Evolution is about more than survival of the fittest. It's also about the survival of the most cooperative. Join us as we explore the collaborative side of life sciences research and work to consciously evolve science itself. This podcast is a production of Penn State University's Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Watch the video versions, complete with cool animations at www.thesymbioticpodcast.com
Changing the Game in Ancient DNA Research: Laura Weyrich
Laura Weyrich leads efforts to better understand the impact of diet on the communities of microorganisms residing in our mouths, and their influence on human health. In this livestreamed conversation, she talks about her work with Neanderthal teeth, the ethics of dealing with human remains, and shifts in human activity that have changed the makeup of our microbiomes.
MicroARCH Lab Website"The woman who loves the gunk on Neanderthal teeth." Cosmos Magazine, December 14, 2017Laura S. Weyrich Google Scholar ProfileFeatured Guest
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Changing the Game in Global Pediatrics: Dr. Steven Schiff
Dr. Steven Schiff has spent much of his career fighting the scourge of infant infection, especially in low and middle-income countries with minimal healthcare infrastructure. In this livestreamed conversation, he explains the difficulties of working in places like Mbale, Uganda and Hanoi, Vietnam; shares hard-won victories in treatment and prevention; and forecasts future possibilities.
Steven J. Schiff, MD, PhD — Engineering Science and Mechanics Wiki PageFeatured Guest:
Dr. Steven Schiff
Director of the Center for Neural Engineering; Brush Chair Professor of Engineering; Professor of Neurosurgery; Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics
Changing the Game in Epidemiology: Nita Bharti
Nita Bharti is an expert on the interplay of population movement and disease and a pioneer in the use of unorthodox data sources to better inform public health decisions. In this livestreamed conversation, she shares her open-minded, intellectually curious approach to epidemiology on multiple continents, working with people, animals, and spillover events between the two.
The Bharti Lab of Human Infectious DiseasesCenter for Infectious Disease DynamicsFeatured Guest
Huck Early Career Professor; Assistant Professor of Biology
Changing the Game in Food Security: David Hughes
David Hughes has won a number of accolades, both from the academic world and in the mainstream media, for his work with PlantVillage. In this livestreamed opening episode of season three, Hughes talks about the factors in his life and career that have made him so effective and iconoclastic.
PlantVillageDonate to PlantVillageFast Company: How one scientist is saving crops around the world via AI-enabled appsDavid Hughes makes Newsweek’s inaugural list of 'America’s Greatest Disruptors'Penn State awarded nearly $39M for global research on threats to cropsFeatured Guest
Huck Chair in Global Food Security; Professor of Entomology and Biology
How much do we know about the origins of SARS-CoV-2?
On November 11, 2020, we hosted three members of Penn State’s Center for Disease Dynamics, all of whom all of them are deeply involved in ongoing international efforts to piece together a bigger picture of how and why new viruses like SARVS-CoV-2 emerge and spill over from other species to our own.
“How We Know The Coronavirus Wasn’t Made In A Lab” (Science Insider video)Researchers identify evolutionary origins of SARS-CoV-2Boni LabRISK Lab (Sagan Friant’s) Peter Hudson’s Google Scholar pagePenn State’s Center for Infectious Disease DynamicsGuests:
Maciej Boni is an Associate Professor of Biology at Penn State. He analyzes the epidemiology and evolution of both human and avian influenza, and evaluates strategies to treat and prevent diseases, particularly in southern Vietnam. Sagan Friant is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Penn State. Her works focuses on the evolutionary anthropology of human health, disease ecology, nutrition, socio-ecological systems, and bushmeat hunting, through field research in Nigeria. Peter Hudson is Willaman Professor of Biology at Penn State, and former director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Much of Hudson’s work has implications for the control of wildlife diseases and emerging zoonotic disease across the globe.
Inside Penn State’s COVID-19 Response
On October 26, 2020, we teamed up with the hosts of the Podward State podcast to interview two members of Penn State’s coronavirus task force. Both have spent countless hours since that start of the pandemic doing all they can to help protect students, faculty, staff, and local community members in an ever-changing, endlessly challenging, and highly contentious environment.
Penn State COVID-19 DashboardHuck Institutes of the Life SciencesHershey Medical CenterPodward StateGuests:
Catharine Paules, MD - Practicing physician in the infectious disease department, Penn State Hershey Medical CenterAndrew Read - Director of Penn State’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and former Director of Huck’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics
So cool to hear researdh scientsts sharing their passion for collaboration across disciplines. It really does look like a vital next step, if we're going to take on our complex global challenges.