Discovering scientific innovations at your fingertips is now easier than ever through podcasts. Since we’ve been celebrating discovery for almost 300 years, we created this podcast for you to explore discovery that’s driven by the forever-curious experts across our organization and the industry. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app.

Our life science podcast

Episodes of the podcast

62. Organ on a chip: Part 1

In this first episode of a two-part series on organ on a chip technology, we discuss with Jan Turner, formerly part of Safer Medicines Trust, how these organoids can help us move away from the inefficient animal model.
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61. Genetic and genomic databases

We have a lot of information at our fingertips, so how do we make sense of it all to transform human health? Conor and Dodi speak to two experts who are making sense of this information overload by creating genetic and genomic databases. Dr Artem Babaian, a computational biologist and now Assistant Professor leading The Laboratory for RNA-Based Lifeforms at the University of Toronto, explains how he and his team uncovered 100 000 novel viruses in old genetic data that could help us predict future pandemics. Professor Jinchuan Xing, Associate Professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Genetics doing research on genomic variation, walks us through his study on using genomic data to predict infertility from aneuploid egg production.
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60. The talk on talent

Within the life sciences industry, there has been a longstanding conversation around one of the industry’s most difficult challenges. That challenge is talent. In more detail, it is that the access to a global talent pool remains difficult. In this longer than usual conversation, Conor and Dodi speak with Darrin Morrissey, the CEO of NIBRT, Anne-Cecile Potmans, general manager of Fast Trak and CDMO services at Cytiva, and Nikki Soares, global talent acquisition leader at Cytiva.
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59. Microscopic eco-warriors

Plastic and pollution are two issues that impact our planet. It would be easy to despair but once again biology has come to save us. The Alper Lab at University of Texas at Austin has engineered a plastic-eating enzyme which can shorten plastic degradation from hundreds of years to 48 hours. We speak to Dr Hal Alper, Professor in Chemical Engineering at UT at Austin, who engineered this heroic enzyme. We also speak to Marco Poletto, director and co-founder of EcoLogic studio, which is a design innovation company specializing in biotechnology for the built environment. He explains his use of microalgae to create streetlights, playgrounds, and biofilms on the outside of buildings which can capture 20 large trees worth of CO2 every day.
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58. Wastewater epidemiology: Something in the wastewater

We speak to Prof. Dominic Frigon, a specialist of biological wastewater resource recovery at McGill University, who used this technique in Quebec through the pandemic to determine areas of vulnerability, including a homeless shelter. We also speak to Dr Kata Farkas, an environmental virologist at Bangor University, to understand the wider applications and importance of this analysis technique.
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57. Special blood and transplants

This episode is all about special blood and transplants. We speak to Jon Adkins, co-founder of XenoTherapeutics, who walks us through their use of xenotransplantation for skin grafts and organ transplantation. We are also joined by Dr. Franck Zal, a marine biologist, CSO and CEO of Hemarina, to discuss the lugworm. His discovery, that the lugworms’ blood is compatible with human blood, means it can be used in medical applications for transplants.
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56. Understanding and treating Alzheimer’s

In this episode, we contemplate combatting the devastating disease that is Alzheimer’s. We talk to two experts leading two respective early-stage studies into possible treatments for Alzheimer’s. On the one hand, Dr Joshua Hare, co-founder of Longeveron, is looking at treating aging rather than the disease itself. On the other hand, Dr Lucy Vivash, a research fellow at Monash University, looks at the tackling of tau proteins.
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55. Injustice of disease burden and access to vaccines

The pandemic has been a global issue, which has benefitted from the coming together of industry, pharma, academia, non-governmental and governmental support. What it has also brought into sharp focus is the global imbalance access to healthcare and health inequity between the Global North and Global South.
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54. Mycoprotein v. cell-cultured seafood

We discuss the environmentally friendly alternative foods to meat consumption. We take a deep dive into mycoprotein and cell-cultured seafood.
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53. The future of GMOs

The future of food: GMOs. In this episode, we discuss cell cultured chocolate, and growing and consuming plants in space
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52. The magical world of fungi (part 2)

Fungi are amazing in so many ways. Did you know that fungi can be used for building materials in low resource environments? Or that they could decrease the carbon in our atmosphere? Or that they could bring extra income for low-resource communities? Chris explains that he has been using mushrooms to make building materials in low-resource environments in Namibia. These materials prove even better than concrete.
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51. Women in STEM

March is the month of the Woman, and to celebrate International Women’s Day we speak with two agents of change who are passionate about opportunity and diversity within the sciences. Ruchi Sharma, CEO and Founder of Stemnovate Limited, and Sabrina Fleurimé, drug product development scientist and Corporate Partnership Director at BBSTEM, talk to us about what we can all do to become agents of change.
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50. Biomimicry in space exploration

Sustained life and colonization in space is closer than ever, and biology holds the key. Biomimetic processes have applications for water filtration and for building homes on Mars. Jörg Vogel, VP of Open Innovation at Aquaporin, discusses how their Aquaporin Inside® Membrane Technology will help filter condensate and urine to make drinking water for astronauts.
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49. Discovery Makers: Mustapha Bittaye

Meet Discovery Maker Mustapha Bittaye, a postdoctoral researcher at the Jenner Institute who helped create the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Born in The Gambia, a scholarship took Mustapha to the UK to study microbial proteomics, and from then onwards he has made truly amazing contributions to global human health.
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48. Discovery Makers: Sebastian Falk

What drives a scientist? Well, according to Sebastian Falk, it is curiosity that drives him. Sebastian is a structural biologist who is leading a small research group investigating the structure and function of proteins, and how they work in RNA metabolism. In line with his curious-driven mindset, Sebastian also teaches at the University of Vienna where he is educating the next generation of up-and-coming scientists.
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47. Best of 2021

As 2022 rolls around the corner, we look back on the amazing topics we covered in 2021. Conor and Dodi were set an assignment to choose their favorite episode of the year, but as this was such a jam-packed year it made it very hard for them to complete their assignment. But as in all things, they delivered.
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46. The pulse of the industry

For this episode of Discovery Matters we are focusing on industry surveys and what they can tell us. This includes BioPlan and the Biopharma Resilience Index, huge reports providing insight into both the issues and opportunities facing the industry today.
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45. Detecting sepsis: the role of single-cell

Single-cell sequencing is technology that is giving us new genomic capabilities. Single-cell sequencing could hold the key to understanding why the body reacts to infections, and overall to help us advance healthcare.
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44. Insects as biotech engines

We’ve talked about slime, seaweed, mushrooms, and now creepy crawlies. Insects are an important source of proteins in two forms: medicines and meals. Insect pupae can produce recombinant proteins that can be used for vaccines, and are also excellent food sources, not just for bush tucker trials, but also doughnuts, croissants, oils, and hummus, all made from insect lipids.
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43. Crossing the finishing line in biotech

We talk a lot about beginnings on Discovery Matters, but what about actually getting biologic drugs to people? Once the biologic is produced, aseptic filling and hybrid glass and plastic vials help to protect the biologic drug and the patient.
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42. mRNA: the talk of the town

Who (in the scientific community) would have guessed that mRNA would be such a popular word in everyone's vocabulary one day? Well, as Conor puts it, "all the research by the people on the edges of the scientific community for the past 20 years are really paying dividends." Join Dodi, Conor and their guests, in the latest episode of Discovery Matters, talking about mRNA revolutionizing the genomics field.
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41. Seaweed, agar and algae

Conor brings us into the world of slime: seaweed, agar, and algae. Algae gave us the atmosphere that we have today and is still coming to our aid against climate change. Photobiologist Peter Ralph, who once called himself Dr. Death, explains how algae has provided him with newfound hope for the future to solve climate change.
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39. A true crime special

How do you solve linked murders without witnesses? The answer, DNA. In this episode of Discovery Matters, we have been inspired by the true crime genre. We discuss a 32-year-old cold case which was the first to be solved with DNA profiling, and a murder in Las Vegas that was solved with the smallest amount of DNA ever!
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38. Innovating with intent

We adore happy accidents. But is that the only way to innovate? We talk to an innovation guru who's all about structure. Then we meet a scientist whose goal with innovation is to scale up. Enter the Testa Center in Sweden. Hear how it all comes together in this episode with Dodi and Conor.
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37. The old biotech and the sea

Short and sweet - Conor brings an interesting story about role of horseshoe crabs in the pharmaceutical industry. Guest and subject matter expert is Ding Jeak Ling - or Lynne, as she prefers to be called. She is a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences National University of Singapore, and her main research interest is in Innate immunity and cancer immunomodulation.
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36. The 5 Rs in the life sciences

Sure, healthcare and pharma do a whole lot of good in the world - but this doesn't make us exempt from taking our plastic waste seriously. So, join Conor and Dodi as they talk about the 5 R's with their guests: Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO at TerraCycle; Cristina Peixoto, Head of Lab at iBET (Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica, Portugal) and Joëlle Cristofani from Cytiva.
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35. One hundred years of insulin

After one hundred years of insulin, Ulf Hannelius, CEO of Diamyd, says we are on the verge of having a diabetes vaccine.
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34. The science of gamification and citizen science

What's the science behind apps like Duolingo and Yousician? Gamification! And what happens when you apply this science to ... scientific discoveries? Join Dodi and Conor and their guests, Zoran Popovic, University of Washington and Helen Spiers, Zooniverse.
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33. Discovery Makers: Dorraya El-Ashry

What keeps a scientist going through doubts and difficulties? Rock-solid self-belief? The drive to save lives? Curious, we met some Discovery Makers. Next in the series is Dorraya El-Ashry who’s leading the battle against breast cancer.
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32. Discovery Makers: Robert “Bob” Lefkowitz

This episode almost became a 3 hour long one - Robert "Bob" Lefkowitz, PhD., is a phenomenal, infinite source of knowledge. Dodi and Conor are still in awe and deep appreciation for the time spent with the 2012 Nobel Prize laureate for Chemistry (shared with Brian Kobilka).
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30. Oligos part 2

Remember our first episode on oligonucleotides, telling the story of Roy living with spinal muscular atrophy? We were so amazed by this technology, we promised to follow up at a later date - and today is the day! Listen to find out how Roy is doing today, and hear from Harvard medical doctor and researcher, Tim Yu and Nikki Reyes-McIntosh, mother of Miles who also lives with SMA and is treated by oligos.
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29. The science of science denial

Why do some people embrace science while others ignore it? The answers might surprise you. Join Dodi, Conor, and guests as they tackle this question with COVID vaccines in mind.
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28. The magical world of fungi (part 1)

Conor finally brings the 15 minutes of fame to fungi – mushrooms being second only to his ’microbiomania.’ We invite you to the beginning of the journey to understand fungi and mushrooms.
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27. Best of 2020

We end 2020 a bit worse for the wear, but we learned every day. Discover our highlights from the inaugural year of this gnarly yet emotional science podcast.
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26. Mapping tissues and tumors

Why can’t we predict who’s going to benefit from a cancer treatment, and who isn’t? Turns out we’ve been missing an important piece of the puzzle. Grab your explorer hat and pop it on your head, because we’re going mapping.
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25. Math simulation in biopharma research

Computer simulation helps us design better cars before we make a physical model. What if we could use this technology to do the same for purifying new biotherapeutics? These podcast guests think we can and will by bridging math and biochemistry.
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24. Breast cancer research during COVID-19

In 2020 much of life has been paused. But breast cancer keeps going. In this podcast episode hear from Dr. Margaret Flowers at The Breast Cancer Research Foundation on the impact of COVID and how every woman can still look after her health.
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23. Chill out: from cryotherapy to cryopreservation

What do cryotherapy, endangered species, and cancer patients have in common? You might want to grab your woolly jumper before joining Dodi and Conor in this week’s episode.
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22. Molecular clamp – perspectives from one team’s search for a COVID-19 vaccine

In this episode of Discovery Matters podcast, we learn how researchers primed for a pandemic got a jump-start on developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
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July bonus – fun scientific facts

In this bonus episode inspired by a popular UK podcast, Dodi, Conor, and guest Kaycee share fun facts about science from the Pleistocene to now.
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21. The brewer, baker and the biotech maker

Biotech has taken inspiration from many places, including the food industry. Tune in as Dodi and Conor explore this topic and learn why biochemistry labs used to be near breweries. Cheers!
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20. Seeing things small

Biology and telecom have more in common than we think. Dodi, Conor, and their guests draw parallels between seeing inside a cell and computing in the telecom industry. Learn what that could mean for our future. 
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19. Protein A

Is it possible to love one protein? Dodi and Conor learn that it is, in the special case of a protein that’s integral in purifying many of today’s biologic drugs.
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18. Quantum biology: going subatomic

How do birds know where to go in the winter? And why are plants so efficient at making food? Dodi and Conor chat with researchers studying whether quantum biology might come into play.
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17. Neurology of choices

Have you every felt terror in the grocery store, dodging the marketing blitz to find what you need? If so, you might relate to this podcast guest who’s also a neuro economist.
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16. The artistry of vaccine development

Dodi and Conor chat with a scientist who fulfilled her childhood dreams, a professor with a passion for vaccine design, and a medical doctor turned pharmacovigilante. Tune in to learn what the heck that is and how vaccine development is like ballet.
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15. How to: small biotechs into big companies

In this episode, Dodi and Conor chat about what it takes to spin a good idea into a successful biotech business. Interviews with an innovator and two people who help technology like his get off the ground.
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14. The story of oligonucleotides and spinal muscular atrophy

In this episode Conor tells Dodi about 4-year-old Roy Muhrbeck who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Learn how an oligonucleotide (oligo) therapy helps Roy and where he is today. Ionis Pharmaceuticals’ Max Moore explains the science.
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13. Scratched knees, smelly yogurt, and speedy wound healing

So, what does yogurt have to do with wound healing? In this episode, Evelina Vågesjö from Ilya Pharma helps Conor and Dodi see the connection. It’s all about getting help from our small bacterial friends, lactic acid, and chemokines. Tune in to learn how it all connects.
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12. School’s never out: Educating the next generation of biopharma talents

Education matters for sure. But what is special about biopharmaceutical education? And what does the future hold? Dodi and Conor are about to find out. Their guides in this episode are Killian O’Driscoll at NIBRT, Ireland, and Ron Kander at Thomas Jefferson University, US.
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10. Perspectives for health – learning about blockchain

Blockchain is everywhere. But what is it, really? And what can the blockchain technology bring to healthcare? Dodi and Conor unravel these questions together with Dr. Cathy Mulligan at Imperial College London in this week’s podcast episode.
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9. Innovation inside-the-box, cyborgs and jugaad (जुगाड)

Follow Dodi as she dives into the world of innovation. More specifically, the difference between talking innovation and being innovative. Meet Tobias the cyborg that likes thinking inside the box and learn what Goud has to say about the concept of jugaad in India.
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8. Microbiome transplant: cooties can cure you

Conor has what he calls "microbiomania". Whatever the topic, he can bring it back to microbiomes in about three sentences. So, imagine his excitement when he got to meet up with two fellow microbiome enthusiasts, Colleen Cutcliffe, CEO of Pendulum and Jacques Ravel, professor at University of Maryland.
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7. Fitness trackers in the 1940s: The Framington Heart Study

During a lively lunch chat about the popularity of wearable fitness trackers, the curious question came up: where would healthcare be now if we’d been able to generate all this data 50 to 70 years ago? Dodi directly thought of the world’s longest running human study, the Framingham Heart Study, which is still ongoing after 70 years.
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6. CAR-T cell therapy: the story of 2 brave young women

This is a serious but inspirational story where a few brave souls blazed the trail and are now paying it forward. This is the story of Emily Whitehead, the first CAR T pediatric patient. And this is the story of Nicole Gularte, the leukemia patient who received CAR T cell therapy three times!
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5. A map of humankind from the inside out

We humans have been mapping things since the beginning of time. In this episode, Dodi takes Conor on an explorer’s journey. Their destination? The Human Protein Atlas project. Strap on your seatbelt—it’s a bumpy ride connecting the dots between explorers, chemists, geneticists…and even sociologists. 
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4. The role of AI in pandemics

A pandemic can start with a picnic. But can we prevent pandemics without cancelling feel-good gatherings? Enter artificial intelligence (AI) into the world of healthcare and life sciences. Dodi meets up with an AI expert panel and gets examples of the real potential of this very trendy topic.
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3. Kidney surgeon who fixes the plumbing

The list of people needing kidney transplants is tragically long, and donor lists are desperately short. Conor and Dodi find scientists who are coming up with alternative solutions to this problem. Some enable transplantation of less-than-perfect organs, and others dream of 3D printing important organs.
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2. When a hamster rules the biopharma world

Little did you know, but a single hamster has been a force of innovation and massive biomedical production. Scientists devote entire careers to so called CHO cells from this Chinese hamster’s ovary. Dodi and Conor talk with a couple of those scientists to figure out why this hamster rules the biopharma world.
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1. Tea, jam and protein separation

Dodi and Conor discover how jam played a part in paving the way for biopharmaceutical drugs. Sixty years ago, Swedish scientists happened upon a new method of protein separation through chromatography. The very same technique continues to be the foundation for modern biomedical manufacturing.
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11. Fighting fake news in biotechnology: Sense about Science

Can you trust the scientific claims on products you buy? Conor's curiosity led him down a three-pronged investigation about what you can and should believe when it comes to science statistics and statements. His journey starts with Alex Clegg from the Sense about Science Ask for Evidence campaign.
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