thalidomide: The life-saving drug that caused a pharmaceutical nightmare | Orbitals 204

    In the 1960s the drug thalidomide caused over 10,000 babies across the globe to be born with deformed limbs. Scientist Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey blocked its production in the US, saving countless lives. But since then thalidomide has been approved by the FDA. Why?

    Today we tackle how thalidomide's chemistry caused a pharmaceutical disaster and why it's still around. You’ll hear from two researchers: one in the US and one in Brazil, a place where there are still cases of thalidomide embryopathy.

    • 14 min
    Amphetamines: From troubled past to present | Orbitals 203

    Amphetamines: From troubled past to present | Orbitals 203

    Amphetamines have a troubled past that has carried into the present, but they can also greatly improve some people’s lives. This week on Orbitals, we’re asking: What do amphetamines do to our bodies? How are they used in medicine? And when did they become so prevalent in society?

    Written and hosted by Samantha Jones, PhD 

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

csj537 ,

So interesting!

Great short format podcast. Easily digestible information for the non-scientists out there with relevant topics. Highly recommend!

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