200 episodes

The modern technologies in medicinal and agricultural biotechnology are powerful tools that can address a wide range of problems. From improved plants, animals and microbes, the technologies known as genetic engineering (familiarly "GMOs") are mostly misunderstood and oftentimes maligned. These technologies are well regarded by scientists, yet approached skeptically by a concerned public. The disparity has been conjured by prevalent misinformation on the internet and in activist literature and documentaries. At the same time farmers and scientists have not been good communicators about what the technology is, and isn't.



The Talking Biotech Podcast is a weekly podcast that provides science-based discussion on current topics. The discussion is led by Dr. Kevin Folta, a professor with training in these areas and familiarity with the scholarly literature. Guest will describe current issues in biotechnology, twitter-based questions are answered, and there is a segment dedicated to plant genetic improvement from domestication through today's breeding efforts.



The podcast is geared to anyone wishing to know more about biotechnology, its risks and benefits, and how it can be used to help farmers, the needy, consumers and the environment.

Talking Biotech Podcast Kevin M. Folta

    • Life Sciences
    • 4.9, 209 Ratings

The modern technologies in medicinal and agricultural biotechnology are powerful tools that can address a wide range of problems. From improved plants, animals and microbes, the technologies known as genetic engineering (familiarly "GMOs") are mostly misunderstood and oftentimes maligned. These technologies are well regarded by scientists, yet approached skeptically by a concerned public. The disparity has been conjured by prevalent misinformation on the internet and in activist literature and documentaries. At the same time farmers and scientists have not been good communicators about what the technology is, and isn't.



The Talking Biotech Podcast is a weekly podcast that provides science-based discussion on current topics. The discussion is led by Dr. Kevin Folta, a professor with training in these areas and familiarity with the scholarly literature. Guest will describe current issues in biotechnology, twitter-based questions are answered, and there is a segment dedicated to plant genetic improvement from domestication through today's breeding efforts.



The podcast is geared to anyone wishing to know more about biotechnology, its risks and benefits, and how it can be used to help farmers, the needy, consumers and the environment.

    252 – Prions: Infectious Proteins

    252 – Prions: Infectious Proteins

    Tweet



    A number of strange, devastating and lethal diseases are caused by prions. The most famous of these disorders in animals is Bovine Spongiform Encelapathy,  or “Mad Cow Disease”. Unlike other infectious agents like viruses, bacteria or fungi, prion-based diseases are caused by a misfolding of proteins resident in the body.  Essentially, this is your own chemistry turning against itself.  In this week’s podcast I speak with Dr. Cassandra Terry from London Metropolitan University.  She speaks about prion related diseases, their causes, and how what is learned from prions has illuminated an understanding of other complex neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson Disease.

    • 42 min
    251 – The Bull that (probably) Sires Mostly Bulls

    251 – The Bull that (probably) Sires Mostly Bulls

    Tweet



    Male cattle (bulls) convert feed calories to weight gain more efficiently than females (cows). If more bulls could be put into beef production, the process would be even more sustainable. Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam and her research team attempted a clever trick to skew the ratio of males to females in cattle offspring.  Sex determination in mammals is driven mostly by a single gene on the Y chromosome. So what if this gene was duplicated elsewhere in the genome?  Using CRISPR gene editing, this is exactly what they did.  “Cosmo” the bull should produce 75% male offspring. Dr. Van Eenennaam talks about the gene, its  mechanism of action, the process of editing a bull’s genome, and the regulatory climate around gene-edited beef.

    Dr. Van Eenennaam on Twitter:  @Biobeef

    Dr. Van Eenennaam’s website here.

    • 38 min
    250 – The Unfortunate Casualties of an Anti-Biotech Attack

    250 – The Unfortunate Casualties of an Anti-Biotech Attack

    Tweet



    In 2001 the Earth Liberation Front bombed the office of Dr. Toby Bradshaw at the University of Washington.  The damage was massive, especially toward non-targeted labs.  This is a great story of how misguided activism can have damaging collateral effects, and work against the efforts of scientists that are performing great work for people and a planet.

    • 40 min
    249 – Circadian Clocks

    249 – Circadian Clocks

    Tweet



    Most organisms on earth evolved under constant intervals of light and darkness. The regular intervals led to the evolution of internal clocks that are trained by the light/dark patterns, and condition responses from gene expression to higher physiology and morphology.  Dr. Eva Farre of Michigan State University has a notable career in circadian rhythm research in plants. Today she joins the podcast to discuss the value of an internal oscillator to fitness, trait presentation and domestication. We also discuss the fundamental nature of chemistry that controls timing. Co-hosted by Michigan State University graduate student Miles Roberts.

     

    • 56 min
    248 – DNA Demystified

    248 – DNA Demystified

    Tweet



    Dr. Alan McHughen has been a leader in biotechnology education for decades, and has served in public academic research as well as an advisor to the State Department in the Obama Administration.  He has assembled a book about DNA, the basics of DNA biology and some of the modern applications from ancestry to biotechnological solutions. We have a discussion about the content of DNA Demystified.

    Order DNA Demystified from Amazon here.

     

    • 54 min
    247 – A Science-Based Glyphosate Documentary

    247 – A Science-Based Glyphosate Documentary

    Tweet





    The documentary space is littered with videos that misrepresent science, especially around agriculture. Dr. Hidde Boersma is a trained scientist that has taken up the mantle of making high-quality documentary films and other media to tell the real story, without the hyperbole and fear found in most video efforts.  The plan now is to tell the story of the activist and attorney assault on glyphosate.  Glyphosate is perhaps one of the safest agricultural chemicals, used without incident for over 40 years and reviewed extensively by the world’s foremost regulatory bodies.  Since 2014 the compound has been targeted by those wishing to end its use, as well as profit massively from malicious lawsuits that ignore the real science. Dr. Boersma seeks to create a film to tell this story and is soliciting donations to make it happen. Please consider supporting his efforts, as his budget is reasonable and he does a great production with minimal support.

    Donate to Make the Film Here. 

    Visit Sugar Rush Films Here  You can contribute directly to the project and see his other excellent work

    Dr. Hidde Boersma on Twitter:  @Hiddemhigh

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
209 Ratings

209 Ratings

AustrailianaAsian ,

Why aren’t you listening already?

I’ve been a fan of this podcast for several years and it continually delivers strong science, interesting conversations, and great ideas. The podcast only continues to improve as more episodes are released.

Emmeceede ,

Great Biotech Discussions

I am really glad that I came across this while looking for science podcasts. This covers a wide variety of biotech innovations and issues, including public perception of and controversies surrounding biotechnology. I have been listening for several months now and continue to enjoy the way that they dive into the topics.

Celina4**¥ ,

Great science educational podcast

I’m a small farmer in Washington and have been listening to talking biotech podcast for 3 years. It’s wonderful education while I work in the strawberry fields. I often share them with my daughter studying molecular biology in college. Thank you so much for sharing the work of biological science and agriculture. You make a unique show that enriched my agricultural work
Farmer Joe

Top Podcasts In Life Sciences

Listeners Also Subscribed To