Science Podcasts

RadioBio is a podcast where UC Merced biology graduate students talk with scientists about biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems.

RadioBio is a podcast where UC Merced biology graduate students talk with scientists about biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems.


United States


RadioBio is a podcast where UC Merced biology graduate students talk with scientists about biological systems, from molecules to ecosystems.




Dr. Devavani Chatterjea

Spring and Fall are often accompanied by a chorus of sneezes-- allergies are the bane of this beautiful time! Allergies, our immune system’s response to foreign substances, can be more than uncomfortable-- long term exposure to allergens can be linked to chronic pain. This week on RadioBio We talk with Dr. Devavani Chatterjea from McAlaster College about her work investigating the link between allergies and chronic pain.


Fire and Fungi: Dr. Sydney Glassman

Ever wonder what it takes for a forest to regenerate after a devastating wildfire? Turns out microscopic fungi in soils play a big role in that recovery. These fungi partner up with all kinds of plants, helping out in many environments and industries, from helping crops to flourish to restoring plant biodiversity. Join us as we discuss these topics and more with Dr. Sydney Glassman. This is RadioBio.


Dr. Roberto Andresen Eguiluz: Molecular Machines and Mechanisms

From gummy bears to cars we learn the importance of adhesion and lubricants for everyday life. Whether you're a muscle on a rock trying to hold on during high tide, or you're a runner and relying on the lubricants to keep your knees moving. The research that is conducted to understand these phenomenon can help us fix issues in health care that many of us suffer from, such as arthritis or joint damage from injuries. Today, we will explore the concepts of adhesion and lubricants that are all...


Dr. Roberta Pelanda

The immune system is complex, full of lairs of communication and strict regulation, all to keep us healthy and alive. But what happens when those checkpoints break down? In this weeks episode, we learn about how B-cells can turn against us and what that means. We talk to Dr. Roberta Polenda from University Colorado, Denver about her research on this subject.


Homeostatic Regulation in the Brain: Dr. Dion Dickman

Have you ever thought about brains? Our brains are seriously important, that's not news, but how do they actually work? There is a delicate balance between order and chaos. RadioBio this week is all about stability in the brain. Hopefully by the end you'll know a little bit more about how your brain works!


The Good, The Bad, and The Embryos: CRISPR with Dr. Joe Bondy-Denomy

CRISPR. You may have heard about it in the news. It's arguably the biggest discovery of the 21st century, and could possibly be a cure for some of the genetic disorders that have plagued humans throughout our history. It was initially identified in the early 1990s and more recently it was discovered to be the immune system used by bacteria to fight off viral infections. Until recently there were no known mechanism for inhibiting the infections caused by these bacteria-infecting viruses. Dr....


ARC, A Gene to Remember: Dr Jason Shepherd

Have you ever been curious about how our brains "learn" and why only somethings seem to "stick" and others seem to fade away as time goes on? I know I have. How are memories stored? Today we are going to explore the brain's amazing ability to learn and store information over a lifetime, as well as a recently discovered mechanism of neuronal communication that resembles the life-cycle of retroviruses.


Immunity by Community: Dr. Kathryn Milligan-Myhre

You and I .... are completely different.... Not just because we like different music or have different parents, but because we are more than individuals. We contains multitudes of microbial communities and, believe it or not, my community is different than yours. Today, we are talking with Dr. Kathryn Milligan-Mhyre about her research into how microbes associate with hosts and how those microbes change over time


Tracking Foodborne Pathogens: Dr. Ruth Timme

Do you grow your own food or butcher your own meat? Many of us don't. We get our food from a lot of different places in our modern society and we have a global network of food import and export. But what happens when there is contamination in our food supply? How do we know where the contamination is coming from when our food is coming from all over the place? Join us as we find out how we can use genomic data to explore this issue in this episode of RadioBio.


The Genomic Saga Within: Dr. Nitin Phadnis

Have you ever thought about how weird hybrids actually are? Some hybrids seem to be a contradiction: they can't reproduce! How could nature allow this? Today we discuss the evolutionary conflict of speciation, hybrids, and sterility.


From Molecules to Behavior: Dr. Todd Holmes

Have you ever thought about how light affects your behavior on a day to day basis? Now think about how light would affect you on a molecular scale? Molecules have a direct influence on behavior from sleep cycles to depression and motivation. Today we discuss molecules, how they affect animal behavior, and the origins of such an intimate relationship in molecular biology.


The Pulse of Plants: Dr. Sara Baguskas

It's getting warmer and drier, but there may be an untapped natural resource that can offer fresh water: fog! Fog is more than just one way your beach day can be ruined-- Coastal fog has the potential to be a major contributor to future sustainable agricultural practices. Today we discuss fog and its impact on crops in California.


Science Abroad and Home: International Education Week Stories

This week is a special edition of RadioBio, put on for UC Merced's International Education Week. In this episode, we hear from five different researchers and their unique experiences with international research: Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Dr. Felipe Zapata, Dr. Gregory Mutumi, Dr. Samuel Wasser, and Dr. Teamrat Ghezzehei. From soil science to conservation biology to everything in between! Each story highlights the various ways we can be inspired by the world around us, and how science reaches...


Dr. Joanne Emerson: Underground Viruses

What is a virus? Why are they important? Viruses can cause disease and mortality, and they also significantly influence ecosystem ecology and environmental chemistry. Today we discuss viruses and their role in biogeochemical cycles and agricultural systems with Dr. Joanne Emerson from UC Davis.


Dr. Samuel Wasser: Guru of Doodoo

Here's a riddle for you, what is something that stays behind in an environment after an animal is long gone? The answer is... POOP! What if we could use poop to study animals that would otherwise be difficult to track down? Well, Dr. Sam Wasser does just that. This week on Radiobio, we talk with Dr. Wasser from the University of Washington about how he uses poop to better understand animal populations with implications from tracking poachers to tracking whales.


Dr. Ned Wingreen: How Matter Behaves

Matter in a random universe. How does it behave? Can we predict it? When physics meets biology, this intersection between two disciplines can crack some major gaps in our understanding of how matter transforms from one state to another. Today we discuss proteins that change their physical state and the theory that goes into understanding this state change.


RadioBio Dispatches: Drought in California

Water. It is one of the basic requirements of life as we know it, especially in California. The Washoe people of California's Sierra Nevada mountains believe that all water bodies contain water spirits known as water babies that dictate if you will catch fish or if the river will run dry. And these beliefs are founded in the reality of water's significance...the Sierra Nevada mountains are the reservoir of California, with more than 60% of the state's water originating in the mountains. Our...


RadioBio Interviews Dr. Eric Delwart

How do you search for a virus? Even worst, how do you search for a virus's DNA? A virus you've never seen before and have no clue what it looks like! If you think of one of your cells as the size of a baseball stadium, a virus would about the size of a baseball. You could try a targeted approach by sequencing your best, educated guesses but with metagenomics you can sequence everything but the kitchen sink. This week we talk small viruses and big data with Dr. Eric Delwart.


RadioBio Interviews Dr. Deborah Gordon

Imagine a world with no leaders. No Presidents. No generals. No bosses. No central control. Ants have successfully occupied every continent on earth and even though they have a queen, they use a system with no central control which we term collective behavior. But what is collective behavior? How do we begin to understand behaviors that emerge in a spontaneous way? Dr. Deborah Gordon, Professor of biology at Stanford University, joined us to talk all about collective behavior in ants.


RadioBio Interviews Dr. Shona Mookerjee

Have you ever wondered what powers us? We all consume food for energy, but HOW does that actually turn into energy? You may be familiar with the molecule ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is used to store energy from the breakdown of food, and through a process called hydrolysis, that energy can be released and transferred to power reactions. This tiny but mighty molecule is what powers nearly every reaction in our cells. In this episode, we journey inside the cell as we learn more about...