Biological Sciences

BioPOD

BioPOD is the official podcast of the School of Biological Sciences, produced and presented by enthusiastic student volunteers.

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Episode 1:  Chicken Bioreactor

We interview Dr Lissa Herron from the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh on her research.

Chickens can be genetically modified to produce human proteins in their eggs. Research suggests these proteins offer a cost-effective method of producing certain types of high-value drugs currently used in research studies, and potentially, one day in patients. 

 

Episode 2:  Smartphone Biosensors

We interview Dr Baojun Wang and Dr Xinyi Wan from the Synthetic Biological Circuit Engineering Lab at the University of Edinburgh who specialise in engineering bacteria to act as biosensors.

This episode focuses on a fluorescent bacterial biosensor that quantifies levels of toxic arsenic in the environment and connects to a smartphone. 

 

Episode 3:  The 500-Year Astrobiology Experiment

Have you ever wondered how many years microorganisms can survive desiccation, in a closed environment? Listen to Verity from BioPOD interview Dr Toby Samuels from the UK Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh on the fascinating persistence of microorganisms in this ambitious 500-year experiment. 

 

Episode 4: Begonia Biodiversity

Have you ever wondered how plant scientists discover new species in a genus? In this interview, we sit down with Dr Mark Hughes, a begonia researcher from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, who tells us some fantastic stories about wild begonia. Later, we also discuss the milestone of the century: 100 years of genetics research here at the University of Edinburgh.

 

Episode 5: Lamin-A Proteins

In this episode, Chris sits down with Dr Alex Makarov who recently completed a PhD in Eric Schirmer's lab in the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology at the University of Edinburgh.  His research focused on Lamin A proteins, an important structural protein which give cells their flexibility and shape.  Listen until the end to hear our end segment on Veganuary and the future of food.

 

Episode 6: Gene expression in Yeast with Professor Jean Beggs

Professor Jean Beggs is a trailblazer, who became an independent researcher, PI and was awarded professorship.

In this episode, she talks about her long and successful career in science, alongside important issues such as imposter syndrome. As a researcher, she is interested in understanding how genes are expressed, in the mechanisms that determines how they are expressed, and how the expression is regulated. Professor Beggs was the first researcher to develop two eukaryotic (yeast, specifically) cloning vectors. 

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