Biological Sciences


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

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Latest Episodes


Detecting Parasitic Infections in Cows by Small RNA (Trypanosomiasis) with Dr Maria Contreras-Garcia

March 2021

The parasite Trypanosoma brucei is transmitted via tsetse flies. It causes a disease known as trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness in humans, but in cows, it's known as nagana or animal African trypanosomiasis. In this episode, Joan Cortada García interviews Maria Contreras-Garcia from The Roslin Institute on her work to validate and characterize the use of a small RNA as a diagnostic test for trypanosomiasis.

In this episode Ruby White mentions a Workshop Series on sustainable food production.

UoE-USyd Workshop Series on sustainable food production, antimicrobial resistance and One Health

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How Bacteria Produce Eco Nylon (BIOFACTURING). Featuring PhD Student Jack Suitor

February 2021

How can we produce useful materials from Bacteria? Today we have PhD Student Jack Suitor to tell us how we can modify bacteria against their own nature to act as mini-factories to convert guaiacol, a paper industry byproduct, to adipic acid, a key component of Nylon production that is otherwise produced from oil! Our CODA is a special dive into microbiology with our resident microbiologist Hanna Peach. 

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Carbon Dynamics and Climate Change in the Dry Tropics with Associate Professor Kyle Dexter

January 2021

Join us for this interesting installment of BioPod featuring Associate Professor Kyle Dexter. from the department of Geosciences here at the University of Edinburgh. The episode is about monitoring the carbon dynamics of the dry tropics and climate change. 

A lot of people know about vegetation, biodiversity, and the abundance of wet tropics such as the Amazonian Rainforest, but let us take you on a journey through the dry tropics and the way climate change will affect habitats for vegetation, animals, and humans over time. This research is important, to understand the dynamics between carbon cycling, vegetation, and the interplay of factors that are both driving and affected by climate change. 

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All Hands on Deck: Three Epidemiology PhD Students Who Contributed to COVID-19 Research in Edinburgh

December 2020

Three PhD students, a genomic epidemiologist studying Ebola virus, a molecular epidemiologist  studying Polio virus, and an infectious disease modeller studying anti-microbial resistance dynamics between humans and livestock.

So, what do these three researchers have in common, you might wonder? Well, they all lent their expertise to study the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In this episode, we will be learning about how COVID-19 shaped their year in research and learn some interesting facts about epidemiology related to our current pandemic. 

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Women in Science: Featuring Edinburgh academics Prof. Lynne Regan and Prof. Meriem El Karoui

November 2020

A special hour-long feature episode with two inspiring and highly successful academics from the University of Edinburgh: Prof Lynne J. Regan, the Head of the Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology.  Lynne is also the Chair in Interdisciplinary Science at the Center for Synthetic & Systems Biology and Prof Meriem el Karoui the Director of SynthSys, and Systems Biology Chair for Equality and Diversity.

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Black in Botany: A Discussion with Botany PhD Student Jade Bleau

October 2020

Enter PhD student Jade Bleau's fascinating world of research and advocacy for half an hour. 

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Crops, Robots and Rolling Pins ft. PhD student Tara Wight

August 2020

Episode 7 of BioPOD on the resilience of plants. 

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Gene expression in Yeast with Professor Jean Beggs

April 2020

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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