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This Podcast Will Kill You

Exactly Right

This podcast might not actually kill you, but it covers so many things that can. Each episode tackles a different disease, from its history, to its biology, and finally, how scared you need to be. Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke make infectious diseases acceptable fodder for dinner party conversation and provide the perfect cocktail recipe to match

This podcast might not actually kill you, but it covers so many things that can. Each episode tackles a different disease, from its history, to its biology, and finally, how scared you need to be. Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke make infectious diseases acceptable fodder for dinner party conversation and provide the perfect cocktail recipe to match

Location:

United States

Description:

This podcast might not actually kill you, but it covers so many things that can. Each episode tackles a different disease, from its history, to its biology, and finally, how scared you need to be. Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke make infectious diseases acceptable fodder for dinner party conversation and provide the perfect cocktail recipe to match

Language:

English


Episodes

COVID-19 Chapter 18: Conservation & Pandemics

5/11/2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched all of our lives in incredibly varied ways, with no two experiences exactly alike. Despite this, we all probably share the same thought: how can we stop this from happening again? In this episode of our Anatomy of a Pandemic series, we ask that question in the context of wildlife conservation. Why is protecting biodiversity synonymous with protecting our own health? If spillover events themselves are inevitable, how can we limit the likelihood that they will...

Duration:01:06:23

Ep 72 White-Nose Syndrome: How deep is your torpor?

5/4/2021
A fluffy white fungus and a little brown bat. A deafening silence and an uncertain future. In this episode, we explore one of the most devastating wildlife diseases in recent times, white-nose syndrome. Since its debut in North America in 2006, this fungal pathogen has spread across much of the continent, leaving millions of dead bats in its wake. Why is it so deadly? Which bats are at risk? Where did it come from? And most importantly, what can we do about it? We attempt to answer these...

Duration:01:30:14

COVID-19 Chapter 17: Frontline Mental Health

4/27/2021
This pandemic has certainly taken its toll on all of us, but one group that has been particularly hard hit are those who have been on the front lines, continuing to take care of patients even when PPE was running low or nonexistent, even when there were no more ICU beds available. During both non-pandemic and pandemic times, physicians and other healthcare workers experience a tremendous deal of stress and pressure that can lead to depression, isolation, anxiety, moral injury, and other...

Duration:01:14:08

Ep 71 Onchocerciasis/River Blindness: So many mysteries

4/20/2021
In this classic TPWKY episode we travel down rivers and into worm-laden nodes as we take a look at the complex world of Onchocerca volvulus, the vector-borne parasite that causes river blindness. Join us as we learn why the name ‘river blindness’ captures only one dimension of the devastation caused by this parasite, how the short evolutionary history of this worm is at once surprising and enlightening, and why grasping the disease ecology of this system has been crucial in successful...

Duration:01:21:58

COVID-19 Chapter 16: Disparities, Take 2

4/13/2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minorities, especially here in the United States. Higher infection, hospitalization, and death rates due to COVID-19 have been observed for historically marginalized groups, and the harmful effects stem beyond those relating to health, with higher unemployment and food and housing insecurity also reported. Yet these disparities did not emerge anew from this current pandemic; rather, this pandemic has served to amplify...

Duration:01:08:26

Ep 70 Henrietta Lacks: HeLa, There, & Everywhere

4/6/2021
Of the many topics our podcast has covered in the past, from smallpox to scurvy, vaccines to birth control and beyond, one factor has linked nearly all of them: HeLa cells. These cells and the woman from whom they were taken have often remained behind the scenes in the coverage of these topics, but they have nevertheless been absolutely fundamental in the development of technologies, the advancement of knowledge, and the discussions of ethics, ownership, and informed consent. In this week’s...

Duration:01:22:52

COVID-19 Chapter 15: Disease, Take 2

3/30/2021
We’re over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and our understanding of this virus and the disease it causes has grown immensely. And while we’ve learned so much about the spectrum of disease severity, the wide array of symptoms, and the effectiveness of various treatments, there is still so much we are discovering about this illness. In this installment of our Anatomy of a Pandemic series covering the COVID-19 pandemic, we review what we currently know about the disease caused by the...

Duration:01:08:27

Ep 69 Huntington’s disease: Let’s talk frankly

3/23/2021
Despite being one of the earliest recognized genetic diseases, many aspects of Huntington’s disease remain shrouded in mystery. This stems in part from our limited grasp on how our own minds work but also from the dark history of Huntington’s disease and the shame and silence that accompanied it for so long. In this episode, we attempt to bring what we know about Huntington’s disease into the light, to talk frankly about the characteristics and progression of this hereditary disease, the...

Duration:01:32:28

Ep 68 Coccidioidomycosis: It’s never a spider bite

3/9/2021
Don’t be daunted by the length of this disease name or just how difficult it looks to pronounce. By the end of the episode, you’ll be saying it right along with us, and bonus, you’ll also be armed with a whole bunch of excellent trivia about this fascinating fungal disease. In this episode, we dive right into all things coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley fever, which also happens to be the first human fungal pathogen we’ve covered. We’ll walk you through its unusual dual natured...

Duration:01:26:51

Ep 67 HPV: My wart be with you

2/23/2021
The world of human papillomaviruses is vast and varied, and causing cervical cancer is just one of the many roles these viruses can take on. From their carcinogenic tendencies to their more benign wart-forming ways, this episode explores what these tiny viruses have taught us about how our bodies prevent cancer, how imaginative old timey cures for warts can be, how slow acceptance of the facts and a failure in marketing led to a delayed and impaired vaccine uptake, and so much more. You...

Duration:01:31:36

Ep 66 The Outs and Ins of Organ Transplantation

2/9/2021
From the first skin grafts to the future of 3D printed organs, the science of organ transplantation has always seemed like something out of a sci-fi novel. How on earth can an organ from one person be removed and successfully placed into another person? Who first attempted such a monumental feat, and how long did it take for trial and error to become trial and success? Our episode this week seeks to answer these questions and so many more as we tackle the massive topic of organ...

Duration:01:50:05

Ep 65 Sweating Sickness: Ready, Sweat, Go!

1/26/2021
Here’s a pop quiz for all of you: what disease makes you sweat profusely, run a slight fever, develop body aches and a pounding head and then makes you drop dead within hours of symptom onset? If you answered “I have no idea”, you passed! Because we haven’t a clue either. In this episode, we attempt to tease apart the mysterious sweating sickness, which struck only five times in the 1400s and 1500s in England, leaving in its wake terror, confusion, and a trail of bodies. Although the...

Duration:01:23:54

Ep 64 Rubella: Timing is Everything

1/12/2021
For many of us, rubella has simply come to mean the R in MMR, the routine childhood measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. But that hasn’t always been the case. There was once a time when the rubella virus routinely made front page news and was at the center of countless legal discussions. This week, we explore everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this virus. We start off by asking what this virus does to your body and how it can cross the placenta, leading to congenital rubella...

Duration:01:22:45

COVID-19 Chapter 14: Virology, Take 2

1/5/2021
The fourteenth installment of our Anatomy of a Pandemic series on COVID-19 dives into what we’ve learned about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Curious about the new strains or variants making headlines lately? Or how exactly tests for COVID-19 actually work? Or perhaps you’ve been wondering about the different routes of transmission that this virus uses. Whatever your virology question, we’ve (hopefully) got you covered. We were fortunate enough to interview virologist Dr. Angela...

Duration:01:04:05

Ep 63 Poison Ivy: It's Just Us

12/29/2020
Our first crossover episode this season with Dr. Matt Candeias of In Defense of Plants stars everyone’s favorite irritating plant-originated substance: urushiol! Join us for a light-hearted deep dive into urushiol, aka the stuff in poison ivy that makes you soooo itchy/burny/scratchy. Have you ever wondered why popping a benadryl doesn’t relieve those oozing, raised welts all over your gardening arms? Or whether a poison ivy rash has ever been used as evidence in a murder case? Or why poison...

Duration:01:22:06

COVID-19 Chapter 13: Vaccines, Take 2

12/22/2020
We’re back with another episode in our Anatomy of a Pandemic series on COVID-19. This time, our subject matter is the one everyone has been waiting for: vaccines. In this episode, with the help of two amazing guests, we attempt to answer all of your burning questions about the new vaccines for the virus that causes COVID-19. We walk you through the ins and outs of the technology behind these vaccines, the safety and regulation steps required for their approval, and some of the logistical...

Duration:01:21:00

Ep 62 Leishmaniasis, Relationship Status: It's Complicated

12/15/2020
The neglected tropical disease known as leishmaniasis is really more of a collection of diseases caused by a variety of parasites transmitted through the bite of a diversity of sandfly species. Sounds a bit complicated? You’re not wrong. But have no fear. Because in this episode, we walk you through the ins and outs of leishmaniasis. From the biology of visceral vs cutaneous vs mucocutaneous leishmaniasis to the archaeological and modern history of these parasites, we give you the basics on...

Duration:01:22:24

COVID-19 Chapter 12: Control, Take 2

12/10/2020
That’s right, we are rebooting our Anatomy of a Pandemic series in which we cover various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic that has held the world in its grip since early 2020. Since our first episodes in the series dropped in March of this year, we have learned quite a lot about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the disease it causes, patterns in its transmission, and of course, how we can best control it. In our first episode back, we focus on this last facet by exploring what we now know about...

Duration:01:03:32

Ep 61 Typhoid: There's Something About Mary

12/1/2020
Your long wait is finally over - the season four premiere of This Podcast Will Kill You has arrived! And to mark the special occasion, we’re taking on a topic that is both classic TPWKY material as well as enormously relevant to current discussions in public health. Typhoid fever has been the cause of untold death and devastation throughout human history, and despite our advancements in both treatment and prevention of the disease, it continues to wreak havoc on millions of people around the...

Duration:01:27:53

Ep 60 Giving birth to "The Pill"

10/13/2020
Well, TPWKY listeners, it has been a heck of a year, and it’s not even over yet! But one thing has come to an end: our third season. Given the profound implications these next couple of months will have on the future of health and security in the United States, for our season finale we chose to cover a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts and minds: birth control. Have you ever thought to yourself, “I know this IUD/patch/pill prevents pregnancy, but how exactly does it do that?” or “How...

Duration:01:40:50